Review: The Chestnut Man

By John Ruberry

Late last month a Nordic noir six-episode series, The Chestnut Man, a Danish production began streaming on Netflix. It’s based on the novel of the same name by Søren Sveistrup. It’s an ideal autumn offering on many levels. The Chestnut Man is set in Denmark in October with fall colors at their peak. Halloween–the celebration of it has been spreading in Europe–plays a part in the story, and oh yeah, it’s a compelling crime drama centered on a serial killer who leaves stick chestnut figures, chestnut men, at the scene of each murder. Just as the carving of pumpkins is an old tradition in North America the building of chestnut men is similar a tradition in Scandinavia.

Naia Thulin (Danica Curcic) is a police detective and a single mother whose work keeps her away from her daughter, Le (Liva Forsberg), so the girl spends more time with her quasi-grandfather, Aksel (Anders Hove). By the way Hove was a regular on the ABC soap opera General Hospital.

Thulin is assigned a new partner, Mark Hess (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard). Their first investigation is a chestnut man murder. Hess has a troubled past–he was recently fired from his job in the Hague. The chestnut man case is quickly tied to the disappearance of the daughter of a politician, Rosa Hartung (Iben Dorner), who is the minister of social affairs. Her position puts in charge of foster care and child custody cases.

Obviously I don’t want to give up much of the plot because it will introduce spoilers. Let’s just say viewers will be confronted with twists and turns in the story line. The scars of unhappy childhoods figure in to the plot as well.

I also recently watched two other new Netflix series that I believe any level-headed person should avoid. 

Brand New Cherry Flavor is set in Hollywood in the 1990s and centers on a young Brazilian director (Rosa Salazar) who sees her first movie project stolen by a scumbag Hollywood producer. (Aren’t they all scumbags?) Inexplicably the director consistently barfs up large-eared kittens. Except for the negative portrayal of Hollywood I detested this series. And with a couple of exceptions I hated the characters. Even the kittens disturbed me. And there is a disgusting sex scene I won’t even describe here.

You can judge a book–and a TV series–by its cover. The Netflix graphic promoting Midnight Mass is centered on a main character, a Catholic priest, who has a sinister look on his face. The plot driver of this series is that priest (Hamish Linklater), a mysterious young pastor who arrives at an island parish that serves a tiny fishing community. Let’s just say Midnight Mass has about the same amount of respect for the Catholic Church as The Da Vinci Code, only with tons of gore and blood thrown into the mess. Although to be honest I did enjoy Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code book. The movie? Not so much.

The island’s sheriff, a Muslim, Rahul Kohli, is quite good in Midnight Mass however.

In Midnight Mass the cinematography is beautiful–but The Chestnut Man has that and so much more–I believe you’ll enjoy that series.

The Chestnut Man is rated TV-MA as it contains graphic violence and crime scene photos, foul language, sex, and brief nudity. It is available streaming on Netflix in English, English with subtitles, Danish with subtitles, Spanish, as well as simplified and traditional Chinese. There are bits of dialogue in The Chestnut Man in English and German–with subtitles. I watched it in Danish.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

There will be no Biden reset

By John Ruberry

After a summer of failures, including the resurgence of COVID-19, horrid job numbers, the crisis at the southern border, rampant urban crime, and our humiliating exit from Afghanistan, there was hope within the Biden White House, cheered on by the compliant media, that a reset was due with the new season.

But over this weekend, which isn’t over yet as of this writing, things got worse. In a flashback to the Obama years, the Pentagon chose Friday afternoon–a Friday news dump–to reveal not only that the August drone strike in Afghanistan didn’t slay any ISIS-K terrorists, but the bombing killed an aid worker and nine members of his family, including seven children. Also that afternoon France recalled its ambassador to the USA after the Biden administration, behind France’s back, announced a deal with Great Britain to sell nuclear submarines to Australia. But France already had a deal, now cancelled, with the Aussies. If you ever worked as a salesperson and saw a sleazy co-worker swipe a lucrative sale from you, then you know that feeling of betrayal.

Also on Friday, in a story that is largely being ignored by the national media except for Fox News, a Third World-style shanty town, with thousands of illegal immigrant inhabitants, was discovered on the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas.

There will be no reset for Joe Biden and his administration. That’s because, as I’ve written at DTG over these last few weeks, it is very likely that the president is suffering from cognitive decline. There are people in their seventies and eighties who still have nimble minds. Biden, who turns 79 later this year, is not one of them. Age-related cognitive decline is not reversible. And with crisis after crisis emerging, it’s becoming clear that no one is in charge at the White House, even though, as John Kass remarked, Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, is openly referred to as “President Klain.”

I get it. Sometimes calamity after calamity happens. Lyndon B. Johnson suffered an entire year, 1968, like that. And LBJ of course decided not to run for a second full-term as president that year.

But some of Biden’s debacles were preventable, such as his abandoning Donald J. Trump’s remain-in-Mexico policy regarding migrants, which led to the crisis at the southern border. No one, outside of military contractors, wanted our military involvement in Afghanistan to indefinitely continue. But Biden promised our withdrawal from Afghanistan wouldn’t look like our departure from South Vietnam. Well, Biden was right on that vow–our exit from Afghanistan was worse than that.

The administration’s response to COVID-19, once seen as a strong point for Biden, is also a problem for him. Last week a poll revealed that for the first time a majority of Americans don’t approve of the way Biden is handling fighting the virus. 

So far Biden has gotten a pass for gasoline prices being 40-percent more than they were one year ago when that mean Tweeter with the orange hair was president. Escaping blame for Americans paying more at the pump can’t last forever. for Biden. As temperatures cool urban crime will decline but it will bounce back, as it always does, in the spring. That will give Biden and the Democrats another headache in 2022. Look for Republicans running for House and Senate seats to use crime fears as a central theme in their television commercials, as they did with great success last year. Despite denials the Democrats are the party of “Defund the Police.” Biden has gotten a pass for inflation for now. But his reckless policy of printing money will likely create even more inflation.

What else?

I’ve mentioned this quote before but it needs to be repeated.

Barack Obama reportedly once said of his vice president, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f**k things up.” And that was before Biden’s cognitive decline set in.

I don’t like quoting myself, but I really think my Tweet of mine from last month hit the nail on Biden’s head.

“If I just awakened from a 10-year long coma and I saw what a mess America finds itself in now I would come to one quick conclusion. Somehow Joe Biden became president.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Cognitive decline: the mainstream media is still protecting Biden

By John Ruberry

After the collapse of the government of Afghanistan last month mainstream media reporters remembered for a little while that they were supposed to be journalists instead of propagandists and protectors of the Democratic Party.

They criticized President Joe Biden for the Afghan debacle, which was easily the worst foreign policy disaster since the fall of Saigon in 1975. It may have been the worse than that, as no one expected the Viet Cong to attack America. 

But those catcalls from the media only went so far. No one, outside of conservatives, has addressed the metaphorical crazy grandpa in the basement–Joe Biden’s clear cognitive decline. 

Okay, let’s get something out of the way. I am not a doctor and I have never met Joe Biden. But even two years ago, as he announced his run for the presidency, it was clear, to phrase it as Mark Levin did, that “the spin was off of his fastball.” Of course Biden, always a mediocrity, never had much of a fastball. 

And of course to prevent a Bernie Sanders Democratic nomination and a likely Donald Trump victory, US Rep. James Clyburn led the rush to annoint Biden as their only hope to defeat Trump. And Biden campaigned, sort of, for the presidency from what Sean Hannity called “his basement bunker.” 

Greg Ganske, an MD and former Republican member of Congress, knows Biden, In an op-ed for the Des Moines Register, he decried Biden’s mental decline.

It’s gotten worse since the election. In a CNN interview, he opined, “Um, you know there’s a, uh, during World War II, uh you know, where Roosevelt came up with a thing, that uh, you know, was totally different, than a, than the, he called it, you know, the WWII, he had the War Production Board.” In March he forgot the name of his Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, at a White House event, calling the Pentagon chief “the guy who runs that outfit over there.”

I am not alone in seeing a difference in President Biden. Mike McCormick, who worked 15 years as a White House stenographer and with Biden from 2011 to 2017, has said, “He’s lost a step and he doesn’t seem to have the mental acuity he had four years ago. He doesn’t have the energy, he doesn’t have the pace of his speaking. He’s a different guy. He read that Democratic National Committee speech verbatim — it’s not Joe Biden anymore.”

John Kass, the former Chicago Tribune lead columnist, calls Biden “President Meat Puppet.” 

During the 2020 presidential campaign while watching Biden, well, sort of campaign on television, I was reminded of a Star Trek episode centered on the doomed and flawed John Gill, Captain Kirk’s former history professor, who creates a Nazi government because that fascist nation was, in Gill’s opinion, “the most effecient state Earth ever knew.” Not true, I need to add, although oddly enough Spock agreed. 

The Enterprise’s power trio watch in horror and pity as Gill, a puppet of the evil Melakon, addresses his planet in a televised address by announcing an attack on the scapegoat planet Zeon. “Captain, the speech follows no logical pattern,” says Spock. “Random sentences strung together,” Kirk adds. “He looks drugged, Jim,” observes Dr. McCoy, “Almost in a cataleptic state.”

“They’ve kept what’s left of him as a figurehead,” Kirk says. 

Last year Lou Aguilar of the American Spectator noticed the similarities between Biden and Gill in 2020. So did Victor Davis Hanson for American Greatness last month. But these men are conservatives.

Now I am not claiming Biden is a fascist. Calm down, leftists. He is not. Biden is a confused and tired old man–but only conservative pundits are noticing that. Are we smarter than liberals? Well yes, of course we are, but it seems at the very list our “betters,” the liberal elite that is, are looking the other way in regards to the president’s mental status. Or perhaps the liberal media is purposely hiding Biden’s cognitive decline, as seems to be the case with George Stephanopoulos, who allowed a portion of his most recent interview with the president to end up on the cutting room floor as he confused key details of his late son Beau’s military service. I suspect the latter scenario is the case.

Dr. Ronny Jackson is now a Republican congressman. He was the White House physician during the Trump presidency. Two months ago he called on Biden to take a cognitive test and for the results of it to be made public. Three years ago Jackson said he administered one to Trump and he reported that “45” answered every question correctly.

Here’s the problem the mainstream media faces. Biden will continue to have good days and bad days–but as I’ve observed with relatives of mine suffering from cognitive decline, the good days always become fewer. 

Oh, how many more times will Biden be hours late for a press conference? Why always so late?

Eventually Biden’s slipping mental state will be too obvious for even the liberal media to ignore. And when they finally do notice–it’s up to us to remind them that conservatives blew the whistle on Biden first. 

Perhaps at that time, in an act for redemption, the lefty talking heads and writers can reveal who the power is behind the Biden the Figurehead.

Kass has an idea, “Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff, is now openly referred to as President Klain.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The incomplete list of people to blame for the Biden debacle

By John Ruberry

Seven months in and it’s already fair to call the Biden presidency a debacle. Our humiliation in Afghanistan tops Biden’s list of failures. Yes, John F. Kennedy botched the Bay of Pigs invasion and helplessly saw the Berlin Wall built during his first seven months in the White House, but to paraphrase what Sen. Lloyd Bensten said of Dan Quayle, Biden is no JFK. And Kennedy, while we’ve learned years later that he was not a healthy man, showed no signs of cognitive decline during his brief presidency. JFK was 46 when he was assassinated. Biden turns 79 later this year.

The old proverb, “Success has many friends but failure is an orphan” is true to the extent that people prefer to sweep failure under the rug. Lee Iacocca, the legendary automotive CEO, remarked in his autobiography that there were plenty of people eager to take credit for the success of the Ford Mustang. But not for the flop of the Edsel car a few years earlier. 

As a civic duty I’m going to point out those deserving people and groups to blame for Biden, our White House Edsel, being elected president. And there are many.

Dr. Kevin C. O’Connor. The White House physician is also Biden’s personal doctor. In late 2019, as he released Biden’s medical records, O’Connor said, “Vice President Biden is a healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State, and Commander in Chief.” Wow. Biden wasn’t “vigorous” two years ago. And just how healthy is Biden?

Do you care to update your comments, O’Connor? And please, doctor, don’t hide behind patient confidentiality laws. Biden is responsible for the safety and well-being of 330 million Americans.

Jill Biden. Someonse else nailed Jill’s role in this tragedy on the head last week and I’ll hand things over to her. “Who are the people responsible for putting someone this incompetent and frankly this mentally frail in this position. …I’m sorry, as a political spouse, I can’t help but look at Jill Biden,” Fox News’ Rachel Campos-Duffy, who is married to a former congressman, said last week. “No one knew better his state of mind than Dr. Jill Biden. And if you ask me the most patriotic thing Jill Biden could have done was tell her husband, to love her husband, and not let him run in the mental state that he is in. I think she failed the country as well.”

US Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC). After lackluster performances in the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary it appeared that Joe Biden’s third presidential run would end up like the others, along the lines of a batter being dealt a three pitch strike-out. But to prevent a Bernie Sanders nomination–and a Trump reelecton–Clyburn gave Biden a strong endorsement shortly before the South Carolina primary. Biden won the primary and essentially coasted to the Democratic nomination, while conducting his campaign, to use Sean Hannity’s favorite phrase, from his “basement bunker” in Delaware.

Senior Biden campaign officials. I’m sure they knew all about Sleepy Joe’s mental state.

The media. I excoriated the mainstream media’s role in elevating Biden in a post here last week. I suspect reporters knew–and still know–that Biden is a weak old man. But they chose to keep it to themselves. And because the person they loathe, President Donald J. Trump, absolutely could not be reelected, they had to cover up, or at least obscure, Sleepy Joe’s many weaknesses.

Never Trump Republicans. Perhaps the GOP Trump haters belong at the top of this list. Are you happy now?

Biden voters. On WIND-AM Radio last week, co-host Amy Jacobson observed that many Biden voters approached last fall’s election as if it was a student council race. Trump was that mean bully and rude Tweeter and he just had to go. He just had too, you know! And besides Trump wasn’t “cool.” As Barack Obama famously and correctly said, “Elections have consequences.” In high school if you elect the wrong people to the student council it might mean that films you don’t like are screened on Campus Movie Night. The stakes regarding elections to the most powerful office in the world are immeasurably higher.

Barack Obama. Sometime in 2019 Obama should have convincingly told Biden, “C’mon man, you’re too old and to feeble to be president.” Or maybe Biden was unqualified to be president even before his cognitive decline set in. “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f**k things up,” Obama supposedly said about his vice president

Joe Biden. Surely in his more lucent moments Biden must realize that whatever mojo he had as a politician, other than name recognition, was gone. And even when he was at the peak of his skills, Biden was simply a mediocrity.

I’m certain I’ve left many worthy people of shame and blame in this list. Feel free to add others who come to mind in the comments section.

Update 8:00pm EDT:

I can’t believe I forgot the 50 former intelligence officials who made the false claim that the Hunter Biden laptop discovery appeared to be a disinformation campaign put forth by Russia. These “experts,” swamp rats really, either had no clue if that claim was true or they were lying.

The propagandists that we call the mainstream media utilized this denial as justification for not reporting on the Hunter haptop scandal.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Unfiltered Afghan Trips, Moderates vs Progressives, Masks in MA, Goose and Ganders at SCOTUS & Harris shows the side she’s on Under the Fedora

Rep Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Rep Peter Meijer (R-MI) took a secret trip to Afghanistan to see for themselves the situation on the ground. This has gotten the Army, the Administration and the State Department’s knickers in an uproar. I can see why. Given the degree of the failure of the Biden Administration the last thing they want is for congress to have a clear idea of what is going out unfiltered by the administration.


There is a lot of talk about the clash between “moderates’ and “progressives” in the House over the hold up on the infrastructure and budget bills that the Biden Administration has been desperate to get passed.

The clash is not so much between “moderates” and progressives as it is between Democrats who don’t have to worry about being re-elected and Democrats who do and with the Biden Administration debacle in Afghanistan it’s going to be a lot harder to press those Democrats who aren’t anxious to be identified with the administration.


Charlie Baker through his education commissioner has reinstated a Mask mandate for schools at least until October. Charlie has made a few wrong turns on this but has generally been sane, but with an election coming up next year in a state that’s as blue as it comes I guess he’s not willing to make any fights that he doesn’t have to.

It was be nice if we had a Redder and more Trump like governor, but until we focus on educating the public in this state Mr. Baker is likely the best we can do.


The Supreme Court rejected the Biden Administration attempt to block a lower court can not block a lower court ruling re-instating the Trump “Return to Mexico” policy.

This is ironically the same method that was used to force the DACA policy on the Trump administration.

I think that the former ruling was a bad precedent as it makes laws without lawmaking however that’s not going to change until the left starts getting burned by it.


Finally Kamala Harris in Vietnam on the anniversary of John McCain’s death put down a wreath at a war memorial celebrating the shooting down of his airplane.

Reportedly she was warned that this was not a Memorial TO McCain but celebrating him being shot down but she reportedly overruled her advisers who warned her thus. Apparently she wanted to photo op.

I’d object but as she’s owned by people who are America’s enemies and is in fact on their side I’d just as soon she not pretend otherwise.

What does the White House staff and the media know about Biden’s cognitive decline?

Connie Mack in 1938. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

By John Ruberry

The United States’ worst week in my lifetime was the prior one. 9/11 was a horrific tragedy but after that attack Americans were united in a way, albeit briefly, that it probably hasn’t been since World War II and sadly, we probably won’t see such unity again.

While our leaving South Vietnam in 1975 after years of fighting there was a major blow to our psyche–the South Vietnamese military still hung on for over two years after America’s combat role ended. 

Afghanistan fell to our enemy, the Taliban, last week, nearly a month before President Joe Biden’s withdrawal date, September 11–which was later changed to August 31. Americans, friendly Afghans, and our allies who want to leave Afghanistan are unable get to the Kabul Airport. And people at the airport are being killed by the Taliban.

The Soviet puppet state in Afghanistan managed to maintain power for three years after the USSR returned home.

The situation in Afghanistan is so awful that the mainstream media, CNN and the New York Times for instance, have slowly turned again Biden. They’re not as hostile as they were with Donald J. Trump. but it’s a start. I suspect they are holding Biden accountable only to protect what remaining credibility they have with the ten-percent of Americans who whole-heartedly believe their spin and lies.  

When Biden began his third presidential run two years ago something was very evident. Let’s just say the spin was off of his fastball, that it appeared that “Good ole Joe” wasn’t “all there” anymore, even as he squinted at his teleprompter reading remarks written by someone else. 

I’ll be returning to baseball a bit later.

Last week Biden, or more likely the president’s protectors among his family and this staff, chose the most sympathetic interviewer they know, former Bill Clinton senior staffer–and donor to the tainted Clinton Foundation–ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, to give the president the opportunity to explain why the Afghanistan defeat is not a debacle.

Notice that I didn’t call Stephanopoulos a journalist.

Even Biden’s dwindling number of apologists admit the ABC interview went poorly for him..

But the worst part of the ABC interview ended up on the cutting room floor, as Tucker Carlson pointed out on his show. When Stephanopolous questioned the chaotic nature of our withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden replied.

Look, that’s like askin’ my deceased son Beau, who spent six months in Kosovo and a year in Iraq as a Navy captain and then major– I mean, as an Army major. And, you know, I’m sure h– he had regrets comin’ out of Afganista– I mean, out of Iraq.

Amazing. Biden can’t immediately keep straight where his son served and with which branch. Beau Biden never served in Kosovo or Afghanistan. And Beau was in the Army. Not the Navy. Had Trump expressed such confusion some Democratic blowhard, probably Sen. Chuck Schumer, would be calling for the president to take a mental acuity test and suggest enacting the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. 

What else is on the cutting room floor of other Biden interviews, both as a candidate running from inside his “basement bunker” or as president? As a resident of the White House there isn’t much Biden material to work with. Since being sworn in as president Biden conducted only nine sit-down interviews. At the same point in their presidencies Barack Obama had done 113 and Trump 50. Someone is afraid of the media, a media that until this month was quite friendly to Biden.

In the sad later years of Connie Mack’s unprecedented 50-year tenure as manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, he often couldn’t remember the names of his current players but he’d call for substitutions with players who hadn’t played for the A’s in decades. Imagine Chicago White Sox manager Tony LaRussa, who used to manage the Athletics, calling for pinch hitting Jose Abreu with Mark McGwire.

Are there moments like that with Biden? Does the media know? Do they have videotape of it? Stephanopolous of course has the recording of Biden confusing his son’s miltary service. What about prior Stephanopolous interviews of Biden? Those should be made public in their entirety immediately by ABC News.

Mack owned the Athletics so firing him was problematic–but he was eventually forced out by his sons in 1950 when he was 87.

If we have not just a confused but also a senile man as president then removing him from office is the duty of Congress. And the rest of media, if they have evidence of Biden’s cognitive decline, then they need to cough it up now.

And that goes for Biden’s staff as well. When Mack made his non-sensical calls as manager of the Athletics, his coaches would calmly overrule “the Grand Old Man of Baseball.” Is Biden’s staff stepping in and overruling their old man?

Who is in charge? Or as Chris Wallace this morning asked of Biden’s secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, “Does the president not know what’s going on?” Note how Blinken doesn’t answer Wallace’s question in this clip.

Mack ran the Athletics into the ground after many great years at the helm, leading his team to nine American League pennants. Biden never had any great years. Mack’s A’s were just a baseball team. America of course is so much more–not just here at home but to the rest of the world.

Afghanistan is not the only failure of the Biden presidency. There is the border crisis and his inconsistent policy on COVID-19. Are these flops the work of a man who is mentally adrift?

And has Biden’s open borders policy with Mexico made the COVID resurgence worse? Failure seems to be piling upon failure–and we are just seven months into Biden’s term.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Don Surber notes the “What” Glenn Reynolds provides the “Why”

At Don Surber’s site in a piece titled Taliban may take down Biden he notes an interesting change in terms of the coverage of the Biden Administration:

There is no way to spin Biden’s desertion of 38 million people in Afghanistan, including 15,000 Americans. We left billions in weaponry and vehicles to terrorists.

But it is the images of helpless people trying to flee Afghanistan that sticks in the public’s mind. 640 people wall-to-wall in a C-17 shows just how awful this abandonment of Afghanistan is.

For once, the press is actually doing its job.

Emphasis mine

Noting that the press is doing it’s job is to me the key line to Surber’s piece which like all his pieces is worth reading. However the what said piece doesn’t address is the key question that is raised by it namely: Why is the press actually doing it’s job?

After all they had no problem covering for him during the steal of the election, during the border crisis, during the spike in inflation, skyrocketing gas and food prices, the move to make us more dependent on foreign energy and kowtowing to China and Russia. and from racial division. Why would Afghanistan suddenly be the straw that breaks the camel’s back?

The answer comes from something at Instapundit that was sent to Glenn Reynolds from an acquaintance of his with as he puts it: “experience and connections”:

Biden’s statement that he has seen ‘no question of our credibility from our allies’ has said allies furious. Every NATO country has people trapped in Afghanistan and they tend to be trust fund babies or friends of trust fund babies. Every prime minister’s phone is blowing up with VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE asking how they’re going to get their kids or their kids’ friends out of Afghanistan and every ally is blowing up the phones of the White House and State Department and getting jack shit from them.

And they’re all blaming ‘America’ but they also know it’s on Biden.

actually it’s on whoever is actually running the show a 2nd friend of Glenn mentions the press:

Reporters are only calling BS re the airport because their own ox is being gored. I call BS on their belated, situational flailing at accountability. Now they’re indignant, how many lies later?

You see for the pols and the connected and the sons and daughters of the connected and the friends of the sons and daughters of the connected things like CRT or Inflation or gas prices or Urban Crime or Race issues in schools or mask mandates don’t affect then. They are not going to public schools, living in inner cities or needing to worry about their personal budget. They send their kids to private exclusive schools and don’t seem to have mask mandates applied to them.

This attitude includes the elite press who long ago abandoned this good advice:

The people we cover, we move in their world, but it is their world. You can’t live like them. You’ll never keep up.

The Paper 1994

Those elite press members and the younger reporters who have ambitions of being members of the elite press who are allowed entry to said world for the price of the right coverage. As for those problems of race, inflation, violence etc..all those are for lesser folk to wit:

“I — I couldn’t take a blow, sir. I suppose I’ve been too long with gentlemen”

Among gentlemen a blow could be wiped out only in blood; among the lower orders a blow was something to be received without even a word.

C. S. Forester: Hornblower and the Hotspur 1962 p 301

To all of them it’s still 1805 and we’re the lower orders who are to take these blows without complaint.

Alas Afghanistan is a different matter:

You see hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent in Afghanistan and not just on the military. There have been all kinds of programs going on there, many of them very high paying and carrying a lot of prestige and those positions have been filled by elites, family of elites and friends of families of elites who saw it as a stepping stone to higher positions back home and resume enhancers.

When the Biden administration decided to let things collapse without warning suddenly it wasn’t a problem that affected the common people back home, in fact most ordinary Americans, other than the families of troops there are likely not affected by it at all except for the increased threat of terrorist down the line,

However it DID effect all of those elites in all of those nations and all of those NGO’s that have been feeding off the American Taxpayer while in Afghanistan putting in their time and it of course affects all of those reporters who are stationed there and find themselves in danger of their lives (There’s a reason why western women reporters have suddenly discovered the joy of head coverings.)

It’s sort of like this scene from the Movie Casino where Sam Rothstein (Robert DiNero) meets with Pat Webb (LQ Jones) whose brother in law he has just fired :

As long as his own were being taken care of Webb (Jones) didn’t care what was going on in the Casino, but once his own ox was being gored things changed…

Pat Webb: Has that man even filed for his license yet?

Board Investigator: I don’t know. We’ll have to check the files.

Pat Webb: Well, without gettin’ your shorts in a knot, would you do that? And kinda check closely, ’cause we may have to kick a kike’s ass out of town.

From that moment in the movie the downfall of Rothstein and company began.

As long as the Biden administration’s moves only hurt the common voter and the elites were taken care of the elites didn’t care about what was done, but now their incompetence is affecting them and theirs it can’t be allow to stand.

That’s why the Media has suddenly started doing it job and is why the plan to replace Biden with Harris might be accelerated before January of 2023.

Unexpectedly of course.

Closing note: If it happens It won’t change who is in charge, it will just change the figurehead for those who stole the last election.

Review: Katla

By John Ruberry

This summer Netflix debuted the Icelandic series Katla. The actual Katla is a subglacial volcano, which last erupted in 1918. 

Whereas for the series, which is centered on the village of Vík, Katla erupted one year earlier, forcing the evacuation of most of the town, save for some essential workers and their families.

Then a Swedish woman covered in ash, Gunhild (Aliette Opheim), not seen in Vík for twenty years, appears mysteriously, having not aged at all.

Others then emerge in the same manner.

To explain the setting and mood of the Katla, I need to make a diversion. Stick with me. Although this bit is quite fascinating.

According to Icelandic folklore much of the country, particularly rocks and boulders, are inhabited by the huldufólk, the hidden people. 

Iceland is unique. In the fifth episode of his long running podcast Lore, “Under Construction,” host Aaron Mahnke describes the island nation this way: “Now you have to understand something about Iceland, much of the region is a vast expanse of sparse grass and large volcanic rock formations,” adding, “the ground boils with geysers and springs and the sky seems to be eternally gray and cloudy.”

Nature is particularly harsh in Iceland. Earthquakes are common, it has a chilly subpolar oceanic climate, long winter nights, and of course there are those volcanoes, nearly thirty of them are active. 

The use of folklore is a common method to explain the world and with so much of Iceland being a seemingly blank canvas–the “vast expanse of sparse grass” that Mahnke described, as well as its unpredictable volcanoes, it is understandable that folklore’s roots are deep there.

Mahnke in his podcast mentions a couple of road projects in Iceland–one just six years ago–that were altered to assuage fears that the huldufólk would not be disturbed. Click here to find other projects that were changed for the sake of the huldufólk.

In a 1998 survey slightly more than half of Icelanders said they believe in the hidden people. In the minds of many Icelanders the huldufólk are quite real. They are certainly part of the psyche of this Nordic nation.

Huldufólk take on many incantations within Icelandic folklore, among these are as changelings.

Katla is an eight-episode series that is the work of Sigurjón Kjartansson and Baltasar Kormákur. The duo was also responsible for the series Trapped, Kormákur directed the movie Everest.

It appears Kormákur and Kjartansson’s primary audience for Katla is Icelanders and other Scandanavians. The former and probably the latter have a basic understanding of the huldufólk, whereas the primary audience of this blog does not. Hence my diversion because the huldufólk legends aren’t discussed at all in Katla except briefly midway in the series, but that part is featured in the Netflix trailer.

After the emergence of the young Gunhild, the “other” one–twenty years older of course–is discovered in Sweden. Next to come from the ash is Ása (Íris Tanja Flygenring), whose return puzzles her sister Gríma (Guðrún Eyfjörð), a rescue worker in an unhappy marriage with a dairy farmer, Kjartan (Baltasar Breki Samper). Ása and Gríma find themselves entangled in the complicated life of Gunhild and an old relationship of his.

In Katla we also find a deeply religious man, police chief Gísli (Þorsteinn Bachmann) and a scientist Darri (Björn Thors), whose lives are dramatically altered by the new arrivals. 

Katla is part science fiction and part psychological drama. It’s worth your time. 

The show’s directors make the most of the stark scenery–the cinematography is breathtaking. And the acting is compelling.

Katla is rated TV-MA for violence, scenes of suicide, brief nudity, and strong language. It is available in English, in Icelandic with subtitles, and in English with subtitles. I recommend watching the Icelandic with subtitles version, as there are passages in English and Swedish–and that method of viewing fills out the storyline a little better.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

A Mystery for Elizabeth Spiers and the Times, but No One Else

Elizabeth Spiers at the New York times has written a long essay on Cuomo. She uses 917 words to answer the question that she asks in title:

How Cuomo Got Away With It for So Long

This is a real poser to Ms. Spiers who opines on the subject thus:

Perversely, his abrasiveness may have given him a sort of immunity to consequences until now, at least when it comes to his public image. Any time he exhibits terrible interpersonal behavior, it can be regarded as an intrinsic part of his personality. He’s established a reputation as a jerk who treats people badly, so people shrug when he proves, yet again, that he is a jerk who treats people badly. His behavior is normalized because it seems normal for Andrew Cuomo.

If all of this verbiage sounds familiar it might not be a surprise because you’re read something like it before about

In her experience with the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez met a justice system that rarely takes up complaints like the one she put forward in 2015 against Weinstein. Her experience in going to the police with a complaint that she was sexually assaulted and then having her case stall is more the rule than the exception.

With a title that sounds rather familar:

How Harvey Weinstein got away with it for so long

And of course the mystery continues with Matt Lauer:

“He’s angry about what he sees as the media’s unfair treatment of him, and hasn’t been taking things well,” said the source. “He had done a lot of work to repair his relationships with his kids and they’ve been sticking by him.”

“He went from being the biggest deal and being able to do whatever he wanted to being an outcast and it’s been a bitter pill to swallow,” the source continued.

Apparently none of these writers had a clue how they got away with it for so long but the clue to the answer is in the sentence below Ms. Spiers byline:

Ms. Spiers has worked in New York media since the early 2000s.

Now while this is a mystery to these New York Liberals it’s something that the rest of us already know.

He got away with for so long for the same reason that Weinstein, and Lauer, and Clinton and Epstein did because he is a Liberal Democrat who has supported the liberal democrat cause and those who knew what was going on, and I’m sure like Weinstein et all there were plenty in politics, in media, in entertainment and in government, considered him useful a source of money or power and influence and both

At best a lot of folks on the left are in denial at the moment worst they are covering themselves with phony displays of shock and disbelief.

Now I don’t know Ms. Spiers, it’s possible that she knew all about Cuomo and Weinstein, and Lauer and others it’s possible that she heard rumors and ignored them and it’s even possible that she knew absolutely nothing Cuomo and all the there. I have no idea one way or the other, but there is one thing I do know.

I know that sooner or later another prominent Democrat pol, or operative or donor who has spent years doing exactly what Cuomo was doing will suddenly no longer be useful to the party and when that time comes we will see another opinion piece by another New York Liberal titled: How did they get away with it for so long.

Unexpectedly of course.

Electronic monitoring for violent criminals in Chicago and Cook County is a failure

By John Ruberry

The far-left has taken over many elected prosecutor’s offices, including Chesa Boudin in San Francisco, George Gascon in Los Angeles County, Marilyn Mosby in Baltimore, and Kim Foxx in Cook County, where Chicago is the county seat.

As I sadly live in Crook County I’m going focus on Foxx, Cook County’s state’s attorney and Jussie Smollett’s protector, who among other things, refuses to prosecute shoplifters with a felony unless they are accused of stealing merchandise worth more than $1,000.

Foxx is also a huge supporter of electronic monitoring of criminal suspects.

Small-time crooks often move on to bigger crimes. The “broken-windows” practice of policing that Rudy Giuliani put into place during his eight years as mayor of New York–his cops aggressively cracked down on petty criminals–led to a major decrease in violent crime. In the years before Rudy’s election NYC averaged over 2,000 murders annually. His successor, Michael Bloomberg, largely kept Guiliani’s policies in place. When Bloomberg left office in 2013 there were just 333 murders in America’s largest city. The murder rate has gone up with Bill de Blasio as mayor of New York but that’s a post for another time. 

The soft-on-crime approach of Foxx has been a disaster for Cook County residents, particular minorities who Foxx claims to champion. According to Hey Jackass there have been 467 homicides after the first seven months of 2021. Of the victims 83 percent of them were black and 13 percent were Hispanic

Bail is often light under Foxx and her prosecutors. Bad people who yes, have not yet been convicted of the crimes they are accused of, are being released with low bail or under electronic monitoring. 

Even Cook County’s sheriff, Democrat Tom Dart, doesn’t think electronic monitoring should be utilized the way Foxx is using it. “We were handed this thing—we didn’t ask for it,” Dart told NBC Chicago last week. “This is not what it was designed for The program was never designed for violent people.” And yet that is what is being done. 

More from NBC Chicago:

Nevertheless, numbers provided by the sheriff’s office show that on a recent day this month,100 murder suspects were free on electronic monitoring. Another 106 suspects were out in the community charged with criminal sexual assault, 547 charged as felons in possession of a weapon, and 263 as armed habitual criminals.

Let me repeat the first two: There are 100 people accused of murder who are free on electronic surveillance in Cook County. And what happened to the #MeToo movement? There are 106 people charged with criminal sexual assault on home arrest right in the county where I live.

Some of those on electronic monitoring in Cook County have eluded surveillance, including a man who escaped from electronic monitoring a few days after agreeing to it; he has since been charged with shooting a man in the face. Then there is the man accused of attempting to murder a cop who escaped from house arrest who was later found with an auto-fire gun. It gets worse. A man on electronic monitoring for a gun charge was charged with a murder during a home invasion.

Then there is this bizarre twist on electronic monitoring. Last month just a few minutes after being fitted with an electronic surveillance device rapper KTS Dre was shot–Sonny Corleone-style–64 times outside Cook County Jail. Clearly the rapper was better off being locked up. But Dre wasn’t the only person shot, two women were wounded in that attack. 

Can crimes be committed by people who stay home during their electronic home confinement? Of course! A woman selling cars on Facebook was lured to the home of a man on electronic monitoring. “Give me everything. You don’t f*cking move,” the accused allegedly warned. He also told the man who accompanied the salesperson, “Tell your b*tch not to move or I’ll shoot her too.”

As bad as Kim Foxx is–and she is indeed horrible–the ultimate responsibility for this public safety debacle belongs to Cook County voters–not me of course–who blindly voted Democrat party-line and returned Foxx to office last autumn. 

The warning signs on Foxx were there.

Chicago mayor’s Lori Lightfoot weak-on-crime policies deserve condemnation too. The man she chose to run the Chicago Police, David Brown, who for the most part has done a rotten job, did express some wisdom last week when he asked, “How many people think it’s OK to have over 90 people on electronic monitoring that we’ve charged with murder released back into our communities?”

The local mainstream media, NBC Chicago being an exception, is either ignoring or minimizing the crimes in Cook County being committed by accused criminals under house arrest. Many thanks to CWB Chicago for regularly reporting on this issue. After all, “Democracy dies in darkness.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.