Portland protest moonbattery, and a modest proposal to end it

One of the predictions I’ve repeated here is that the election of Joe Biden to the presidency will not appease the factions that burned America’s cities over this past summer.

That seems to be bearing out thus far. The Evil Orange Man of leftwing imagination is now gone, but the moonbats are still burning, looting, and disrupting traffic in Democrat-run cities like Portland and Seattle.

“Here’s why protesters say they’re gathering in Portland

Protesters again took to the streets of Portland, Oregon, on Thursday — the first full day of Joe Biden’s presidency — to let the Democratic establishment know they are still fighting for racial justice, some told CNN.

“We wanted to symbolize that both parties are the oppressor,” said a 25-year-old protester who wished not to be identified, fearing government reprisal. “We’ve all experienced firsthand that police violence is police violence regardless (of which political party holds power). … It doesn’t make a difference to the person being beaten.”

“For White people, maybe they feel there’s time to let the administration work, but for Black and Indigenous people who have had a rope around their neck, there is no time,” the protester said. “There’s no justice, so there is no peace.”

Blah, blah, blah.

The tone of the mainstream media is shifting, ever so slightly. While Trump was in office, the riots had a certain anti-Trump propaganda value. Weren’t the riots themselves evidence that Trump was taking America down a short road to the Fourth Reich?

Now that Biden and the Democrats are in control, though, the mainstream media no longer wants to lionize the brick-throwers and spray-painters quite so much. Even a CNN journalist—by no means the smartest organism on the planet—can recognize that all this chaos makes things much more difficult for the Democratic Party power structure. 

CNN has acknowledged in recent days that most of the protestors in Portland and Seattle are not “Black and Indigenous people” at all. They’re white Millennials and Zoomers from the suburbs. The rioters have merely glommed on to the grievances—both real and imagined— of “Black and Indigenous people”.

Why? You have to understand the rioters’ motivations. They are primarily motivated by hatred of two kinds. First of all: self-loathing. Secondly, hatred for the society that appears to reject them.

Most of the riotous activists are young (under 35, anyway). You can tell just by observing them that none of them was the captain of the cheerleading squad or the football team in high school. These are reasonably affluent kids who have nonetheless been on the outs their entire lives.

So they’ve banded together with other likeminded and like-backgrounded misfits, under pretensions of helping the less fortunate…by burning down the property of taxpayers and hardworking citizens. (Or, below: by stopping people with jobs from going to work.)

Every one of these blue-haired hooligans needs a good, old-fashioned spanking—nothing brutal, mind you, but merely the kind of therapeutic ass-paddling that the pointy heads phased out of childhood at the end of the last century. Afterward, they should be told, in no uncertain terms, that the jig is up: the rest of the world sees through their drivel, and will tolerate no more of it.

Then each one of them should be made to spend six months doing community service in a community where the majority of the population consists of “Black and Indigenous people”. Let them work in food banks. Let them paint houses and trim weeds. Let them bring meals to elderly shut-ins.

They would benefit immensely. They would learn what true community activism is. Many of them would also lose weight from doing physical labor—for the first time in their lives, for many of them.

At the end of those six months, each former Antifa/BLM activist could rejoin society. They would all be much better for it. And for the first time in their pitiable young lives, their actions would actually result in benefit to others.

Potheads, COVID, and public health

The Greenhouse of Walled Lake, a marijuana dispensary in Michigan, is offering “a free joint” to anyone who gets the COVID vaccine.

I’m sure their hearts are in the right place. (Well, maybe. Giving out free samples is the oldest marketing ploy in the world.) But smoking marijuana damages the lungs—just like those Marlboros and Winstons that we heard about for so many years. People with damaged lungs certainly aren’t going to be more resistant to COVID—or the next disease like it.

I’m old enough to remember the great campaign against tobacco from the late 1980s through the late 1990s. In this space I sometimes rail against postmodern tomfoolery, but not this time. The results of the antismoking movement of the late twentieth century were largely positive and salubrious.

I’ve lost two relatives to lung cancer. Both of them were smokers. At least one of them would likely still be alive today if he had never smoked his first cigarette. Millions of Americans—millions of people around the world, for that matter—have lost parents, grandparents, spouses, and even children to premature, tobacco-related deaths.

Nor do I miss the clouds of tobacco smoke that routinely ruined restaurant meals. Despite separate “smoking” and “nonsmoking” areas in dining establishments, the smoke itself seldom observed the boundaries set by the restaurant management. Many smokers, moreover, waxed obnoxious and self-entitled when smoking in public spaces.

But all that concern about cardiovascular health went out the window when the drive to legalize marijuana began in earnest about ten years ago. There are numerous health issues associated with smoking weed, and they’re no secret. Just ask the American Lung Association, or any other medical authority. No one out there is going to claim that smoking marijuana is good for you.

Why the collective cognitive dissonance on marijuana? Anyone old enough to remember the campaign against tobacco can see the ironies here. First we stamp out tobacco as if it were smallpox. Then we hasten to legalize and normalize marijuana as if it were the Great New Thing.

There were several reasons for this. The pot legalization crowd branded marijuana as something new and hip. Never mind that it had its heyday in the 1960s. Some folks will fall for anything if it is merely pitched as new and hip.

Secondly, the pro-weed crowd pointed out (correctly) that marijuana laws were often enforced unequally and arbitrarily. Some of the laws were also excessively harsh. In some conservative jurisdictions during the 1980s and 1990s, the mere possession of a small amount of marijuana could land you in jail.

Finally, there was money to be made. The much reviled Prohibition (1920 – 1933) banned a habit that almost all Americans practiced, to one degree or another. Recreational marijuana, by contrast, has traditionally been the pursuit of a small, worthwhileness-challenged minority.

But what if marijuana could be legalized…made into a truly mass-market product? Just think of the profits! Never mind the public health toll—especially on the young people who will inevitably pick up the habit.

I was never in favor of the severe penalties imposed on simple marijuana possession. But as is so often the case, our society has swung from one undesirable extreme, to its equally undesirable opposite. Treating marijuana like a weapon of mass destruction was overkill, by any estimation. But normalizing it and turning it into an industry was one of the dumbest things we’ve ever done.

I plan to get my COVID vaccine when it’s rolled out to the general population. But I’ll say to the folks at The Greenhouse of Walled Lake, with their offer of a free joint: thanks, but no thanks. Also realize: you and your industry peers have become the new RJ Reynolds and Phillip Morris; and with that comes the moral opprobrium once reserved for Big Tobacco.

Joe Biden: union man?

“Hard Hat Joe” fires his first salvo at working-class Americans

During the election, Joe Biden quipped on at least one occasion that he was a “union man”. Yes, and I’m the Dalai Lama. Talk, as has been famously observed, is cheap.

When I was a kid, in the 1970s and 1980s, the Democratic Party truly did represent the interests of labor unions and working Americans. Those were the days of Howard Metzenbaum and Richard Gephardt. Sometimes their proposals were impractical; but those old-line Democrats truly did care about the people who “work for a living”. I recall seeing Democratic Party television spots in the mid-1980s with the tagline, “lathe operators over Wall Street hotshots”.

Tell me: How many “lathe operators” is one likely to find at a Democratic Party event in 2021? One will mostly encounter liberal celebrities, journalists, and various identity politics activists.

The claims of “Hard Hat Joe” notwithstanding, the Democratic Party has long since ceased to be a workers’ party, and morphed into a party of boutique special interests. That’s why Donald Trump won the working-class vote by such a wide margin in both 2016 and 2020.

One of President Biden’s first executive orders was to nix the Keystone XL Pipeline. This will please the Sierra Club, the celebrity environmentalists (who flit around in private jets), and the blue- and pink-haired student activists who do not yet have a clue about how economies actually function.

Meanwhile, Biden’s order to rescind the Keystone permit will flush away at least 10,000 union jobs.

Bidenomics will almost certainly lead to higher fuel prices for working-class Americans, too. We will be producing less energy at home and importing more from Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Russia.

The celebrities spoke…and the gullible listened. (Source: Jennifer Aniston/Instagram)

But Jennifer Aniston will be so pleased! How much you want to bet that Aniston—who was paid more than $600K per episode for her role as “Rachel” on Friends, isn’t personally concerned about the potential of $4 per gallon gasoline?

If you are concerned about such a prospect and you voted Democrat in November, I hate to break this you….but you’ve just been had.

Yada, yada, yada.

Pelosi’s impeachment stunt

Breaking news: Nancy Pelosi is drawing up impeachment articles against Richard Nixon.

Well…she had might as well. Impeaching a president who has already left office is the ultimate act of political onanism. This will benefit no one, least of all President Biden.

As someone once said, “Move the $^$% on!”

Amazon, Fauci, Biden, COVID

Yesterday we learned that Amazon has offered to put its considerable logistical infrastructure at the disposal of the federal government, to aid in the distribution of the COVID vaccines.

Amazon made this offer on Inauguration Day, after Donald Trump’s term had officially ended. That might have been a coincidence—if you happen to be a very gullible person. It is doubtful that the idea came to Jeff Bezos suddenly on Wednesday.

Nor is it likely that President Trump would have turned down the offer, had it been made to him. President Trump showed a clear preference for private- over public-sector solutions.

Yesterday there was also a COVID-related press conference (above video), in which Anthony Fauci stood alone at the podium, presumably while President Biden took his afternoon nap.

As everyone will recall, President Trump insisted on being front-and-center during most of the COVID White House updates, often to his detriment. The press used these opportunities to ask belligerent questions, and Trump usually responded in kind.

In yesterday’s briefing, Dr. Fauci was clearly enjoying his new, enhanced role. That said, Fauci (unlike the average CNN journalist) is a professional and classy guy. The reporters in the room constantly tried to goad him into saying that he preferred working under Biden versus Trump. After several back-and-forth exchanges in which he demurred, Fauci finally acknowledged, in so many words, that he preferred working for Biden.

For the sake of my fellow Americans, I hope that the distribution of the COVID vaccine proceeds smoothly under the Biden administration. But yesterday’s news conference, and the timing of the Amazon announcement, demonstrate some stark truths about the Trump presidency.

Donald Trump was never the president of the Hollywood celebrity, the journalistic class, or the billionaire tech CEO. Donald Trump was the president of the forgotten American, in forgotten corners of the flyover states.

Donald Trump’s temperament was, in many ways, unsuited to high office. He made many mistakes during his time in the White House. But we saw yesterday further evidence of just how determined the representatives of the establishment, the elites, the “swamp”—whatever you want to call them—were to undermine him at every turn.

We can only wonder what Trump’s time in office might have been, had those same parties not worked against him from the outset. It’s hard to run the country with its most powerful agents actively working against you. And Donald Trump ultimately wasn’t up to that task.

Joe Biden and credit card economics

In case you missed it, the Dow Jones had a record rally yesterday, as Joe Biden was sworn in as president.

The stock market likes stability. Since November, the US political situation has been anything but stable. Now we have a new status quo, such as it is.

In the short term, President Biden will spend like a drunken sailor on shore leave, flooding the economy with cash.

Consumers will spend money.

Businesses will make money.

Then the problems will come.

Here’s an analogy. Suppose you max out your credit cards and take out several bank loans. In the short term, you will have the appearance and feeling of prosperity. You can acquire lots of new stuff. You’ll be flush with cash.

But that prosperity will be very temporary, because it’s built on a house of cards—credit cards.

The Biden economic plan is built on the government’s version of the credit card: debt and printing money. The Democrats will raise taxes; but they won’t be able to raise taxes enough to pay for all of their spending schemes.

The credit card bills will come due. Consider the personal analogy again: What would your financial situation look like, after an extended credit card- and loan-financed spending spree?

That is what President Biden and the Democrats are now doing to the US. As the government prints money to pay for its unsustainable spending, each dollar in the economy loses value.

In a worst-case scenario, the result could be hyperinflation. That is one of the chief risks of printing money to pay for unsupported government debt.

It’s happened before. Hyperinflation is what took down the economy of Weimar Germany (preceding the rise of Hitler). More recently, hyperinflation made Zimbabwe’s currency so worthless that its government had to print $100 trillion notes.

A Zimbabwean $100 trillion bill

CNN: not the way to heal the nation

As I said in my last post, Joe Biden was not my man in the 2020 election. That said, I’m willing to give him a chance and see how things go. At this point I wish him all the best. If Joe Biden succeeds, then America succeeds.

The immediate problem will not be Joe Biden, but the radicals who won’t let the Trump era go.

No, I’m not talking about the diehard Trumpists. I think you’ll find that very few Trump voters are interested in causing real trouble, now that the Biden administration is a fait accompli .

But consider this headline from CNN:

CNN headline, Inauguration Day 2021

As Barack Obama famously said (and later regretted, perhaps): Elections have consequences.

Indeed they do. Joe Biden’s agenda will be very different from Trump’s. We’ll see how it works out.

In the meantime, though, CNN could do much to heal the nation if its journalists didn’t begin every headline over the next hundred days with a jab at Trump, and his former voters.

Meanwhile, over at Moonbat Central

Meanwhile, over at Daily Kos (aka ‘Moonbat Central’) they’re worried about an impending Trump coup, or “shadow government”, or whatever. So they want to fill the news with vindictive, pointless indictments and investigations of Trump and his former officials.

Daily Kos is the leftward lunatic fringe of the media. CNN is merely filled with immature incompetents. Hopefully there are still a few adults in charge over at the network Ted Turner founded. Our nation does need healing; and someone needs to restore CNN’s status as the serious news outlet it once was.

It’s President Biden now

I did not vote for Joe Biden, but I hope and pray for his success. Because to do otherwise would be kind of like shooting myself—and everyone I care about—in the foot.

Most of all, I would like to see America return to the centrist politics that prevailed for most of my lifetime. One thing I liked about growing up and coming of age in the America of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s was that you could ignore politics most of the time.

Over the last few months, I’ve lost not many—but at least two or three—friends over politics. It didn’t used to be like that.

My maternal grandfather was a lifelong Democrat. (I kept waiting for him to grow out of it, but he never did.) We bet on every election. Sometimes I won, sometimes he did, but it never affected our relationship.

He’s been gone since 1998, and I still miss him every day. I actually look back warmly on our old political debates.

That’s the way it should be. The partisan divide of the twenty-first century has not been normal, healthy, or productive for America. Perhaps we can all agree on that.

CNN will be even worse under Biden

Sometime between the George W. Bush and Obama years, CNN ceased to be a genuine news organization, and drifted into leftwing advocacy journalism. Individuals in the media generally did not like George W. Bush. And every one of them was giddy over the idea of America’s first black president.

During the 2016 election season, though, CNN’s tone became shriller, more unabashedly partisan. If the press disliked George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Sarah Palin, the press absolutely loathed Donald Trump. They made no bones about their biases.

Trump, CNN, and “fake news”

And Donald Trump disliked them back. Trump had no interest in currying favor with journalists. Trump accused the mainstream media of being biased against Republicans. He called them “fake news”.

CNN responded by taking even more liberties with the truth, and becoming even more partisan in their reporting. By the start of 2020, the relationship between President Trump and the mainstream media had deteriorated into an open feud.

We saw stark evidence of this during the early reporting of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the start of the pandemic, the press framed every news story with an anti-Trump angle. This sometimes made for tragicomic results.

CNN immediately dismissed certain COVID treatments simply because President Trump was bullish on them. Democratic politicians used their bully pulpits to pile on President Trump. Trump was a buffoon, an idiot, we were told. His ideas were stupid!

Then, in at least a few documented cases, Democratic governors quietly asked the federal government for those very same treatments. Before long, most viewers recognized that CNN’s COVID-19 reporting was more about politics than medicine or science.

Source: CNN broadcast
CNN’s new role in the Biden era

But today Joe Biden will move into the White House. While the media may still do the occasional hit piece on Donald Trump, the journalistic class will no longer be able to use him as a daily projection of their own biases.

We might reasonably ask, then: Will CNN get better under Joe Biden?

CNN will almost certainly get worse. We’ve seen evidence of this already. In recent days, CNN has filled its television broadcasts and website with ersatz, hagiographic pieces on the president-elect.

Joe Biden, Savior of His Country

The above is the homepage of CNN this morning, Inauguration Day. The lead “analysis” from CNN writer Stephen Collinson reads:

“Biden prepares to conjure hope and bear pain for a grieving nation”

Good grief

Joe Biden and I have two things in common: we’re both teetotalers (neither Joe nor I consume alcoholic beverages), and we were both raised Roman Catholic. The CNN reporting on Joe Biden reminds me of the stories I heard of the Catholic saints in my grade school religion classes. Joe Biden will “conjure hope”, and “bear pain” for us? Seriously?

The hagiographic treatment doesn’t stop with Joe Biden, of course. Kamala Harris is portrayed as the whip-smart heir apparent who will take the helm from the octogenarian Biden in 2024. (Biden, the oldest candidate to take the presidency at 78, will turn 82 in 2024. No one seriously believes that he will run for a second term.)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, continues to be the media’s wunderkind darling. AOC is the bold young progressive whose wisdom and life experience, acquired from a brief stint as a Bronx bartender, will guide us toward our long-term progressive future.

AOC, the Savior of the Next Generation
The new villain for the new narrative: you

My grandfather was prone to salty language and metaphors. When someone talked like this, my grandfather used to quip that he needed to put his boots on, because the bull excrement was piling up on the floor. That will be CNN over the next four years, as the network cheerleads Saint Joe, Heir Apparent Kamala, Young Visionary Ocasio-Cortez, and all the rest of them.

But that will get boring, you say. Yes, it will, or it would. Every good narrative needs a villain, a Snidely Whiplash*. But since Donald Trump vacates that role today, the press needs a new boogyman.

Snidely Whiplash

They have already picked a new villain—you. If you live in a rural or blue-collar area of one of the flyover states, if you vote Republican, if you own a gun and you question the narratives of the left-leaning establishment, you have just been cast as the villain in the mainstream media’s new narrative.

We see this already, in the constant fretting over “rightwing extremists” and “white supremacists”. We are told that rightwing extremists and racists are going to take over any day now, if not for the constant vigilance of the Democratic Party and their allies in the media. But not to worry: the Democratic Party and their allies in the press will keep us all “safe”.

The media and government will be joined by likeminded corporate executives, especially in the tech sector. They will collude to keep inconvenient facts and opinions off the Internet. We have already seen this, in the Big Tech collusion against Parler, and CNN’s calls for Newsmax and OAN to be “cancelled” by telecom carriers.

Pretexts for restricting freedom

It is worth asking: Are there really “rightwing extremists” and “white supremacists” out there? Let’s do the math. There are now 328 million people in the United States. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), no less, estimates that there are now between 5,000 and 8,000 active white supremacists. That means that their share of the population is .002439 percent.

White supremacy, the boogyman of leftwing/progressive imagination, has no significant constituency in twenty-first century America. The America of today is simply too integrated for that. Even the rural, red-state branch of my family in Indiana has black and Latino bloodlines.

All it will take, though, is a half-dozen oddballs on a street corner somewhere in America, waving Confederate flags, for the media to sound the alarm about “rightwing extremism.” Clampdowns on speech and expression will immediately follow, as we’ve already seen.

This is all a matter of spin, of course. During the summer of 2020, leftwing BLM and antifa mobs torched both public and private property in forty-one of America’s fifty largest cities. The media billed those as “peaceful protests”.

“White supremacists” and “rightwing extremists” exist mostly in the minds of journalists and leftwing Twitter. What is real are the (at least) 75 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump last November. Many of those Americans are dubious about the integrity of the election. They object to the Democratic Party’s plans for open borders, astronomical levels of debt spending, and a far-left approach to the teaching of history and culture. Those same Americans are alarmed at the campaign by Big Tech and Big Media to stifle the voices of the opposition.

But if the media can brand dissident Americans as “white supremacists” and “rightwing extremists”, then the media need not address their actual concerns. People who work in the media understand the art of spin. They know exactly what they’re doing.

Dark days ahead

We are about to enter into a period of “soft dictatorship”. There likely won’t be any gulags or firing squads…at least not yet. But there will be a vast, politically left-leaning corporate-governmental complex aligned against individuals, groups, and opinions deemed “unsafe” by our new authorities.

CNN has an important role to play in that Brave New World. As the Joe Biden era begins, CNN will talk less and less about Donald Trump. Instead they’ll be focused on you, the dissident American who refuses to fall into line with the progressive program.

***

*Snidely Whiplash was the black-hatted villain in the cartoon series The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends, which aired from 1959 to 1964 on ABC and NBC. 

Inauguration Day meme

“I laugh because I must not cry, that is all, that is all.”

Abraham Lincoln
“The only way they could get more than a thousand people at Biden’s inauguration was to call in the National Guard.”

This is a time for black humor, aka gallows humor. In the face of despair, one must look for the bright side.

Or at least the side that one can laugh at. The four years ahead of us should be filled with tragicomic moments, giving us cause for both laughter and tears.

If you’ve been reading this blog of late, you’ll know that I’m keeping my expectations for the Biden administration low. Very low. If Joe Biden manages to stay alive and not turn the USA into Venezuela by 2024, I’ll be happy.

Just remember: it could be worse. It could always be worse. 

BLM blocks highway to celebrate Biden’s imminent inauguration

Get a life, kids.

The Evil Orange Man will be gone in a matter of hours. The Democrats have a majority in the Congress, as well as control of the White House. Our new vice president will be a politically left-leaning woman of color.

The radical left is appeased.

Right?

Guess again. Yesterday BLM “protesters” blocked a highway in Seattle, shutting down traffic for hours.

Andy Ngo, tireless documentarian of leftwing moonbattery, will have no shortage of material after Biden takes office.

What were they protesting, pray tell? Perhaps the position of the moon around the third planet in the Alpha Centauri star system. Do they even bother to cite reasons anymore?

Those of you who thought that the banishment of Trump and the elevation of Biden would end the BLM/antifa shenanigans….guess again. You’re going to very quickly find out that this will be “same sh*t, different day” after January 20th.

Donald Trump, remember, was just an excuse. So was the unfortunate case of George Floyd.

The radical left really has only one goal: the nihilistic destruction of our civilization. The sooner we realize that and deal with them accordingly, the better.

Mark my words: within the year, they’ll be calling Joe Biden a fascist, too.

Trump wanted Lady Gaga in his corner

Lady who? Who cares?
So that’s it.

According to The Daily Mail:

“Donald Trump is furious that Joe Biden has managed to attract a star-studded lineup to his inauguration, it has been claimed – in sharp contrast to the president’s own ceremony four years ago.

Trump, who will leave the White House before noon on Wednesday, was reported by The Washington Post to be angry that a roll call of stars are signing up to Biden’s event.

While Trump famously struggled to attract big names, Biden has confirmed Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Tom Hanks and country star Garth Brooks for his event, which he is urging people to watch from home owing to the COVID pandemic.”

The title of the article is equally silly:

“Where were my A-listers? Trump is ‘livid’ at Biden’s star-studded inauguration line-up of Lady Gaga, Tom Hanks and Jennifer Lopez as Field of Flags is lit up on National Mall and President packs his bags for Florida”

The Daily Mail is a UK-based publication. This piece seems to have been written by a wet-behind-the-ears London reporter who doesn’t grasp American political culture at all.

The journalist, Harriet Alexander, is revealing nothing but her “Trump blinders”. That’s what it would take to write the above assessment.

The Democratic Party has long had a lockdown on the Hollywood and entertainment elites. Everyone in the US knows that. This goes all the way back to the early 1960s, when stars like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr were schmoozing with the Kennedys.

There have been a few exceptions. Reagan was already a Hollywood outsider by the time he entered the White House in 1981, but he did maintain some friendships from his acting days. Liberace, of all celebrities, was a political conservative, and actually visited the Reagan White House.

For the most part, though, celebrities were the kids who were “different” in school, but  “different” in the exact same way as the other kids in their “different” crowd.

They carry this into adulthood. At least since Bill Clinton, almost all celebrities who are the slightest bit “political” have sought to align themselves with Democrats. This tendency was conspicuous during the Trump era; but it isn’t as if Trump “lost” the celebrity demographic for the GOP. The GOP never had it.

If your goal as an individual American voter is to see yourself in alignment with Taylor Swift, Jennifer Aniston, and Jon Bon Jovi, you should vote Democrat for the rest of your life. But if you are really turning to Taylor Swift and Jon Bon Jovi for political advice, perhaps you…should rethink your priorities.

Likewise, Republicans in the United States have differing opinions about President Trump and what he achieved (or not) while in office. But there is not a single Republican voter in the land who is saying, “If only Lady Gaga and Tom Hanks had been with us!”

I seriously doubt that the outgoing President Trump is giving Lady Gaga or Tom Hanks much thought, either.

This Inauguration Day was better

A better, vanished time
A brief look at a better, vanished time…

To avoid talking about tomorrow’s unspeakable event, while still keeping somewhat on theme: I present to you my first Inauguration Day, in 1977.

This wasn’t really my first Inauguration Day, mind you. (That would have been in 1969.) But this was the first Inauguration Day that I was able to meaningfully watch, with an understanding of what was taking place.

I was in the third grade in January 1977. Teachers then, as now, were always eager for some excuse to substitute an audiovisual presentation with actual teaching. Our teacher wheeled a television into the classroom. (I can still hear the caster wheels rolling atop the hardwood floor.) We spent most of that morning watching Jimmy Carter being sworn into office.

In the above video, you can watch some of what I watched, 44 years ago. Jimmy Carter begins by thanking outgoing President Ford for “healing our country”. He is referring to Ford’s cleanup after the Watergate scandal, which was still very much a recent memory in 1977. (I will confess, though, that I was oblivious of Watergate while it was actually unfolding in 1973 and 1974. I was still too young.)

I’ve written before in this space about Jimmy Carter. He was not, on the whole, a successful president. But he was—and is—a good man.

One of the nice things about my formative era, the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, was that you really didn’t need to worry about US politics very much. If Republicans were at the helm, business would operate a bit more freely and taxes would be lower. If Democrats were in charge, labor unions would be more influential, regulations would increase, and taxes would go up slightly. But things would basically stay the same, either way.

Republicans and Democrats had the same goals for America. They differed only on the most effective tactics and strategies for getting there. There was none of this radical shifting from one extreme to the other every four or eight years, as has been the pattern during the 21st century.

If this assessment sounds pessimistic about our present and immediate future, I suppose it is. I am not optimistic about the next four years. Likewise, I feel fortunate to have spent my early years in the era in which I did. To quote Neil Peart in “Red Barchetta”, that was “a better, vanished time”.

***

BLOOD FLATS

Lee McCabe is a former marine, seeking justice in the badlands of Kentucky. Read the first ten chapters of BLOOD FLATS here, or view on Amazon (below). 

Andrew Cuomo hunkers down

New York’s Andrew Cuomo is America’s second most self-aggrandizing governor. (The top slot goes to Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan.) But Governor Cuomo is determined to protect his people from the Great Invasion of Trump, which he is sure is on its way.

To this end, he’s decided not to expose the state’s greatest asset—his own person—to any dangers on Inauguration Day. Even though Washington DC has been evacuated and heavily garrisoned, Andrew Cuomo plans to hunker down in his executive mansion while Biden is sworn in on Wednesday.

The governor’s person should remain secure. New York, let’s face it, is not exactly Trump country. Governor Cuomo has nevertheless turned the state capitol at Albany into an armed fortress, to combat the rightwing, neo-Nazi Trump human wave.

But the Trumpian hordes have not yet descended on the Empire State with their horned helmets and battle axes. In fact, none have really shown up at all.

Cuomo is taking no chances, though. While sending his “best wishes” to Joe Biden, the governor pleaded his obligations at home. “The people of the state of New York elected me governor and I think the governor should be here on this day.”

I don’t think they intended that you could never leave the state, Andrew.

But no matter. Should Republican barbarians invade Albany on Wednesday, Governor Cuomo will be there to stand atop the ramparts. The people of New York will rest easier as a result. As will we all.