Thursday, March 25, 2021

"It's not Orwellian if it's private enterprise! If you don't like it, start your own commercial behemoth!"

Just anticipating the usual brain-dead libertariot responses to this development:

Amazon drivers must consent to invasive biometric workplace surveillance or be fired.

Telescreens are just fine if corporations are using them, comrades!

Some drivers are understandably concerned about the new technology, as Amazon will be collecting data on everything from miles driven, speed, acceleration, braking, turns, and following distance. The cameras can even sense when a driver yawns (or appears to), and certain behaviors will trigger the sending of footage to Amazon, which could be used to reprimand drivers later. Reuters has reported some drivers have quit instead of signing the consent form. 

Hat tip to Liberty Journal for this revelation.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The downward spiral continues.

Apropos of this insightful tweet about conservatism's corporate suicide pact (bad language, but it's grimly on point).

Cigna goes Full Critical Theory Stasi on its employees, demanding information about religious and sexual identity and forcing struggle sessions on their whiteys.

The blowback on this in a decade will be fascinating as Hell. And probably almost as fiery.

I'm not talking about lawsuits, which should also be useful. I'm thinking more broadly.

"Might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb" offers timeless insight into human nature.

In the meantime, yes--raise that corporate rate.

Do eet.

Woke policy, woke taxes. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

George Orwell describes American political narrative shifting in 2021.

 Hell, over the last 18 hours....

Winston was taking part in a demonstration in one of the central London squares at the moment when it happened. It was night, and the white faces and the scarlet banners were luridly floodlit. The square was packed with several thousand people, including a block of about a thousand schoolchildren in the uniform of the Spies. 

On a scarlet-draped platform an orator of the Inner Party, a small lean man with disproportionately long arms and a large bald skull over which a few lank locks straggled, was haranguing the crowd. A little Rumpelstiltskin figure, contorted with hatred, he gripped the neck of the microphone with one hand while the other, enormous at the end of a bony arm, clawed the air menacingly above his head. 

His voice, made metallic by the amplifiers, boomed forth an endless catalogue of atrocities, massacres, deportations, lootings, rapings, torture of prisoners, bombing of civilians, lying propaganda, unjust aggressions, broken treaties. It was almost impossible to listen to him without being first convinced and then maddened. At every few moments the fury of the crowd boiled over and the voice of the speaker was drowned by a wild beast-like roaring that rose uncontrollably from thousands of throats. The most savage yells of all came from the schoolchildren. 

The speech had been proceeding for perhaps twenty minutes when a messenger hurried on to the platform and a scrap of paper was slipped into the speaker’s hand. He unrolled and read it without pausing in his speech. Nothing altered in his voice or manner, or in the content of what he was saying, but suddenly the names were different. Without words said, a wave of understanding rippled through the crowd. Oceania was at war with Eastasia!

Monday, March 22, 2021

Got a bit derailed.

I have this habit of reading (or re-reading) multiple books at a time. It's manageable, but it does tend to mash my ADHD "SQUIRREL!" button.

So I picked up Orwell's Homage to Catalonia and here I am. I will still have the other review up. But it may be preceded by a review of Mr. Blair's account of his service with the POUM militia during the Spanish Civil War, the event upon which his intellectual and political worldview pivoted. 

And did you know that Orwell and his wife Eileen adopted a son? Here are the reminiscences of Richard Horatio Blair, who recalls a loving and attentive father, even as that father was clacking away at his masterpiece while dying of tuberculosis.

In any event, that's the story. 

In the meantime, you might want to put aside some of your stimulus money for rocketing gasoline prices this summer.

But remember that energy and food prices aren't "core inflation," so it'll be fine.


Monday, March 15, 2021

Kudos to Rachel Maddow and MSNBC.

A superb segment on Fr. Emil Kapaun, Medal of Honor winner in the Korean War.

And kudos to President Obama for bestowing the Medal--which I had forgotten about, to my embarrassment.

Watch it all.

Book review inbound.

Yes, another one which is, in part, about the Spanish Civil War.

And yes, it's lengthy, so probably not before late this afternoon.

For those who see parallels between contemporary America and 1930s Spain, I offer this word of comfort:

We certainly aren't any later than February 1936 right now in our own Republic.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Just another sunny day in California.

An explicitly anti-Christian ethnic studies curriculum for public schools that encourages students to chant to Aztec gods in the name of social justice and advocates "countergenocide"?

The real face of "equity" is starting to be revealed. And it looks a lot like some very old, implacable and blood-stained stone faces from the human past.

Sane people need to starve these institutions by removing their children from them--or better yet, never enrolling them in the first place.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.
[Update and Editor's Note, 3/15/2021]: sadly, there are insinuations that I post unverified propaganda. In response, I will note that the evidence is easily found and you can read the actual pages of the proposed curriculum here.]

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Today in Spanish History.


On this day in 1895, Carlos VII, the Carlist claimant to the Spanish throne, instituted the memorial for the "Martyrs of Tradition."

It commemorates all who have died in service to the Comunion Tradicionalista over the years. 

The closest American analogue is Memorial Day. But the Carlist version is much, much more militant. 

As the late Jose Maria Gironella pointed out in his Note for the American edition of The Cypresses Believe In God, Americans have a hard time making analogies and their understandings of common terms fit Spain. In Spain, a Catholic is a Spanish Catholic, a Communist is a Spanish Communist, and so forth. Ideas are embraced because the men who hold such ideas are embraced first. 

In other words, if all analogies limp a little, then American analogies for Spain may do little more than twitch slightly. Keep that in mind for 10 marzo.

Woke backfires.

Burger King UK is groveling over its "Women belong in the kitchen" tweet.

It just reminds me that the dominant culture nowadays honors women who work in any kitchen but their own. Because the latter is oppressive or something.

My much better half recently picked up an Angela Davis (!) book from two generations ago and paged through it. 

In it, the celebrated Marxist author proposed that women be liberated from housework by instead having teams of workers handle such things. 

Who would be more likely to make up such teams, she wondered? Naturally, such workers would be honored in the new order. But the bottom line was that working in the home is laudable for women only if it's someone else's home.

And here we are.

Friday, March 05, 2021

Finally--a pregnancy discrimination law that is clear.

Genuinely good news from the Times--federal pregnancy discrimination law may finally grow some teeth.

I loathe the national Chamber of Commerce, but they are on the right side of this one. 

In 2019, after Democrats took back the House, the bill finally received its first congressional hearing. In another breakthrough, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an often right-leaning group, threw its weight behind the PWFA, because the bill’s “end goal was something we could support,” explained Marc Freedman, vice president of employment policy at the organization. The lobbying group collaborated with the bill’s supporters to revise the legislation in an effort to win bipartisan support.

“The folks that we worked with on this bill are not folks that we are usually in agreement with,” said Mr. Freedman, but “giving pregnant women the ability to stay in a workplace is a good thing, and we wanted to find a way to get to that endpoint.”

The two sides found middle ground: creating a formalized negotiation process and clarifying definitions for particular terms, including “known limitations” stemming from pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, that would remove ambiguity for both employees and employers.

Last September, the PWFA passed the House with an overwhelming 329 votes, including 103 Republicans. “I don’t think anybody had that number in their head,” Mr. Freedman said.

But the bill didn’t advance to the Senate — in part because of a contentious election season — and had to be reintroduced in the current legislative session, where it stands today.


Some hate crimes are more equal than others.

[The alleged perpetrator] told detectives he stabbed the victim "because he didn't like the way he looked at him" and also said to an officer, "I stabbed that guy. If he dies, he dies. I don't give a f--k."

The victim, who was stabbed in the back, remains in the hospital in critical condition after losing one of his kidneys and his adrenal gland, and suffering damage to his liver.

Hate crime charges were not initially expected, but then the NYPD revealed that one of [Salman] Muflihi's previous arrests was for allegedly punching another Asian man.

That led police to believe the the attack may have been racially motivated, but the Manhattan District Attorney's Office declined to prosecute the stabbing as a hate crime.

You can read the whole sorry thing here. The prosecutor's excuse is that the "suspect" "may not have seen" his victim--despite the whole "didn't like the way he looked at him" part. 

Looks like "reasonable cause" to me, but I confess to not being versed in criminal procedure.

The fact that the current government of the City marinates in a worldview that looks askance at Asians as bearers of "white privilege" is nothing for the community to worry about. Just ordinary ol' prosecutorial discretion at work.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Tax the rich? Sign me up.

The mega-rich have only gotten richer, and they aren't my friends. 

Senator Warren has a great idea which needs to be enacted into law post-haste.

We do not object to a man, or refuse to honor him, because he has risen from the gutter; but we do refuse to honor a man who was born in a gutter and has remained there, but claims respect simply because he has succeeded in gathering a mass of gold around him.

 --Orestes Brownson.

Burn, baby, burn!

I honestly don't care if Portland turns into a massive cloud of slowly-dissipating ash.

You get what you vote for, and this what you wanted.

Have fun watching local businesses die and insurance premiums soar.

What bugs me is that this will prolong the never-ending ammo shortage.

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Commissar Dorsey's newest purge is underway.

For those of you who care about Twitter, an interesting report from one of the newly-unpersoned.

The straining out of small fish has begun.

As a consumer of Mystery Grove's (another of the purged) catalog, permit me to recommend their small-but-worthwhile collection here--while it can still be found.


What do Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Microsoft, Apple, BMW and Samsung have in common?

 Use of Uighur slave labor in their factories.

But they put up the correct hashtags in February and June, so that makes it all better.

Uighurs’ placement in factories outside Xinjiang has been conducted under a central government policy known as “Xinjiang Aid.” Factory bosses receive cash compensations for each Uighur worker they employ. Some companies have even advertised their ability to supply Uighur workers through online bookings. One such ad, claiming to be able to supply 1,000 Uighur workers aged 16 to 18 years, read: “The advantages of Xinjiang workers are: semi-military style management, can withstand hardship, no loss of personnel … Minimum order 100 workers!” 

Although state media are claiming Uighurs are being compensated for their work, the ASPI researchers found they live in segregated dormitories, are unable to go home, and they undergo Mandarin and ideological training outside working hours, similarly to Uighurs in the internment camps.

In one case, a batch of “graduates” from a so-called vocational training center in south Xinjiang were transferred directly to a factory in the eastern Anhui province, according to a government report. The factory, Haoyuanpeng Clothing Manufacturing Co. Ltd, lists Fila, Adidas, Puma and Nike among its clients. Xinjiang workers have also been placed in factories that are part of Apple’s supply chains, including a plant in Guangzhou visited by Apple CEO Tim Cook in December 2017.

The world continues to spin on its axis. Albeit with unwelcome sound effects...

Life goes on, and it occasionally surprises with good news. As in,  "Hey, your student loans have been forgiven under the PSLF program!...