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Rush Limbaugh

The other day I was driving up I-95 though New Jersey, destination Manhattan, listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. The usual analysis of recent events – Nanshee Peloshee’s failed political attack on the American president, the Democrat Party’s disarray of socialist presidential candidates, each trying harder than the other to give away more American taxpayer money to buy votes than the other, the SuperBowl result.

And Rush’s voice was gravelly, something new. Over the past year he has been complaining about having a cold, or a hairball, or whatever stuck in his throat. And over the past year he has taken off more time than usual. Usually that kind of time away indicates a change, usually due to burnout. But Rush would return to the golden EIB microphone and pick right up where he left off, with great energy and clarity. So no, his absences were not attributable to doing the same damned job over three decades.

And then, nearly at the end of the three-hour show, matter-of-factly Rush simply stated that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, which later on was disclosed to be stage four, which is highly advanced.

Now if there is one symbol of this iconic man’s persona, it is his cigar. Limbaugh enjoys a cigar, and has posed with cigars on the covers of magazines. Promoting, much less admitting to using tobacco these days is the ultimate rebellion, the strongest anti-political correctness statement one can make. Let’s just say, waving a lit cigar about in one’s hand these days gets a lot more attention and dis-approbation than a hairy man putting on scanty lady’s clothes and accoutrements and wobbling up and down a public street in high heels.

Limbaugh has used his cigars as the ultimate rejection of PC nanny state over-reach, to the point where he occasionally almost sounded flippant about the potential health risks.

And while tobacco can and should be enjoyed occasionally – a pipe with a bowlful of cherry Cavendish, a cigarillo, a Dutch Masters or Swisher Sweets mini-cigar, its constant use is anything but innocent. Because the constant use of tobacco products really does damage the human body. Nothing new here to science or human knowledge.

So while Limbaugh may have shared one thing in common with president Bill Clinton, the non-inhalation of lit smoking products, the fact is that cigars put off a huge amount of smoke that, unless one is outside or in a highly ventilated indoor space, is going to certainly invade one’s lungs. Apparently Rush’s lungs were invaded by copious amounts of heavy cigar smoke, despite his not inhaling.

Last night at the State of the Union speech by President Donald J. Trump, Rush Limbaugh received the Medal of Freedom from the hands of First Lady Melania Trump. Rush was obviously surprised that it occurred there and then, and his humility and emotion shone through like a giant airport beacon.

People who hold leftist views may disagree with or even hate Rush Limbaugh. But the level and pitch of their opposition to him is an equal representation of his effectiveness over the years. The first time I heard Rush Limbaugh on the radio was in my friend Kenny Gould’s car in Rockville, Maryland, in the spring of 1991.

“You gotta hear this guy, Josh. You gotta hear what he says. He’s amazing. He is so right. You should hear what he says about Bill Clinton; no one else in the media is saying it.”

And so Kenny turned on the AM radio to the Rush Limbaugh program, and I dutifully listened to what at first sounded like a chatterbox man talking and talking about political and cultural issues.

At the time I had started my first fully professional full time job as a policy staffer at the US EPA in Washington, DC. I disagreed with some of what Rush said that day, but I never forgot him. And years later, when I had discarded my anti-taxpayer job at the EPA like a piece of dog crap stuck to my shoe, because of my own observations and experiences, I had begun to understand just what this big voice on the radio was talking about.

And so tens of millions of other Americans have been educated and trained to think critically and analytically by Rush Limbaugh since that time, and as a result, he has had a tremendously out-size good effect on America.

First Lady Melania Trump placing the Presidential Medal of Freedom around Rush Limbaugh’s neck

More humility than some people might expect caused Rush to compose himself

Good luck to you, Mister Limbaugh. May you have a complete and easy recovery from your cancer. Please don’t be one of those guys puffing away through clouds of cigar smoke with the oxygen line stuck in your nostrils. That just will not do as a lasting image to your greatness. (…and to those who would never listen to Rush’s radio show, how can you say you disagree with him if you do not listen to what he says?…and to those who have openly rejoiced at Limbaugh’s health, you are exactly why he has needed a radio show in the first place, and why America listens to him)

My Confession

I have a confession to make. Maybe in the grand scheme of confessions or public admissions this is not too significant. But for me, wow, the burden I am shedding by admitting this here is just tremendous. Pardon me while I take a deep breath.

My confession is that …gosh, it is tough to say this…I really enjoy Rob Schneider movies.

This is probably (hopefully) not quite as risky as admitting to watching risque movies, but it comes close, because the subjects addressed head-on in Rob Schneider movies are wide open, no-holds-barred. A gaping chasm separates his movies from the standard Hollywood affairs, and admitting to watching them, maybe sometimes on repeat, carries some social stigma.

Rob Schneider movies are not alone in the low brow humor category. They are waaay better quality than Adam Sandler or Chris Kataan movies, and probably an even toss-up with Will Ferrell’s productions.

In the genre of man-child-not-grown-up, Rob Schneider plays the idiot savant better than anyone. Adam Sandler has “goofy” and “well-intentioned-moron” down better than anyone, but we know what is coming every time. Jim Carrey has in fact actually lost his mind to a bad case of TDS and now actually mugs and over-acts in public not on purpose but as his own personal habit. When he was just acting, Jim Carrey was funny; now he is scary. But Jim Carrey is not alone in ruining well-intentioned humor with politics. Will Ferrell also has become infected with the funny-man-not-funny disease by seriously involving himself in politics, for which he is ill-suited, and so now when he appears in public it is difficult to tell if he is serious but kidding, or plain foolish but serious. Ferrell’s pre-politics Talladega Nights was top shelf damned funny, and while I am in the process of opening my life’s weak points to public scrutiny here, I might as well tell the readers that my wife and I took our two small girls to see Talladega Nights when it opened. In a former church turned into a theatre, in Galeton, PA, when our girls were really, really small. Viv and I laughed a lot, and the two tiny infants fell asleep, or so we thought, until many years later.

And now on second thought hindsight, that one movie night may account for how the one kid turned out….I suppose a movie like that could really warp a young mind…guess she wasn’t asleep after all.

So anyhow, if you are looking for lightness-beyond-levity, easy-watching, seriously-not-serious, entertaining-without-pretense, slight raunch with a straight no-PC-here face, then Rob Schneider movies are for you. The high brow of the low brow. Especially Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. And as you can imagine, I am hoping as many people as possible will watch them, so I am not feeling totally alone, like I felt when caught looking at Ladies Home Journal bra ads when I was twelve in the super market magazine aisle. It would be nice to have someone on the couch next to me, enjoying the same movie as me. Instead of hitting me with a shoe and cussing me out about it.

Select scenes from Talladega Nights 1, 2, 3, 4.

Select scenes from Rob Schneider movies 1, 2, 3.

irony, whoosh, right over someone’s head

Him: “I am sorry, Josh, but we have decided not to invite you to our wedding.”

Me: “WHAT?! After thirty-some years of close friendship, I can’t come to your wedding? For real?”

Him: “For real. I’m sorry, I know it must bother you…”

Me: “You are damned right it bothers me! How about Viv, can she at least be in attendance?”

Him: “Sorry, no. I know, I know, it’s weird, but we both feel like you guys just do not belong there. I mean, your views are pretty right wing, really pretty bigoted, to be honest.”

Me: “Bigoted, me? Her? How? Are you forgetting that you came out of the closet at my apartment at Penn State? We have been close friends for a really long time, and I really care about you, and so does Viv, which you already know, I don’t need to say it, and we care about you and don’t give a damn that you are gay. How can we be bigoted against gays if we are willing to come to your gay wedding in the first place and celebrate with you?!”

Him: <crickets> <silence>

Lesson 1: Minds only work when they are open. Political correctness has shut down minds everywhere. Instead of opening people up and making them inquisitive and interested in other views, PC turns people into mindless judgmental bigots who hate even their oldest friends, for the big crime of not agreeing with them on every little thing.

Lesson 2: Sometimes not being invited to a wedding is a good thing. What the heck was I going to get him or B as a gift, anyhow? Welp, don’t have to worry about that now!

PolyClinic Psychiatric Hospital has the Craziest Signs

“We have been down here in the bowels of the PolyClinic Hospital for over thirty years, and yet we still regularly meet people who have worked upstairs in the same building for years who exclaim ‘I had no idea you were here in our building’,” said Joe Marinak, the Select Hearing Center‘s senior audiologist, now adjusting the ear buds in my head.

Having grown up shooting guns and working around chainsaws and farm machinery at a time before hearing protection became standard issue, my hearing now seemed just a little challenged. So it was time to get it checked again. So I used the closest hearing-checking facility possible, and sauntered over to the hulking concrete building, thinking “how hard could it be to locate…it’s an audiology center in a medical building…right?”

I was lucky to find Joe at all.

The welcome sign and the directory sign that greet visitors to that building are a freak show of bad planning and haphazard carelessness. The signs are almost crazy, kind of like most of the facility, which is, in fact, almost entirely devoted to psychiatric care (that is crazy people in non-PC talk land, which is where you are right now…non-PC talk land, not crazy people).

Here are some photos of some of the signs I encountered at PolyClinic on my journey to the “Select Hearing Center.”

While you are looking at the Memorial Building column, make sure to watch out for Landis Building locations. And how about the Mature Adult Services…is there a place for Immature Adult Services? After all, are not adults by definition mature, as age goes?

 

There is the at-first-glance-normal, quintessential “welcome” sign that is first presented to visitors when they enter the building foyer. The problem with this sign seems to be that there are actually two old buildings (Landis and Memorial) adjoined in the middle, where the common entrance remains, and at one time in the distant past people working and visiting there recognized that each building was separate and served distinctly different purposes. Now, however, each building has evolved and kind of morphed into one big indistinct building, and as such “it” has a bunch of service destinations listed: Lobotomies, second floor, electroshock third floor, padded cells in the basement, and so on (OK, I am joking here; this is just more non-PC, but it is, after all, still a crazy person place). The challenge to the people mis-managing this basic welcome sign developed whenever the services provided began to outnumber the lines on the sign. And so this sign has a greater number of destinations for both buildings than the sign has lines to accommodate. So the various destinations are just kind of listed ad hoc, no particular arrangement. Not even alphabetical. Maybe the people in charge of the signs are conducting experiments on the visitors? Or on the inmates? Or maybe they are laughing at us all, standing there dumbfounded, trying to make any sense out of any of this written communication.

Which way did he go, Mac? If you want Quality, you go one way, and if you want Safety, you go the exact opposite direction. This is called being Vertically Non-Integrated, or Linearly Mis-Aligned. Otherwise known as extremely confusing and unintelligible.

My favorite bizarro sign is the marketing one labeled “Our Pathway Journey.” It purports to represent the clear path upward and onward that the facility is taking toward improvement, better patient care, higher professional standards, and so on. Logically, such a sign, designed as this one is, would indicate that the path toward “quality” is the opposite of that toward “well-being,” despite the natural desire to think that walking the same single path with the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute will eventually arrive at all of these desirable destinations together. These are mutually exclusive directions, and to achieve one, you must trade off some other goal. You cannot walk the same pathway and arrive at all your destinations.

Check it out. The “Our Pathway” sign has arrows literally pointing in all directions, like a medley, like a random scattershot, like a crazy person would do if you asked them for directions. Arrows pointing in mutually exclusive, opposing directions actually tell us that this facility is helter skelter, and not organized. But if you are a crazy person, it probably makes perfect sense. Maybe a crazy person designed this sign for the UPMC Pinnacle Penn State Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute.

Talk about taking that fork in the road!

And nowhere in the building will you encounter a sign that says “You are now on the first floor of the Landis Building.” There is no “You are Here” map, anywhere.

No signs except the barely visible “Vending Area” sign on the very right hand edge of the photo. There were zero vending machines anywhere near this location.

More endless halls with no signs telling you where you were headed, or where you had come from

While on my long, zig-zagging path throughout the building to the audiology department, which I eventually determined is way way below grade, not on the ground floor as one sign stated, I had noticed that most of the long, windowless, door-less, maze-like bunker-like hallways had no signs at all. And when there were signs, they were either for non-existent vending machines or they pointed to a destination straight ahead, when in fact the correct but unmarked way was down the elevator.

The basement is strangely called the “Ground Floor.”

My other favorite sign is the one showing the eventual exact location of the audiology department, where I was headed. As you can see, though you have arrived there, the sign says that you can reach the department by going either left or right. Having wandered aimlessly about there in that basement for a long time, I can report back that this sign is not accurate. You have to go left, like the smaller sign below says.

Since when is the basement designated as the Ground Floor? You enter the building(s) on the ground floor, and work your way to the elevators, which take you down into the basement. The buttons on the elevators are marked B, for Basement.

It is natural to read this large sign overhead when you exit the elevator in the basement. It shows that the Select Hearing Center is both left and right, which I can tell you, is not true. The little eeny weeny sign on the wall beyond tells the truth: Go left, old man.

Let me tell you, if you were not crazy before you entered PolyClinic Psychiatric Hospital, you certainly have a much higher chance of being dazed and confused, if not downright nuts, once you have spent any time in there. Maybe this crazy sign arrangement is meant to keep the inmates from escaping? On my way back out I off-handedly commented about this weird experience to a middle-aged bespectacled worker bee-type lady just then exiting the staff lunch room, which is just above the foyer, invested in the heavy brickwork like a defensive fixture in a medieval castle.

She looked at me briefly, lucidly apprised my appearance, and then without a word in response she smartly walked down the hall to the “other” building on the other side of the foyer at a quick clip, looking down at her smart phone. Maybe she didn’t hear me? I could kind of tell her where the audiology department was, down in the basement, next to the morgue (no lie), if she were interested.

I have never felt so good to leave a building before. It was almost like escaping, and once outside I surreptitiously looked about before entering my vehicle. Had I been seen leaving?

As the old adage goes, truth is stranger than fiction. You couldn’t make these signs up, even if you tried. Ah what the hell, it’s the crazy person building. Who cares.

Fake News John Micek leaves fake news “Patriot News” to create more Fake News

He is no “journalist.” Media fraud John Micek leaves political cover of old Patriot News, becomes publicly visible political propagandist

Patriot News devotes 45% of its editorial page to a Vogue-worthy celebrity photo of anti-American US Rep. Nancy Pelosi. And the media wonders why regular Americans have lost faith in the legacy media

Ever since fake news purveyor John Micek arrived at the Patriot News (now pennlive.com) about eight years ago (he had some role there before taking on the editorial page), the paper went from liberal-lean to all-out 24/7 partisan propaganda. The opinion page that Micek ran became a seething cauldron of popular notions of political correctness. Micek’s opinion page became an Exhibit A of how the establishment legacy media maintains a constant saturating Blitzkrieg barrage of intellectual garbage on trusting, good-natured Americans, long used to sitting down to read “the paper” after a day’s work.

Micek made national news several years ago by peremptorily banning all anti-gay-marriage opinions from being published on the Patriot News opinion page. When Micek appeared on national television shows where he was simply questioned about his censorious practices and intellectual dishonesty, he became a deer in the headlights. He literally could not find the words to articulate a why to his censorship. Not in a professional way. The guy was exposed as a puppet master, not a man of letters, as would be expected of a “highly educated, highly experienced media expert.” Media experts like Micek have been trained as Fascist mini Stalins, not as thinkers.

My own exposure to Micek was what free-thinkers have come to expect from official media censors across the nation in recent years. I have submitted pro-Constitution opinion pieces to the Patriot News, where Micek would eventually get around to accepting them. Weeks after the issue had left the headlines. But Micek wouldn’t just delay them, he would edit out the strongest parts of my op-eds, then post the essays digitally for about 15 minutes, and then pull them off of the pennlive.com editorial page. So he could truthfully say that he had technically published the letters, but unless a reader went searching for them using the search function on the website, they would not be visible as one scrolled down through past posts. It was a sleight-of-hand trick.

So let’s be honest about Micek: He is completely dishonest. As an editor, anyhow. Not that an honest, objective reader would be surprised at this. After all, Micek has done his misdeeds up front and in public view, where he has long misrepresented himself as a “journalist,” and therefore as a fair-minded arbiter of fact and truth, when he is so obviously the opposite.

Now John Micek has left pennlive.com to join another up-front fake news start-up. There, he will be able to more freely purvey his anti-America PC garbage and nonsense; his censorious ways will become de facto “the norm” for official media discussions. Micek is doing this to even further control the political and social narrative, to limit and shape the information and language available to curious people, and thereby, he hopes, to artificially control and shape the way Americans think about public policy issues.

John Micek embodies pretty much everything honest, patriotic Americans despise about liberals. He is a weak-kneed manipulative weasel with a feminized pseudo-intellectual affectation who hates America as it was founded, but who nonetheless enjoys and relies upon the Constitutional rights he is trying to destroy for everyone else.

If bowties were at all “in” today, Micek would festoon his entire body in them. Mister Peabody Knowitall Do-Good has now gone on to do more bad things, more often, more publicly. This move is about the most honest thing he has ever done in his career, as the cat is finally out of the bag and he is openly admitting he has been a fake news propagandist the entire time.

Congratulations, John.

My 2019 resolution: Not going pee with the ladies

Last night we were celebrating the incoming New Year with friends at a hotel in New York City.  Lot of fun, beautiful time of year and place, great, friendly people and beloved old friends.

…and then I had to pee…

Discharging excess fluid is how a healthy mammal’s body works any day, and especially after copious intake. So, I feel the urge, stand up from the table, ask a friendly staff person about the location of the toilet, and receive clear directions. So far so good.

One of Western Civilization’s chief accomplishments is ubiquitous flush toilets. They even come with sinks and hand towels. They are generally clean, tidy, and hygienic, certainly compared to a hole in the floor like you will find the world over.  This particular hotel is quite nice, and had all kinds of nice little “extras” about for guests, and it stood to reason that my bathroom experience would be top quality.

Nope.

This is in NYC, a major locus of PC crazy, and it turns out that simply going pee in the homeland of PC crazy results in a crazy pee experience.

I approached the bathroom door and noticed beautiful and often scantily clad women coming and going through that door. Then a well dressed young man entered. The see-through door is labeled “EVERY BODY.”

My inner dinosaur screamed “No f*ing way!” as my feet reflexively stumbled backwards. I may have suffered a brief infarct. Maybe a meteor hit Earth or my head at that moment, too. Reality wheeled around me, and I had an out-of-body feeling.

The kindly young bathroom concierge standing nearby smiled knowingly and said, “there’s a men’s room downstairs, here let me show you,” and he accompanied me downstairs to a glittering bathroom that said “MEN” on the opaque glass and brass door.

This was what I had hoped for: Urinals for guys to stand over, breath mints and mouth wash on the spotless counter, stalls with doors giving enough privacy for guys going #2 or even amorous couples to do their business without interference or observation. A typical nice Men’s room. Natural boundaries. Privacy for men, to be men.

After emptying my body’s excess water tank, I washed up, went back upstairs, and walked past the Chaos & Bizarro anti-civilization bathroom, shown in these photos. Young men and women were still entering and exiting simultaneously, and as a result I made my first and likely only 2019 New Year’s resolution: I will not use a Chaos & Bizarro dual-sex bathroom.

Nope.

I like my high civilization and I intend to keep it. One pee at a time.

Bullies with Salami Slicers

Matyas Rakosi was “Stalin’s man in Hungary” in the 1930s-1950s.

Although his Hungarian Communist Party and its allied Socialists earned positions in only about 20% of the Hungarian government in the 1930s through election results, despite making their case to the Hungarian people in election after election, the Communists slowly bullied their way into controlling more positions of societal control, like the Hungarian police and the courts.

And yes, they literally bullied their way into these powerful positions by publicly whining, and complaining, and feigning hurt when rejected, with real displays of petulance and foot-stomping, and crying how unfair it was that they could not fully participate in public life, even though their views were repudiated over and over at the ballot box.

They falsely appealed to good people’s sense of fairness, and lied about their true intentions. Slowly they gained traction.

Technically their police and judicial roles were just twenty percent of the government functions, but in reality, they were critical choke and control points, where legal matters met criminal punishment matters, and where people’s careers and lives could summarily end.

Mind you, the people in these police and judicial roles were Communists and Socialists. Thus, due process, human rights, fairness, facts, the rule of law, etc. did not matter to them. What did matter to them was control, absolute iron-fisted control of everything, and especially of the government, but also the things that make a government run well, like citizens’ free speech rights, the right to peaceably assemble, etc.

From those police and judicial roles, the Hungarian Communists and Socialists picked off their political opponents, one by one. By creating fake accusations based on mere hearsay and insinuations, they frog-marched innocent people into court rooms where honest and fair justice was the very last thing anyone could expect to encounter.

[we are seeing the same process play out in Washington, DC, where the security apparatus has been captured, politicized, and used to destroy political opposition]

In those courts, where the falsely accused defendants were frequently unable to defend themselves, and where clearly manufactured “evidence” was presented against them, the Communist judges handed down arbitrary and cruel sentences. Usually it was death by strangulation, but sometimes by firing squad. One way or another, people who had been Hungarian nationalists, patriots, leaders, good men and women all, were criminally ensnared by their political opponents.

One by one by one, political opponents of the Communists were literally eliminated, and the remaining fence-sitters were bullied into silence and acquiescence.

Person by person, office by office, Hungary’s Communists gained control of new parts of Hungary’s government, and one by one they bent those new offices into reaching their goal of complete political and social domination.

Eventually, Hungary went from one of Europe’s oldest, greatest, most creative, most successful nations, to one of darkness, where freedom and liberty were unimaginable. And where the cruelest physical tortures and public humiliations were not only imaginable, they were happening nearly daily across the nation.

What better way to bully a populace than to make public examples of people?

[here in central Pennsylvania we had one notable attempt at public shaming and modern public execution some years ago when the thugs at PennFuture tried to get a local meteorologist fired from his TV weather news job because he refused to publicly bow before their claim of man-made global warming…same old same old!]

From Soviet Russia, uber tyrant Josef Stalin smiled, as his minions in Hungary slowly dismantled a free nation and put it under the control of Soviet Communism. Stalin’s chief architect and implementer of Communism in Hungary was Matyas Rakosi.

Rakosi joked about slowly but surely eliminating his political opponents by “slicing them like salami,” one at a time, until the entire group opposing him was gone.

Exactly this is now happening in America. Right now. Under our feet and in front of our noses.

We don’t call it Communism here, but the Political Correctness now slowly taking over our nation is just as cruel, fascist, and intolerant as any Communist regime in Europe ever was. PC’s minions here in America are just as devoted to getting full control of everything as their European counterparts were just two generations ago.

It is worse in Europe now, where fascism is roaring back to life, reincarnated as PC. Two days ago a British court held a man guilty (of something vague and subjective) and DESTINED FOR JAIL for the awful crime of teaching his cute little dog to do the Hitler salute on YouTube. No lie. Meanwhile, England is disintegrating under the weight of petty crime, which cannot be punished, because the perpetrators are overwhelmingly “protected populations.”

America’s best institutions have been completely captured by PC: The media, the educational system from top to bottom, government, the military, communal institutions, even places like Chautauqua Institution. All turned into weapons, implementing PC and control, and the elimination of political opposition.

Nearly all of these places have routine public humiliations, shaming, and summary “executions” of political misfits. Chautauqua Institution fired one of its best vice presidents because she was too supportive of Israel’s right to exist. Universities routinely fire professors who exhibit any free thought beyond the arbitrary bounds set by PC.

This weekend we will see another Communist public bullying event in Washington, DC.

It is a fake march about nothing, though on the outside this march is against private gun ownership and the NRA. The march is not about the actual facts, actions, processes and programs (like “PROMISE”) that resulted in Nikolas Cruz shooting his fellow Parkland students.

Rather, the march is aimed at falsely accusing and publicly shaming America’s legal gun owners and their chosen private organization, the NRA, of having been complicit in Cruz’s massacre.

When in fact, it is the gun control groups and their political enablers who are the most responsible for that massacre.

We are seeing Rakosi’s old “salami tactics” right here in front of us, playing out again. Trial-by-media, false accusations, public shaming, bullied citizens slowly giving up more and more of their control of their government to tyrants, who really just “mean well.”

We have one political party aggressively acting as the official vehicle for PC, and the other political party pretending to put up a fight, while focused on its pensions, power, secret pay-offs, and crony capitalism.

The question is, will we be complacent and compliant, like the Hungarians, and watch our freedoms be slowly pried away from us by career politicians and unaccountable bureaucrats, under false pretenses?

Or will we fight back?

One way you can fight back is to not stand on the sideline while the salami slices are being made. When you see your neighbor, friend, colleague or fellow activist get picked up and picked off and spirited away for the kangaroo court event, you can and should intervene.

The spy on my trusty old laptop

Microsoft Windows may be the industry standard for personal computers, but with the advent of the much-hated Windows 10 operating system, the company has sought to join the data spying craze afflicting nearly every digital user.

This forced spyware is driving users batty.

Who wants to click the “YES – SPY ON ME” Windows 10 install button? Not many people. At least not people who value their privacy.

One of the reasons cell phone users are going back to flip phones is because they are tired of being spied on by the various software companies that run the “smart phones” like iPhone.

Likewise, I am joining the growing number of non-Internet-connected PC users.

A personal computer is a valuable tool, an effective tool, and between the spreadsheet and writing software on it, it does a lot for my life and business. However, once connected to the Internet, that same PC becomes a spy turned back on the connected user.  Some of the hacking involves using the PC’s camera to surreptitiously watch the user. For that reason a small piece of sticky note pad paper covers the never-used camera on my PC.

Now I have a cheap PC for Internet use, a PC with nothing on it but basic software. And then another PC with my data and files.

I found a way to stop Windows 10 from installing, and it’s actually easy to do. I highly recommend it. Reports over the past year about Windows 10 are not flattering. It is designed simply to turn your PC into a spy, to pick apart and report on not only your online habits, but your personal software uses and writing content.

And Microsoft is allowed to spy on you because you hit the YES – SPY ON ME install button.

Hallelujah, fur is back in style

A wonderful evening stroll down Fifth Avenue reveals that among the world’s top fashion professionals, natural fur has made a 100% comeback.

Clothing that even I recognize and admire as stunningly beautiful is covered, trimmed, made of, and surrounded by natural furs from many species of animals.

Recall that animal fur was denigrated as cruelly gotten, and bored activists would scream at people wearing fur, sometimes throwing red dye on them. The shallow activists never addressed how their leather shoes and belts and purses and car seats squared up with their public opposition to people wearing other sorts of animal skins.

If hypocrisy is a hallmark of screechy activists, fur was the best example.

Fur is, after all, natural, biodegradable, renewable, and under modern wildlife laws, sustainable. Those are all rare qualities in a world filled with cheap plastic junk manufactured in an enormous prison camp called China.

The luxurious furs I looked at represented incredible skill. From the trappers who artfully snared the critters without damaging the pelt, to the tanners who carefully turned them into soft leather capable of being worked, to the cutters and seamstresses who took the supple leather (with the hair on, like a cow hide) and turned them into gorgeous clothes, throws, and warm accoutrements, the entire process is a long chain of long-enduring skills and appreciation of natural beauty and utility.

If fur was long politically incorrect, but now it is acceptable among the PC elites who run the fashion industry, what does this say about the philosophical leanings of the individuals behind this surge? One cannot help but think that the many gay men in the fashion industry, once emancipated in general society, would eventually hew to a more pragmatic view of life and politics.

After all, once you own a home and work for people willing to spend thousands of dollars on a single garment, you really do have a stake in the capitalist enterprise.

Perhaps the fur on display at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, and other stores I looked at is a social statement by a bunch of quiet pragmatists, who have also had it with the faux anger and the overwrought hostility and the ubiquitous unhappiness that characterize Leftist politics.

Well done, chums.

And as a pretty bad but committed trapper myself, thank you.

The personal cost of political correctness

Political correctness is a political and social orthodoxy whose adherents behave like caricatures of religious zombies.

Having captured government schools, academia, and the mainstream media, PC constantly reinforces a seamless far-Left brainwashing from most Americans’ earliest memories through their college education and into adulthood.  Constantly told that they are correct on the laundry list of PC issues, questioning, even contemplating an alternative, is impossible.

Rigid, inflexible, out of the mainstream, followers of political correctness can inflict tremendous damage not just through failed laws and policies, like ObamaCare, the “War on Coal,” and “global warming,” but also through an inability to communicate with people who don’t share the same beliefs.

Unable or unwilling to share ideas, to have what philosopher Martin Buber called the I-Thou cross pollination and consideration of ideas, PC people have become both political Brown Shirts and personal martyrs.

Because the PC cause is so just, in its totality, no deviation is acceptable. Because no deviation is acceptable, no friendliness with other humans who are deviating from PC is acceptable. This has deeply personal consequences for old friends and families alike. PC is like old religion: Step out of line, burn at the stake.  End of friendship, painfully strained relationships, hard feelings, rejection, loss of meaning and special value. Not good.

But because PC followers are “tolerant,” ha-ha, their intolerance is justified.

So many of my friends and acquaintances have experienced corrosive and destructive PC both in their professional and personal lives that I cannot keep count. But if I can’t keep count, I can keep a general running tab. The body count is getting higher, the PC Brown Shirts commit cruelty after cruelty, and then they turn around and claim martyrdom when they are challenged or when they hurt someone.

While it is tempting to brush aside this PC excess, it has a cost that demands a response. Commitment to the PC cause must meet limits. Or else, political and familial divides will appear increasingly like those seen leading up to the Civil War.

Please be friendly, be understanding, listen, and reflect when talking, writing, or debating. The lack of reflection and contemplation among PC believers is a challenge we all must be up to helping with, and each small firm kindness extended to a PC believer may contribute to their eventual awakening.

Our nation cannot afford PC, and we must be patient in turning it back.