Saturday, March 28, 2015
URL = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pELwCqz2JfE
Doing a search of Liberty's Torch, I did find eight other Bill Whittle videos going back as far as 2012 (but not this one}. If you've seen it already I apologize, if not, I highly recommend it.
Ideal educational material for that favorite liberal in your life.
Time was, an American was reluctant to “talk himself up:” i.e., to boast openly to others about his abilities or achievements. These days, the reverse ethic is in force. At least, I often hear other people boasting about this or that under conditions where the “aw shucks” / toe rubbed in the sand response of earlier generations would have been regarded as near to obligatory.
This has some distressing consequences. For one thing, it tends to alienate others who have a reasonably good opinion of themselves. For another, boasting routinely elicits boasting, and anyone with the slightest acquaintance with positive feedback knows how destructive that can be.
No, this won’t be another sermonette on humility. The subject is on my mind for other reasons.
Are you good at what you do? I’m pleased to hear it, but allow me to ask a question: How do you know?
Most of us are competent, or perhaps slightly better, at what we’ve made our occupations. That’s a survival necessity. Even the most ramified division-of-labor economy requires that you be able to do something of value to others well enough to get paid for it. (Let’s agree to omit consideration of those whose survival skill is wheedling charity out of others.) But that makes competence-or-a-little-better the very definition of mediocrity.
Let’s imagine for a moment that you were to become determined to find out exactly how good you are at your trade. What metric would apply? Can you think of an absolute standard against which to measure yourself? I can’t. Among other things, most human qualities are immensurate. They simply can’t be expressed in numbers, and as Robert A. Heinlein has told us, if it cannot be expressed in figures, it’s merely someone’s opinion.
That throws us back to relative measures: “how good you are” as a ranking against others who do the same thing. How would you go about determining that?
That’s not quite as tough a nut to crack, at least when the sample space and the skill in question are closely defined. But there’s still a lot of fuzz on it. It’s inherently imprecise. It’s driven by a variable set of performances. It’s dependent on the opinions of some evaluator who might have considerations in mind that another evaluator would dismiss.
The subject should make a thoughtful man uncomfortable about having it brought up in his presence. All the same, there are times when there’s no way to avoid it—and the verdicts issued at such times can have a large impact upon one’s life and mental health.
I’m about to retire from my lifelong trade. I’ve made decent money at it, and I’ve had a good time doing so. I expect to miss it at least somewhat when I down tools for the last time. What I won’t miss is the annual demand that I justify my continuing employment.
A lot of employers, perhaps most of them, put their employees through that wringer. It’s usually called something more benign, such as a performance appraisal. The very cruelest version compels the employee to evaluate himself, a double-bind if ever there was one. It practically forces him to boast about what he’s done over the evaluation interval, at least if he’s hoping for a merit raise atop the perpetuation of his job.
I hate it. I’ve always hated it—and I’m one of the lucky ones who, except for one case in which my employer collapsed, has never had to worry about continuing to draw a salary. So in recent years I’ve rebelled against it. No, not by refusing to fill out the forms or attend the review. I chose another approach. For each question on the form that asked me to assess myself in some particular way, I inserted the following sentence:
I should not be the one to answer this. Talk to my customers.
The first two times I did that, it earned me the proverbial hairy eyeball from my supervisor. He would ask, usually in tones that implied severe negative consequences for non-cooperation, why I thought I could get away with it. I gritted my mental teeth, smiled pleasantly, and replied thus:
I could tell you anything at all. Without input from my customers you would have no alternative but to accept it. Have you talked to them? If so, what did they say? If not, why not? Are you afraid of what you’d hear? I’m not.
After the second iteration of that “procedure,” word got around. Don’t challenge him. He’ll make you feel like an incompetent idiot, and he’ll do it with a smile. Inasmuch as most persons in a supervisory position don’t enjoy feeling incompetent or idiotic, I got no more grief about it after that.
The unspoken implication of my rejoinder was, of course, that the evaluation is the supervisor’s duty. That implies a responsibility to collect as much relevant data as he can. But most supervisors dislike that responsibility just as much as they dislike feeling incompetent. There’s a good reason: they’re the same thing.
I’d love to see the boasting plague ended now and forever. It reeks of a “measuring contest.” It calls to mind an image of two Neanderthals roaring at one another over an open fire while brandishing their favorite antelope femurs. The return of proper outward modesty might even be accompanied by a renewed inward willingness to reflect upon one’s essential smallness. That would conduce to a number of other benefits, both individual and social.
Socrates is reputed to have said “Only one thing do I know, and that is that I know nothing.” It might be apocryphal; many statements attributed to the great departed can’t be verified. But it’s true even so. The greatest savants of the ages were aware that however much they knew, however much they had achieved, was minuscule compared to the immensity of reality—of Truth. It wasn’t until many centuries later that Kurt Godel proved that this is unavoidable, but the wisest among us have known it even so.
Unfortunately, we won’t enjoy such a retrenchment toward modesty while the incentives to boast remain as strong as they are. There are legal structures behind those incentives. So I won’t be holding my breath. I will, however, enjoy having been released from their grip.
Braggadocio is at the heart of many a social malady. Among those worst afflicted by it, it often leads to violence. All the same, it’s a symptom of a deeper lack, usually the lack of a worthy hero one can admire and strive to emulate.
Think about the behavior of celebrities. Of entertainers. Of contemporary sports figures. Of politicians, as painful as that may be. In the absence of better heroes—men of achievement who were raised to glory by others, but who remained modest and quiet even while being celebrated—young men will emulate that sort of behavior. The consequences are in plain sight.
This is one of the influences most responsible for making the world what it is. It’s a great part of the reason why I write fiction. One recent story was propelled by that and nothing else.
Just a morsel of food for thought on an unexpectedly snowy Saturday.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Haven’t done one of these in a while. Suppose it’s time.
Obama just shafted Israel again, by releasing U.S. confirmation of Israel’s nuclear armament. Is there anyone with three functioning brain cells who still believes Obama’s a Christian – or an American?
This article at the Daily Caller is supposedly about a hoax. Don’t know about that. It’s a good reflection of the censoriousness and overall attitudes of the “angry ugly-girl” Left. The real question is how many journalists will regard it as a command from She Who Must Be Obeyed.
You can call the vicious, lying, power-obsessed bitch whatever you want, for my money. She deserves the worst you can say about her: Her cooperation with his deceits gave Bill Clinton the White House. If “reporters” had been willing to follow the Bimbo Trail in 1992, we might have avoided a Clinton presidency. Hell, we might have avoided two Clinton presidencies. But we’ve learned how foolish it is to expect “Democrat operatives with bylines” (Glenn Reynolds) to report on anything that would cast an unfavorable light on the Democrat Wonder Boy of the Month.
There’s a good, albeit somber, article today at Neo-NeoCon. Guess she belongs in the blogroll. Can’t imagine why I’m so reluctant to grow it...or prune it.
Does anyone else out there think PJ Media is turning sort of mushy and irrelevant? It started out well enough, and it published good stuff for a good spell, but lately the bulk of its material seems shrugworthy. Well, all things must pass, as the poet says.
There are several kinds of perfection. (Bear in mind that perfect comes from a Latin word that means “finished.”) This kind should be enjoyed greatly and celebrated enthusiastically. The, ah, owner seems to agree.
(To those who think the female breast is an obscene sight: Keep it to yourself.)
Read The Declination. Read it. The proprietor has things to say, and he says them very well. Helps that he’s a friend, of course, but quality will always out.
Just noticed how often I omit the subject of a sentence. Mustn’t let that get to be a habit. Anyway, onward.
Does anyone know what’s up with His Majesty? No time to write? Nothing to write about? Inquiring minds want to know!
If this is nailed down, it will send tidal waves through the airline business. Truth be told, I suspected it from the first. However, that having been said, I won’t fly on an AirBus and I won’t allow the C.S.O. to fly on one. The designers deliberately contrived to forbid manual override of many important computer-initiated maneuvers.
I’m a software guy. One of the very best, in fact. And I tell you quite plainly: Do not trust your life to an automated, digitally-controlled system. Take it from one who knows.
Rush Limbaugh and others are vehement that the infamous Bergdahl trade had nothing to do with getting Bergdahl back. Their contention is that it was entirely about vacating a few more cells at Camp X-Ray. Not sure, myself. Think how eager Obama is to let millions of other anti-Americans into the country.
Colin Flaherty continues to commit flagrant acts of journalism. For my money, he’s one of the best half-dozen actual newsmen in America. Of course, the Left purely hates him for undermining the central pillar of its Narrative. But that’s testimony in his favor.
Be sure to read White Girl Bleed A Lot. It could save your life some day...some day very soon.
I’m a big advocate of nuclear weapons – in the right hands, of course (i.e., mine). Nuclear weapons do something that’s desperately needed to be done since Waterloo: they put the political class on the battlefield. Of course, not everyone is happy about that.
We’ve been seeing quite a lot of this lately. Has there always been this much of it and it’s only just now emerging into public view, or has there been an explosion of it recently?
Adults and children are practically two different species. They shouldn’t be conducting clandestine love affairs with one another. But much the same could be said about men and women...and with no small amount of justice.
That’s all for today. Time to take the tractor to see the tractor doctor. After that, it’s fiction and general home maintenance, possibly for the entire weekend. Enjoy your Friday!
Thursday, March 26, 2015
“The State is based on threat.” – Robert Anton Wilson
“I was never molested by any person but those who represented the State.” – Henry David Thoreau
Every government demands immediate, unresisting obedience from every one of its subjects at every instant of every day. No, not every government gets such total submission, and not all of them expect it at all times, but they all demand it...and they have their ways of working toward it.
In the majority of cases, the key element of the government’s strategy is fear:
- Fear of the government’s agents;
- Fear of the opinions of other subjects;
- Fear of those from whom the government claims to “protect” us.
All three of those varieties of fear are being deployed here in the Land of the Formerly Free.
Concerning fear of the agents of the State, John Whitehead provides an example from the words of a generally decent man:
Most police shootings can be avoided. It comes down to respect for authority and obedience. If a police officer tells you to stop, you stop. If a police officer tells you to put your hands in the air, you put your hands in the air. If a police officer tells you to lay down face first with your hands behind your back, you lay down face first with your hands behind your back. It’s as simple as that. Even if you think the police officer is wrong—YOU OBEY. [Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham]
Needless to say, the government is happy to have Reverend Graham’s assistance in cowing the public. Here’s a little self-exculpation for police wrongdoing from a Los Angeles cop:
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?
...While most citizens are courteous and law abiding, the subset of people we generally interact with everyday are not the genteel types. You don’t know what is in my mind when I stop you. Did I just get a radio call of a shooting moments ago? Am I looking for a murderer or an armed fugitive? For you, this might be a “simple” traffic stop, for me each traffic stop is a potentially dangerous encounter. Show some empathy for an officer’s safety concerns. Don’t make our job more difficult than it already is.
Interpret that however you will.
Prosecutors’ offices are masters of the fine art of untraceable slander: spreading accusations about a targeted citizen that causes his neighbors and friends to view him unfavorably. Thus the second technique for cowing us comes into play: The willingness to believe an accusation from an “official” source.
Consider the number of recent cases of false accusations of rape. Rape is a particularly horrible crime; back when we were more civilized, it was punishable by death. Surely it’s an accusation no one should take – or make – lightly.
In March 2006, Crystal Gail Mangum, an African-American student at North Carolina Central University who worked as a stripper, dancer and escort, falsely accused three white students, members of the Duke Blue Devils men's lacrosse team, of raping her at a party held at the house of two of the team's captains in Durham, North Carolina, on March 13, 2006. Many people involved in, or commenting on the case, including prosecutor Michael "Mike" Nifong, either called the alleged assault a hate crime or suggested it might be one.
In response to the allegations Duke University suspended the lacrosse team for two games on March 28, 2006. On April 5, 2006, Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler was forced to resign under threat by athletic director Joe Alleva and Duke President Richard Brodhead canceled the remainder of the 2006 season. On April 11, 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped all charges and declared the three players innocent. Cooper stated that the charged players – Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans – were victims of a "tragic rush to accuse." The initial prosecutor, Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael Nifong, labeled a "rogue prosecutor" by Cooper, withdrew from the case in January 2007 after the North Carolina state Bar filed ethics charges against him. In June 2007, Nifong was disbarred for "dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation", making him the first prosecutor in North Carolina disbarred for trial conduct. Nifong served one day in jail for lying about sharing DNA tests (criminal contempt); the lab director said it was a misunderstanding and Nifong claimed it was due to weak memory. Mangum faced no charges for her false accusations as Cooper declined to prosecute her.
Cooper pointed to several inconsistencies in Mangum's accounts of the evening and Seligmann and Finnerty's alibi evidence, in the findings report's summary. The Durham Police Department came under fire for violating their own policies by allowing Nifong to act as the de facto head of the investigation; giving a suspect-only photo identification procedure to Mangum; pursuing the case despite vast discrepancies in notes taken by Investigator Benjamin Himan and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb; and distributing a poster presuming the guilt of the suspects shortly after the allegations. The ex-players are seeking unspecified damages and new criminal justice reform laws in a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the City of Durham. The case sparked varied responses from the media, faculty groups, students, the community, and others.
Tawana Glenda Brawley (born 1972) is an African-American woman from Wappingers Falls, New York, who gained notoriety in 1987–88 for falsely accusing six white men of having raped her. The charges received widespread national attention because of her age (15), the persons accused (including police officers and a prosecuting attorney), and the shocking state in which Brawley was found after the alleged rape (in a trash bag, with racial slurs written on her body and covered in feces). Brawley's accusations were given widespread media attention in part from the involvement of her advisers, including the Reverend Al Sharpton and attorneys Alton H. Maddox and C. Vernon Mason.
After hearing evidence, a grand jury concluded in October 1988 that Brawley had not been the victim of a forcible sexual assault and that she herself may have created the appearance of such an attack. The New York prosecutor whom Brawley had accused as one of her alleged assailants successfully sued Brawley and her three advisers for defamation.
That case made the odious Al Sharpton a national celebrity of the order (and variety) of Jesse Jackson.
If we can be induced to fear others, particularly those nearest to us, the more credulous among us will be more likely to look to the government for “protection.” The government is quite amenable to such developments. In fact, it strives to help them along:
Crime stats published by the FBI and relied upon by the media distort the gun violence and leave the public with the impression "mass shooting" incidents are a much bigger threat than they really are, according to a criminologist and Second Amendment scholar.
The bureau's annual reports tabulating and classifying a wide range of crime throughout the nation have been historically free of politics, but John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, said the latest statistics contain numbers that are misleading at best and deliberately fudged at worst. Lott believes the numbers may have been presented to overstate for political purposes the true risk of being a victim of random gun crimes.
“The FBI put out a clearly incorrect set of numbers on public shootings shortly before the November election last year,” said Lott, a frequent opinion writer for FoxNews.com and author of "More Guns, Less Crime." “I have been reading FBI reports for 30 years and I have never seen anything like this. It is one thing for the Bureau of Justice Statistics or the National Institute of Justice to put out politically biased studies, but there has always been a Chinese wall separating the FBI raw data collection from political pressures.”
About half of the population of the United States owns one or more firearms. The government is laboring mightily to make the other half suspicious of us. Fraudulent statistics that can be blared out by anti-gun-rights media organs make a major contribution to the government’s efforts. One need only look at the hysteria the state of Connecticut engendered after the Newtown massacre, or the comparable aftermath of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, to grasp the utility to the government of having our neighbors fear us.
One final thought before I close for today. The government’s efforts at cowing us have intensified greatly in the last few years. The reason might seem counter-intuitive: it’s a response to the upsurge in political activism by Americans unhappy with the direction the country has taken and determined to reverse its course. The government and its hangers-on could have adopted an attitude of conciliation, which will strike many a Gentle Reader as the more sensible approach. However, those in its driver’s seat find such an approach unpalatable, as it would imply a willingness to admit to errors and to make concessions, at least on conditions: an attitude any power-worshipper would deem anathema.
But if the government must struggle to make us fear, by implication we have little objective reason to fear. Indeed, we might be in far less danger – from anyone or anything – than we’ve long supposed. It suggests that our response to the government’s efforts should be to redouble our own.
“Every actual State is corrupt. Good men must not obey the laws too well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A former senior propagandist, Jang Jin-Sun, defected to South Korea and told the documentary’s producers, “In North Korea they promote the leader to be the sun. If you go too close you burn, if you go too far you freeze to death.”
Blacks similarly think that a leftist victory will mean their emancipation from the hated white man but never stop to consider what radical leftist white men will do to them when they no longer have any need for their votes.
 "The Dangers Of Exposing North Korea’s Secrets. A documentary's chilling tale -- in front of the camera, and behind it." By Bethany Mandel, The Federalist, 1/17/15.
H/t: what-when-how for image.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
I’ve written before – sorry, I’m unable to backlink to it just now – that at a deep level, all governments are allied with all others against their citizens / subjects. This is inherent in the nature of the State: a predatory entity that will only be tolerated for as long as those subject to it regard it as preferable to no State. Note the importance of perception here. It need not be objectively true that your State is preferable to a condition of anarchy; it’s only necessary that a sufficient percentage of subjects believe that to be the case. Therefore, the power-wielder’s first duty is to manage the perceptions of his subjects toward that end. By unavoidable implication, the role (in your State’s schemes) of every other State is to look threatening to you.
Once again, the threats need not be objectively real so long as the perceptions are sufficiently strong and widespread. For example, the geopolitics of the Cold War years were largely propelled by Americans’ fear of the Soviets and vice-versa. In reality, the Soviets posed almost no threat to the United States, though we were provided with reasons to think otherwise. Similarly, until quite recently Red China was no threat to the U.S. Indeed, even today its ability to harm America or Americans is quite limited, though more substantial than in previous years. A good case could be made that the regimes in Iran and North Korea are objectively more threatening to America and American interests than either of the aforementioned “superpowers.”
However, the “assistance” other States provide in helping a given regime to keep its subjects properly subjugated doesn’t make them that regime’s friends. As Benjamin Netanyahu said before Congress quite recently, there are times when the enemy of your enemy is just another of your enemies. That’s often the case in geopolitics.
I wrote in the Foreword to Freedom’s Scion that:
The States of Earth exist in an anarchic relation to one another. Each has its own regional code of law, which might differ markedly from all the others. Despite several thrusts at the matter over the centuries, there is no “super-State” to enforce a uniform code of law over them all. More, they view one another as competitors in many different areas; their populations and institutions are often in sharp economic competition with one another. Thus, they are often at odds. They resolve important disputes among them through negotiation or warfare.
Yet individuals manage to move among them with a fair degree of facility and (usually) little risk. Cross-border trade is commonplace, in some places torrential. Though wars are frequent, they seldom result in major alterations to the overall political pattern. The uber-anarchy of Terrestrial society exhibits more stability than one would expect from two hundred well armed, quarrelsome States, each of which perpetually schemes at snatching some advantage at another’s expense.
The negotiations and advantages of which I wrote in the above often include international agreements of some sort: for example, on matters of trade and finance, currency management, or border controls. Sometimes such agreements synergize with a regime’s deeper priority of “keeping us on the plantation.”
Have a gander at this bit of news from France:
Under the auspices of fighting terrorism, France’s Minister of Finance, Monsieur Michel Sapin, has rolled out a series of eight new restrictions aimed specifically at minimizing the use of cash.
Among the new restrictions is a prohibition of making more than 1,000 euros in cash payments (down from 3,000 before).
Large cash withdrawals exceeding 10,000 euros per month will also now be monitored and reported to the French authorities.
Foreign exchange offices will now be required to obtain a copy of someone’s ID to exchange more than 1,000 euros.
There are several more beyond this. And, just for good measure, they threw in a few controls that aren’t even related to cash.
Most importantly, moving and transporting GOLD through France, even through a professional freight service, must now be declared and reported to French customs.
Simon Black says “It’s pretty obvious what’s happening here.” He’s right. But note the correlation with developments closer to home:
Imagine going to the bank to withdraw some cash.
Having some cash on hand is always a prudent strategy, and especially today when more and more bank deposits are creeping into negative territory, meaning that you have to pay the banks for the privilege that they gamble with your money.
You tell the teller that you’d like to withdraw $5,000 from your account. She hesitates nervously and wants to know why.
You try to politely let her know that that’s none of the bank’s business as it’s your money.
The teller disappears for a few minutes, leaving you waiting.
When she returns she tells you that you can collect your money in a few days as they don’t have it on hand at the moment.
Slightly irritated because of the inconvenience, you head home.
But as you pull into your driveway later there’s an unexpected surprise waiting for you: two police officers would like to have a word with you about your intended withdrawal earlier…
That’s from just four days ago, Gentle Reader. Do you suppose there might have been a few words exchanged between Washington and Paris over this? Especially given the acceleration of the rate at which Americans are expatriating? France, currently laboring under an overtly Socialist government, has much the same problem...and quite a few of its richer subjects have been coming here in preference to allowing La Belle Patrie to mulct them further.
Cash has “no provenance.” The cash in your hand could have come from anywhere; unless its delivery to you was actively witnessed and recorded, there’s no way to trace it backward. The same is true of other tangible items that have been used as cash, such as gold and silver.
Governments have always hated cash. Their war against cash has never ceased. Some of the most important “fronts” in that war are at national borders.
Among the developments of recent years that governments have encouraged has been the steady blossoming of cashless commerce: electronic funds transfer. In the United States, all such transfers are monitored by the Federal Reserve Bank. Indeed, the original form of EFT, the “wire transfer,” passes directly through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Supposedly this is to guarantee that banks won’t play fast and loose with the reserve requirements. If you believe that, I have a wonderful opportunity for you. No checks, please. Cash only. Small bills.
U.S. financial dominance has depended on the status of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, a status conferred upon it at Bretton Woods in 1944. It’s the main reason Washington has been able to inflate without limit. However, there’s a development in progress that’s got our government, and quite a few others, unsettled: the emergence of a new regional banking system founded on a Chinese bank:
Britain has become the first major Western government to apply for membership in a proposed Chinese-led Asian regional bank that Washington worries will undercut institutions such as the World Bank.
The British Treasury said Thursday it will join talks this month on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank's structure and governance arrangements.
China proposed the bank in 2013 to finance construction of roads and other infrastructure. It has pledged to put up most of its initial $50 billion in capital.
Twenty-one other governments including India, New Zealand and Thailand have said they want to join. For now, the United States and its close allies Japan, South Korea and Australia are not part of the new club.
The bank is one of a series of initiatives by Beijing to increase its influence in global finance and expand trade links with Asian neighbors and developing countries in Africa and Latin America.
A fair number of other countries have announced their intention to join that new system. It threatens to compete with American financial power, long a virtual monopoly in international finance, in a fashion that would reduce Washington’s overall ability to influence world affairs, especially in the vital Pacific Rim nations. Needless to say, Washington’s expressed concerns address such apolitical matters as reserves and lending standards. Sincere or cosmetic? You be the judge.
“When danger looms, go to cash” has long been a maxim for the well prepared. With cash transactions becoming rarer and government controls becoming ever tighter, the use of cash for non-trivial transactions grows more hazardous in and of itself. For one thing, the rarer they become, the more attention they’ll draw from anyone who becomes aware of them. For another, due to inflation the average amount involved in a “non-trivial transaction” is larger than it’s ever been and will grow larger still.
Add to the above Washington’s fears for the dollar’s reserve-currency status. What do you expect will happen to cash and the laws surrounding it next?
Fortunately, the State can’t completely eliminate the concept of cash. Any tangible that’s sufficiently recognizable, durable, and divisible can function as cash. Time was, tobacco and liquor were frequently used as cash in North America, especially in trades between Amerinds and Euro-derived Americans. A society with a low volume of commerce can easily do so:
Armand peered into the throat of the little carburetor for verisimilitude while his detached viewpoint quested within for the obstruction that had choked it. It was hardly a moment before he'd found the problem: a clot of carbonaceous lint, left unconsumed by the low-temperature distillation technique the Hopeless used to make alcohol from their composted wastes, was lodged firmly in the jet. He stuck a thin strip of stiff plastic into the device and swished it around as he closed a telekinetic grip on the clot, carefully teased it free, and anchored it to the end of his probe. He pulled the probe gently out of the carburetor's throat and showed the clot to Nigel Simpson.
"See why I've been telling you to filter your alcohol before you use it?"
Simpson snorted and reached for the carburetor. Armand pulled it out of his reach.
"Did you forget my fee, Nigel?"
The forger's face reddened. "Don't I have credit with you?"
Armand stared him full in the eyes. "I have a wife to feed." At the far end of their hut, Teresza looked up from her sewing. Armand turned and grinned to indicate that the situation was non-threatening, and she returned to her labors. "No one has credit here. Particularly not a man as well known for his selective memory as you."
Simpson sprouted angry lines around his mouth and eyes. He was twice Armand's age and half his size, a venal little toad of a man who'd steal the eyes out of Armand's head if he thought he could make a clean getaway. He was smart enough to know that he'd only get his property back if Armand could be persuaded to release it to him, but not smart enough to accept the fact with good grace.
Over the six months since they'd crossed the land bridge, the Hopeless of Defiance had come to treasure Armand for his unparalleled knack with their ancient machinery. They revered him for his gift of the fresh-water well. In any contretemps he could count on the backing of nearly all his neighbors and other customers, some out of sincere gratitude, the rest for more practical reasons. Simpson could count on nothing at all.
"All right." The forger shrugged off his backpack, rummaged around in it and produced a pint flask of clear liquid. He thrust it at Armand with a contemptuous gesture.
Armand took it, eased out the fibrous stopper, and sniffed. "Vodka?"
Simpson nodded. "Ninety proof."
From you, that means probably no better than fifty proof, but I can still get what we need with it.
Such a day might be upon Americans sooner than anyone expects.
We are supposed to be manipulated to think that it is completely natural that thousands of citizens from another EU-country [Gypsies] occupy streets in every Swedish city and build shantytowns in parks – and that it is our obligation to care for them.
This sort of journalism has a pronounced political agenda: to displace the foreigner [immigration] law and let the [reporters'] personal feelings control the immigration policy. The whole picture, that is, what it is that exactly happens to a country and a people who in an unprecedented fashion are invaded by people from foreign countries and cultures, is deemed irrelevant. Well, at least if that country is Sweden. What the Swedish people think is something you’ll never read about.
Do read what she says on that. I merely want to focus on her insightful paragraphs on the madness of the Swedish obsession with destroying Sweden through immigration.
 "Congratulations Pussy Porters!" By Julia Caesar, Snaphanen, 3/7/15, translated and republished at "Congratulations Pussy Porters!" By swedishsurveyor, Swedish Surveyor, 3/23/15 (emphasis added). The mystifying term in the title is explained by swedishsurveyor in the preface to this article.
H/t: College Candy for first image.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Jesus boiled it down to two. Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
As Ben Franklin said, “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”
EBT cards may buy votes, but they'll never buy love.
This column appears in the 25 MAR 2015 Upson Beacon. Upson County, GA.