Good-luck charm

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WHEN WE moved into the Hacienda almost 16 years back, the late, great Al Kinnison, who was not “late” at that time, of course, gave us a necklace of garlic, a Hacienda-warming gift.

Garlic repels not only vampires but other evil entities to boot. In general, it blocks bad stuff from passing through the front door, and that’s where the chain of garlic has hung for all these years.

It hasn’t been touched or even dusted.

And it’s worked. Like a charm, which it is.

Good fortune reigns. It’s another beautiful winter day, brisk and blue. Everyone here is acceptably healthy and happy. It’s incredible what garlic can do. You don’t even have to put it into a stew.

Immigration & social media

SOCIAL MEDIA can be fun and informative. I’m a fan.

Until recently,  about the only forms in which I participated were Facebook and Twitter, the most popular of them all, of course. I’ve had Facebook accounts under both my real name and my nom de internet, the one I use here.

I never participated much in either of them. I was mostly a lurker, especially with Twitter where I also have had accounts under both names, though not at the same time. Both Facebook and Twitter can be good news sources.

What The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Barefoot Bottom Gazette, The Bourbon News-Mirror (Indiana), etc., were to older people, Twitter and Facebook increasingly are to younger people (and increasingly to older people too).

That is why it matters that a cabal of social media organizations earlier this month collectively decided to bump off the buffoonish Alex Jones of Infowars. And they did. They rubbed him out. Why? “Hate speech.” In this case, it means they hated to hear what he was saying.

While everyone with an IQ over 85 has long known that social media are run by leftists, this month’s move against Jones goes way over the line.

The influence and reach of the dons of Silicon Valley are immense. That they are moving even further to silence contrary opinions is very serious.

Facebook and Twitter are evil, and one should not support evil. If you have an account with either, you are assisting them, not only with their Bolshevik politics but with their stupendous amassing of wealth.

Yes, I know you’ve had that Facebook account for years. I know you communicate daily with your friends and relatives there. I know you exchange gardening advice, post photos of your pooches, your children and grandchildren, and you chuckle at videos of fun things. The cats, the mice.

No matter. You’re in bed with the devil, and you should toss back the blankets, stand up and walk out the door. It won’t be easy, but you can do it.

Don’t be a Jew who dines at the Gestapo cafeteria.

There’s a very good Facebook alternative called MeWe.* It started in 2015 and bills itself as the Next-Gen Social Network. It’s quite similar to Facebook but easier to use. It does not track you. It does not censor you.

Dragging your gardening buds, your kids and grandkids over there will be a challenge. But you know I am right.

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Immigration is perhaps the biggest issue facing the United States these days. Leftists claim the U.S. system is unfair and cruel. Quite the contrary is true.

Watch the  above video by Michelle Malkin, an attractive and intelligent woman who, no matter how old she gets, always looks like she’s 19.

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* Another Facebook alternative that’s committed to free speech is Minds. I also opened an account there, but I don’t find it as appealing as MeWe.

Twitter should be dumped too. Its free-speech alternative, growing by leaps and bounds, is Gab.ai although Gab can be a bit like the Wild West, which is what free speech can lead to. No matter. Free speech matters.

The left’s poisoning of everything

(A quarter of a century ago when I still voted for the notably different Democrat Party, still lived in Houston with my second wife, I enjoyed watching Dennis Prager’s television show. Prager is a conservative Jew, a radio talk-show host, author and columnist. Even back in those days, I always agreed with him, which means I was a conservative at heart. I just had not quite seen the light.

(Prager is the source of one of my favorite quotes, one of those I have in the right sidebar here: “The usurpation of the word ‘liberal’ by the left has been a catastrophe.” The left’s superior skill with words often leaves conservatives coughing in the dust. But without further ado, here’s Dennis Prager.)

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Guest Post

new-image2The only way to save Western civilization is to convince more people that leftism — not liberalism — is a nihilistic force. Quite literally, whatever the left touches it ruins. So, here is a partial listing of the damage done by the left and the Democratic Party:

The most obvious is the near destruction of most American universities as places of learning. In the words of Harvard professor Steven Pinker — an atheist and a liberal — outside of the natural sciences and a few other disciplines (such as mathematics and business) “universities are becoming laughingstocks of intolerance.”

If you send your children to a university, you are endangering both their minds and their characters. There is a real chance they will be more intolerant and more foolish after college than they were when they entered college.

When you attend an American university, you are taught to have contempt for America and its founders, to prefer socialism to capitalism, to divide human beings by race and ethnicity. You are taught to shut down those who differ with you, not to debate them. And you are taught to place feelings over reason — which is a guaranteed route to eventual evil.

The left has ruined most of the arts. The following three examples are chosen because they are scatological, a favorite form of left-wing artistic expression. Before the left poisoned the arts, art was intended to elevate the viewer (or listener). But to the left, “elevate” is a meaningless term; it is far more at home depicting urine, fecal matter and menstrual blood.

In 2011, a lifelike German sculpture depicting a policewoman squatting and urinating — even the puddle is sculpted — received an award from a prestigious German foundation, the Leinemann Foundation for Fine Art.

In 2013, the Orange County Museum of Art in California placed a huge 28-foot sculpture of a dog outside the museum, where it periodically urinates a yellow fluid onto a museum wall.

In 2016, one of the most prestigious art museums in the world, the Guggenheim in New York, featured a pure-gold working toilet bowl, which visitors were invited to use. The name of the exhibit was “America” — so one could literally relieve oneself on America.

Thanks to the left, The Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the greatest orchestras in the world, allowed itself to become a voice of leftist hate last week. It featured the premiere of Philadelphia Voices, “a political rant put to musical garbage,” as some musically knowledgeable Philadelphians described it to me. In the fifth movement, titled “My House Is Full of Black People,” the black teen narrator chants the following lines: “The county is full of black people/ All wanting to be heard/ While old white men draw lines on maps/ To shut all of them up.” Later in the movement, he yells, “If you would all just f—-ing listen!”

Uplifting, no?

On the left, that’s considered art.

And, of course, such politicization of the arts is accepted as the norm.

Indeed, that’s part of the left’s poisoning of everything — its politicization of everything.

The left is increasingly poisoning sports. In most football stadiums this past season, one could not attend an NFL game without being subjected to left-wing contempt for America and its flag.

So, too, one cannot watch late-night television if one desires to simply be entertained before drifting off to sleep. Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and other hosts have changed late-night TV into left-night TV. Why merely be funny when you can use your monologues to advance your left-wing views?

The left has poisoned mainstream religion. Mainstream Protestantism, non-Orthodox Judaism and much of the Catholic Church — including and especially Pope Francis — are essentially left-wing advocacy groups with religious symbols.

The left is destroying the unique American commitment to free speech. Almost half of incoming college freshmen do not believe in free speech for what they deem “hate speech” (merely taking issue with a left-wing position is, in the left’s view, “hate speech”). They do not understand that the whole point of free speech is allowing the expression of opposing ideas, including what we consider “hate speech.”

The left has poisoned race relations. America is the least racist multiracial society in the world. On a daily basis, Americans of every race and ethnicity get along superbly. But the black left and the white left constantly poison young minds with hate-filled diatribes against whites, “white privilege,” “systemic racism,” black dorms, black graduations, lies about the events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the like.

The left has made innumerable women unhappy, even depressed, with its decades of lying about how female sexual nature and male sexual nature are identical — leading to a “hookup” culture that leaves vast numbers of young women depressed — and its indoctrinating of generations of young women into believing they will be happier through career success than marital success.

And, in some ways scariest of all, the left is poisoning our children with its commitment to ending male and female as distinct categories. One of the great joys of life, celebrating one’s sex, is now deemed nothing more than a hateful idea in many of your children’s schools.

For these and other reasons, if you treasure American and Western civilization, fighting the left — something all liberals and conservatives need to do — is the greatest good you can engage in at this time.

Front & fruit

LAST EVENING, the wind blew, the wind chimes sang, and this morning dawned clear, beautiful and 65 degrees.

A front passed though, I think, but without rain.

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Guayaba

The wind also added to my morning fruit sweep. Curses! Every wind, it seems, brings an evil element.

I stepped outside around 8:30 a.m. and saw the grass littered with fallen fruit, more than usual due to the winds.

Big, fat pears all over the place. On the other side, tunas from the towering nopal tree littered the grass. Back to the other end, a new addition from the neighbors, guayabas.

They’ve long had an apple tree extending over the wall. It dumps apples, but not last night.

A guayaba tree now pokes over into our yard, tossing litter. There were scads of guayabas to be scooped up.

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Lots of care must be taken with the nopal tunas. They are covered with tiny spines that, in your skin, take days to remove. So, leather gloves with the tunas. I wonder why they’re named tunas. There’s nothing fishy about them except their attitudes.

Missing, thank the Goddess, were those apples, lowquats (not quite ripe) and sour orange. They stayed on their limbs.

All the fruit filled a big bucket, which I lugged heavily down the street and heaved into the deep ravine between the roadway and the railroad track.

That done, I could enjoy the lovely morning in peace.