Logan statue, centerpiece of many 1968 DNC protests

By John Ruberry

There are cries on both sides of the political aisle for a return to civility.

When did it go away?

It happened fifty years ago in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention.

The left killed civility.

The documentary Best of Enemies, available on Netflix, centers on ten debates broadcast on ABC during the 1968 Republican and  Democratic conventions between left-wing author Gore Vidal and National Review founder William F. Buckley, whose remaking of the conservative movement resulted in the election of Ronald Reagan at president twelve years later.

Buckley and Vidal’s feud went back years earlier and continued until their deaths.. Both men had polished mid-Atlantic accents and were masters of grammar. Debate moderator Howard K. Smith called them “two craftsmen” of language as he introduced the duo at their first debate during the GOP convention in Miami Beach.

There the similarities ended. Buckley was a devout Catholic and Vidal was a hedonist.

Over the course of the debates the rancor metastasized. By the final debate the hatred between the two men–yes, they really despised each other–was evident. When Smith brought up a protest in Chicago’s Grant Park and queried Vidal if it was “a provocative act to try to raise the Vietcong flag in the park in the film we just saw,” name calling followed. Vidal told Buckley that he was a “crypto Nazi” which led the usually genteel Buckley to respond angrily, “Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in your goddam face, and you’ll stay plastered.” It was very likely the first time “queer” was uttered on television when it referred to homosexuality.

The Chicago Police of course, on live television in front of millions of viewers, including myself, beat many of the protesters with billy clubs in front of the convention headquarters hotel. The chaos ironically helped elect Republican Richard Nixon president. What a report later called a “police riot” of course occurred at the Democrats’ convention and Chicago’s mayor, Richard J. Daley, was one of the most powerful Democrats in America.

The night after the riot, Daley explained on CBS, very late in the evening when few people were watching, that the cops’ tempers were inflamed because they were pelted with bottles and bags filled with feces and urine.

How uncivil is that?

Antifa, the enforcement wing of the leftist movement, utilizes feces and urine attacks at their protests.

A couple of years later in an incident recalled in leftist Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” guidebook, there was a protest of lawyers inside the Chicago federal court building during the Chicago Seven trial. The Seven were alleged conspirators who were being tried, quite unfairly it turned out, for disrupting the 1968 convention. The courthouse protest was put to bed by a federal judge, William Campbell, which compelled one of the assembled lawyers to shout, “Fck you Campbell!” Alinsky didn’t scold the sole heckler, instead he admonished the other attorneys for not starting a “fck you Campbell” chant.

Antifa loves four-letter word chants. As do many other left-wingers.

Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis was about Alinsky. And a Chicago Alinkskyite organization gave Barack Obama his first political job.

In spite of, or probably because of the insults, the Vidal-Buckley debates were a huge hit for little-watched ABC News. As Best of Enemies points out, CBS’ still relatively new 60 Minutes quickly utilized the format with its Point-Counterpoint segment between a liberal and conservative, which was hilariously parodied on Saturday Night Live. Of course SNL’s writers gave the nasty punchline to Aykroyd’s conservative alter ego, “Jane, you ignorant slut.”

As for the shout-shows on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, they also can look to the Vidal-Buckley debates for their genesis.

As for Donald Trump, sure he’s a crude man. But he is simply fighting back.

And where were the obscene chants when the Tea Party movement was at its peak? When have Trump supporters tossed urine and feces at their opponents?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Next week the fiftieth anniversary arrives of the release of the groundbreaking Sweetheart of the Rodeo album by the Byrds..

At the time, however, the collection was a commercial flop and it received mixed reviews.

Byrds leader and lead guitarist Roger McGuinn envisioned the band’s sixth album as an overview of the history of American music. McGuinn was not originally a rocker, he began his preforming career after graduating from Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. But a new member, who was soon to depart, Gram Parsons, urged the band to record a country album. The result was arguably the first country rock album, at least by a major artist, one that also served as an inspiration for the alt-country and Americana genres.

“Eleven trips to the country” is how a radio ad described the work. And Sweetheart’s eleven songs are dominated by banjo, country fiddle, and pedal steel guitar. This was not your older sibling’s Byrds.

The album begins typically for the Byrds, with a Bob Dylan cover, “You Ain’t Going Nowhere.” Dylan’s primary career inspiration was Woody Guthrie and Sweetheart includes a version of his “Pretty Boy Floyd.”

Parsons’ two Sweetheart compositions–one was co-written by a former bandmate–“Hickory Wind” and “One Hundred Years from Now,” offer a contrast to listeners. The first is a traditional country tune. The second ironically is the Byrdsiest–sounding track on the album.

Sweetheart was recorded in the spring of 1968 in Nashville–after which things got interesting. The Byrds managed to score an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, where these hippies were booed by the straight-laced audience. A deejay covering their concert mocked the band, which inspired McGuinn and Parsons to write a song, “Drug Store Truck Driving Man,” that appeared on the Byrds’ next album.

By that summer Parsons, who some say was not actually full-fledged member of the band but a contract player, quit the act. There are two versions of his departure. One was that he preferred to hang out in London with the Rolling Stones, or that Parsons left to protest the Byrds’ decision to perform in South Africa.

Parsons’ lead vocals on “The Christian Life”, “You Don’t Miss Your Water”, and “One Hundred Years from Now,” were replaced by McGuinn’s on the first two and with Chris Hillman’s along with McGuinn on the latter.

Since 2003 the Parsons leads have been available, but on Spotify only the original release versions play first–you have to scroll down to find Parsons voice up front on those tracks. McGuinn’s take on “The Christian Life” is a sardonic take of this Louvin Brothers song, found on the now infamous, because of its outlandish album artwork, Satan Is Real collection.

Recently McGuinn had this to say about Parsons vocals on that cut. “I was doing almost a satire on it. I was not a Christian at the time,” he remarked. “Back then, it was kind of tongue-in-cheek. I know the Louvin Brothers meant it when they wrote it and sang it. And Gram meant it. He was a little Baptist boy.”

After Sweetheart Hillman bailed on the Byrds and with Parsons formed the highly-influential Flying Burrito Brothers. After two brilliant country rock albums that sold even worse than Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Parsons was booted from the band because of his excessive drug use and overall unreliability. Parsons’ two seminal solo works, also poor sellers, showcased the talents of the then-virtually unknown Emmylou Harris.

Parsons died in 1973 from a drug overdose. The theft of his body and the makeshift cremation of his remains at what is now Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most bizarre tales you will ever hear.

McGuinn and Hillman, two of the three surviving original Byrds members, David Crosby is the third, are currently on a 50th anniversary tour celebrating the release of Sweetheart, which has already included a performance at the Grand Ole Opry.

As Aesop wrote in the Tortoise and the Hare, ‘Slow and steady wins the race.” As that is the case with Gram Parsons and Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

“Your life is happening now, right in front of you.”

– Madeline (“Christopher Robin”)

“That’s how she knows the difference between a boy and a man.”

– Chris Janson, “Take a Drunk Girl Home”

“You sang and I listened to every word, and then I listened to what they said after… that’s how I got saved.”

– Arthur (“I Can Only Imagine,” the movie)

I led our parish youth group on a Mission Trip a couple of weeks ago. As I mentioned last year <link>, this is a truly inspirational week of prayer, reflection and service, and it was an amazing blessing to once again be able to share it with my daughter. I made a conscious choice to avoid news and politics as much as possible during the week, and it really helped me focus on the purpose of the trip to not be constantly distracted by all the craziness that otherwise tends to preoccupy us. So, as a public service to DaTechGuy’s readers, today’s column will not be about politics. Instead, I’d like to share with you a few pieces of good news from today’s culture that have resonated with me since I’ve gotten back from my trip.

I’m a country music fan from way back in high school and a big reason I’ve loved the genre for so long is because of the stories the songs tell. I recently came across “Take a Drunk Girl Home” by Chris Janson. The song starts out telling of a girl who is partying way too much one evening, and you get the feeling that it might be about how easy it would be to sleep with her. Instead, the chorus of the song goes like this:

Take a drunk girl home
Let her sleep all alone
Leave her keys on the counter, your number by the phone
Pick up her life she threw on the floor
Leave the hall lights on walk out and lock the door
That’s how she knows the difference between a boy and man
Take a drunk girl home

Imagine if young men today were taught to take care of women instead of taking advantage of them?

Last week, my family and I went to see the new “Christopher Robin” movie. I literally cannot remember a time when I did not Winnie-the-Pooh. I even brought a stuffed Pooh with me to college. This movie was wonderful! Not only was it nostalgic to see Pooh and his friends from the 100-Acre Wood come to life, but the message of the movie was just great. Yes, it was a little cliched, with Christopher Robin having become too focused on his middle-management job to spend time with his family, but to see him come alive by playing with his childhood friends again, and realize what is truly important in life, was a very uplifting experience. I don’t want to spoil the movie if you haven’t seen it, so I won’t say anything else, other than that the voices of the characters were nearly perfect. Please go and see this movie.

The last experience I wanted to mention is the movie “I Can Only Imagine,” a movie about Bart Millard of the band Mercy Me, and the writer of the title song, which he wrote for his father. This movie does a wonderful job of showing the power of prayer to transform our lives. Not only our own prayers, but the prayers others may pray for us. It reminded me of a new friend I met on my Mission Trip, who helped me get a handle on some things that have been bothering me, and who promised to pray for me as we returned home to our “normal” lives. I think that these three experiences may well have been the result of those prayers.

If Andrew Breitbart was right that “Politics is downstream from culture,” then maybe all is not lost, after all.

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Pope Francis gives this blog his blessing

If the Catholic Church was a corporation, Pope Francis would be it’s CEO. And in terms of a company, the Catholic Church is pretty impressive: ~1.3 billion members, a few hundred billion in assets, missionary operations throughout the entire world, and the inspiration for great organizations such as Catholic Charities USA. It’s a big order for any single person to run, let alone do so while fighting a combination of Satan and secularism on a daily basis.

While I like Pope Francis as a spiritual leader, I have to say that as a CEO, he sort of sucks. For a CEO, his communication, discipline and snap decisions aren’t great. If you wanted to read an article where I detail that Pope Francis is the anti-Christ…this is not that article. But if you wonder why you’re not happy with the Pope, then maybe this is the article for you.

Continue reading “Pope Francis is a terrible CEO”

I laughed when I read these comments from Candice Bergen about the Murphy Brown reboot:

Bergen meanwhile was asked after the panel about the show’s relevance at a time when the president is attacking the press.

“The news now, thanks to our president, is in constant turmoil,” she said. “I think it will be reassuring to see Murphy sticking up for the press and sticking up to the president.”

Stand up for the media?  Mothers and children are still paying the costs of her show “sticking up” for single motherhood a quarter century ago, but funny as that is the real comedy came next

Asked what she thought when Trump called the media the “enemy of the people,” the actress replied, “I just thought: ‘We’re screwed.’”

Bergen added that she’s preparing for the possibility that the president might slam her show. “I don’t know what the reaction will be, and I’m trying to brace myself,” she said.   

“Brace myself?”  That a bigger joke than any we’ll see from the series.  Bergen and writer Diane English are praying for President Trump to attack the show.  They understand that conservatives are unlikely to bother with it and the best way to make their show a candidate for all kinds of Emmy contention and credibility from the never Trump left is a hit from the president.

How stupid does she think we are?

Son of man, speak thus to your countrymen: When I bring the sword against a country, and the people of this country select one of their number to be their watchman, and the watchman, seeing the sword coming against the country, blows the trumpet to warn the people, anyone hearing but not heeding the warning of the trumpet and therefore slain by the sword that comes against him, shall be responsible for his own death. He heard the trumpet blast yet refused to take warning; he is responsible for his own death, for had he taken warning he would have escaped with his life.

But if the watchman sees the sword coming and fails to blow the warning trumpet, so that the sword comes and takes anyone, I will hold the watchman responsible for that person’s death, even though that person is taken because of his own sin.

Ezekiel 33:2-6

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Luke 10:25-29

One of the favorite phrases that Fr. Joe, my pastor at St. Bernard’s Parish at St. Camillus church likes to use is “Seeing oneself in the light of truth.”
Seeing things in the light of truth allows one self to avoid problems, repent from sin and help others in bad situations. This can be a very unpleasant because seeing oneself in the light of truth means recognizing and acknowledging one sins and flaws that exist and once they are acknowledged one has to make the difficult decision to fix what’s wrong with us and improve or ignore it and regress.

As hard as this can be what is even harder is when this is applied to others, this can lead to conflict and in a secular society that celebrates excess and sin to speak up against either is to risk the wrath of a sometimes violent but always self righteous crowd which vigorously defends any sin or obsession because to recognize these problems in others might require us to look at our own lives in that same light.

Speak about the dangers of obesity? You’re fat slaming!

Speak about the dangers of promiscuity? You’re slut slaming!

Declare the reality of male and female? You’re Transphobic!

Speak about the reality of what marriage is or that a child does best with a father and mother? You’re Homophobic!

State that excessive alcohol is a bad idea on campus? You’re judgmental!

Speak aloud that abortion is the killing of a human being? You’re anti-woman!

Say that the best way to avoid poverty and disease is to wait till marriage to have children? You’re puritanical!

All of these things are truths that have been understood for millennia yet today’s society, particular the media and entertainment industry not only reject these things but in states when their allies have political power have pushed for laws to take punitive actions against those who would dare to speak these truths aloud? Why, because to even acknowledge these truths is to see oneself in the light of truth and that above all other things must not be done.

And that brings us to Rick Genest, also known as Zombie Boy.

I had not heard of him, but apparently he thought that tattooing his entire body so he would look like a skeleton was a great a idea.

Now this is objectively insane and in a sane age family friends and loved ones might have said aloud and even a Tattoo artist when asked to do this to him might have said: “That’s nuts I ain’t doing that, you need help man.” And thus acknowledging the problem aloud they would have either encouraged him to seek a psychologist to help him to taken action to move the state to do so.

However this is not a sane age and the Entertainment/Hollywood/Media crowd absolutely loved it, they accepted him and gave him entrée to their world, which in the Media/Entertainment/Hollywood secular culture is the greatest honor that can be bestowed on an ordinary person next to victim-hood.

But alas objective reality exists and the reality is this person was dealing with serious personal demons and no amount of fetting by the right people could change this so one year shy of Christ’s age at his crucifixion, Rick Genest took his own life.

Tattooed Lady Gaga muse Zombie Boy, 32, ‘killed himself by jumping from the 4th floor balcony’ of his Montreal apartment building
Rick Genest, 32, is believed to have jumped from a balcony on Wednesday
Cops say he jumped from the 4th floor, but his family believes it was an accident
Genest known as Zombie Boy for bone and organ tattoos inked all over his body

Naturally Ms. Gaga tweeted a glowing tribute

She had originally put out a tweet blaming the culture of silence about mental illness but deleted said tweet. You can read it here but walked it back.

Rod Dreher critique of the original tweet was different than the family’s

What strikes me as so odd about Lady Gaga’s tweet is the idea that “the culture” led Zombie Boy to kill himself. The man turned his entire body into an advertisement for his own mental illness. What would Lady Gaga have “the culture” do? Is this the fault of “the culture,” or of this man?

Or is it the fault not of the culture, but of a culture — such as elite pop culture, including the high fashion world in which Zombie Boy moved and modeled — that sees plain evidence of a man’s suffering and internal disorder, made manifest in his body, and refuses to regard that as a sign of mental illness?

Think of it: Rick Genest had his skin permanently altered so that he would resemble a skeleton. This turned out to be his ticket to partying with the elites. And we’re shocked that he killed himself?

The Phantom soapbox is more blunt:

When a handsome man has every inch of his body covered in -painful- tattooing, furthermore depicting images of rot and death, it is a sign that he’s having a problem. This man had a biohazard emblem a foot tall on his chest and a skull tattooed on his face, that’s not something a healthy, well-adjusted person does. They get “Mom” on a shoulder, or a tribal arm band. Maybe a heart on their butt or something.

Yes, I’m actually saying that his body art was a manifestation of a dangerous illness. Which killed him by the way, making it a -fatal- illness.
Again, I’m not sitting in harsh judgement on the individuals involved in that art. They didn’t make him that way, it isn’t their fault. But, the bald facts are: fatal mental illness.

My harsh judgement is reserved for the people screaming at their computers right now because I dared mention excessive tattoos and mental illness in the same sentence. Radical body modification is strongly correlated with suicide, and y’all need to pull your heads out of your asses. There’s some guy out there getting surgical modifications to make him look like a Ken doll. He’s got a problem, which might very well kill him.

It isn’t cosplay, people.

The bottom line is this. Rick Genest was a mentally ill man and rather than seeing this in the light of truth and work to get him help, which would have involved time and effort and carrying a cross, in other words actually show love for him, those in a position to show that love of neighbor or to be the watchman sounding the alarm, decided to keep silent either to avoid the time and effort involved in helping him or out of fear of being thought judgmental.

And of course the media/hollywood/entertainment society celebrated and encouraged him because how could they judge his excesses as extreme without judging their own.  His excesses complemented and confirmed their own.

Or put simply to see Rick Genest in the light of truth, just might have involved seeing themselves in that same light and given that choice, better a dead Zombie Boy who can be remembered as an icon than a live Rick Genest who can be acknowledged as a child of God who needs help.

We need to pray for Rick Genest, yes he was a suicide but I suggest you listen to my interview with Fr. Chris Alar from yesterday’s Your Prayer Intentions radio show, but most of all pray for the courage to not only see ourselves in the light of truth but to have the courage to speak the truth in love to others even if it means risking pain and rebuke. Truth and love are powerful things, they can change a live and maybe even save it.

Make no Mistake Rick Genest is one of the millions of casualties of the culture war, and there are tens of millions of others who can still be saved if we have the courage to try.

A few days ago my son and I went to the Lynn Auditorium for a screening of the classic movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail which was followed by a Q & A session with comedy giant and founding member of Monty Python troupe, John Cleese.

Massachusetts is a heavily blue state (Clinton by 28) and one of the most politically correct states in the nation so I was pleasantly surprised that as the hall was filling up that the various Monty Python skits playing over the loudspeakers before the start of the movie were uncensored leaving every single liberal triggering utterance intact. I was especially surprised to hear the song “Never be rude to an Arab” played in its entirety. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it goes like this:

Never be rude to an Arab
An Isreali, or Saudi, or Jew
Never be rude to an Irishman
No matter what you do

Never poke fun at a Nigger
A Spic, or a Wop, or Kraut
And never poke fun at…
(at this point the singer explodes)

Watching the movie was like being at a performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show with audience members joining in.  It was a very different dynamic seeing the movie in a theater setting as I was too young to see it at the movies when it came out.  The round of applause for the film at the end was loud but not as loud as the cheers and applause as Mr. Cleese took the stage.

After the movie Mr. Cleese took written questions from the audience and questions from his daughter touring with him.  One of the things he did near the end of his presentation was defend ethnic humor which drew a round of applause from me and silence from the people around me. He then told jokes about the French, the Italians and Jews and then stated he was about to tell a Mexican joke noting that when he said that in California you could hear a pin drop in the audience which had no objection to jokes concerning nationalities considered “European” and said word to the effect Do we consider Mexicans so weak and fragile that they can not take a joke , and proceeded to tell his Mexican joke, which got a pretty good laugh.

I couldn’t help but think of Mr Cleese when I saw this article at Stacy McCain’s site concerning a “Comedian” named Hannah Gadsby

In Hannah Gadsby’s highly acclaimed comedy special Nanette, she announces that she’s quitting comedy. Jokes are too simplistic, she says: they convert her trauma into humor and obscure the ugly truth of her story. Comedy, says Gadsby, has prevented her from evolving.
Gadsby isn’t the only comedian taking at least an occasional break from humor. . . .
Having become political comedians, they’re dropping the comedy act and becoming straightforward commentators. Why?
According to Gadsby, comedy is too simplistic a medium.

To say Gadsby’s show is “highly acclaimed” is to say liberals like it.

Stacy rightly asks

Is this a comedy routine or a Gender Studies lecture? To invite an audience to your personal pity party, celebrating your victimhood — your status as a marginalized person — is stupendously arrogant. 

But Stephen Green at PJ media gets to the heart of the matter in three sentences.

The short answer is: Killing your career is easy; comedy is hard.

The slightly longer answer is that comedy has been infested with leftism, and modern leftism cannot brook dissent. And without dissent, there is no comedy.

Now full disclosure, I’ve never heard of Gadsby before today, I don’t know her humor and I’d not heard of her special Nanette until I read these pieces, but I can make two predictions with full certainty.

Right now John Cleese is 78.  He sold out the Auditorium in Lynn, people were lined up to buy swag and others paid a premium to meet him and get items signed.  He will likely sell out any venue around the world that he chooses to do his comedy for as long as he chooses to do it.  Long after he and all the other pythons are dead and gone people will be reciting the Dead Parrot Sketch, Mimicking his silly walk and laughing at their comedy and spending their hard earned dollars, Pounds and Euro’s to buy them.

Hanna Gadsby graduated high school in 1995 I’ll guess she’s about 40 so therefore in 40 years or so she will be as old as Mr. Cleese’s age today.  I sincerely doubt that at 78 we will see her on tour selling out showings of Nanette with adoring audiences taking Q & A from her, lined up to buy swag or pay a premium to meet her and get items signed.  In fact I’d wager thirty years you’d be hard pressed to find people who know who she is.

A final thought, Cleese, one of the finest comedy writers and performers of the 20th century, noted how difficult comedy is in an era where Kim Kardashian is meeting with the president of the United States on prison reform, but as taking down the self-important was a trademark of the Pythons I’d wager he would be able to write a hilarious skit about the self-absorbed Hanna Gadsby in his sleep with both hands broken.

Cue Terry Jones:

Cue Terry Jones

Update: The difference between Cleese and Trevor Noah? Cleese would have told his critics to C* O and then followed with a chorus of the above mentioned song. Plus nobody will remember who Noah is in 30 years either


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Nyder: We must keep the Kaled race pure. Imperfects are rejected. Some of them survive out there.
4th Doctor: That’s a very harsh policy.
Harry Sullivan: It’s horrible.
Nyder: Your views are not important.

Doctor Who Genesis of the Daleks 1975

If you are familiar with history you might be aware of the “one Drop” principle meaning that if a person had a single drop of black or Indian blood they were considered nonwhite (in Virginia descendants of Pocahontas were explicitly exempt the “Pocahontas Exception” in the The Racial Integrity Act of 1924.)

Well it seems that all things that are old are new again, the party that brought us the one drop rule now returns with the one dollar rule, the one meal rule or the one word rule.

did you give a dollar to a GOP candidate or a cause not endorsed today by the left? Then you are a person to be boycotted no matter how many dollars you have given to the left.

Did a GOP member come to eat at your restaurant? Well you not only have to eject them but you have to follow them to the next restaurant to confirm your woke bona fides .

It’s not even enough to publicly make an issue of the faith of a Conservative mother of seven up for a judgeship. If you aren’t woke enough then we don’t want you anymore.

And I’ll have you know that these rules are not just for the great and powerful:

When my callouts were met with approval and admiration, I was lavished with praise: “Thank you so much for speaking out!” “You’re so brave!” “We need more men like you!”

Then one day, suddenly, I was accused of some of the very transgressions I’d called out in others. I was guilty, of course: There’s no such thing as due process in this world. And once judgment has been rendered against you, the mob starts combing through your past, looking for similar transgressions that might have been missed at the time. I was now told that I’d been creating a toxic environment for years at my workplace; that I’d been making the space around me unsafe through microaggressions and macroaggressions alike.

Social justice is a surveillance culture, a snitch culture. The constant vigilance on the part of my colleagues and friends did me in. That’s why I’m delivering sushi and pizza.

As opposed to the old job:

I once had a well paid job in what might be described as the social justice industry. Then I upset the wrong person, and within a short window of time, I was considered too toxic for my employer’s taste. I was publicly shamed, mobbed, and reduced to a symbol of male privilege. I was cast out of my career and my professional community.

Plus these aren’t just unofficial rules, they are becoming official in places

Using the wrong pronoun could turn into a firing offense at the University of Minnesota.

The U is considering a new “gender identity” policy that would assure transgender men and women, as well as others, the right to use whatever pronoun they wish on campus — whether it’s he, she, “ze” or something else.

And everyone from professors to classmates would be expected to call them by the right words or risk potential disciplinary action, up to firing or expulsion.

These kind of rules

In fact say one nice word about a conservative and you have to backtrack quickly.

This is where we are, and ask yourself this.

If this is how the left acts out of power, where the tiniest gesture of civilized behavior toward those who you disagree with is an act to be avenged, what do you think these people will do if they have power in government?

A current portion of my scattershot career path, which this year has meandered from giraffe tenderer to Willy Wonka to rubber band man, daily places me on a rather lengthy bus ride around and in a white collar Mecca known by the locals as Bishop Ranch and by everyone else as that place where yuppies who don’t want to work in San Francisco proper go for presumably gainful employment. Bishop Ranch, or at least the vast majority thereof, resides in the city of San Ramon, a tony San Francisco Bay Area suburb where the police have so little to do they actually come to stores for shoplifting calls, residents out and about have to duck drive-by snubbings, and a street fight is defined as two soccer moms reaching for the same latte at Starbucks.

There was once upon a time – sixty years worth of time, to be precise – a ranch on Bishop Ranch’s seventeen hundred and seventy acres, this era concluding in 1955 when the at that time current Mr. Bishop passed away and his heirs decided they’d rather cut and run than continue to corral cattle, thus selling the land to Western Electric. Fast forward twenty-three years to when Western Electric, by then on its deathbed as part of the AT&T monopoly breakup that eventually gave us, um, AT&T, sold the ranch to a business development firm which immediately set out planting as many concrete wedding cakes with windows as it could fit into the available acreage. They’re still planting them, as daily I ride past a not unsubstantial construction site for yet another retail shops in the basement with apartments in the attic site currently all the rage in these parts.

There has been at least some effort to maintain Bishop Ranch’s rural legacy. The grounds have a multitude of trees scattered about, oak and pine and eucalyptus and even a few redwoods. A good portion of them give evidence by way of height and width of predating the building frenzy, doubtless present to both provide wood for assorted ranch requirements and shade for assorted cows and bulls to do what cows and bulls do, namely munch on grass while waiting for the next minor earthquake to rumble through so they can get a free hoof massage.

Trees notwithstanding, it’s impossible to gaze out the bus window and not wonder what this land was like when it was man using nature rather than man subletting nature and paving over everything else. In the city where I was born and raised, a standard joke whenever any kind of new development came in was the regrettable nature of tearing down yet another perfectly good empty field just for this. Progression progresses even as man multiplies; all these people have to have somewhere they can work and earn just enough money for enabling living the lifestyle they can’t afford. Yet, one wonders if any surviving members of the Bishop family, or the Gale family or any of the other families who have traded their earthy inheritance for an exceedingly large check, sometimes consider what was once theirs and regret leaving their farm on the freeway.

Maria and Christian
The latest pair in my “interviews with immigrants” series is now up.

First I spoke to Alvin, he is in his mid 20’s and comes from El Salvador

Of the immigrants who I’ve interviewed story was slightly different. The rest of his family was already here but he choose to remain home until the violence became so bad it was a question of life and death.

Two weeks later I interviewed Maria from the Dominican Republic. She was iffy about her english so christian from Puerto Rico agreed to translate (and took that nice picture). Since he has only been here a year and the culture of Puerto Rico is different I included him in the interview as well even though technically he is not an immigrant because Puerto Rico is an American territory.

It worth noting that both Maria and Alvin had college educations where they lived but have been willing to work lesser jobs as they go back to school and learn english, it’s also worth noting that as I alluded to in my July 4th post while Maria wasn’t in the same immediate danger, it was the safety of America that brought her here.

A pair of notes, the delay in posting these interivews were mainly due to Pintastic 2018 coverage , I hope to conduct an interview with a young lady from the Cape Verde Islands this week and am in negociations to speak to another from Australia. My goal is to get 30 different countries before I start repeating countries but it’s likely that I won’t reach that number before that happens.

You’ll note that other than Phillipe from Haiti, who is very interested in politics, I don’t ask much along those lines. That’s because I’m more interested in getting the where’s and why’s about coming here and their impression of America as a country and Americans as a people. Those are the data points I’m trying to fill and educate myself on.


It’s been a bad tipjar year, we are in July and despite the booming economy we’ve raised barely 20% of last years total (which is why our expansion plans have been abandoned).

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