Stop and think,  collected — 2022
   Note. Because of changes in the archive pages, over time, you may find that some of the links you hit to other “Stop and think” installments actually lead nowhere. If you encounter frustration with a particular link, please feel free to hold my feet to the fire.

Nicholas Strakon     

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Reader responses    

Edward Morrison Morley: Duped again? Nooooooooo!
Mr. Morley is TLD’s Foreign Affairs correspondent, with a special focus on Oil and Petroleum Issues. Once the Biden regime killed U.S. oil exploration and pipelines, he moved on to other things, but this hot potato seemed too much fun so he temporarily put his current hat as TLD’s Rap Music Explainer aside.
This is a two-fer, since both are actually refutations of the Who’s neglected hit, “We Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

Here is the New York Times for October 26, 2022, reporting on yet another resounding diplomatic triumph for the Biden gang that can’t shoot straight: “U.S. Officials Had a Secret Oil Deal with the Saudis. Or So They Thought,” by Mark Mazzetti, Edward Wong, and Adam Entous (paywalled).

Editor’s intro: “After Saudi leaders pushed to slash oil production despite a visit by President Biden, American officials have been left fuming that they were duped.”

Gosh, fooled again. Well, maybe their dealings with Iran and Venezuela will turn out better. If I’m not mistaken, the officials are negotiating with the Persians with Russian help. Hee, hee.

Hey, maybe we can get the oil from Russia: I hear they have a surplus. Meanwhile, back to sticking it to American oil companies. And accusing them of “price gouging,” which is Democratic Socialist-speak for charging market prices rather than selling below cost.

On the bright side, the same issue of the Times has a story about an impending Republican landslide in November: “Democrats, on Defense in Blue States, Brace for a Red Wave in the House,” by Shane Goldmacher (paywalled).

Editor’s intro: “‘Reality is setting in:’ With two weeks to go, Republicans are competing in Democratic bastions like New York, California, Oregon and even Rhode Island.”

However, on the negative side, we all know the Republican penchant for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And even if they win, they will play with all their cards face up on the table and let Schumer & Co. mop the floor with them. And we will all get fooled again. The more things change, the more they are the same, as Edward Morrison Morley used to say ... Wait! What? That’s me. Please disregard. (October 2022)

Edward Morrison Morley: Hypocrites? Who? Us?

Mr. Morley is TLD’s Hypocrisy Correspondent, at least for the time being, since “hypocrisy” is barely hanging on in our culture. Sadly, since people without any principles can’t be hypocrites, almost no one has any idea about what hypocrisy is these days. One remembers fondly the olden days when “flip-flopping” was not only a thing, but generally regarded as undesirable, yea, even morally reprehensible. Today, flip-flopping is called “growth in office” and such like, and is SOP for politicians and journalists everywhere.
The New York Times online version for October 23, 2022, headlined a story by Jennifer Valentino-DeVries and Steve Eder, “Democracy Challenged. For Trump’s Backers in Congress, ‘Devil Terms’ Help Rally Voters.” Apparently Orange Man’s followers are resorting to name-calling instead of reasoned argument to support their cause and (paradoxically) to persuade others (usually referred to as mindless robots) to join them.

This is in stark contrast to President Sleepy Joe Biden, who took a page (or two or three) out of Socrates’s playbook (OK, that used to be called plagiarism, but not anymore: now it’s an “hommage”) by calmly and rationally labeling Republicans and anyone else who disagreed with him as “quasi-fascists.” Set that balanced and learned discourse against the wildly maniacal ad hominem labeling of Bernie Sanders, AOC, and others as “socialists”! Wait! What? You say they do call themselves “democratic socialists”? Well, la di dah. There are miles of distance between a “socialist” and a “democratic socialist.” Perhaps Strakon will explain in a future “Stop and think.”

In the meanwhile, Democracy is Challenged, though it’s not clear whether this is by Orange Man’s battalions of MAGA Republicans and their fellow travelers such as libertarians, conservatives, and undecideds, or whether the dastardly deed is being done by the Timespeople. (Anyone out there remember when one referred to “Timesmen”? Ha, ha.) At least the NYT has the thoughtfulness to write “Devil Terms,” quote/unquote, just in case anyone thought they actually believed in the Devil, though that nicety seems oddly misplaced, since for the Times, Orange Man is obviously the Devil incarnate. (October 2022)

For further reading: “NYT’s Republicans ‘devil terms’ front page is more media midterm madness,” by James Bovard, New York Post, October 23, 2022. 

David T. Wright: Comic relief. Almost all the news is bad these days, what with the Crash Test Dummy Regime and its allies doing their best to:

Get us all killed in a nuclear war with Russia, or
Force us to freeze in the dark, or
Impoverish us to the point that we all have to live on dog food, or
Flood the country with illiterate foreigners, or
Let all the violent criminals loose on the streets to mug, murder, rape, and pillage, or
Turn our kids into mutilated, sterile zombies, or
Whatever horror they have planned for us tomorrow.
So it’s refreshing to come upon the occasional defeat, however small, of our tormentors. For instance, in Britain the cops seem to be enabling anti-fossil-fuel crazies when they block busy thoroughfares or vandalize artworks. Even when the rozzers finally act, they handle the little darlings with kid gloves.

But in Germany, after a bunch of academic parasites glued themselves to the floor of a Porsche dealership, they were treated with contempt. Their spokesman, a morose, malnourished-looking “researcher in social psychology” (of course), complained that their reluctant hosts had not provided them with chamber pots and had turned off the heat and lights, giving them a taste of exactly what they want to impose on everybody else. After a while, the poor dear had to leave his friends to their fates, because his hand got swollen and “his health is paramount.” And at the end of 42 hours of increasing discomfort and embarrassment, the cops — no doubt trying to breathe through their mouth — came to remove the rest of the would-be climate heroes. Instead of the acclaim they had expected, they were treated to a tidal wave of gleeful ridicule on social media.

So there’s that.

But the kicker is something that passed almost unnoticed. A Canadian Jewish lady vacationing in Britain last week was horrified to discover a backwards swastika in her hotel bathroom. She immediately complained to the management, and then to the booking service she had used. Being from North America, she expected to set off a gratifying flurry of apology and breast-beating. However, she was astonished when the reaction was not the manager prostrating himself in remorse, but indifference. It’s just an Indian religious symbol, she was told. No need to get upset.

There was only one thing for our heroine to do: escalate! So she demanded a refund from the hotel, which politely refused. She then turned to the press. That’ll make ’em beg for mercy. And here in North America it would. But she was disappointed again. The Daily Mail and a local newspaper both ran stories on the issue, but it went no further. There was no viral swell of outrage. In fact, the Mail story’s commenters were almost universally unsympathetic. It’s nothing, they said. Get over it. The story even got no play here in the U.S.

Might these two little incidents herald some slight movement back toward sanity? I’ll be on the lookout for other signs of hope, but I’m not going to let myself be too optimistic. (October 2022)

David T. Wright: Monsters rule us. What kind of country attacks its own ally? Hitler did it; otherwise, recent examples are pretty thin on the ground. But that’s exactly what the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines is: an act of war against Germany and, by extension, all of Western Europe. And it’s fairly clear that the United State carried it out.

Just look at the evidence: not least the fact that both the Crash Test Dummy and the hideous Victoria Nuland vowed to put an end to Nord Stream 2 if the Russians invaded Ukraine. Washington opposed the pipeline from the beginning, because it threatened the Empire’s political stranglehold on Europe and the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency. Coincidentally, the sabotage occurred the day after big demonstrations in Germany demanding the end of sanctions against Russia and the restoration of Russian gas supplies.

And then there is information from an air-traffic monitoring system called SkyGlass, which, it is alleged, shows that a U.S. Navy P-8 patrol bomber flew all the way from America to the Baltic, was refueled along the way by a U.S. Air Force aerial tanker, and then made what looks like an attack run on the pipelines before flying home across the Atlantic.

Of course, the New York Times and every other Ministry of Truth organ are adamant that the sabotage is the work of the evil Russians. Because of course Russia wanted to destroy a multi-billion-ruble investment, a valuable source of income, and a vital bargaining chip with which to encourage Germany to drop economic sanctions. Apparently, Putin isn’t cold and calculating at all. He’s as mad as a March hare — or your average Neo-Trot. But even blue-chip Minitrue agencies can’t always suppress unapproved theories: witness Bloomberg talking heads frantically trying to shut down Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, who apparently ignored the memo.

In any case, it’s hard to understate the magnitude of the Empire’s betrayal of one of its most loyal vassals. The loss of inexpensive natural gas will, simply, destroy Germany’s economy and those of the rest of Western Europe. Manufacturing, the backbone of the German economy, will be too expensive without cheap Russian gas. (Interestingly, that may result in German companies moving production to America.) High energy prices will make winter a misery, especially for those thrown out of work. Germany will lose its place as the economic engine of Western Europe, and become a poverty-stricken shadow of its prosperous former self. Make no mistake: many Germans will die as a result of this outrage. And Henry Morganthau’s poisonous vision will finally be achieved.

In 1994 the late Ronn Neff described the intended effects of occasional outbursts of violence by the U.S. regime against its own citizens:

Unlike some of the other totalitarianisms of this century, the United States has achieved its control over a mostly docile populace. There is no massive civil disobedience against even the most intrusive of regulations, no rebellion, no principled opposition. To be sure, the Permanent Regime finds occasional muscle-flexing necessary, but its purpose on specific occasions is often murky. Even in the case of the military attack on the Branch Davidians at their Mount Carmel retreat, the ever-changing rationalizations for it served more to perplex than to clarify. Certainly such demonstrations of force further cow the citizenry and — in the absence of independent reporting — reinforce their mental habit of believing that when the state strikes with its jackboot and nightstick, it is invariably justified. Such demonstrations also serve warning that those who fight back, or are even capable of fighting back in any but prescribed and limited ways (e.g. by suing), are fatally in the wrong. One imagines a pimp beating up one of his whores in front of his other girls, and then murmuring to her, “Why you make Onyx do this to you? Onyx only wanna love you.” He is not merely punishing her; he is putting the other girls on notice.
Of course, since that was written, we’ve seen the regime become much more overt in repressing potential opposition at home. And Neff’s words obviously have long applied to the Empire’s attitude toward its lesser vassal states. Witness the betrayals of Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega, Ngo Dinh Diem, Muammar Gaddafi, and most recently the hapless Afghan client regime.

But attacking a fellow member of NATO is a whole new ball game. With this vicious act, the United State has finally thrown off the last threadbare rags of its disguise as a humane, moral power, and owned up to its true nature: evil, devoid of even the pretense of decency: a demonic entity utterly out of control. If the Empire can cold-bloodedly wreck one of its two closest allies, what might it do to us? (October 2022)

David T. Wright: It’s tough being McDonald’s these days. On the one hand you’ve got the FTC coming after you following complaints by franchise owners that they’re forced to buy ice cream machines that don’t work. Then your CEO is caught diddling the staff, against company policy, and has to be fired, with ensuing legal headaches. Then there are the accusations that you target young blacks and other people of color in your advertising and force them to eat your food, damaging their health. On top of that, some of those same young people of color seem to think that it’s okay to go berserk and tear up your place or shoot your employees because they’re not happy about the service, or they’re offended by another customer, or just for fun. And just to put the cherry on the cake, you get sued by a billion-dollar “black-owned business” not because you advertise too much to blacks, but because you advertise too little.

That’s right. Allen Media Broadcasting, run by a black man named Byron Allen (who calls himself a “comedian, producer, media mogul, and philanthropist”), is complaining that it is suffering discrimination by McDonald’s. McDonald’s, it seems, has violated “civil rights” laws by not buying the required amount of advertising from Allen Media.

Just to be clear, Allen Media is a big entertainment and news media conglomerate. It owns the Weather Channel, the Weather Channel En Espanol, Comedy TV, Cars TV, ES TV (whatever that is), and five other channels. Also, according to its website, it produces successful movies. This is not your basic little YouTube channel, and Mr. Allen does not seem to be hurting for money. After all, he calls himself a “mogul.” Nevertheless, he feels injured because, he says, McDonald’s has relegated his enterprises to an “African-American tier” of their advertising budget, because of the race of its founder and CEO:

This is about economic inclusion of African American-owned businesses in the U.S. economy. McDonald’s takes billions from African American consumers and gives almost nothing back. The biggest trade deficit in America is the trade deficit between White corporate America and Black America, and McDonald’s is guilty of perpetuating this disparity. The economic exclusion must stop immediately.
I’m not sure what Allen means by “gives nothing back.” Does he mean that black people hand over their money, expecting a Big Mac and fries, and get nothing? If so, why do they keep going back? Do they drive up to the window and just throw cash at the clerk and drive away empty-handed? If they do, whose fault is that?

Despite the fact that this lawsuit looks like a blatant shakedown, it seems the federal judge hearing the case doesn’t see it that way. If it’s successful, it will open up a whole new vista for race grifters, making Jesse Jackson’s Operation Push look small time. Pretty soon there will be mandatory quotas called “voluntary goals,” under which businesses of all sizes will be required to hand over a portion of their operating expenses to “black-owned” operations, most of them existing for just that purpose. And so America’s descent into Third World status will accelerate.

Meanwhile, I’m a little hazy on how buying advertising from Allen Media will address this “trade deficit” with Black America. Will Mr. Allen use the funds to give money to black people who need it, or will he spend them on a new corporate jet? Perhaps he’ll drive around poor black neighborhoods in the comfort of his stretch limo — no doubt with a built-in bar — throwing money to a grateful crowd, like a Roman emperor at a triumph. (September 2022)

David T. Wright: Bow your heads, O faithful acolytes of Western civilization. A great artist has passed; one whose œuvre will enthrall and enlighten generations to come. He was a musical genius, capable of great subtlety and power, and a poetic master of the English language. I speak, of course, of the “rap” composer and performer Coolio.

Mr. Coolio managed to live to the ripe old age of 52, becoming a sort of éminence gris of rappers. He finally slipped off this mortal coil Wednesday, September 28, after he was found “unresponsive,” according to CNN. There’s no word on what caused him to be unresponsive, but we can take comfort in knowing that, while he didn’t die peacefully in bed surrounded by his family, at least he apparently was not rubbed out by a rival musician. I gather that “pistols at dawn” means something a little different in Mr. Coolio’s milieu than it did in, say, Mozart’s.

In any case, his work will live on: lyric, evocative masterpieces rivaling Mozart’s music and Shakespeare’s sonnets. Sample this demonstration of his sublime artistry.

Okay, it’s not exactly “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” or The Magic Flute, but you wouldn’t know that listening to the glowing encomiums emitted by the chattering hairdos on the next day’s “Today” show or “Good Morning America.” He sold more than 17 million records, so he must have been a genius and overall fine fellow. Mozart? Who’s he? (September 2022)

Edward Morrison Morley: LGBT@$?Ω✓<++ students are committed to Yeshiva University’s mission.

Mr. Morley is TLD’s Supreme Court Correspondent when he is not being asked to leave Taco Bell for overconsumption of bean burritos. He is planning to join the Atheist Students Coalition, whose mission he agrees with completely except for a few minor points related to his commitment to the Christian God.
The Wall Street Journal for September 14, 2022, somewhat misleadingly headlined a story, “Supreme Court Declines Yeshiva University’s Bid to Deny Recognition of Gay Student Group.” This possibly misdirected some folks who thought the Supremos had put the kibosh on narrow Jewish bigotry, but all it did for the time being was to argue that Yeshiva needed to exhaust remedies at the state level before appealing to Roberts et al. “If applicants seek and receive neither expedited review nor interim relief from the New York courts, they may return to this Court,” said the order, which was supported by lovers of religious freedom Roberts, Sotomayor, Kagan, Kavanaugh, and Jackson. (The story did not list the dissenting justices who want to stone and/or burn at the stake LGBT@$?Ω✓<++ individuals.)

The lawyer for the students said, “We are confident that we will continue to overcome the administration’s aggressive litigation strategies against its own LGBTQ+ students, who choose to attend Yeshiva University because they are committed to the school’s mission.” What part of Yeshiva’s Torah-based mission they are referring to remains unclear, but I am sure we can all rejoice that at least some students are committed to something, unlike the Supremo majority in this case.

Meanwhile, Yeshiva coped with the situation by disbanding all student organizations forthwith. (September 2022)

Nicholas Strakon: Caitlin Johnstone — based and provoked. This is probably the best piece by Johnstone I’ve ever seen. (It’s also the longest.)

“It’s Not Okay for Grown Adults to Say the Ukraine Invasion Was ‘Unprovoked,’” CaitlinJohnstone.com, September 7, 2022.
The regime media’s incessant use of “unprovoked” reminds me of their similarly incessant use of the adjective “baseless,” applied to criticisms of the 2020 election travesty. You’d almost think they were all on the same frequency or something. (September 2022)
Mike DiBaggio comments: It’s going to be very hard for English-as-a-second-language learners to comprehend that words such as “baseless” can mean both “unfounded, unbelievable” and “obviously factual.” And we thought we had it bad with “flammable” and “inflammable”!

Edward Morrison Morley: I’m shocked! Shocked!

Mr. Morley is TLD’s Outrageous Events Correspondent, a post for which he is well-suited, being frequently outraged. He is currently resting comfortably after taking an unknown sedative. — Ed.
According to the Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2022, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (Dumbhead–N.Y.), the current chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee (be honest now: how many of you knew there was such a committee? And how many of you can see anything good coming of such a crew?), charged that Rep. Jim Jordan (Tweedledee and Tweedledum–Ohio) — who would become head of the House Judiciary Committee if the Grand Old Party Hearty takes control of the House (Spoiler Alert! They will.) — has shown that his aim in the post would be to seek “political gain.” The mind reels. A politician seeking political gain? What’s the world coming to? (Spoiler Alert! It’s going to Hell in a hand basket, assuming supply-chain woes dwindle in the hand-basket category.) (August 2022)

Melvin Ardmore: More than inflation is soaring.

Mr. Ardmore is TLD’s Raconteur Extraordinaire Correspondent. This item is borderline “extraordinaire,” but does bring back moments in his depraved youth when he and his friends would hear holiday weekend announcements on the radio that traffic fatalities were occurring at a record pace and jumped into their cars to do their part. Ah, innocent youth. — Ed.
The Wall Street Journal for August 18, 2022, in a story headlined “Traffic Deaths Soar in First Quarter,” tells us, “U.S. roads had their deadliest first quarter in 20 years,” and were on a pace to well-exceed last year’s nearly 43,000 deaths. Among causes suggested were reckless driving, speeding, fewer police officers (seeing a police car generally causes people to slow down, no kidding), driving under the influence, and not wearing seat belts. (The author, Joseph Pisani, will likely become a pariah for not mentioning climate change as a cause.) About 33 percent of traffic deaths are due to impaired driving, mostly alcohol-involved, but including “other substances.” Pedestrian deaths are up 13 percent over 2020, and bicyclist deaths are up 5 percent.

The good news? The state with the biggest increase in deaths was (drum roll) President Joey Biden’s home state of Delaware, which has more than doubled its deaths over the same period the year before. So add that to your list of “achievements” of the Biden regime. (August 2022)

Edna St. Louis Missouri: The blame game.

Ms. Missouri is TLD’s Mee-Toooo Correspondent. You better watch out. — Ed.
The Me-Too Crowd is bemoaning the fact that serial molester and pervert NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson got off relatively lightly with an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine. To put this in perspective for Strakon, with a $44 million annual salary, rake-hell Watson’s $5 mil fine is around 10 percent of his income, which would compare to a hefty $2,000 fine for Strakon (generously assuming his annual income at $20,000). [A very generous estimate! — Ed.]

Now why does a degenerate who assaulted some two dozen women get a slap on the wrist for behavior an NFL arbitrator called “more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL”? Because the public only knows that sleaze-ball Watson’s “shocking behavior” is somehow “sexual harassment.” However, since “sexual harassment” ranges from opening a door for or complimenting a woman on her hair style or shoes to kidnapping and rape, thus covering everything from pretty benign stuff to truly loathsome conduct. Accordingly, the depraved Watson skates because “sexual harassment” has been so watered down that almost no one has a realistic idea of the offense or feels the appropriate repugnance for and instinctive justified outrage at what the sicko Watson did. Language matters, and in the case of the phrase “sexual harassment,” insufficiently woke alleged perpetrators get fired and their lives destroyed and real victims suffer, while a reprobate like Watson collects a $39 million reward for who he is. For shame. And think about this the next time you see the unspeakable Watson on the geometrically proliferating broadcasts of NFL games. (August 2022)

Edward Morrison Morley: Will the real Merrick Garland please stand up? (Really?)

Mr. Morley is TLD’s Incompetent Federal Legal Officers Correspondent. His IFLO duties preclude his stopping and thinking very much, so, loyal TLDers, it’s up to you to pick up the thinking slack here. — Ed.
Attorney General and nearly Supreme Court Justice Merrick Garland opposes the release of the affidavit used to invade Orange Man’s Florida estate, on “national security grounds.” (Was it H.L. Mencken who wrote that “national security” is the last refuge of the scoundrel? Well, he should have.)

Contrast this with the 2020 statement of the Chief Judge of the D.C. Circuit, coincidentally and oddly enough also named “Merrick Garland.” Judge Garland wrote:

The common-law right of public access to judicial records is a fundamental element of the rule of law, important to maintaining the integrity and legitimacy of an independent Judicial Branch. At bottom, it reflects the antipathy of a democratic country to the notion of ‘secret law,’ inaccessible to those who are governed by that law. [Leopold v. United States (D.C. Cir. 2020)]
Sounds as if Judge Garland might need to utter a word or two of reproof for AG Garland’s undermining of “our” democracy. (August 2022)

Melvin Ardmore: Equality vs. equity.

Mr. Ardmore, who formerly was the guy behind “Informed sources tell us,” is now TLD’s Raconteur Extraordinaire Correspondent. If you don’t agree with his choices, you are probably a lying, dog-faced pony soldier. — Ed.
I was pondering why the legacy media always prefaces any claim or allegation by the followers of Orange Man with “false” or “lying,” but doesn’t do that, for example, with Iran and the ChiComs. For example, the on-line version of the New York Times for August 3, 2022, refers to Orange Man’s “effort to put forth electors to falsely claim he had won Arizona....” In the same issue, we are told that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan had resulted in “raising tensions with China, which bristles at any perceived challenge to its claims on the self-ruled island.” Why not “perceived challenge to its false claims” or “lying claims”?

Why not, indeed. Because the Times no longer believes in equal treatment. It believes in equity treatment. Orange Man, being by definition the embodiment of political evil, is entitled to equity of treatment. In this case, equity with Hitler, Mussolini, and George W. Bush. China is treated with equity as well. As the victim of Western Imperialism, as a sometime upholder of socialist values, and as a people of color, the ChiComs deserve better than Orange Man (who, surprisingly, turns out to be white). They deserve equity, not equality, just as affirmative action morphed into equity-seeking discrimination mostly against people who weren’t alive when the original sins were committed. (Of course, now that systemic racism has been established, no one is innocent of these original sins, which are perpetuated and perpetrated right down to this moment.) Therefore, the Chinese false claims are merely “claims” or “assertions” that may or may not turn out to be true, whatever that is.

And notice the cutesy “self-ruled island.” This is because the Times cannot bring itself to uphold Taiwan’s independence or even publicly question the validity of China’s claims of sovereignty over the pariah Taiwan. Stop and think. (August 2022)

Edward Morrison Morley: Crony capitalism is alive and well; freedom is on life support.

Mr. Morley is seriously thinking of resigning his post as TLD’s Economics Correspondent for reasons that will be evident below. — Ed.
Like Count Dracula and Richard Milhous Nixon, Crony Capitalism has once more raised its ugly head, with the $280 billion Senate semi-conductor boondoggle and the cave-in of Joe Manchin to Chuck Schumer’s $739 billion bill, which Schumer has the gall to call the Inflation Reduction Act. Our supremo welfare queen Big Tech apparently isn’t satisfied with creating value out of information stolen from consumers under the guise of providing “free” stuff. Now, we have Chuck Schumer thinking that what is supposedly one of the most lucrative business enterprises of all time needs billions in subsidies and tax breaks. Or, more likely, it is dawning on the “venture” capitalists that Bidenflation will reduce the financial killings these egregious pseudo-capitalists have gotten used to over the last 30 years. And if that happens, the VC rabble won’t have millions or more to contribute to certain unnamed political parties, action groups, and fake free-the-vote efforts.

Those of you out there (AKA cretins) who thought Joe Manchin had developed some backbone were, like Charlie Brown, only being set up to have the football snatched away by Lucy at the last moment. Hilarious when it occurred repeatedly to a child in “Peanuts,” but for adults there really is no excuse. Fool me once, bad on you. Fool me twice, bad on me. Actually, with Manchin this is more like “fool me a hundred times, bad on you.” Someone with more patience than your humble servant should go back and count how many times Manchin spoke forcefully in opposition to various outrages and then rolled over at the last minute, possibly hoping that in the general uproar over outrageous legislation he wound up facilitating, we would all forget his remarkably successful impersonations of a jellyfish. Of course, these days, Manchin has it easier since hypocrisy no longer really elicits the kind of disapprobation that used to greet flip-floppers (a phrase that seems to have dropped out of the political vocabulary entirely). He’s “just grown” or some such.

On the “Inflation Reduction Act,” Mitch the Moron has been slickered once again by Laughing Chuck Schumer. McConnell said his minions would go along with the “bipartisan” technology bill only if the Dems didn’t go ahead with the climate tax bill. And as soon as the bipartisan crowd acted favorably, Chuckie and Manchin dropped their load-of-manure agreement.

And how much chutzpah does it take to caption what is really is a “Guaranteed Inflation Boosting Act” as an “Inflation Reduction Act”? Inflation Reduction Act? INFLATION REDUCTION ACT??? [Editor’s note: At this point Mr. Morley’s contribution breaks off as apparently he had some kind of apoplectic fit or worse. For the nonce we ask that loyal TLDers refrain from referring or even alluding to the you-know-what act. We’ll keep you updated.] (July 2022)

Edward Morrison Morley: Hey ho, hey ho, it’s off to Taiwan I go (or not).

Mr. Morley turns to foreign policy and contemplates unwitting outcomes for flying close to the borders of totalitarian states. In the meanwhile, his book on why the Russians won’t use gas as a “political weapon” has been postponed indefinitely. — Ed.
The latest foofaraw infecting the body politic is whether or not Nancy Pelosi (Insider Trading-Calif.) should visit Taiwan. The Warmonger Hawk crowd urge her to go to show that “we” can’t be pushed around, even halfway around the world. The Pajama Boy Fascist Liberal camp thinks the U.S. of A. shouldn’t provoke the Chinese Tiger unnecessarily or even necessarily. Pelosi herself is mum on the subject (as well as whether her crony-capitalist husband profited from insider-trading info).

What do you think? Hint: take a look at this Wikipedia entry and ask whether history repeating itself is all that bad: McDonald, Pelosi. Hmmm. (July 2022)

Melvin Ardmore: Modern Kangaroo Korts

Mr. Ardmore is TLD’s Raconteur Extraordinaire Correspondent. The doings of the January 6 Committee seem somewhat extraordinaire, but are really only marginally so when one considers recent shenanigans of the House, Senate, Justice (sic) Department, FBI, special prosecutors, et al. Stop and think about that. — Ed.
Alas. Justice these days is not so much blind as having both its eyes poked out. Orange Man’s erstwhile associate who must not be named was convicted of felony counts of contempt of Congress. At first I thought this story was the product of a serious convergence of typos and editing errors, since it should be obvious that Congress is contemptible, but Strakon set me straight on this.

And then we have the New York Times, on July 23, 2022, leading off with this:

The Jan. 6 Panel after 8 Hearings: Where Will the Evidence Lead? by Alan Feuer and Michael S. Schmidt.
It begins: “The House committee has set out a comprehensive narrative of the effort to overturn the 2020 election. But it’s unclear if that will be enough to achieve its legal and political goals.”

“Evidence”? As if this were a legal exercise in determining what happened on January 6? Did the committee question the party who was responsible for the Capitol Police? (Hint: it was the most egregious speaker of the House since Frederick August Conrad Muhlenberg, though if we include Senate leaders, she has stiff competition from Harry Reed of unbelated memory and Tom Daschle.) Did it question Orange Man? Did it in fact question anyone in actual authority on January 6?

“Lead”? Well, of course, if one cherry-picks the facts, selecting some and discarding others, it should be possible to lead where one wants. The fact that the Times thinks it’s “unclear” whether this will “achieve” the “legal and political goals” of these extremely odd proceedings allows for the possibility that the “evidence” won’t lead anywhere.

The fact that the Times recognizes that this faux “narrative” has “political goals” is also worth thinking about. But I need to stop and go wrap my head in duct tape before it’s too late. Have a nice day. (July 2022)

Nicholas Strakon: John Derbyshire wrote in passing the other day:

Some of the people arrested by the feds for participating in last year’s January 6th protests at the U.S. Capitol have now been in jail for a year and a half without trial.

How is this possible? I honestly don’t understand. Isn’t it a clear violation of both the Fifth and Sixth Amendments? “Due process of law” ... “a speedy and public trial” ... what happened to those? Not to mention the far older principle of habeas corpus?

Can the federal government just do what it wants with us? Will someone please explain this to me?

And here I had thought I was the only one mystified terrified by this. (July 2022)

Edward Morrison Morley: Say it ain’t so, Joe!!!

Mr. Morley — not pictured below — is TLD’s Economic Ignorance Correspondent. He admits to a bit — OK, a lot — of schadenfreude when he read the following headline in the July 19, 2022 on-line edition of the New York Times. — Ed.

“How Joe Manchin Left a Global Tax Deal in Limbo,” by Alan Rappeport and Jim Tankersley.

Editor’s intro: “Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen’s signature achievement is in jeopardy if the United States cannot ratify the tax agreement that she brokered.”

YESSS!!! Another pseudo achievement might bite the dust! On the other hand, it is probable that the lizard people will pull this chestnut out of the fire since it is a key desideratum of the Davos crowd. But one can always hope.

BTW: I thought Yellen’s signature achievement was to wreck the economy and contribute to levels of inflation not previously known to the moronic Facebook generation focused on getting their student debt “forgiven.” How much more of this (escalating inflation, housing costs beyond their reach, food and fuel becoming luxury items, and an ever-increasing sense of doom over “climate change”) will they need before they come to their senses? More likely, they will blame something they call “capitalism” and continue to stupidly scamper after Bernie, AOC, and the rest of the Sandernista “influencers.” O tempora, o mores! (July 2022)

Edward Morrison Morley: Dollar doomed ... or not. Rip Van Winkle reports!

Mr. Morley’s acumen as TLD’s Economics Correspondent has been sharpened by going into hibernation during May, June, and early July. However, he now feels like Rip van Winkle and may return to blessed sleep after perusing the stories discussed below. — Ed.
On June 6, 2022, the front page of the Wall Street Journal declared “Cloudy Economic Outlook Weighs on Dollar,” and pointed to “Signs of possible weakness ahead” which “reverse a recent trend favoring the currency” and were “stalling a rally that has rippled through the economy” in the United States.

However, fast forward to July 15, 2022, and in the Business & Finance section, we find a story detailing how “Euro’s Fall Steepens as Gas Cutoff Looms.” Here we discover that the cloudy dollar isn’t so badly off after all, as the “Euro fell 0.4% against the dollar Thursday,” and was actually for most of the day “below parity with the dollar.” For the year, the “euro has lost more than a 10th of its value versus the dollar this year.” In a month, the greenback goes from being on the verge of the dustbin of history to gangbusters.

Great! Fantastic! O frabjous day! Euro-based economies’ products become cheaper as the euro falls. That Mercedes you dreamed of might be 10 percent cheaper than it was last year! Your European vacation is 10 percent cheaper. Ol’ EMM heard that some lady planned to fly to Europe to buy high-fashion clothes since they were now cheaper than in New York. (It should go without saying that zero TLD readers fall into the category of people who can or will save thousands by flying to Europe to deal with their fashion needs.) Of course, if you travel to Europe these days you have to cope with unbelievable airport chaos, lost luggage (thanks to a shortage of baggage handlers), and endemic delayed takeoffs (thanks to a shortage of the mechanics needed to do pre-flight engine checks).

But, wait! What? It’s not all roses for the booming (formerly cloudy) dollar? You knew there was a catch, didn’t you? According to UBS’s Kiran Ganesh (I’m not making this up), “If the dollar gets too strong, then at some point the U.S. starts to lose some appeal ... because everything gets expensive for overseas investors. In the end things do get too cheap in Europe compared to the U.S.” Ah, a strong dollar might be bad for overseas investors, at least those who didn’t shift to dollars earlier. Well, sure, forget about cheaper consumer goods for Joe Sixpack. We need to worry about overseas investors. Hope you all got that straight.

Lastly, the WSJ for July 15, 2022 has a back page “Financial Analysis & Commentary” piece titled, “Parity Likely Isn’t Euro’s Bottom,” which predicts that the euro will go down even further. Why? Because the economic slowdown in Europe will be worse than in the United States. Maybe that could be a Biden campaign talking point: “Nine percent inflation in the United States? It could be worse if you lived in Europe!” or something like that.

The bottom line? The dollar may be heading down the toilet; spend dollars as quickly as possible. Or: The dollar may be climbing to the stratosphere; hang on to dollars. Or: Don’t pay any attention to dollar forecasts and use the economic gains achieved to buy yourself an ice cream cone. (July 2022)

Melvin Ardmore: Don’t cry for me, Argentina!

Mr. Ardmore, for those of you with short attention spans, is TLD’s Raconteur Extraordinaire Correspondent. The fate of the rich and richer seems worth recounting.— Ed.
According to the Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2022, “The 50 Richest People Have Lost a Combined $563 Billion This Year.” And this covers only the first five months of 2022! This story seems to have been totally ignored by the rest of the print, internet, and broadcast media, which just goes to show you how cruel and heartless said print, internet, and broadcast media can be. Who could be so heartless? Imagine, Elon Musk lost $69.1 billion, Jeff Bezos lost $61.1 billion, Bernard Arnault lost $55.2 billion (What? You don’t know who Arnault is? Hint: French luxury goods magnate), Bill Gates lost $27.7 billion, and Warren Buffett lost ... No! Wait! Buffett, the fifth-richest guy on the planet, gained $1.2 billion. Boo! Profiting over the hapless bodies of the inflation-prostrated middle and lower classes! String him up!

Back to other losers. These included Mark Zuckerberg who lost $54.1 billion, Larry Page who lost $29 billion, and Changpen Zhao who lost $89.9 billion. (Nah, I never heard of Zhao either, but he’s apparently some cryptocurrency mogul who made the mistake of investing in cryptocurrency.) Anyway, will you join me in urging the Tsar of TLD, Nicholas Strakon, to set up a crowdfunding site to help these guys out? (Hmm, didja notice they’re all guys?) No contribution is too small! Dig deep, forget that second macchiato coffee (whatever the heck that is), and give till it hurts. Until you’ve lost $27 billion or more, you don’t know real pain. (July 2022)

Edward Morrison Morley: Surprise! New gun law does squat to curb gun violence.

Mr. Morley, not pictured at right, is TLD’s Weapons Correspondent. He is currently studying whether a working firearm can be built out of a carrot and a piece of celery. If not, he will grind them up with tomato juice and sell them as a V-8 ripoff under the brand name “AR-15 Sauce.” Readers of TLD should again note that the “AR” in “AR-15” stands for Armalite, the developers of the weapon, not “Assault Rifle.” — Ed.
The AP (July 11, 2022) carries this headline story: “Biden celebration of new gun law clouded by latest shooting,” by ol’ Zeke Miller (late of the Beverly Hillbillies). Turns out that Monday morning’s celebration of the new gun laws being hosted on the South Lawn of the White House by President Sleepy Joe (“I’m hosting a celebration of the passage of the Safer Communities Act”) Biden might be just a touch premature. The Highland Park shootings rained on the redoubtable (a synonym for either “senile” or “moronic”) Biden’s parade. In fact, the Prez might have saved a few bucks by scrounging up unused “Mission Accomplished” banners from Geo. W. Bush’s declaration of victory in Afergranerstan and Iraq on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. Red flag laws? What red flag laws? Philip K. Dick: call your office, using the password “Minority Report.”

When will the media ask two all-important questions:

1. “How will proposed gun law X have prevented all or any of the shootings to date?” and

2. “What reason do we have to suppose that criminals, mass murderers, and other scofflaws are deterred by gun laws?" (July 2022)

Edna St. Louis Missouri: ... And counting.

Ms. Missouri is TLD’s Supreme Court correspondent. We haven’t heard much from her recently on this because not much of interest has been going on. But she became intrigued by how the media report things, especially numbers of protesters at various demonstrations. — Ed.
Here’s how a Reuters video published by the New York Times (July 10, 2022) “covered” the July 9 “pro-choice” demo at the White House. (N.B.: Choice for the mother, not the baby who gets the short end of the knife in this mismatch between an “adult” and an infant.)
‘Keep Fighting’: Protesters Demand Action on Abortion Rights
More than 1,000 people gathered in front of the White House, with hundreds risking arrest by sitting at the building’s gates, as they urged President Biden to take more federal action to protect abortion rights.
“More than 1,000”? On a warm summer weekend? How many attended the March for Life rally in January when, judging from photos, it was a lot colder? Hmm, NPR said “thousands,” while ABC said “a crowd of thousands.” On the other hand, a Reuters reporter said “tens of thousands.”

Looks like a landslide for the pro-abortion people. Or not. (July 2022)

Melvin Ardmore: Another sport tries for Olympic status.

Mr. Ardmore is TLD’s Raconteur Extraordinaire Correspondent, but has been short, lately, on Extraordinaire things to recount. So he has taken on the highly competitive post as TLD’s Sports Correspondent. This is based, it has to be admitted, on his hugely unsuccessful career in required and pretty repressive high school gym classes. — Ed.
At Reason (July 8, 2022), Emma Camp reveals that the Biden regime is going to push for inclusion of a new Olympic sport in hopes of diverting attention from its paucity of policy successes so far since January 20, 2021. The competition is not actually very new, dating back, at least in the United States, to 1789.

The sport — which is even more exciting and spell-binding than the current Olympic sport of “Ribbon Twirling,” is called “Throwing Money at the Problem,” or TMP. It’s a spinoff from the crack-brained idea of solving the student debt crisis by expanding the program to the tune of a tidy $84 billion. This will set a pretty high bar for other governments (from which most of the competitors will come), but might have the beneficent effect of getting, for example, the ChiComs to fess up to how much money they are throwing at the conquest of Taiwan, or France in stamping out evil non-French words creeping into daily use in French, or our own Sleepy Joe’s efforts to solve the worldwide baby-formula crisis. It is unclear yet whether only one entry per country will be allowed or whether Olympic officials will go for the free-market solution and let all comers come.

For further details on the Biden student-loan proposals, see Camp’s Reason piece. (Awright, awright, she doesn’t actually mention the Olympics.) (July 2022)

Edward Morrison Morley: Do these people even read their own press releases?

Mr. Morley is TLD’s Weapons Correspondent, a position based on his extensive knowledge of weaponry, though he actually does not own any weapons other than his putative pen, which, rumor has it, is more powerful than a sword. — Ed.
In the wake of the Chicago shootings, the following surprising statements were uttered:

Politicians: “We need increased gun control.”

An Actual Senator, Dick Durbin (Idiot-Ill. and in the running for most egregious politician of the year): “There is no reason for a person to own a military assault weapon. It has no value for hunting, or sports or even self-defense. It is a killing machine.”

Reason magazine: “The type of weapon used in yesterday’s shooting, and how it was acquired by the shooter, aren’t yet clear.”

Wait! What? If Reason is right, then how do we know that increased gun control would have prevented the shootings? (Answer: Who cares! Any use of a gun is a trigger event to call for increased gun control.) If Reason is right, how does Dopey Durbin know it was a “military assault weapon”? Or was he just opining on military assault weapons in general, and his statement was unrelated to the shootings and purely coincidental? Does DD even know what “a military assault weapon” is? (Answer: Who cares? All guns, from water-balloon launchers to Nerf guns to foam-pellet guns, on up to tanks and ICBMs, are “military assault weapons.”)

DD also sez such weapons have “no value for hunting, or sports, or even self-defense.” Leaving aside the “or even” (what does that mean exactly?), DD omits to mention one of the primary reasons for the Second Amendment: protecting oneself against out-of-bounds governments. Presumably, a military assault weapon might be justified, depending on the firepower brought to bear on said individual. Just ask the people at the Koresh compound or at Ruby Ridge. (July 2022)

Edna St. Louis Missouri: Conflict of interest? Who? Me?

Ms. Missouri is TLD’s Conflict of Interest correspondent and assures us that she adheres to “the stringent ethical and legal requirements of the Biden administration,” more or less. She declined to respond to inquiries concerning whether or not she is in negotiations to become Kamala Harris’s new press spokesperson. — Ed.
The extremist New York Post on May 6, 2022, once again noted that Jen Psaki has been questioned “about how it could be ‘ethical’ to remain President Biden’s mouthpiece while negotiating a psalary with a media outlet,” i.e., CNN. PShe replied: “I have always gone over and above the pstringent ethical and legal requirements of the Biden administration, and I take that very pseriously.” No word yet on what these requirements might be.

Psaki added, “... [A]s a pstandard for every employee of the White House, I have received rigorous ethics counseling, including as it relates to any future employment.” No word, either, whether President Biden or VP Harris has received the psame counseling. Hunter Biden of course is not an employee of the White House, and did not have to get this counseling, though we don’t yet know whether he did pso during his employment by Ukrainian and ChiCom companies.

In late-breaking news, it was revealed that the Biden administration conflict-of-interest counseling program defines “conflict of interest” as taking or psupporting positions that conflict with administration policies. So Psaki clearly is not in violation of this standard. Apparently the program is a carryover from the Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama, and Orange Man regimes, and approved by the Foreign Intelligence PSurveillance Act (PFISA) Court, so there’s nothing to psee here, move along, please. (May 2022)

Edna St. Louis Missouri: Pardon me, your bias is showing.

Ms. Missouri, in addition to her many other hats, is TLD’s extermination and war crimes correspondent, though it’s not actually a hat, more like a balaclava of some sort. — Ed.
The Economist, on May 3, 2022, reports on the publication by Politico of an “unprecedented leak” of a Supreme Court draft of opinion that overturns Roe v. Wade. It concludes by speculating on what motivated the leak, offering as its only suggestion: “Perhaps someone wants to deter a wavering justice from drifting away from his or her initial support of Roe’s demise.”

Really? Given that Politico is a fascist lefty source, isn’t it more likely that the leak was intended to panic well-financed abortion activists into a renewed frenzy of action? Wouldn’t this be likely to jump-start a summer of protests against an illegitimate Supreme Court and put court-packing back on the table? Wouldn’t it give the Bidenistas a wedge issue to distract attention from Sleepy Joe’s unprecedented record of nonfeasance, misfeasance, and malfeasance as we slouch toward fall elections that were looking like a Democrat debacle? What’s that drumbeat in the background ...

This is why “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Have a nice summer. (May 2022)

Edna St. Louis Missouri: Hypocrites? Who? Us?

Ms. Missouri, who wears TLD’s cultural-correspondent hat among others, at one time contemplated setting up a “Hypocrisy Index,” but gave it up when she discovered that most media, politicians, public intellectuals, government bureaucrats, college professors, lawyers, business executives, and practically everybody else would be perpetually off the chart, thus rendering it nugatory. She recently moved to Mauritius (you could look it up) so that she can live peacefully in perfect harmony in a “full democracy.” — Ed.
According to an AP story of March 26, 2022, a small-time Missouri radio entrepreneur is carrying Russian state radio broadcasts, which have effectively been suppressed as part of the U.S./NATO campaign for openness, freedom, liberty, and all the kinds of things that Vile Vlad the Bad opposes. For some reason, Peter Schartel’s KCXL, and of course Schartel himself, have been receiving frequent missives accusing him and his wife of being un-American (didn’t we used to have a committee to investigate that kind of stuff?), a traitor, and (in an editorial from the Kansas City Star [motto: “We will defend to your death anything you say that we agree with”]) charged with “putting his financial needs above ethics by spreading Russian propaganda.”

Amazingly, these fatheads were not even the most egregious. That title goes to the National Association of Broadcasters President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt. Though, said Legyt, the NAB is a “fierce defender” of free speech, “we believe that our nation must stand fully united against misinformation and for freedom and democracy across the globe.”

“Fierce defenders” of free speech, indeed. “For freedom and democracy across the globe.” Sure. Just not in the U.S. of A.

The Jesuits had a word for this: “casuistry,” defined by The American Heritage Dictionary as “Specious or excessively subtle reasoning intended to rationalize or mislead.” The NAB, based on the above, would be united against broadcasts from any of the 144 (out of 167) countries tagged by the Economist Intelligence unit’s Democracy Index 2022 as being flawed democracies, hybrid regimes, or authoritarian regimes. These include Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Israel, and (wait for it), the United States. I guess that means the NAB stations will be shut down by the time you read this, for where would being “for freedom and democracy across the globe” start if not here at home.

By the way, KCXL (Liberty MO) is at 1140 AM, 102.9 FM, and 104.7 FM. If you have a radio app on your cell phone, you can listen on the internet. The Radio Sputnik segment is on from 6 to 9 am and 6 to 9 pm Central Time. (April 2022)

Edna St. Louis Missouri: Shock! Awe! N.Y. Gov. Hochul endorses free enterprise!

Yes, friends, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that people with a marijuana arrest record will get to skip to the front of the line for state licenses to run legal drug shops. According to Charles Fain Lehman in the City Journal, March 11, 2022, Hochul thinks “those with prior experience selling pot would just be transplanting their skills to a now-legal market.”

Free enterprise in action! But there is a small downside to the Hochul decree: this “will happen at the expense of other ‘equity’ applicants — minority groups favored with half of legal pot licenses under New York’s law — who don’t share that history of lawbreaking.” So the laudable efforts of MRTA, which was passed in 2021, are being thwarted by the Pro-Big Business Hochul who holds office only because of the “culture cancellation” of the heroic fighter for equity rights (except for attractive females within arm’s reach), Randy Handy Andy Cuomo. Where are the defenders of DEI when New Yorkers need them?

Don’t know what MRTA is? For shame. It’s the New York Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act:

A major focus of the MRTA is social and economic equity. The MRTA incentivizes participation in the new industry for individuals disproportionally impacted by cannabis prohibition, automatically expunges an individual’s past marijuana convictions, and invests 40 percent of the adult-use cannabis tax revenue toward rebuilding communities harmed by the War on Drugs.... The MRTA establishes a robust social and economic equity program to prioritize and provide resources to members of communities who have been disproportionally impacted by the policies of cannabis prohibition, to participate in the new industry through the implementation of a social and economic equity plan.
Wait! What? Free enterprise?? OK, that was just what we in the media call a “hook.” Actually, MRTA “legislation creates a new Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) governed by a Cannabis Control Board to oversee and implement the law (collectively referred to as ‘the OCM’). The OCM will issue licenses and develop regulations outlining how and when businesses can participate in the new industry.”

So, MRTA not only sets up a new and likely rapidly expanding state bureaucracy, but the dope shops are just another government-controlled enterprise such as gambling casinos, lotteries, and (in some states) booze stores (check your local listings), designed to generate income for the state from the unfortunate proclivities of the sheeple. Shock? Awww! (March 2022)

Edward Morrison Morley: Unbelievable? Nah, just “best practices,” and anyway, it’s a victimless crime!

Mr. Morley is a former college administrator and knows whereof he speaks when it comes to higher ed. — Higher Ed.
Here is an actual job advertisement from UCLA. It has received the usual unfavorable comment from the chattering classes:

“The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA seeks applications for an Assistant Adjunct Professor on a without salary basis. Applicants must understand there will be no compensation for this position. Responsibilities will include: teaching according to the instructional needs of the department. Qualified candidates will have a Ph.D. in chemistry, biochemistry, or equivalent discipline and have significant experience and strong record in teaching chemistry or biochemistry at the college level.”

What? They want people to teach for free (gratis, on the house, for nothing)? How horrible! How exploitative! What is missed here? TLD readers have the advantage of having EMM to do their thinking for them. Heh, heh.

First of all, if the person actually teaches at UCLA for free or otherwise, won’t that look good on his resume? Remember the wise words of Edward Morrison Morley: “Appearances count more than reality.” Which looks better: you taught at UCLA or you taught at the University of Upper Roanoke in Roanoke, Indiana? I thought so.

Second, this is only the logical extension of the Communist principle, “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.” UCLA doesn’t even pretend to pay us so we don’t even have to pretend to work. Which is preferable: pretend pay or no pay? At least on no pay, one can go on public assistance.

Third, the allegedly uncompensated adjunct professor will get welfare, stimulus checks, food stamps, and other stuff that will enable him to survive while doing research and publication for free at UCLA’s labs and continuing to live in the California socialist paradise instead of having to take a job involving at least some actual work at an institution of higher ed in Podunk, such as the University of Lower Roanoke in Roanoke, Indiana, while navigating a world full of wokist booby traps.

Fourth, remember the classic dictum of somebody or other (OK, it was Edward Morrison Morley again. The man’s an Emersonian genius with the snappy saying): “No work, no responsibility.” After all, if you aren’t being paid, what are they going to do? Fire you? If you are in a prison on a life sentence and you knife somebody, what are they going to do? Arrest you?

Live happy, friends. (March 2022)

Edward Morrison Morley: Contemporary cultural and political norms.

Mr. Morley, a recrudescence of the now-obsolete and sexist Renaissance Universal Man, is an expert on everything and needs no further introduction. — Ed.
A new series on NBC’s Peacock channel, “Bust Down,” is described as “an unfiltered comedy series about four friends aspiring to be mostly where they are.” Obviously a new avatar of our contemporary culture. EMM has to admit that he didn’t have any idea or even speculation about what the title “Bust Down” might possibly mean. The online Rap Dictionary helps us out: “1. A promiscuous woman who is always ready for sex with anyone. Synonyms: Whore, Hoe, Skeezer, Slut, Thot; 2. Expensive jewelry with a lot of diamonds on/in it.” Ask your doctor what’s right for you.

As for “unfiltered,” one can deduce that means a show that is unspeakably vulgar, profane, using a vocabulary that is 80 percent F-bombs and 20 percent stuff that has to be bleeped out. Gosh, is there anything left that would ever be bleeped out these days? George Carlin’s famous or infamous monologue “Seven Words You Can’t Say on TV” would have to be retitled today to “There Are No Words That You Can’t Say on TV,” and Carlin would be out of a job.

The friends, all minorities, are led by a female of the type whose “gender” can’t easily be determined. (OK, make that “impossible to determine.”) Male or female? One might say that competent medical authorities should know, but that would be based on an outmoded perspective with a simplistic idea of gender and sex. Last year, there were 63 different genders; now there may be at least 81.

The friends — “casino employees in dead-end lives with dead-end jobs in middle America” — are charmingly described as losers, psychopaths, egomaniacs, and so forth, whose “endless confidence, despite its stupidity, somehow seems to work.” How can casino workers be living in “middle America”? It should come as no surprise that the imaginary casino is located in Gary, Indiana, a mere 21/2 hours from Roanoke, Indiana. Gary was once the alleged “home sweet home” of the Music Man himself, Harold Hill, but is now the home of drugs, defunct music conservatories, human trafficking, and gambling dens. (Compared to Mr. Hill, Jen Psaki is a hopeless neophyte and complete schmo in the most literal senses of the word. You could look it up. It is doubtful that even HH could make Sleepy Joe’s typical “statements” sound plausible, but Jen has a talent for the purveying of “inoperative statements” that earns her a place in one of the most sulfurous levels of Dante’s Inferno.)

Roanoke — since I’ve gone and mentioned it — was once the alleged site of the famed or infamous Annual Roanoke Chicken Races at which millions were won and lost in the blink of an eye, but is now the home of naturopathic medical treatments, the Roanoke Ten-Tone School of Music, virtuous women, and an occasional Bingo game on Saturday night.

So “Bust Down” is the kind of thing you can watch if you like that kind of thing. Politically, the friends seem directly modeled on key members of the Biden administration, who are, of course, as “progressives,” the setters of the new political norms. True, their policies never seem to work. But, any member of the Biden cabinet can move laterally from her/his/its current day job to an “Aspiring to be mostly what they are” person in “Bust Down” without missing a beat. “Loser, psychopath, egomaniac” are incredibly apt descriptors of Sleepy Joe and gang. If anyone can recall a cabinet (even those of Orange Man or Bush II) that would better fit the description “wretched hive of scum and villainy,” please write your proposal on the back of a $100 bill and send it to TLD, c/o General Delivery, Roanoke IN. Winners will be notified by return post; all ties will be resolved in favor of TLD. (March 2022)

Melvin Ardmore: Just in from the Eurasian Front: Comrade Harris speaks!

Comrade Ardmore is TLD’s Democracies under Threat Correspondent. Needless to say, he has been kept hopping lately as democracy — usually AKA “our democracy” — is under threat practically everywhere, including one especially dangerous case. — Ed.
Comrades! One of our wisest leaders. Kamala Harris, has plainly, gracefully, and cogently enunciated the Party line after returning from the Eurasian Front: “When democracy is threatened anywhere, it threatens us all.” Well, fasten your seat belts everybody. (BTW, do tanks have seat belts? Air bags? Catalytic converters to combat pollution? Gasoline engines instead of those huge carbon-footprint diesel engines? Touch-screen infotainment centers? Inquiring minds want to know.) According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Report 2022 (which covers 2021), after having reviewed 167 countries, it designated only 21 as “Full Democracies.” The rest range from “Flawed Democracies” (53); “Hybrid Regimes” (34); to “Authoritarian” (59).

Comrade Harris is teaching us (in the inimitable pedagogical style she fully displayed in recent meetings with her little comrades in the EU whose faulty grasp of their own history revealed their woeful need of schooling), warning us that perpetual war is not only likely but necessary, because 87 percent of the world’s states are threatening democracy, thereby threatening us all. Space does not permit giving the full list so you’ll have to go look it up yourself here or, for the top-to-bottom list, here. Or be sure to attend this Monday evening’s Required Voluntary Workers Educational Seminar, where Comrade Strakon will be reading the entire list, and supplying his nonpareil commentary on same.

Now for our surprising member of the “Flawed Democracy” contingent: it is the good old U.S. of A. This falling from grace is due largely to the unspeakable atrocities of Orange Man, even though for most of 2021 he was longer at the helm of our unwieldy and sinking ship of state. Surprisingly, since one would think throwing OM off the poop deck (I’ve been waiting years to be able to invoke that phrase in polite company) of the SS Diverse States of America would have restored it to full membership in the Outstanding Democracies Club, from which it was rudely shown the door in 2016. (Hmm, wonder why 2016 demonstrated that the U.S.A. was defective in democracy when the acknowledged, shoo-in, all-star, most-qualified-in-history candidate favored by the outgoing regime, mass media, Big Technology, Big Education, Big Labor, Big Banking, and practically all other Bigs actually lost an election conducted by the usual suspects.)

However, we have to remember that the perpetrators, fellow travelers, and card-carrying members of the January 6 enormity are as yet unpunished. We have to remember that the perpetrators, fellow travelers, and card-carrying members of the Witmer Assassination Conspiracy are as yet unpunished (including the FBI informant who apparently was behind the whole thing). We have to remember that the perpetrators, fellow travelers, and card-carrying members of the conspiracy that stole the 2021 elections in Virginia are walking about scot-free. (TLD’s apologies to any Scotspersons who might have been offended. — Ed.) We have to remember that the perpetrators, fellow travelers, and scoundrels who deprived Comrade Stacey Abrams of her well-deserved nomination to the Supreme Court haven’t even had their identities leaked by the Department of Justice. Need we go on? No wonder the regressives keep referring to this place as “our” democracy. It isn’t, Comrades, though it is getting closer to a country that Comrade Michelle Obama can be proud of.

Finally, readers might ask, “Can you tell us which countries ranked ahead of the U.S.A.’s flawed democracy? Would you believe (as Maxwell Smart used to say): Austria? Luxembourg? United Kingdom? Mauritius? Costa Rica?

And now, Comrades! Let’s take time out for our usual Two Minutes Hate led by Comrade Colbert. (March 2022)

Modine Herbey comments: Austria, hmm? That’s very interesting, given the ruthless totalitarian lockdowns that its regime has imposed over the past few months. If Austria’s listing as a leading democracy is accurate, it’s a good reminder that democracy and liberty are not necessarily connected.

Nicholas Strakon: My feelz be mixed, dooze. The president has assured us that he won’t kick off nuclear Armageddon by imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

But that president is Joe Biden.

Did he mean it?
Does he understand what he said?
Was he supposed to say it?
Will he forget he said it?
Will he “grow in office” in a few days and go full Strangelove?
Are his mad handlers playing with us?
What do George Soros and Klaus Schwab want? How deep are their fallout shelters? (March 2022)

Modine Herbey asks: What does Hunter say?

Edward Morrison Morley: Stupidity? Cupidity? Or conspiracy?

Mr. Morley, who as you will recall is TLD’s Conspiracy Correspondent, is currently on special assignment in Ukraine following up on his successful missions to Ikraine and Wekraine. Still to come: EMM visits some or all of the Stans to find out whether they are being muscled and knocked about by the vile and unspeakable Vladimir I of Russia. However, before that, he covered miscellaneous diplomatic and non-diplomatic events in the EU that resulted in the ensuing discovery. — Ed.
As young folks used to say: “Whazzup?” Consider the following:

1) Fresh from her successes in solving the illegal alien / border crisis in the United States, Vice President Kamala Harris was dispatched to instruct feckless and clueless Eurodiplomats (AKA “guys”) on what’s happening in Eastern Europe. If anyone wonders why Eurocrats look down their nose at Americans, look no further.

2) Then there were the bizarre comments on war and climate change by John Kerry, who was once within a Stacey Abrams voter manipulation of being President. Kerry urged Russia not to lose sight of the need to combat climate change as its military invades Ukraine. (No word on whether NATO is stymying the Russkies’ invasion of Ukraine by posting “Do Not Walk on the Grass” signs across the front line.) Strangely, Kerry made the statement on BBC’s Arabic service, which is widely followed in the United States and Europe.

So what’s going on here? This is where I, as the TLD Conspiracy Correspondent, shine the bright and unflinching light of truth on lizard-dom. You’ve all heard of Havana Syndrome — cause unknown, but mysteriously affecting U.S. embassy personnel first in Havana. According to this piece: “... [M]any intelligence officers and military personnel reported symptoms such as confusion, nausea, and disorientation that typically started with a sudden onset of pain and pressure in the head and ears. They reported other symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, brain fog, memory problems, light sensitivity, and sleep-related complaints (drowsiness and insomnia).”

And there you have it, friends: obviously Harris, Kerry, and, for that matter, the entire Biden regime have been attacked by a person or persons unknown by methods or means unknown inducing Havana Syndrome, which leads to “confusion,” “disorientation,” “difficulty concentrating,” “brain fog,” “memory problems,” and “drowsiness.” Sad to report, however, this analysis does not include the President, who is confused, disoriented, etc., owing to entirely natural causes.

Another, more hopeful conclusion is that if you see someone from the regime who doesn’t appear confused, disoriented, and so forth, that “person” is more than likely a lizard since it is well-known (or will be once this item hits the TLD hyper-waves) that lizards are not susceptible to Havana Syndrome. (February 2022)

Melvin Ardmore: Not from the Babylon Bee.

Mr. Ardmore, TLD’s Raconteur Extraordinaire Correspondent, reports on another story extraordinaire ... since it involves John Kerry. Mr. Ardmore is currently writing a book on Biden administration foreign policy successes, soon to be published by Inverted Books. The text won’t amount to much, but it will be filled out by action photos (how could one tell?) of Sleepy Joe and Dopey John in full color. — Ed.
The White House’s international climate envoy, John Kerry, urged Russia on February 24 to not lose sight of the bigger need to combat climate change as its military invades Ukraine. Mr. Kerry, a former secretary of state, told BBC News that it was important for Russian President Vladimir Putin and other global leaders to remain committed to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Though scoffers in the mainstream media, such as The Last Ditch, ridiculed Kerry and had a general giggle at the expense of what they call “green weenies,” in late-breaking news, Mr. Putin and NATO have announced that they will be using only fully electric vehicles in the current kerfuffle, including troop transports, tanks, APVs, helicopters, aircraft, missiles, and black SUVs. Experts predict a shortage of extension cords will impact the world economy “temporarily” if not longer.

And in response to a recent revelation by the National Geographic that lead ammunition has seriously affected wildlife, especially Bald Eagles and other birds (likely including Russian two-headed eagles), both sides have pledged to use only recyclable plastic bullets and rubber-tipped missiles, as well as prohibiting smoking by ground troops (whose rations will include only vegetarian entrees and whose field clothing will come from “lightly used” and other recycled clothing).

In addition, NATO and Russia have agreed that no animals will be harmed during operations, excluding, of course, humans of all 50 or so genders. U.S. officials concede that the Russians have the advantage in recycled clothing and electric stealth aircraft, but claim the American plastic bullets are much superior and the U.S. edge in LGBTQ+ forces is insurmountable. Finally, both sides have agreed to mandatory inspections by Greenpeace and PETA. Further news at 11. (February 2022)

Edna St. Louis Missouri: Whoopi’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Ms. Missouri is TLD’s Gender Issues Correspondent. Here she rushes to the aid of Whoopi Goldberg. — Ed.
We all know that much-beloved media figure Whoopi Goldberg has come under attack and been schooled for being confused, mistaken, and generally out to lunch on a recent episode of one of America’s most credible sources of information, “The View.” What has not been noticed is her statement’s ending about “man’s inhumanity to man.” Ms. Goldberg, as a skilled wordsmith and qualified spokesperson on anything in the public sphere, deliberately used “man’s,” “inhumanity,” and “man,” not “people’s horrific treatment of people.” Her comments simply put responsibility for all the abominations of Western Civilization where it belongs: on men. Is anyone surprised that the majority of her critics are men? (February 2022)

Melvin Ardmore: Name-calling.

Mr. Ardmore joins TLD as “Raconteur Extraordinaire Correspondent,” though he refuses to explain what that might mean. It is known that he doesn’t want to add more grist to Big Tech’s digital AI profile or the FBI’s “Behavioral Analysis Composite” on him. — Ed.
The Washington Football Team (sic!) has decided on a new team nickname. Now ask yourself, if you had to guess, what would be an appropriate nickname for a football team located in our nation’s capital? If you said “Commanders,” you would have been right! The club described “Commanders” as “personified by [being] mission-driven,” people “who take command, forge success, and break barriers....” Skipping over the ambiguity of the word “forge” here, stop and think: does “Commanders” describe Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuckie Schumer, Mitch McConnell, or Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg, or Merrick Garland? And do you think that there will be a “backlash” from the parasites swarming Capitol Hill these days finding the appellation offensive? (February 2022)

Nicholas Strakon: So, how come these news conferences by Joe Demosthenes are so infrequent? It is a riddle, wrapped in a ... Corn Pops box, inside a ... mumble bumble fumble ... What was I sayin’, man? (January 2022)

Nicholas Strakon: The Wu Flu Narrative is disintegrating! as a whole lot of people have noticed. So I suppose the destructionists, to compensate, will soon dial up their wailing and moaning about Emergency Global Climate Warming Change. I would make the same prediction about the anti-white, anti-Western bigotry, but the volume of that is already dialed up to 11. (January 2022)

Edward Morrison Morley: Peace on earth to men people of good will. The New York Times (January 20, 2022) reports: “Biden Predicts Putin Will Order Ukraine Invasion, but ‘Will Regret Having Done It,’” by David E. Sanger. Editor’s intro: “President Biden’s comments went well beyond the formal intelligence assessments described by White House officials, which conclude that Russia’s president has not yet decided whether to invade.”

Remember when Orange Man was criticized for not “following the intelligence experts”?

In other news not yet released, with this stance Biden becomes the prohibitive favorite for the Nobel Peace Prize. That may be what Putin “will regret,” since he was the previous front-runner with his sterling record of peacekeeping in Georgia (no, not Stacey Abrams’s Georgia, the other one), Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. (January 2022)

Edna St. Louis Missouri: Biden lays the groundwork. President Biden laid the groundwork for election denial in 2022 by Democrats in a marathon (who says psychotropic drugs don’t work?) presser on January 19. As summarized by Roll Call:

[Biden] was asked multiple times whether he thought upcoming elections would be viewed as legitimate without the voting rights bills reaching his desk.

“Well, it all depends on whether or not we’re able to make the case to the American people that some of this is being set up to try to alter the outcome of the election,” Biden said.

Later in the news conference, he said, in reference to the midterms, that “the increase in prospect of it being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these reforms passed.”

What not to look for: future legacy-media criticisms of Biden and his cohort for undermining “our democracy” by “unfounded charges of election fraud.” Of course, one could ask how “founded” charges of election fraud are possible ten months before the actual election. At least Orange Man waited until after the elections. (January 2022)

Nicholas Strakon: Being There, according to Joe Asterisk. The Daily Caller records a priceless utterance by Mr. Asterisk during the same news conference: “Remember how we thought not that many people were going to show up to vote in the middle of a pandemic? We had the highest voter turnout in the history of the United States of America.”

“Show up”! The problem is that millions of Biden voters didn’t show up. Instead, ballots they filled out, or maybe didn’t fill out, showed up in the mail and other places. (January 2022)

Edna St. Louis Missouri: European Union threatens to go off the rails. John Kerry has heart failure.

Ms. Missouri is TLD’s economic correspondent. She continues to contribute from an undisclosed location, where she swears to remain until after the November 2022 elections. After that ... — Ed.
The European Union Commission on January 1, 2022, proposed making nuclear energy and natural gas green-eligible sustainable investments. The Germans are also ticked, since a few years ago (after the Fukushima “disaster” in 2011) they began shutting down all their nuclear power plants, and (spoiler alert) they now pay the highest energy prices in Europe. The German vice chancellor and economy and climate minister, Robert Habeck, who represents the Green Party, “said he expected the commission proposal to be rejected” (Wall Street Journal). The French, who rely heavily on nuclear power, (another spoiler alert) heavily lobbied to include nuclear on the sustainable list, and were joined by other EU members that are continuing to invest in natural gas (providing the Russkis don’t turn off the tap and providing that the Biden admin’s attempts to kill the U.S. natural gas industry doesn’t drive up prices). The new “green taxonomy” still needs approval by EU governments and the European Parliament, so there is still time for true climate-change warriors to prevail. The EU needs some $200 to $284 billion in additional “private sector” investments to meet its 2050 carbon-neutral economic goals. Check back with us around 2040 to see how this has gone.

If John Kerry were dead, he would be turning over in his grave, or, more likely, spinning like a top at this news. Ole John Boy claims he wants to cut CO2 emissions to save the planet, but goes barmy over any suggestion that nuclear (which has zero carbon emissions) and natural gas (which has far less than coal or other carbon sources) shouldn’t be banned, let alone tolerated. He also avoids explaining how people will get heat and electricity, given that wind and solar are undependable, especially when most needed. BTW, in the United States, the share of natural gas used to produce electricity has risen to one-third, which accounts for 14 percent of the decline in CO2 emissions since the mid-2000s. (Source: Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2022, pp. A9, A13.) (January 2022)

Edna St. Louis Missouri: COVID-19 after two years: What we know for certain.

Ms. Missouri is not a doctor, but read about one in a science fiction novel. She is TLD’s new medical correspondent and once held the prestigious Fauci Fellowship at the Wuhan Institute of Folk Medicine and Cosmetology. She also has experience as an animal control officer. — Ed.
After more than two years of experience with the scourge of COVID-19; trillions of dollars of investment in study and prevention; and experimenting on half of the global population, it seems appropriate that, as a public service to the readers of TLD, we summarize what we know for certain about vaccines, therapies, the causes of COVID-19, and related and sundry subjects.

In following the science — which is what everyone of good faith and good will ardently desires to do — here is what science tells us without uncertainty, without question, and without the slightest shadow of doubt about COVID-19, per President Joe Biden, on December 27, 2021: “Look, there is no federal solution. This gets solved at a state level.”

TLD readers who wish to comment or add to our vast stock of scientific information should contact Dr. Anthony Fauci. As for TLD’s medical correspondent, this is the last you will hear from me about COVID-19. (January 2022)

Edna St. Louis Missouri: Stacey Abrams and Left/Right spectrums.

Ms. Missouri, being one of however many female genders there are, is thereby eminently qualified to comment on Ms. Abrams. Ms. Missouri’s actual current whereabouts are unknown, but her missives reach TLD via servers in an astonishing number of countries. — Ed.
Stacey Abrams will prove this year to be either the most dangerous woman in America or a flash in the pan. Let’s fervently hope it’s the latter. Meanwhile, the ever-trendy New York Times had this to say on January 3 (which also happens to be J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday: be sure to raise a cup to the Professor).
Left and Center-Left Both Claim Stacey Abrams. Who’s Right?
Astead W. Herndon wrote the story. Editor’s intro: “Ms. Abrams, the Georgia Democrat running for governor, has admirers in both wings of her party — and Republicans eager to defeat her. Her carefully calibrated strategy faces a test in 2022.”

Ignoring the little pun “Who’s Right,” what one should notice here is that the Times acknowledges that “her party” has two wings: Left and Center-Left. Now if they would just be further upfront and acknowledge that “her party” has three wings: Extreme Left (AKA the Regressives), Left, and Center-Left.

It would, of course, be better if they abandoned this “Left-Right” linear view of politics, which dates to the French Revolution when members of the Parliament sat in a hall similar to that inhabited by our “representatives.” This was a semi-circular seating arrangement that had radical supporters of the Revolution on the Left and the die-hard (well, it turned out subsequently that a lot of them didn’t die that hard) opponents of the Revolution (AKA conservative monarchists) on the Right, with the less radical and less conservative scattered out in between. This worked because the spectrum had a single issue: how much (or little) one supported the Revolution. Of course, in U.S. politics there are a myriad of issues such as abortion, gun control, religious commitments, climate change, welfare “rights,” LGBTQI+ “rights,” etc., etc., but except for single-issue interest groups, activists, and voters, almost everyone — and certainly every politician — holds a variety of views on a variety of issues, so a Left-Right spectrum is completely nonsensical. Explain that to the Times.

It would be amusing if our “reps” actually sat in the House and Senate arranged in an actual spectrum. Perhaps a different “issue” could be selected each day and then people would sit accordingly. Imagine how such mealymouths as Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Todd Young, and Joe Manchin would meander around the hall each day. Or perhaps people could sit according to their support/revulsion for Orange Man. Or when a particular measure was being considered, people would be required to sit in the hall depending on their current for/against position, with the option of moving around the hall as they were persuaded/dissuaded by the ensuring debate. Yes, John Lennon, “Imagine.” Ha, ha. (January 2022)

2021 archive.

Published by Thornwalker, 2022