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Linkskrieg!

Nazi theory indeed specifically denies that such a thing as œthe truth exists. The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event,  It never happened well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five  well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs. — George Orwell wrote those words in 1943, in his essay, Looking Back on the Spanish War.

The Economy’s Inequality Dividend – WSJ Wage growth for production-level workers slowed with average hourly wages up 3% over the last year compared to 3.4% in November. Some of this may be monthly statistical noise, and the trend in the last two years has been higher wage growth among lower earners. That’s a contrast to the early years of this expansion when real wages were flat.

The Federal Reserve’s interventions inflated asset values, which helped the affluent but did little for low- and middle-income Americans who don’t own stocks. Enter Donald Trump, whose deregulation and tax reform unleashed a surge of business investment (before his tariff spree) and hiring, which has drawn workers off the sidelines and raised wages.

The comparative data are striking, and mostly ignored by the press. During the first 11 quarters of the Trump Presidency, wages for the bottom 10% of earners over age 25 rose an average 5.9% annually compared to 2.4% during Barack Obama’s second term, according to the latest demographic data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages for the middle two quartiles increased 3.2% compared to 2.2% and 2.7% between 2012 and 2016. Wage gains for the top 10% have held steady at about 3%.

Less educated workers have also seen the strongest gains. Wages have risen at a 6.1% annual clip for workers over 25 without a high school degree and 3.9% for those with some college—both about three times faster than during the second Obama term. Wage gains have also accelerated though to a lesser degree—to 3.2% from 2.2%—for college grads.

Handicapping The Democrat Losers The first is that he has legacy black Democrat support. He’s the closest to a traditional Democrat, as opposed to one of the faculty lounge snobs that makes up most of the rest of the race. The second is that he has been designated The Democrat Most Likely To Succeed in beating The Donald. It’s unclear why. Sure, some polls say it (though they are shifting in Trump’s direction), but the problem for Joe is that so many liberal media types are wishcasting his victory that they never hit him hard.

Then there’s Chief Spewing Bull. Her own brother recently dissed her for inventing more fake family history. Trump would chew her up, spit her out, and wash the residue into the gutter. Where’s the enthusiasm for a serial fraud who compares poorly to every bitter spinster public elementary school teacher who either demanded you use your inside voice or tried to make her class celebrate Kwanza?

General Motors shocks nearly 1,000 temp workers with full-time promotions; Ford promotes 592

Humphrey, 27, has been a part-time temporary worker at GM’s Flint Assembly in Michigan for the last three years. On Sunday morning, he and about 250 of his co-workers crowded into UAW Local 598’s union hall. Most thought they were there for a routine meeting.

But when the local’s president stepped to the mic, the room listened in awed silence.

“He said, ‘As of tomorrow, you guys are full-time seniority employees of GM,’ ” Humphrey said. “There was a gasp in the room for a few seconds. Some of us thought he misspoke. Then, we had to say, ‘No, we heard him right!’ It was amazing.”

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Why Beauty Matters by Roger Scruton (1944 — 2020)

Roger Scruton: Conservative thinker dies at 75  Boris Johnson led the tributes, calling him the country’s “greatest modern conservative thinker”, while Chancellor Sajid Javid said “he made a unique contribution to public life.”

RIP Sir Roger Scruton. We have lost the greatest modern conservative thinker – who not only had the guts to say what he thought but said it beautifully. — Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 13, 2020

Beginning: At any time between 1750 and 1930 if you asked educated people to describe the aim of poetry, art or music, they would have replied “beauty.”

And if you had asked for the point of that you would have learned that beauty is a value, as important as truth and goodness. Then in the 20th century beauty stopped being important. Art increasingly aimed to disturb and to break moral taboos. It was not beauty but originality however achieved and at whatever moral cost that won the prizes. Not only has art made a cult of ugliness. Architecture too has become soul-less and sterile. And it is not just our physical surroundings that have become ugly. Our language, our music and our manners are increasingly raucous, self-centered and offensive as though beauty and good taste have no real place in our lives. One word is written large on all these ugly things and that word is “Me.” My profits, my desires, my pleasures. And art has nothing to say in response to this except “Yeah, go for it!”

I think we are losing beauty and there is a danger that with it we will lose the meaning of life. I’m Roger Scruton, philosopher and writer. My trade is to ask questions. During the last few years I have been asking questions about beauty. Beauty has been central to our civilisation for over 2000 years. From its beginnings in ancient Greece philosophy has reflected on the place of beauty in art, poetry, music, architecture and everyday life. Philosophers have argued that through the pursuit of beauty we shape the world as a home. We also come to understand our own nature as spiritual beings. But our world has turned its back on beauty and because of that we find ourselves surrounded by ugliness and alienation.

I want to persuade you that beauty matters; that it is not just a subjective thing, but a universal need of human beings. If we ignore this need we find ourselves in a spiritual desert. I want to show you the path out of that desert. It is a path that leads to home……. Full Transcript Here

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2 Versions of The Ambush by Matt Bracken

NOW: Looking at the proposed Virginia rally Matt Bracken warns at Seven And A Wake-Up | Western Rifle Shooters Association Matt Bracken | January 12, 2020 at 11:46 |
If anybody cares to check the Richmond Kill Box photo, you will note that the Federal Building is only 2 city blocks from Capitol Square, so all the FBI and ATF agents (including 100s more brought in from out of state for the event) can just walk over to the Buffalo Jump in both their tacticool and undercover garb.

(The Richmond Jail and PD HQ are just out of the top of the image on the other side of I-95.)

Also note that the Richmond Convention Center and Richmond Coliseum are just a few blocks away as well, so if mass-arrests result, they can just march the arrested over for triage and holding while the prison buses are rolled in.

THEN:When word is received that a flash mob is forming at one of their pre-reconnoitered intersections or highway interchanges, the SAV team will assemble. Sometimes cooperating police will pass tactical intel to their civilian friends on the outside. Some clever individuals will have exploited their technical know-how and military experience to build real-time intel collection tools, such as private UAVs. Police will have access to urban security camera footage showing MUYs moving barricade materials into position—a normal prerequisite to a flash mob riot intended to stop traffic. Tip-offs to the vigilantes will be common, and where the networks are still functioning, citizens may still be able to access some video feeds. Sometimes, police will even join the SAV teams, incognito and off-duty, blurring the teams into so-called “death squads.”

The operation I will describe (and it’s only one of dozens that will be tried) uses two ordinary pickup trucks and eight fighters. Two riflemen are lying prone in the back of each truck, facing rearward, with removable canvas covers concealing their presence. Their semi-automatic, scoped rifles are supported at their front ends on bipods for very accurate shooting. A row of protective sandbags a foot high is between them and the raised tailgate. [continue reading…]

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Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Look not deep but far afield,
beyond the limits of our sight,
It cannot be that all that is
is but night on deeper night.

But if it should be all that is,
and all as purposeless as stone,
The heart still sings the body’s chants,
and moves the light along the bones.
Perhaps this pattern that we know
as slanted time between two lights
Is but some dance cast to amuse
what lies beyond our blinded sight.

— from “Intelligent Design”

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Linkskrieg! From “Front Hole” to “Shotgun”

Russian arms manufacturers must be really ticked off at how inaccurate the Iranian missiles were. Not to mention how their ground to air missile system was used to shoot down a civilian airliner. Not great advertisements for future sales. Buy American!…  A Large Regular: Flotsam and Jetsam


Despite multiple interventions, Africa remains the most corrupt continent by far. Some 200 coups or attempted coups have taken place, 25 heads of state have been assassinated, and roughly fifty wars have been fought.
Get the Hell Out of Afghanistan Now Julius Caesar understood how to pacify a country. So did Curtis LeMay. You go in and wipe out your enemies. You kill them in massive quantities until they beg you to surrender. And you destroy their territory, leaving it a wasteland. We did that in World War II, not coincidentally the last war we unequivocally won.
Another Expensive Solar Scheme Bites the Dust Crescent Dunes was obsoleted by technological advances in the form of photovoltaic based solar plants.  That is nonsense and misses the whole point of the Crescent Dunes project.  It also misses the reality that all utility-scale solar is a failure — not marginal, not growing into being practical, but a total and complete failure. [continue reading…]

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2019 Pashkour ! 😊 2020 will be better I promise 🙌

A post shared by Pasha Petkuns (@pashatheboss) on

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“When Liberty Goes” by Walt Whitman, 1865

“When liberty goes it is not the first to go nor the second or third to go . . it waits for all the rest to go . . it is the last. . .

When the memories of the old martyrs are faded utterly away . . . .

When the large names of patriots are laughed at in the public halls from the lips of the orators . . . .

When the boys are no more christened after the same but christened after tyrants and traitors instead . . . .

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A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

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Simple. Direct. Heartfelt. Knowledgeable. True.

Show it to as many who need to see it as you can.

[HT: Cultural Offering ]

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The prologue to The Stars My Destination (AKA Tiger! Tiger!) by Alfred Bester A NOVEL PUBLISHED IN 1956 [Edited for length]

THIS WAS A GOLDEN AGE, a time of high adventure, rich living, and hard dying… but nobody thought so. This was a future of fortune and theft, pillage and rapine, culture and vice… but nobody admitted it. This was an age of extremes, a fascinating century of freaks… but nobody loved it… The [Earth] seethed with activity… fighting, feeding, and breeding, learning the new technologies that spewed forth almost before the old had been mastered…

…. The transition was more spectacular than the change-over from horse and buggy to gasoline age…. Social, legal, and economic structures crashed while the new customs and laws … mushroomed in their place. There were land riots as the … poor deserted slums to squat in plains and forests, raiding the livestock and wildlife. There was a revolution in [privacy]: labyrinths and masking devices had to be introduced … There were crashes and panics and strikes and famines as pre-[internet] industries failed. Plagues and pandemics raged as … vagrants carried disease and vermin into defenseless countries. Malaria, elephantiasis, and the breakbone fever came north to Greenland; rabies returned to England after an absence of three hundred years. The Japanese beetle, the citrous scale, the chestnut blight, and the elm borer spread to every corner of the world, and from one forgotten pesthole in Borneo, leprosy, long imagined extinct, reappeared.

Crime waves swept the planet… as underworlds took to [ the Internet] around the clock, and there were brutalities as the police fought them without quarter. There came a hideous return to the worst prudery of Victorianism as society fought the sexual and moral dangers of jaunting with protocol and taboo….

It was an age of freaks, monsters, and grotesques. All the world was misshapen in marvelous and malevolent ways. The Classicists and Romantics who hated it were unaware of the potential greatness of the twenty-fifth century. They were blind to a cold fact of evolution… that progress stems from the clashing merger of antagonistic extremes, out of the marriage of pinnacle freaks. Classicists and Romantics alike were unaware that the Solar System was trembling on the verge of a human explosion that would transform man and make him the master of the universe. — It is against this seething background of the twenty-fifth century that the vengeful history of Gulliver Foyle begins.

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After 70 years, the Volkswagen Beetle is retiring. Once upon a time, my father moved my family from Paradise to Sacramento to become the manager of the only Volkswagon franchise in Northern California. Years later he told me that when he would pull up at stoplights in the Beetle people would look at the Beetle and burst out laughing and he’d feel sick that he’d staked his family’s well-being on the Beetle.

The Beetle bought us a house with my own private bedroom. The Beetle paid for my college education and that of my brothers and helped my mom establish her own business after my father died.

One summer day in 1965 on a lawn at the University of California I was complaining to two friends that we weren’t old enough to drink a beer in a bar. One of them observed that we could if we were in New York. Another said, “Well, let’s go.”

To drink that beer we drove 9,000 miles in a 9-day roundtrip in a Volkswagon Beetle. (You could flip the back of the back seat down and sleep in the back while two rode in the front.) It was the first time I’d driven across the country. Vietnam was hot and the Cold War was on simmer. Two songs dominated the AM radio stations blanketing the nation: “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” and “Something’s Happening Here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.” Same songs would work as a soundtrack for today.

Damn, I loved that car. So long, Beetle. I’ll see you again a little further down the road. [continue reading…]

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16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea?
or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
— Job

  This translucent Deepstaria jelly unfurled as it whorled and shapeshifted in currents created by ROV Hercules’ thrusters. Its bright red resident isopod, a relative of the pillbug, can be spotted hanging on for the ride!

Lacking stinging tentacles like other jellies, Deepstaria can close the opening of its expansive bag-like bell, trapping any prey that has floated inside. The geometric mesh pattern is an intricate network of canals that lead back to its stomach at the top of the bell. As the jelly can reach a large size when inflated, these channels help distribute nutrients across the entire expanse. Like many Deepstaria, this observed specimen included a bright red isopod taking up residence in the scyphozoan’s bell. The full extent of this association is unknown, but it is likely that this small crustacean consumes pieces of jelly while remaining hidden from predators.

[Helpful Hint: Mute the sound.]

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Linkskrieg!


As long as I am president of the United States Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.
Good morning…
—  Trump responds to Iranian airstrike

SEEN ON FACEBOOK: “At this point in history, is it wise to take foreign policy advice from people who walked around in broad daylight with knitted pussies on their heads?”   — Glenn Reynolds

The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance. We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we’re told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems…. Michael Crichton (from a 2003 speech)

Confused about the Methodist schism? Rev. Donald Sensing explains it all to you. Sense of Events: The Methodists’ coming punishment of God

The Human Organ Chop Shops of China: Bloody Harvest—How Everyone Ignored the Crime of the Century – Quillette

The idea that Dollar Stores are invaders ignores the fact that these retailers are expanding in neighborhoods that want them. Cities Move to Ban Dollar Stores, Blaming Them for Residents’ Poor Diets.

United Methodist Church To Split Over Whether Or Not To Be ChristiansChicago Democratic Socialists of America Bernie Supporters Show Off Faux Revolutionary Clenched Fists. I’m supposed to be intimidated, but instead I’m suppressing a belly laugh. [continue reading…]

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America’s Anchorman Interviews President Trump

FROM YESTERDAY, another long look at what the President is thinking that you may have missed on what laughing calls itself the “Mainstream Media”   — The Rush Limbaugh Show

4,000 WORDS / FULL TRANSCRIPT:

RUSH: Welcome back the EIB Network, and Rush Limbaugh back at it after a couple of weeks off for Christmas. Not much happening. We are happy to have here with us the president of the United States, Donald Trump. It’s so great to have you back here, sir. Thank you for joining us.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you, Rush, very much.

RUSH: Okay. I have had a lot of people say to me — they’re reacting to the media reaction of the action we took, that you took against the Quds Force commander in Iran. Mr. President, people are being scared to death, their kids are being scared to death out of their minds that somehow this is gonna start World War III, that we are now more unsafe than we have ever been. Could you explain to people why what you’ve done here makes us safer, why it was necessary, and why what we did was right.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, this should have been done for the last 15 to 20 years, him in particular. He was their real military leader. He’s a terrorist. He was designated a terrorist by President Obama, and then Obama did nothing about it except give them $150 billion and — even more incredibly — $1.8 billion in cash. You hear me talking about that all the time, and you talk about it all the time. He gave them all this money. He never wanted to do anything about it. President Bush should have taken him out. He’s responsible for the IEDs.

Those are the roadside bombs and the bombs that blow up all over the place — and then the sister, which is the big one, the big version, that actually knocks out tanks and kills everybody within earshot. A really horrible weapon. He’s responsible for all those incredible young people over at Walter Reed — where they do such a great job, by the way — where they lose their arms and their legs and all. He gave so much of that technology. Much of that stuff was made in Iran. And he should have been taken out a long time ago. And we had a shot at it, and we took him out. And we’re a lot safer now because of it. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see what the response is, if any. But you’ve seen what I said our response will be.

RUSH: Well, yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: Our country is a lot safer, Rush.

RUSH: They said they’ve got 21 targets they’re looking at, and you came back and said, “Fine. I’ve got 52 of yours.” I don’t think that they are accustomed to a president like you, sir. I mean, you just mentioned it. Obama basically appeased them. Obama worked with this guy on the Iranian nuclear deal. What…? A lot of things had to surprise you when you assumed office and found out some things that had been done previously in policy. What was the purpose of American policy with Iran prior to your presidency?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think they had a purpose. I don’t think they knew what was happening. Why did he give them $150 billion, much of it going back into terror? If you look at what’s happening… When I first came into office, I went to the Pentagon, and they showed me 18 “sites of confliction,” meaning conflict, over there. And every one of them was started by Iran, either their soldiers or they paid for soldiers, soldiers for hire. I have no idea what they tried to do with appeasement.

And I can tell you, the Logan Act… If there was ever an act that should have been used, they should look at the Obama administration and John Kerry, the Logan Act, because what he was doing with Iran and the relationship that they built up and the things that he said, I would certainly love to see that be looked at because I think John Kerry was… Personally, I think he was advising them. I think that the Obama administration was just letting them get away with murder — in the true sense murder.

And, you know, right after they made the deal, it wasn’t like they were respected. They treated the United States worse than ever before. In fact, I said, “At least give him a little respect,” because they treated… They got worse. They actually got more hostile. They took the $150 billion and they took the $1.8 billion in cash, and they got worse. And, if you remember, right before the payment was made, they took 10 sailors.

And they humiliated those sailors, and they humiliated our country with the sailors down on their knees. And the only reason they released them was they wanted their first payment. It was just before the payment. If they had taken them after they got the money, they would have never released them. They’d be there now. Well, they would be there now with me. But they would be there for a long period of time. But you remember the 10 sailors that were — 15 feet across the line, probably they weren’t. They don’t even know if they were in Iranian waters. But they said they were slightly in Iranian waters. So they humiliated them. But they released them because the money was due the following day, and they said, “Oh, we don’t want to…” Hey, why should they turn down $150 billion over the 10 sailors? But they humiliated those sailors and our country. [continue reading…]

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Ricky Redux

Bridget Phetasy reflects on the Hollywood parasites in his sights: Ricky Gervais, Man of the People @ Quillette

“I can’t imagine what it must be like for you [Hollywood insects] after a lifetime of warm nuts and constant flattery. It’s easy to understand how expensive gift bags and millions of dollars would make anyone feel qualified to lecture other people on public policy, private morality, global warming, or the complex geopolitical issues in the Middle East.

“Because that’s what Hollywood has been doing. They’ve been talking down to us normals for decades. While we wait in Boarding Group D to schlep to the back of the plane, they recline on private jets with a private chef and tweet about how we should all go vegan. I doubt they even know what a boarding group is….

“But the emperor has no clothes. And with a few pointed jokes, Gervais pierced their collective delusion, exposing the hypocrisy of Hollywood for what it truly is. As he so casually reminded them, these are the people who partied with Jeffrey Epstein and made movies with Harvey Weinstein. They take China’s money and look the other way at its human rights abuses, censorship, sweatshops, IP theft, and their most heinous crime, banning South Park.”

RTWT @ Ricky Gervais, Man of the People @ Quillette

“Was it something I said?”

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The Lee Shore

When on that shivering winter’s night, the Pequod thrust her vindictive bows into the cold malicious waves, who should I see standing at her helm but Bulkington!

I looked with sympathetic awe and fearfulness upon the man, who in mid-winter just landed from a four years’ dangerous voyage, could so unrestingly push off again for still another tempestuous term. The land seemed scorching to his feet.

It fared with him as with the storm-tossed ship, that miserably drives along the leeward land. The port would fain give succor; the port is pitiful; in the port is safety, comfort, hearthstone, supper, warm blankets, friends, all that’s kind to our mortalities.

But in that gale, the port, the land, is that ship’s direst jeopardy; she must fly all hospitality; one touch of land, though it but graze the keel, would make her shudder through and through. With all her might she crowds all sail off shore; in so doing, fights ‘gainst the very winds that fain would blow her homeward; seeks all the lashed sea’s landlessness again; for refuge’s sake forlornly rushing into peril; her only friend her bitterest foe!

Know ye now, Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

But as in landlessness alone resides highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God- so better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety! For worm-like, then, oh! who would craven crawl to land!

Terrors of the terrible! is all this agony so vain? Take heart, take heart, O Bulkington! Bear thee grimly, demigod! Up from the spray of thy ocean-perishing- straight up, leaps thy apotheosis!

Moby Dick | Herman Melville

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