BLOG ON SEMI-HIATUS (Sticky Post)

3 09 2018

I have left St. Louis for job in Cologne, Germany.

This blog is in a state of semi-hiatus, as of September 4, 2018.

I’ll write posts here every once in awhile, just to update you all on how I’m doing, and my thoughts on whatever big news breaks. Our favorite doggy will chime in every once in awhile with his own guest posts. Other than that, expect posting around here to be not that frequent going forward.

All my other presences.

Reading material:

My Labor Day 2018 farewell post — My final post from St. Louis for awhile, perhaps ever.

My post from July 26, 2018, announcing my departure.

The preview of my Summer 2018 travelogue that I’ll probably never get to write in full.

My long and frequently updated post on my condition and recovery — A recovery which for all intents and purposes is complete as of December 14, 2019.

I proposed on December 14, 2019, and was married on March 7, 2020.  We welcomed twin sons into the world on December 22, 2020.  You can read about how it all happened and eventually future updates in that stead on my RHOC Series.





Gotta Use Protection

21 06 2021

Munich; St. Louis

They say that history doesn’t exactly repeat itself, but it rhymes.

So too does the news.

I’m following two different soap operas on two different continents that both involve some political entity enacting some sort of right-of-center legislation that is overtly stated to be some sort of protective measure, and both of them busted wide open today.

Let’s start in the native city.

Channel 4:

St. Louis City, County file joint lawsuit aiming to block Missouri’s controversial gun law

As disputes over the new Missouri gun law continue to heat up, St. Louis City and St. Louis County filed a joint lawsuit Monday in Cole County Circuit Court, seeking to block the newly-signed House Bill 85, termed the “Second Amendment Preservation Act.”

(snip)

The joint release from the city and county says the legislation makes Missouri a sanctuary state for gun violence, and unconstitutionally hampers law enforcement.

Now do immigration.

“This new law is like the state holding out a sign that says ‘Come Commit Gun Violence Here,’” said St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page. “We can’t expect people to stay in St. Louis or to move their businesses here if we don’t do everything we can to reduce gun violence in the region, but this new law sends the opposite message to our residents and business community.”

You can already see what’s being prefigured. They’re fixing to pawn the blame for every violent “gun” crime and business closure in Bell Curve City on HB 85.

And as far as “holding out a sign,” well, Page, that boat has already done floated down the river. The Ferguson and Floyd Effects have seen to that. Gardner and Bell certainly haven’t helped matters. But I’ll get to those two in a moment.

St. Louis City and County are seeking an injunction, but ultimately hope to overturn the law on constitutional grounds. They are arguing that HB 85 is in violation of the U.S. Constitution Supremacy Clause, which states federal law preempts state law.

HB 85 is more or less about Missouri’s state or local LEAs shouldn’t tell the Feds. Now, what I think is going on here is that Jones and Page are basically confessing that Gardner and Bell will just throw those police reports into File 13, so if there’s anything gun-related, they have to go to the U. S. Attorney. They’re scared that that option is going to be cut off if HB 85 takes effect and is interpreted as literally as they fear.

But there could be a wild card that comes out of left field: BLM. You think they’re going to be happy when they find out that Jones and Page want to see to it that the cops in St. Louis City and County can still talk to the Feds on gun matters, thereby continuing the dindu-to-Federal prison pipeline? But of course the wild card to that wild card is that the U. S. Attorney for St. Louis is probably by now someone that * appointed, which means that, whoever he or she is, it’s going to be someone who is too woke to want to put dindus in Federal joints on gun cases.

This one’s going to last for awhile.

Now, here’s one that will be resolved by Wednesday night, my time. From this country and continent.

Hungary has recently enacted laws against LGBTQ-BLT-BBQ-LOL propaganda to minors. Of course, this has LGBTQ-BLT-BBQ-LOL upset, the same people who insist that they’re not proselytizing to or recruiting minors. Anyway, as you also know, Euro 2020 is going on. Germany’s third and final “pool” game is Wednesday night (my time) against Hungary, at Allianz Stadium in Munich. Now, Bavaria is CSU-run and probably the most socially conservative Federal state in Germany. But Munich is SPD-run, and moderately liberal on social issues. But liberal enough to be pro-LGBTQ-BLT-BBQ-LOL. And, Allianz Stadium, remember, is the one which can do the color changing exterior.

Guess what colors the mayor of Munich and other important city officials want it to be on Wednesday night.

Now, UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, and the organizers of the Euro tournament, have said no way. Their reasoning is that they don’t want soccer so closely wound up with conventional politics. Though, once again, that boat has already done floated down the river. Because you can’t turn your head without officially organized soccer on this continent being used as a political bludgeon against “racism” and in support of “refugees.” So I can understand Munich’s frustration with UEFA discovering political agnosticism all of a sudden.

I have a prediction on how Wednesday will go:

UEFA will put their foot down and say no. Munich will go on ahead and do it anyway. Hungary boycotts and forfeits the game. Cue outrage enough for everyone, for the rest of the week.

Incidentally, one of the players on the Hungarian team wants Munich to go all rainbow, because he’s opposed to the legislation in “his” country. But you’ll note the quotes around “his” — The problem is, his current club is RB Leipzig (that’s a whole soap opera of its own), and he was born in Kaiserslauten, RP, in this country, to a Hungarian father and a Polish mother, and lives full time in this country. But, since his Hungarian father means a Hungarian passport, he plays internationally for Hungary. Otherwise, he’s not emotionally attached to Hungary.

His last name?

Orban.

No relation.

Didn’t I just say that these things rhyme?





Iron Sharpening Iron

20 06 2021

West Palm Beach, Florida

Personally, I have my doubts about the veracity.

But, if it’s true, then all I can say is this:

There were people in his immediate daily orbit right there in his own White House and in his Cabinet who were advising him that this was the wrong way to go. But he ignored all them, because he thought that the guy he ultimately paid so much attention to and sourced so much of his administration to had some sort of special political juju only because he happened to share a bed with his daughter.

So no, in this matter, it wasn’t bad advice, it was a bad advisee.

Writing on what is American Father’s Day, you all know that I have officially been a father-in-law’s son-in-law since March 7, 2020. He’s the best father-in-law a guy could have, and, when I compare him to what I thought in my younger years would be the perfect father-in-law, he comes so close to it that the odds that there’s someone closer are infinitesimally low. (I think the same about the better half, vis-a-vis what I always imagined to be my ideal wife.) That said, neither one of us believe that the other is infallible only because a woman that one fathered is the same that the other married. And, save one game, he is batting a thousand against me in chess. Our relationship is best described as iron sharpening iron, bidirectionally.





Father’s Day Open Thread

20 06 2021

Guest post by Puggg

I’m glad mine is still living, but at the same time, this day also reminds me that I still haven’t become one since the this same day came around last year, and that the odds that I ever will decrease with every passing one. I turned 48 last month, in case you’re wondering.

In a side note: Please don’t go swimming in rivers here in Jefferson County. My county’s rivers have been nothing but people eaters in the last maybe two weeks.





Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 16

16 06 2021

“PUTTING THE MANN IN MANNSCHAFT”

Cologne, we have a problem.

***

Yesterday began what is ordinarily a biannual ritual for Germans, during the summer of even numbered years. The ritual involves Good Germans outsourcing their patriotism to a bunch of guys kicking a ball around.

The last time this happened was the World Cup in 2018. As you may remember, I was just a mere tourist in this and a few surrounding countries when the WC was going on, and we were able to watch Germany’s first pool game while we were in Wittenberg and its third in Ingolstadt. The second game, we were in the Czech Republic. At the time, Germany was the defending WC champions from 2014, so there were high hopes for 2018. But, they flopped. Yet and still, it was a sight to behold, this “outsourcing,” first hand.

After I later learned I was going to come back for different reasons, and then after actually doing that, also as you might remember, I went to a regular season game of the German domestic league, Bremen at D’dorf, November 2018, to see a fellow native St. Louisan, one Josh Sargent. I really lucked out, because it was the game where he logged his first playing time in the Bundesliga and his first goal. You may remember that’s the game I bought my St. Louis flag, and when I saw Sargent being inserted into the game, I waved it and yelled, “YO JOSH.” All for naught, because it was nothing but noise the whole game, the only variance is whether it was really loud or ear-deafening loud. And remember, this was just a garden variety domestic league game between at the time a mid-standings team (Bremen) playing at the basement dwellers (D’Dorf). Side note: Bremen got relegated after this just finished Bundesliga season to the second league. They were having money problems anyway, and relegation certainly isn’t going to make them any better. Odds are they’re probably going to move Sargent out in a fire sale, and one of the talked about destinations is right next door to me in Leverkusen.

Anyway, we’re now on Euro 2020 season, it like the Tokyo Olympics delayed a year because of Covid. The World Cup is held the summer of midterm election years in America, while the Euro and all the other regional mini-WCs are held during the summer of Presidential election years, usually. Euro is probably the world’s second most anticipated national team soccer tournament behind only the WC itself, though the WC in 2018, with four UEFA teams in the final four, got the snarky nickname Euro 2018.

Germany’s first pool game in Euro 2020 was last night in Munich versus France, who you will remember won the 2018 WC, and, as it’s mostly the same team as then, is a favorite to win this Euro. All three of Germany’s pool games will be in Munich, and yes, that’s the stadium that changes exterior colors.

***

The good news is that Germany scored the only goal of the game. The bad news? Well, I’m sure it’s run its course in the international news cycle by now. Also, some eco nut parachuted in on a yellow parachute. I figured when I saw it happen out of the corner of my eye (see below) it had to be some kind of left wing kook.

***

The better half and I watched it from the parents-in-law along with my sister-in-law. The soyboy-in-law had other commitments and had to leave after dinner. But even if he had been here, it wouldn’t have made a difference, because none of us would have watched it that closely, as the five of us grown folk that were there had other things to do, and the sixth not there would have done other things if he was. Since the game started at 9, the better half and I plus our two bundles of joy left not long after the start of the second half, because it was already past 10.

But, like I said, while we were all there, and we had it on the TV, nobody was really watching it.

With one big exception.

Or, to be more accurate, two big exceptions.

Or, to be even more accurate, two little exceptions.

I think you can figure it out by now.

From what I saw, they were glued to this game, and unusually so for something that happens this late in the evening by their increasingly regular daily awake-asleep cycle. They paid attention to it more intensely than they have anything in their almost six months of life. The better half, who observed them more than I did during the time before we left and the game was on, noticed the same thing even more starkly.

Uh oh.

I can already see where this is going.

Oh well, at least it’s not that expensive. And it’s good exercise; Especially since I know which two people with their weight problems they are descended from by one generation. Though I have to digress for a moment, most of this will be for another time: The better half is maintaining a much healthier weight post-birth than she did before she started in being in the family way, which is very atypical for mid-30s women who do that. Only wish some of that being able to keep weight off would spill over on me, though I’ve lost a few pounds overall since the end of rehab, and I should concede that at my age, any weight loss in a situation where one needs to lose weight should be appreciated.

And they are little German boys, after all. This was kinda inevitable. I can’t throw stones; After all, their Papi was once a little St. Louis boy, and little St. Louis boys almost inevitably get the baseball dream. A dream that, as you know, I substantively knew wasn’t in the Cards (pun intended) when I was eleven, and I hung up my cleats at seventeen. Though I will say that, as you might guess, Germans are so cold at soccer development that, once they get to around age twelve, the old grown folks around them will know whether they have any chance of a future in this business or nah, if nah, then that’s when they’ll be hanging up their own cleats. Simply because there won’t be any school teams for them to continue playing even past the realization that they won’t be making a living out of this, if that’s what winds up happening. Remember, Germans and Europeans don’t do school sports in the way that Americans do.

***

So, that’s it. I now know that I have a mid-term future as a soccer dad.

You know, I was expecting these two to save our civilization, not score goals for Die Mannschaft in the 2046 World Cup.





Only the Better Half and I

10 06 2021

Your Blogmeister’s German Desk

One of the frequent criticisms lodged against our sector, mostly from outsiders and normies, but also sometimes internally and internecinely, is that we’re too conspiratorial in our conceptual framework, that we are assigning much more intelligence and organizational skills to our enemies than they have in reality.

Yesterday I saw a Tik Tok of a juvenile raccoon herding goats into an open air pen.

It’s not that juvenile raccoons are master Machiavellian strategists. It’s that goats are such, well, sheep, that all it takes is the organizational skills of a juvenile raccoon to herd them.

Our critics are correct in saying that our enemies aren’t that clever or organized. But they don’t need to be. They’re juvenile raccoons, but don’t need to be anything more, because we’re sheep.

Human beings have an infinite appetite for distractions, and will take the path of least resistance. Old as the hills known truths.

So you can see how it’s not hard for the juvenile raccoons that are our incumbent establishment elite to arrange a set of circumstances to where people think they’re sticking it to the big bad evil ugly system by retweeting a video of a 12-year old boy acting a whole slap fool.

And I might be only one of two people on Earth (the other being the better half) who can turn a goofy animal video short into a moderately important sociopolitical philosophical insight.





Sunday in S-A

8 06 2021

Magdeburg

A few of you, who must have seen out of the corner of your eyes both here and more so on my social posts that I was in Magdeburg, wanted to know my assessment. I’ll just cut-and-paste my Minds posts, even though it will be repetitive in a few stretches, and with added links for context.

Sunday afternoon:

This will probably be my only social post this evening, and my only contribution to the matter before all results are in plus the voter-shifting graph (Wählerwanderung, I call it the twisted ribbon).

If the CDU ekes out first place tonight, it will ONLY be because of a repeat of the tactics in neighboring Saxony and Brandenburg in September 2019 — Other parties’ voters strategically fell behind the only party that had a chance to get more votes than the AfD (SPD in Bran., CDU in Sax.), in order to deny the AfD the moral victory of finishing in first. Though the German and international media coverage then, as I think it would be tomorrow, would be to treat the day as a de facto AfD win.

However, it’s a tactic that cannot last, because as time goes on, the yellow doggers (“Besenstiel” trans. “broomsticks” in German political parlance) for the old parties are themselves old, and more of them will be shifting toward the other side of the life divide over time. Also, it’s a tactic that can’t really be replicated for the Federal elections in September, because the kind of people who would strategically abandon their own preferred party for the “whoever could beat the AfD” won’t be doing that WRT Federal voting, as they want their party to be as strong as possible in the next Bundestag.

Of course, if Team Blue finishes in first, all this will be moot.

All this will make me have to make last minute decisions on my set.

Earlier this afternoon:

I wrote here on Sunday afternoon that the only thing that would prevent Team Blue from finishing in first place was a repeat of the tactical voting scam that happened in neighboring Saxony and neighboring Brandenburg in September 2019. People who didn’t want the AfD to have the moral satisfaction of finishing in first place temporarily abandoned their own preferred party to vote for the known “strongest other than the AfD” party (The SPD in Bran., the CDU in Sax.). In S-A this year, that is the CDU.

I also wrote that the problems with that tactic are that: (1) It’s unsustainable, because the elderly faithful voters that mean that the CDU or SPD have the staying power they do so that they can be used as anti-AfD tactical voting foils, will eventually start dying, thereby lowering those parties’ baseline percentages, and that (2) They won’t and in fact can’t run that tactic in the much higher stakes Bundestag elections, because they will want their own preferred parties to get as many votes and therefore as many seats as possible.

What happened in S-A is that this tactic worked too well. So much so that the SPD and Die Linke “lost” big ground, and the Greens, who are supposed to be growing like weeds (pun intended), barely grew, and at one point were threatened by finishing under 5% and therefore not getting any seats. Back in Sept. 2019, the media had a sober take, treating the day as de facto AfD wins, and openly warning the numerically victorious SPD in Bran. and CDU in Sax. that their “victories” were paper tigers.

After Sunday, there has not been that level of media and public political sobriety. The CDU and Union in general feels like it’s got the shot in the arm it desperately needed heading into September, (when in reality, we know why it isn’t), and the left parties think they have to lick their wounds (again, when we all know why it’s not actually bad news).

Strangely though, there is not any verve on the part of the German media and political establishment to gloat about the AfD not doing as well as it was thought they would (and I’ll get to that in a minute). The AfD’s percentage take slightly declined compared to five years ago, even though its raw vote total increased, owning to greater overall turnout and the rush of tactical anti-AfD voters. Plus a bunch of old people who rewarded the perceived authority of the CDU because they’re still scared of Covid. Like I said, people who won’t be around that much longer, and an issue that is hopefully only months away from being totally forgotten.

Instead, the official German media and political culture are kinda sorta in a way treating Sunday as something of an AfD win, once again, though not as obviously as they did two years ago. One of the main reasons is that the AfD finished in first place among voters under 45, and the lower you go in age, the better it did. Though you have to remember my axiom that any politician or party who is banking on young (U-30) voters is already writing his/its own concession speech. But it’s an actual worrisome sign for the Greens, who are supposed to be cleaning up among U-30. And it portends the mid-term future.

And that is what has Official Germany scared in the S-A aftermath. They’re already screaming about needing more and better education, even though these people have totally controlled German education for as long as most people alive in this country have been living. If all their brainwashing hasn’t prevented the AfD from being the preferred party going way from under-45 in the East, then even they have to realize that a little more brainwashing isn’t going to change that.

Also, a new fashionable phrase, Diktatursozialisation (“dictatorship socialization”) has been popping up in the past two weeks, as a coping mechanism for Official Germany to explain all this. Meaning that the reason young-ish eastern Germans support the AfD is that communist East Germany brainwashed them. (?????) Even some of Official Germany’s own official talking heads have been picking that apart, without patriotic help. If that’s the case, then such brainwashing should have redounded to the benefit of Die Linke, the SED remnant still in existence today. People under 30 weren’t even alive when the DDR existed, anyway. And then they have to explain Le Pen/RN next door — What [past] “dictatorship” socialized the young-ish French to support her/it [today]? Mitterand? Chirac?

To sum it up, Official Germany has seen that the AfD is here to stay, and, once the old people who are yellow doggers (“Besenstiel” trans: “Broomsticks” in political German idiom) for the old parties start dying in large numbers, Team Blue will start getting yuge bigly percentages and frequent first place finishes, and will one day in the near-mid term future have the run of the joint in the East, and of course the aroma from the BBQ happening East will spread West.

One more thing: I now am of the serious opinion based on observation and implication that the pollsters deliberately fibbed down the CDU’s percentages and fibbed up the AfD’s in the immediate pre-election polls, knowing what they knew would happen, precisely to give grounds to manufacture a post-election narrative of “zomg disappointment for the AfD they’re falling off lol,” and at the same time use those fake polls as a clarion call to get the anti-AfD tactical voters out in force. The second part happened, but mysteriously, not the first part.

Within the hour:

One other loose end from Sunday is that it’s the absolute end of the Meuthen vs Höcke schism within Team Blue, with a clear winner.

Remember, Meuthen/-ism had the run of the joint down in BW and RP in March, and wound up losing ground, both in percentage and raw terms. For his part, Höcke is already bragging about it in a slick roundabout way, stating that (trans and pph): “East is going to move West.”

And also, we had direct side by side comparisons right here in NRW back in September’s local election cycle, and Höcke/-ism showed much stronger gains than Meuthen/-ism.

This part I’ve hinted around here and elsewhere in the very recent past.





Fauci and the Third Loose End

8 06 2021

Washington, D.C.

Now the receipts.

Or, to borrow Fred Thompson’s line for Howard Baker, we now know for sure what Fauci knew and when he knew it. And because of the receipts, we also know that and when he was lying in public.

This also is the third loose end.

Me, November 9, 2020, on why “they” hated Trump all along:

China. Official America in both the public and private sphere is just way too invested in China to tolerate this or any White House treating Beijing like an economic adversary.

And then, me, on March 22, on why “they” were manufacturing hysteria about anti-Asian hate crimes:

The establishment is trying its best to dampen any official energy behind blaming Beijing and the CCP for the Wuhan virus, so as to prevent economic retaliation and decoupling, and any such actions of course would force Beijing to reciprocate. It’s because too many “important” Americans are too invested in China.

So, let’s loop this back around to Fauci. He lied repeatedly, because China.

This is all about China. Specifically, that so many important or powerful individuals, firms and institutions have so much China in their portfolios.

***

There’s another loose end.

It goes back to our sector’s perennial frustration with the Trump years. The fact that he ever trusted the kind of people who always had it out for him or at least never wanted any part of him. Fauci, Paul Ryan, among many others. Not to mention types like Kushner, who mostly did wrong by his administration even though they actually didn’t mean it or its chief executive literal harm.

Even before the receipts, there was plenty of good evidence against trusting Fauci and basically letting him run Covid from the moment that it seemed like Covid was going to be that big of a problem. Not the least of which was his stellar record on AIDS, which, coincidentally, was “born” in terms of medical and public consciousness 40 years ago this month. (Though its backstory is more extensive and has a St. Louis angle.) Scott Atlas was there all along, and he should have been given the ball. But it’s that the medical, media and public health establishment loved Fauci so much more, and Trump loves his own name next to praise. As far as that went, now we know why everyone “important” was so much in love with Fauci.

China.





The Antiquarian Bug Hits St. Louis

2 06 2021

Okay, I’m going to make this as cogent as possible for my lack of time:

A bunch of fat ugly women are jealous that Ellie Kemper is more attractive than they are, and are taking to social media to try to cancel her, because she was once the queen of a ball of an organization that formally dropped its official racial and ethnic exclusivity before she herself was born.





Memorial Day Weekend Open Thread.

28 05 2021

Guest post by Puggg

Before I turn you loose, I’ve gotta say this:

Have any of you seen or heard the public service announcements about not forgetting your children in their car seats and leaving them in closed locked hot cars where they could die of heat stroke?

One of the suggestions for parents so they don’t forget their children is to put something valuable in the back seat.

I swear, are people really that vain, selfish, and materialistic?

You’d think that their children would be that valuable thing.

No, I guess. People attach much more value to some several hundred dollar little rectangle of electronics that will be obsolete in a few years than they do the small living human beings that are by biology and DNA half them and are expected to live many decades and themselves reproduce.

But here I am, caring more about an actual child, while not having any children. I do have a phone.

Okay, now you can go at it.





It’s Their Way Of Defunding The Police.

24 05 2021

Guest post by Puggg

You’ve all seen it by now if you’re from around here.

Everyone keeps saying that they have to face consequences?

But why? All they’re doing is following their leaders who want to defund the police, abolish the police, close jails, close prisons. Those things seem to be a winning political recipe nowadays in certain areas, yet the people who win somehow think that a small group jumping up and down on top of an SLMPD cruiser is so wrong?





Pop Goes the Squad Pinata

24 05 2021

Washington, D.C.

Back in 2018, when the progressivetard insurgency (“The Squad” in Trump parlance) really started up, I wrote back then that, in spite of what would seem to be almost no real differences between a progressivetard insurgent and the establishment Democrat he or she is trying to replace, and also that they would have close to 100% the same legislative voting record, when there is that kind of internecine frission and fission within a political sector or party, and the two sides seem alike, you can bet on some taboo unmentionable factors being behind the curtains as the heat and energy source. I remembered that much from the Tea Party Movement days.

In the case of The Squad, I also wrote back then, those taboo factors were Israel and the military-industrial complex, the major differences between them and the establishmentarians they were/are challenging. The former group being against, the latter for.

For awhile, and mainly to stay united in the face of Trump, the pro-Israel/MIC Democrat establishment and the anti-Israel/MIC Squad has kept those differences so silent that even I thought they kissed and made up on such things.

But now, as we can all see in the last few weeks, those old taboo frissions are busting back open, and wide open in front of the curtains for all to see.





It’s Finally Time For The Flip Flop.

23 05 2021

Guest post by Puggg

I know our normal host predicted it from the outset, and I guess I was thinking the same thing at the same time.

Well, it’s finally coming true.

That, and Sunday open thread.





Let’s Play Detective.

18 05 2021

Guest post by Puggg

One of the bills that made it through the Missouri legislature this year was a bill that would allow those who win Missouri Lottery prizes to remain anonymous, not have their names and identities released.

The bill’s sponsor is a black Democrat from North County.

As I will put it, the race to the dog biscuit starts now.





Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 15

18 05 2021

“THE ENVELOPE PLEASE”

You all want to know how it went this weekend.

There is going to be a whole lot of DADT about this weekend. But the way I nudged it out of the soyboy-in-law, and my wife out of my sister-in-law, they did everything they were supposed to on a pure necessity level, but not much more, and nowhere near what we think they should have done. So it might not literally take us years to undo the damage; Maybe only months.

The time leading up to this weekend just flew by, while the actual weekend itself dragged on and on, each second seemed to take a whole minute. The only saving grace for me was that I had a short business roadtrip on Saturday, which took my mind off of all my worrying a little bit and made time go by not as excruciatingly slow. The better half was not so lucky.

Yet and still, we weren’t either going to break in or interfere. All we gave them were their portable convertible cribs, a few changes of clothes, enough bottles of their mother’s pumped out breast milk, and the two car seats. Everything else, they had to buy themselves. The way we figure, if they wanted to practice being parents to infants, and use their twin nephews to do it, they were going to do it as accurately and completely as practically possible. After all, very soon, this sort of thing won’t be practice, it will be their consummate all-encompassing reality.

When we got them back, they both had a look in their eyes toward us as if to say that, the next time we pull something like this, they’re going to run away, even if they haven’t started walking.

***

In the days through the week leading up to the weekend, my father-in-law tried a few times to talk me off the ledge, trying to convince me that maybe some good will come of this. On Thursday at Abendessen, he gave me a sealed envelope, and told me not to open it until Monday.

I’ll get to that in a moment.

***

On Sunday late in the afternoon, when normal order was restored, one of the things that they conceded is that they now realize how much work it takes, and more than they were expecting. And that they really need to do a lot of mental preparation over this coming summer, and, while they didn’t quite use these words, also a lot more growing up. (If they’re in that mood, maybe they would like to settle on a nice normal rational name now, instead of what you know is their current game plan? Nein?)

We, too, realized something about ourselves. Once they took them from us on late Friday afternoon, it was the first time that they were in the direct guardianship of someone other than their parents or grandparents in their nearly five months of life. It was also the first evening where they weren’t in the direct company of either their mother or their father. Plain words, it was our first evening without them since they were on the other side of the birth canal. I counted, and the last time that had been the case before this past Friday evening was 145 days before it. We didn’t have them, but we had them. We were able to sleep on the two weekend nights without them for the first time in 145 and 146 days, respectively, and fully knowing that they weren’t there to wake us up. But we hardly slept any better.

What we realized is that we have both changed as people very quickly, starkly, and in short order. Our internal and external habits are so much different. Those 145 days ago were just that, only 145 days ago. But they seem like much longer ago. And that’s in spite of the fact that I blink and boom, there goes another month. If presented with the same version of our selves from five months ago, I doubt we’d even recognize those people.

Whoever said that a baby changes everything didn’t know the half of it. Having a baby changes so much of everything that it changes things you don’t think can be changed.

Like I just wrote above, these two now realize how much work they have to do, but they’ll soon realize how much about their existence and selves is going to change.

***

Speaking of work to do and changing selves, I’ve got another slightly thorny matter over the horizon.

Those of you who got my birth announcement know something that my father-in-law arranged for his first two grandsons, so you can guess, rightly so, that he’s going to do it for his third.  If you happen to remember an early installment of this series, then you’ll know why someone is going to have to break a certain piece of news to the soyboy-in-law.

Week before last, I asked my sister-in-law if she has let her husband in on the secret, and she said no.  Which means he’s going to have to be told, and someone is going to have to do it.  And after carefully considering the advantages and disadvantages to tasking the job to either his wife, his father-in-law, his mother-in-law, his sister-in-law, or his sister-in-law’s husband (that being myself), we came to the decision that I’m the best one out of the bunch to do it.

Some time in June, after I’m done with Magdeburg, I’m going to have to take the soyboy-in-law for a walk.  And when I put it in those terms, I realize that it will be the first time that I’ll be going on one of these “walks” in the physical presence one-to-one sense and being the one who has to do most of the talking and explaining.  It’s going to feel, well, some kind of way, to do this and not being the one on the passive end.

When I do it, I’ll be coming full circle, in a way.  Again, those of you who are both veterans of this series and received my birth announcement can figure out how.

***

Remember that envelope?

I opened up over Mittagbrot yesterday, and it had a piece of paper, and my father-in-law’s handwriting, just one sentence:

Sie werden entdecken, wie schwierig das ist.

Which translates to:

They will discover how difficult it is.

Well I’ll be damned, the old man knew.





A Future Nonetheless

10 05 2021

Vienna

Mother’s Day weekend, Muttertag.

My first without mine, my wife’s first as one.

Happy and sad at the same time.

By the time next Muttertag rolls around, both of my mother-in-law’s daughters will themselves be mothers.

Also by the time the next one rolls around, someone else will be a mother. During the week last week, Martin Sellner announced that he and Brittany are expecting. (You’ll find me in that comment section if you do enough scrolling down.) A recent review on AR of the autobiography of the former Brittany Pettibone made me realize that there are some similarities between the Sellners’ wedding and marriage and my own. In both instances, it was a matter of an American marrying a European. Both ceremonies were in Europe, and within 18 months of each other. If the Sellner wedding would have been in Idaho, as planned, it would have been another congruent similarity, as both weddings would have taken in the bride’s native country. I read in the review, and will eventually again when I get around to reading the book, that Martin proposed to Brittany on a Danube River trip. As you know, our honeymoon last summer was a close to wire to wire cruise of the Danube, and associated and nearby attractions. In both cases, the married couple lives in Europe. The differences are that my wife is not sector at all, and in fact, I resolved a long time ago never to check for sector chicks, because of my “charming” personality, as I knew that it would eventually grate on them, and they might quit the sector for it. Neither I nor my wife are public figures, though that might change for my wife in the mid-term future. And also, “Willst Du Mich Heiraten?” came naturally for Martin, but it took me some practice.

All this got me to thinking, about our two screaming bundles of joy, my soon to arrive nephew, and then later the new baby boy or girl Sellner.

We’ve got a future. It may be a really bad future, but it is going to be a future nonetheless. Even as bad as it could be, I’d much rather have a bad future than no future.

Or maybe, the combination of my sons, my nephew, and boy or girl Sellner, will get together and figure out how to save our civilization.

***

I guess what I’m really thinking about is that I think I’ve finally figured out a riddle I had in my head for a minute.

What are the main differences between the accelerationists and anti-accelerationists in our sector?

Now I know — Read above.  Parents.  The accelerationists are either not and never parents, or they might as well have not been parents even if they were biologically so.  The antis are parents or seriously want to be.  Good parents don’t want to make life for their children any worse than necessary, even if we think it probably won’t be good.





Happy Mother’s Day.

7 05 2021

Guest post by Puggg

Mine is still alive and kicking and doing really well health-wise for her age, same with my father.

Open thread, though I don’t know how much a Mother’s Day thread should be that open.





Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 14

2 05 2021

“JA ODER NEIN”

Ruh-roh. And by “ruh-roh,” I mean “life has a way of sneaking up on you.” I should know, and should have known.

This was an atypical weekend for me that involved not being out on the road. During the Covid era, nearly all such weekend nights have been spent at my father-in-law’s house, losing to him at chess a whole lot. But he has been feeling a bit down and tired, and wanted to turn in early on Friday night and last night. So my wife and I, the two bundles of joy, and my sister- and soyboy-in-law, spent Friday evening at our place and last night at theirs.

Last night, those two, knowing that they now know the number and sex of their own anticipated bundle of joy, broached an idea which knocked me flat on my back…er, I shouldn’t have put it that way, considering relatively recent events. Can’t say the better half is too thrilled, either.

They want to practice for a weekend.

And guess on whom.

We can’t say yes, but we can’t say no.

So our lack of ability to answer meant yes by default.

The only reprieve is that since next weekend is Muttertag, it won’t be until the weekend after that. So I’ve got some time for prayers to be answered. Come through, omnipotent omniscient divine entity in which I’ve invested so much blind faith over the years!

It might take their mother, father and grandparents years to undo the psychological damage.





This Should Be No Surprise By Now.

30 04 2021

Guest post by Puggg

Really, who thought otherwise?

Sources say Mayor Jones doubled her security as she cut city police positions

While St. Louis City Mayor Tishaura Jones looks to cut open police positions in the city, she’s adding officers to her personal security team.

SNIP

Under former St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, only two police officers were assigned to her security detail. According to a spokesperson for the police union, when Mayor Jones took office, she doubled the number to four.

Meet the new boss, same as a lot of the old ones.





Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 13

30 04 2021

“SO TYPICAL THEM”

My sister-in-law’s sonogram was this week.

Both of my wife’s grandmothers are also both of my sister-in-law’s grandmothers, and, as you already know from reading this series, they are both parties to fraternal twins in some way, and in ways that they passed the heritable trait for fraternal twinning to both of these granddaughters, among others. My sister-in-law is herself north of 30, and that by itself increases the odds. Which means that the odds of fraternal twins were just as high for her as they were for her sister. However, even with all that, it’s still a relative longshot. The odds against this kind of lightning striking twice were lottery-type long. My sister-in-law’s weight gain curve is and has been nowhere near as out of sorts as her sister’s, and her own morning sickness, which by now has come and gone, was a relative walk in the park again also compared to what her sister went through. Those things combined were circumstantial evidence for one instead of two.

And the sonogram confirmed.

One.

One boy.

Since it’s a boy, you can guess who hit the roof, again. A third grandson is on the way for grandpa. And, for those of you who got my birth announcement for my own, you already know one thing grandpa is going to arrange over these next few months.

And I’m really looking forward to our sons having a boy first cousin a mere eight months younger than themselves.

The narrowed down due date range has as its later bookend three days before his father’s own birthday, so he would have to be more late than medically desirable for them to be his father’s 32nd birthday present.

***

You may also remember me writing here that, in a sense, and inserting what we now know, that this single boy will be a de facto third son for my wife and I. Those two have done a lot of growing up, but I wish they would do a lot more of it, if for no other reason, for the sake of our soon to arrive nephew. Those two are about to be parents; they need to cut it out with ALL the dipshittiness and immaturity over these next four months.

Something that the soyboy-in-law told me the evening after the sonogram results confirms the urgency of all that.

I asked him if they’ve been thinking about names, and now, just one male name since we know it’s one boy. He told me that their plan all along has been to wait until (now we know, he) is born, look at (him), and the first name that either the new mommy or daddy blurts out, that is going to be (his) name.

Those of you who got my birth announcement know about how intricately and delicately I played out the politics of naming my own two, names that I had already known I wanted to name a firstborn son of mine for a very long time and a second son for fifteen years. So you just knew that as meticulous as I was, is as flippant as they are. It’s so typical them.

And, oh boy, pun intended, this is going to be a real crap shoot. If this turns out as badly as the expectant grandpa, grandma, aunt and myself fear, then I think we’ll all have to come to a consensus on an alias. Then eventually put the idea in the boy’s head to do a legal name change once he gets old enough.

However this will play out, four months hence, it’s gonna, come hell or high Rhine.





Larger Common Denominators

27 04 2021

Washington, D.C.

Census has dropped the Congressional apportionment numbers for 2020.

Missouri stays at eight, Illinois loses one.

You might remember that I covered the Missouri redistricting saga ten years ago on a serial basis. That’s because Missouri went down from nine to eight districts after 2010, so the politics then were contentious. It won’t be so big of a headache this time around, because it’ll be the same eight districts, with slightly pushed around boundaries.

Now, as far as the big picture:

A lot of this is simply the mathematics of denominators. Because the total American population is getting larger and larger, same for most states, it means that, with every passing decade, the change in a given state’s population as a percentage of the national population is getting smaller and smaller (either increasing or decreasing), and also that it’s harder and harder for a state to be growing or declining in percentage terms decade over decade compared to the percentage growth rate country at large, meaning that it is getting mathematically harder and harder for a given state to gain or lose two seats, or even one seat.

And that’s the crucial point that can’t be missed. A state can grow in population decade over decade, and not only not gain seats, but lose seats. Because the House is fixed at 435, the important factor isn’t the state’s raw number growth or decline, it’s the state’s percentage growth relative to the country’s percentage growth. Like I wrote above, because denominators keep getting larger, percentages keep getting smaller.

I see that in 2020, only Texas gained two, not many others gained even one, and only a few states lost one, none lost two. New York State came within 89 people of not losing one at all. For the first time ever, California is losing a seat, and that circles back to my point above about how a state can still gain population, even a lot of warm bodies, and lose seats. It’s that California’s population growth in the 2010s was some number less than the national population growth of 7.4%, and it was below it enough such that California’s total percentage of the national population in 2020 is lower than it was in 2010, and considering that California had 55 seats, it was actually pretty easy mathematically speaking for it to lose a seat. Really fast growing Arizona and Georgia didn’t gain any, and that circles back to my point about the paramount factor being percentages and denominators, not raw numbers. Arizona and Georgia now have enough people such that either state gaining a million people in a decade is a decreasingly smaller percentage increase.

In 2030, I predict that no state will either gain or lose two, and that the list of states that gain or lose even one will get smaller.

As an aside, back in 2010, I proposed an idea called “Median Ten.” I would not leave the House at 435 seats permanently. Instead, I would let it float, and the median state population would get ten seats, and then adjust from there to more or less populous states. And the Electoral College would also adjust. For instance, Median Ten applied to the 2010 Census would have meant a 699-member House, meaning 802 total EC votes, meaning 402 to win the Presidency.

I don’t know if I would advocate the exact same thing today, because a whole lot of the DNA of the German MMPR system has rubbed off on me. I suppose a decent combination would be some sort of median plan combined with each state getting the same number of seats at-large, (“list seats,” in German parlance translated to English), and the at-large seats would be proportioned nationwide along national popular vote. In advocating that, yes, I’m thinking about a certain blue-clad German party.





And the Verdict Is…

21 04 2021

Minneapolis

…it doesn’t matter, and never mattered to anyone or anything what the actual verdict was either way. Well, except for Derek Chauvin himself.

The process was the punishment.

No cop is going to want to go through all that, even if they get a not guilty verdict or a hung jury.

Retreat to the donut shop, fellas.

The only down side is that I don’t know how I’m going to break it to my wife that she might never get to see St. Louis. But it’s just not going to be safe at any point in the next handful of years, with all that will result from this, on top of Virvus Jones’s daughter about to become mayor. Which means that I’m glad I’m here, not there. And while I’m too rational to let my mind come to what I’m about to say as a conclusion of absolute truth, I’m starting to think that July 19, 2017 was all part of a greater plan and for my own good. If for nothing else, the band on my finger and the pair of about to be four-month olds in their cribs.





From Sea Across Shining Sea

19 04 2021

London

When the news hit yesterday, I thought the key to understanding the whole thing was that no teams from Germany or France are going to be part of it. I thought to myself: A European Super League without BM, BVB or PSG? WTF?

And indeed, throughout the day today, the ownership groups of all three of the aforementioned non-included teams went a step further and explicitly rejected becoming part of the ESL.

My first theory was that this was sort of the soccer equivalent of Brexit, as the press release came from London, which is probably where the ESL office will be, and Britain is providing six teams, half of the twelve participating clubs thus far. But the reason it’s not soccer Brexit is because Spain and Italy are also providing teams, in fact, they’re the only other two countries doing so thus far.

All it took me was thinking about and doing a little internet research. The ownership groups of the participating teams are disproportionately American. An American bank, JP Morgan, is financing the whole thing. And the league they’re forming smells way more American than European in its structure, in that fifteen of the twenty intended teams would be permanent members with zero possibility of relegation, only the other five could be. Relegation and promotion not being an American thing, obviously.

This is just the Americanization of the very top tier of about half of European club soccer. The team rosters quit being about their home cities and regions long ago, the coaching staffs soon followed, and then eventually the ownership groups. The final logical step was their league itself.

And that’s why Germany and France aren’t playing along, because of the powerful inherent anti-Americanism in both countries, albeit for disparate reasons.

Already through the day today, FIFA, UEFA, Prem, Serie A and La Liga, have all come out and said that teams that join the ESL will be kicked out of their domestic leagues, and excluded from FIFA and UEFA club-based tournaments, and players who are on ESL teams will be banned from World Cup and EURO tournament participation. And fans of teams that have already strapped up with the ESL are in rebellion.

The problem is is that this is going to be an empty threat, because all the owners, teams and players care about is the money, which the ESL will probably make in droves from international TV contracts and revenue, which is where soccer makes its bread these days, as Covid proved. Who needs the domestic leagues, the world and regional governing bodies, and warm bodies in the stands at this point, is their calculus. They just need each other, a bunch of people watching on TV and buying official merch, plus a sea of money. Along with Americanization, this is monetization.

Though I repeat myself.





The New Ferguson

14 04 2021

Minneapolis

The more I read, the more similarities I see between Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and Ferguson.

Two biggies:

(1) Their racial demographics flipped relatively rapidly, in a thirty year time span

(2) In spite of that, their patrol level police officers are nearly all white at the time of their infamous police incidents as they were at the time when their population demographics were almost all white. Which is to say, the changing demographics have not yet changed the police department.

With Ferguson, as I wrote here in this space back when Ferguson became an international buzzword, blacks who want to be cops in the St. Louis area know they can get on just about anywhere, affirmative action being what it is, especially in a sensitive and politicized sector like public law enforcement, so they’re not going to pick a jurisdiction like Ferguson, where you have the worst of both worlds, relatively low pay and relatively high danger. Any other permutation of pay and danger is by definition better than Ferguson.

It appears that Brooklyn Center, Minn. might have a big enough municipal budget to pay their cops more, but I also have found out about its changed demographics. Which means it’s high danger, (as we’ve all seen within the last few days), and I’m sure that there are departments in the MSTP area that pay better than BC and are of lower danger.





Local Election Day Open Thread.

7 04 2021

Guest post by Puggg

Just in case any of you are interested in chewing the fat about what happened yesterday. The most important news coming out of the St. Louis area is of course the city, with Tish Jones winning, and what that will mean for the SLMPD, the two jails in the city, and crime.





An Open Thread While I Have the Chance.

3 04 2021

Guest post by Puggg

Well, yesterday was the crucifixion, and tomorrow will be the resurrection. So while we’re in a holding pattern today, I’ll put up an open thread.





The First Four After the First Forty

31 03 2021

They were four years I could have never predicted. Back there on my fortieth birthday, you couldn’t have paid me enough to predict accurately the next ten percent of my life. Especially since at that time, I was whining like a bitch about turning forty.

And yet, when it comes to birthdays, March 31 suddenly doesn’t matter that much to me anymore, maybe except for the zeroes and fives. Nowadays, December 22 matters to me a lot more, and I better not ever forget May 2.





Never Be Captain Save a Ho.

30 03 2021

Guest post by Puggg

That’s what this neighbor thought he was doing. But whenever any guy tries it, he just creates more problems (especially for himself) than he solves.





The Yellow Panic of 2021, Explained

22 03 2021

Atlanta

I’ll cut to the chase. There are I think three really big things going on here:

(1) Because most anti-Asian violence is at the hands of the black undertow, and at that, it’s not hate or enmity driven criminality literally speaking, it’s just a matter of predators picking on actual or perceived conveniently proximate and available weak and easy prey, (hint: blacks and Asians both tend to live in urban centers), the left wing is trying to prevent open warfare between blacks and Asians from popping up underneath its coalition of the fringes big tent. Which has been threatening to bust wide open for other recent causes, including:

(2) This is also a subtle maneuver to try to get Asian lobbies and organizations to stop filing lawsuits against universities and institutions against their affirmative action and DEI schemes.

(3) The establishment is trying its best to dampen any official energy behind blaming Beijing and the CCP for the Wuhan virus, so as to prevent economic retaliation and decoupling, and any such actions of course would force Beijing to reciprocate. It’s because too many “important” Americans are too invested in China.

I’ll leave you with an interesting piece of irony: Many of the very same people and the same ilk of people so worried about anti-Asian violence all of a sudden do not classify Asian employees of CSIT/STEM firms and Asian students at elite schools as diverse. “White adjacent” is the fashionable social justice-y term.





Roy Blunt’s Retirement

9 03 2021

Jefferson City; Washington, D.C.

Missouri is now solidly a red state, and 2022 looks to be a red year.

In the last few weeks, I’ve seen out of the corner of my eye in my feed reader about several announced or floated primary challengers, one of the speculated names was Eric Greitens.

Add it all up, and I think the reason Blunt is retiring isn’t because he fears he would lose in November 2022, it’s because he fears he will not win in August 2022. There must be internal polling data out there showing that his winning the Republican primary isn’t a sure thing.

Because 2022 is the mid-term for all Missouri statewide office holders other than the auditor, I expect at least two of them to try, because they won’t have to give up their current offices to do so.





Everything You Wanted to Know About Young White Men (But Were Afraid to Ask)

8 03 2021

Plano, Texas

You’ve all heard by now. Because it’s international news, as I can attest.

For all of you non-white people reading this, before you go on the warpath, there’s something you have to understand about young white men, and I’m writing this as someone for whom the young part used to be true:

For us, the TV show “Jackass” isn’t just a TV show. It’s a way of life.

We just play too damned much.

I think that all that happened with SeMarion here is that this means he has been accepted into his circle of white friends. Another way to think of this is that it’s akin to pledging a fraternity.