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Is America ready for a gay president? Like you, I’ve been informed that Buttigieg’s marriage doesn’t impact my marriage so long as I submit to baking the cake, as it were.

Mechanical Automation – Fake Ducks & Digestion in the 1700s!

Door. Ass. Bang. This university has stolen my mental health. “You want me to pay full tuition that those white students are paying, for what? For a university that stole my mental health? I hate it here.”

Wall Street Journal: Google Is Blacklisting Conservative News Sites, Despite Denials Made Under Oath

The Saga of the Cannibal Ants in a Soviet Nuclear Bunker

Let These Animal Buddy Humidifiers Enjoy A Dip While Taking Care Of Your Room 

We have crossed the border into a place where the words “man” and “woman” have no biological meaning

A warmonger like Jonah Goldberg never met a war you should not fight on his behalf, but he is always ready to lecture you on your moral failings while you wage that war on his behalf.

The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist

In Europe, they are euthanizing people now, sometimes against their will, just to cut costs.

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President Trump, we are to believe, was just about to do something wrong, and getting caught was the only reason he backed down from whatever nefarious thought-crime the Democrats are accusing him of almost committing.

I once again urge Americans to consider the credibility of the Democrats on this committee who are now hurling these charges. For the last three years, it’s not President Trump who got caught, it’s the Democrats who got caught.

They got caught falsely claiming they had more than circumstantial evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians to hack the 2016 elections.
They got caught orchestrating this entire farce with the Whistleblower and lying about their secret meetings with him.
They got caught defending the false allegations of the Steele dossier, which was paid for by the Democrats.
They got caught breaking their promise that impeachment would only go forward with bipartisan support because of how damaging it is to the American people.
They got caught running a sham impeachment process featuring secret depositions, hidden transcripts, and an unending flood of Democrat leaks.
They got caught trying to obtain nude photos of President Trump from Russian pranksters pretending to be Ukrainians.
And they got caught covering up for Alexandra Chalupa—a Democratic National Committee operative who colluded with Ukrainian officials to smear the Trump campaign—by improperly redacting her name from deposition transcripts and refusing to let Americans hear her testimony as a witness in these proceedings.
That is the Democrats’ pitiful legacy in recent years: They. Got. Caught.

RTWT @ Devin Nunes’ Opening Statement Before Hearing With Fiona Hill, David Holmes | Politics | US News

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It’s late in the evening on the 20th of November 2018; otherwise known as “the month that will not end.” Since the initial shock of the Camp Fire incinerating my home and my hometown, I’ve been struggling with details small, large, and life-altering. My house is burned out and for now so am I.

But all is not gloom and doom. I have, against all odds, actually secured a small apartment in Chico, a town where there are no apartments or houses to be had for love or money — unless it is a LOT of love or a LOT of money. In my case, it was the love of many here in Chico for my mother. Through what I have taken to calling “The Power of Lois” an apartment appeared on my path and I took it. What is even better is that it is located close to my mother’s apartment. This enables us to go from being “roommates” to “neighbors.”

The apartment is a tiny place (about a sixth of what my house was) but it is quite secure and recently refurbished and it will suit me down to the ground.

This forms one of the three pillars of my own personal salvation and deliverance from the fires of Paradise. The second pillar is formed of a living chain of my friends and readers whose help and support have carried me through and, in all senses of the term, returned me to life. To say I am deeply moved and grateful for all your unremitting and instantaneous aid is to barely touch my gratitude. I am a man of words and I have always been suspicious when I read “there are no words.” But all of you have made me a believer.

The third pillar has to be the continuing and mysterious grace of God.

Now it is late and I am, I confess, very, very tired. I’ve been running on empty for many days and I think I am going to have to take a break for tomorrow and for Thanksgiving and perhaps the day after. I have many notes and will have many things to say about this unmitigated catastrophe, but they will have to wait.

Farewell for a bit and God bless you all. Have a deep and profound Thanksgiving. This year I know that my family will when we gather at my brother’s home. At my brother’s, we don’t normally drink a great deal of wine but this year we will toast all of you. Each and every one.

And then I will go outside into the woods near his home in Grass Valley and for all those who did not survive the fire this time I will turn down an empty glass.


If this essay pleased or informed you DONATE HERE with my thanks.

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Praying for Rain in the Ashes of Paradise

In those lines where we all line up, this time  for the free and needful things at the Salvation Army’s Airport Supermarket (No charge.) we all talked about the rains; the rains that were forecast, the rains we hoped to have; the rains that when they come, even if they come in this very instant, come far too late this year; far too late for all of us.

The grandmother with the thousand yard stare who stood next to me wanted rain, wanted it badly. “It’ll put the fires out. Finally. Forecast to be a real soaking rain, a real soaker I heard,” she said as she snagged the escaping toddler among her seven grandchildren. She’d been working in the post office in Paradise, left it almost too late, got home and scooped up her grandchildren and, “My six Yorkies. Rounded them up and put them the van with the kids. Off we went. The fire was starting to surround us. All the kids were quiet but the Yorkies just yapped and yipped all the way out. We have to have that rain. We just have to have it. It’s going to be a soaker.”

She and her older children lost five houses between them. All were burned out. All were saved. Her son, a solid man with an even and determined look, came over and agreed about the rain. “I’m buying an RV and I’m going to park it right next to the foundation of my house. Get a generator and some chain link fencing. You should too, mom.” She was off scooping up her escaping toddler while the son’s wife secured a daughter who was trying to escape from her stroller. “Better rain. Better rain soon.”

As we waited in the line and silently prayed for rain, a strange thing began to happen to Chico. The smoke began to lift. The air began to clear. Some blue. S0me clear blue began to appear. And then, for the first time since the immolation of Paradise (How many days was it? Was it yesterday, or last week, or before.) it was a beautiful autumn day in Chico. Somewhere off to the south, and off to the east,  the Camp Fire continued to burn but all that was previous, previous.

The air was still bad, of course. The air was still full of soot and toxins and all the hundreds of things given off from the burning of the corpse of Paradise, but here and now down in the valley it seemed clear and we heard the rains were coming. It was a beautiful day with the rains on the way. That was the forecast for Chico and a lot of the masks, the white smoke masks, came off.

I left the Salvation Army Everything Free Supermarket after getting some needful things and called my mother’s doctor. My mother had been housebound by the smoke for days and she hadn’t had a flu shot. And this year, of all the years of her life, she needed a flu shot. She’d survived The 1918 influenza pandemic and didn’t need to press her luck again 100 years later. I called her doctor and got an immediate appointment. We went to the office and they took her in immediately. In the reception area, the nurses were all talking about the rain. Hoping for the rain. Praying for the rain.

When we left we took some extra time to drive down the central boulevard of Chico, the Esplanade. We drove slowly on this most extraordinary clear and deep-dyed autumn day. Along the center of the Esplanade, the gingkos were in their final gold and the clear afternoon sunlight made the red leaves of the oaks glow. Then we went back to my mother’s apartment where the lady that comes to help her was waiting for, praying for, and talking about nothing but the rain.

In Brooklyn on 9/11, I’d watched the Towers burn and fall in the middle of the same kind of clear and beautiful autumn day. To the north and to the south of the Towers as seen from the Brooklyn Heights promenade it was all serene. Serene but made obscene with the burning funeral pyre of three thousand people sending up thick and deadly smoke in the exact center of a crisp blue sky.

In the days after the Towers fell, all in the city prayed for rain. We prayed for rain so that those waters from heaven, cold and deep and drenching, might put out the fires and cool the embers and we would all be restored and returned to life as it was.

And the rains came. And the dust on the leaves ran gold into the gutters. And the fires still burned on deep in “The Pile.” Burned for months and months as the smoke rose and drifted and swirled, a constant despised companion. And now it was seventeen years later and we were all praying for rain in Paradise.

And we were not restored by the rains then and these rains will not restore us now. Like a root fire, it will burn on inside all of us. Who will stop the rain? God knows. [continue reading…]

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In the Kingdom of FEMA [November, 2018]

Now that my ladder’s gone
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.

— Yeats

Last Friday in Chico, as the Camp Fire still raged over by Cherokee and the corpses began to cool in Paradise, FEMA came to town. Many cringe when FEMA comes to town since tales of its ability to launch a Full-Court Federal Fornication Festival are legion. At the same time, FEMA is the gateway drug agency to what all of us who have been burned out of Paradise need most, a check. A big check. A really big check. A check as big as all outdoors since the vast majority of us are flat busted broke and anything that might have seemed in October an asset is now ashes. So if you tell us where we can find FEMA we’re there. All of us. With a handful of gimme and a mouth full of much obliged.

That’s what it seemed like last Friday down at the dead Sears store in the Chico Mall. The Mall   is an easy walk from the vast tent city just behind the blue Wall of the Porta Potty. It seemed like les tout Paradise” was in Sears and dialing for dollars as fast as they could.

To meet with all of Paradise at this point is to be shocked and spun into sadness all over again. As mentioned here before a lot of people in Paradise are there because of housing costs and the ability to live off the grid in an old house trailer that’s been up on blocks for decades. This means a large number of Paradise folk are not just poor but also old, lame, halt, and blind. I was left with nothing but I have family near as well as generous friends around the world. A glance at many that show up for FEMA reveals just how much miserable mean nothing these people have. [continue reading…]

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Walkabout: What a short strange trip its been.

Up at 5 AM drive to Sacramento Airport. Board a passenger jet…

“We are a full flight today”

… never a good sign.

Taxi to runway… flaps… throttle… humm? lift worked again. Always magic when we throw something the equivalent of six city buses off the ground to five miles in the air where we enjoy a cold beverage in the seats we bitch about.

I wonder how the land far below got all those geometric shapes….. land at John Wayne airport…. rent car and drive through Santa Ana onto the southern California freeway… oh my these drivers are serious about keeping no interval at all at high speeds.. change my driving attitudes… gotta get up and run with the big dogs... remember one bumper strip from years ago in LA: “WARNING: I RELOAD FOR TAILGATERS.”

And then away we go towards Dana Point and the Monarch Beach Resort…

En route, I note that on the freeway in Southern California — clotted with traffic at all hours people have evidently decided that the real speed limit is no longer 72mph but 80mph… and you need to move at that speed lest some tailgater push on you to close the gap, man, close the gap. There are too many cars in LA to brook any wasted tarmac on the freeways… Man, you gotta go… because if you don’t they’ll pave you over and crack on.

I crack on to the seacoast resort cited above to attend a reunion of all the staff that at one time or another worked on Pajamas Media where I was the Editor and Chief a lifetime ago heading straight for a fall.

No matter we’re all back here due to the gracious generosity of the backer. It’s surprising to see all the old original crew again: Richard (in from Australia), Nina, Ed, Austin, Jean, Glenn, and Simon and more. That pompous quisling at Little Green Footballs is not noted and missed less.

Cocktails. A fine meal sitting next to Steve Green (aka VodkaPundit) and his beautiful wife. This of course means trying to keep up with VodkaPundit so at a certain point my memory becomes fuzzy. I recall Aubrey relating the story of taking Joe the Plumber to Isreal where he became an important spokesman for United States foreign policy concerning Israel — although he knew nothing about it. Made more sense that a festschrift of diplomats bloviating blather at the UN. Ah… good times…

And then Glenn Reynolds and I turned on the dreaded orb of power previously used by Trump in Saudi Arabia.

Reynolds: We sold the website but we kept the Orb Of Power.

Next morning up and out and over the long, long, long mountain route into Palm Springs to see beloved relatives.

Today up and out early to strike for the coast around San Simeon and then up Highway 1 to Nepenthe and Big Sur….” The route goes through Barstow.

Barstow? That reminds of Hunter… ‘We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold.’

[… Did I ever tell you about Hunter Thompson, the revolver, the ceiling of Andres Restaurant in North Beach and his rental car? No? Remind me some time. Typical Hunter.]

But no…not Barstow again…too old for that kind of trip… divert to Palmdale and find ourselves in a cauldron of consumerism in which the original town of Palmdale has been dissolved.

Tomorrow… try to reach the sea lion colonies on the coast south of San Simeon… tired… maybe more later…

PS: Taking a survey from inside the frozen traffic today I would like to officially announce that Southern California is full.

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In My Old Pew / American Digest November 16, 2016

My corner of Paradise. Buschman and Scottwood, in 2016, now ash.

For over five years since my heart stopped and was, as they say, “rebooted,” I have always been grateful to the Lord for every extra week I have been granted. This Sunday, however, I woke up to discover that at the end of THIS week I felt especially grateful to the Lord. To make this feeling more formal I decided to attend services at the church nearest my house. In Paradise, this happens to be the Craig Memorial Congregational Church. And Craig Memorial Congregational Church happens to be the last church I attended in Paradise. Sixty years ago.

The last time I was in Craig Memorial Congregational Church was to sing “Oh Mine Papa” while my grandmother accompanied me on the piano. Although I have no actual memory of singing the song I am assured that I did and, as a boy soprano, was a great success; so much so that my grandmother’s tea-drinking coterie complimented her for the rest of her life. What I do remember about that long-lost Sunday afternoon some six decades drowned is that I proudly wore my Boy Scout uniform. I’d recently emerged from the Cub Scouts and the ascension from Cub to Scout was as close to the “Today I am a man” Bar Mitzvah moment that a rural WASP was likely to get. I don’t know how I felt about the song, but I do know I loved showing up in the Boy Scout uniform with all the flare I could find.

This morning I walked up to the entrance to Craig Memorial and was greeted warmly and shown inside. I walked down the aisle towards the altar and noted that it had not been altered. I sat on the outside edge of the second pew back from the front.

Looking in front of me and to the left, I saw the piano my grandmother had played, the pew that I’d sat in waiting, and the place where I had stood in my uniform and sang my song.

As I sat there thinking about that 60-year deep memory, a family came in and sat in the pew in front of me to the left. When they settled in there he was. He was sitting in the same place I sat waiting to get up and sing, waiting in my new Scout uniform. I quietly took his picture but I already knew who he was.

The boy I was came back again today in 2016.

“I knew a lad who went to sea and left the shore behind him.
I knew him well the lad was me and now I cannot find him.”


If this essay pleased or informed you DONATE HERE to help me recover after being burned out in the Paradise fire with my thanks.

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Boomer Benchmarks: Ball of Confusion

I always read

and today I read…

“Impeachment” circusDark FateCalifornia taxing/regulating good honest people out of the state“woke” Tomb RaiderGillettebullet train…the pigtail climate change bratNikethe eleven thousand “scientists”MuellerDick’sObamaCaredemocrat candidates for President, including Ban-Them-All BloomieCommon CorePG&E’s power gridblaming the wildfires on “climate change”

It occurs to me that out of all the sources of misery we experience lately, there is a pattern of surprise, of lots of build-up before a payoff that falls short, and then a frenzy of scapegoating afterward. And this is all done by creative persons and creative groups who didn’t expect the disappointment, in fact who apparently hadn’t even factored in failure as a possibility. They weren’t particularly stupid or incompetent — they just never seriously considered that their delivery could bomb. That they’d ever be sent back to the drawing board. That there’d ever be a moment of judging or assessment at all. Their attitude seems to be “I worked really hard on this, so, ya know…uh, here. Now where’s my bonus?”

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The Orchard at the End of Paradise

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools…

I had a boyhood once in Paradise.

On the cooling November mornings of the mid-1950s when all the 40 apple orchards of Paradise were clothed in deep green leaves and, with the red to gold globed fruit making the boughs of the trees bow under their weight, it was a great time to be a boy with a bicycle in Paradise. On those mornings, if freed from classes at the Paradise Elementary school, my brother and I would ride up Sawmill road past the feed store to Pentz and buy the newest comic books they sold, and then we’d ride on from there.

Soon we’d come to the southern edge of the last orchard in on the northern border of Paradise, Noble Orchards. There, in the fashion of schoolboys, we’d sneak into the orchard and climb up a tree. There in the nooks and branches, we’d pass the afternoon reading comic books from the feed store and hooking apple after apple from the orchards. The sun, even in early November, was warm as I remember it.

Then again a lot of memories from my boyhood in Paradise have warmth associated with them. Maybe it was the heater that my father turned on every morning and that I sat in front of, cross-legged and reading a book. Maybe it is just in the nature of memory to add warmth to the better moments. But for whatever reason, those long lost memories of a ten-year-old boy hold firm and at their center was the last orchard in Paradise, Noble Orchards.

When I returned to Paradise as an old man there was only one commercial apple orchard still in business in Paradise, Noble Orchards. By then it not only had many varieties of apples but peaches and plums and other stone fruit as well. It was in its 99th year owned by the same family, the Noble Family. It boasted a rustic barn in which the bins and boxes of fruit were stacked high as well as crates of apples and peaches and fruit for sale amid the old barn beams and slake shingled roof.  It offered cider too during the cidering season as well as an ambrosial apple butter until increasing regulations from the state of California made it impossible to make the apple butter in small batches.

At that time the Nobles of Noble Orchards had a Willys Jeep that they’d bought in a crate from WWII surplus and put together like kids today assemble Lego models of the space station. It would bang about in the orchards but without a muffler, so we’d hear it coming and skedaddle down the road to home on our Schwinns. Sometimes we’d hear the Noble fellow shout after us but in truth, he never tried to catch us very hard.

Mr. & Mrs. Noble

The first time I visited as a man, after 60 years, I confessed my school boy apple stealing sins to Mrs. Noble. “Those apples,” she scoffed. “We have them still. We call them ‘schoolboys’.”

The Nobles themselves are a handsome couple whose lives have been devoted to keeping the family orchard alive and bringing their fruits to the people. Mrs. Noble is a booster and a fixture at all the local farmers’ markets offering samples to all and sundry. Mr. Noble stays behind to manage and harvest the fruit from the orchards. He still would bang about the orchard looking for the invasions of bears in the same banged up old Willys Jeep his grandfather put together. They’re the kind of people you want to know when you first meet them. They’re the kind of people you’re proud to know.

And when I returned to Paradise Noble Orchards were, in all senses of the term, the last orchard in Paradise. All the others were gone, taken by relentless changes in the orchard business. But the  Nobles were still there, their green stone house still there, the Willys Jeep still there. Unchanged and unchanging.

Yesterday morning I met the Nobles again in the long line for FEMA signups at the Baptist Church and shelter. There they were. They were, to my joy, there and alive.

And they had nothing… or next to nothing. [continue reading…]

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“Man, You Gotta Go”

The Stars Go Over the Lonely Ocean

“Keep clear of the dupes that talk democracy
And the dogs that talk revolution,
Drunk with talk, liars, and believers.
I believe in my tusks.
Long live freedom and damn the ideologies,”
Said the gamey black-maned boar
Tusking the turf on Mal Paso Mountain.

— Robinson Jeffers

I’ll be traveling for the next week to the ocean and the “desert with its life underground and a perfect disguise above.” Posting will be ragged.

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Democrat Deer in the Headlights

What can be going through a deer’s mind just before the deer goes through the windshield? The dazzle? Something so bright with promise that it overwhelms the flight impulse which always comes before the fight reaction?

The tendency of deer to freeze when caught in the sudden glare of an oncoming disaster is so well recognized that it has evolved into the familiar catchphrase; a phase used for any life situation in which the threat is so overwhelming and sudden that no survival reaction is possible. Instead, the animal remains rooted in place — nailed to its perch like a deer in the healights, as it were.

We now see this dreaded situation acted out daily along the Information Highway where an increasingly large number of our fellow citizens from the world delusional have assumed this dazed position on the highway of history. They seem surprisingly content to stand spot-welded to the tarmac as the glare of ruin and the promise of destruction rolls towards them, air horn suspiciously silent.

Some people think the deer are not innocent when they step into the headlights. Some people think the deer seek it out. I’m starting to agree with this cold estimate.

Unable to wake themselves from the dazzle of dementia, from the forlorn hope of OrangeMan gone soon, our current cohort of glare frozen furbutts are actually supporting the impeachment circus unfolding in media sideshows everywhere; supporting a process whose daily television “program” is a kabuki of cowardice; supporting the herd leaders of Congressional Bambis, if you will. This part of the herd, as a reward for their obsessive compulsion towards embracing trumphate and the corruption of the Constitution, is actually praised by the Timesian and Postoid scribblers snorting amongst them in the sty on the Hill. Throughout the history of the Republic, we’ve seen many popular delusions of the mob rise and capture the nation, but we’ve never seen the towering tsunami of madness rise this high before.

It is an unusual government that swears to preserve and protect the Constitution, and then slaps that document, perforated, on a roll and installs it in the stalls of Congressional toilets. [continue reading…]

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Chico is Leaving It All On the Field

Near closing time in the men’s Clothing Clearance Corner on the first floor of Penney’s at the Chico Mall, a young girl is replacing the piles of tossed clothing left by the numbed shoppers from Paradise frantic for cheap basic clothing. Some of them are camped in tents somewhere close by the mall; for how long nobody knows. But this young, quietly lovely girl is putting the Clothing Clearance Corner back in apple pie order as the store’s dismal day closes. I take my few finds from the Clothing Clearance Corner and, leaving, say, “That seems like a thankless task.”

“Not at all,” she replies. “Not at all.”

“Really? Why the hell not?”

“Hey, I do this job every day in this store. It’s my assigned task and usually its okay but I only do it for the money because it gets really monotonous, meaningless.”

She’s a student, I perceive.

“But today those people really needed these clothes in this corner because of the price. And tomorrow more people like that will really need them too. And so I want to make this the best I can for them. So I’m going to put it all back on hangers and arrange them by size. It will be right by the morning. You better go. We’re closing. Thank you for coming in.”

Just a young girl working late in the Clothing Clearance Corner. Doing one of those little jobs; one of those jobs that actually make the world turn. She was leaving it all on the field.

At the ends of the neighborhood streets, I see people setting up tables and I see the people of the neighborhoods coming out onto the main streets and putting out whatever they have to give there for the taking if needed. They are literally leaving it all on the field. [continue reading…]

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