Drag Queen Story Time scandal

When drag queens make a regular event of reading to small children in libraries and schools, with full approval of the authorities, you know you’re in Clown World.  Lots of them even look like clowns.  I mean the drag queens; not the politicians and other enablers who only act like clowns.

drag queen with kids 3

Now this has caused a minor scandal which had the potential to develop into something far worse.  A recent news article from KTRK begins:

Houston Public Library is apologizing after a man charged for sexually assaulting a child was allowed to entertain children at Drag Queen storytime.

Then it explains that he didn’t complete a background check before he was let into the program.  Well, that’s embarrassing!  He certainly would have good reason not to undergo the background check, given what would’ve been uncovered.  Further:

Albert Alfonso Garza, 32, was last seen reading to children at the Montrose Library in September 2018.

Montrose is Houston’s gay village.  Now here’s some food for thought.  What was he doing hanging around the kids?  Instead he could’ve gone to one of several gay bars a few blocks away, where a drag show actually would be welcome.  Public relations tip:  keep it where it belongs.

The library said appropriate action is being taken to ensure every participant in every program is verified to ensure similar incidents cannot happen in the future.

The last half of the article quoted Houston Public Library’s apologetic statement.  The basic angle is that this one slipped through the cracks and they’ll take action to keep out any of these types who haven’t been properly vetted.

Now let’s just hold on here a moment.  Why is it necessary to have Drag Queen Story Time in the first place?  How is their presence an improvement?  What is their reason for being there?

Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that all these drag queens have a thing for kids.  Maybe some of these guys merely want to douse these developing minds in cultural Marxism long before they can evaluate any of it critically.  Perhaps some merely intend to push radical gender theory on children too young to know where babies come from.  As for those who actually do this for purposes of child grooming, well, I told you so.

How should society react to these drag queens?  Will we just “go with the flow” about this newest eruption of aggressive abnormality?  Instead, we should familiarize them with a very simple word:  “No.”

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Drag Queen Story Time scandal

Social credit, an element of Third Position economics to get the banksters off of our backs

There are a number of loosely-related economic ideas which offer alternatives to capitalism as it’s currently practiced.  (That’s not the only way to run an economy, or even a market economy.)  These are also alternatives to socialism, which so far has been the chief competitor of capitalism, and not a very successful one.  These Third Position ideas are in their origins vaguely Fascist and even more vaguely Catholic, but this isn’t inherently so and can be implemented by other societies.

I’ve mentioned Distributism before.  Another one is social credit.  Greg Johnson featured this, and some related concepts, in the article Money for Nothing. It’s quite interesting, worth a read in its entirety, but I’ll hit a few highlights.  The evocative opening goes like this:

Everybody knows you need to work for your money. And if somebody just gives you money, that can only be by the expropriation of somebody else’s labor. Money just doesn’t grow on trees, after all.

But is this really true? Just because you work for your money, did the guy who paid you also work for it? What about the guy who paid him? If you follow the money trail long enough, you are going to find someone who did not work for his money. He simply got it for nothing. He did not even have to go to the trouble of picking it off trees. He just created it out of thin air by bookkeeping. We call this man a banker.

It’s a point of Fascist economics that wealth is created when someone does or produces something of value.  (Remember this one; it’s important.)  By contrast, Johnson illustrates that the modern world economy is run on fairy dust.  This probably isn’t much of a surprise to many people, no matter what their political views are.

Fractional reserve banking

Johnson’s essay doesn’t explain the fractional reserve system, but I’ll fill in this detail.  Here’s how it works.  First, depositors put their money into banks.  One reason why is because it’s safer than stuffing cash into a mattress.  (Well, that depends.)  Also, the banks pay interest on deposits, at least for savings accounts.  When I was a kid, it was 5.25%; these days, 1% is a pretty decent rate.  It’s better than nothing, but doesn’t even get you ahead of the inflation rate.

Banks are required to keep a certain percent of deposits on reserve.  However, the rest they can use to make loans.  Naturally, it’s at a higher interest rate.  The vigorish differential is how the banks make their own profits.

It’s rather hard to get around this.  Few people have enough cash on the barrelhead (or even liquid assets) that they can spare to buy a new car, much less a house.  In fact, there are laws against accumulating large amounts of cash.  This was meant as a measure against the drug trade, not that it’s been terribly effective.  Now it’s technically illegal to stuff your mattress with thousands of bucks.

Fractional reserve banking does have a couple of hazards.  The first is if lots of people welch on their loans at once.  The second is if depositors all line up and ask for their money back at once.  These things can happen when the economy is very shaky.  Naturally, a widespread banking crisis makes things worse.  All that is the short version, but I’ll resist temptation to monologue about it.

Some other problems

So the takeaway here with the fractional reserve system is that the banks are using money that doesn’t actually belong to them and making a profit from it.  The loans they make do have to get paid back, of course, with interest.  If this doesn’t happen, they repossess and sell the collateral.  As for business loans, it’s not a profit-sharing method like a corporation that issues stocks.  Instead, the loan has to be paid back whether or not the business does well.  Essentially, when a bank makes a loan, it’s selling time at a markup.

Most of their customers do have productive jobs – building cars, driving fork lifts, unclogging sinks, whatever.  However, the banksters themselves aren’t producing anything.  Instead, they’re continually skimming off a percent of the wealth generated by their customers.  One problem is that this racket eventually causes a relatively small number of individuals and their financial institutions to become insanely wealthy.  The top banksters are a few people engaged in a profitable but non-productive activity, living off of the productive masses.  Might there be a better way?

Also, they’re recirculating back into the economy lots of money that’s technically on deposit.  Easy credit is an inflationary pressure.  It’s just like if the government printed up a bunch of money and dropped it into the economy.  Both activities essentially involve creating money out of thin air.  Much of Johnson’s article is about whether the government could do just that and cut the banksters out of the gravy train.

The Federal Reserve

Anyone who looks closely at a dollar bill and sees the words “Federal Reserve Note” on it might think that this is already happening; business as usual.  Actually, the Federal Reserve is a private banking consortium.  Whenever the US government needs to spend more money than it already has, it turns to those guys.  Note well, this has been every year since day one, except for a brief period beginning with the late 1990s tech boom and ending with the 21st century’s spit-in-your-eye wars.  Congress just doesn’t have a good track record of balancing the budget.  Many of those guys can’t even balance their own checkbooks.

To make up for the shortfall, the Federal Reserve then sells what are basically long-term bonds.  The buyers then get a modest interest rate from them.  Eventually the government pays back the holders of the treasury bills.  However, with the budget perpetually out of balance, it’s a matter of kicking the can down the road.  Anyway, don’t try this at home, kids; counterfeiting is illegal.

Again, interest goes to the holders of the treasury bills.  I’m not sure what the Federal Reserve’s own piece of the action is, but presumably these guys haven’t been doing this since the 1930s for charity.  Note well, I don’t regard them as quite the source of evil that some people do; there are far worse New World Order institutions out there.  Still, these guys are overhead on the US economy as well as unelected officials with a lot of power.

Deficit spending is rather like someone who relies on credit cards for shortfalls in the household budget and keeps sinking deeper.  This doesn’t make sense.  That’s a good way to lose thousands of dollars annually on interest.  Eventually the party is over when the plastic is maxed out.  It’s a little different in Washington, though.  Congress just votes to raise the debt ceiling whenever they hit the limit.

Another hazard is the influence of financiers on government through campaign contributions, which is basically legalized bribery.  Your neighborhood credit union isn’t the problem, but the richer-than-God banksters certainly are.  Since budget deficits are their bread and butter, they love big government and they love expensive wars.  This type of profiteering actually goes pretty far back in history.

Money is fairy dust

As Johnson notes, money is an agreed-upon medium of exchange.  It doesn’t have to be worth anything in itself.  The gold bugs might take us to task for that, of course.  I’ll add that the reason why the gold standard worked was because of the scarcity principle – there’s a limited amount of it.  During the Great Depression, switching to paper money was an expedient means of getting around that problem and borrowing against future prosperity.  Theoretically, dollars were still backed by gold, but the public couldn’t get any.

In 1976, the dollar was decoupled from the price of gold, which probably contributed to the double-digit inflation soon to follow.  During the 1980s, cranking interest rates up fixed that problem, though it created some other turbulence.  So the horse has left the gate long ago.  Going back to the gold standard doesn’t much seem to be in the cards.  Bitcoins are the high-tech equivalent to that.  However, its wild fluctuation in value isn’t particularly encouraging.

One of the proposals is to put an expiration date on money.  This is rather similar to what inflation already does – dollars stuffed into a mattress will lose purchasing power over the years as prices keep rising.   If money clearly expired, it would be an economic stimulus as people would want to spend what they have fairly quickly.  Still, this proposal in particular still seems a little much.  No shopkeeper would want a bill that’s soon to be worthless.  It needs some finesse to make it work right, and I’ll touch on what could be done later.

Hoarding by billionaires can be a problem.  This is especially so if they’ve cashed out of the stock market at the top when they get advance notice of trouble ahead, then wait until they can buy at the bottom a year or two later.  However, savings by private individuals isn’t the problem.  Actually, having a reserve of emergency cash is a pretty good idea.  It’s even better yet to have a few months of “fuck you money” since most people only have their job as a single income stream.

Crashing the economy

Johnson points out the following:

Ideally money should be a self-effacing servant of the real economy, which produces actual goods and services. But money has grown into a jealous tyrant that interferes with the real economy. The simplest example is your average economic crisis. In an economic depression, the land does not suddenly go sterile. The udders of cows do not go dry. Men do not suddenly become stupid and lazy. The sun keeps shining; the crops keep growing; the chickens keep laying; people keep working. Goods pile up in warehouses and stores. And on the demand side, people still need to eat. But silos are bursting and people are starving because, for some mysterious reason, there is suddenly “not enough money.”

That’s rather reminiscent of the quaint Biblical expression, “The money failed”.  Crashing the economy is older than dirt.

People have no money to spend, or they are afraid to part with the money they do have, because of a climate of uncertainty. After all, half way around the world, a massive swindle has been discovered; a bank has collapsed; a speculative bubble has burst. So, naturally, back in Hooterville, stores are filled with sour milk and rotting vegetables and children are going to bed hungry.

Indeed, it gets fairly absurd.  He discusses the last big one and how the government responded.  At the end of his term, Bush the Younger had stimulus checks mailed out to the public.  (Probably most people used them to pay off some pressing bills, easing the desperation for that month.)  It was hoped this would generate new consumer demand and shake some rust out of the economy.  However, it didn’t work any better than when Bush the Elder tried the same thing back on his watch.

Other than that were the bankster bailouts that came later.  Some of the “too big to fail” recipients used all the taxpayer money to buy into the stock market at the lowest point.  Since they did that, did they really need all those billions to keep from going insolvent like they said?  This didn’t really benefit the public.  This massive bailout went to the financiers who had just crashed the economy, helping them turn a very tidy profit after the stock market started going back up.  Sweet!

How gibsmedats could be handed

Johnson proposes just sending citizens a monthly stipend, printed up without banksters in the picture.  It would be a substitute for Social Security and other benefits payments.  Those who want better than subsistence incomes can get a job as usual, of course.  It’s about like the reverse income tax idea which has been floated but turned out to be too liberal even for Congress when the Democrats were the majority.  On the plus side, a single payment (rather than several programs) with no means testing would cut down on the bureaucracy.

To this discussion, I’ll add that if it’s done, the gibsmedats could be issued as a complementary currency that does decline in value slowly.  It’s a compromise from the “money with an expiration date” concept.  That sounds a little odd, but actually has worked.  Still, keeping the money velocity high isn’t much of a concern; people with EBT cards generally spend what they have pretty quickly as it is.

A potential weakness in the argument is that the gibsmedats would still be more costly than what the banksters are skimming off of the economy.  About a third of the US budget goes into social services as it is.  The expense would approximately double if people who work for a living are eligible for monthly payments too.  So the government would have to tax them more, about like crazy European rates, then give some of it back to them every month.  That much seems unnecessary.

Ultimately, it seems that we couldn’t get around taxation to supply the gibsmedats, no matter what the scope would be.  Perhaps I’m not understanding the theoretical model correctly, but if so, I’d like to see it work on a small scale first before rolling it out to a major country.  A large welfare state might well encourage mass laziness, though Johnson does address that.

Sure, some people might choose to spend their time smoking dope and strumming guitars. But one of them might be the next Goethe or Wagner. And surely we would be better off extending the adolescences of a million bohemians than supporting a thousand scheming Wolfowitzes, Madoffs, and Shylocks along with all their warmonger and pornmonger cousins.

That’s a little blunt, but he does have a point.  Anyway, if the choice is whether to benefit slackers or banksters, I’d choose neither.  However, it doesn’t seem to be an essential feature to the overall proposal.

Socializing the production of fairy dust

Rather than banks making loans, the government could be doing that.  This primary element of social credit has been done before, and it worked.  If I recall correctly, it was a brief experiment in Britain.  However, these days we’d have to get better politicians.  Their meddling – forcing banks to write mortgages for subprime borrowers who had no chance of paying them back – contributed to the last economic crisis.  We wouldn’t want to let those guys screw the pooch again.  Before we can get social credit, we need regime change first.

Why should the government allow banks to create money and then loan it, at interest, to the government, when the government can create money itself? The very existence of public debt goes back to the time when money was something of intrinsic value (like gold) that banks might possess and that the government could not just make up.

Bingo!  This is one of the best points.  The government certainly could sell treasury bills itself,whenever they have to borrow money (which is pretty much always) rather than having the banksters do that and get their piece of the action.  The Constitution states clearly that Congress has the authority to coin money, but long ago, FDR farmed that out to the Federal Reserve.  It’s time to retake control.

The peace dividend

I’ll add some other observations.  Cutting the banksters out of the money creation process also would remove some of the behind-the-scenes pressure to get involved in costly spit-in-your-eye wars.   Spreading democracy one bomb at a time hasn’t been as productive as expected.

Another source of pressure comes from the military-industrial complex.  That could be fixed by socializing the arms industry.  It’s been done before.  Even though the Soviet Union had a notoriously lousy economy, they still made pretty decent military hardware.  The Russkies probably weren’t making $800 hammers, either.

The last element of pressure is from foreign lobbies, such as AIPAC, for example.  That won’t get fixed until politicians grow a pair and tell them to go fight their own wars instead of using us as unpaid mercenaries.  American soldiers getting shot up on the other side of the world gets old after a while.  Ezra Pound, who was a pioneer of the social credit idea, wouldn’t have been surprised too much by this, but all that’s another story.

The long-term picture

Later Johnson discusses prospects for the future.  Technology eventually could allow us to reduce working hours, and maybe one day robots will do all the work.  The plutocrats are already salivating about this.  One of their fans gloated that in the future, anyone who doesn’t have a $200,000 salary will be unemployed.  So after over 90% of the country has been put out of work, the billionaires will live like gods on the earth, and most of the public dies of starvation.  I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun until the public goes French Revolution on them.

If instead we can get the plutocrats off of the gravy train, then all the public benefits from technological advances.  Johnson’s perspective on how the future might work is pretty interesting; again, it’s worth a reading in its entirety.

Social credit, an element of Third Position economics to get the banksters off of our backs

The need for restraints on behavior and where this comes from

Here I’ll discuss some points on political theory, but in fairly abstract form.  Unlike most of my hit pieces here, no ideologies will be harmed.

First of all, imagine that you’re all alone on a lush but uninhabited island.  You could do anything you want, and nobody would mind.  In this tropical paradise, nobody cares what you do.  Furthermore, nobody can offend you, injure you, or violate your rights.  It’s impossible for you to do these things to anyone either.  Nobody else is there!

If you’re a hermit and skilled enough to live off the land, you’ll seldom see anyone else unless you choose to walk to town.  Except for the rare occasions when you do meet someone, then once again, you can do anything you want.  Other than that, there’s nobody who might potentially do anything bad to you, or even offend you.  Technically, the law of the land applies, but nobody cares.  However, on the rare occasions when you are around others, then you’ll have to abide by certain minimum standards of behavior, like wearing clothes.

There’s not too much unclaimed territory left where you can do that, or property where others won’t mind you hanging out indefinitely, but you get the picture.  Another important consideration is that humans are social creatures.  Few of us actually want to be hermits.  For the rest of us, constant solitude would drive us a bit crackers.  However, people aren’t perfect.  We have to moderate our conduct to get along with others.  I’ll get into all that later on.

The evolution of societies

Now let’s consider mankind in the state of nature.  It’s a little different from what Rousseau envisioned, dreaming it all up from pure theory.  We don’t have a time machine to see exactly how it rolled in the early Holocene period.  However, we do have well-documented records of tribal societies from the Age of Exploration.  Even now, in a few remote areas, there are still some tribes that have had hardly any contact with the outside world.

Ten thousand years ago, everyone was living in relatively small tribes.  They shared some characteristics with small towns.  Everyone knew each other and was familiar with their personality quirks.   The tribes did have social hierarchies, but very simple ones.  Everyone knew where they fit.  Social mobility was not achieved by making lots of money as it is now (because there wasn’t any) but rather by gaining reputation and not doing anything to lose face.  The chief was probably the strongest hunter.  If there was an irreconcilable leadership dispute, the challenger could take his followers and branch off to form another tribe.  The shaman was whoever could talk to spirits, gain useful information from them, and heal the sick, or at least do a pretty good acting job of all that.  Law was a fairly simple matter, things like “do what the chief says”, “don’t injure your tribesmen”, “don’t run from battle”, and so forth.  When early mankind figured out where babies come from – actually a pretty significant development in society – then “don’t fool around on your spouse” was added to the list.

When tribes got larger – numbering thousands or tens of thousands – things got a little more complicated.  The barbarian tribes in Europe’s Dark Ages are a pretty good example.  Youths built up their reputation and deeds, and the most seasoned warriors got to be officers.  This later evolved into the hereditary peerage system.  Customary law was getting somewhat more complicated:  “the penalty for a punch in the nose is X, the penalty for knocking out a tooth is 2X”, etc.

Now let’s go way back again, let’s say seven thousand years ago or so.   Small towns were beginning to form.  Being chief had become a hereditary position, probably not long after they figured out where babies come from.  Whoever set up the place became the ruler of the new city-state, forming its first dynasty.  New technologies came along.  For example, someone figured out how to bake clay into bricks, and that you can build cool stuff by stacking them together.  Eventually the cities got a little larger as other tribes drew in.  They would’ve had some differences in dialect and in customs, at least at first.  Past a certain growth in population, not everyone knew each other any longer.  Misunderstandings and conflicts became more frequent.  They had to develop customs for politeness and acting civilized.  Those two terms are from the Greek and Latin word for “city” – polis and civitas.

Fast forward a little further to about five thousand years ago.  The first nations were consolidating in Mesopotamia, China, and Egypt.  Allied city-states united under a single king.  With major cities developing, this needed more hierarchy and infrastructure.  I’ll spare you a long monologue on the evolution of the legal system.  Let’s just say that settling disputes became a little too much for just one man to handle, so this got delegated to judges.  Legal codices got longer, and were recorded with that newfangled invention, writing.  Hammurabi’s Code is one of the most famous.

In time, the legal codes got quite extensive indeed.  For example, medieval Iceland’s law book was called the Grágás.  (That means “Grey Goose”, for some reason.)  It’s the size of three dictionaries.  I’ll resist the temptation to monologue too much about their legal system, but they did get by with just a few regional chiefs.  Disputes were pretty simple back then.  Nobody had to figure out the intricacies of what you can and can’t do in the stock market, for example.  One problem with such a minimalist government was that if you won a lawsuit, you’d have to organize your own Viking raid to collect on it.  Other than that, modern libertarians would’ve loved it there, so long as they spoke Old Norse.

Fast forward to present times.  Populations are exponentially far beyond what they once were, and climbing.  A large fraction of the population lives in cities of millions, and people don’t always know their neighbors, much less everyone else in town.  Customs may vary greatly, and dozens of languages are spoken in some of these cities.  As for the legal system, even the IRS tax code alone would make the Icelandic Grágás seem like a leaflet.  As for the government, that includes dozens of agencies.  Unfortunately, it’s to some degree under the sway of powerful commercial interests, some including international business empires, as well as some very wealthy individuals.

Anyway, things sure got complicated over the last ten thousand years!

The sources of control

OK, so let’s go back to the first point.  To get along with other people, there must be agreed-upon standards of behavior.  That’s pretty important, especially if you have millions of fellow townspeople.  These come from three sources.

  1. Self-control
  2. Control by social standards
  3. Control by law

The first one is pretty simple.  Your id starts screaming like a spoiled brat, your superego yells at your id to shut up, and your ego makes the final call.  Those who have good self-control and treat others with respect tend to have fewer conflicts with others.  Nobody’s perfect, but when a righteous person has a conflict with someone else, it’s usually because the other person was being unreasonable or crossing boundaries.  This is the most agreeable form of control – you made the choice.

As for the second, this includes agreed-upon social standards like customs, ethics, and morals.  (The latter two words come from Greek and Latin roots meaning “customs”, though in English they take on different shades of meaning.)  Some of this is cultural, and religion fills in another part.  Control by social standards is less agreeable than self-control.  You have to live by other people’s rules.  Noncompliance will lead to various social penalties:  odd looks, gossip, the perception that you’re a weirdo, or (at the utmost) shunning.  Still, these are relatively minor compared to control by law, though it gets bad if it’s something that affects your income.  More aggressive forms like shivaree, tarring and feathering, and running miscreants out of town on a rail have gone by the wayside.  If people tried those things these days, then they’d be perceived as the bad guys.

When people don’t share the same set of customs, misunderstandings are more likely.  People from the urban northeast may come across as pretty brusque to a Minnesotan, even when they don’t mean it.  People trained to be excessively polite are at risk of getting walked over by pushy people (no matter where they originate).  That’s a pretty minor example.

If your Southeast Asian neighbors barbecue a dog, that might be a little much for you.  If they see you scratching your nose, they’ll think that’s disgusting.  Misunderstandings between cultures are generally because one doesn’t live up to the standards of another.  As for religion, minor differences don’t matter much these days.  For that matter, atheists can get along in devout communities without feathers being ruffled all that often.  However, there are limits to that.  If a bunch of Muslims settle next to a Hasidic neighborhood, then feathers will be ruffled.  Generally speaking, the more different people are in the same society, the less freedom is possible.  In the beginning, I promised that no ideologies would be harmed, so I won’t go too far with that one.

The third item – control by law – has to step in sometimes.  This is when people don’t control themselves, they refuse to conform to social standards, and a problem results which is serious enough to require intervention by one of the layers of the government.  It’s always been around in one form or another.  Anarchy is pretty silly, suitable only for failed states and fourteen year olds, and it’s been a train wreck on the rare occasions it happens in the real world.

Although it’s a necessity, control by law is the least agreeable form.  At the minimum, you get handed a speeding ticket that might cost you a day’s wages.  Getting sent to prison is worse than getting disfellowshipped from your church, unless you consider it the only source of salvation from an eternity in hell.  (Incarceration is temporary, even for lifers.)  The more enlightened countries such as ours do have several rights and procedural protections for the accused.  However, if you’re innocent but a prosecutor has a case of tunnel vision – a frequent hazard of that occupation – then getting out of the judicial meat grinder is still no picnic.

Plato had much to say about the law.  One analogy he made was that it’s a virtue to dress nicely, but it wouldn’t make sense to mandate it by law.  Indeed, the legal system is a pretty blunt instrument.  Unfortunately, the laws are getting more numerous and persnickety.

For one example, I got a nastygram from the city because I had trash barrels in front of the house.  However, it explained that having trash barrels any place by the side of the house is OK, and it even included a helpful diagram.  At least half of my neighbors got that note too.  Is this something worth micromanaging?  For some odd reason, my property values nearly have doubled in the last several years despite our wicked ways.  If any of us had told the city to take a hike, we would’ve been fined and then slapped with a lien for nonpayment.  For any scofflaws who refused to pay the dreaded trash-barrel-out-front fine, they’d probably get thrown out of their own homes after a sheriff’s sale.

A thousand years ago, Anglo-Saxons were swinging swords.  These days, they’re bothered by trivialities like this.  That’s progress, supposedly.  That was one offhand example; there are entire websites to make fun of silly laws.

Finally, a few centuries ago, attorneys started out as people who were familiar with the law and skilled at rhetoric.  Today, their billable rates are in the same ballpark as surgeons.  They typically specialize in specific legal disciplines:  contracts, wills and probate, criminal law, slip-n-fall suits, etc.  Not even the most brilliant attorney is an expert in every facet of the law.  Their days (often stretching into the night) involve searching through dusty tomes of case law to defeat word games by the opposing attorney, and to counterattack with word games of their own.  If one of those prosecutors mistakenly thinks you’re the bad guy and stops looking for other suspects, then you’re definitely going to need a lawyer to find your way out of the maze.  Simply put, their skills are needed for figuring out what the law actually says.  This facet of modern civilization is more complicated than ever!

Anyway, here are a couple of other ancients who had some things to say:

The more laws, the less justice.
– Cicero
The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.
– Tacitus

Hopefully some of this was food for thought.

The need for restraints on behavior and where this comes from

The Boy Scouts of America is in a death spiral after surrendering to the gay agenda

There is an Arabic proverb that goes something like this:

Once the camel gets his nose in the tent, his body will follow.

Pointing this out might result in a lecture about the “slippery slope” fallacy.  Well, it’s not exactly a fallacy if it’s actually the strategy!  The Boy Scouts of America are a case study for this.

The BSA is over a century old, a venerable institution that has since then instructed over a hundred million youths in positive values and practical skills.  For generations, it’s been a way to connect with nature, a great social opportunity, and a place to have fun.

Things started to get shaky during the 1970s.  Scouting was becoming increasingly at odds with the zeitgeist, but I’ll spare you a rant about all that.  They tried to adapt and get hip with the times.  Unfortunately, the moves turned out to be ill-considered.  They survived by going back to the basics, and membership numbers began climbing again.

Today, they face an even greater crisis, and membership levels are below half of their former peak.  It’s a little more than just today’s kids who can’t be convinced to drag themselves away from video games.

The Homintern takes aim on its target

cultural Marxism montage 2
These are some of the things that cultural Marxism does

The Boy Scout oath is the following:

On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

That’s in pretty clear language, not a lot of wiggle room there.  However, some people didn’t care for the last part of it.  Morally straight?  Well, we can’t have that, now can we?

BSA has been under tremendous pressure for a long time, and sued nine ways from Sunday.  This includes by heavy-hitting outfits like the ACLU.  Those folks in particular have some other agendas too.  James Baldwin, the ACLU’s co-founder, once said:

I, too, take a class position. It is anti-capitalist and pro-revolutionary. I believe in non-violent methods of struggle as most effective in the long run for building up successful working class power. Where they cannot be followed or where they are not even permitted by the ruling class, obviously only violent tactics remain. I champion civil liberty as the best of the non-violent means of building the power on which workers rule must be based. If I aid the reactionaries to get free speech now and then, if I go outside the class struggle to fight against censorship, it is only because those liberties help to create a more hospitable atmosphere for working class liberties. The class struggle is the central conflict of the world; all others are incidental.

Ain’t that special?  Anyway, I digress.

Highlights on the timeline of destruction

Big Red the age of men is over 663ed3460f91abdc32728708645679318c4dbfb22b960e84a543c0cc768dd27a

1980:  A young adult from the Bay Area was turned down for an application to the 1981 National Jamboree.  His membership had lapsed, but the greater problem was that he was gay.  They probably wouldn’t have known about it if he hadn’t come out publically in a newspaper interview.  This became the subject of a 1998 lawsuit – a little late to help him get to the jamboree, though.

1990:  A scoutmaster got kicked out because he publically came out gay, again via a newspaper article.  He sued, of course; it’s the great American tradition!  That one went all the way to the Supreme Court.  Quite surprisingly, SCOTUS ruled in favor of the Boy Scouts in a 5-4 decision.  Did one of the liberal Supreme Court members switch to decaf that day, or take some wicked cold medicine?

2000:  BSA adopts a “don’t ask, don’t tell” position.  Were they hoping to avoid vexatious litigation?

2013:  BSA caves in following all the lawfare and other pressure.  They vote to allow openly gay members, though not gay scoutmasters.  Will this be enough to take the heat off of BSA?

2015:  Openly gay scoutmasters are allowed too.  By now, BSA’s membership has been falling steadily across all age cohorts.  When BSA abolished their mean and discriminatory policy, for some reason, membership numbers did not rise again.  After gay guys were now free to take youngsters and adolescents out into the woods, the membership numbers kept dropping – what a surprise, huh?  The Venturers (ages 14-21, formerly Explorers) have fallen the most over time.  During the late 1980s, there were over a million; by 2017, there were under 88,000 remaining.  Gosh, I wonder what’s up with that?

2017:  Girls are permitted to be Boy Scouts too.  I have nothing against girls, but don’t they have a parallel institution of their own?  (Hint:  they sell awesome cookies.  Thin Mints for the win!)  The decision is controversial, but really, what’s all the fuss about?  They’ll just give them condoms.

2017:  Transgender boys (girls who believe they’re boys) can join too, but at this point, nothing matters.

2018:  BSA contemplates filing bankruptcy.

2019:  As of the end of the year, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will no longer back BSA, after having been their greatest supporters from the beginning.  (Hint:  Try to please your friends, not your enemies.)  I’m the worst Mormon since Joseph Smith himself, but I don’t cotton to that stuff either.  This will be financially devastating, perhaps the last nail in their coffin.  Like I keep saying, “Get woke, go broke!”

Some of these later developments surprised even the gay scoutmaster who got canned and sued them all the way to the Supreme Court.  As he put it:

As “woke” as I am I still had to wrap my head around it when I first heard: the Boy Scouts of America would be admitting girls.

All of my early childhood sexual experiences were with other boy scouts.

So there’s an adolescent sexual fantasy attached to those memories.

Yeah, the end of an era, isn’t it?  One might well ask, what will the future hold?  If the organization survives somehow, perhaps they’ll have “Rubba Rubba” merit badges and put Michael Jackson’s “Jesus Juice” into their canteens.

Motivations

drag queen with kids 1
These guys are into youth education and outreach too

Why did the Boy Scouts have a “no homo” policy?  Was that all about being mean and discriminatory?  Like, how dare some private organization actually have membership criteria?

Unfortunately, they’ve had a long-standing pedophilia problem.  A court case in 2012 forced BSA to release a 20,000 page file documenting sexual abuse cases from 1965-85.  There were 1200 incidents, so that averages sixty badtouch cases per year that came to their attention.  A major reason they’re on the verge of bankruptcy lately is because they have 140 lawsuits pending, which resulted from scoutmasters who couldn’t keep their hands to themselves.

Granted, in a nationwide organization that once numbered over four million members, it was inevitable that someone would do something wrong, whether it’s misusing funds or far worse things.  Still, what did happen was terrible.  In fact, “terrible” is quite an understatement.

They did take measures to prevent these serious problems, as best as they could.  In that regard, excluding males who admitted to being sexually attracted to other males makes a lot of sense.  This goes beyond abstract matters of morality.  Simply put, they wanted to keep potential chickenlovers away from the chickens.  It’s similar to the “gezeirah” (fence) concept in rabbinical law, where a line is drawn around “gray area” things that could lead to forbidden conduct.  Since BSA was an all-male organization, the “no homo” rule would eliminate that problem entirely, so long as everyone followed it.  This means that homosexuals should take a hint and find something else to do with their weekends.

Even so, despite best efforts, some kiddy fiddlers got in.  BSA’s leaders aren’t mind readers, so they couldn’t determine with 100% certainty who would or wouldn’t be a problem.  Their “no homo” policy wasn’t an absolute firewall, of course.  Neither were their other measures like background checks, awareness programs, or the “two deep” rule against an adult being alone with a kid.  The “no homo” policy does seem rather like asking prospective retail employees, “Do you think you might be even slightly tempted to pilfer our merchandise?”  Still, at least it was something, and they could exclude members who outed themselves in newspaper articles and such.  They fought to retain their membership rules all the way to the Supreme Court, but surrendered later.

How about the gays themselves?  They could’ve set up their own Gay Scouts.  It wouldn’t even have been objectionable, so long as age of consent laws were observed.  For them, the Gay Scouts could’ve been much more fun than staying at the YMCA or joining the Navy.  Everyone would be DTF, with no risk of awkward gaydar failures.  However, rather than creating their own institution, they invaded another.  Let’s cut the crap – this had nothing to do with a keen interest of theirs about hiking, rafting, and all the rest of it.

It’s hard to escape the conclusion that some characters were pretty enthusiastic about getting gays out into the wilderness with adolescents and youngsters.  Were they all about the “hotdogs” and “pasta”?  Comrade Harry Hay, the gay activist pioneer, would’ve considered it quite a buffet.  Allen Ginsberg would’ve loved a campout with so many young, “dewy-limbed” guys.  Even so, I believe most gays know better than to do stuff like that.

There’s something more to it than just that.  Why else did the activists make such an effort to force themselves on a group which had traditional morality as one of its precepts?  Simply put, they were offended by the “no homo” policy.  They wanted to rub BSA’s noses in it and ultimately destroy them.  They knew very well that forcing their way in would do exactly that.  So the pillow-biting activists are getting their revenge.

Cultural Marxism corrupts everything it touches.  This, my friends, is why you should never let the camel get his nose under the tent.

The Boy Scouts of America is in a death spiral after surrendering to the gay agenda

Get Woke, Go Broke – Gillette sells anti-male razors

How many of you folks are going to watch the Super Bowl?  Besides a halftime show which is a spectacle of its own, it’s much like any other sportsball game.  The ritual generally involves yelling at the t00b for two and a half hours, as if it really matters.  The viewer observes the top-level athletes closely, while a six pack and a bag of junk food are close by.  In a football game, the real action lasts about ten and a half minutes.  It’s interspersed with huddles, timeouts, commentators discussing the game like a strategy dialogue between Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz, and lots and lots of commercials.  All that’s a little silly, but it’s beside the point for now.

Speaking of commercials, Gillette has a little surprise for you coming up.  Vide infra:

The video’s description begins “Bullying. Harassment. Is this the best a man can get? It’s only by challenging ourselves to do more, that we can get closer to our best. To say the right thing, to act the right way.”  Then it lists a website where we can be instructed on correct thought or something.  I think I’ll give that one a miss.

As for the advertisement, it’s all pretty rapid-fire, almost (?) subliminal.  They crammed a lot into this minute and three quarters.  It’s hard for the mind to break down analytically in one go, and this seems to be exactly how they meant it to be.  Ever since the 1950s, much psychology has gone into advertisements.  Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew, was a pioneer into this branch of applied psychology.  Anyway, Gillette’s ad munchkins really pulled out all the stops on this one.

It opens with many guys who look rather shell-shocked, as if they’re contemplating their sins…  This sets an emotional tone, of course.  More importantly, they stand accused.  Yes, guys like YOU, mister sportsball fan!

During that is a fast voiceover with the phrases:  “Bullying” – “The #MeToo movement against sexual harrassment” – “toxic masculinity”.  The latter is, of course, a famous buzzword in academia.  However, the “toxic” part is barely audible.  Nice!  This implies that this normal characteristic which is part of being male is something bad.  Then the question is posed – is this the best a man can get?

Then it goes into snippets showing bad behavior:

  • A boy is crying on Mommy’s lap because someone called him names.  Back in my day, we were told not to let that stuff get to us, which is practical advice.
  • Some weirdly discombobulating TV clips.  One is some party.  Another appears to be some sitcom where a White guy is getting grabby on a Black lady.  This looks like a new production, rather than existing sitcom footage, probably because this hasn’t been done on TV before.
  • This TV studio showing one of those “hand picked audiences”, Norman Lear style, performs a laugh track.  The voiceover says, “You can’t laugh it off.”  Serious business here, right?
  • At a meeting, a guy taps a female colleague on her shoulder, and she looks stunned.  He says, “What I actually think she’s trying to say…”  Of course, this symbolizes “mansplaining“, another new buzzword.  For some reason, my spellchecker thinks that’s a real word.
  • Two boys horsing around.
  • Responding to that spectacle, the guy barbecuing breaks into a long line.  It’s as if he’s between a mirror facing another mirror, though it’s actually different chubby guys with crotch-level fire pits.  A chant in unison follows, “Boys will be boys.”
  • A TV clip with the words “allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment” appears.  Quite oddly, the announcer is a feminist with an Armenian last name who is associated with a group calling themselves the Young Turks.  For those of you who were asleep during their history classes, the situation would be similar to someone named Goldberg being affiliated with a group called the Hitler Youth.
  • This merges into several other newscasts.  The babble is impossible to follow, but presumably it’s about more misbehavior.  However, no famous leftist figures like Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, etc. actually appear on screen – funny that.

After almost a minute of this wave of pure misery, it shows examples of correct thought.

  • The facial expressions on the shell-shocked men begin to change subtly.  The “Wojack / Feels Guys” are turning into NPCs as the new programming starts to download into their heads.
  • A football player says, “Men need to hold other men accountable.”
  • Two women are at a party, who might or might not be eye-coding (it’s difficult to tell), and a guy says, “Smile, sweetie!”  Another guy steps in and rescues these two damsels in distress.  The “offender” backs off.
  • A woman on a crowded street walks by and someone is about to introduce himself.  Just as he’s barely taken a step, someone else rescues the damsel.  “Not cool, not cool!”
  • A couple of tough-looking youths in the street shake hands.  It sort of implies that this defused a tense situation.  That much isn’t objectionable; in an environment like that, shit can get real.
  • A man tells his young son to repeat “I am strong.”  The implication is that conforming to correct thought is strength.
  • The barbecue guys shrink back down into one, and the dad breaks up the kids who are now wrestling.
  • Someone somewhere else breaks up a scuffle, then back to the wrestling kids.
  • Then there’s a reminder that although there are some Gutmenschen, that’s not enough.  “The boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”  Following that is a brief plug for the website instructing in correct thought.

Whew!  Like I said, there’s quite a lot going on in about one and three quarters of a minute.

What’s wrong with their narrative

First of all, most of the bad behavior is pretty low-grade stuff.  However, the TV commentators speaking (without any context) are talking about much more serious matters, which sort of associates it all together.  (Did I mention that these guys are good at psychological tricks?)  This reveals the hypersensitivity that’s become common in the feminist agenda.

The kids at the barbecue aren’t throwing punches or really trying to hurt each other.  It’s normal for parents to tell kids to knock it off or tone it down.  However, the way it’s presented sort of implies that there’s something wrong with horsing around.  Kittens act hyper, puppies act hyper, and children act hyper too, unless they’re doped to the gills on ADD meds.

The back-to-back “damsel in distress” snippets are pretty annoying.  If the guys actually were being obnoxious, it might be justifiable.  Better yet, the strong and independent women could just tell them to knock it off.  They were certainly in no danger.  Like many of these rapid-fire clips spliced together, there’s not enough context to tell what’s really going on.  I don’t recommend bad game, of course, but they’re not actually shown committing a faux pas worthy of any pearl-clutching.  So the message is clear.  You’re not supposed to start conversations; it’s the Current Year!

Note that in both cases, it was a White guy being the “villain” and a Black guy being the Gutmensch telling him to knock it off.  Is that another subtle message there?  The reality seems to be a little different.  For example, that silly Hollaback video wasn’t filmed in lower Manhattan; the actress had to walk through NYC’s “vibrant” neighborhoods for ten hours to get the footage she wanted.  Even then, most of them did nothing more than say “hi'”.

Anyway, if the White guy was getting too friendly with a Black woman, the interference would be understandable.  He’d be told to stick to his own kind.  However, that wasn’t the case here, so the “rescuer” was just being a busybody.  People who take it upon themselves to cockblock for no reason are the ones who are rude.

If Gillette simply wanted to send a message about being righteous, these guys did it better:

It’s a silly movie, but Bill and Ted were onto something.  It’s possible to get the point across without singling out half the world’s population.

Anyway, what would happen if one of these corporations made an advertisement discouraging women from bad behavior by some of them?  You’ll never see anything like a “PMS is no excuse for acting like a brat” commercial, or something about Borderline Personality Disorder.  Still, if some company did air anything like that, it would be treated as the worst atrocity since Darth Vader nuked Alderaan.

Finally, what does all this stuff have to do with disposable razors?  NOTHING!  Anyway, who needs them, really?  I use an electric clipper that will last for years, not something that I’ll have to throw away after a few uses if I don’t want a scratched-up face.  I’d go back to the Brigham Young look, except that one of my girlfriends likes me clean-shaven.

Women don’t really need razors either.  All that got started in 1915 by – you guessed it – a razor company.  I remember the 1970s, so I’m fine with the unshaven look.  Some people might think I just stepped off of a UFO for saying so, but since that’s a natural appearance, I don’t have a problem with it.  Chinese foot binding used to be considered mandatory, but I don’t get that one either.

The public doesn’t like virtue signaling

So far, the video got 1.2 million downvotes and 751K upvotes.  Therefore, of the recorded reactions, about 39% approve, and 61% disapprove.  That’s pretty harsh!  It’s clear that they’ve alienated great numbers of consumers with their message, far more than those who got the warm fuzzies about it.

Comments on that were pretty scathing.  I’m certainly not digging around and cherry-picking here.  The following are the first five comments that showed up on the page when I looked at it:

Thanks for the moral advice, multi-national company that was recently caught profiting off forced child labour and price fixing.

I am so happy that we have found the edge finally of phony virtue signaling to where it can no longer benefit a company. And rightfully so hurts. When you are trying to be genuine and connect with people and it couldn’t be more disingenuous and insulting to reality this is what you deserve

Dear Gillette: What the actual. How about a positive-based commercial, not a comparison-based one? Most men are decent. Treat them like it.

Boys will be boys, but real men will no longer use Gillette

Dear Diary: today I got lectured by a shaving commercial

The first one illustrates a pretty good point.  Some companies use virtue signaling as a smokescreen to draw attention from questionable practices.  To them, and all others who think sociopolitical messages will sell products, I have one thing to say:  GET WOKE, GO BROKE.

Get Woke, Go Broke – Gillette sells anti-male razors

Remembering Martin Luther King, 90 years after the birth of MLK

Another MLK day has come and gone.  I’d forgotten about that one – silly me!  I was working.  That’s not very traditional, now is it?  Anyway, even after the ninetieth anniversary of St. Dr. Rev. MLK Jr., there’s so much that the public doesn’t know about the ol’ Drum Major of Social Justice.  Anyway, to fill you in with some of the stuff you probably weren’t aware of, and never will see on TV, the following describes these little-known details about Him:

Those were quite enlightening.  Enjoy!

Remembering Martin Luther King, 90 years after the birth of MLK

Get Woke, Go Broke – Johnnie Walker, feminist booze

Today’s society is saturated in propaganda.  The political kind is pretty well-known.  Advertisements are the commercial variety of propaganda.  Sometimes politics bleeds into advertisements.  That’s been going on for quite a while, but the trend has had a great upsurge in recent times.  Some ad agencies are notorious for this stuff.  Sometimes it’s promoted by corporate officers who practice virtue signaling.  Many advertisements with political messages shoehorned into them are downright offensive and will alienate any consumers who doesn’t share their views.

The following isn’t so bad, more like a rather silly example:

So Johnnie Walker, a whiskey manufacturer, recently announced that they commissioned some of this stuff.  It’s not clear how much they paid for it, but that would be an interesting detail.

The first poster is the best.  The color scheme is reminiscent of the famous Obama campaign image that we saw so much of prior to the 2008 election, a detail that isn’t easily missed.  However, the production quality is better and has an artistic style with more warmth than the “Obama HOPE” image.  The next one is a female silhouette labeled “re-sist-er” and filled with clenched fists.  Pretty subtle there, huh?  Following that is sort of an onion head with the words “the future is female”.  That one looks rather cringe-worthy.  The last one is a female version of their corporate logo.  This is the only one that’s really applicable to marketing their product.

The comments on the Twitter post were overwhelmingly negative.  One after another, these ranged from witty mockery to scathing remarks.  Here are just a few:

Which one did Farrakhan design?

LOL. Welcome to “Fuck Your Brand Up Month”! You’re late, but this is a strong entry

for fucks sake 😦
Now I have to switch scotch.
Why can’t the morons in the marketing departments just stop with the insane politicking?????

Lol is 2019 the year of woke campaigns that alienate your main consumers

Get woke, go broke.

Others included negative comments about their product, one likening it to “cat piss”.  I’m a beer snob, so I don’t drink much whiskey, and I don’t know what the quality is like.  However, there’s no way their hooch can be literally as nasty as animal urine; that’s just impossible.  Therefore, that comment must have nothing to do with the flavor, and only can be a reaction to this virtue signaling effort.  These posters with feminist and generic leftist themes caused a very negative response.  I didn’t see any that said, “Awesome!  I love politics in my bug juice!”  Irritating customers, and potential ones, is bad business.

What was their marketing department thinking?  What exactly does whiskey have to do with feminism?  Oh, wait a minute – it doesn’t!  In fact, there’s an embarrassing irony here.  These guys should research their history a little better.  The First Wave feminists (long before we got the deranged, spite-filled radicals in the Second Wave and beyond) strongly backed the temperance movement.  They’re the same people who banned alcohol nearly a century ago.  Without support from the suffragettes, Prohibition never would’ve happened.  Well, how about that?

Prohibition was a failed experiment, sensibly repealed later.  Feminism should’ve stopped after the First Wave; after all, they got everything they wanted.  Instead, the later feminists kept doubling down with new demands and shrill rhetoric.  It became a noxious ideology that’s caused terrible damage to our society.  Unlike Prohibition, their failed social engineering efforts aren’t getting rolled back.  Now it’s even polluting the whiskey.

This type of virtue signaling will go on until consumers make it clear to these companies that they don’t want politics bundled with their products.  If you’d like to explain this to Johnnie Walker, go to their feedback page and send them a message.  Please keep comments clean and constructive.

Get Woke, Go Broke – Johnnie Walker, feminist booze