Tuesday, May 17, 2022

12 Things Women Only Do With The Men They Love

I am very lucky to have a loving lady very much in my life so I thought I would use our relationship as a yardstick to validate the claims below. And I am pleased to say that the list below is pretty right. Only one out of the 12 behaviours is a clear miss for us.

The item that we miss out on is no. 6. My lover definitely tries to change one thing about me: my diet. And it is quite a big change she seeks. Because of my appreciation of her I have in fact partly modified my diet towards what she wants

I don't think my experience with issues about diet invalidates the generalization concerned, however. I suspect that many women make efforts to move their man towards a healthier diet. They would say that they are thereby being kind to their man. My lover certainly thinks that way. She says her diet recommendations are designed to help me to live longer.

The research studies show that lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) usually do not prolong lifespan but it is comventional wisdom to claim otherwise

A lot of people say that women fall in love faster than men do. But that’s not necessarily true, men and women just fall in love differently and experience and show it in different ways.

So how can you know whether or not her feelings for you are genuine? There are some subtle giveaways to pay attention to and here are a few signs that she truly does love.

1. She Wants To Know Everything About You
A woman who loves you will want to know everything about you. Even the smallest details that might not seem important to you, she’ll want to know.

After a while, this may get annoying since men, in general, aren’t too keen on sharing their feelings. But women often see sharing your hopes dreams fears details about your life as an indication that you care. She wants to know about your world because she wants to be a part of it. She wants to know even the little details to make you feel like she knows you and that she’ll stand by you.

2. Her Maternal Instincts Kick In
This is simply human nature at work.

Men are naturally protective of people they care about while women are naturally nurturing. It’s instinctual for both.

These instincts can be controlled and toned down. But all it means when she starts acting motherly toward you and genuinely making sure you’re well is that she loves you.

3. Encourages and Supports You in Reaching Your Dreams
When you love someone, you want them to be as happy and successful as they can be. So when your woman loves you, she’ll push you to reach your dreams and achieve your goals.

She wants you to be truly happy, and she will encourage you even when you’re unsure of yourself. She will always do her best to help and support you in your endeavors.

4. Stays With You in Your Darkest Times
During hard times, she works even harder to help you keep up your self-esteem. Loving you means knowing you and when she knows you she believes you’re a good person and believes in you and won’t abandon you at your worst.

Instead, she’ll help you get back on your feet and rediscover your worth. True love sticks through thick and thin.

5. Goes Out of Her Way to Make You Smile
She puts in that little bit of extra effort to let you know that she cares whether it’s showing up to the office for a surprise visit or texting you to see how you’re doing. She may even try to dazzle you with tickets to see your favorite band or prepare a meal for you after a long day.

Just a bunch of things to make you smile and show that she loves you.

6. Accepts You as You Are
A strong indicator that a woman truly loves you is if she accepts you the way you are both your strengths and weaknesses. She knows that you’re not perfect. No one is and she understands that you make mistakes.

Loving you means she can try and help you grow as a person while forgiving your imperfections.

7. Tries to Get Closer to Your Loved Ones
She always shows respect for the people you care about because she knows they’re important to you.

Being accepted by your loved ones is something she strives for. She’ll do her best to act accordingly around them and treasure their happiness as you do.

They mean a lot to you. So she’ll make sure they mean a lot to her as well.

8. She’s Vulnerable With You
Spending time together, and having conversations about things that make you vulnerable helps create a strong bond and vulnerability to feel different for everyone. Some topics that make her feel vulnerable differ from yours, whether it’s about work friends, or family.

Sharing parts of yourself that are usually kept hidden takes a lot of energy and strength. She wouldn’t do so unless she trusted you and had real feelings for you.

9. Trusts You with the Deepest, Darkest Parts of Her Past
If she’s willing to talk about darker parts of her past, chances are she wants a future. Everyone has some sort of baggage but someone telling you about it is different than you just knowing it’s there sharing the dark parts of yourself as someone adds to your bond.

So if she talks to you about them, she trusts you and has a special place for you in her heart.

10. She Does Not Take You for Granted
Another way your girl shows her love for you is by appreciating everything you do for her.

She never forgets to tell you she’s thankful. No matter how small the gesture. She knows you have needs and feelings and doesn’t waste your efforts. Also, she wouldn’t try to embarrass you in front of others either. No matter the mistake.

11. She Is Your Best Friend Advisor
She’ll try and give you the best advice she can when you have a problem. She’s someone you can count on to be there, stand by your side, and fight for you. In return, she’ll rely on you for the same thing. Listening to the opinions and advice you give her.

12. She Shows You Her Priority
While you are a priority to her, this doesn’t mean she’ll put you above all of her friends and family right away. But she will make sure to take into account the relationship you have and your feelings.

She will invite you along for a family dinner, or make sure to let you know when she goes out with friends.

It isn’t asking your permission, and that shouldn’t be something you expect. But if you need her, you can trust that she’ll be there for you.


An angry Leftist: Milla Jovovich

Sheer rage. Quite frightening. See the video here


How influential is the Leftist media?

BY ALL the usual auguries, Republicans are headed for sweeping gains in the midterm elections.

"It's going to be a terrible cycle for Democrats," Doug Sosnik, a former senior advisor to Bill Clinton, told The New York Times last month. Amy Walter, the editor of the Cook Political Report, says both parties are bracing for "a Red Tsunami." According to CNN's Chris Cillizza, "the signs are all there" for a GOP takeover of Capitol Hill: "President Joe Biden is unpopular, Republican base voters are more energized than Democratic ones, and House Democratic retirements are near historic highs."

Of course an upset is always possible. But it seems reasonable to predict that voters this fall, barring something truly unexpected, will hand control of both houses of Congress to the Republican Party. Democratic loyalists and progressive activists, who detest the GOP and see conservatives as a mortal threat to American democracy, will be aghast. Which means that much of the traditional news media, whose liberal political bias and Democratic affinity have long been widely recognized as facts of American life, will be aghast as well.

When Republicans in the midterm elections of 1994 won control of the House and Senate for the first time since 1952, leading journalists rained contempt on the electorate for its turn to the right. Peter Jennings, then ABC's most prominent news anchor, likened the voters to two-year-olds having a tantrum: "the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming — it's clear that the anger controls the child and not the other way around.... Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week."

In the 2010 midterms, the GOP picked up 63 House seats. It was the largest shift since the Truman administration, and President Obama candidly acknowledged the "shellacking" he'd received from the voters. But again the reaction in some quarters of the media was to sneer.

Expect something similar if the predicted "red tsunami" does indeed materialize in November. Railing against Republicans and conservatives, along with warnings about the horrors to come if they prevail, have been regular features of "mainstream" journalism for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember, Republicans and conservatives have resented and condemned the unfair coverage of their candidates and causes by the leading media outlets.

Donald Trump, of course, made that resentment and condemnation a signal feature of his political persona, labeling the press "the enemy of the American people," relentlessly mocking journalists and media outlets as "failing," "dishonest," or "terrible," and disparaging any coverage he didn't like as "fake news." Many of Trump's animadversions were ridiculous and crude, but there is no question that in elite media circles he and his followers were thoroughly detested. Just as conservatives and Republicans had been detested in those media circles long, long before Trump came on the scene.

By now, bitterness toward what Sarah Palin called the "lamestream media" for its anticonservative prejudice has been incorporated into the ideological DNA of the Republican Party. In 2017, National Review's editor-in-chief Rich Lowry remarked that "the media has become for the right what the Soviet Union was during the Cold War — a common, unifying adversary of overwhelming importance." My sense five years later is that conservatives are more infuriated by liberal media bias than ever before. The irony is that liberal media bias has never mattered less.

Really, how much did it ever matter? For all that those of us on the right have decried or dissected the anti-Republican hostility that flourishes in the newsrooms of The New York Times, NPR, or the Big Three broadcast networks, that hostility was never all that potent.

Newt Gingrich and the House Republicans' "Contract with America" were mercilessly skewered in the media, but that didn't prevent the GOP's historic romp to victory in 1994.

Intense media animus, after all, didn't keep Trump in 2016 from winning the GOP nomination and the general election. The press reviled Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, yet both were elected to the White House, then re-elected in massive landslides. Newt Gingrich and the House Republicans' "Contract with America" were mercilessly skewered in the media, but that didn't prevent the GOP's historic romp to victory in 1994. During Obama's presidency, Republicans were inundated with negative coverage. Yet those were the years when Republican pickups at every level of government left the GOP stronger than it had been in 80 years. And despite being excoriated by the media for offenses ranging from "voter suppression" to defending the filibuster to opposing Roe v. Wade, Republicans appear to be heading for another historic triumph at the polls.

Like the wizard of Oz, the mainstream media isn't nearly as great and powerful as its reputation would have it. Frankly, how liberal can the "mainstream" be in an era when Fox News is the most-watched cable news network, when the conservative Daily Wire news site far outstrips every other publisher on Facebook, and when Ben Shapiro's podcast is consistently ranked among the most popular in the United States? There was a time when the liberal-dominated media in this country had something like a monopoly on national news and commentary, but that time is long past. "The talk radio revolution pioneered by Rush Limbaugh and the rise of Fox News," Jonah Goldberg noted recently, "can only be understood as a rebellion against the hegemony — real or perceived — of the liberal media."

That rebellion succeeded. It did so not by making the legacy media more conservative — if anything, traditional news outlets are more left-leaning than ever — but by creating a parallel media universe that tilts well to the right and attracts a vast audience of its own. Like so much else in America these days, the media are deeply polarized. Liberals have their news outlets; conservatives have theirs. It isn't ideal. Our society would be healthier if Americans shared more common ground, or if journalists operating in the right- and left-wing echo chambers had more respect for those with a different worldview. In the meantime, partisans on both sides can complain about bias in the media. And if journalists don't like how an election turns out, well, there's always another one on the horizon.


Leftist haters are mounting a serious attempt to destroy civilization in America

Newt Gingrich

Two patterns of destroying civilization are coming together to form a river of violence and intimidation that can destroy the Constitution, the rule of law, and the very basic elements of our free society.

On the political front, there is a self-righteous fanaticism dominating the secular-religious intensity of the Left. This has convinced many on the left that the end justifies the means and therefore, they have the right to break the law for political purposes.

Whether it is burning down neighborhoods, smashing store windows, or throwing Molotov cocktails into pro-life offices, the woke Left has now broken free from the restrictions of the American system of law and constitutional government.

Theodore White warned of this growing extremism in his book, “The Making of the President 1972,” when he described the militant, uncompromising Left as having moved from a liberal ideology to a liberal theology. Now, 50 years later, the theology of the woke Left has grown more extreme, more hostile, and more willing to use force and intimidation to get what it wants.

I should note that mobs are always wrong, whether it is a summer of riots in cities, people occupying the Capitol on January 6, 2021, or mobs staking out the homes of Supreme Court Justices.

Most recently, the mobs threatening conservative Justices, protesting outside of their homes, and consciously seeking to intimidate them into voting as the Left demands is an example of the political violence that is growing and becoming legitimized on the left.

This political violence is paralleled by the personal violence of hardened criminals that the Left is releasing from jail and putting back on the street. The timidity of the innocent in refusing to put down either mobs or criminals increases the demands and the dangers of both.

The spirit of breaking the law in large groups is mob violence. In small groups, that spirit is criminal. However, when criminals see mobs being tolerated, they are more likely to believe there will be no consequences for committing crimes.

It is time for the innocent and the law-abiding to reimpose civilization on the vicious, the violent, and the predatory.

It really is that simple.

The question is whether the American people are ready to throw out the politicians who have put their lives and their country at risk.


Why progressives can't tolerate Christians

Leftism is a religion too so they see Christianity as a rival religion

For decades, Christians have talked about feeling persecuted in advanced secular and liberal democracies. They’ve often sounded a bit hysterical. It’s true that governments and societies have moved towards a kind of post-Christianity. The world in which we live has adopted some of the gentler stuff about love and ignored the challenging stuff about sex. Devout Catholics, Anglicans and Evangelicals can therefore be made to feel a bit weird and out of place. But persecuted? Not really. Christians are on the whole free to live according to their faith without harassment, which is very unlike the situation in some Muslim counties — or China.

Look at the vicious reaction to the big Supreme Court news about Roe v. Wade in America, however, and you see something changing. Enraged by what they perceive as a dastardly plot by the religious right to take back control of women’s bodies, American progressives have turned aggressively on Christian groups.

Masses and services have been disrupted and churches graffitied. A tabernacle has been stolen from a church in Texas. In Wisconsin, Antifa protestors threw Molotov cocktails into a Christian counselling centre. ‘If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.’ Those words were scrawled on the side of the building.

There’s also the very angry group called Ruth Sent Us, named in a curiously quasi-religious way after the late feminist Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ruth Sent Us published the GPS coordinates for the homes of Supreme Court justices.

The idea, surely, was to encourage pro-abortion activists to harass and intimidate the justices. Intimidating judges is a crime. Last week there were protests outside the homes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Ruth Sent Us declared on Twitter: ‘Stuff your rosaries and your weaponised prayer… We will be burning the Eucharist to show our disgust for the abuse Catholic churches have condoned for centuries.’

The use of the word ‘weaponised’ there is interesting. If organised religion is just a load of cobblers, how can the act of prayer be a weapon? If the Eucharist is just superstition, why burn it? But the pro-abortion movement is increasingly defined by its rage and militant sense of righteousness. That rage is not deployed to ‘defend women’, whatever pro-abortion protestors may say. It is, as we can see, aimed directly at the many people who still believe in God and the sanctity of life. There’s almost a palpable frustration that Christian views still have any sway in the public square at all.

Of course, abortion is controversial. The issue arouses strong feelings. But almost no reasonable person who has looked closely at the matter agrees that Roe v. Wade is an ideal way of settling a difficult question. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft verdict is not an assault on female rights. Even Bader Ginsberg, the patron saint of Ruth Sent Us, agreed that Roe v. Wade was bad law, and countless other pro-abortion legal scholars agree.

The Mississippi case, which Alito was responding to in his leaked draft opinion, doesn’t even ban abortions. It merely proposes to make most abortions illegal after 15 weeks, which means Mississippi abortion law would still be more liberal than, say, the law in France, Germany, Italy or Greece. As the bill for the law states, ‘fully 75 per cent of all nations do not permit abortion after 12 weeks’ gestation, except (in most instances) to save the life and preserve the physical health of the mother.’

The vehemence of the reaction to the Supreme Court leak, however, and the violent targeting of Christians as enemies of progress, suggests that America’s pro-abortion movement is not just for women’s rights, it’s against Christian ones. For progressives, democracies should move away from tolerance if it means that religious people can have power. That’s not liberalism. It’s revolutionary secularism. And it’s frightening.


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


Monday, May 16, 2022

Are we destined for multiple loves? Millennials think we are

As a person who has been married four times, it is possible that I might have something useful to say about this. The crazy thing is that I actually have some talent for monogamy. In all four of my marriages I did not stray. But before and in between marriages I had a lot of significant, enjoyable but uncommitted relationships. After 40, however I became more interested in committment and subsequently had a long term marriage and a long term relationship

So a possible lesson from that is that monogamy is for later life. And that may be because we don't know what we want until we have sampled a variety of possibilities. That is bad advice for people in early life, however, as it is not conducive to marriage and chidren

But there is no doubt that a variety of experiences is desirable. I would not for all the world have missed the many wonderful ladies I have been involved with. They were all different and all good women.

Something that I am grateful for, however, is that none of my partings have been acrimonious. I still in fact have two "exes" very much in my life as friends -- rather to the disgruntlement of my present girlfriend.

And thereby lies what I think is the second lesson that I think I have to offer: I never lie to women. The most upsetting thing in breakups is not usually the breakup itself but rather the feeling of betrayal that comes from a trusted partner having a secret affair. Being lied to by a trusted partner is about as upsetting as it gets. I have passed up possible affairs rather than do that. It is amazing what a woman will put up with from her man but being lied to is the big exception

So I do regard having many partners over a lifetime as greatly desirable but how you go about arranging that has to be an individual matter. Fortunately, anything goes these days

“Is it possible we could develop an alternative model of loving each other?” This is the question posed by the character Bobbi in Sally Rooney’s debut novel Conversations with Friends, and is a core tenet of the story. Spoken by a 21-year-old, are these words merely youthful idealism?

Conversations with Friends follows university students Bobbi and Frances, whose lives become entangled with those of a wealthy couple in their 30s, Melissa and Nick. Similar to Rooney’s Normal People, it’s set in Dublin but rather than an intense love story, Conversations with Friends depicts monogamy (and the prospect of marriage) as rather bleak. Melissa and Nick sleep in separate beds and have both had affairs. The affair Nick has with Frances, the core plot line, seems to reinvigorate their marriage and they return to monogamous life. The farce is that the success of their “monogamous” relationship hinges precisely on the relationships that exist outside of it.

Now, the novel has been adapted for television as a limited series on Amazon Prime, starring Alison Oliver, Sasha Lane, Jemima Kirke, and Joe Alwyn.

In an interview with The Telegraph London, Kirke spoke of the cognitive shift the role required her to make. “It’s remarkable that someone of that age [Rooney] has so much discipline and focus, but as I was finally reading the book, I was thinking, ‘This is marriage written from the perspective of a 22-year-old.’ I don’t think that’s good or bad. Her writing is beautiful but there were moments when I struggled to make something work.”

Kirke, 38, is no stranger to married life and its potential to fail after splitting with her husband of eight years in 2017. And while she’s not opposed to marriage, she does take a more carefree approach to it. “The perspective of marriage as something super-permanent and spiritual is really antiquated.”

Jennifer Pinkerton spoke to more than 100 Australians aged under 40 for her book Heartland: What is the future of modern love? She says that the decline in people getting married is not a phenomenon that’s just relegated to Millennials and Gen Z. “Globally, marriage has been a downward travelling trend for 50 years now. When we speak about fewer people getting married, it’s not just the younger generations.” (The only exception to this, she notes, is gay marriage).

Certainly, however, this downward trend has accelerated in the past decade. In 2020, 78,989 marriages were registered in Australia, a 30.6 per cent decrease from 2019, and the largest annual drop ever reported by the ABS since 1961. Obviously COVID-19 has played a role but there are other key trends too. Pinkerton suggests that a high divorce rate means young people, seeing their parents getting divorced, have grown disillusioned with marriage. Global instability is another big one. “Climate change and war mean that the future is less certain,” says Georgia Grace, a Sydney-based sex and relationship therapist. She adds that the sex positive movement means that acceptance for different relationship models is changing.

Nina Lee, 32, is part of this declining group. A Sydney-based hairdresser and owner of Extra Silky, she married her long-term partner Aedan Lee during lockdown last year. While the couple isn’t religious and didn’t face familial pressure, marrying was just something they both knew would happen. “It felt like a natural progression”, she says, adding that it was about “solidifying our love.”

Alice, 22 (who is using a pseudonym for privacy reasons) lives in Sydney, and has been in a monogamous relationship for three-and-a-half years. Both are bisexual, and her partner identifies as non-binary. “Love is a choice to be together”, she says. “I can’t imagine anything less romantic than having a legal document officiate my relationship.”

For Millennials, there can be certain dealbreakers in finding love. Harriet, 34 (Sydney), has never wanted children. “Even when I was a little girl, I never played house with dolls – if anything I would play ‘dog mummy and daddy’.” Harriet’s last serious relationship ended after seven years. In her early 20s, the question of kids wasn’t such a concern. Now, it can make dating a little more complicated. “I make sure to talk kids and politics on the first or second date.”

Are rigid constraints of marriage a thing of the past? “Younger generations are now more likely to crave fulfillment, connection and flexibility rather than permanence in relationships,” says Pinkerton.

Polyamory, then, is a natural result of this shift in values. Georgia Grace says that she is increasingly working with people interested in exploring this. While popular perception of polyamory is that it’s just about promiscuity, there’s no singular model for what it can look like. “I work with couples to create a relationship structure that works for them,” she says. “Non-violent communication, consent and having a network of supportive, sex positive friends and family are at its core.”

In Melbourne, Emil, 29, is a counsellor for people with HIV and a sex worker. They document encounters with clients and lovers on Instagram, posting polaroids of men alongside captions about the intimacy of the meeting.

The overwhelming majority of clients are straight men. Their reasons for visiting are myriad – for many, it’s a means to be a version of themselves outside of monogamous, heterosexual love, for others it’s a way of indulging a fetish or sheer curiosity. One quote accompanies an Instagram story picturing a man’s chest: “I hope you understand how hard this is for me. I always have my religion at the back of my head.”

Emil wants to change the way society views hook-up culture. “Most people see such encounters as disposable or transactional, but they can be deeply intimate and emotional too,” they say. “We have these very crystallised ideas of polyamory but really it just means you can love more than one person.”


Bittersweet Victory for Doctor After Practice Unlawfully Suspended for Refusing Vaccine

After six months of suspension, Rhode Island, in its munificence, has permitted the “defiant” maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Stephen Skoly to reopen his medical practice. Of course, in the mind of the state, the suspension was always Skoly’s own fault. If only he had submitted.

When the vaccine mandate for health care workers was promulgated to be effective Oct. 1, 2021, Skoly had the temerity to consult his personal physician and study the medical literature. He was a survivor of Bell’s palsy facial paralysis, and the medical advice, consistent with medical literature, was to not risk vaccination. Bell’s palsy paralysis is dormant in your body, and vaccination may incite a reoccurrence.

Rhode Island’s vaccine mandate for health care workers allowed an exemption for certain medical conditions (though not recognizing Bell’s palsy). To protect patients from infection, Rhode Island permitted the unvaccinated exempt worker to work with patients so long as the unvaccinated exempt worker was N95-masked.

For Skoly, N95 masking was a breeze. He is a dental surgeon. Around patients, he is always N95-masked, and wears a surgical shield, gloves, a gown, and engages in other safety precautions far in excess of the mere N95 masking required for vaccine exempted health care workers.

There was more. Skoly has natural immunity. Having continued to serve the community throughout the epidemic, Skoly had contracted COVID-19, most probably while serving a patient at the state’s psychiatric hospital or prison (where, in addition to his private practice, he worked as a dental surgeon).

Certainly, Skoly thought, between his safety precautions and natural immunity, the state would permit him to practice without vaccination. The state was rational after all, wasn’t it? Prior to the Oct. 1, 2021, effective date of the vaccine mandate, Skoly explained to a reporter why, for medical reasons, he could not be vaccinated.

Immediately, the press branded him as “defiant,” and the Rhode Island Department of Health suspended him from practice. As it exempted over 300 other health care workers from vaccination, so long as they were N95-masked, the state continued to refuse to treat Skoly the same—to allow him to practice his livelihood while N95-masked.

Many suffered. Skoly tried to keep his staff but could not: He was forced to lay off 10 workers—parents with children and mortgages. What happened to his hundreds of private patients, many in mid-treatment? He tried to refer them to other dentists, but the waiting lists were monthslong. His patients at the psychiatric hospital? Rhode Island tried to hire a replacement but could not. There is a shortage of maxillofacial surgeons in Rhode Island.

But the prison system did find a workaround the Rhode Island dental surgeon shortage: At a cost of tens of thousands of dollars, the prison flew in weekly a surgeon from out-of-state to replace Skoly.

Unemployable, Skoly himself applied for unemployment benefits. Benefits were denied. He had made himself unemployable as a doctor by not being vaccinated, he was told. And he was also told he could always apply for a job at Walmart.

But he did get an answer as to why the state could not just treat him like an exempt medical worker and let him keep working so long as he was N95-masked. He had opened his “big mouth” and gone to the press, making his suspension a political, not a medical, issue. The state does not tolerate any questioning of its vaccine conduct. The only option offered by the state was submission—be vaccinated or have your livelihood destroyed.

Skoly sued, as is still one’s right in Rhode Island. A hearing was scheduled for mid-March 2022. He retained two of the nation’s most experienced COVID-19 doctors and researchers to testify to the irrationality of Rhode Island’s COVID-19 policy, particularly its refusal to recognize natural immunity as being more durable and effective than vaccine immunity.

Three days before the hearing, Rhode Island altered its policy. The new COVID-19 safety rule required health care workers to be vaccinated or N95-masked in the presence of patients. The court hearing was adjourned as unnecessary.

Rhode Island stated, in writing, that it would be irrational to treat the vaccinated and N95-masked workers differently—just as Skoly had been arguing since October 2022.

On March 11, 2022, the state permitted Skoly to put up his “open for business” sign.

It has not been easy. Skoly’s staff had scattered. It has been difficult to locate new hires. But the process has begun, and patients, denied treatment for months, have returned. And new patients have come, many saying that they want to be treated by the man who said “no” to the state.

The process is not over. Rhode Island continues to refuse to recognize the effectiveness of natural immunity. With COVID-19 variants, there will be new “emergency” rules and mandates. No Rhode Islander is safe from a new vaccine rule that arbitrarily throws someone out of work. Skoly has been there and has survived. It is not likely that he would survive another arbitrary suspension.

But, for now, he has “won.” He is working. He is free to take his physician’s medical advice about his personal medical treatment. He is free to speak his mind about public issues such as the vaccine mandate.

The victory is partial and bittersweet. How many Rhode Islanders—police officers, firefighters, teachers, office workers—have been forced from employment because they would not vaccinate? For Skoly, a battle has been won. The cost was high. The war conti


Anguished parents of trans kids fight back against ‘gender cult’ trying to silence them

When Denise Canaan’s 17-year-old daughter Chiara came out as a trans man in 2014, she thought it was “cool” at first.

Even though Chiara made her announcement after watching trans-oriented YouTube videos and social media for just a few weeks, Denise said she wasn’t worried.

“The trans thing sounded like it was going to be the next big civil rights issue and I thought, great!” said Denise, who lives in North Carolina. “I didn’t know much about it.”

But when Chiara immediately began talking about undergoing a medical transition, which can involve puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgery, Denise got nervous. Chiara wanted a mastectomy, or what is called “top surgery.”

“I knew something wasn’t right because this came out of nowhere,” Denise said. “I didn’t care what kind of clothes or hairstyle my kid wanted to wear. I supported all that. The medical intervention is the real issue. I scoured the Internet for help but there was nothing out there. I was screaming into the void. But there were no groups out there to help.”

So she started one, called 4th Wave Now, which was the first to question the more extreme aspects of gender ideology and “trans kids,” a population that started to explode in 2015, accelerated by trans-friendly content on social media.

Since then, a number of activist and parent support groups have sprung up, including GenSpect, Partners for Ethical Care, Our Duty, Transgender Trend and Parents With Inconvenient Truths About Trans or PITT.

Parents of Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria Kids launched in 2017 with just two mothers. Now they have more than 2,000 members and are growing rapidly with chapters in most states and some in Europe and Asia.

“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” an activist mom who uses the pseudonym Charlie Jacobs told The Post. “We face teachers going behind our backs, radical trans activists trying to doxx us, we face gender clinics pumping our kids full of hormones and we face our college-age daughters coming home for Christmas with no breasts. I’m a liberal. I believed it all at first. But this is the emperor’s new clothes, designed to hurt children.”

In the past, some experts say, transgender people were a rarity and doctors advised months if not years of counseling prior to taking hormones or undergoing surgery to change gender.

It wasn’t until 2007 when Dr. Norman Spack, a pediatric endocrinologist, opened the country’s first pediatric gender clinic in Boston. There are now an estimated 60 to 300 gender clinics that provide hormonal intervention to minors.

According to activists, kids in some states can get blockers and hormones just by walking into a Planned Parenthood office or a gender clinic within an hour.

“The colleges are handing it out like candy,” said Josie, head of Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans website and the mother of an 18-year-old son who came home from school one day and said he wanted to transition. “You go to the college health center and say you’re trans and you get the hormones with hardly any questions asked. Some colleges you can get the surgery free.”

The majority of parents who spoke to The Post described themselves as Democrats. They said they are not anti-trans but oppose extreme gender ideology and what is called the “medicalization” of trans youth. They rail against what they say is the emotional blackmail peddled by trans activists.

“They all say you must affirm your trans child because anything else leads to suicide,” said Maria Keffler, a mother, author and head of Advocates Protecting Children. “That’s not true and they don’t have the data to back that up. We offer a counter-narrative for parents to navigate out of what we believe is a cult, a gender cult.”

The rise in parent opposition groups coincides with the Biden Administration’s increasing advocacy of all things trans.

On March 31, the Dept. of Health and Human Services, where Admiral Rachel L. Levine, a transgender woman, is Assistant Secretary, released a manifesto encouraging early “gender-affirming” surgeries for young people as well as puberty blockers and hormones.

The Department of Justice also sent a strongly worded letter to all state attorneys general “reminding” them that anyone who does not allow “gender-affirming care” for trans youths could be violating their constitutional civil rights.

Many of the parents involved in the support groups asked to be anonymous, saying that if they question any aspect of the trans kids movement they are immediately labeled transphobic, bigoted and guilty of hate speech.

“I have nothing against the whole trans thing except for the fact that my kid isn’t transgender,” said Gigi, a California mother in her 50s whose child wanted to become trans and who works with the UK anti-gender ideology organization, Our Duty.

“Most of these kids fit a pattern — they may be depressed, have anxiety, be on the spectrum or have same-sex attraction. But they get celebrated for coming out. People applaud, the teachers call you the name you want. You become bulletproof, it gives you status. Meanwhile the parents have to worry about Child Protective Services (CPS) coming to their door if they don’t go along with it.”


BLM has left Black Americans worse off since the movement began, experts say

The Black Lives Matter movement started a massive wave of Americans uniting to call for defunding the police and eradicating white supremacy to make positive changes for Black Americans. But experts reflecting on the movement’s scorecard in 2022 say Black America hasn’t benefited.

"I would argue that, on balance, these communities are worse off because by [BLM] overemphasizing the role of police, they've changed police behavior for the worse," the Manhattan Institute’s Jason Riley told Fox News Digital in a phone interview. "In other words, police do become more cautious. They're less likely to get out of their cars and engage with people in the community. And to the extent that police are less proactive, the criminals have the run of the place."

Riley noted that "police brutality still exists, bad cops exist," and he has no "problem with raising awareness about police misconduct." But he argued that BLM is "over-focused" on police and does not take into account that "97, 98% [of Black homicides] do not involve police at all."

Dr. Carol Swain, a retired professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University, told Fox News Digital that "an intelligent observer would be hard-pressed to identify any area in American society where BLM’s activism has benefited the Black community."

"What BLM has done is pervert the criminal justice system by engaging in activities that have resulted in a growing trend of trials by media," Swain said. "BLM has intimidated juries and judges. Its leaders have no interest in due process or the presumption of innocence."

Black Lives Matter began with the social media hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and was officially founded in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the fatal shooting case of 17-year-old ​​Trayvon Martin. Chants of "Black Lives Matter" later rang out at protests following the police-involved killing of Michael Brown in Missouri in 2014 and continued to into the next year after the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

It ultimately grew to a vast movement by the summer of 2020 that swept the highest echelons of America, from corporate leaders to Hollywood icons to powerful sports figures pledging support.

Defunding the police is a cornerstone of BLM’s mission and remains on its list of seven demands on the group’s website.

"We know that police don’t keep us safe — and as long as we continue to pump money into our corrupt criminal justice system at the expense of housing, health and education investments — we will never be truly safe," BLM posted in July 2020.

But as the calls to defund rang out, violent crimes in the Black community skyrocketed. Murders in the 2010s first broke the 7,000 mark in 2015 after the highly-publicized deaths of Gray that same year and Brown in 2014, jumping by nearly a thousand in one year.

In 2020, the year George Floyd was killed during an interaction with Minneapolis police, Black murders jumped by a staggering 32% compared to 2019, according to FBI data.

Overall, Black murders increased by 43% that year compared to the prior 10-year average. CDC data published Tuesday additionally showed that in 2020, Black Americans were disproportionally affected by gun-related homicides, increasing by 39.5% that year compared to 2019. Gun-related homicides rose by 35% overall that year, according to the CDC.

"Certainly, the protests and riots mid-2020 after the death of George Floyd followed a pattern of spiking violence that we've seen following past viral police incidents, such as the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray. This pattern has been termed the ‘Ferguson Effect' — police pull back while violent crime spikes precipitously," Hannah Meyers, director of the policing and public safety initiative at the Manhattan Institute, previously told Fox News Digital.

The Ferguson Effect unfolded again in 2020, according to experts, but polling showed the Black community wasn’t on board with the calls to defund.

A Gallup poll from August 2020 found 81% of Black Americans wanted "police to spend [the] same amount of or more time in their area," compared to 19% reporting police should spend less time in their neighborhood.

Riley said that the polling shows "that these activists are not in step with the people who actually live in these violent communities."

"You have to remember the overwhelming majority of people who live in these communities are law-abiding. You're talking about a very small percentage, mostly men, and mostly young men that are causing all this havoc in these communities. Many of these people would leave these communities. They can't afford to move anywhere else, so they're forced to deal with this."

Swain added that "BLM focuses on scattered cases of police abuse," but ignores "the horrendous Black-on-Black crimes that take place daily in cities around the nation."


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Crazy love

The strength of the attachment that some women develop towards a man never ceases to amaze me. The story below is an  enormously sad example of that.  

We all know that women tend to like tall, well-built  men but what if the man is 6'9" tall?  For one lady, a 56-year-old widow, it produced a love so strong she sacrificed everything for the chance of being with her man.   But her love was obstructed by his circumstances.  He was in jail for murder.  

So there was no real hope that she could ever live with him.  So she tried a desperate gamble and when that failed she suicided. She could not live without him.

The love of a woman can be an amazing thing.  What women put up with from their men is a never-ending wonder: A very sad wonder in this case.  She was attractive and resourceful but her love betrayed her. A terrible waste

In an obscure Indiana town on the banks of the Ohio River, the 11-day manhunt for escaped convict Casey Cole White and his jailboss girlfriend Vicky White came to a crashing end.

The Alabama fugitives, who’d been in a “jailhouse romance” for nearly two years before Vicky broke Casey out of the Lauderdale County jail on April 29, were found hiding in plain sight at a dingy, roadside motel some 300 miles away on Monday.

With cops hot on their tail, they fled the Motel 41 in Evansville and led police on a chase that ended later that afternoon when members of the US Marshals Service rammed into the couple’s latest getaway car, sending it careening into a ditch.

The pair had planned to end their time on the run in a bloody blaze of glory by starting a shootout with police — but instead, Vicky turned the gun on herself the moment cops closed in, while Casey surrendered.



A sad lady. She's never had a boyfriend

Melissa Alvarez, writing below,  is a 29 year old Film Industry professional living in Los Angeles.  That's a very critical environment where everyone is aiming for the sky so unless you have a "gimmick", you will not be noticed

And I am fairly sure what her problem is:  She is not pretty -- not by the Nordic standards that prevail in Hollywood, anyway. That makes you invisible in Hollywood.  But for her never to have had any sort of real relationship is sad.  She might be better to move to Texas.  Her dark Hispanic looks would be more normal there

Looks do matter and it is rare for a relationship to begin without the pair liking one-another's looks.  At my age (78) I would have to have very unattractive looks.  And so I have found it.  When I became single again a couple of years ago, I spent a lot of time approaching women online and got a heap of rapid  knockbacks.  But eventually along came a lady of around my age who DID like my looks, much to my surprise.  We now have a very warm relationship. I like her looks too. We do of course have other things in common but looks were the starting point

So that's how it is with Ms Alvarez.  Without good looks you have to wait a long time.  I only hope she gets as  lucky as I did.  The only thing that would probably help her would be to get a boob job.  Sorry to be so crass but in the world she lives in that is probably orthodox advice

So, I’m 29 years old. I’ve never had someone ask me to be their girlfriend. I’ve never called someone my boyfriend. I’ve dated a lot of people who wanted a casual relationship. Men I met off of apps who said they were looking for a relationship, but in the same breath said they were just having fun. I’ve been involved with a lot of men who didn’t see me worthy of commitment. I’ve also dated a lot of men who were in transition in their life.

Men who voiced that I was intimidating. Men who wanted to get their life together before they ventured into a committed relationship. I found this odd because they had relationships before. They might have been talking to someone else. I didn’t pick up on the fact that they weren’t actually interested in me seriously or romantically. It wasn’t until afterwards that I realized they were feeding me fboy jargon.

I only realized after their IG engagement announcement.

This is not something I’m super stoked on sharing. I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error. I’ve accepted the bare minimum a lot, in hopes that the person I was dating would change their tune about commitment once they saw how great a relationship would be. Or once we were in a relationship for all intents and purposes.

I was willing to accept scraps. I didn’t fully understand how people romantically behaved.

I was always looking for a relationship, but would settle. It felt like everyone was just looking for casual. Now, I don’t believe that. I believe the types of men I was going after were looking for casual. I tend to go after men who possess the same characteristics my mother does. That’s a whole nother article in itself — that relationship is complex.

I feel like I wasted a lot of time being involved with casual dudes. I wasted a lot of time where I could have been happy single.

I feel too old to have a relationship, just to have a relationship.

At my age, the question of marriage comes up a lot. My girlfriends who are in long term relationships are anticipating that they will marry their boyfriends. The marriage question is coming up in their lives. There are a lot of men who are secretly looking for who they’ll settle down with, even though they say they’re not. They’re just not looking to settle down with, you. They keep the casual girl around until their match comes along. So, now I’m worried. I don’t want my first boyfriend to be the man I marry.

If I’m not looking to get married, I don’t want that to make me a target for getting used for sex.

I didn’t get to have a lot of relationships. I didn’t get to have healthy ones, or ones where I was secure in where I stood. I want that, but I’m not looking to get married in a certain time frame. I’m not looking to get married in a few years. I want to date someone for real, I don’t want to be casual, but I’m not ready to settle down either. I fear that that sounds like a catch22.

Nonetheless, that is simply how I feel.

I think a lot of us are in a tough spot. We’ve been on the shifty dating scene too long. We didn’t come out on the other side of apps with multiple ex- boyfriends.

We emerged with lessons.



Sorry, Leftists, Medieval England Wasn’t Black

There was a previous episode of similar nonsense in 2017

“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

While it’s almost become cliché at this point to refer to the radical left’s antics using the language of George Orwell’s “1984,” the left’s ongoing assault against honest and accurate history makes Orwell’s tale look quaint in comparison.  

A recent example of the leftist war on history concerns a book called the “The Bright Ages” and the ensuing kerfuffle over race in the medieval period.  

The book reframes the collective understanding of the medieval period from the 400s to the 1400s as a dark and violent time and highlights the stories of nonwhite minorities and women in Europe, attempting to frame them in a larger role.  

The New York Times reported that even though the book would seem to hit all the proper leftist checkmarks of centering on women and minorities, it still wasn’t enough.  

“The language and core themes of the book don’t reveal brightness so much as ‘whiteness,’” wrote Mary Rambaran-Olm. Rambaran-Olm is a historian who focuses on race in early England.

She continues,  

Writing a book that aims to feature women and/or other marginalized figures demands a stepping outside of oneself that is not accomplished throughout this work. Simply naming women who remained subsidiaries in a patriarchal society, or referring to auxiliary figures who were Muslim, Jewish, Mongols, or pagans (never mind the near erasure of trans or queer folk) in order to demonstrate how Christianity developed is nothing less than Christian apologia.

In other words, the white men who wrote the book didn’t go far enough in explaining that it’s really women and minorities, and not the white natives, who really impacted Europe.  

Recent attacks on history from radical leftist academics in publications intended mostly for other academics aside, historical revisionism is a plague currently infecting our entertainment and media landscape as well.  

In an example from Hollywood, Robert Eggers’ new Viking epic “The Northman” received criticism from one pop culture website for not focusing on female Viking warriors. While there’s no compelling evidence to suggest female warriors or shield maidens existed in the Viking Age, that doesn’t stop the left from clamoring for more female representation in places they didn’t historically exist.

It’s a shame the left would rather lie and pretend history was always as diverse or enlightened as modern-day San Francisco instead of perhaps focusing on the great untold stories featuring real minorities from throughout history.  

The story of Robert Smalls, a slave who stole a Confederate battleship, sailed his way to freedom, fought in the Civil War, and then became a congressman comes to mind as the type of story the left claims to want to see.

Never heard of him? Most people haven’t. So, why not tell that story instead of trying to pretend medieval England was ethnically diverse?  

Sadly, this obsession with creating a nonexistent ethnically diverse antiquity has further consequences than just a lack of historical accuracy.  

If minorities are constantly race-swapped into versions of real history, it ironically reinforces the idea that only white people matter and that the only way to get minorities into the limelight is by swapping out a white character.  

How’s that for “white privilege”?

Leftists like to claim history is subjective. It is not. It is the lens through which we view history that is subjective. Whether you view George Washington as a glorious Pater Patriae or a vicious slave owner is a lens. That he fought the British, was the first president of the United States of America, and was buried at Mount Vernon are facts.  

The left is currently trying to break the distinction between a fact and a lens.  

No factual evidence exists that shield maidens were widespread? That goes against what I want, so I’ll just teach otherwise.  

To come full circle, the left is indeed trying to control the past to control the future, as Orwell prognosticated. His book warns us just what a tragedy that would be.



‘Phage therapy’ successes boost fight against drug-resistant infections

Phage therapy has been known for around a century and had a particular following in the old Soviet Union.  But Western researchers long saw it as a poor relation to antibiotics.  It's much more than that.  Good that some now realize it

Two US patients have recovered from intractable infections after being treated with a pioneering therapy involving genetically engineered bacteria-killing viruses.

The cases raise hopes that so-called phage therapy could be used more widely to combat the global crisis of drug-resistant infections. One of the patients, Jarrod Johnson, a 26-year-old man with cystic fibrosis, was approaching death after suffering a chronic lung infection that resisted treatment by antibiotics for six years. After being given the phage therapy, his infection cleared allowing him to receive a lung transplant and resume an active life.

“I am so grateful for the effort, persistence and creativity of all the people who were involved in my treatment,” said Johnson, who lives in Denver. “I thought I was going to die. They have literally saved my life.”

The other patient, a 56-year-old man with severe arthritis, showed a remarkable recovery from a skin infection that was taking hold of his body and which had proved untreatable with conventional drugs. The team, who also developed the breakthrough treatment of a British teenager four years ago, say these latest cases will pave the way for a clinical trial of phage therapy, which could launch as soon as next year.

“These two reports really provide substantial encouragement for phage treatments for patients where antibiotics not only fail to control the infections, but also contribute substantial toxicity,” said Prof Graham Hatfull, whose team at the University of Pittsburgh developed the therapies.

Prof Martha Clokie, a microbiologist at the University of Leicester who was not involved in the work, said: “There is a growing feeling within the clinical community … that phages could be part of the solution for patients, especially with those that really at the moment have no other alternative option. The overall need for alternatives for antibiotics is huge.”

In 2019, 1.2 million people are estimated to have died globally as a direct cause of antimicrobial resistant infections and in about 5 million people, a multi-drug-resistant infection contributed to their death.

Bacteriophages, phages for short, are harmless viruses that are natural enemies of bacteria. Hatfull has spent nearly four decades amassing a collection of phages, stored in 20,000 frozen vials in his lab. “We’ve got a large collection of phages, and we’ve sequenced over 4,000 of their genomes, so we understand their genomic profiles and relationships in exquisite detail,” he said.

Since the 2019 British case, the team has been inundated with requests from doctors who had run out of treatment options for patients. “That’s when the floodgates opened,” said Dr Rebekah Dedrick, a research associate in Hatfull’s lab. “We started to get requests from around the world, and we still get them.”

One of these was Dr Jerry Nick, director of the adult cystic fibrosis programme at National Jewish Health in Denver.

His patient, Jarrod, has cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that results in frequent infections clogging up the lungs with mucus. By 2020, his lungs had less than a third of their normal function and he had been plagued by a stubborn bacterial strains for six years. He was rejected for a lung transplant due to the high risk of the infection spreading once he was on immunosuppressant drugs. “In the year before the operation, he was admitted to hospital 11 times and for 200 days in total,” said Nick. “He was approaching death and probably had a year left.”

In 2016, Nick and his colleagues had sent samples of the Mycobacterium abscessus from Johnson’s lungs to Hatfull’s lab in the hope of finding a phage that could eliminate it. But phages are often specific for only a few types of bacteria so Hatfull and his team screened dozens of candidates before finally identifying two that efficiently killed the bacteria. They then genetically engineered the phages to boost their efficiency.

Johnson was treated with a combination of the phages and antibiotics for just over a year, requiring two daily intravenous injections, which cleared the infection, allowing him to have a lung transplant. His body developed some antibodies against the phages, but this happened slowly enough that the phages were able to get rid of the bacteria, quicker than the antibodies killed off the phage.

Since treatment, Johnson has finished high school, been working, met a girlfriend and although he has had some complications from the transplant, overall Nick says he is doing well.

The second patient, the 56-year-old man with arthritis, developed a serious skin infection, which is a risk among those on immunosuppressive drugs. He was treated with a single phage, called Muddy, which had been discovered in a sample taken from the underside of a decomposed aubergine. After a few weeks his skin lesions cleared and after two months he tested negative for the bacteria on a biopsy. He was treated for more than eight months in total.

The cases are described in the journals Cell and Nature Communications.



Californians fleeing to Portugal

They are so keen to get out of the once-Golden state that they are prepared to live in a country where they do not speak the language.  There's nothing and nowhere that the Left cannot mess up.  It's their whole aim in life

CASCAIS, Portugal — Jamie Dixon landed in this hilly seaside town nine months ago, ditching her luxury trailer in Malibu for a two-floor rooftop apartment that’s twice the size for a fraction of the rent.

Her escape from her native California came amid growing costs of living, encroaching wildfires and a waning sense of safety after the burglary of a neighbor’s home. The fitness-trainer-turned-startup-worker decided it was time to reinvent herself in a foreign land, but like many American expats she didn’t want to feel too far from home.

In this wealthy enclave about 15 miles from the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, she found her slice of California on the west coast of Europe: ocean breezes, mountain views, hot spring days on palm tree-lined promenades, and the glow of sunsets that seep into the night.

“Things were just becoming too much back home, but I didn’t want to leave everything about L.A. behind,” said Dixon, 37. Dressed in yoga pants and cross-trainers, she sipped white wine at an organic cafe that overlooked waves crashing into Big Sur-like cliffs a short walk from the rental she shares with her actor husband and 7-year-old daughter.

“With Portugal,” she said, “we could keep the parts we liked and leave the rest.”

Dixon has plenty of company in a country that has become an international destination for tourism and residency alike.

This once seafaring empire known for Port wine and Fado music can feel a lot like California. Except it’s much more affordable on a U.S. budget. That’s one reason the slender nation on the Atlantic has attracted — and even advertised to — Americans who are packing up.

In the last decade, the overall population in Portugal has declined even as the number of foreigners has grown by 40%. The ranks of American citizens living in this land of 10 million shot up by 45% last year. Within the mix of retirees, digital nomads and young families fed up with issues including the costs of housing and healthcare, Trumpian politics and pandemic policies, Californians are making themselves known in a country once considered the forgotten sibling of Spain.

People congregate at dusk by a river, with views of a bridge
The boardwalk at the Tagus River is a favorite of locals and newcomers alike. In the background is the 25th of April Bridge. (Jose Sarmento Matos / For The Times)
“I’d say 95% of my clients are now Americans,” said André Fernandes, a 38-year-old Porto-based real estate broker who, upon seeing the surge in interest in his homeland, moved back from New Jersey three years ago and switched from installing fire sprinklers to selling housing. “In the last week, I’ve called or emailed with people from California, Arizona and New Mexico.” One recent client, he said, was a Netflix writer.

Portugal emerged from the financial crisis of the mid-2000s as one of the European Union’s poorest nations. With the economy in shambles, Lisbon lawmakers drafted immigration laws to aggressively court foreign professionals, from the wealthy, who could essentially buy residency by purchasing land, to remote workers, who could secure a path to citizenship by earning money abroad but spending it here. More recently, the nation, which for the last seven years has hosted the Web Summit tech conference, has fashioned itself as a tax haven for cryptocurrency investors.

The government estimates that foreigners have invested more than $6 billion in Portugal since 2012 through property purchases alone. The closely related tourist and rental industries brought in more than $10 billion last year and, before the pandemic, represented 15% of the nation’s GDP. (During the same time in the U.S., tourism accounted for less than 3% of the economy.)

For Dixon, a fourth-generation Californian, the visa process was textbook. She and her husband, Joey Dixon, had to open a Portuguese bank account with savings equal to about $21,000 — about twice the minimum wage — and lock into a yearlong lease.

Joey Dixon, who has appeared in “Yellowstone” and “S.W.A.T.,” is starting an acting school for other Hollywood transplants. His wife, who at first went through bouts of loneliness, now comes home to plastic containers of homemade soup at her door from the neighbor below, an older Portuguese woman, and has befriended a nearby couple and their child who moved from New York and started a relocation company.

A few blocks down the street, the Dixons have met a California couple — one of them works for Adobe — who recently made the move. A family from Seattle is expected to arrive this month and will occupy the first floor of the Dixons’ three-story gated apartment building. Seeing an influx of Americans, their daughter’s school recently hired an English teacher and now has bilingual instruction.

“My Portuguese is still bad,” said Jamie Dixon, who has taken classes but uses her favorite phrase to describe her attitude toward the slow journey of integration: não faz mal (“no big deal”). She hopes to speak enough in five years to pass the citizenship test, which would gain the family European Union passports. With them comes the freedom to move and work throughout much of the continent.

“You just don’t know where America is headed these days. Are we going to be fighting with each other forever? Are we in the Cold War again with Russia?” Dixon said. “Getting that second passport would be a relief.”

But resentment of newcomers is growing. Angelenos can’t always escape — and sometimes are at the root of — questions over gentrification, income disparities and immigration. The phrase “expat” itself has become loaded in Lisbon, a city that attracts tens of thousands of working-class immigrants from Brazil, Ukraine, Romania and India. In Facebook groups and cafe meet-ups, well-to-do Westerners debate over how to define themselves. On the streets, Portuguese activists have protested against evictions and skyrocketing rents caused in part by foreigners with banks that count in dollars and pounds.

“There’s no doubt that the foreign investment has greatly helped Portugal’s economy and made the cities more beautiful,” said Isabel da Bandeira, an activist who co-founded the Lisbon housing rights group Aqui Mora Gente (People Live Here). “But this process has also hurt the long-term residents who don’t recognize parts of their communities anymore or can’t afford to live in them.”

Across Lisbon, the largest urban center with 550,000 people, it’s hard to miss the Californians. The city, where tourism has boomed over the years to the point that entire streets in its historic core are made up exclusively of hotels and Airbnbs, has attracted monied newcomers from across the world, including the United Kingdom, Cape Verde, South Africa and Russia. But Americans are now growing at the fastest clip when it comes to foreigners buying expensive property, surpassing the Chinese.



My other blogs.  Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)  

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


Friday, May 13, 2022

The rejected soulmate lady again

I commented on this story here on 9th. But the Daily Mail has now picked it up. And they have added a whole lot of comments from readers about the story. The opening of their story:

"A mother-of-two has gone viral on social media after writing a memoir about leaving her husband of 14 years to pursue a stranger who she thought could be her 'soulmate'.

Amanda Trenfield, from Sydney, explained that she spent 20 years building a 'somewhat predictable life' with a career in the financial services alongside caring for two young children and her marriage.

In an extract from her new book, published by The Sydney Morning Herald, Amanda said that she was hoping to reconnect with her husband during a three-day conference in Margaret River but found herself drawn to another man, Jason, at the event due to the 'strong and raw' electricity between them"

None of the comments showed much understanding of what the woman reported so I am glad that I was able to add a supportive voice to the discussion.

At one level what she reported was a teenage "crush" very late in life but I thought that there was more in it than that. I have actually had similar experiences at a somewhat lower intensity. So I thought it might be appropriate for me to tell a bit about how it once went for me quite recently -- in 2020 -- with me in my 70s

In my story the lady is the one who was conflicted. We both felt right to one-another from the beginning but a circumstance made a relationship impossible. She knew that she should see nothing of me after our first meeting but for a while she just could not let me go.

We got on very easily during our initial meeting over morning tea but there was a large age gap between us. I was 77 and she was 64. We both saw that as a problem so all I could offer her was friendly dinners.

It turned out that my offer was attractive to her. And we did subsequently enjoy one another's company a lot over many dinners -- mostly on Saturday nights. Except for the age problem we would have formed a lasting relationship to see us through our remaining years.

Despite recognizing that we were not going anywhere together, she still wanted to see rather a lot of me. She too saw us as being of a related "type"

We never did have stable arrangements. A couple of times my physical unsuitability would get to her and she would email me breaking it off between us. Come the next Saturday night, however, she would relent and ask me to take her to dinner. I was happy to oblige. A friendship is less demanding than a sexual relationship.

Saturday is of course the big "going-out" night in our culture so that was significant. You usually see your "significant other" on that night

So on one such occasion we went to a nearby Burmese restaurant where we had a very good dinner and where we got on well. We watched some operetta back at my place after dinner.

Later on on a Sunday I had a breakfast at my usual haunt with her. She picked me up from home in her large Toyota Camry hybrid. We got on famously. Our breakfast lasted 3 hours, the latter half of which we spent back at my place! We discussed a remarkable range of things, including some quite intimate details of our pasts.

On a later date, she said she had been celebrating her 64th birthday with her family all the week so needed a special dinner on Saturday night. So I took her to the Persian restaurant, which always impresses. As I usually do, I ordered the the platter for two, which is actually two large platters plus a smaller platter, all three covered with enticing food. She was suitably impressed.

I had intended to bring a bottle of champagne but forgot. So she offered to walk down to the nearby drive-through to pick up a bottle. I gave her a $20 for the purpose. She asked me what I wanted and I said: "Just some cheap champagne". She was quite tickled by that. She kept repeating "cheap champagne"! She knows I am well-off so was surprised that I would drink such a thing. I just smiled. Anyway she came back with a rather impressive-looking $30 bottle of French champagne. French wine has got a lot cheaper in recent years. She said "I don't do cheap champagne". She is the ex-wife of a well-off professional man so is probably a bit spoilt. What she bought was a reasonable drop.

She and I normally dined together on Saturday evenings. Last Saturday, however, she was away for the long weekend ending on Monday. She obviously missed our Saturday, however, as she texted me on Tuesday morning (6th), asking if we could have breakfast together. I got the text a bit late for that so I took her to the "Buncha Buncha" North Vietnamese restaurant at Stone's corner that night.

On the way home, we picked up a dessert from Aldi-- Mango sorbet. We took it back to my place. First we had a cup of tea then the dessert. After that we watched part of an operetta on DVD. We were both a bit tired before we had watched much of the operetta so called it a night at that stage: a very pleasant night

Later: I had a particularly nice time with her at my place that night. She brought over champagne and some excellent pizza and drank rather a lot of the champagne. We mostly talked about relationships. We have both had a few

So for a while she and I had been having some good Saturday night dinners. And we got steadily closer as dinner followed dinner. We found a lot in common in our thinking.

So on another Saturday we had another good dinner together at a local restaurant, followed by dessert at my place, which was as pleasant as usual. But this time there was a sequel

Next day she turned up to meet me for breakfast as well. Dinner only with me was not enough this week. And after breakfast we did a Sunday drive to Wynnum. So I now seemed to have a definite new friend, which pleased me greatly. We did have lots of laughs while we were together

But something came up in her life that alerted her to where we were going and she knew that the age gap between us would be a long-term problem for her so she finally broke it off with me.

My present relationship is in some ways similar. I rapidy got on well with Zoe but there was not the compelling initial feeling like I had with the lady above. There does seem to be a strong draw to me for her, however. We both are aware of great differences between us and she often comments on them. She is for starters a Serb with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Belgrade. So much for a common culture! And she has often declared it "off" between us because of our differences. But she kept coming back to me and we now have arrived at a warm relationship between us. I think she is gorgeous. See her below -- JR

image from https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgEr5FsxZxjs_Bh2x2VD_JxySwjJV-0gjtmy4E5ilXqCiJ5oOa0inHPkd6NCx1iTmzUw60sfWNeNcmRZkXOMr915wW7d6Cve0huHcQLHHRhvshbMCcrYmrL_9OQSlLiT3mqbGX0xAl_TSTFohZq9MgDEu1E5KzgqXc9RMxZMp0aSXByMHG3hBrVZarH0w=s600

UPDATE: Zoe has now read the above story. She commented that she too initially thought that I was not right for her but she too found that she could not leave me alone


Boston's ignominious record of disrespecting free speech

by Jeff Jacoby

THE SUPREME COURT'S 9-0 decision Monday in Shurtleff v. Boston, the City Hall Plaza flagpole case, marked the third time in recent memory that the high court ruled unanimously that free speech rights in Boston and Massachusetts had been suppressed in violation of the Constitution.

In the 1995 case of Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston, the private organizers of the city's annual St. Patrick's Day parade turned down an Irish gay-pride group that wanted to carry a banner in the parade. The group, known as GLIB, sued for the right to march, arguing that the parade's organizers had no legal right to exclude them. Every Massachusetts court, up to and including the Supreme Judicial Court, ruled in GLIB's favor and said the parade organizers were obliged to accommodate them.

But when the case reached the nation's highest court, all nine justices agreed that Massachusetts was wrong. Under the First Amendment, the organizers of a private parade could not be compelled to admit a group whose message they chose not to promote. Fundamental to "the principle of free speech is that one who chooses to speak may also decide what not to say," wrote Justice David Souter. Massachusetts, the court held, "is not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one."

Then there was the case of McCullen v. Coakley, which challenged a Massachusetts law requiring opponents of abortion to stay at least 35 feet away from the entrance to any abortion clinic. The law made it a crime, punishable by fines and imprisonment, to speak, pray, or hold a sign within that "buffer zone" — even on a public sidewalk. Once again the Massachusetts courts, applauded by much of the state's political and media establishment, upheld the violation of free speech. Once again the US Supreme Court unanimously overruled them. All nine justices agreed that the Massachusetts law was repugnant to the First Amendment. Even the court's staunchest defenders of abortion rights — three of them women — emphasized that citizens have a right to express their views on public sidewalks.

Now, in yet another unanimous decision, the high court has admonished public officials in Boston for contravening the free speech rights of a group whose message they didn't care for.

For a dozen years, city officials had routinely allowed private organizations to hold hundreds of ceremonies on City Hall Plaza, always permitting them to raise any flag they wished on a flagpole that Boston had explicitly designated a "public forum." But when Harold Shurtleff, who heads a civic group called Camp Constitution, tried to schedule an hour-long ceremony to "commemorate the civic and social contributions of the Christian community" while flying a Christian flag, the city said no. This was the only time the city had denied a flag request, and its reason for doing so was clear: City Hall rejected Camp Constitution's application, wrote Justice Stephen Breyer in his opinion, because of "the fact that it was the Christian flag." In so doing, Boston "discriminated based on religious viewpoint and violated the Free Speech Clause."

Any one of these cases might have reflected honest confusion among Boston or Massachusetts officials about their constitutional obligation to protect freedom of expression. Three such cases point to a more serious problem. All three times, the power of the state, either legislative or judicial, was deployed to suppress a conservative and/or religious point of view. The parade organizers didn't want to celebrate LGBT pride. The prolife protesters wanted to recommend alternatives to abortion. Camp Constitution wanted to honor the role of Christianity in Boston history. Each time, the muscle of the government was flexed to keep the viewpoint from being expressed. And members of Boston's influential liberal elite, with rare exceptions, either said nothing or endorsed the infringement of the conservatives' First Amendment liberties.

Perhaps the most egregious occurred in August 2017, when a small group of little-known libertarians and eccentrics secured a permit to hold what they billed as a "Free Speech Rally" on Boston Common. The group posed a threat to no one. But their rally took place a week after the "Unite the Right" march of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., degenerated into deadly violence and there was a rumor something similar was planned for Boston. At a press conference with other elected officials, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh amplified the rumor and denounced the organizers of the minuscule rally. "Boston does not want you here," he declared, vowing to do everything he could to shut down the event.

In the end, the rally took place but the handful of speakers on the Parkman Bandstand were prevented from being heard. They were segregated behind a 225-foot buffer zone and uniformed officers made sure no one got close enough to listen to them. A directive from the Boston Police Department barred even reporters from approaching the speakers.

As a result, the members of the little rally "spoke essentially to themselves for about 50 minutes," the Globe reported. The city's "security measures denied them an audience as well as press coverage of what they had to say." When the city's police commissioner, Bill Evans, was later asked if it had been right to treat them that way, he unapologetically pronounced it "a good thing," adding: "Their message isn't what we want to hear."

The whole episode was shameful — another case in which the free-speech rights of a disfavored Boston minority were trampled underfoot by local government.

For much of the 19th and 20th centuries, the phrase "banned in Boston" evoked the right-wing Puritanism of the city's political leadership. Today Boston and Massachusetts are left-wing bastions, yet the willingness to stifle unpopular expression persists. All that has changed is that those censored now are likely to be politically or religiously conservative. That — and the fact that the justices of the Supreme Court, liberals and conservatives alike, are far more vigilant about upholding freedom of speech. How many more times must Boston be spanked by all nine members of the nation's highest court before it learns to treat the First Amendment with respect?


New Zealand's minority problem

Political corruption may always be endemic, but moves by our powerful, now immensely wealthy neo-tribal corporations have become so blatantly cynical they are arousing resentment throughout New Zealand.

When the constant, opportunistic claim comes that anti-Maori discrimination is such that Maoris are over-represented in all areas of disadvantage throughout New Zealand, few ask to see the actual evidence by asking who is actually Maori? These claims are routinely made by wealthy individuals – such as one former Maori MP earning hundreds of thousands of dollars annually sitting on Maori boards and trusts – reportedly owning close to $5 million in property and other assets, while constantly complaining colonisation has failed Maoris.

However, those making the most strident complaints seem in no hurry to repudiate the advantages which accrued as a result of European settlement – comfortable housing; heating; medical care; European clothing; supermarkets; cars; deep-freezers; cellphones; computers and so on.

European scientific discovery and technological wizardry gave Maori, too, the ability to fly anywhere in the world, to share in all innovations. So little was discrimination practised that no full-blooded Maoris can be found in New Zealand.

Every race has its villains – as any history of co-settlement makes plain. But New Zealanders became proud of being One People – as Captain William Hobson wished. History records many Maori chiefs who signed the Treaty of Waitangi being greatly relieved to now be under the protection of the British Crown, sharing the same legal rights as all other New Zealanders – as were the slaves and those aware that the vagaries of internecine warfare had them in line to be eaten, according to the barbaric and brutal practice of cannibalism.

Most part-Maori today share the same values as all other New Zealanders, anxious for their families to be cared for and to prosper, working to achieve success in the trades, professions, and on the land – as so many do. But not activist extremists and neo-tribal hierarchies, who, in spite of achieving multi-million dollar settlements for past grievances – some justified, others arguably fraudulent – don’t desist from demanding more and more ‘compensation’ from other New Zealanders.

Their constant complaints are that the supposedly detrimental effects of colonisation on the original Polynesians still persist today. It does not lead them to surrender the taxpayer-funded Maori television channel – risibly contrived by claiming entitlement to this by the signing of the treaty – nor to surrender priority placings reserved in our universities, our medical and law schools and elsewhere for those claiming even a smidgen of part-Maori inheritance. And although Maoris caused widespread ecological disasters – such as burning forests to hunt the last great moas to extinction, as with the giant Haast’s eagle, with its habitat destruction and the extinction of its prey – their neo-tribal descendants are now claiming special consultation rights throughout New Zealand on the grounds that Maori have superior conservation insights in these areas.

These same hierarchies manipulatively claim to represent ‘our people’ – the majority of whom they demonstrably don’t. So where did all this start? Undoubtedly, indoctrinating young Maoris in neo-Marxist orthodoxies coincided with removing the definition of a Maori, restricted until the mid-Seventies to those with 50 per cent Maori genetic inheritance. It then became claimed that if one felt Maori, one was Maori – with today’s neo-tribes anxious to incorporate those with as little as 1/16 or 1/32 genetic inheritance, or even less, to swell the numbers of a particular iwi, and gain more political influence. However, I well recall the well-respected Whetu Tirikanete-Sullivan, MP, of Ngai Tahu descent, pan-Māori in her approach, arguing against this emphasis on tribal affiliation as divisive.

And what of a moral compass lacking not only among these iwi leaders but of lawyers representing them? In some instances the latter have apparently been incredibly ignorant of the fraudulent nature of the claims of tribes engaging them in litigation against the Crown.

In others, has a factor been the perennial problem of competitive lawyers seeking at all costs to win against the opposition?

The Ngai Tahu settlement of 1998, for example, has been described as a swindle – much evidence presented blatantly untrue – much of it a misrepresentation or twisting of actual facts. It has been well claimed this third ‘full and final settlement’ – with arguably unwarranted top-ups such as sole right to whale-watching in Kaikoura or to South Island greenstone (long carried north for barter by a prior, established tribe) – should never have been ratified by the government. Since its last supposedly final settlement, Ngai Tahu have contrived more handouts – even the right to plant their trees on Crown land which should belong to all New Zealanders.

However, most memorable are statements made at the time by the leaders of both Ngai Tahu and its powerful competitor, the Waikato/Tainui tribe. Robert Mahuta, known as Bob, the principal negotiator of its multi-million dollar settlement, was the father of Nanaia Mahuta, Jacinda Ardern’s highly controversial spokesperson on foreign affairs and local government issues – including the quite shocking Three Waters attempt to wrest assets from local ratepayers for basically iwi control.

When it was pointed out to Bob Mahuta at the time of the settlement how much this would be able to advantage needy tribal members, his reply was that the money would go instead to the young of the tribe, these who were committed to learning Maori and enrolling in university, law, and media courses – for the ultimate benefit of tribal advancement. The Ngai Tahu leader’s response to the suggestion that their poor and disadvantaged could now be taken care of was to the effect that they were no-hopers – it was up to the government to take care of them.

With the Maori economy now worth an estimated $70 billion, the affluent corporatised iwi, largely exempt from even paying taxes, still constantly claim disadvantage – for example, that the New Zealand health system discriminates against Maoris – against plenty of evidence it has long worked hard to treat all, irrespective of race, now even prioritising those of Maori descent.

However, the Ardern government’s attack on our democracy to give more and more advantages to part-Maori, even planning for their votes to count more, has at last become the tipping point for New Zealanders.

And above all, an important question needs addressing: when is the constant lying going to stop?


How Safe Haven Laws Help Make Abortion Unnecessary

A “distressful life and future” threatens women unless they have the ability to avoid the burden of unwanted parenthood via abortion. So reasoned Justice Harry Blackmun in his 1973 Roe v. Wade majority opinion, which deemed elective abortion a newfound constitutional right.

Yet, decades after the Supreme Court’s grim assessment of the options available for those facing an unexpected pregnancy, nationwide “safe haven” laws add another important choice for women outside of Blackmun’s false dichotomy.

First enacted in Texas in 1999, safe haven laws now exist in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Hospitals, fire stations, or other designated emergency locations serve as 24/7 drop-off points for those seeking both immediate care and long-term parenting support for an infant.

State laws prioritize privacy and legal protection for women surrendering a baby, with complete anonymity possible throughout the drop-off process in a growing number of states. Many jurisdictions now utilize so-called baby boxes, climate-controlled locking devices accessible from the exterior of buildings, which send an alert to the facility within seconds to allow the safe surrender of a child with no in-person interaction with health care workers or public officials.

Monica Kelsey, founder of the national organization Safe Haven Baby Boxes, emphasizes the “100% anonymous options for parents in need” offered by the fixtures.

Increasingly, states have extended the time period in which a parent may relinquish parenting duties. Over half of states now have policies allowing a baby to be surrendered through at least 30 days post-birth.

In Virginia, recent bipartisan legislation extended from 14 to 30 days the time in which a baby can be delivered discreetly into community care through the state’s safe haven law.

Recognizing the need to raise awareness of the little-known policy, legislators also charged the Virginia Department of Social Services with launching a 24/7 hotline and a statewide marketing campaign to help women know how to access this critical option after birth.

The postpartum time period, aptly dubbed the “fourth trimester” by health professionals, can be especially overwhelming for single parents navigating the physical and emotional transition following birth. Safe haven policies give these women time and choice about their family’s future even after birth, relieving the fear that a parenting burden is inescapable.

Making women aware of safe haven policies during pregnancy can also help women avoid feeling pressured or coerced into an abortion decision in the early weeks of a pregnancy.

Expectant mothers commonly report ambivalence regarding plans for an unexpected pregnancy. Many of the 600 women that our free clinic serves each year share their conflicting emotions about a surprise pregnancy as they discuss their desire for their child alongside their own perceived parenting limitations.

The concerns they voice reflect worries about caring for a child beyond birth, not the actual experience of pregnancy. Indeed, finances, relationship fallout, and career consequences are among the main reasons for abortion cited in various qualitative studies conducted by the abortion industry. Yet, even as women often recognize the future challenges of parenting a new baby, they also report complex emotions about the abortion decision itself.

Many women see abortion as an imperfect resolution to unwanted parenthood. It’s time we listen to their voices and emphasize a broadened framework for choice that includes parenting with community support services (like those freely offered by the nearly 3,000 nonprofit pregnancy help centers similar to the one I lead), open adoption, and also safe surrender options beyond birth.

In Roe v. Wade’s companion case Doe v. Bolton, Justice William O. Douglas stated in his concurring opinion: “Elaborate argument is hardly necessary to demonstrate that childbirth may deprive a woman of her preferred lifestyle and force upon her a radically different and undesired future.”

Yet, more conversation is necessary. Fears and reluctance to raise an additional child can be very real for women, but a “radically different and undesired future” shaped by forced parenthood is no foregone conclusion.

Safe haven policies give women an additional option to spare themselves the heartache of ending the life of a child they do value, while also providing a private and secure transition of care for that child post-birth.

As the Supreme Court prepares to rule in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, it is imperative that the justices reject the Supreme Court’s anachronistic view that only unfettered abortion access can prevent a dismal future for women.


I Am a Soviet Writer Now

Roger L. Simon

In recent weeks I have been canceled by Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, all without explanation.

I tried in each case but was unable to get one. In fact, I was even blocked on Facebook from any explanation other than the most generic “community standards“ blather. I never used Instagram much in the first place.

In the case of Twitter, I was attempting to make my return after many months—I had left on my own in disgust at the bias, not to mention the mysterious disappearance of my followers—hopeful that it might be a more collegial space with Elon Musk in the process of purchasing the company and promising free speech.

No such luck.

What I got for my troubles was something extremely bizarre. I was asked to authenticate myself by identifying one of six squares that contained an inaccurate shadow. I had to do this fourteen times, but on the fifteenth, I was told I was in error and sent back to one again. This happened several times. It was an obvious shell game set up by someone at Twitter. I was never admitted—or told anything, for that matter.

I have no idea how many others were receiving the same treatment, but so much for Twitter—with or without Musk.

This is no joke. We are living deep in an era of thought control. For writers even slightly on the right, it is extending into many areas. I am someone who once wrote for the likes of Simon & Schuster, Random House, Universal Studios, and Warner Brothers. It is highly unlikely—almost impossible—that I could do so now.

And, of course, those are the big players with the big audiences and mass distribution, the major access points to middle America, those few that are left not on one side or other of our great divide and who might be persuaded of something.

Those of us anywhere to the right of Trotsky are not allowed to talk to them. (That’s an exaggeration, but not by much.)

So every day when I get up, I have a moment of anxiety when I turn on my computer. It is supposed to open automatically on The Epoch Times where I now write as well as get a substantial amount of my news? I am worried that it will still be there, whether I and/or it will be branded “misinformation” and “disappeared”?

Long may The Epoch Times—and those few others like it—thrive. And thank you so much to the readers who keep them alive!

Nevertheless, this is all starting to remind me of the Soviet Union that I visited twice on cultural exchanges during the early glasnost (in the late ’80s). In fact, the America of today has for some time.

I remember visiting two apartment buildings that were named Screenwriter I and II. They housed favored writers, screenwriters or not, and were sought after because, I was told, they contained the best medical clinics in Moscow on the ground floor.

In the Soviet Union, decent medical care was only available to party officials and others—scientists and cultural workers—who played along.

Writers who didn’t had to find other access. The greatest writing of Soviet times was the clandestine samizdat (literally “self-publishing” in Russian), those who obviously had the courage to buck a vicious system—the Solzhenitsyns, the Mandelstams, and so forth. Financial remuneration, not to mention the best medical care, was not for them.

Of course, we are building our own more open-minded structures, some in publishing, others in film. They all have good intentions. But for the most part, we are only allowed to preach to the choir. We are kept off in a corner, segregated.

Somehow this must be overcome. We must be able to reach the masses because we are the masses, not them.

What is going on in our country today is a full-on attack on free speech under a duplicitous, fascistic facade of making sure the public is correctly informed, that there is no “misinformation” (the big lie word of our times).

So when I say I’m a Soviet writer now, I hope you know I mean those great writers who wrote samizdat in opposition to a totalitarian state. I have nowhere near their courage. I have nowhere near their depth. But I identify with them because my country is on the verge of being turned into theirs.


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)