Friday, April 30, 2021

buffalo police

Buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

to buffalo = to confuse or intimidate

The buffalo whom bison from Buffalo intimidate (also) intimidate bison from Buffalo.

The cycle of intimidation.

Police police police police police.

to police = to regulate, control, or surveil

The police whom other police surveil (also) surveil police.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

And now... A QUIZ!

Look at the following:

Choose the correct number(s)!  For the "Buffalo" sentence...

1.  Which word is the simple subject?

2.  Which word is the simple predicate?

3.  Which 3 words represent the adjective clause that describes the subject?

4.  Which 2 words are the noun phrase serving as the direct object of the main verb?

For the "Police" sentence...

1.  Which word is the simple subject?

2.  Which word is the simple predicate?

3.  Which 2 words form the adjective clause describing the subject?

4.  Which word is the direct object of the main verb?

NB:  I'm fully aware that the "Buffalo" sentence can be read in more than one way, but that's why I put the capital letters where I did.  With the capitals in place, only one reading is possible.  I think.

psychologizing is not journalism

Instapundit links to an American Thinker article titled "Kamala's Not Looking So Good Lately."  Here's an excerpt from the article's beginning:

Kamala Harris hasn't been looking well lately. She gave a maskless interview to CNN's Dana Bash a week ago, and she looked much more jowly and wrinkly than she did just three months ago, when she took the oath of office. She has a bit more junk in the trunk now, and gone are the purple, maroon, and ivory suits; it's black or navy all the time now, the better to hide the extra jiggly bits. A lot of her sentences now begin with "Well, I mean," signaling the intellectual vacuity she's settled for, as though she's completely given up on trying to sound smart.

Is the stress of not being able to do her job getting to her? Does she have Imposter Syndrome on steroids and the medication has stopped working? Or does she have some awful knowledge of a certain future event the rest of us don't know about and is coping with it the best way she can? On April 23, she gave a speech to the IBEW Local 490 in Concord, N.H., and she slurred and giggled her way through "I think it is important to look at folks like Haley and Kelly and also say we're gonna take note of the fact that during the pandemic 2 million people, 2 million women people (pause, nod, nod, giggle, giggle) became unemployed." (Is that funny? I don't get it.) Is she spending her days with Jose Cuervo now? Sipping Vodkawaiian Punch from the juice bottle? When her secretary accepts an engagement for her, does she whisper into the receiver, "Mrs. Harris would appreciate the offer of a teeny martooni upon arriving at the venue"?

Remember those early days, when she was maquillaged to perfection and could toss her deliberately casual hairdo back and forth without it losing its place, wearing bossy power suits with the shoulder pads out to here, patinaed with the insecurity of a Chihuahua always ready to fight but hoping everyone watching would think she was a Presa Canario? Yeah, good times.

I have little patience for this sort of "news."  The leftist media do this all the time, so it's a shame to see the same nonsense happening on the right side of the aisle.  As Dr. V impressed upon me long ago, psychologizing—the attempt to get inside another's head and guess at his thoughts—is a damn sloppy way to make a point.  It's an even worse sin in a journalistic context:  journalists are, ideally, hard-nosed empiricists reporting on facts.  Guesswork, conjecture, imagination, fanciful interpretation, agenda-driven implications meant to persuade—in principle, these have no role in a properly written article by a legitimate journalist.  Alas, these days, legitimate journalists are thin on the ground, and the rigorous pairing of logic and empiricism is almost nowhere to be seen.  

The above article has some empirical elements:  the writer thinks she's observing Kamala Harris becoming more slovenly (aesthetically) and sloppy (mentally).  That's a subjective take, though, and it shows no effort at objectivity.  I'd almost rather see a humorous pictorial meme about "Kamala:  Before and After" than read this sort of sensationalist "reporting."  It's garbage.  It feeds those on the right who are stupidly given to feeding frenzies.  Wake me when Kamala actually fucks up a meeting with a foreign head of state by doing something radically insulting or mortifying.  Until then, writers should quit trying to guess the state of her mind based on clues they think they see.

And this, friends, is an absolutely shit sentence:

She hasn't hurried to do any border czarring since then, but we know she's not going to visit said border and witness firsthand the mayhem and destruction happy slappies from every country on the planet are causing for everyone at, on, or around the southern border.

Kirstin Stein, the author of this garbage, should be fired and sent to kindergarten.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

is this making a statement?

I see most "waves" of feminism (i.e., first wave, second wave, third wave, etc.) as little more than the expression of female insecurities and the attempt to appropriate maleness to compensate for weakness (via shoulder pads, loud and aggressive behavior, etc.).  Truly empowered women don't classify themselves as feminists; they don't need to.  (And if empowered women do label themselves as feminists, then they're probably my favorite kind:  Camille Paglia feminists!)  That said, is the video below a commentary on insecure feminists?  I don't know, but it cracked me up.  Enjoy.

(The character sure seems to fit the insecure, "every man is a predator" type.)

and in other news

My credit rating has gone up 30 points.  It's finally happening.

stolen from John Mac's blog

I saw this (from John Mac's blog here) and had a good laugh:

reprinting David Horowitz

Some people hate David Horowitz—a 60s-era indoctrinated leftie who later leaped across the aisle to the right—because he's a goddamn neocon.  I'm not partial to neocons myself (e.g., Dubya), but I don't want to commit the genetic fallacy when a neocon writes something I almost totally agree with.

A commenter at Instapundit reprinted and uploaded a recent Horowitz article.  I read the piece and found it good enough to repost it here at the Hairy Chasms.  Spoiler:  Horowitz doesn't say anything earth-shattering; as you read his piece, you'll nod mainly because you've heard most or all of these ideas before.  That said, the man puts the narrative together eloquently, which is why I find this article worth reading in spite of its length.




My first political demonstration was a May Day parade in 1948. I was nine years old. We chanted in support of President Truman’s “Fair Employment Practices Commission” and his successful effort to integrate the civil service. The May Day parade was organized by the Communist Party USA, a conspiratorial organization working in league with Communist Russia to overthrow the United States government and create a “Soviet America.” Both my parents were members of the Party.

These two causes in a way defined the next seventy-odd years of my life: on the one hand, the fight for individual rights and equality; on the other a lifelong struggle for – and then against – a treasonous movement that set out to change the world for the better but ended up making it worse – much worse.

As a young man, I was present at the creation of the New Left, editing its largest magazine, Ramparts. The New Left was a socialist movement that began as an attempt to rescue the “Old” Communist Left from the “mistakes” it had made in serving masters who murdered more than 100 million people. In peace time. “Mistakes” was our weasel term for the epic crimes our fellow Marxists committed against ordinary human beings who refused to go along with their utopian schemes. Our goal was to revive the quest they had begun and finally create a world of “social justice.”

I soon discovered that there was no new Left fundamentally different from its predecessor. The evil the left did flowed directly from the noble ideal itself. You cannot create a world of perfect equality because people are not equal, and the attempt to make them so requires taking away the freedom of most for the benefit of what turns out to be a few. You cannot create a government that is socially “just” because the people who will run it are the same people whose lies, bigotries, selfishness and greed created the unjust world you are attempting to leave behind. The new rulers, corrupt as ever, will have more power than ever. You can only make things worse. Much worse.

I learned these truths first in my work with the Black Panther Party, a murderous street gang whom we regarded as “the vanguard of the revolution.” We did so because the Panthers were the only leftists with guns who were willing to use them. The Panthers preyed mainly on vulnerable blacks but also murdered a friend of mine who was white.

My second awakening came with the success of the New Left’s “antiwar movement,” which forced America out of Vietnam. The New Left’s claims to be “anti-war” in behalf of the Vietnamese were actually two dangerous lies. When the movement succeeded in forcing America’s withdrawal from Indo-China, the Communists proceeded to slaughter two and a half million peasants in Cambodia and Vietnam. There wasn’t a single demonstration against the slaughter. Not one. I realized then that it was never an “anti-war” movement. It was an anti-American movement. The Left wanted the Communists to win and didn’t care how many innocent Asians were murdered in the process. I realized I was involved in a movement whose rhetoric was seductive and noble but whose deeds were evil. And I left.

The “social justice” radicals still have the best slogans. They call themselves progressives but are actually reactionaries. They call themselves liberals but are actually bigots. They say they’re for peace when they are organized for war. It is always the same war: to bring down the United States of America.

Thanks mainly to their growing influence, we live in extreme times, where things are not what they are made to seem, and monstrous accusations are leveled at individuals without restraint. As a result, we live in an atmosphere of intimidation, where people can lose their livelihoods, their careers and even their lives if they get on the wrong side of leftist crusaders. That is a terrible thing to have to say in this once free country, but it is something that has become too obvious to deny.

For 30 years before he descended the famous escalator in Trump Tower to declare his candidacy for the White House, Donald Trump was a well-known public figure. Everybody in America knew who he was. In all those 30 years, no one ever referred to him as “Donald Trump, host of ‘The Apprentice’ and white supremacist.” Nobody ever said “This is Donald Trump, New York builder and white nationalist.” That only happened when he ran against the Democrats.

In fact, all three of Trump’s predecessors as presidential candidates – Bush, McCain and even Romney were denounced as racists by the Democrats. Vice President Joe Biden told an audience that included many black Americans that if elected, Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan, “are gonna put y’all back in chains.”

Why do Democrats take such a low road as a matter of course? They do it because it is effective, and because the Democrat Party has a dirty secret to hide. Democrats control 100% of every major inner-city in America, and have for 50 to 100 years. Every killing field — Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, St. Louis – is 100% in the hands of the Democrats. Every injustice in these inner cities – real or imagined – that policy can affect, Democrats are 100% responsible for. Every rotten school system, which year in and year out fails to provide mainly black and Hispanic kids with the basic tools they need to succeed is 100% controlled by the Democrat Party and its teacher unions who without exception put the interests of the adults in the system in front of the kids. Including keeping schools closed during the Covid-19 pandemic while demanding more money for themselves.

Trump represented a major threat to the Democrats’ corrupt inner-city empires and – worse – to their electoral power base. Consequently, when Trump asked inner city blacks “What do you have to lose by voting for me?” the Democrats lost no time in demonizing him. They did so in the most dehumanizing terms possible – launching an all-out war to destroy him as a white nationalist, white supremacist, Hitler. In this lethal atmosphere, which has lasted for four years, the first black President of the United States this week again called Trump – and by implication his seventy-three million supporters – racist.

Race is the Democrats’ nuclear weapon, deployed to destroy their critics and protect every corrupt urban Tammany Hall they have built and profited from over the last 100 years. This weapon was a gift from the radicals who successfully infiltrated the Democrat Party following their riot at the Convention in 1968. It is where the deep divisions that afflict us now began.

The absurd, racially poisonous term, “white skin privilege,” for example, was an invention of the hate America terrorists who called themselves “Weathermen,” and whose leaders, Bill Ayers and Eric Mann, advised Barack Obama (Ayers actually ghosted his autobiography) and mentored the insurrectionary founders of Black Lives Matter. The stated goal of the Weathermen terrorists was to join what they saw as a global race war against “white supremacy,” and to join it as a fifth column against white America.

Democrats embraced racial politics opportunistically at first, because it was an effective political weapon. As a result of the radical ascendancy within the Democrat party and in the nation’s schools, the race card now features the ludicrous charge that white America is a white supremacist nation, and “racism is in its DNA.” This is a charge that is deadly because it will justify the most radical anti-American measures. As a result of the Democrats’ blitzkrieg against this imaginary scourge, large sections of the American public are now in the grip of a hysteria that has detached them from any semblance of reality. In this atmosphere, a lifelong liberal like Trump can be miraculously transformed into a raving Nazi. On the other end of the equation, black America is cast as a race of noble savages who can do no wrongs that are not attributable to “systemic racism” and white oppression.

In this fantasy world, black Americans are routinely portrayed as though they are a “marginal” and “under-represented” people in our society. This has become a required perspective for racially sensitive Americans eager to position themselves “on the right side of history.” And it is forced on millions of whites who are demonized by a multi-million-dollar industry of racist diversity trainers who lecture captive audiences in our universities, corporations, and even military academies, in the anti-white racism of “critical race theory,” a creed concocted by the hate America left.

The notion that black Americans are marginal, and under-represented, and therefore oppressed is transparently ridiculous. On the contrary, to anyone with eyes to see, Black America and its wounds are closer to being the center of the nation’s attention, and also the focus of its charitable largesse. Otherwise, how explain the complacency of the nation and its civic authorities towards the epic lawlessness and destruction inspired by Black Lives Matter vigilantes in 600 American cities last summer without a single instigator being held accountable, and even the arrested perpetrators being immediately released from jail? How explain how such criminal violence could be justified as opposing “police brutality” in advance of a single trial or even investigation of an allegedly brutal police officer?

Far from being marginal, under-represented, and oppressed, Black America is a community continually front and center in the nation’s consciousness. They are a powerful and often dominant force in American culture. Black athletes are the heroes of America’s youth. Black comedians, entertainers, musicians and actors fill America’s TV, theater and Internet screens, bringing their stories – their lives, emotions, victories, losses – into America’s hearts. Far from being denied access to the American dream, most black Americans are now comfortably in the middle class and part of it.

Oprah Winfrey is a self-made billionaire, the richest woman in America, and she is joined by increasing numbers of other blacks who are also self-made, having amassed multi-million-dollar fortunes in a single lifetime. The reality is that far from oppressing black America, Americans have made blacks the recipients of a cornucopia of special privileges – of lavishly funded programs and benefits based on their skin color that are designed to give them a leg up in the world. And these privileges come at the expense of opportunities for white and Asian Americans who are denied places they have earned at elite universities, and in all walks of professional life, also because of their skin color. This is a systemic racism that Americans support because it benefits black Americans, and that self-anointed “anti-racists” will defend at all costs.

If the majority of black Americans are comfortably in the middle class, what accounts for the failure of other members of the black community to lift themselves out of poverty? This is a question that is now politically incorrect to ask. It is “blaming the victim.” It is an affront to the skin privilege of an oppressed people. It is racist. In fact, it is an obvious sham, but the vast majority of Americans go along with it. The rest of America doesn’t ask blacks who have fallen behind why that is so. For example, absent fathers, rampant drug use and off the charts crime rates – to mention three obvious factors. Instead of holding these individuals in any way accountable for their plight, their failure is blamed on invisible white people, who are allegedly responsible for an always un-evidenced “systemic racism” against blacks.

Systemic racism is illegal under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. If it were actually a problem in police departments and corporate institutions, as organizations like Black Lives Matter claim, there would be massive lawsuits by legions of black (and white) attorneys, prosecutors and attorneys general. There aren’t such lawsuits because the problem is invented. Aside from affirmative action programs, the only systemic racism is to be found in the disgraceful inner-city public schools, whose oppression of black youngsters is protected by the Democrat Party and its teacher unions. They will fight to the death to prevent poor minority kids from having the same choices in education as the children of Democrat teacher union members.

Taken together, the anti-white hysteria and the hysteria of black victimhood have had terrible consequences for Americans both black and white. In the summer of 2020, Black Lives Matter set in motion the largest, most violent, most destructive lynch mob in American history. Arsonists, looters and street criminals laid siege to 633 cities, caused billions of dollars in damage, and killed scores of people, as it happens mainly black. According to studies, ninety-five percent of the violent demonstrations were led by Black Lives Matter, and their fascist Antifa allies.

Like classic lynch mobs, the Black Lives Matter attacks were inspired by demands for verdicts in advance of trials or even investigations. “No Justice, No Peace!” Thus, George Floyd’s death was called a racial murder in advance of the autopsy report, which showed there was no strangulation and that he died of a self-inflicted Fentanyl overdose. One of the four officers indicted for Floyd’s “murder,” under pressure from the lynch mob, was an African American who had joined the police force to help institute reforms. How was this even a racial incident?

The same lies endlessly repeated describe the vast majority of Black Lives Matters’ claims about racial injustices committed by police. These lies obscure the fact that these incidents routinely involved black criminals resisting arrest by law enforcement officials whose chiefs – as in the Floyd case – were more often than not black themselves – and Democrats. “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” an infamous Black Lives Matter lie that led to arson, destruction and general mayhem in Ferguson, Missouri was the invention of a black criminal accomplice of Michael Brown. It was refuted before a grand jury by six black eyewitnesses who testified that Brown was actually charging the officer with his head down when he was shot.

Yet this lie is now part of the deadly folklore of the Black Lives Matter lynch mob and is featured in a new Netflix film based on the writings of the racist black author Ta-Nehisi Coates. Small wonder that the icon of the Black Lives Matter movement, Assata Shakur, is a cold-blooded cop killer. Shakur is also a fugitive taken in by the sadistic dictator Fidel Castro, a figure adored by Black Lives Matters’ Marxist founders.

Black Lives Matter leads a coalition of roughly fifty vigilante organizations claiming to be pursuing “social justice.” Vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, who has raised bail funds for Black Lives Matter arsonists and street criminals, calls them “A Coalition of Conscience.” Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in its efforts by George Soros, the Ford Foundation and major U.S. corporations, helping to make it the most powerful political movement in America today.

The coalition has already presented its first legislative proposal, maliciously called “The Breathe Act” after two notorious Black Lives Matter lies claiming that Eric Garner and George Floyd were strangled by police. (The autopsy reports in both cases showed that neither man was strangled. Both were resisting arrest.) “The Breathe Act” is not about “choke holds” or other possible causes of strangulation. Its goals are to defund the police, abolish prisons, and eliminate border enforcement. In other words, to make America as vulnerable to domestic criminals and international enemies as possible.

Forty years ago, I left the left when I saw that it was a destructive force that would never change. Leftists do not tolerate dissenters in their ranks. They suppress politically incorrect ideas and cast out their perpetrators, demonizing them in the process. As a result, leftists never learn from their “mistakes” or take responsibility for their crimes. Thus, in every generation a new destructive crusade for “social justice” is launched, oblivious of the disasters previous radical campaigns left in their wakes.

The leaders of Black Lives Matter proclaim “We are trained Marxists,” as though that were a badge of honor rather than a confession of dangerous ignorance and a kiss of death. Every successful Marxist revolution without exception has established a ruthless police state, which more often than not conducts genocidal persecutions of ethnic minorities. In other words, social injustice on an epic scale. Yet that is the prospect we face in a reactionary left that has learned nothing from the past and is intent on destroying the most tolerant, inclusive, egalitarian society ever created. The good news is that a patriotic movement has risen, rededicated to the propositions that all men are created equal and endowed with God-given rights to life and liberty, and is prepared to defend them.

Leave your comments below.


I've moved the dates of my Andong Dam hike from the week of Children's Day to the week of the Buddha's birthday.  This year, Children's Day is on Wednesday, May 5, and the Buddha's birthday is exactly two weeks later on May 19, which is therefore also a Wednesday.  So I've put in my request to take Thursday the 20th and Friday the 21st off as well, and I'll use four of those five days (or maybe all five days—more on that in a sec) to do the walk.

I finally managed to plot a route from Sangju City to the Andong Dam.  As it stands now, it's a four-day hike along a bike path that loosely follows the Nakdong River.  If you followed my previous adventures along the Four Rivers path, then you may remember that Sangju City is the point where a hiker starting in Incheon leaves the Saejae portion of the trail and finally hits the Nakdong River; from that point on, the Nakdong portion of the path is what a person follows all the way down to Busan.  But for the Four Rivers walker, there's an entire stretch of the Nakdong that he never encounters, and that's the spur that leads east to the Andong Dam.  This is relevant to me because, having seen the signs for the dam since my first cross-country hike in 2017, I've had a years-long interest in walking the Nakdong River east toward Andong City, the capital of North Gyeongsang Province, which is famous—or infamous—for its conservative, traditional nature.  For four years, it's felt like a lost opportunity, never making it out to the dam.  Now, I'm finally going to visit it.

Walk-blog readers might also remember that Sangju City is where I had my unpleasant guest-house experience, so I'll be happy to bus out to the city Wednesday morning (May 19), walk 13.6 km to the Gyeongcheon-dae Motel, then continue onward the following morning—kicking the dust off my feet, so to speak, and leaving Sangju behind.

The route I've plotted is in four segments:

1.  Arrive Sangju City, walk to the Gyeongcheon-dae Motel:  13.6 km.
2.  Walk from Gyeongcheon-dae to the Gangnam Motel:  25.5 km.
3.  Walk from the Gangnam Motel to the Riverside Motel:  14 km.
4.  Walk from Riverside to the Andong Dam:  37.6 km.

So you see the problem:  after three fairly easy days, I suddenly have to walk 37.6 kilometers on the final day.  While I've walked longer than that—I've done 42-, 44-, and 60-kilometer hikes—that doesn't make 37.6 km an easy distance.  As a result, I'm thinking of breaking the fourth segment into two smaller, more reasonable segments of almost 20K each.  

I'll get back to you on what I decide to do.  37.6 km is far from impossible, and since it's also the final segment of the walk, I can simply flop down and rest after the long trek, basking in my victory, for the rest of the weekend.  There's a motel called the Business Motel about two kilometers from the dam, and Andong City's Yongsang Intercity Bus Terminal is within walking distance as well, so I can easily bus back to Seoul the following day.

More later as these plans crystallize.

don't write or say "er" if you're American

I've ranted about this before, but I'll do it again.

Americans, when pausing and thinking of what to say next, will banish the silence with the filler sound "uh."  In Bonnie England, this same sound is written "er" but still pronounced "uh" because the English don't like final "r"s and generally detest rhotic "r"s (e.g., the "r" in "car" when it's pronounced the American way, or the "r" in "real," which is pronounced rhotically on both sides of the pond, except by those with speech impediments).  Because Americans read English literature as part of their education, they've encountered "er" in written form.  The mistake many Yanks make, though, is in thinking that the English "er" is pronounced like the "ur" in the American pronunciation of "fur."  

It is not.

So Americans who say "er" the American way, i.e., with a rhotic "r," have completely misunderstood the utterance in its British form.  This also goes for Americans who, in an American context, write "er" as dialogue in a story set in the States.

Stop that shit.  Stop it now.

I am, of course, too late in giving this warning.  The rhotic "er" sound has been embraced by millions of clueless Americans who think saying "errrrr" instead of "uh" is properly American.  These people are all traitors to their country and should be fucking shot.

Now, if you're an American author writing a story that involves English characters and is set in England, then by all means, write the filler "er" to your shriveled little heart's content.  

Otherwise, NO. 


DC as the 51st state?

Chris Chappell lays out the issues surrounding DC statehood:

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

the Oscars smell like leprous scrote

I haven't watched the Oscars in years.  I no longer even bother making my silly predictions—based on no knowledge—of who will win which awards.  The whole thing has become a sad wokefest led by out-of-touch, overprivileged morons who think they have something important to say to the world. The Critical Drinker expresses these same sentiments in his own inimitable way:

Apparently, there were once again complaints of "Oscar So White" because Anthony Hopkins won best Actor ("The Father") and Frances McDormand won Best Actress ("Nomadland").  So white?  Really?  A Chinese woman won Best Director (Chloé Zhao, "Nomadland"), a black Brit won Best Supporting Actor (Daniel Kaluuya, "Judas and the Black Messiah"), and an unprepossessing Korean grandma won Best Supporting Actress (Youn Yuh-jung/윤여정, "Minari").  What the hell more do you want?  Will the complaints stop only once all the categories are swept by non-white folks?  You don't think it's at least a wee bit racist to focus so insanely on race?  Go make your own damn awards shows if you want; BET already does this.  Poor Korean Grandma can't even bask in her victory without being swamped by the woke-race crowd.*  This is the America I have no desire to come back to.  Let the big cities and their stupid wokeness burn to ash.  I won't miss 'em one bit.  Anyway, the Drinker is right when he says that stars have no business trying to influence how people vote.  Celebrities:  back the fuck off, check your privilege, shut up, and concentrate on entertaining the masses.  You're much more likable when you're not flaunting your stupidity.


*She was apparently also asked by some interviewer how Brad Pitt smelled, and when Koreans here on the peninsula found out, they were outraged.  Youn responded to the Pitt-sniffing question by saying she wasn't a dog.  I haven't seen video of the exchange, so I don't know whether Youn was truly insulted by the question.  If she has the sense of humor of, say, Betty White, then I imagine she took the question in stride and responded "I'm not a dog!" with a cheerful crone's cackle.  If she got huffy because you just don't pose such questions to an older Korean woman, then I can imagine her being upset, with the Korean peninsula upset along with her.  It could be that the interviewer unintentionally overstepped her bounds thanks to cultural insensitivity; it could also be that the interviewer knew what she was doing, had a wicked sense of humor, and went for broke.  Personally, I don't get it:  Brad Pitt is old, now; if anything, he probably smells like fuckin' beef jerky.  Where's the sex appeal?  Sure, the older we guys get, the more we fool ourselves into thinking that young girls are into us.  Trust me, they're not—not unless we happen to be rich.

why East Asia needs proofreaders

This was belatedly making the rounds in my office the week before:

Is this real Engrish or fake Engrish?  No idea.  I do know that "There Lurks the Skid Demon" has become a tee-shirt design.  And, ladies?  Always remember to tootel your man with vigor.  He'll thank you later, possibly by vigorously tooteling you back... if he's a real man, that is.  Only pussies refuse to tootel their women by word of mouth.  Hi, Hi.

If we assume this is real Engrish, then you can see why East Asia has a serious problem and desperately needs proofreaders and editors.  I'll leave it up to you to hit my comments section and improve the English of the above instructions.  Good luck.  No, seriously:  good luck.

gas engines: don't count them out just yet

lettin' off some steam

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

sad news about my old French teacher

I got an email from the husband of my old high-school French teacher telling us that Madame is 82 and in hospice now with ALS.  Madame was always a character... but she's still with us, so I'm going to stop myself, right now, from writing an obituary.  For the moment, I'll just keep her and her husband in my thoughts.

some fun ones via Bill

Bill Keezer sent over a slew of memes.  Below are a few of my favorites.  Let's start off with a meme that I've slapped up here before:

The above is a good reminder of leftist projection.  The left loves to project:  accuse the right of racism while being racist.  Accuse the right of fascism while being fascist.  Accuse the right of trampling the Constitution while actually trampling the Constitution.  And as we see above:  accuse the right of perpetrating all the gun violence while actually using guns to murder people.

This next one is a good reminder of which culture is superior:

Yup:  I said it.  A culture whose women are strong, capable, unafraid of displaying beauty, and capable of shooting your fucking head right off your fucking neck is far superior to a culture that puts its women in garbage bags because the men are deadly afraid of woman and their sinful wiles.

And now, my favorite of the bunch:

More like the above, please.  The police are showing themselves to be useless.


And once again, as we see below, capable confidence is sexy while feckless victimhood is not:

Below, a point that's been made by Styx for several years:

We should add Los Angeles and San Francisco to the above list!

Apparently, when global gun stats are tallied, the US is one of the few countries to include suicides in its count.  This inflates US statistics by a lot, and, as Styx says, when you also control for urban gang violence (which most gun violence is), you come to realize that, on the whole, the US is a far safer place to live than much of Europe.  Gun violence is generally confined to Democrat-run cities, as the above meme notes.


Remember Kimberly Klacik?  She's got some choice words that might pertain to the recent shooting of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio.  Bryant had assaulted two people with a knife when police shot her dead, as they were well within their rights to do, given that Bryant had been brandishing a deadly weapon.  Bryant was no cringing victim:  she was a violent, screaming murderess-to-be.  If you can't use lethal force when a deadly weapon is being wildly brandished, then when can you use deadly force?  Is the problem that Bryant was a woman?  I thought that, according to feminists, the whole man-woman dichotomy needed to be dispensed with.  Was it that she was black?  What does skin color have to do with attacking people with a knife?  Was Bryant poor or something?  She wasn't rich, but she also wasn't destitute.  Is it that the killing was done by a policeman?  Well, how's that whole defund-the-police campaign going?  No spikes in crime in areas abandoned by the police, right?

Anyway, Kim Klacik takes a different angle:

Klacik's going to get a lot of pushback against her tweet because Bryant was apparently in foster care at the time of her death.  Or maybe that's Klacik's point:  bad parenting is bad parenting, whether it's a function of unsatisfactory foster care or parental laziness and idiocy.  It could also be that Klacik is talking about a completely different situation from Bryant's; she mentions a "13-year-old" while Bryant was 16.  Whatever the case, Klacik's focus is on wild, knife-wielding teenaged girls.

Meanwhile, Styx talks about the death of Jaslyn Adams, a little girl whom you won't be hearing much about in the mainstream media because she was shot by Black Lives Matter members in Chicago.  The story has, in fact, made it to the MSM, but it probably won't have legs because it doesn't fit the preferred narrative that white supremacy is the fundamental problem in the States.  Remember:  it's narrative first, truth last:

Monday, April 26, 2021

your dose of Monday humor

from an Instapundit comment section

Sometimes, the Instapundit comment sections are great fodder for memes, snide remarks, and other pearls of wisdom and wit.  Here are some images I just came across:

Is the above accusation fair to all liberals and Democrats?  Probably not.  But it covers most of them.  The running narrative on the left side of the aisle, these days, is that white supremacy is, and has always been, a problem in American history, society, and culture.  We are a racist, bigoted nation—a beacon to no one.  That's why "X is racist" is such a popular thought these days.  Look what's happening, not just to Americans, but to Isaac Newton.

Then there are these beauties:

Sorry, snowflakes.  Sometimes, you just suck.  Get used to it.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

God watches over me...

Normally, when God watches over me, He's more subtle than this...

PowerLine's Week in Pictures: a selection

The central hypocrisy in a nutshell:


But... but... the parties reversed themselves over the years!


I'd pay good money to watch this:

Yikes (and they're never in the same room, are they?):

The problem with the Great Cali Exodus:  they bring their stupid voting habits with them:

So... Trump was right, and not a racist, when he wanted to ban travel from China in 2019:

You forgot the word "fucking," buddy:


Your moment of surreality:

Yeah, pretty much:

For both men and women, everything is excused when you're good-looking.

quite possibly the most horrifying Pelosi graphic I've ever seen

Yeesh.  I saw this on Instapundit, in some comment thread:

walk pics

There's been a lot of construction along both the Tan Creek and the Yangjae Creek lately.  Some of it has to do with drainage, but some of it also has to do with landscaping. While I found some of the construction unnecessary, local authorities installed spanking-new walkways along parts of both creeks. Here are some pics. Click to enlarge.

By the Yangjae Creek:

By the Tan Creek:

Getting older and grayer:

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Duterte: naval conflict with China "will be bloody"

Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte says he plans to send ships to assert his country's proper claims over parts of the South China Sea that are currently—and aggressively—claimed by China.  Duterte has been hard to read regarding his stance toward China and the USA; my impression at this moment is that he's friends with neither, but in the recent past, Duterte has made moon-eyes at China while spurning America, so this latest statement seems like an about-face.  Duterte may be pulling the same crazy-old-man stunt used by Ronald Reagan and, to a lesser extent, Donald Trump:  keep your enemies wondering what your next move will be.  China Uncensored's Chris Chappell has more:

As you saw, Chappell isn't optimistic that Duterte has it in him to actually confront China.  This makes sense if Duterte thinks he can work out a Philippines-China relationship that's beneficial to the Philippines.  Personally, I think Duterte is stupid to spurn the US and embrace China.  I've said the same thing about Korea's global orientation, which also prioritizes China (the ROK's largest trading partner) over the US.  Whatever the US's faults, it would be a much better trading partner than China.  But, like an addict who can't quit his favorite drugs, South Korea can't quit China.  What a waste.

how to make a statement without making a statement

Watch the following How Ridiculous video and, while keeping your frightened local government's pandemic measures in mind, note what's not happening in the video:

The idiotic coward's corner will, of course, scream, "Superspreader event!"

I was in the office for three hours, today, to finish up some work.  I decided to take the long way while walking home, and as per usual, I did so without my mask.  Not a peep from anyone, and no cops descended on me.  So at least there's that:  the country might have bought into the nonsense that you have to mask up while outside, but while an unmasked person is outside, there's no Karening, and no Soviet-style ratting-out of fellow citizens and expats.  Be thankful for the little things, I guess.

qu'est-ce que c'est que cette chose-là?

Easy to express concisely in English, but a much longer expression in French:

What's this thing?

Technically, he's really asking, "What's that thing?"  This is determined by the "là" at the end of the French version of the question.  comes from là-bas, which means "over there."  Change the -là to a -ci, however, and you're now asking about this thing.  Ci comes from ici, which means "here."

Ave, Charles!

My buddy Charles writes on the topic of serenity, with some time spent mulling over the famous serenity prayer ("...the wisdom to know the difference") in both its modern and original incarnations.  Upshot:  stress not over that which you cannot control.  Charles notes that such wisdom sounds trite when you express it. But like most good wisdom wrapped up in proverb form, it's profound once you experience its truth and make it yours.

As a completely non sequitur aside, I'll note that my favorite non-biblical prayer is the prayer of Saint Francis.  The words of that prayer actually made it into my long, long review of "The Last Jedi."  Scroll down, way down, to find it.

Friday, April 23, 2021

seen on Instapundit

Follow the "science":

grammar-nerd heaven

Two of my friends, Neil Armstrong (yes, that's his name) and John McCrarey (yes, that's his name), don't know each other, but they both just sent me a link to a New Yorker article titled "Grammar-nerd Heaven."  I have now done my sacred duty and passed the link on to you, Dear Reader.  I like how the article begins:

It’s hard not to mythologize Bryan A. Garner. He is the Herakles of English usage. As a boy growing up in Texas, he lugged Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (Unabridged) to school one day to settle an argument with a teacher.

I didn't grow up in Texas, but I did get third place in the regional Alexandria, Virginia, spelling bee in the sixth grade.*  The prize was a $55 check—an enormous amount for a nerdy little kid back in 1980.  And what did I do with that prize money?  I knew exactly what I wanted:  the Webster's Third New International Dictionary.  I was already an avid reader of dictionaries, and I liked how Webster's had a different style for rendering pronunciation than, for example, The American Heritage Dictionary.**  Later on, in college, I took some courses in basic linguistics where I made the acquaintance of the IPA,  i.e., the International Phonetic Alphabet, which is a word nerd's wet dream.  I fell in love with the IPA immediately, in part because I could now see that Webster's pronunciation scheme had been at least somewhat influenced by the IPA.  All of this is to say that Bryan A. Garner, the Herakles of English usage, is a man after my own heart.  Of course, I may be stating the matter over-condescendingly:  Garner's love of and proficiency with English led him into hardcore territory, into which I am only beginning, at age 51, to dip a mere toe:

When he was sixteen, he discovered “Fowler’s Modern English Usage” and swallowed it whole. By the time he was an undergraduate, he knew that he wanted to write a usage dictionary. Instead of going into academia or publishing, the traditional career paths for English majors, he went into law, a field where his prodigious language skills could have broad applications. His first usage dictionary was “Modern Legal Usage,” published in 1987. “Garner’s Modern American Usage” came out in 1998 and is in its fourth edition; with a significant tweaking of the title, it’s now “Garner’s Modern English Usage.” Move over, Henry Fowler.

(Did you note the weird journalistic convention of surrounding book titles with quotation marks instead of italicizing the titles?  Now you know why I write movie titles the way I do on this blog:  there's a precedent for it.  For what it's worth, I change all quote-surrounded titles to italicized titles when I'm reformatting blog posts to be self-published as books.  Writers at The New Yorker obviously feel free not to do this.)

Interestingly, the New Yorker article*** says this:

In that era, a Grammar was second only to a Bible as a necessary object in a God-fearing household.

During grad school, in a course on comparative scripture, I learned of the existence of a fifth-century Hindu grammarian named Bhartrhari, who wrote at least two very influential scriptures, one of which deals with Sanskrit grammar and what he saw as its metaphysical import.  An easy argument can be made that the structure of language is, at least partially, the structure of thought, and to the extent that the structure of thought is shaped by the structure of reality itself, grammar is a window into reality.  Those of us who count ourselves as grammar Nazis have some inkling of this when we express the oft-repeated refrain that "sloppy grammar [or sloppy writing] indicates sloppy thinking."  The above quote from the New Yorker article, while not quite expressing the same sentiment, certainly shares some thematic resonances with Bhartrhari and us modern-day grammar scolds.

I'm at work, so I'll read the rest of the article this weekend.  So far, though, it seems quite interesting, and it almost makes we wish I could go see the exhibit it talks about:  

A selection of sixty-eight items from the Garner Collection is on view at the Grolier Club (47 East Sixtieth Street, through May 15th), with a sumptuous hardcover limited-edition catalogue that serves as a companion guide. To enter the exhibit, titled “Taming the Tongue: In the Heyday of English Grammar (1713-1851),” via a discreet door on the second-floor landing of a stairwell at the Grolier, is to climb aboard the Grammarama ride at Disneyland for Nerds.

My thanks to both Neil and John.


*The word I spelled out on was muumuu.  The reader mispronounced the word as "moomoo," when in fact it's pronounced "moo-oo-moo-oo."  Not that I knew that at the time; I discovered that fact only belatedly, after discovering the wonders of Hawaiian phonology (vowels written together in romanized Hawaiian are normally pronounced separately).  Anyway, I heard "moomoo," so, knowing that "m-o-o-m-o-o" would be a simplistic spelling, I went for "m-u-m-u." Ding went the bell that signaled I had spelled the word incorrectly.  I heard loud groans from the audience.  Later on, I realized that those groans had meant that a lot of people I didn't know had been rooting for me.  The girl who won the spelling bee, Meghan Hanrahan, was lucky to get the word "aerotrain" for the win.  Yeah, I was seething.  Somewhere in an alternate universe, muumuu was pronounced correctly, allowing me to spell it correctly, and I went on to stomp that bitch Meghan and win the bee, thus starting me on the path to becoming president of the United States, changing the USA from a republic to a warrior-empire, and initiating World War III.

**You might think you're seeing an inconsistency in how I write both dictionaries' titles, but Webster's doesn't take a definite article in front of it, so the the isn't part of the title.  By contrast, if you look up American Heritage on Amazon, you see that the dictionary's full title is indeed The American Heritage Dictionary, definite article included.  See, this is why you should always be on guard against those who think they're smart or sharp:  such people have a tendency to pounce on something they think is wrong when it's not actually wrong, hence my constant warning against false grammar Nazis, i.e., the idiots who are still screaming not to split infinitives, not to begin sentences with coordinating conjunctions, not to end sentences with prepositions, not to "misuse" the phrase "beg the question," and not to "misuse" the word decimate.  Most of these issues have already been discussed on this blog; use the search function to dig up the relevant posts.

***So maybe you now see another potential inconsistency:  I write "the New Yorker article," not "The New Yorker article," despite the magazine's full title being The New Yorker.  Technically, I should use a regular definite article followed by the title, but this leads to the awkward construction "the The New Yorker article."  Two "the"s in a row?  So for reasons of euphony, I risk being ungrammatical.  Also, there's precedent for shortening titles.  For example, if I'm writing a review of the original Star Wars trilogy, i.e., all three movies, I might write "The Empire Strikes Back" one time, then refer to it only as "Empire" from then on as a sort of shorthand.  That's what I'm doing with "New Yorker":  I'm slightly truncating the title, thus solving both problems of rhythm and euphony (euphony is fancy talk for "sounding good," from the Greek eu, meaning "good," and phōno, meaning "sound").

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Styx on the Chauvin decision

A good watch:


Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, blamed for the death of George Floyd—an event that occurred almost one year ago—has been found guilty on all counts by a Minnesota jury.  According to this Epoch Times article, the conviction for second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

It's impossible to know the inner workings of the jury (which reached a verdict in under 24 hours) and all the details of the trial, but I, along with many others, suspect that fear of rioting and death threats against jurors probably influenced the outcome.  With Maxine Waters's recent incitement being obvious grounds for a mistrial, yet not being acted upon, it's clear that no mitigating factors would have allowed for a different outcome.

My own opinion on Floyd's death has changed over time.  I initially saw Officer Chauvin as obviously guilty, but as more and more facts came out, including the news that the main video of Floyd's death had been highly misleading, I began to experience what you might call reasonable doubts about whether Chauvin had outright murdered Floyd.  Floyd was found with enough fentanyl in his bloodstream to kill a man three times his size; he was saying "I can't breathe" even before he was face-down on the ground; the video of the officer's posture atop Floyd failed to show that Chauvin had not, in fact, been pressing down on Floyd's neck.  (Besides, if Floyd had truly been unable to breathe in that prone position, he would never have been able to say he couldn't breathe.  His airway was clear, but the fentanyl was causing a pulmonary reaction.)  Was all of this evidence (and more) enough to exonerate Chauvin?  I'd say probably not, but it was certainly enough to cause reasonable doubt.  Chauvin should have been acquitted, then possibly retrained in submission techniques when dealing with people who are obviously high.  Does he deserve 40 years in prison for this incident?  I don't think so.

racist math makes a drone fly on Mars

Math has been declared racist by the loony left.  Good luck as leftist engineers try to build non-racist buildings, ships, cars, rockets, and bridges that never collapse or crash.  In the meantime, in the sane world, people are cheering the first-ever flight of Ingenuity, nicknamed "Ginny," the little drone helicopter that was stored inside Perseverance,  the Mars rover designed by the JPL to be the successor to that amazing workhorse, Curiosity.

Dr. Becky's infectious reaction (Rebecca Smethurst is a British, Oxford-based astrophysicist and an unfailingly cheerful YouTube personality) can be seen here; NASA has the footage, taken from Perseverance, of Ginny's maiden flight here.  It's a small, simple thing—fly three meters straight up, hover, then descend straight down and land safely—but it's the first time powered flight has occurred in all of Mars' ancient history.  Keep in mind, as Dr. Becky notes, that the Martian atmosphere has only 1% the density of Earth's; this means the rotors on Ginny have to rotate at an incredibly high RPM—about 2500 rpm, I think Becky says.

This is a massive achievement, and it's almost enough to make me forget how crappy we human beings are here on Earth.  I wonder where we go from here.

America's true national debt?

How big is the US national debt?  Mind you, this is different from the national deficit, which is a year-on-year figure.  The debt refers to the nation's total accumulated debt.  Many sources will give you a figure of 20-something trillion dollars.  A few years ago, the number was around $22 trillion—a debt inherited and added to by successive administrations.  These days, partly thanks to the massive economic shutdown caused by the US's incompetent reaction to the current pandemic, that number has ballooned to $28 trillion.

But according to a nonprofit firm called TIA (Truth in Accounting, not transient ischemic attack), the actual figure for the US's national debt is—get this—around $123 trillion.  That's four to five times the usual estimate, which is already colossal.  Per this Epoch Times article, the US's true national debt subdivides into a debt of almost $800,000 per taxpayer.  (I assume the term "taxpayer" therefore excludes people too young to be in the active workforce.  I further assume that retired seniors, despite not working, do pay their taxes.)  Here's an excerpt:

America’s national debt now exceeds $123 trillion, according to a new report, or more than four times the official figure of $28 trillion, as calculated by the U.S. Treasury Department at the end of March.

Federal spending related to the CCP virus pandemic and economic lockdown added nearly $10 trillion to the total in 2020, according to the latest edition of the “Financial State of the Union 2021” report, compiled and published annually by Chicago-based nonprofit Truth in Accounting (TIA).

But spending amid the pandemic represents only a small portion of the total difference between the official government figure and TIA’s calculation.

“Our measure of the government’s financial condition includes reported federal assets and liabilities, as well as promised, but not funded, Social Security and Medicare benefits,” the report stated.

“Elected and non-elected officials have made repeated financial decisions that have left the federal government with a debt burden of $123.11 trillion, including unfunded Social Security and Medicare promises.”

The TIA report includes in its total debt calculation $55.12 trillion in unfunded Medicare benefits and $41.20 trillion in unfunded Social Security benefits.

Treasury officials don’t include unfunded benefits because they claim recipients have no right to future payments, only to those under current entitlement laws.

The total debt, according to the report, “equates to a $796,000 burden for every federal taxpayer. Because the federal government would need such a vast amount of money from taxpayers to cover this debt, it received an ‘F’ grade for its financial condition.”

Some people assert that "debt is what drives a healthy economy."  What nonsense.  I don't buy into that.  The golden rule is Don't spend beyond your means, and unfortunately, the US is way past the point of no return in its heedless drive to deficit-spend the money of future generations.  What can be done to pare down this debt?  Anything?