Tuesday, February 27, 2024

600 new sanctions against Russia. Take that, you Slavic thugs!

 Russia’s war on Ukraine enters its third year. Ukraine’s counteroffensive, launched last spring, was a failure, and Russian troops are gaining ground in the Donbas region.  What to do?

Here’s an idea. Let’s slap new sanctions on the Russians—that’ll teach those Slavic thugs not to mess with Ukraine. But if these sanctions are such a good idea, why weren’t they implemented in 2022, right after Russia invaded Ukraine? Why wait two years? 

Are any American and Nato sanctions working? The Obama administration and other NATO countries implemented sanctions against Russia in 2014, right after Russia annexed Crimea. A year later, NATO claimed the sanctions were effective. NATO was wrong, however, because eight years after swallowing Crimea, Russia invaded Ukraine.

As John Paul Jones once said, “I have not yet begun to fight.” Now, President Biden is letting the world know he’s friggin' serious. Maybe his 600 new sanctions will get Russia to back off and get the hell out of Ukraine.

Or maybe not. The Guardian reported recently that the Russian economy grew by 3 percent last year despite the grinding war with Ukraine. On the other hand, Germany, one of Ukraine’s most important allies, saw its economy shrink over the same period.

We’ll see how things work out. If Russia and Ukraine are fighting a year from now, maybe the United States can find even more sanctions to impose on those pesky Slavic invaders. Of course, what Ukraine really needs right now is ammunition, not sanctions.  And if the war drags on, Ukraine will probably need more ammunition next year than it needs now.

Monday, February 26, 2024

CORRECTION. Concealed Carry in Louisiana: A Really Bad Idea

Correction. Governor Landry's gun legislation concerns concealed carry. not open carry, as I mistakenly reported.

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry supports a law allowing adult Louisianians to carry concealed handguns without a permit or training. The legislature passed legislation approving permitless concealed carry.

I confess I am attracted to the fantasy of wearing a pistol when I’m out and about in Baton Rouge. I can see myself with an ivory-handled Colt revolver cradled in a hand-tooled holster when I go to the grocery store. 

I grew up watching Western movies like Shane and TV westerns like Gunsmoke,  Bonanza, and Have Gun Will Travel. Apparently, everyone in the Old West carried a revolver, and the good guys always defeated the bad guys.

If I’d had a sweet little .38 special when I was in elementary school, no one would’ve bullied me on the playground.  There'd be a lot less child abuse if the kiddies had guns.

Nevertheless, Concealed Carry is a bad idea for the Pelican State.

I see these problems. First, if everyone is carrying a gun, petty disputes will turn into violent incidents. The recent shooting at the Kansas City Super Bowl parade illustrates my point. Two guys got into an argument. Both men pulled guns, and the result was the death of an innocent bystander and 22 people wounded, including nine children.

Second, handguns are a lot more dangerous now than they were 50 years ago. When I was a kid, a few people had handguns, but they were almost all revolvers of modest calibers.

Revolvers are dangerous, but they only hold six bullets, and reloading is tedious because each bullet must be inserted into the gun's cylinder one at a time.

Nowadays, there are a lot more handguns, and most of them are 9 mm autoloaders. Many of these guns hold 15 bullets or more and can be reloaded in a few seconds with a fresh magazine. 

And 9 mm autoloaders can be purchased cheaply. Premium brand guns are expensive, but you can buy an off-brand nine mm handgun for less than $300.

Third, even in a Concealed Carry state, a civilian who shoots someone runs a high risk of getting sued or arrested. In New York, for example, a person who defends himself against a mugger will probably go to jail while the mugger gets a preloaded debit card and a first-class plane ticket to Seattle. It would be a tragedy for an honest citizen to be arrested or sued for shooting someone, even if the shooting was justified.

Finally, we’ve got the issue of road rage. I know several people who carry handguns in their vehicles, and the practice makes a certain amount of sense, especially in New Orleans, where carjackings are on the rise.

Nevertheless, you know how you feel when you're driving on the Interstate, and a jackass pulls up 12 inches behind your vehicle and rides your ass for 10 miles or does some other stupid thing that drives you crazy.

If you have a handgun in your glove box, you'll be tempted to roll down the window of your car and just shoot the son of the bitch as he passes you on the right while he’s shooting you the finger. And then you will be sorry that you lost your temper.

For all these reasons, I will not carry a handgun, even though it is legal to so in Louisiana. 
In the long run, we'll all be safer if we work together to build a secure and just society. In the meantime, we cannot cheat fate or forestall evil events simply by carrying a pistol.

Open Carry in Louisiana: A Really Bad Idea

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

It's Official--Joe Biden is a better President than Jimmy Carter!

 A couple of professors released a paper on Presidents Day (how ironic!) that ranked all American presidents from first to last. Abraham Lincoln ranked first, a relief to Lincoln, Nebraska's City Council. The council was disturbed by evidence that Lincoln was soft on slavery and was in the process of changing its name to Al Sharpton. Lincoln's reputation is safe for now, although a researcher at Smith College is about to release a study revealing that Lincoln was a cis-gendered white man from Flyover Country. Lincoln might get knocked down a few rankings if that research holds up.

Who are the eminent scholars with the intellect to evaluate all our presidents? The first author was Brandon Rottinghaus, a professor at the University of Houston, which Houstonians affectionately call Cougar High School.

Justin Vaughn, an associate professor at Coastal Carolina University, is the second author and an editor of the Journal of Political Science.

The rankings were based on polling responses from 154 scholars researching presidential politics and history. The results were so riveting and groundbreaking that the NewYork Times and other legacy media reported them extensively.

Joe Biden rated fourteenth among all the Presidents—an impressive ranking for a guy with dementia. If he hadn't lost his marbles, he undoubtedly would have ranked higher even than Barrack Obama, who ranked seventh.

Donald Trump ranked last among pinhead academics, but we didn't need a research paper to tell us that. I was surprised, however, that Biden outranked Jimmy Carter. After all, Carter engineered the Camp David Accords, which led to a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel and moved the Middle East toward a lasting peace.

On the other hand, Bisen (and Obama before him) tried to charm the Iranians as opposed to imposing stiff sanctions against that terrorist regime. Now Israel is fighting in Gaza against Iranian proxies who used the mullahs' cash to stockpile arms and construct an elaborate tunnel system. With Iran's backing, Hamas raiders raped, tortured, kidnapped, or murdered more than a thousand Israelis—including women and children.

Now, our 14th-ranked demented President has the U.S. fighting in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and the Israelis are skirmishing with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Perhaps the presidential ranking report can be explained by the fact that the respondents mainly specialize in politics without much regard for whether our Presidents tried to make the world a safer and more harmonious planet.


Photo Credit New Arab

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Rats swimming toward a sinking ship: Paul Krugman certifies Biden's Mental Acuity

 The only instance of a rat swimming towards a sinking ship.

Winston Churchill

Paul Krugman has joined the growing crowd of sycophants who earnestly argue that President Biden has all his marbles. "As anyone who has recently spent time with Biden (and I have) can tell you," Krugman writes, "he is in full possession of his faculties--completely lucid and with excellent grasp of detail." Indeed, Krugman avers that Biden has been "a remarkably effective president."

Krugman, who was awarded a Nobel Prize in economics, even admits that Biden's judgment about the recent debt ceiling crisis was better than his own. ("[Biden]was right and I was wrong.”)

Whatever you say, Paul. After all, you write for the New York Times, and I'm just a yokel from flyover country. So explain, please, Biden's boast that he will forgive billions of dollars of student debt without costing taxpayers anything. Does that sound right to you?

On a more urgent issue, how can you say that Biden is an effective president when he's bumbled foreign policy in Eastern Europe by stoking a war between Russia and Ukraine—a war that has cost at least a half million casualties and created millions of refugees? A smarter president would have listened to Putin's concerns about Ukraine's admission to NATO and assured Russia that the U.S. is not trying to weaken Russia, which is, after all, a nuclear power.

And if Biden has a world-class mind for economics, why is the U.S. budget deficit $1.7 trillion? And why doesn't he accept some responsibility for addressing our national debt--$34 trillion and growing every day?

And how's that war in Gaza going? Instead of backing Israel, our faithful ally, Biden gives aid and comfort to Hamas by calling for a ceasefire that would only benefit the terrorists.

Before November, it will become apparent to everyone--even you, Paul Krugman, that Biden doesn't have the mental stamina to serve a second term as President or even finish his present term. It will be crystal clear that Krugman and his media buddies have been rats swimming towards a sinking ship.

What will Paul Krugman and the other sycophants in the media elite say then? Will they admit they were wrong to write that Biden is an effective President and that his mind runs like a Swiss watch?

I don't think so. As Winston Churchill observed, "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."

In other words, when it becomes apparent to people of the meanest intelligence that Biden's presidency has been a disaster for the American people, Krugman and his cronies will blame all our nation's ills on MAGA Republicans.

Which guy is smarter?

Monday, February 19, 2024

Dance with who brung you: Black pastors should back Israel without reservation

More than a thousand black pastors have called on President Biden to demand that Israel agree to a ceasefire in Gaza. Their stance carries an implicit threat that President Biden will lose Black support at the polls next November unless he makes a maximum effort to pressure Israel to stop the fighting.

As the New York Times reported, one influential Black pastor said that "Black faith leaders are extremely disappointed with Biden on [the Gaza] issue" and that "it's going to be very hard to persuade our people to go back to the polls and vote for Biden."

African American religious leaders seem to be sympathizing with the Palestinians who are suffering real hardship due to the Gaza war. Thousands of civilians have been killed or driven from their homes by the Israeli invasion.

Let's not forget, however, how the war started. Hamas terrorists raided Israeli towns on October 7 and committed heinous acts of torture, rape, and murder. Then these thugs kidnapped more than 200 people and still hold more than a hundred in underground bunkers.

Israel understands that these racist, sadistic butchers are intent on genocide--to wiping Jews from the face of the earth. There can be no compromise with them--Israel is truly in a fight to the death.

All Americans, including African Americans, should stand four-square with Israel in its war against Hamas.  The United Nations made an eternal promise to the world's Jews when it recognized the Jewish homeland as a nation-state in 1948. The world cannot renege on that promise--certainly not now when Israel is defending itself against terrorism.

African-American religious leaders need to realize that a wishy-washy stance on Gaza is not only a threat to Israel, it is an insult to American Jews. Jewish Americans were prominent participants in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and Jews and African Americans stood in solidarity as mainstays of the Democratic Party during those days when the Party advanced civil liberties for all Americans.

To borrow from the lyrics of Asleep at the Wheel, Black religious leaders need to "dance with who brung you" rather than give aid and comfort to Hamas--which a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza would do.

Image credit: Politico/Reuters

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Governor Landry Wants More Death Row Prisoners to Be Executed: I’m Opposed

More than 100 film industry leaders released a public letter to Governor Jeff Landry expressing their disapproval of Landry's efforts to expand the ways that death-row prisoners can be executed. “How can we,” the filmmakers wrote, “continue to conduct business within a state that contemplates the implementation of execution methods reminiscent of history's gravest atrocities?”

Governor Landy wants the Louisiana Legislature to pass a bill that would add electrocution and nitrogen gas as approved methods for killing condemned prisoners. I’m surprised he didn’t add fentanyl to his list. A hundred thousand Americans died from fentanyl overdoses last year, and no one complained that fentanyl is a painful way to die.

Of course, the morality of capital punishment doesn’t hinge on finding more humane ways to kill people. The guillotine, which extinguishes life instantaneously, probably inflicts less pain than electrocution, but that doesn’t make decapitation a morally acceptable method of execution.

Governor Landry is a Catholic, and as Robert Mann pointed out in a recent blog essay, the Catholic Catechism states the Church’s opposition to capital punishment, calling it “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.” Even before the Catechism was amended in 2018 to stiffen the Church’s opposition to the death penalty, Pope John Paul II expressed his disapproval. In a homily delivered in St. Louis in 1999, he said this:
A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.
In short, the Catholic Church’s opposition to capital punishment is not an arcane and obscure snippet of Catholic dogma; it is an inextricable part of the Church’s affirmation of human life and human dignity—as is the Church’s opposition to abortion.

In my mind, Governor Landry, a good Catholic, is bound by his faith to oppose the death penalty in Louisiana, just as he opposes abortion.

57 people on Louisiana's Death Row
Image credit: NOLA.com

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Has E.J. Dionne Sold His Soul to the Deep State?

E.J. Dionne, a Washington Post columnist, wrote a disingenuous commentary a few days ago that appeared in my local newspaper. Dionne takes Americans to task who believe we are faced with two equally bad choices in this year's presidential election.
Dionne argues that Biden is by far the better candidate. In his mind, Americans must choose between Trump, "who stokes and exploits their anger," and Biden, "who is trying to solve their problems."

Dionne can reasonably argue that Americans should choose Biden over Trump in November's election. Without a doubt, Trump is a deeply flawed candidate. Nevertheless, Dionne's arguments in favor of Biden are nonsense.

Deonne says Biden has sought "compromise to protect our southern border," which is unadulterated bullshit. Everyone knows that millions of illegal immigrants are flooding across the Mexican border and that Biden has done nothing to stem the flow. Everyone understands that our open border is directly responsible for the epidemic of fentanyl overdoses--100,000 deaths last year.

Dionne also commends Biden for sending aid to Ukraine when, in fact, our government provoked Russia to invade Ukraine when it helped overthrow a popularly elected pro-Russia Ukrainian president in 2014. Although Dionne will probably not admit it, Ukraine is losing that war, and continued American military aid will only lead to more casualties for both Russians and Ukrainians.

In my mind, Dionne’s essay is more offensive for what he didn’t say than for what he said. Dionne said nothing about Biden’s dementia, which has gotten so bad that a five-year-old child could diagnose him. Dionne failed to mention credible evidence that Biden and his family sold Joe Biden’s influence to countries hostile to America.

Incredibly, Dionne says our government “has performed well” under Biden, when in fact, Biden has weaponized federal law enforcement, stoked inflation, and diminished our national security and America's standing around the world.

In essence, Dionne argues that Americans must choose “between a normal human being and a self-involved, spiteful madman.” But Biden is not a normal human being. Alternatively, if he is a normal human being, then America is a nation of clinically demented criminals.

Dionne admits that he's spent his career in the mainstream media, which, he says "takes on the essential work of informing the public about what is going on in the world with a sense of fairness and a dedication to the truth . . ."

And that is the heart of the matter. The mainstream media is not dedicated to the truth; it has sold its soul to the Deep State. Unfortunately, Dionne has marinated so long in the Deep State's vile brew of mendacity that he can't see what is obvious to Americans living in the Heartland--our President is cognitively diminished and up to his elbows in corruption.

Photo credit: The Australian


Friday, February 16, 2024

High-Income Married Couples Can Get $117,000 a Year In Social Security Benefits: What the Hell!

 Our politicians and federal apparatchiks say they care about the poor and despise the rich. 

Nevertheless, I notice that our government gives out a lot of dough to rich people who don’t need federal handouts. For example, the Cato Institute reported yesterday that high-income married couples receive as much as $117,000 a year in Social Security benefits. Quoting Forbes writer Andrew Biggs, the Cato report points out:
[America’s Social Security program] produces . . . unnecessarily generous benefits for the highest earners, who easily could save more for retirement on their own, while shortchanging the Americans most at risk of poverty in old age because they received low pay during their working years.

This is outrageous when we consider that the average Social Security check is less than $ 1,800 and that 40 percent of older Americans depend almost solely on their Social Security checks to fund their retirement.


Put another way, Mitt Romney and Nancy Pelosi will get bigger Social Security checks than a Mississippi school teacher or some guy who worked all his life as an attendant in a nursing home.

Cato recommends that the U.S. follow Great Britain’s example and pay a flat-rate benefit to everyone—causing benefits to rise for low-income earners and shrink for the rich.


Britons receive about $34,000 in retirement benefits—regardless of lifetime earnings. If the U.S. switched to the British model, millions of low-income Americans would have a more comfortable retirement, and our Social Security program costs would decrease.


There's just one drawback: the British model for government retirement pensions would piss off  American rich people. And that's something Congress would never do.


Does Nancy need a big Social Security check?





Monday, February 12, 2024

President Biden, Ukraine, and Michelle Obama: Americans Are Sickened By Lies

Recently, I reread Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and this passage struck me:

You know I hate, detest, and can't bear a lie, not because I am straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appalls me. There is a taint of death, a flavor of mortality in lies--which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world--what I want to forget. It makes me miserable and sick, like biting something rotten would do.

I immediately thought about our national life; it's one big lie. Media commentators and Democratic Party hacks (Gavin Newsom, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris, etc.) claim that Joe Biden is a mentally competent and fully functioning adult--that he has all his marbles and is making rational policy decisions based on moral considerations and our national interests. But that's a lie.

Biden is suffering from severe cognitive decline and dementia. The symptoms grow worse with each passing week. Everyone knows it, and the refusal of our political and media elites to be honest about the President’s mental health is frightening.

President Biden, the Democratic Party leadership, and the legacy media insist Biden is running for a second term. That’s another lie. The puppeteers in the White House rafters have already chosen Biden’s successor. I predict the new candidate will be announced this summer shortly before the Democratic Party's National Convention. I believe that Michelle Obama, not Joe Biden, will be on the presidential ballot next November.

I feel sure that Biden’s handlers have already written the presidential decree pardoning Joe's son Hunter and other family members of all their crimes. Undoubtedly, the President has already signed that decree in case he keels over prematurely in the coming months or is incapacitated by a stroke.

Our war in Ukraine is another lie. Ukraine is losing that war, which has produced millions of refugees and perhaps a million battle casualties. Although our government is lying about it, the United States is directly at war with Russia, a nuclear power. For what?

The people propagating these gross lies don’t care that they are hiding the truth. Perhaps, as Joseph Goebbels suggested, they have lied so many times that they’ve come to believe the lies themselves.

However, I think the White House press officers, the New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post know they’re lying about the Biden administration. And I think they know that Americans don’t believe the bullshit they’re spewing.

They don’t care that they’re being written off as liars and dissemblers. Why? The mainstream press doesn't give a damn whether the American people think the press is trustworthy, and that’s scary.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Screw Peoria! The Biden Adminstration Hates the Heartland

 Until recently, “Will it play in Peoria?” was a familiar political aphorism. The question basically asks whether the American Heartland would approve a specific political action.

The Biden administration and the Democratic Party’s goon squads don’t ask that question anymore. Instead, they ask whether their various political activities will insult the Heartland, hurt the middle class economically, or help erode traditional American values. If the answer is yes, then it's full speed ahead!

Here are some examples:

Biden’sbureaucrats advance the bizarre notion that men can compete in women’s varsity sports so long as they identify as being women. Trans women don’t even have to castrate themselves—they just have to change their names and get a feminine haircut.

Another example. President Biden has opened the nation’s southern border to anyone who crosses the Bravo, including human traffickers, drug runners, and young men on the terrorist watch list. Biden’s policy frightens, angers, and demoralizes most Americans—which surely warms the hearts of the Democratic political operatives.

And here's one more example of the Biden team's contempt for Middle America. This year, the Democratic Party began disparaging the presidential primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire. Why? Because the populations of those two states are too white! Biden prefers to start his anemic reelection campaign in South Carolina, where the state’s registered Democrats are not so Caucasian.

Speaking of this year’s presidential campaign, who believes President Biden will be on the ballot this November? I don't. The man suffers from dementia. Next summer, the Democratic Party’s hoodlums will introduce a replacement for ol’ crooked Joe—someone who didn’t bother participating in the state primaries.

Oily-haired Gavin Newsom and the cadaverous Nancy Pelosi breezily affirm that Joe Biden's mental state is just fine, which is their way of saying they have nothing but contempt for the average, everyday American voter. Hey, a demented geriatric is the kind of president that Flyover Country deserves.

But here’s the thing. Americans are beginning to despise the nation’s political class as much as the politicians despise them. You would think that would scare the sleezebags who run our government.

But they’re not worried because they have ballot harvesting down to a science. The Dems are going to win, no matter how the true vote count turns out.

That’s right: The 2024 presidential election will be rigged—just like the 2020 election.  But don't say that out loud, or Fani Willis will arrest you.

Peoria sends its regards.

Saturday, February 3, 2024

More Plagiarism at Harvard: Another Stain on the DEI Industry

Plagiarism, Schlagerism. What does it matter so long as you stand by the integrity of your scholarship? That’s Claudine Gay’s position, and she earns almost nine hundred grand a year at Harvard University even though she stepped down as Harvard’s president after being accused of plagiarizing parts of her Harvard dissertation.

And perhaps that’s Sherri Charleston’s position as well. Dr. Charleston, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Harvard, has recently been accused of plagiarizing parts of her 2009 dissertation and a 2014 scholarly article published in the Journal of Negro Education. Gay and Charleton are both African American women, and both saw their careers blossom as American universities embraced Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

What do these two scandals tell us about DEI in higher education? First, DEI is an industry that has nothing to do with scholarship. DEI administrators are political officers, not academics. Harvard did not place Gay and Charleston in elevated positions because they have records of outstanding scholarship; they got their jobs because they had the credentials that would help Harvard advance its DEI agenda.

Second, DEI is a career path that is only open to racial minorities. If you scan the higher education landscape, you will find that the universities have hundreds of DEI administrators. I’ll buy you lunch at the Stockyard restaurant in North Baton Rouge if you can identify even one heterosexual white male in a DEI position.

Finally, the proliferation of DEI administrators has not promoted racial harmony on American college campuses. On the contrary, our nation has seen a shocking outbreak of antisemitism on university campuses in recent months—shocking enough to prompt Congress to hold hearings on the phenomenon. On the whole, the DEI commissars are indifferent to racism against Jews, as evidenced by Claudine Gay’s remarkably nuanced and legalistic response when she was asked whether calls for "genocide of Jews" violated Harvard’s policies on bullying and harassment.

In the coming months, we will see more scandals erupt as critics scan the academic credentials of university DEI officers. These scandals will show that the colleges don’t give a damn about their DEI apparatchiks' scholarly records. Sherri Charleston, for example, has been accused of plagiarizing passages in her dissertation from a book written by Professor Rebecca J. Scott, who co-chaired Charleston’s dissertation committee. Presumably, Professor Scott read Charleston’s dissertation drafts. It's odd, don’t you think, that Scott apparently didn’t realize that part of what she was reading came from her own book!

Harvard Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging