Ending Off 2021 Right

2020 was a nightmare from beginning to end and 2021 didn’t begin any better.  2021 started off as pure poison.  But the naked fraud and inexcusable subverting of the law has disgusted and radicalized whole segments of the population that up until now were sleep walking through the coup.  And what we’ve seen for the last five months is the chickens finally coming home to roost.  The combination of economic disaster, naked cronyism in the legislature and incompetence in multiple departments of the executive branch has turned the voting public against Dementia Joe and his lackeys.  And 2022 promises to be even worse for these crooks and weirdos.  It promises to be a disaster from beginning to end.  And all of this bad news for the bad guys has given me the opportunity to sendoff 2021 in style.

I just finished off the Christmas holiday exactly as I had hoped it would go.  All of my grandkids were over today and after having a Camera Girl feast that included roast beast and all the fixings, I basked in the bright light of all that youthful energy.  Most of the energy was dissipated shooting nerf projectiles at each other and the surroundings.  But there were some proceedings that I was qualified to join in.  And there was a fun toy that they brought along.  I bought the boys an Oculus virtual reality (VR) headset about two years ago.  I asked them about it recently and they talked about a fun module that they could run on the headset and I asked them to bring it over for me to try.  It’s a simulation of a rollercoaster.  Now it wouldn’t occur to me that wearing a visor over my eyes would in some way simulate the sensation of motion that happens when you ride on a rollercoaster but so help me it does!  The visual stimuli of riding around on a fast-moving car that is constantly changing direction and speed even convinces the pit of your stomach that you’re climbing and plunging on the tracks of a coaster.  I convinced Camera Girl to put it on but she has such extreme motion sickness that she yanked the headset off her face after barely ten seconds.  She told me she would have been violently ill if she had waited any more time at all.  Such a big baby!

Then I convinced my little granddaughter to watch the old Disney movie Dumbo.  She was very hesitant because she is marvelously sensitive to cinematic sadness.  When the baby elephant was separated from his mother, I thought Princess Sack of Potatoes was going to burst out crying.  I had to convince her to hang in there because there would be a reunion.  Sure enough, once that occurred, she was enthralled by the song the mother elephant cooed to her child.  Unfortunately, she had to go home before she got to see the happily ever after ending but she’ll be back next week to finish it off.

And the sum total of all the human interactions between kids, parents and grandparents over the course of two days of feasting, playing and talking was the perfect ending to a holiday that is the perfect ending to a year.  With the kids off until after the New Year we’ll get a chance to spend more time together to talk about high school and college decisions and their day-to-day doings.  I recently sent the older boys a bunch of science fiction novels and apparently, they’re were very favorably impressed with the stories so I’ll get their feedback on these.  And we’ll play few games of pool now that they’ve mastered the fundamentals of holding the cue and lining up a shot.  And we’ll spend the next week finishing off the leftovers from the feast.  And they promised they’d help me to figure out if there is an easy and inexpensive way to play Doom 2 on the Oculus VR system.  I’ve always wanted to revisit that video game without the restriction of having to use a joystick or keyboard to look behind my back for the monster that is always sneaking up on me in that game.

So, all this will recharge my batteries to endure the colossal amounts of dishonesty and stupidity that will be on display by all the politicians who will make 2022 a veritable marathon of evil.  After the fact, I see now what I missed during the COVID crisis.  I was isolated from the things that make life worth living.  Spending time with the people in your life that count is several orders of magnitude more important than all the other things you do with your time.  Making sure there are people left who care about the things you care about is the justification for fighting against the Left.  If we prevailed over the Left but those people were lost to us then none of it would personally benefit us.  It would be at best an intellectual exercise and personally meaningless.  So, I intend to enjoy my time off with loved ones and prioritize those activities right now.  Later on, I’ll get back to ranting about the losers who are out there mucking up this beautiful world.

Christmas in the Woke World

Christmas Cooking, Sony A7 III, Sony 90mm f\2.8 macro lens

If you have very religious friends then you know that many people have always felt that the public face of Christmas has always been tainted by the commercial nature of the holiday in our culture.  They are outraged that the secular elements of Christmas overshadow the sacred nature of the holiday.

Maybe from their point of view what is happening in the culture now is no worse than the former commercialism.  Well, now it’s everyone else’s turn to be outraged.  Of course, the present outrage isn’t confined to commercialism.  We’re dealing with the destruction of a whole civilization and its replacement by nihilism.  But maybe the course of action everyone will be forced to adopt is basically the same as that taken by religious people living in a secular society.  The religious communities have to provide analogs for all the secular institutions around them.  They send their children to religious grammar and high schools.  Their churches sponsor children’s sports teams and fraternal organizations and social occasions where families can get together and young people can find friends.  And these organizations can act as networking opportunities for professional advancement and community projects.  Even politics can be centered around church membership.

If you don’t happen to be religious this may pose a problem in today’s woke society.  Outside of churches the Left has exerted massive pressure to warp and control the other organizations existing in the world today.  Public schools are hotbeds of homosexual recruitment and even stranger things like the indoctrination of middle-school kids into the transgender delusion.  The Boy Scouts have been co-opted, the large corporations are saturated with diversity, inclusion and equity programming and the federal government is an occupying army.

So, there’s only one way forward.  You have to do it all yourself.  Anything you want to preserve about Christmas, you are going to have to sponsor personally.  So, let’s say you want to encourage the religious aspects of Christmas.  Then you are going to have to make sure you bring the kids to church and tell them what you believe.  And if there are cultural traditions or family traditions you want to preserve then you better take the time to teach the kids and the grandkids about them and why they are important.  And let’s face it, if you don’t really believe in the importance of these things, you won’t be able to convince anyone else that they are important.

Luckily for me, I love old fashioned Christmas.  I love getting together with the family and eating a great big meal and passing the time together playing games and telling stories about the old days to the kids and talking about the minor news and events in the family and the community.  I love to put on some old movie like “A Christmas Carol” or “A Christmas Story” and introduce it to another generation.  I love to spend time with my kids and grandkids and hear about their lives and maybe provide a sympathetic ear to someone who needs to talk or make the encouraging noises that everyone likes to hear and sometimes really needs.  And if the talk turns to things going on in the larger world state your opinion honestly and fearlessly.  Don’t mince words about the Democrats and especially not about the truly insane fringes of the Left.

And Christmas is just one chapter of what needs to be done.  Every aspect of normal life and Western Civilization needs the same treatment.  Be vocal and comfortable about cheerleading for the good things in the old culture that need to be defended and nurtured.  Encourage the kids to think about important parts of their lives that they will have to attend to.  Finding a job, finding a spouse, raising a family.  These are things that don’t go without saying.  Say them.  Provide practical help for things like career counseling, finding activities, even providing them with help like a lift to a job or an activity.  After all most parents are stretched pretty thin.  If a granddad has the time, he should make himself useful.

So that’s enough talk.  We’re headed out Christmas Eve in the afternoon to one of my daughters.  That’s going to be fun.  And then Christmas dinner is at my house and that will be grand.  All the grandkids will be there and I will be in my glory.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Ah, Distinctly I Remember It Was in the Bleak December

Today was a sort of busy day.  Family matters and also, I got a couple of thousand words done for my book.  So, the day was over quickly.  I read through the news and didn’t see anything compelling to rant about.  I watched “The Holly and the Ivy” tonight and that got me back in the spirit of the season but it was late and with the sun gone so early this close to the Winter Solstice I find my energy fails earlier.  So here I am pondering weak and weary upon a midnight dreary.  It seems very quiet tonight.  Possibly that’s just my own stillness but I still want to puzzle out something about the day.

I think what I’m sensing is the contrast between the sacred and the profane.  But maybe it would be better saying good and evil.  I’m thinking about all the positive, life-affirming things tied up with Christmas.  Family, benevolence toward your fellow man, celebration, community and a sense of the holiness of the season.  And then I think about Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, “The Squad,” the awful people in the media, George Soros, all the monsters in the FBI and the Justice Department, the psychopaths in Antifa and BLM.  The idea that these people can exist in the same society that honors Christmas seems inconceivable.

And the answer is that it is inconceivable.  We do not exist in the same society.  Sometimes when it’s convenient, they pretend we are one people but that is patently false.  They believe in none of the things we do.  Every action they perform is to destroy that world that we inherited and love.  Christmas is at the epicenter of all they despise and envy.  Parents and children enjoying time off from work to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles and especially cousins are an indictment of their failures as normal human beings.  Producing and supporting a family is a heresy for them, a sin against Gaia.

So, it is at this time of the rolling year that the stark contrast between my personal world and the official goings on of post-America clash most severely.  Joe Biden is a monster who has lived such a horrible and phony life that he has produced Hunter Biden as his replacement in this world.  And Biden is emblematic of what we see all around us.  Something as moronically named as TikTok had a campaign on it to call in threats to middle schools all over America.  School Boards all over America are threatening concerned parents with arrest if they dare complain about malpractice in the schools over propaganda they are teaching the children.  This is a broken world and it’s not accidental.  It’s a concerted effort to destroy anything that is healthy and good.

So that’s the thing I sense.  It’s the disconnect.  Christmas was always a special time of the year but now it’s an anomaly.  It’s this island of joy and happiness in an ocean of dysfunction and malice.  But because of this very difference and rarity it must be enjoyed and cherished almost desperately.  You have to drain the experience down to the very last drop.  Maybe because it has to last a very long time every minute needs to be put to good use.  And as much as possible exclude the outside world and all its horror from your sight and mind.

So, when you make your plans for the holiday do your utmost to leave the newscasts and the social media far from your eyes.  Concentrate on family, food and fun and recharge those batteries as best you can.  It comes but once a year.

Praying Mantises, Children’s Books and Pa – Part 7 – The Next Generation

Well as Milo intimated a month ago, our rescued Mantis has laid an egg case.

Currently the proud mother is still alive although I suspect that after laying her eggs her life span may be limited.  I’ll put the egg case in a cold area for the winter and then put it outside in spring.  Princess Sack of Potatoes will probably equate this phenomenon to the story of Charlotte’s Web that we recently watched.  Well, I’ll have to say the project has really paid dividends.

Here’s mom.

He Restoreth My Soul

Psalm 23 (King James Version)

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

“He restoreth my soul.”  The perfect words.  Getting together with the family, especially the grandkids did just that.  Fooling around at the pool table with my younger grandsons and watching old movies and eating absurd amounts of fattening foods and joking and laughing was “A Medicine for Melancholy.”  Camera Girl clocked multiple days of preparation and cooked up a storm.  She fell asleep exhausted last night but woke up today smiling and looking forward to the Friday sequel when even more family will be over.

I sat down and talked about current business problems with one of my sons-in-law.  He runs a medium-sized manufacturing plant and they just can’t find good help at any reasonable price.  But just telling his situation to someone who knows what he’s talking about is therapeutic and I was glad he confided in me.  Maybe I’ll figure out something that could help.  But just talking is good.  We all get wrapped up in our own problems.  We lose track of how others, even close family, are getting along or aren’t getting along.  Knowing that someone else would benefit from some small help is valuable.  We break out of our silos as they say in management speak.

How about that!  The world isn’t quite ready to collapse yet.  We’ll get to breathe and eat and laugh and cry.  There are all kinds of useful things we can do right around us even as Dementia Joe and the rest of the looters figure out new ways to degrade this once great nation.

Talk to your friends and family.  Spend time with them.  Figure out how you can help them.  Make their lives better and it’ll make your life better too.  The world doesn’t really consist just of trans-gender lunatics and critical race theory propagandists.  It consists of your family and friends and the life they have to lead.  Sure, those other things impact them and you can help to offset some of that harm with information you can provide.  But the focus is on the positive things that you do and say.  Do them.  Say them.  Because it’s the neglect of doing the things that need to be done that leaves room for the madness to creep in.

I must sound like someone hopped up on amphetamines but it’s just amazing.  The COVID isolation must have beat my soul down pretty bad.  Because the lift I got from a regular Thanksgiving get together is phenomenal.    Hopefully by Monday I’ll be able to muster up some gloom and doom.  But right now, I’m looking forward to round two.  Enjoy your long holiday weekend.

 

Here’s a repeat of Camera Girl’s Thanksgiving Turkey.  But it deserves another photo.

A Post for Thanksgiving 2021

I wanted to write something for Thanksgiving.  I didn’t want to pollute the holiday with doom and gloom but in the present debased state of the world we find ourselves in I was unsure if I could find something fitting.  However, that’s just the doom and gloom speaking.  Most of us have many blessings to be thankful for.  For myself I have children and grandchildren and a wonderful wife (don’t let Camera Girl know I said that) and have had enormous good fortune over the course of my life.  If at this stage I no longer live in a free country, well, I’ll have to figure that out.  My ancestors lived in a gangster state and they managed to live and raise their families.  True, they left for a better place but they had had their lives in the old country and despair wasn’t part of it.

Well, we’ll have to find our way in these troubled times.  And we will.  From my point of view either there will be a revolt against the madness or I’ll need to find a better place.  Maybe the revolt will only be a self-segregation of the normal people maintaining a society of sanity embedded in a matrix of lunacy.  Maybe the Red States will become free or maybe they’ll loosen the Union enough to allow us to live our own way.  Or maybe it’ll all go to hell and I’ll get the hell out.  But whichever way it goes despair is a stupid, weak reaction.

I’ll do whatever has to be done for me and mine and I’ll look for good people wherever I can find them.  What I won’t do is pledge allegiance to the gangsters who’ve taken over the government and all the other institutions and tried to make me say that “two plus two equals five.”  This may be the richest place on earth but I am not afraid to live in a poorer place if it lets me think for myself.  Besides, this place is quickly turning into a third world banana republic.  That should make it that much easier to reform it or that much easier to leave.

So, there’s my crazy message of hope on Thanksgiving.  I am thankful that God has blessed me with great wealth, the people I love.  And he gave me a great gift of being able to see clearly what is around me and knowing the difference between what is real and what is imaginary.  And at dinner I’ll enjoy my overpriced turkey dinner with my family and I’ll enjoy myself for a day before getting back to thinking of how to navigate in the madhouse that is Dementia Joe’s America.

Have a happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy your time with those you love and eat some fattening food and laugh and talk and make plans for Christmas and buy some overpriced gifts for the kids.  Do all the fun things we used to do when this was still America.  There’s plenty of time next week for gloom and doom.  But don’t let it get to you.  We’ll figure something out for ourselves and one day we’ll leave the lunatics behind and build a better world for us and ours.

Praying Mantises, Children’s Books and Pa – Part 6 – Extra Innings

Last night I read that this week we’re expecting a hard frost.  Well, it’s November after all and nothing unusual about that.  I mentioned to Camera Girl that I saw a dragonfly circling the yard the other day and now it’ll be the end of his time with the frost.

This morning Camera Girl was getting ready to go out on an errand and she said she’d stop at the top of the driveway and put a letter in the mailbox.  I said I need some air.  Give it to me.  As I was walking back toward the house she is walking toward me instead of driving out in her car and yelling something excitedly.  She is an enthusiastic woman.  What she was saying was that she saw a praying mantis sitting on top of a gallon water jug that I had left on the porch.  She asked me to catch it and save it indoors.

And sure enough, there it was.  I scooped it up and put it in a convenient cage (the former home of one of my grandsons’ hermit crabs).

 

 

And the new plan is to see how long he can live in an indoor environment.  I’ll try to offer him raw hamburger but if that fails we’ll get some crickets at the pet store.  Well, Princess Sack of Potatoes will get a chance to study a praying mantis more closely than I thought.

Reclaiming the Family – Part 8 – School

All of the nonsense that has been going on with schools adopting CRT to teach our children that white people are evil has made it painfully obvious that leaving your children’s education in the hands of the politicians and the school boards and the teacher’s unions is wildly irresponsible.  They’ve already ruined at least two whole generations of Americans in the last forty years.  We can’t afford to let them finish the job off in the next twenty.

The options aren’t great, and in some places, choices are nonexistent.  But just ignoring the problem means handing over the future of your children to terrible people who will fill their heads full of dangerous lies and nonsense.  So do the work and find out what your options are.  Let’s take this in order from best to worst.

The very best-case scenario is you live in a place where the state government and the local town government hasn’t allowed progressives to poison the curriculum with things like an anti-American version of history.  And even if this is true and even in the best of places there will have crept in the insidious poison of diversity and inclusion.  That means that lessons on George Washington and Daniel Boone will be pushed aside to drag out Harriet Tubman and whatever other Civil War holdovers they’ve dug up to impress on the children all the important contributions that minority members have made to America.  So instead of Alexander Graham Bell, and Henry Ford and Thomas Alva Edison they’ll dig up the guy who invented the traffic light because he was black.  Never mind that the telephone, the automobile and the electrification of the United States were revolutions that changed the way human beings lived everywhere on Earth.  But they were straight white men so they want to drop them down the memory hole.  So that is what you are dealing with.

But this is the best case.  So maybe your school is even better than that.  They give them the real history and just sprinkle a little Harriet Tubman on at the end.  In that case congratulations.  If the teachers aren’t crazy radicals, you’ll be able to have your kids go to the local public school without turning them into woke losers.

But let’s move down the ladder from there.  Suppose the local school is much worse.  Then you’ll find that not only are the kids being indoctrinated with the whole inclusivity/diversity claptrap but in addition, they are being handed critical race theory on top of that.  They are being systematically taught that white people are evil people who by their very nature enslave other races and even in our modern free society are responsible for all inequality and injustice.  And in addition to the racial component there will be the LGBTQ propaganda.  They will learn that the worst of white people are straight men.  That queer people are being driven to suicide by horrendously bad treatment and that even straight women are the victims of systematic oppression by the “Patriarchy.”  They might even try to convince your kids that they’re actually not the boys or girls they were born as but the opposite.  That they’re actually wonderful trans people who with the magic of hormone therapy and castration or mastectomy can change their sex and become some wonderful new monster.

So, if this is your local school then you have to look for the next alternative.  If circumstances allow and you can find a town with better schools nearby you could move.  If that is unrealistic then you could look for a religious or private school that specifically avoids these types of problems.  If you can find such a school it would be your best alternative.  But be aware it will not be cheap.  It will be very expensive.

If that is either unavailable or just beyond your financial means then the next choice is some kind of home schooling.  Now I can think of two ways this could be done.  One is for the mother to stay home and teach the children herself.  This may be very difficult.  Losing a salary may be extremely painful for some families.  But it has the added advantage that you’ll know exactly what your children are learning.  But if homeschooling is impossible to arrange then as a final option you can allow your children to go to the poisonous woke school but provide additional and counteracting instruction yourself either at night or on the weekends.  You can look at the lessons that they get from school and provide corrections for these that allow the children to see how they are being misled.  You can even explain to the children that we live in a world where the truth is being suppressed by the government and it’s necessary for those who would know the truth to pass it along clandestinely.  And in fact, since children enjoy rebellious behavior, you might find it easier than you think to engage your children in this dissident behavior.  If handled correctly they can even fulfill the requirements of the fake history and social studies they are taking but with the added advantage that they know the true story underneath and will see the subtly of how life in an occupied country has to be managed.  This will actually give you something to bond over and will force you to have good answers for the charges that Leftists level against Western Civilization.

So, these are the choices I can think of for us going forward.  Hopefully in the future school choice will be something that our side demands to prevent their toxic schools from being our only choices.  But for now, we must be adaptable to the existing situation and do everything we can to prevent our children from being buried in their lies.

Stopping the Left is Not Enough

If you look at all the crazy things going on in our country you would be excused for thinking that all that is necessary to fix our problems is removing all of the leftists from power.  You might think that if we had fifty Governor DeSantises and people like him running our cities and in Congress that everything would go back to normal.  I think I used to believe that either consciously or unconsciously.  All we needed was good leaders and everything would revert to a normal world.  I no longer believe that to be the case.

Our world has drifted very far from a healthy pattern.  We could probably spend eternity debating what were the causes of this drift.  Some people would point all the way back to the Enlightenment and the dethroning of religion as the center of human life in the West.  Maybe that’s true.  Other people point to the emancipation of women as the spark that destroyed the family and led us to the place we are now.  I think cases could be made for a number of causes for what has happened to our world.

The point I want to make is that some kind of change is going to have to happen.  And either we are going to make these changes ourselves or nature will fix them for us.  An example of what happens when you let your society degenerate would be the end of the classical world.  The Western Roman Empire was toppled by German tribesmen who realized just how feeble the Roman state had become.  And a few hundred years later the Eastern Roman Empire was almost completely swept away by the armies of Arabia galvanized by a fundamentalist religion that gave meaning and order to their lives.

Something very similar will happen to our world unless we step back and restore sanity to the way we live.  Our institutions have to stop propagandizing our youth as to the value and desirability of living a secularized and sterile existence that eschews marriage and children.  The idea that it is acceptable and even preferred to adopt an identity that puts you at odds with biological reality is madness.  And all the other LGBTQ lifestyles must also be identified as deviancy that doesn’t merit celebration but at most pity and possibly tolerance if it isn’t allowed to corrupt the youth.

And these are just the negative aspects of our society that must be addressed.  At the same time, changes must be enacted to amplify society’s effect on the positive behaviors we want to encourage.  Our government must support the formation and flourishing of families.  If a man and a woman are raising up children the government should be doing everything it can to maximize the odds that they will create good, well-adjusted and productive people.  The tax laws and the social safety net should be primarily focused on these people.  Everything should be done to allow young women to stay home with their children during those formative years.  And this shouldn’t be done just because it is helpful to the child-rearing task but also because raising a family is the most fulfilling occupation that two people can hope to have.  And a young mother at home with her young children is the necessary center of such a family.  Without her it is an incomplete and confused fragment of what a family should be.  A poor family with a mother at home has its struggles.  But even a rich family without a mother at home is unbalanced and often unhappy.  The children feel the lack but don’t know what they’re missing.

And there are so many things about our society that are unhealthy and dangerous.  The complete disappearance of religion from our daily life and the normalizing of unhealthy obsessions like drugs and pornography have destroyed countless young lives.  All of these things are justified by our fetish with freedom.  A re-evaluation on the limits of freedom is painfully overdue.

And if society doesn’t start making these changes very soon, then as I said at the beginning of this rant, nature will do it for us.  Or more accurately, do it for our successors that live in healthier cultures.

Praying Mantises, Children’s Books and Pa – Part 5 – The Final Chapter

Well, this is the finale of the great mantis experiment.  Yesterday Camera Girl used her hawk-eye super vision to find an adult praying mantis in the jungle-like weeds of her vegetable garden.  In fact, the mantis was on one of her Japanese eggplant plants.  Princess Sack-of-Potatoes will know that praying mantises really do exist although unfortunately they do not talk in an English-accented throaty whisper as they do in an Eric Carle picture book video.  But they are indeed monsters that inhabit the tiny world of our garden.  And that’s a fun thing for a little child to discover.