TBT: Disorder

It’s easy to forget now, but last summer was terrifying.  Race riots erupted in cities all over the country as a result of the death of George Floyd, a fentanyl-addicted career criminal who has now been sainted by our elites.  The summer of rioting and looting did more to undermine racial harmony and social peace in our nation than any event of the last decade.

Now that The Usurper Biden sits upon the throne, the rioting seems to have subsided, as least for now, although there was a shooting at George Floyd Square amid the one-year anniversary observance of his death.  Even so, I remember how scary last summer was, with radical, violent BLM and Antifa protests breaking out even here in South Carolina.

Part of the growing homesteading movement seems inspired, in part, by the wild lawlessness of the cities.  Why live cheek-by-jowl with people who hate you because of your supposed privilege—and pay a hefty premium in rent to do so—when you can live affordably and safely in the country?  I have at least one neighbor who seems to be doing that, and I’ve made some half-hearted efforts of my own at the same.

Regardless, I pray for peace—and prepare for the worst.  I’d encourage you to do the same.

Here is 5 June 2020’s “Disorder“:

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TBT: Gay Totalitarianism

Thanks to Lauren Witzke, yesterday’s post was spread far more widely than I anticipated.  It’s thanks to her that I even had the idea for the post, thus proving, once again, that beautiful and intelligent women continue to serve as a source of inspiration.

In keeping with the theme, I thought this week’s TBT should look back at a past post about the totalitarian nature of the LGBTQ+2Aetc. movement.  I wrote this piece way back in April 2019, which feels like it was an eternity go.

The problem I identified at the time—the excessive empowerment of fringe identities leading to perverse incentives to play victim—has only exacerbated since then.  Remember, 2019 was before the George Floyd debacle, which turned a man with numerous health problems overdosing on fentanyl into a martyr and a saint—and resulted in a summer of race riots.  Depending on one’s sexual orientation and/or skin color, one can practically commit crimes and get off scot-free.

I attributed this to the totalitarian Left’s lust for power.  Now, however, I’m not even so sure if that’s what is at root of it all.  At a certain point, rational explanations fail.  There is such a degree of irrationality at play, the presumption shifts from “these actions are conscious and intentional” to “these actions are the result of an insane mind.”  Perhaps we’re witnessing widespread insanity, which progressive politics caters to happily.

Whatever the reason, identity politics is destroying our fragile social fabric, rending it violently apart.

With that, here is 2 April 2019’s “Gay Totalitarianism“:

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TBT: The Desperate Search for Meaning IV: Vanity

In the spirit of yesterday’s post, which also dealt with a passage from Ecclesiastes, I thought I’d dust off an old post from my The Desperate Search for Meaning Series, which I completed back in 2019.  A double-shot of Ecclesiastes, and the long-winded (but condensed here) wisdom of Pastor Monday is always a nice treat.

With that very brief introduction, here is October 2019’s “The Desperate Search for Meaning IV: Vanity“:

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TBT: Big Deal

The big news in media a year ago was that Joe Rogan had signed an exclusive deal with Spotify, purported to be worth around $100 million.  At the time, it seemed that Rogan and/or Spotify was/were purging from the platform the edgiest of Rogan’s guests, the interesting dissidents like Gavin McInnes.

As I wrote last year, “Imagine, though, what [Rogan] could have done for free speech and liberty if he’d fought against the SJWs and taken the McInnes route [of starting his own platform].”

Well, it seems that Rogan is beginning to realize the price of doing business with the wokesters.  In a recent interview, Rogan bemoaned the death of comedy films, as now any bit of humor can be construed as a form of privilege, or of otherwise marginalizing some allegedly oppressed and, therefore, humorless minority.  Rogan even went so far as to claim that “it will eventually get to straight white men are not allowed to talk.”

Rogan seems to be waking up to reality, albeit belatedly.  Let’s see if he puts his money where his mouth is and pushes back against the social justice tyranny, or continues to rest on his lucrative laurels.

Here is 20 May 2020’s “Big Deal“:

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TBT: Nintendo Labo Piano

My Spring Jam is approaching very quickly, and I’m dedicating more time to preparing for it.  I’ve dusted off the piano and have been putting in some practice time to make sure I’m sharp.

With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to look back to a post from last May, in which I detailed the construction of the Nintendo Labo Piano.  It was a fun but lengthy project, and I’m not even sure if my niece and nephews have played it since then, but it’s really cool seeing the imagination Nintendo is putting into their products.  Nintendo is to video games what LEGO is to toys.  If you get that analogy, then you understand.

Here is 19 May 2020’s “Nintendo Labo Piano“:

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TBT: My Musical Philosophy in Song: “Delilah”

Later this month I’m hosting another front porch concert, following the success of my Spooktacular event in October.  I’m quite excited to do another front porch concert, and I’m interested to see how the May date will stack up compared to Halloween.  I’ve also ordered some great t-shirts, which I will have available on my Bandcamp merch page soon.

In preparing for the concert, I thought it might be a good time to look back at a post I wrote one year ago today, about the Tom Jones song “Delilah.”  The first time I truly heard the song was when I heard Bruce Dickinson’s version.  The Iron Maiden singer nailed the performance, and I immediately set about learning the song.

Of course, I wrote all of this a year ago, so I’ll let the original speak for itself.  Here is 6 May 2020’s “My Musical Philosophy in Song: ‘Delilah’“:

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TBT: Cass on Our Diminished Income

The other day my students and I were talking about the Model T Ford, which in the 1920s ran around $6000 in today’s money for a new car.  It is impossible to find a brand-new vehicle of any make for $6000 today.  Granted, a Ford Focus, for example, is packed with way more technology and safety features than a Model T from 100 years ago, and that technological advancement gets factored into the price.

But consider that in the 1990s, when Kia hit the American market, they advertised a new sedan for around $6999 (in 1990s’ dollars).  What would that be twenty-five years late—maybe $9000 or $10,000?  That price point, too, is virtually impossible.

I managed to purchase my current vehicle—a 2017 Nissan Versa Note SV—for right around $9100.  It has around 45,000 miles on it when I bought it, and had been a rental vehicle before I purchased it.  I got a steal on that car—the closest comparable I’ve found since then was a list price of around $8900 (the list for my car was $8000 even).  That’s for a four-year old subcompact hatchback.

I got lucky when I found that car.  I figured it would be easy enough to find a decent car for under $10,000 when I began vehicle shopping in late 2019.  Boy, was I wrong.  Vehicles last longer than ever before, and maintain their value a very long time.  They’re also, as mentioned, packed full of technology and safety features that weren’t present even twenty years ago.  Trucks in particular hold their value extremely well; to find a truck in my price range, I’d have had to purchase a Ford F-150 from 1994 with half-a-million miles on it.

It’s great that cars last longer and are safer.  But those features—many of which drivers will never need or use—drive up the costs substantially.  Such was the point of an illuminating Twitter thread by Oren Cass, which demonstrates that, despite earning more money, Americans’ expenses for basic goods are substantially higher, requiring a whopping fifty-three weeks of pay to cover now versus a mere thirty weeks in 1985.  Naturally, given that there are only fifty-two weeks in a year, that presents a problem.

I don’t know the solution, but as I wrote a year ago, “Something’s gotta give.”

Indeed.  Here is 28 April 2020’s “Cass on Our Diminished Income“:

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TBT: Gig Day III: Spooktacular

Tonight is the Spring Concert at my little private school, an event that The Virus denied us in 2020, and which my illness earlier this week seemed to threaten.  Indeed, it’s the first true concert the students have given since the ignominious Christmas Concert 2019, which veterans of my class have dubbed “Corporate Christmas” for reasons I cannot elaborate upon here.

In the spirit of live music, I thought I’d look back this week at a post about the first Spooktacular, before the epic front porch Spooktacular II.  This inaugural Spooktacular was back during The Before Times, in The Long, Long Ago, when coffee shops still would let me gyrate behind a keyboard for tips on Halloween.

The show ended up being a huge success, and inspired the at-home, front-porch sequel in October 2020.  I’m currently planning a springtime front porch concert for Friday, 28 May 2021, but I’ve gotsta get through tonight first.

With that, here is 2019’s “Gig Day III: Spooktacular“:

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TBT^2: End the Income Tax

Well, here we are—another Tax Day in America.  Actually, Tax Day has been extended to 17 May 2021, so all of you irresponsible loafers have time to procrastinate further.

I have no room to talk:  I waited until 11 April 2021 to file my taxes, and apparently filed my 2019 taxes on 11 April 2020.  Unlike last year, though, I actually earned back a healthy refund, due in part to reduced lessons and gig income (though I still managed to rake in a respectable figure there, just under $5000, but substantially lower than 2019’s $9000ish).  The self-employment taxes kill me, but deducting mileage really helps.

Also, thanks to my younger brother review my tax filing information, I earned back a substantial portion of taxes by including the $6000 I invested in 2020 into a traditional IRA.  Unlike last year, where I paid a substantial tax bill, I’m getting back around $1500 from the State of South Carolina and the feds, all of which is going back to the emergency fund, which is need of replenishment after The Age of The Virus.

Still, even though I have reason to celebrate this Tax Day, I dislike handing over all this personal financial information to the federal government.  As I noted last year, “I keep a very detailed budget,” which helps when it comes time to calculate those self-employment deductions, but does Uncle Sam really need to know how much I spent on Spooktacular t-shirts?  I suppose if I want a few bucks of my money back, he does.

So I repeat my call of the last two years:  end the income tax!

With that, here is April 2020’s “TBT: End the Income Tax” (italicized) and April 2019’s “End the Income Tax“:

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