Shortages

Everyone reading this post has noticed their grocery and gas bills shoot up over the past few months.  These are not the result of the war in The Ukraine, despite the mewling protestations of the Biden Administration to the contrary.  In part, they are the result of extended lockdowns during The Age of The Virus, and the subsequent disruption to the world’s “just-in-time” production model.  Shutting everything down immediately probably didn’t do much to stop the spread of The Virus, but it definitely stopped the spread of goods, and the production thereof.

But these shortages seemed largely academic until recently.  Sure, you’d hear about them here and there, and it was impossible to buy toilet paper for awhile, but other than a few panic-induced shortages, you could pretty much get what you needed, even if you had to pay double for it.

Now, for the first time since the very early days of The Age of The Virus, I’m getting seriously concerned about looming shortages—and not just a few missing luxury items from store shelves (not that toilet paper is a luxury item, but there are always substitutes for that), but the basic necessities of life.

Read More »

SubscribeStar Saturday: The Ministry of Truth

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Apologies to subscribers for not getting this piece posted last week as promised.  After celebrating a lady friend’s graduation most of the weekend, I was scrambling Saturday and Sunday to take care of other posts and putting together exams.  I also overindulged in Civilization VI on Sunday night, so there’s that.

About a month ago, the Biden Administration announced the creation of the Disinformation Governance Board, an Orwellian appendage to the already Orwellian Department of Homeland Security.  After a wave of backlash, DHS is backing down temporarily, putting a “pause” on its plans to create the board.

That’s reason to celebrate, but it’s cold comfort.  I have little doubt that the Biden Administration will attempt to impanel this board as soon as it thinks it can get away with it.

The very fact that Biden’s puppeteers think they could create such an organization—which, I think we all understand, will almost exclusively target conservatives and others with views contrary to the ruling regime—suggests their overconfidence in the security of their position, as well as their utter contempt for the rest of us.

If the situation were reversed, the Left would cry foul—and rightly so.  A government that actively proclaims certain language, speech, opinions, or news as “disinformation” is playing a very dangerous game with free speech.  Even if we knew the people in charge of such an organization were striving towards complete impartiality—if such a thing were even possible—the temptation would be incredibly strong for a corrupt or compromised president to bend the board to his will.

Of course, we know the board will be used as yet another bludgeon—a brutal pretext—with which to smash conservative and dissident voices in as many venues as possible.  Sure, there will be the “controlled opposition” voices, but the rest of us will find ourselves in a bad spot, indeed.

That’s why it’s imperative we continue to ridicule the government for even dreaming up such an institution.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

TBT: Egged Off

Shortly over a year ago I wrote a piece about officious bureaucrats shutting down two little girls selling chicken eggs in Texas.  The girls were trying to help people out and make a few bucks after the crazy ice storm massively disrupted Texan supply lines.

Since then, I’ve obtained a source to bring farm fresh eggs to my home on an as-needed basis; it’s one of many small blessings for which I am thankful.  With food prices even higher than they were a year ago, free eggs is a huge boon.

I ended this post with the admonishment “The time to start growing and raising our own food is now.”  But even yours portly has largely ignored his own advice.

Let’s work on changing that in 2022.

With that, here is 30 April 2021’s “Egged Off“:

Read More »

SubscribeStar Saturday: Twitter Flies Free

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!  Elon Musk, the whimsical Willy Wonka of our time, has purchased Twitter.

While I have a Twitter account, I don’t really use it that frequently, with the exception of checking out some spicy Tweets on occasion (but even those are gone, thanks to the platform’s arbitrary censorship).  I find the format clunky and unwieldy, especially when trying to read long threads or responses to Tweets.

It’s also a cesspool of Leftist hand-wringing and overwrought, fake stories, in which progressives claim their small children are asking them if Trump is going to kill the trannies or what not.  At its worst, it’s an outrage factory; at its best, it’s an echo chamber for the mainstream media.

There’s a long history of censorship of conservative and populist voices on Twitter.  The rumors (which will be confirmed or otherwise by the time this post goes live) suggest that Twitter’s quarterly report won’t look good, so Musk was able to scoop up the company at the price of $44 billion, or $54.20 per share.  That represents a 38% premium to Twitter’s stock price as of 1 April 2022.

Basically, Twitter went woke—like, MEGA woke—and it’s starting to go broke.

The news of Musk’s purchase of Twitter is heartening, as he describes himself as a free speech absolutist.  Trump has pledged to stay on TRUTH Social, but I still hope Musk restores his account, even if it’s a symbolic gesture.

While Musk’s takeover is promising—let a thousand crazy Tweets bloom!—it does suggest that conservatives are on hard times if we’re hoping the whims of a boyish entrepreneur/government subsidy devourer will restore free speech on a failing, but still important, Big Tech platform.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Lamar’s Sesquicentennial Celebration

My little adopted hometown of Lamar turns 150-years old this year, and we’re celebrating!  The town is planning a full slate of events over the next nine months, kicking off with the return of the famous Egg Scramble Jamboree and a community worship service the first weekend in April.  The Egg Scramble usually lasts the entire weekend, but as it’s the first since The Age of The Virus, the committee behind the event is doing a one-day event, dubbed “The Egg Scramble: Over Easy.”

That cracks me up every time.

Longtime readers know that I love festivals and small-town boosterism.  It’s no surprise, then, that I am super excited for all of these events.

Read More »

SubscribeStar Saturday: War Pigs

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

My music students have been attempting to learn Black Sabbath’s classic anti-war song “War Pigs.” To be clear, this isn’t an example of a radical teacher attempting to indoctrinate his students with anti-war propaganda—it’s just a really rockin’ song (and features a killer, groovy introduction in 6/8 time, before transitioning to a brisk, sludgy 4/4). We were working on the tune before Russia invaded the Ukraine, and before there were really even murmurs that this quixotic invasion might happen.

Also, I am not reflexively anti-war. My instincts are to abhor war (which would have been news to my teenaged self, who still believed war was a glorious test of courage and mettle—it can be, but it’s much more complicated than that two-dimensional, chivalric notion I harbored as a doughy teen), but war is inevitable. The Bible prophesies about “wars and rumors of war,” and not all war is inherently bad.

It’s not all inherently good, either—sometimes war is just that—war.

To read more of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

SubscribeStar Saturday: Rittenhouse Remains Free!

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle!—Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who expertly defended himself against a mob of Antifa rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was found not guilty on all of the spurious charges brought against him.  After days of agonizing deliberations, the jury—facing threats of doxing from radical activists and even MSNBC—held steady and delivered the only verdicts that made sense.

Readers of this blog will surely know the pertinent details already, but the prosecution’s case against Rittenhouse was not based on any factual evidence, but instead on a hyper-politicized Left seeking to strip a young man of his rights to self-defense.

The hypocrisy of the Left was on full display:  a group that views borders as “imaginary lines” on a map suddenly cared about Rittenhouse traveling twenty minutes “across State lines” to Kenosha, as if crossing that magical, imaginary line suddenly turned him into a bloodthirsty vigilante.

Pointing out the hypocrisy of the Left is useless, but here I think it is warranted:  it nearly cost a young man his life.  For defending himself—and Rittenhouse would have died that night had he not fought back—he was subjected to a politicized circus of a prosecution.

An important battle was won Friday afternoon.

To read more of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Lamar Election Results 2021

About forty minutes after polls closed, poll workers posted election results to the front door of Lamar Town Hall.

Here are the receipts for Lamar Precinct No. 1, which is south of Main Street, and Lamar Precinct No. 2, which is north of Main Street (I live in the latter district).

Those don’t include the absentee ballots, which a poll worker announced aloud.  Here are the final vote totals (winners in bold green):

Mayor’s Race

James Howell – 164

Inez Bess Lee – 155

Town Council (2 Seats to Fill)

Tyler James Cook – 162

Mary Ann Mack – 176

Jerry Shull (Write-In) – 111

Here is a picture I took from a lady’s phone; she managed to get a photo of what I think is the sheet the poll workers used to tally everything:

Lamar Election November 2021 - Totals

The numbers on the left are the vote totals.  The first number to the right of each name represents the absentee ballots, which is what the Darlington News and Press is reporting at the time of this writing; the second number represents votes from Lamar Precinct No. 1; and the third number represents votes from Lamar Precinct No. 2 (cut off in this photograph).

Barring any chicanery, these look to be the official numbers.

Thanks to everyone who came out and voted today.  I appreciated your support!  Congratulations to all of the candidates for putting themselves out there to serve the public.

Election Day 2021

Today is Election Day in Lamar, South Carolina, and in several other towns in the region.  We have a competitive mayoral race, and I am up for reelection for the Council seat I currently hold.  Another Councilmember is running for reelection for her seat, but neither of us have any officially filed competition.

There’s also an election in Society Hill with seven candidates running—three for mayor and four for council seats.  I’m particularly interested in that race because of a homesteading-related issue at the center of it, with one candidate running largely to fight an ordinance limiting the number of animals he is allowed to keep on his property inside city limits.  Hartsville, home to the world headquarters of Sonoco, has five candidates running for mayor.

Read More »