Last year, a friend asked me who I thought Democrats would pick out of their sorry line-up. I chose Kamala Harris because she had the icy inhumanity that the DNC understands, and which can be pitched as Tough.

The fact that she proved wildly unpopular with rank-and-file Democrats made me look a little too out-of-touch cynical, but hey: Biden has pulled the string!

Or, should I say, Biden’s String Masters have pulled the string and selected Harris as his running mate . . . probably for the reasons I indicated: she is ruthless and unscrupulous and a woman “of color“!

Ah, Democrats, you had better still hope TDS can win an election, for putting up a doddering, ultra-corrupt crony along with a scary POC player is going to require quite a lot of hate, for little love can be milked either from or for this bizarre, strange-bedfellows power couple.

But at least my prediction was on track, and my prophecy of an end to the American republic nicely made more likely by this ratcheting up of crazy and evil.

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There are two different types of “cancel culture.”

The old one, the one we all grew up with, was the demand to fire allies and shun people in one’s own group who have strayed too far from core principles or folkways.

This is the tyranny of Mrs. Grundy. It is inherently conservative, centrist, protective of the in-group.

The newer one, which was always latent but never quite as strong as it is today, is the demand to fire or shun people not in one’s own group . . . for offending principles not of their group (whatever that may be) but of one’s own group.

It is the tyranny of Ms. Grundy.

The first kind of cancel culture is standard operating procedure for an in-group. The second type is generally considered a no-no in an open society, where it is assumed that free association and free speech limit our social power to our own groups.

What must we make of the second type, and its current dominance and association with the very term “cancel culture”?

  1. Its practitioners do not have much commitment to the idea of an open society, for their practice of out-group canceling belies that norm.
  2. The practice is hegemonic, a kind of cultural imperialism.
  3. I associated it with ultra-conservatives in my youth, an expression of their desperate attempt to retain a grasp on their culture as dominant in the greater society. They were failing, and failing badly. The very practice of out-group social controls may have led to their fall from cultural hegemony, for any group that must resort to the biggest guns to maintain position has already lost its foothold on the top of the mountain.
  4. Which suggests to me that the group most flagrantly parlaying this sort of power is on the way out of power.

Am I wrong?

Herbert Spencer had much to say on these matters. “Could we add up the trouble, the cost, the jealousies, vexations, misunderstandings, the loss of time and the loss of pleasure, which these conventions entail—could we clearly realise the extent to which we are all daily hampered by them, daily enslaved by them; we should perhaps come to the conclusion that the tyranny of Mrs. Grundy is worse than any other tyranny we suffer under.”

But that was mid-19th century.

Oh, and “Mrs. Grundy” is the old term for the centrist scold, the imperious marginalizer of non-comformists — the traditional practitioner of cancel culture. My use of the term “Ms. Grundy” not only reflects new standards, the standards of feminism and intersectionalist victimology, it also suggests (I hope) the thoroughly modern millenarianism and imperialistic nature of today’s cancel practice.

The difference is that, in Spencer’s time, Mrs. Grundy was trying to enforce an old and accepted standard upon a diversifying population, while today’s Ms. Grundy is trying to enforce a new standard upon an already diverse population, aiming to make it an ideological monoculture.

But Spencer’s hopeful and assumed progress has no instantiation among today’s progressives:

[T]he essential revolution is not the substituting of any one set of restraints for any other, but the limiting or abolishing the authority which prescribes restraints. Just as the fundamental change inaugurated by the Reformation was not a superseding of one creed by another, but an ignoring of the arbiter who before dictated creeds; just as the fundamental change which Democracy long ago commenced was not from this particular law to that, but from the despotism of one to the freedom of all,—so the parallel change yet to be wrought out in this supplementary government of which we are treating, is not the replacing of absurd usages by sensible ones, but the dethronement of that secret irresponsible power which now imposes our usages, and the assertion of the right of all individuals to choose their own usages. In rules of living, a West End clique is our Pope; and we are all papists, with but a mere sprinkling of heretics. On all who decisively rebel comes down the penalty of excommunication, with its long catalogue of disagreeable and indeed serious consequences.

The liberty of the subject asserted in our Constitution, and ever on the increase, has yet to be wrested from this subtler tyranny. The right of private judgment, which our ancestors wrung from the Church, remains to be claimed from this dictator of our habits.

Herbert Spencer, “On Manners and Fashion” (Westminster Review, April 1854).

To understand the current situation, we are witnessing an attempt to turn progress towards decline, reverse the evolutionary process that Spencer studied and usher in the dissolution his schema mentioned but which his sociology inadequately explored. The new Ms. Grundyites are reactionaries, aiming to shanghai civilization and send it back to a monoculture, by means of constant shunning, expulsion, and ideological harangue.

And much more.

Nation-building, you might say.

To take us away from Spencer’s temporal arc of evolution-equilibrium-dissolution and look at it more in terms of left and right, we could identify Mrs. Grundy as exemplary of right-wing cancel culture, while regarding Ms. Grundy as the exemplar of left-wing cancel culture . . . in that it demonstrates the strategy I have discussed before, to gather individuals and groups said to be on the outs, at the social periphery, and take up their cause as an excuse to subjugate the in-group.

It is fascinating to watch.

But not exactly pleasant, since all Grundies are insufferable.

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The 20th episode of the LocoFoco Netcast is up:

LocoFoco #20, August 6, 2020.

The podcast is accessible via LocoFoco.net, and using podcatchers such as Apple’s and Google’s, Pocket Cast and Spotify. It is also available as a video on BitChute, Brighteon, and YouTube:

LocoFoco #20, August 6, 2020.

Voting security and electoral integrity would seem to be important things in a democracy.

But of course, for politicians and large interest groups, what’s more important is a widespread belief in voting security and electoral integrity coupled with actual, in-play clever ways to rig and game the system.

I disapprove of electronic voting machines, since such systems have been repeatedly shown to be easily compromised.

The fact that one almost never hears about this is astounding in the way that almost everything in our hyper-politicized time is shocking.

I think there should only be two ways to vote:
1. A secret ballot on election day at a registered polling booth.
2. A public online ballot, completely transparent, with the ability to vote early, and change one’s mind often, right up until election day, at which point your last vote is sealed.

A public, non-secret ballot should be the only remote way to vote, no mail-in ballots or any of that easy-to-compromise nonsense.

I support open, non-secret balloting for the same reason that John Stuart Mill did. I support secret ballot as an option for the same official reason to introduce the method originally.

A person should have some identification to vote, of course. The arguments against such things are amusingly racist.

And a person, registered for online voting, should be able, on election day, to click a button saying one will head to the polling place and vote there. The polling station should be notified and the whole security arrangement should remain secure through sensible protocols. Votes should be hand-counted and the totals should be checked against polling station rolls, as usual.

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Is it true that girls tend to be attracted to the guys
that give them the least amount of attention?

…as answered on Quora….

No. But women (and girls) are often attracted to men (and boys) who show enough strength and confidence not to fall all over themselves in a mad rush to fawn over the objects of their affection and lust.

Women tend to admire strength, confidence. Men who attend to women too earnestly often turn women off.

There is an antimony here. It may seem schizoid. But we humans have more than one need we aim to fill when we seek to mate, and those distinct needs drive us to behaviors that can seem paradoxical. Some of our desires and standards are buried deep on one level, while others burst out, unmissable, into the open. Though it is dangerous to cite studies that only back up one’s favored point of view, I merely note here that some studies have shown that women tend to prefer different types of men at different times in their hormonal cycles. It might be helpful to learn this lore, which is developing in evolutionary psychology. (I’d avoid “women’s studies” because these “disciplines” — wholly the creatures of feminism and state subsidy — appear relentlessly ideological and unscientific.)

And men, too, have seemingly contradictory and transitory impulses. The lore on this is commonplace. Men are said to “only want sex” (sexual gratification) and yet they move heaven and earth to please women and take care of children.

How the welfare state, feminism and sexual (“gender”) egalitarianism have affected the playing out in individual men and in society of these two quite distinct urges is the subject of ongoing ideological conflict. The current trend of outing creepy, rapey men in politics and in the performing arts (but I repeat myself) for their abusive behaviors is not unrelated.

“The least amount of attention” in the question references, I gather, the “cool stance,” a sexual strategy very common in developed capitalist society. This stance is liken unto “peacock feathers” and other extravagant plumage among birds, and massive antlers in ungulates — aesthetic excesses that subtly signal strength. The idea being that “I am so strong I can afford to ‘waste’ resources on ‘useless’ beauty.” Women are programmed to admire strength. The species would not have survived had they not found mates strong enough to protect them and their babies. The cool stance, as well as drug use (tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, heroin — the more dangerous the stronger the signal) attracts those attracted to power, seeking natural signs of power.

But coolness is just one strategy that can signal male power. Another is behaving like a criminal, like “an asshole.” You know, as in “bad boys.” It is a staple of narrative fiction and feminist dispute to note just how common this is. More obvious signals of male power are wealth (“like my shiny new car?”), athletic prowess, and uniformed military and police service.

Intelligence, of all things, has even been known to serve to attract women. Whodathunk?

So, there are a variety of strategies available, for both men and women, to attract mates.

There is no one dimension, and certainly no single strategy, upon which sexual selection and the mating market play.


See, among many possible references, The Origins of Cool in Postwar America (2017), by Joel Dinerstein (I purchased a copy but have not found time to read it yet; it looks great), and The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature (2001), by Geoffrey Miller.

The kick-ass female action “hero” was a novelty with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But after the millionth iteration, it is wearing thin, to say the least.

To say the most? It is a form of misogyny.

How so? It imputes to women the natural and traditional propensities and roles that men admire in men and aspire towards — and that women have desired in men and want men to be. So women are now routinely being judged by a standard that was naturally-cum-fancifully apt almost only for men. This functions as a performative repudiation of femininity, and a triumph of masculinity. It is a strange twist on “trans.” And for men to admire women chiefly for filling masculine roles strikes me as preciously close to the liking of women for being like men.

So, what men and women who assert the value of “female action heroes” (NOT heroines) are really doing is saying “no one really likes women”; that the feminine is disgusting or pitiable and that women, to be admired, should “be more like men” or, better yet, aspire to be “better than men” as understood by unrealistic standards once held by men for themselves.

Like so much of modern politics, and of course feminism, this strikes me as creepily misogynistic.

I am reminded of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, where the citizenry is “decanted” not begotten naturally, and where “fatherhood” is a joke and “motherhood” a gross indecency. To the extent that the female superhero theme is not pornography (and that is the source of some of the attraction: watching lithe bodies contorting onscreen for our delectation) it’s a repudiation of the feminine telos.

Which strikes me as misogynistic.

Not hatefully misogynistic. It may not be borne of hate. It is borne of discomfort. Queasiness. Distaste. Discomfort with the natural, the animal reality of our species and our very mammalian success. Our civilization is imagining a new non-animalistic conception of life. It used to be the gods, now it is stefnal superheroes and the looming, all-too-real specter of cyborgian AI.

Decadence, for the most part. But hey: maybe the future is less Brave New World and more Day Million.* But I doubt it.

Of course, we have a choice of dystopias.

* “Day Million” is a terrific short story by Frederik Pohl, as well as a name of a short story collection.

Comparing the coronavirus daily mortality curves* of Sweden and these United States, which looks better, in its general shape? Sweden’s. It looks like the Nordic country has achieved her immunity — without lockdowns. If the country could have only better controlled its old-age home/nursing home crisis, the country’s curve would even look better.

Friends Olof and Rocco and Lee and I discussed some of the problems on a recent LocoFoco podcast:

Note that we ended on that key concept, herd immunity.

But what I really wonder about is this: the slope of the curve: we were told at the beginning that the reason for the “mitigation efforts” was to “flatten the curve,” to distribute the worst cases over a longer stretch of time; we were told that we could not really much change the bulk of cases within the curve, for if you flattened it too much, the curve would re-bulge worse next winter. Could the U.S. mitigation efforts have “flattened” the curve too well, now making it, well, concave, with the recent re-emergence of harsh cases?

There are many factors, though. For it looks like one problem with fatalities is that effective protocols for actually fighting ARDS — the worst extreme cases diagnosis of COVID-19 — have not been nationally implemented, because they would make Trump look good, one of the most effective treatments including HCQ, which the president had touted early.

Is it possible that Trump Derangement Syndrome is responsible for tens of thousands of needless deaths?


* Graphs from the European Union Times and worldometer.

Freedom is a contextual concept: freedom of whom from what? Or, for that matter, freedom to what?

That “what” can vary.

That “whom” can vary.

Liberty is a synonym for freedom, derived from a different language group. But it is also often used as a term of art to distinguish one variety of freedom from another. Indeed, I use liberty as the best term for “the freedom that all can possess.” But my usage is not at all widely accepted.

In the American context, the distinctions of meaning can be bracing. Take Langston Hughes’s epigram on the subject:

There are words like Freedom 
Sweet and wonderful to say. 
On my heartstrings freedom sings 
All day everyday. 
There are words like Liberty 
That almost make me cry. 
If you had known what I know 
You would know why.

What is going on here?

Perhaps we can clarify this mystery, at least by a little, by consulting David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed (1989). In that mammoth volume, Fischer considered four sources of American culture in the folkways brought over to North America from four distinct regions of Britain. And among the folkways he considers are the power and liberty traditions. Here is the relevant passage on the Puritans’ concept of liberty:

So this “publick liberty” notion is the freedom of the community from foreign control to govern itself. It was definitely not about the freedom of the individual from control of others to govern him- or herself.

This is Yankee liberty, which is often quite oppressive of dissent, not friendly to renegades within the community. To this day, I catch a whiff of this sort of freedom from modern-day Democrats. When I was young, I thought I sniffed out its redolence in Republicans and conservatives.

If I am not mistaken, this is also intimately tied to the ancient notions of liberty discussed by Benjamin Constant.

To the south, though, another variety of liberty dominated culture:

Here we see the freedom of the superior individual from control by others, but to allow control over “inferiors,” however that may be defined. Langston Hughes probably knew who the inferiors were thought to be, all too well.

Much more congenial to my way of looking at liberty is the Quaker notion:

Here is a more familiar libertarian conception of freedom: of all from each others’ tyrannies and interferences to obey one’s conscience.

Finally, this freedom-from-restraint notion, for individuals, is even more thoroughgoing in the fourth folkway set that Fischer identified:

Here, the reciprocal liberty of the Quakers has the piety shaken free of it, for individuals’ freedom from interference and control is also a freedom to tell your neighbor to buzz off, if necessary, and without the nicety of “conscience.” It is a more muscular freedom, and not so much a spiritual matter as a defiant vulgarity.

The Puritan liberty is the freedom of all corporally, as determined by hierarchies as well as participatory governance; the gentlemen’s liberty, on the other hand, is their freedom, individually as gentlemen and within their class, but definitely not the freedom of all (not for the vulgar and inferior); and in the other two systems, freedom is reciprocal and universal, but with pious duty as a corollary in one system, and “mind your own business” in the other.

As I see it, all four strains are part of our everyday American culture, but the communal tyranny strains and gentlemen’s prerogative strains too dominant. Within the modern American libertarian movement the Quakers are represented by SJW-leaning beltway libs, and the backwoods boys represented by the more vulgar-tongued “right-wing” quasi-paleos.

I see some merit in both camps.

Liberty, as I see it, should be the freedom of all from interference and exploitation and control — from all others, to the preservation of their lives and the pursuit of happiness. How much freedom can actually be achieved? Partisans of the two major political parties think “not very much,” with the Democrats, especially, pushing Yankee busybodyism, but the Republicans still clinging to elements. And the Republicans see the world as far more dangerous than do Democrats, at least from foreign power plays, but under Trump the Dems have embraced an anti-Russian paranoia.

But note that even Benjamin Constant (1819) did not totally reject the political element of individual freedom:

Individual liberty, I repeat, is the true modern liberty. Political liberty is its guarantee; consequently political liberty is indispensable. But to ask the peoples of our day to sacrifice, like those of the past, the whole of their individual liberty to political liberty is the surest means of detaching them from the former and, once this result has been achieved, it would be only too easy to deprive them of the latter.

This lesson is something that libertarians will probably never be able to cease pressing to others. It is a lesson too easy to forget.

Meanwhile, of course, the dominant culture has forgotten everything important. Pierre Lemieux, in his foreword to the Constant edition, above, shows the danger of the ancient/Puritan power conception of liberty, and its continued emphasis in our post-modern times:

I fail to see much at all inspiring in any conception of liberty that is not, itself, understood in large part as incorporating individual freedom and personal responsibility.

In reading Benjamin Constant and David Hackett Fischer, I am moved to no small sadness for our culture, which has so far lost its way from the modern liberal progress, having reverted, instead — in our post-modern manner — to a vile, neo-ancient closed society illiberalism.

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The Dirty Open Secret of Socialism was “proletarisation” — the process by which artisans, independent contractors, professionals, entrepreneurs would be forced to work for wages:

In order that the “Socialist evolution” may be realized, it is necessary that industry and capital should be concentrated in a few hands, and, on the other hand, that there should be a great mass of wage‐​earners, increasingly wretched and deprived of all personal property. Such is the process as determined by Marx and Engels in the “Communist Manifesto,” and confirmed by the Erfurt Congress in 1891.

But this phenomenon does not appear if the “artisan” works in isolated independence; neither does it appear if those who carry on small industries, working in their own houses, have not been previously absorbed in the proletariat crowd of workmen employed in the great industries; not does it appear if the small proprietor preserves his love of individual property. The prophesied social evolution miscarries; the heralded paradise of the socialization of all the means of production and exchange vanishes. Democracy and Socialism are antagonistic.

Have I invented and formulated this proposition for polemical purposes? It comes from a Socialist, Herr Werner Sombart.

“What should be the attitude of socialism with regard to the masses which have not yet fallen into the ranks of the proletariat, such as the lower middle class (petite bourgeoisie) and of that part of the population which may perhaps never exhibit any tendency to inclusion in the proletariat? Should the object of the proletariat be essentially proletarian or should it be democratic? If it become democratic, what becomes of its programme? Is it to be socialism or democracy? The fundamental contention is expressed in the opposition between these two points of view.”

Bernstein published a series of articles in 1905 under the title, “Will Social Democracy Become Popular?”

In order to obtain recruits for the Socialist army it is necessary to “proletariarise” those who carry on small industries as well as small trades, and the owners of small properties, all of whom display elements of resistance to the socialization of the means of production. The movement of concentration, which does not take place naturally, must be obtained by force, in order to arrive at the catastrophe foretold by Karl Marx, as “on the one hand a few large industrial establishments and on the other the masses who possess nothing at all, the former absorbing the latter without their being able to offer resistance.”

In order to reach this point, the simplicity and ignorance of the very persons is to be exploited whom it is proposed to ruin, and of their representatives in Parliament. And legislation is to be carried out on the lines of social insurance and regulation of labour, in such a manner as to annihilate the small men, to overburden them with general expenses and risks, to close their shops and businesses and to try by artificial means to bring about the concentration of industries to which economic liberty fails to lend itself.

Werner Sombart frankly recognizes this when he says that “a good system of workmen’s legislation is a weapon of the highest order for proprietors of undertakings on a large scale, wherewith to ruin the small men and disembarrass themselves of their competition.

M. E. Vandervelde also demands this factitious concentration. “We must, he says, “wish for, and even foster by legislative measures, the passing of the degenerate forms of individual production into the superior forms of production in common.”

Yves Guyot, Socialistic Fallacies (1910).

While there are elements of this at work today — leaders of the dirigiste state often conspire against independent contractors, as recently shown in California, with Assembly Bill 5, largely because independent contractors tend to be . . . independent — this is not the big move today.

The Dirty Open Secret of Woke Progressivism is the political-cultural necessity always to increase the number of people dependent upon subsidy — and the reliance upon those not proletarised and not made dependents.

For remember: old-time socialism was seen as everyone working for a central authority and receiving “just wages” for their work, whatever that could mean.

Today’s wokester progressives don’t like work much, and demand, instead, to give people stuff for free. Production is not really a big part of their system. It’s just the secret thing they tend to despise. Their ideal job is not even a tech job, it’s a government job: easy, great benefits, early retirement, and you get to boss other people (preferably cis-white males) around.

This makes their schemes completely reliant upon taxpayers, of course. And this entails, in economic terms, reliance upon the proletarians in the market but mainly upon the successful artisans, independent contractors, professionals, and entrepreneurs — and of course the despised hyper-“privileged” owners of land and capital (those who make their living by rent and profit).

Now, older progressives and “progressive conservatives” (really, conservative-minded progressives) once honored the contributors; they extolled those who succeeded and thus serve not only as vanguards of market progress but also as benefactors via charity and even (or, especially) via state redistribution.

Today’s progressives have taken from the socialists not the programs of centralized economic management (boring!) so much as the socialist hatred and envy for the productive who materially serve as benefactors — but offend by being successful when others are not. “The Top One Percent,” for example.

This puzzles conservatives, even enrages them, since it is the essence of conservatism to honor the productive, the achievers, and benefactors, to advance gratefulness. They see in today’s progressives nothing but ingrates.

They are correct. Progressives in the modern vein are indeed ingrates; they promote a system that cannot work, and offends against common sense by lacking gratitude, honor, or aspiration. They are moochers by nature. They are to be despised. As soon as the old pro-productivity element in progressivism goes, there is nothing left good in progressives. Even their desire to help becomes greed and envy and hatred.

We could talk and argue with the progressives who were technocrats, and with progressives who leaned conservatives and thought they were conservative.

It is much harder to argue with the new sort, just as it was nearly impossible to argue with socialists, real socialists.

For they have accepted unsustainable social attitudes as well as an unworkable system. They have embraced systemic anti-sociality.

What do I mean? Well, consult Oscar Wilde, whose embrace of an “individualistic” anti-property quasi-socialism entailed a complete rejection of the altruistic sentiment so common under the capitalism of his day, and who, deep down, seemed to hate capitalism because it required too much attention to others’ needs!

Yes, this new form of progressivism is inherently anti-social.

Oh, sure, a few social groups are fixated upon — you know, as Victims to be honored, secretly pitied, and formally subsidized and promoted. But with this victim cultism comes a target class, for subsidizing some must come at the expense of the non-victims and non-oppressors, who are (or were) the vast majority.

While libertarian theorists will look at woke-progressive demands as unworkable and indeed crazy, conservatives will judge progressive attitudes as ungrateful and uncivilized. And what of old-time progressives and socialists? They will be puzzled by the moral perversity, though unable quite to put their fingers on the problem, since they themselves have so many sub rosa fixations and assumptions that are embarrassing to be made public or even conscious, and which, in fact, gave rise to the new mobbing losers.

But most old progressives I know fall in line with the new woke progressivism of, say, the Squad — the Millennial Democrats in Congress. Old-time progressives have been flirting with socialistic critiques of freedom for so long, and are so addicted to redistribution and regulation that they have nothing left to defend themselves from the agendas of the wokester-barbarian horde.

This is the cultural contradiction of the time. It is fun to watch. It can be great fun to scorn the new ingrates and utopians in their “protest” mobs. But their danger is real.

All-too-real.

Now, I can see why many old-time progressive-symp libertarians (the beltway types) might think this period cannot last, that it’ll just fizzle. Meh, they say. Typical Gen X judgment.

And they are right to understand that woke-progressive ingrate redistributionism is doomed. No doubt. The current woke-progressive program and integral attitudes cannot be sustained.

But it may not necessarily fizzle. It could be an explosion. Or implosion.

The devastation could be vast.

twv

Because we are trapped in the arc of a historical movement with the State at once ascendent and on the precipice, our politics consists chiefly in ratcheting up the levels of hypocrisy and hysteria. Until we confront the nature of the arc, we cannot be pried out of our predicament.
No one candidate can save us.

The likelihood of societal recognition and repentance, however, is extremely low. So we play our parts in the fated motion. I suppose there could be some deus ex machina to rescue civilization from its apparent fate, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Still, we might want to admit that while last time around, with Clinton vs. Trump, we read the sign of a ridiculous trap, Biden vs. Trump this time is that screwed up to increased idiocy. The problems of Trump are fairly obvious (though many apparently obvious bad things about him are not true), while the menace level that is Biden is hidden from full view. Sure, we all, deep down, realize his mind is going, and that he will be a mere puppet to his masters. We just do not know, right now, who his masters would be: for there is a selection of puppeteers ready to jerk the strings. The most feared set consists of woke-scold leftist whackos. But the more likely string-masters would be the usual suspects, the people who worked with Jeffrey Epstein and who constitute a major presence behind the scenes that smart people MUST NOT TALK ABOUT.

Meanwhile, Democrats only recognize the bizarre insanity of Trump, and Republicans recognize only the senescent lunacy of Biden. And those of us who admit how mad this all is have a bigger worry: just how disastrously compromised is the country that has this choice for its fate?

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