“Cultural Appropriation”, WokeSpeak and Other Left-Wing Canards

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

In George Orwell’s classic novel “1984,” the inhabitants of Oceania are encouraged by the Party to transition to Newspeak, a language designed to make modes of speaking, writing, and thought opposed to Party rule not merely difficult but outright impossible.  For example, passages from the Declaration of Independence could not be translated into Newspeak in accordance with their original meaning but instead would be translatable as “crimespeak.”

Like Big Brother and the Party in “1984,” the New Left in the United States today is endeavoring to transform the English language into new forms that fit New Left ideologies.  In addition to furthering the New Left’s ideology, the use of terms having the New Left’s seal of approval serves as (1) a form of virtue-signaling, and (2) a showing of obedience to the Marxist totalitarians who make up the New Left (analogous to a wilderness hiker who during the Plandemic is dutifully wearing his or her obedience mask even though no other human being is within one-half of a mile).  This seems to be especially the case in the leftist-infested world of academia.  Conversely, any failure to use New Left-approved language opens up the user to losing his or her job to the depraved woke fanatics who make up Cancel Culture.

As an example of what now may be properly termed “WokeSpeak,” consider the recent substitution of “enslaved people” for the English term that has been used for centuries, namely, “slaves.”  I can recall being taught that one should never use two words where one word will do.  Substituting “enslaved people” for “slaves” obviously violates this basic rule.  We might also ask what “enslaved people “ are being distinguished from.  Enslaved porcupines?  Enslaved e coli  ?

The truth of the matter is that WokeSpeak requires the use of “enslaved people” and prohibits the use of the more straightforward term “slaves” because “enslaved people” emphasize victimhood — “these poor people have been enslaved!”  Victimhood is a key part of the New Left’s false narrative; it is something the New Left wants to broadcast in order to advance its Manichaean vision of a world consisting of the oppressed and the oppressors.  The New Left’s intent is to create a country where all the “oppressed” classes vote the New Left into political power and are joined by those who normally would be in the oppressor category (classic examples being straight white males in general and white male corporate CEOs in particular) except for the fact that they are willing to grovel to the New Left and to apologize and beg forgiveness for being white.  This process is starting early in life.  Consider the case of third- and fourth-grade school children who are expected to apologize to their teacher and the rest of the class for being part of an “oppressor” class by reason of their skin color.  Elsewhere, we have the drumbeat for “reparations,” where those who never owned slaves are expected to pay money to those who never were slaves (but retain their membership in the “oppressed class” because some of their distant ancestors happened to be slaves).

In addition to substituting WokeSpeak for ordinary English usage to further its sinister objective of destroying America, the New Left — taking a page from Cancel Culture — prefers that certain English words not be used at all.  This has been going on for some time.  A short person is actually “vertically challenged.”  A fat person is “horizontally challenged.”  One of the more recent examples of word-holing involves the use of the word “chief.”  The use of this seemingly innocuous word is allegedly verboten because it is “cultural appropriation” and therefore a mortal insult to American Indians.

Now, one might ask, do American Indians actually object to the use of the term “chief”?  Apparently, no surveys have yet been conducted on this topic.  However, the Washington Post conducted a survey in 2016 on the much more loaded term “redskin” (as in the football team formerly named the “Washington Redskins).  It turns out that of the  504 American Indians surveyed, only about one of ten found the term “redskin” offensive.

For the New Left, though, the reality is that the views of real live American Indians on this subject count for little.  What really counts are the views of the little Hitlers and little Stalins who make up today’s New Left — such views hinging almost entirely on whether banning the use of the term “chief” or “redskin” will whip up the enthusiasm of their voter base.  If the “oppressed class” can be enlarged — even though many of those classified as “oppressed” do not actually see themselves as “oppressed”- so much the better.

On the topic of cultural appropriation, notice the howls from the New Left when a person who is not an American Indian plays an American Indian in a Hollywood movie or TV show.  Contrast this with modern Shakespearean plays where King Lear or Hamlet is played by a non-white person.  Where is all that criticism about “cultural appropriation” then?  There is none.  Crickets.  It simply doesn’t fit the narrative.

Another crusade of the New Left in the language sphere is to change the meaning of the word “woman.”  (Really — I am not making this up!)  The new preferred term for those who are born female is “pregnant people.”  The New Left is concerned that use of the word “woman” in accordance with its historic, traditional meaning has negative implications for transgender women.  According to the New Left, “women” includes not only those born females but also those who are born male who chooses to “identify” as female.  If you were wondering during the Ketanji Brown Jackson Supreme Court nominee hearings why Judge Jackson was unable to define the term “woman” (“I’m not a biologist”, or something along those lines), you can readily see that she understood the risks of adhering to common sense, defining the term in a sensible manner and thereby mortally offending the Woke Left.  We can pass over the obvious fact that “pregnant people” fails spectacularly as a substitute for “women”:  people who are born female and who are not currently pregnant are by definition not “pregnant people”; people who are born female and have passed the age of menopause cannot be “pregnant people.”  But none of this matters to the New Left.  For a political class that believes mathematics is racist, it should not come as a surprise that they are more than willing to trash common sense and logic if it enables them to create new opportunities for virtue-signaling and a show of obedience by their acolytes.  Expect the term “pregnant people” to appear in print far more often, first in academic journals and articles, and then filtering down to internet postings and old-fashioned (but newly Marxist) newspapers.

How should we respond to the New Left’s attempt to jam WokeSpeak down the throats of the American public?  The best response, I would suggest, is satire and comedy.  Let’s make WokeSpeak as big a farce as political correctness has proven to be.  Even the most ardent Marxist of the New Left now hesitates to substitute the term “vertically challenged” for “short.”  A small victory for common sense.  The pen and the internet video are mightier than the sword — see the “Libs of Tiktok.”

A World Turned Upside Down

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

When Cornwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown, the band played a tune called “The World Turned Upside Down”. We could use some of that music today.

As I quietly celebrate a new national holiday called “Juneteenth”. I am grateful for the opportunity to have another chance to feel guilty about something. Another reminder that we are all racists never does any harm, does it? A holiday is a great time to feel bad, or at least sad. I always feel terrible at Thanksgiving about what we have done to turkeys.

The prices of Bitcoins and all the rest of the crypto-nonsense are hurtling down the drain, yet the business media pretends these are just stocks seeking to “find a bottom”. How about zero? Nevertheless, some “expert” just trotted out a poll showing that 70% believe that Bitcoins are “trustworthy”. What does that even mean? People can be trustworthy; fantasies, not so much.

Another report shows the price of jet fuel up 128% in the last year. Airlines are about to jack up prices again. Yet everyone seems ready to fly somewhere, even though incomes are lagging further and further behind inflation. My guess is that credit card defaults will soon be spiking.

The airlines have canceled tens of thousands of flights this weekend, citing staffing problems. The Administration’s Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttijug, is threatening to fine the airlines if they don’t hire more people. Maybe they should train some of those homeless people to fly. Many of them already take self-activated trips every day. Pistol Pete neglected to mention that the main reason for the cancellations was the short-staffing of the Government’s own air traffic controllers. All those kids playing video games should make ideal air traffic controllers.

The Secretary has been touting the excellence of AMTRAK. Yet, when he had a flight between DC and NYC canceled, he drove instead. I wonder why?

Based on the latest statistics, it appears we will have a new record: over 2 million illegals coming to the U.S. this year. Now the Administration is planning to bus them further from the border, giving large cities an opportunity to host more people who committed a crime getting here and no one knows how many more beforehand. Their major contribution seems to be that they keep our supply of fentanyl growing.

A decision on overturning Roe v Wade is due any day now. It seems clear that the case was wrongly decided on legal grounds many years ago. Each State will now get to decide what they want. A lot of misery is coming, but as long as the lawyers have won, we should all be happy. Who better to make moral decisions than lawyers? Politicians?

The price of a barrel of oil has come down from the stratosphere. Don’t celebrate just yet. The price of gasoline has little to do with Russia and the war. Years of reducing investment in exploration for new sources have guaranteed a supply deficiency for years to come. Even the Saudis don’t have an inexhaustible supply. We do, but we don’t want to continue to depend on our own supply. Some think it better to be dependent on foreign supply. The Germans believed it a good idea to depend on Russian gas and now look at the mess they are in.

The President says the fault is the greedy oil companies. Having never actually been in business himself, he apparently does not know that companies make investment decisions based on expected profitability. Who in his right mind would make a decision to invest when the President of the U.S. is determined to put you out of business and continually issues Executive Orders aimed at facilitating your demise? In fact, Biden is so determined to kill the U.S. oil industry that he goes begging to our enemies to please pump more oil in order to keep the price down. The only logical conclusion is that he sees the destruction of hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs in the U.S. as an unavoidable consequence of making us the leader in the attempt to halt climate change.

His own spending binge caused the current bout of inflation, the worst since Jimmy Carter’s feckless presidency. Spending has to be financed, and since we could not find the money elsewhere, it fell to the Treasury and the Fed to just print the money. Flooding the country with too much money is what causes inflation, not greedy oil companies.

Biden’s answer is to combat climate change and inflation by stimulating the development of electric vehicles, and wind and solar power. As always, the question is how all this change will be financed and how major practical problems will be solved. He promises to put charging stations every 50 miles along the nation’s highways, apparently unaware that there are long stretches in the West that have no way to bring electric power to run the charging stations. And let’s not forget that his Transportation Secretary wants to tear down parts of the Interstate Highway System because they bulldozed black neighborhoods when they were constructed in the 1950s.

We are told that inflation will soon subside, even though it keeps increasing. It will be interesting to see what the Social Security benefits increase will be for 2023. One thing is sure. The number will be manipulated downward using technical esoterica in justification. It won’t be the first time, nor the last. The Social Security System simply can’t raise benefits by 8% without the Fed having to print more money.

I laugh when various experts come on TV to debate the “possibility” of a recession. Open your eyes, guys! We are already in one. All the talk of “soft landings” is pure balderdash. Inflation will moderate eventually but forget quickly. I frequently eat lunch with a friend at Otro Café, a local restaurant that serves the best tacos in Phoenix. Like many men, we always have the same thing. For a long time, the price of our lunch for two was $35. This past week it was $48. Same meal, same tax, same % tip. That is a 37% increase. I could quote similar increases in other restaurants, One restaurant’s takeout price was $48 during COVID, $60 now. Same meal. This can’t continue. Demand destruction is just around the corner.

Suppose that prices just stay high. If the public won’t support higher prices, and they just stay the same, isn’t that a lower rate of inflation? Yes. If only…!  In reality, wages have fallen quite a bit in relation to inflation. Workers need to catch up, and the sudden interest in unionization in places like Amazon, Apple, and Starbucks suggests that workers feel the need for unions to make them whole again. Of course, increasing wages means pressure to increase prices in order to keep the business going. And so, inflation does not just go away.

In the long sweep of history, there are two facts that we need to keep in mind as we lurch from one insanity to another.

We have been fortunate to have lived our lives in a relatively small number of years when the climate of planet Earth has been exceptionally favorable to life, agriculture, and to prosperity. Continuance is not an inevitability. But neither is our ability to materially change geophysical realities. Climate change is real, but it is not man’s fault, nor can we do as much to change what we don’t like as we would like to think. Exaggeration of facts is not the way to sound responses.

Empires have frequently risen and fallen. Ours is not necessarily immortal. With enough arrogance and stupidity, we could actually hasten the fall of the most productive and free world power the world has ever known. There is always “another side” in a debate. When the major objective of politics is the annihilation of opposition, the final outcome may well be the annihilation of all. Neither Republicans nor Democrats seem to recognize that at this time.

I Just Got Back from a Trip

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

To Saturn. I was there for six years. Boy, have things changed. I am not talking about Joe Biden being President which is shocking enough. I am referring to the fact that the hottest issue in America is not even climate change. It is people changing gender, what gender you are, how you refer to yourself, and teaching children about their gender identity. Wow, things sure changed while I was gone.

When I left, the country was just adjusting to the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage. Many people were delighted and the issue of being gay was now a thing of the past. From 1969 to 2015, not even 50 years, Gays went from The Stonewall Riots to being fully accepted. People didn’t care anymore whether someone was gay except for the odd person behind the tree. I had not cared for a long time as certified by the fact my Best Man at my wedding in 1986 was and is gay.

When I left for Saturn, the entire issue was settled. I returned to a massive uproar. I knew the Sparks song All You Ever Think About is Sex, but I figured it was obscure, now it had taken over the nation.

The groups supporting gay rights and gay marriage did not want to say, “we won, we are done.” So, they found a new cause – Transgenders. Thus, these activists are still in business and raising more money than ever. I asked many others if they ever thought there would be so much focus on such a small group of people, and they just looked at me in amazement that this has happened.

The problem is if you are not on board with people changing their gender, you are branded a bigot. Most people do not care if someone wants to change genders, they just do not want to hear about it and they do not want to pay for it.

A fracas broke out about males becoming females and participating in either high school or college sports. When anyone questioned the right to do so, they were branded a bigot. Here is something I noticed when I returned – not one of the people who were against former males participating in women’s sports had ever argued against former females participating in male sports. Why is that? If they only argued one way because they said it was unfair to the female athletes to compete against former males, can you really brand them a bigot? Doesn’t that provide validation that they are not arguing against Transgenders but instead arguing for fairness in sports competition?

Discussion about gender has become all the rage. What you call yourself is now a thing. When I left people referred to each other as men or women, he or she, her or him. Now there is a laundry list of names you can call yourself. There are new terms like “cisgender.” Who makes this stuff up? Don’t they have real jobs? And all the pronouns. And stating what you want (preferred) to be called. I was referred to a professor at U.C. Berkeley who is the sister of a childhood friend. I went on her Wiki page which stated her preferred pronoun was “They.” I read her bio and was deeply confused by the references made every time “They” was used. It reminded me of when people used to use the royal “We.” Our response looking at the person was always “What, do you have a mouse in your pocket?”

Boy, have things changed. It seems it is now mandatory to teach children about gender identity even as early as kindergarten. We used to focus young children on other matters like getting an education and learning how to read. One state decided that teachers may not discuss the matter with kids 5-8 years old and World War III broke out. I saw a video of three grown women skipping down a hallway arm-in-arm saying “Gay, Gay, Gay.” What has happened folks? Do six-year-olds need to hear this stuff? Will it not just confuse them? Can’t they just be kids? They will have plenty of time to deal with these matters and choose their preferred pronouns. In the end, isn’t that the role of their parents to discuss this with their children?

Then I saw a video of a teacher saying that because of this law he could not share the weekend activities he had with his gay partner with his students. I do not have a perfect memory, but I searched back in it and could not think of an instance where a teacher conveyed anything about their personal life to me. Not even when I was president of the School of Business at San Diego State and spent hours and hours with professors and the Dean. Certainly, my third-grade teacher never discussed even going to see the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra with George Szell or the Indians or Browns. It just did not happen, and I cannot see a reason it should. My, have things changed.

Yes, coming back from Saturn was shocking. Not only was all this going on, but the Chicago Cubs had won a World Series. Now we know the world has totally been turned upside down.

Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema And The ‘Secret Weapon’ She Uses On GOP Men

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Editors’ Note: While we were attempting to keep abreast of Arizona political developments, we could not avert our glance from this story related to our Senior Senator from Arizona. As the titular head of the supposed maverick center, perhaps only she could draw attention to the chasm between both sides. It would seem her ways of catching the attention of political opponents are rather conventional for such a liberated feminist. It is about the same method used by cocktail waitresses at a sports bar. We don’t fault her for using all the attributes she can bring to a conversation. In this time of separation between the two parties, cleavage it would seem can be a powerful tool to bring the parties together, yet separate. Is this a sexist thing for her to be bragging about, especially if you think that men are sexist?  It would appear so. But, it would seem that many Republican Senators admire her… and her convictions. But if she has got something to get off her chest, we understand why she would seek their attention. Personally, we think such attraction to her ideas could be stimulating to some Republicans but cleavage may not be enough to close the partisan divide. Yet you would think Arizona could do better than Kelly and Sinema. What a pair!

This Will Not Pass,” the new book written by two New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, has spilled the beans on quite a few Democrats.

Jill Biden telling then-candidate Kamala Harris to “go f**k yourself,” and the rocky relationship between President Joe Biden and now Vice President Kamala Harris was among the revelations.

Now, the duo is telling on another Democrat, Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Apparently, the good Senator has, well, a strategy for getting Republican men to see things her way.

The Sinema Strategy

According to excerpts from the book, Sinema “boasted knowingly to colleagues and aides that her cleavage had an extraordinary persuasive effect on the uptight men of the GOP.”

While Sinema might not be as far left as say, AOC, it is usually liberal women who can spot the slightest whiff of sexism in our ‘patriarchal’ society.

Perhaps when the book comes out, we will get some of the anecdotes from Sinema about who was mesmerized by her cleavage, and what she used her secret weapon to accomplish.

 

Has the American Culture Hit Bottom?

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

It’s difficult to see it getting any lower than the Brazilian Butt Lift

This might not be news to many Americans, but being an oddball disconnected from the pop culture and trends du jour, it was news to me—and shocking and distressing news at that. I’m speaking of the Brazilian Butt Lift and other medical procedures that have been developed to make women’s butts the size and shape of two side-by-side beach balls.  

It might have something to do with the Kardashians. I don’t know their claim to fame but know they are trend-setters and have seen photos of them and their heavy makeup, greasy hair and beach balls.

Mariana van Zeller recently exposed the big business of big butts on her show “Trafficked.” My wife and I had our mouths agape while watching the episode.  

Given his natural interest in rear ends, our dog was also fascinated by the show. Thank goodness we don’t have a bull as a pet, for he would’ve eloped with the TV.

The Brazilian Butt Lift entails the surgical removal of fat from some parts of the body and reinserting it in the buttocks.  The center of this industry is in Miami, where the procedure is done in surgery storefronts in strip malls, for both American and foreign customers. It’s a bloody, dangerous procedure. Women have died during the operation.

Another procedure for blowing up butts like a beach ball is silicone injections, which are popular in many cities. Like the Brazilian Butt Lift, the injections can have medical complications. They also can lead to severe scarring that requires expensive corrective operations by skilled surgeons.

One scene was filmed inside a high-end strip club in Atlanta, where the dancers pay $1,000 per night to the club and can get ten times as much in tips. According to the dancers interviewed for the show, nine of ten of them have gotten the silicone injections. New dancers have to be inspected in the nude before being allowed to dance at the club, to make sure that they have butts of the proper size and shape. Meat inspectors at a meat-packing plant come to mind.

To use the silly-sounding lingo of the times, all of the women featured on the segment were “people of color.” 

One of the women was a former man, who was shown with her naked butt being injected with silicone. Using a popular word of the day, she said that like a lot of people in the transsexual “community,” she had always wanted a curvaceous body.

Maybe some of the featured women were naturally pretty, but with their heavy makeup, fake eyelashes the size of brooms, grotesque tattoos, corpulence, and inarticulateness, there was nothing attractive about them. They oozed shallowness and insecurity. No doubt, the men who find them attractive are even shallower.  

Of course, in keeping with journalistic protocols, van Zeller was careful to tell the women that she wasn’t passing judgement on them. After all, being judgmental is a taboo in America among the commentariat, literati, and intelligentsia. 

Fortunately, it’s not a taboo in my family. If I were to tell my wife that I wanted to get silicone injections in my Roman nose to make it even larger, she’d tell me that I should get psychiatric help. The same if I were to announce one day that I was Henry the Eighth and began parading around in sixteenth century outfits. For sure, she would have me institutionalized if I started to call her Anne Boleyn and practiced splitting open watermelons with a sword on a chopping block in the backyard.  

A glaring societal contradiction can’t be explained. On the one hand, the demeaning of women is tolerated—not only by means of the Brazilian Butt Lift but also in popular entertainment. Take a song by a female “artist” that won a Grammy last year. The lyrics are so disgusting that they won’t be quoted here, but suffice it to say that the song is about a wet and large female body part.  

On the other hand, there has been the equal rights movement, the #MeToo movement, the push to get women into positions of power, and the canceling and firing of powerful and influential men who couldn’t keep their hands off women. Having been at the vanguard of the equal rights movement, I know that the goal wasn’t to bring women down to the locker-room standards of adolescent males.

Perhaps the trend of butt injections will run its course and eventually lose air, like a punctured beach ball. But if other trends are a guide, it will first metastasize into something worse. Tattoos are an example.  They began as a small personal expression on an arm or leg but spread into sleeve tattoos, neck tattoos, and face tattoos. What was seen as a sign of individuality and rebelliousness has become a sign of groupthink and conformity.  Even more inexplicable, people who are compulsive about not consuming chemicals with their food are okay with having chemicals injected in their skin to draw permanent tattoos.

Now women are having chemicals injected in their butts, similar to Thanksgiving turkeys being injected with chemicals by turkey companies to make them plumper.

Has the American culture hit bottom with butt injections? Don’t count on it.   

 

 

The CEO

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Suppose you own a substantial number of shares – say, $500,000 worth – in Acme Corp., a manufacturer of home furnishings. And being a shareholder, you decide to attend the corporation’s annual meeting. You arrive early for a good seat, eager to hear what Acme’s president and CEO, Mr. Jones, has to say.

Taking the podium after a warm introduction by the chairman of Acme’s board, Jones looks out earnestly at the shareholders assembled before him. He begins by assuring everyone that, while Acme is confronting many real challenges, he and his executive team have matters firmly in hand.

Jones then goes into some detail. He mentions the unexpectedly high and rising costs of Acme’s factory operations. “This problem is real, but we’ve diagnosed it. The problem in part is caused by our suppliers’ greed. Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed that the greed of these scoundrels has intensified. My team and I will lecture these anti-Acme people in hopes of diminishing their greed. As I’m sure everyone in this room knows, a major source of high and rising costs is greed. We will combat it!”

But we won’t stop there! In addition, we’ll dramatically reduce the amount of supplies that we purchase from other firms. I mean, why buy stuff from others when we can make these things in-house, right?! Although Acme is a furniture maker, we’ll stop buying our tools, delivery vehicles, electricity, and insurance from other companies. We’ll produce, in addition to furniture, these goods and services in-house. We’ll make our own lathes and other tools, manufacture our own delivery vehicles, build and operate an electricity-generating facility to generate our own electricity, and we’ll self-insure. In fact, I’m happy to announce that just yesterday we completed the purchase of a humongous ranch so that we can raise our own cattle to make the leather that we use to upholster many of our sofas and chairs. We’ll save beaucoup bucks and better secure our supply lines by doing these things in-house!

Jones continues: “Oh, here’s the best part. Our electricity-generating facility will generate electricity exclusively from beetle dung. You heard me right: beetle dung! The planet has lots of beetles! Of course, we haven’t yet figured out how to cost-effectively generate electricity with beetle dung, but so what, right? I just feel that it’s better to use beetle dung, what with the earth having so many beetles. We’ll make it happen! So count on us to reliably power our factories with electricity generated from beetle dung!

Jones is getting excited. “Now as for the supplies that we’ll continue to buy from outside companies, we’ll demand – as a condition of doing business with us – that these companies break themselves up into smaller operations in order to eliminate their monopoly power. Their monopoly power is one reason why our costs are skyrocketing; it’s what keeps our suppliers from reducing the prices they charge us.

“But – and this point is important, people! – we’ll also demand that our suppliers not reduce by too much the prices they charge us. We want to ensure that other suppliers have a fair chance of competing against our current suppliers. We’ll not purchase supplies from any supplier whose prices are too low to allow less-efficient rivals to compete successfully against them.

“Finally,” CEO Jones concludes, “from now on our official policy for hiring employees – especially to fill senior-level positions – will be to look first and foremost at applicants’ skin color and genitalia. Only job candidates who have what I decree to be the most pleasing skin color and genitalia will be hired by Acme Corp.! All other qualifications will be secondary.”

You sit there, stunned.

Any questions?” asks CEO Jones.

You raise your hand. He calls on you. You ask Jones why he authorized the borrowing of an unprecedentedly large amount of money last year to be spent mostly in ways that have nothing to do with improving Acme’s ability to produce and sell furniture.

“C’mon man,” Jones snaps, “that’s not true! We spent every penny of those funds to improve Acme’s infrastructure.

You press on by listing some of the projects that consumed millions of dollars of these borrowed funds: yoga studios, wine-tasting bars, a luxury hotel in the Alps, and a petting zoo filled with exotic animals.

Jones stares at you for a brief moment in faux puzzlement, before answering: “You got a problem with those projects? Let me tell you something, man, those projects are essential – essential! – for increasing Acme’s long-term productivity. Our employees need to exercise at the yoga studios, unwind at the bar, decompress in the Alps, and calm their frazzled nerves at the petting zoo. Those projects will repay themselves twenty – hell, twenty-two-hundred – times over!”

You dash out of the meeting to tell your broker to sell all of your Acme shares immediately.

In reality, of course, no private corporation would ever be run as irresponsibly as Jones runs Acme Inc. Indeed, even to contemplate such a degree of cluelessness, incompetence, and fraudulence in a corporate CEO is nearly impossible.

Yet after beholding now for more than a year the presidency of Joe Biden, I think it fair to say that he, the real-world president of the United States of America, is as clueless, as incompetent, and as fraudulent as is Jones, the imaginary CEO of Acme Inc. If you disbelieve me, read Biden’s 2022 State of the Union address. It proves my case.

Of course, Biden isn’t unique. American presidents – and state governors, and big-city mayors – have long peddled nonsense to their constituents. These politicians continue to get away with their destructive fraudulence for three main reasons. First, unlike shareholders in a private corporation, it’s extremely difficult for a citizen of a political jurisdiction (especially at the national level) to escape. Second, unlike executives of a private corporation, government officials can implement their policies, and cover up much of the evidence of their failure, by using coercion.

The third reason is that – unlike shareholders, customers, and suppliers of private corporations – many citizens of political jurisdictions believe that duly appointed government leaders have powers to work miracles. The belief is distressingly widespread that coercion deployed by government officials can work such wonders as making low-skilled workers worth more than they are really worth by enacting minimum-wage statutes, miraculously multiply domestic resources by borrowing and spending money, and increase citizens’ access to goods and services by denying citizens access to goods and services offered for sale by non-citizens.

With such bizarre beliefs being so widespread, it’s no wonder that millions of Americans can listen to the likes of Joe Biden and think “Yeah! Our national government is in the hands of a competent CEO!”

*****

This article was published by AIER, The American Institute for Economic Research, and is reproduced with permission.

Duck, Cover, and Mask Up.

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

For the better part of 70 years, the only advice the government offered to people under immediate threat of nuclear violence was “duck and cover.” Generations of schoolchildren were led to believe that if they just got under their desks fast enough, they might well survive to experience nuclear winter. Thankfully, we finally have an update which brings nuclear preparedness in line with 2020s sensibilities. Just a few days ago, the federal government updated its nuclear strike guidance on ready.gov, a website that an unseen technocrat assures us is an official website of the United States government. Given the quality of the advice therein offered, it’s hard to see how anyone would doubt its pedigree.

Neither “Putin” nor “Russia” appears anywhere on the page, but it doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines. That said, it looks like geniuses are in short supply in Washington, DC. Again.

The instructions start on relatively safe, if obvious grounds. “Nuclear explosions can cause significant damage and casualties from blast, heat, and radiation,” we learn. Alas, it’s all downhill from there.

There are things we can do, we are told, to keep ourselves and our families safe. But first, we are warned, “A nuclear explosion may occur with or without a few minutes warning.” After this pearl of wisdom we are advised to get inside, and stay inside.

And once we are inside?

Stay inside for 24 hours unless local authorities provide other instructions. Continue to practice social distancing by wearing a mask and by keeping a distance of at least six feet between yourself and people who not (sic) part of your household.

So yes. If you happen to be among the lucky few not vaporized in a nuclear strike launched by unknown perpetrators, you should immediately reestablish your fear of Covid-19, the virus of unknown origin.

In the words of David Byrne, “Same as it ever was.”

*****

This article was published by AIER, American Institute for Economic Research and is reproduced with permission.

Cognitive Dissonance at Amazon

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Employees see themselves as enlightened about diversity but are members of a race-based employee group.

I’m such an oddball that Amazon is incapable of pigeonholing me when it recommends books to buy. Netflix has the same problem when it recommends movies.

Amazon’s logarithms can’t seem to fathom from my extensive book-buying history that I don’t care about an author’s color, ethnicity, nationality, ideology, biological sex, preferred gender, preferred pronouns, sexual preferences, or preferred positions during sex. 

With a preference for nonfiction, I just care that a book is intelligent, enlightening, unbiased, and not marred by partisanship, political agendas, or racial agendas.

So, here’s an email message I recently received from Amazon:

In celebration of Black History Month, we spoke to members of Amazon’s Black Employee Network (BEN) and asked them to share some of the books they think should be on everyone’s must-read list. These books are written by Black authors, and explore the multitudes within the community through the voices of Black protagonists —Stacie Pamon, Program Manager, Diversity Marketing & Communications

Below are two of the books listed by Stacie Pamon, each with a critique by a member of BEN:

Black Buck

by Mateo Askaripour

As a Black cis-gender man working in tech sales for the last 10 years, I truly relate to Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour. Not only because the author says the novel was written just for Black readers about a Black man swept up in startup mania, but also because it’s an insanely fun ride for anyone in and out of sales. I believe other readers will also connect with Black Buck due to the book’s corporate situational humor with the main character—but what I appreciate most about the book is that it functions as a manual, with sales tips given throughout the story. After reading Black Buck, I have implemented the tips described in the book in my day-to-day sales role. —Leo T., Amazon Sales Lead, New York, NY

While We Were Dating

by Jasmine Guillory

As a long-time lover of romance novels, I often find myself scouring book lists in search of diverse, representational stories to devour. When I found The Wedding Date series, which follows a group of friends and family as they live life and explore the rocky road to love, I was instantly hooked. Now, I count down the days until Guillory releases another tale, and While We Were Dating was definitely worth the wait! I love how Guillory was able to focus on serious topics like mental health, working while Black, and body positivity, while still giving us a fun, light, and easy story. It was a welcome escape from the world outside, leaving me with warm fuzzies and a grin from ear to ear. —Stacie P., Program Manager, Seattle, WA

Apparently, Stacie P. is the same person as the Stacie Pamon in the opening indented paragraph. Anyway, I’m glad she has warm fuzzies and body positivity but am unclear how she squares diversity with a separate employee network for blacks.

Maybe Amazon also has separate networks for Jews, Bosnians, Egyptians, Turks, Iranians, Greeks, Italians, Walloons, Mongols, Apache, Comanche, and a hundred other minority groups that are different from the Anglo-Saxon Protestants of northern Europe who founded the country and got a head start on wealth and power.  

In his critique of Black Buck, Amazon Sales Lead Leo T. begins by identifying himself as a “cis-gender man.”  That’s about as relevant as if he had identified himself as right-handed instead of left-handed.

Unfortunately, it is relevant to a growing number of Americans.  It’s a way for Leo T. to signal to the like-minded that he is hip, trendy, and completely sold on today’s identity culture and language. 

Being in a closed feedback loop, he and Stacie probably see themselves as learned, enlightened, and open-minded about race, gender, and other litmus tests du jour. Yet they are proud members of a race-based group at Amazon.

Amazon sells three books that might help them with their intellectual contradictions:

Cognitive Dissonance: Reexamining a Pivotal Theory in Psychology, by Eddie Harmon

 The 2020s: A Decade of Cognitive Dissonance, by David Houle and Bob Leonard

A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, by Leon Festinger

On second thought, shame on me for recommending books to Stacie and Leo without identifying the race of the authors and whether their chosen gender matches or doesn’t match their birth sex.

A Perfect Name for Washington’s Football Team

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

They’re so out of touch that they don’t see the irony in the name “Washington Commanders.”

Our commanders in Washington, D.C., have named their football team after themselves. “Washington Commanders” is a perfect choice, given how they command the rest of the nation in what has become a de facto command-and-control economy and political system.

Other possibilities would’ve been just as apt, including “Washington Elites,” “Washington Plutocrats,” “Washington Scoundrels,” and “Washington Plunderers.”

It’s not surprising that the counties surrounding D.C. are some of the richest counties in America. What’s surprising is that Americans tolerate the disparity between their hometown and the nation’s capital.

Drilling down to the municipal level shows how wide the disparity is.

Take my adopted hometown of Tucson, Arizona. It has a poverty rate of 22.5% and a median household income of $43,425. By comparison, Chevy Chase, Maryland, has a poverty rate of 3.3% and a median household income of $181,929.

K-12 test scores track with income. So does crime.

No doubt, the residents of Chevy Chase pontificate about diversity and inclusion and oppose border restrictions. But their true sentiments about diversity can be seen in the fact that Hispanics comprise 6% of the population of Chevy Chase, versus 43.6% of the population of Tucson.

The local media in cities and towns throughout the provinces cheer when Amazon announces the building of a fulfillment center (warehouse) in their locale, to be staffed by workers earning between $15 and $20 per hour—a center that will reduce employment in brick-and-mortar retailers. But the provinces would be the last place that Jeff Bezos would choose to live or put a headquarters.

He put Amazon’s second headquarters next door to D.C. in Arlington, Virginia, where the median household income is $120,071. He didn’t put it in Wheeling, West Virginia, where the median household income is one-third of that.

Coincidentally or not, Bellevue, Washington, where Bezos started Amazon in his garage, to his credit, has a median household income almost identical to that in Arlington.

The Green Bay Packers is also an aptly-named team. Befitting the city’s blue-collar, industrial roots, the team was named after a meat-packing company. The average income in the city is $34,769, which pales in comparison to the average pay of $119,627 for federal employees in D.C., not counting benefits and the value of having almost absolute job security. No doubt, the approximately 12,000 lobbyists in D.C. are paid a lot more, on average.

Another apt name for Green Bay’s team would have been “The Green Bay Patsies,” considering how the commanders in Washington view the provincials. Actually, “Patsies” would be a good name for most teams outside of D.C.

Some Timely Satire: No Left-Wing Extremists in the US

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Judging by media coverage, there are only right-wing extremists.

Groucho Marx said that he didn’t want to be a member of any club that would have him. To paraphrase the comedian, I don’t want to be a member of any political tribe that would have me, especially not the control freaks who want to remake America into their extreme image and subjugate me and my loved ones and take our stuff and constitutional rights.

Thankfully, there are no longer any extremists on the left for me to guard against—at least according to the mediaExtremists only exist on the right.

That explains why the pejorative “right-wing” is used in the media ten times more or so than “left-wing.” It also explains why there has been an avalanche of stories about the threat of right-wing extremists and white supremacists and no stories about left-wing extremists and white Marxists.

One can only conclude that there is no one on the left like the Arizonan who, along with other numbskulls, stormed the Capitol wearing an animal skin and Viking horns—a freak who made me ashamed to be an Arizonan.

The unbathed, scraggly rioters in Portland, Seattle, Kenosha, and other cities must’ve been on the right, despite their claim that they were Antifa, or anti-fascists, because extremists are only on the right. 

Being learned people with an exceptional knowledge of history, the Antifa no doubt knows that the right is often the left, and vice versa. Journalists certainly know this, considering that they are even brighter and more versed in history than the Antifa, due to having a degree in the toughest major in college next to an education major.

Here’s a quick history lesson for the unlearned who don’t have the intellect of Antifa or journalists: The word “fascism” got its name in Italy from the bundle of sticks called “fasci,” a symbol of the collective nature of Benito Mussolini’s fascism. As with Hitler’s National Socialists, fascism was a combination of nationalism and socialism. The fascists may not have owned the means of production, but they didn’t have to, because they controlled the capitalists, which is the dream of control freaks like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Elizabeth Warren.

Are AOC and EW right-wingers?

More history: Starting with the Progressive Era in the early twentieth century and continuing for a few decades, white eugenicists led the powerful eugenics movement, which had the mission of stopping undesirables from reproducing, through forced sterilization and other measures. They called themselves progressives but must’ve been right-wingers in disguise, because progressives would never have resorted to such an abuse of government power.

Likewise, President Woodrow Wilson, a former Ivy League academic, called himself a progressive but must’ve been a right-winger. After all, no one on the left would’ve passed the Sedition Act and arrested reporters for speaking out against American soldiers being slaughtered in the First World War. Similarly, no one on today’s left would cancel people or get them fired for exercising their First Amendment right of free speech.

Senator Joe McCarthy was indeed a right-winger (and a drunk). He was so extreme that he went after lovey-dovey Kumbaya Americans who wanted to turn America into a Communist paradise like the Soviet Union and Red China, which, combined, starved and executed tens of millions of people. He is so vilified for what he did that the word “McCarthyism” is synonymous with “right-wing extremism.” Funny thing, though, the word “Wilsonism” or “eugenicism” did not enter the political lexicon as being synonymous with “left-wing extremism.”

All of this shows that the left is smarter than the right. Progressives and their fellow cadres in the copycat media have commandeered the language to their advantage and convinced America’s youth that the only threat to their freedom and well-being comes from the right.  

Speaking of right, Groucho Marx was indeed right. Americans should not want to be a member of a political tribe on either the right or left that harbors extremists, even if the tribe would have them.