Iran Celebrates Biden’s Inauguration

 

Iran, which was designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1984, celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden yesterday. Seemingly oblivious to the concept of irony, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called Donald Trump a “stupid terrorist” while expressing optimism that Biden would be a friendlier partner to the state sponsor of terror.

I Scratch Your Back, You Scratch Mine 800,000 Times

 

Amazon offered to help the Biden administration on Wednesday, shortly after President Joe Biden was sworn into office, with efforts to distribute the coronavirus vaccine, a proposal that the tech giant had not submitted to the Trump administration in the month since the vaccine was approved for public use.

Amazon also requested that its 800,000 employees be prioritized for vaccination.

Incitement of Violence

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook said the removal of Parler from Apple’s online store was done because the company doesn’t consider incitement of violence free speech.

“We looked at the incitement to violence that was on there and we don’t consider that free speech and incitement of violence has an intersection,” Cook told Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.

Yes, “incitement of violence” is the party line and Tim Cook I guess is just a puppethead.

Despite the faux outrage over the Capitol riot, the virtuous left seems ok with using and endorsing violence when it suits them. Antifa has had ongoing riots in major American cities. Left-wing “protests” often include looting, smashing store windows, burning down people’s homes and businesses.

An MLK Day protest in New York City this week resulted in 11 police officers injured and 28 arrests.

If you try to get a conservative speaker on a college campus, people will show up in black clothing with masks, hoods, helmets, weapons, firebombs and try to violently shut the thing down.

How are all these things planned and incited? Not on Parler obviously. If Tim Cook or anyone else sincerely objects to incitement of violence (spoiler alert: they don’t), why aren’t they identifying other platforms and communication channels and shutting them down as well?

Hawaiian Shirts a Symbol of White Supremacy?

 

My closet:

Hawaiian shirts

P.S. I didn’t actually read the Hawaiian shirts article referenced above based on my policy of not reading articles where the headline sounds like absolute bullshit.

2 + 2 = 4. Discuss.

 

“The idea of 2 + 2 equaling 4 is cultural and because of western imperialism and colonization, we think of it as the only way of knowing.”

“The idea that 2 + 2 equals 4 is cultural is also cultural. It just originated from a much more stupid culture. If you want to achieve anything in life, go with the idea that 2 + 2 equals 4.”

Thomas Jefferson: Snails, Coups and Fake News

 
Thomas Jefferson

My fellow Americans –

I recently read that scientists at UCLA made snails “remember” things that never happened.

Why am I not impressed? Snails?! We have fake news that makes people remember things that never happened. Remember the “attempted coup” at the U.S. Capitol last week? That never happened.

That’s what the fake news called it: an “attempted coup.”

What is a coup? Isn’t it overthrowing an existing government and replacing it with a new one? The government is not a building. It’s not a room. Stealing Nancy Pelosi’s lectern doesn’t make you the new leader of the country. It’s not that easy.

We declared a coup in 1776. But we still had to fight a war for the next seven years to actually make it real. There was no coup or attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol. You just remember something that never happened.

Thomas Jefferson

Woke White Boy on George Washington

 
Woke White Boy

My niece was accepted to grad school at George Washington University. I had to point out that while George Washington did some good things, he was also a major slave owner and should not have a university named after him.

George Washington was not woke. You think it’s not fair to hold a guy born 400 years ago to current wokeness standards? Well, you’re wrong.

I wrote a letter to George Washington University to suggest that they rename it to Antifa University. Or if they want to keep the GWU initials, change it to Get Woke University.

Wake up, white people!

— WWB

Thomas Jefferson: Founding Principles

 
Thomas Jefferson

My fellow Americans –

In the aftermath of the recent unrest at the U.S. Capitol, I’m unpleasantly surprised by how many people believe they understand our country’s founding principles but in fact have no idea what they’re talking about.

Truth: The founding fathers were a bunch of bad-asses who were ready to overthrow the government because it put a tax on their breakfast beverage — and it wasn’t even coffee.

The founders were determined to have their concerns addressed by an unresponsive government one way or another. (Just bitching on Twitter until you got banned wasn’t an option in those days.)

Yes, we are too obsessed today with mindless entertainment and gadgetry to stage an actual revolution, but that is what we celebrate on July 4: the violent overthrow of an unresponsive government.

Thomas Jefferson

Jesus and Mo: Consider the Possibility

 

Jesus and Mo

The Interests of Schoolchildren

 

Oopsie! Bad timing!

As Albert Shanker — former president of the United Federation of Teachers (1964-1984) and the American Federation of Teachers (1974-1997) — used to say: “When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren.”

To Quarantine or Not to Quarantine?

 

I’m reading that Los Angeles County, which is adjacent to where I live (Orange County) is now requiring travelers to quarantine for 10 days.

By comparison, I also just read that Sweden, which didn’t do lockdowns, continued to send kids to school, adults to work, didn’t close bars, restaurants, gyms, etc., will have about the same death rate in 2020 as they’ve had every year since 2010.

One explanation would be that people tagged as COVID victims were on track to die within a year or so anyway.

I looked at COVID death rates for California and found that residents age 80+ are 3% of cases but 43% of deaths. If we go down to age 65+, we see 11% of cases but 76% of deaths. In a large majority of cases, the decedents had one or more comorbidities.

You Do Not Need Many Things

 
Ryokan's Grave

My house is buried in the deepest recess of the forest
Every year, ivy vines grow longer than the year before.
Undisturbed by the affairs of the world I live at ease,
Woodmen’s singing rarely reaching me through the trees.
While the sun stays in the sky, I mend my torn clothes
And facing the moon, I read holy texts aloud to myself.
Let me drop a word of advice for believers of my faith.
To enjoy life’s immensity, you do not need many things.

Why Are They Working and Why Are We Not?

 

As I walked out all the streets were empty
The government said everyone should stay home
And they spread fear and loathing and no hope for the future
Not many did question this very strange move

Well, on the government website from the 21st March 2020
It said COVID-19 was no longer high risk
Then two days later Boris put us under lockdown
Then why are we not being told the truth?

By all the media outlets and the government lackeys
Why is this not big news, why is it being ignored?
Why no checks and balances, why no second opinions?
Why are they working, and why are we not?

Why are they working, and why are we not?
Why are they working, and why are we not?
Why are they working, and why are we not?
Why are they working, and why are we not?
Why are they working, and why are we not?

— Van Morrison, “As I Walked Out”

How Will the Media Treat President Biden?

 

Obviously the media hate Donald Trump but he has been sensational for ratings. Obviously the last four years of screaming partisan trainwreck reportage is interesting to some people.

What will happen when (alleged) president-elect Biden takes over? Will we continue to get the same puff pieces we’ve been getting on him all year? He seems remarkably coherent today. What energy! Look at him go! I think he’s figured out how teleprompters work. Thank god he’s got the keys to the nuclear codes!

Who’s going to watch that nonsense day after day? Nobody, is what I would assume.

Will the press have to turn against Biden just to maintain ratings? I’m interested to see how that will play out.

Too Lazy To Be Ambitious

 
Ryokan's Grave

Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.

Begging

 
Ryokan's Grave

today’s begging is finished; at the crossroads
i wander by the side of hachiman shrine
talking with some children.
last year, a foolish monk;
this year, no change!

Two True Stories About 2020

 

Looking back over 2020, it was a year of fear, suffering, and pain . . . but also a story of courage, compassion, heroism and accomplishment. Do our brains have an automatic negativity bias? It seems we much more easily remember and give attention to bad experiences.

But both stories are true.

Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.” — Isaiah 6:8

New York Times Publishes True Story!

 

There was a story in the New York Times citing a recent scientific study which found that people can lose weight by exercising more.

Stop the fucking presses! Follow the science! On the bright side, it may be the only factually accurate story the Times has published in the last four years.

Possible follow-up: Is there scientific evidence that people can also lose weight by eating less?

Wild Geese

 
Flock of flying birds during golden hour
Photo by Barth Bailey on Unsplash

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

— Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”