Monday, December 25, 2023

America is beginning to look like Germany in the early 1930s: Ten dollar mayonaise

In his novel, titled 1984, George Orwell described a world in which an all-powerful government manipulated reality to deceive the citizenry. For example, when the government cut the chocolate ration from 30 grams to 20 grams, it announced that it was raising it to 20 grams--a bald-faced lie.

When Orwell's novel was released in 1958, it was considered a utopian tale about a world that didn't really exist. Today, we are living in 1984.

President Joe Biden, our demented Big Brother, recently made this pronouncement about the American economy. “Today, we saw more progress bringing down inflation while maintaining one of the strongest job markets in history.” That's just bullshit.

Everyone I know expresses shock at the price of groceries. I went to the grocery store not long ago and discovered that the cost of Kraft mayonnaise was almost $10 a jar!

People who are retired and living on fixed incomes find their dollars’ buying power shrinking month by month. Yet the Biden administration claims that Bidenomics has made us all more prosperous.

The government’s official employment rate is more bullshit. Federal bureaucrats claim unemployment is below 4 percent, but that number hides the fact that millions of people are not working and not even looking for work. 

The United States is beginning to look like Germany in the early 1930s. Like the United States today, Germany was governed by a man suffering from dementia. Paul Von Hindenburg, president of Germany from 1925 until he died in 1934, drifted in and out of senescence.

Like Hindenburg, who appointed an Austrian corporal with a funny mustache as chancellor of Germany, Biden has made some terrible personnel decisions. Who believes Kamala Harris is qualified to be Vice President?

Germany, in the years leading up to World War II, was wracked by political violence from the left and the right. America, too, is plagued by a rising tide of political violence.

Then, there was inflation, which wiped out the German middle class and drove the German mark down to a million marks to the U.S. dollar. Likewise, America is teetering on the edge of hyperinflation, with millions of elderly people already reduced to poverty.

Evil days are ahead of us. The time may come when we will fondly reminisce about the days when mayonnaise only cost $10 a jar.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Antisemitism at Harvard. Should I Burn hy Harvard Diploma?

 I wish I were a billionaire who had given a pot of money to Harvard University. I would write Harvard a stern public letter rebuking its anemic response to anti-Jewish bigotry by Harvard students. I would vow not to give the university one more dime. A few billionaires have taken that action.

Indeed, there is strong evidence that antisemitism lurks in the shadows on Harvard's musty campus. Adrian Ahkenazy, a Harvard alum, and a  Harvard Jewish Alumni Association co-founder, wrote an op-ed essay in the New York Post a few days ago, noting that there are fewer Jewish students and faculty at Harvard than in years past. "Among many saddening discoveries," he wrote, "we see that Jews have been purged across campus--from the administration and the Board of Supervisors to the faculty and the student body." Jewish students comprise only 5 percent of the Harvard student body, down from more than 20 percent at the turn of the twentieth century.

In an open letter to the Harvard community, Harvard's president implicitly admitted that antisemitism is a problem at the university. President Claudine Gay wrote that Harvard is "seeking to identify external partnerships that will allow Harvard to learn from and work with others on our strategy [to combat antisemitism]." To me, it sounds like Harvard plans to hire some consultants to study anti-Jewish bigotry until people forget about it.

I am not a billionaire and have never given Harvard any money (besides my tuition). How can I effectively express my contempt for Harvard's closet antisemitism?

I have a Harvard doctoral degree, which I could publicly burn as a protest of Harvard's cowardice and closet bigotry. I also purchased a crimson academic gown for my Harvard graduation ceremony in 1993. I could burn that, too.

However, I will not set my diploma or academic regalia ablaze. I don't believe in setting things on fire to express my political convictions. In any event, I don't think anything I might say or do would get Harvard’s attention. After all, I live in Flyover Country.

How do ordinary people censor an elite university trafficking in prestige while marinating in bigotry and moral cowardice? We can begin by deconstructing Harvard's image as the epitome of intellectual and moral superiority.

Many Americans believe that Harvard people are more intelligent and more morally sensitive than the rest of us. Having spent some time at Harvard, I can tell you that legend is untrue. There are some smart people at Harvard, but most Harvardians are no more intelligent than your favorite handyman or plumber.

Perhaps William F. Buckley said it best: “I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.


Sunday, December 3, 2023

Elderly white men have highest suicide rate in U.S. Who the hell cares?

 A few days ago, I heard a story on NPR radio about life expectancy in the United States. Americans can expect to live to about 77 years of age, three years fewer than a few years ago. Our nation's life expectancy rate is lower than other developed countries.

NPR gave several reasons for our shorter lifespans, including COVID and drug overdoses. One NPR guest pointed out that deaths from childbirth are higher in the United States than in other wealthy countries.

The NPR story did not mention suicide, which has reached an all-time high in the United States. Nearly 50,000 people took their own lives in 2022.

Men are four times more likely to kill themselves than women, and elderly white men have the highest suicide rate of any subgroup--far higher than the suicide rate among young people.

The NPR story also failed to mention recent research that shows life expectancy rates among white working-class people have dropped dramatically, partly due to rising suicide rates and deaths related to drug and alcohol abuse.

These omissions reflect the interests of NPR listeners, who are probably more concerned about the rights of transgender college athletes than the death rates of elderly and working-class white people. Many NPR listeners are young, and in the minds of many young people, elderly white people are “old and in the way” (to quote a song released by a bluegrass band called Old and in the Way in 1975).

Indeed, many young American elites are afflicted with gerontophobia--the fear of older people. Therefore, when old white people commit suicide or die prematurely, it makes the world better for young people who will have fewer older adults draining the National Treasury due to Social Security payments and Medicare.

Also, many young progressive Americans seem to think all elderly white people are racists. Today’s intellectual and media elites have only a passing knowledge of history. I suspect many of them believe white people my age are all racists who were raised on cotton plantations and got rich by exploiting people of color. They might be surprised to learn that my parents grew up poor in the Dust Bowl of northwestern Oklahoma and never exploited anybody.

When I was younger, I practiced law in Alaska and represented several Inuit school boards. The Inuit respect the old people in their communities and consult them about unimportant community issues. The elders and shamans in Inuit villages are not elected. Instead, they achieve their status based on a record of good judgment, wisdom, and common sense throughout their lifetimes.

America has little use for older adults apart from the elderly scammers in Congress and our geriatric President. Perhaps that's why the Nation’s suicide rate is so high among older white men.


photo credit: Dorothea Lange