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.

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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“:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Twitter Flies Free

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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.

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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.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: War Pigs

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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.

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The End of Bancamp Friday

Well, all good things must come to an end:  much to my readers’ relief, I’m sure, Bandcamp Friday has come to an end.

Since March 2020, Bandcamp has dedicated the first Friday of most months to Bandcamp Friday, a day when the service waived its share of proceeds paid for musicians’ music.  That meant that musicians got almost the full value of the sale, minus whatever PayPal takes out.  In other words, a musician who sold his entire discography for $19.98 (like yours portly) would receive almost all of that amount, as Bandcamp waived its customary 15%.  That’s $3 more going to the musician; over, say, ten transactions, that adds up to real money.

For now, though, it looks like it’s over.  Bandcamp introduced Bandcamp Friday as a way to help musicians during The Age of The Virus, when most venues were shuttered and musicians couldn’t play gigs.  No gigs, no merch and CD sales.  No sales, no money.  My performance royalties—never a huge source of income, but a nice extra couple of hundred bucks, dried up almost completely in 2021 (royalties are paid on such a long delay, it wasn’t until 2021 that I experienced the effects of having not played my original music live in 2020).

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A New Term

Yesterday I was sworn-in to a full term on Lamar Town Council.  I was elected earlier this year in a special election, so this was my second swearing-in ceremony.  Now, however, I’m in for a full four years.

My colleague on Council, Councilwoman Mary Ann Mack, was also sworn-in to her first full term after being elected last July.  Our new mayor, Mayor James Howell, was sworn-in, too, marking the start of his administration.

The ceremony was short and sweet.  We gathered on the front lawn of Town Hall at 5 PM.  The judge ran each of us through the oath of office, starting with the new mayor and wrapping up with myself.  There was a nice Christmas tree on the lawn, and lots of family, friends, and city employees were in attendance.  Mayor Howell brought out the biggest crowd, with Councilwoman Mack bringing a few family members.  I arrived solo, and had to take my oath on the Bible the local Methodist minister brought for her short invocation (apparently, I missed the memo to bring my own Bible—d’oh!).

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Rittenhouse Remains Free!

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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.

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Midweek TPP Update

This past weekend I attended my girlfriend’s brother’s wedding in Mississippi.  I’d intended to write about the trip (and the long drive), but the combination of the eleven-hour trip home; a busy Monday; and catching up on schoolwork put the kibosh to that plan, especially after Murphy and I fell asleep on the couch last night as I was beginning to write it.

Oh, well.  I’ll have that up next week, more than likely.

Instead, I decided to write a short update post on what is going on with yours portly, the blog, and the like.

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