Author Archives: petervburrows

Wanted: Volunteers for Facemask Enforcement

Wanted: Volunteers for Facemask Enforcement, a “Futuristic” news special to The Grant County Beat by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 8/10/20 

With Silver City’s new ordinance mandating facemasks, many concerned citizens are worried that the local police force will not be able to handle the increased responsibilities. In addition, some are concerned that facemasks alone may not be enough.  

“The facemask law is a good start, but people should also be required to carry yardsticks. Social distancing is just as important,” declared George Julien.  “Hell, three feet may not be enough,” he added. 

Julien was one of three senior citizens interviewed yesterday while they were having lunch at a picnic table at the El Viejo burrito stand on Broadway and Hwy. 90.   

Another diner, Skip Thacker, was more concerned about enforcement: “It’s a typical ‘feel good’ piece of virtue signaling,” he said of the new ordinance. “Who’s going to make sure golfers and tennis players are in compliance? What about joggers, bicyclers and people walking laps at Fox Field?” 

“We need some active citizen support,” chimed in the third person at the table, who identified himself only as El Burro, “and I don’t mean just social shamers, you know, those people who scream at you to put a mask on while you’re at Walmart.”     

Julien and Thacker both agreed, with Julien saying, “The cops have got enough to do without this facemask law, even though the law is obviously necessary and is something we should all be damned proud of.”  

All three agreed that a citizens’ task force was needed to send volunteers to monitor places like tennis courts, hiking trails, and golf courses, especially golf courses. 

Thacker, a frequent golfer at the city-owned golf course, said, “It is just disgusting to see people without masks just walking down the fairway, hitting golf balls, or on a green putting, especially on a green just putting away, as if they had no responsibility to the rest of us. I’ve tried to reason with such people, but we need deputized volunteers, ARMED volunteers, to deal with such scofflaws” 

El Burro said, “I couldn’t agree more. Not wearing a facemask should be the same as assault with a deadly weapon. BOOM! Bye, bye, evil-dirty-bastard-germ-spreader.” 

Julien added that “barefacers” deserve the same punishment as climate deniers, Islamophobes and other racists: “Hang the bastards.”   

Everybody nodded in agreement and the conversation turned to how exemplary Silver City’s new law was. This reporter noted that it was rumored that a CNN crew had recently tried to interview Mayor Ken Ladner about the progressive new ordinance, but since the CNN crew was from out-of-state, the Mayor had requested that they first enter into a 15-day quarantine.   

El Burro said that, if true, it only showed that common sense was alive and well here in Silver City.   

(Note to readers: The above is entirely fictional. Old friends George and Skip are real enough, but not the quotes attributed to them, although they approved of the “quotes.”  PB) 

Intellectual Insanity

Intellectual Insanity by Peter Burrows 8/3/20  elburropete@gmail.com silvercityburro.com 

“There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” George Orwell 

The world is full of intellectuals these days. Who else would think that letting prisoners go free to save them from Covid-19 was a good idea? Only people who bear absolutely no responsibility for the consequences. One of the hallmarks of intellectuals is that they hardly ever pay for the damages their ideas cause.  

For example, they hold the absurd idea that the death penalty is no deterrent to murder, even though it is obvious that an executed murderer will never kill again. That obvious fact may become all too relevant as the recent Covid-19 prison release has also freed at least one convicted murderer.  

Should that murderer kill again, will the brilliant social engineers who made that murder possible pay any price? Ha! Our tort system is a mess, with far too many people being sued, but I would be fine with a few more in the docket, namely those idiots who enable criminals.  

This reveals another absurdity, the “lives matter” nonsense, whether it’s “Black lives matter,” or its counterpart, “All lives matter.” Before you condemn me to an eternity in Baltimore, let me explain. 

In Chicago last Saturday, a 20-month-old baby was killed in a drive by shooting. The week before, a three-year-old was killed in another drive-by shooting.  The lives of those two children matter; the lives of the killers matter not at all and, in fact, should be snuffed out ASAP. 

The skin color of any of those involved in these tragedies does not matter one whit. Only an intellectual would think otherwise. In fact, to an intellectual, almost all things are “race, race, race,” unless they are “gender, gender, gender.”      

For example, who else but an intellectual would believe that when a little boy puts on a dress, he becomes a little girl? You have to have a college degree to believe that, my friend, or at least have a law degree and work for the ACLU.   

Last April 30, the ACLU put on their web site an article by two of their attorneys, “Four Myths About Trans Athletes, Debunked.” In that article you will learn that one of the myths – myths – underlying unfair discrimination against transgender girls is that: “Sex is binary, apparent at birth, and identifiable through singular biological characteristics.” 

If you believe that, the ACLU would like to set you straight (no pun intended): “FACT: Trans girls are girls.” They expand on this “fact” with the following: “Girls who are trans are repeatedly told that they are not “real” girls and boys who are trans are told they are not “real” boys. Non-binary people are told that their gender is not real and that they must be either boys or girls. None of these statements are true.”  

Did you get that? “None of these statements are true.” And why is that? Because, “Trans people are exactly who we say we are.”  Exactly? That’s what they wrote: “exactly.” Well, that settles that. Pardon me while I barf.  

Gender subjectivity is probably the most obvious nonsense ever pushed by the left.  Nonsense or not, it promises to do a helluva lot of damage. The ACLU is part of at least two lawsuits supporting the “right” of boys to compete against girls at both the high school and college level.  

Furthermore, it appears that the Olympics is going to allow these self-identified women to compete as women, which will destroy the women’s Olympics. Who wants to watch such a travesty? Ditto women’s soccer. 

In the meantime, the real girls who should be winning the trophies and enjoying the fame are left with bitter tears. Where is the justice in that? Where are the outraged fathers?  

Yes, I wrote, “real girls.” If that offends you, you are probably an intellectual.  If I was a better human being, I would feel sorry for you.  

New Mexico ain’t Lake Wobegon

New Mexico ain’t Lake Wobegon by Peter Burrows 7/23/20 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

For over thirty years, one of the most popular shows on NPR was “A Prairie Home Companion,” broadcast Sundays from St. Paul, Minnesota, and hosted by creator Garrison Keillor.  He always had a skit or two, some folk music, and a little home-spun wisdom embodied in his weekly News from Lake Wobegon:  

“The latest news and views from the little town where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.” 

It was a great show but, unfortunately, Garrison was a bit of a lech and the show came to an ignominious end, proving once again that -– sigh –- nobody’s perfect. (Although I know somebody who is ALMOST perfect.) 

I was reminded of Lake Wobegon recently when a New Mexico district judge denied a motion to dismiss a 2018 court order against the state for failing to provide an adequate education for New Mexican children. It seems the judge wanted – GASP! — proof that the steps taken had actually improved educational outcomes.  

The state’s attorney argued that the state had met the court’s April 2019 deadline “to improve the public education system, which is what the court required.”  He argued that “there’s been a significant increase in funding and specific changes in programs” and that there was no evidence that the state had failed to meet the requirements of the 2018 ruling.  

Last year the plaintiffs in that 2018 ruling filed a motion for “additional discovery” to track the state’s compliance progress, a motion the state opposed.  The judge ruled with the plaintiffs that additional evidence is needed to prove compliance, rejecting the argument that more money and good intentions are better than silly things like improved test scores or higher graduation rates. 

In that 2018 lawsuit, Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico, plaintiffs charged that the state was not meeting its constitutional requirement to provide “a sufficient and uniform system of education,” especially for low income, Native American, English language learner and special needs students, the “at risk” students. 

Judge Sarah Singleton agreed and ruled that all New Mexico students have a “right” to be college and career ready and that the state was failing to meet this obligation.  As evidence, she cited New Mexico’s lowest-in-the-nation graduation rate of 70 percent, matched by the 70 percent of New Mexico students who cannot read or do math at grade level. 

She stated that the state had “failed to provide verifiable evidence” that existing programs “lauded” by the public Education Department were, in fact, working.  

She gave the state until Apri 15, 2019, to take remedial steps, noting that lack of funds was not an excuse. She ruled the state must provide the necessary funding and oversight for the needed programs, e.g. Pre-K, extended learning, small class sizes, teacher training, whatever. She helpfully listed 11 sources of additional funds the legislators could tap.  

She rejected the state’s claim that more money would NOT improve the achievement level of at-risk students, and she also rejected the argument that poor educational outcomes are the result of implacable socioeconomic factors, asserting that steps can be taken by the educational system to overcome the adverse impacts of a student’s background.   

Judge Stapleton, a liberal appointed by Governor Richardson, had her liberal bona fides on full display in her decision. She conjured up a “right” out of thin air and then proceeded to require the government to fulfill that right regardless of cost because, as all good liberals know, the government can solve any problem if it spends enough money on it. 

Where she deviated from liberal orthodoxy is by insisting on EVIDENCE that New Mexico’s educational programs are actually providing a sufficient education for all of New Mexico’s children.  Ironically the state argued that more money wouldn’t help educate at-risk students, and, for that matter, the state could have also argued that more money won’t help educate NON-at-risk students.   

Judge Stapleton passed away last year at the age of 70, so she didn’t live to see her intentions upheld in the recent court decision, and she won’t be around to witness what could be a clash of intentions versus reality.  

About now you’re thinking, “OK, Burro, what does all this have to do with Lake Wobegon?”  

Well, in the utopian city of Lake Wobegon, all the children are above average, while in the dystopian state of New Mexico a large percentage of the children, perhaps over fifty percent, are BELOW average.  What is worse, there may be nothing that the educational system can do about it. We may be stuck with that worst-in-the-nation 70 percent who don’t graduate and who can’t read or do math at grade level. 

Now before you teachers out there get your knickers all knotted up, this is not your fault.  It’s long been known that when it comes to educating children, the classroom experience is not nearly as important as the home environment.  The child that comes from a single-parent household is one strike down, is “oh and one,” in baseball parlance, before opening the classroom door.  

New Mexico suffers one of the highest out-of-wedlock birth rates in the nation: 51 percent. I do not know how many of those kids will be raised by just their moms, and I don’t know how many of those moms will be conscientious and caring, like Dr. Ben Carson’s mom was. There’s no doubt that a loving, caring single parent is better than two irresponsible parents. Unfortunately, Ben Carson’s mother was an all-too-rare exception. The typical kid raised by a single mom in New Mexico, or anywhere else, is not apt to be that lucky.  Botton line for that kid:  

Strike One!  

Add to that, research over the last decade or so has shown that proper prenatal care is important not just for the mom-to-be, but can have a profound effect on child development, including “higher attained school grades.”  I do not know to what extent the ‘proper’ prenatal care correlates with the income of the parents, but here in New Mexico, 20 percent of the population is below the poverty line and a whopping 71 percent of the births are paid for by Medicaid. The average prenatal visit on Medicaid: 15 minutes.  

Sorry kid: Strike TWO! 

As if that weren’t enough, research has shown that the fetus can be negatively affected by the mother’s mental health: “Maternal stress has been associated with increased rates of infant mortality, low birthweight and preterm birth, all of which may have long term consequences for health and development throughout childhood to adulthood.” 

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0171299

(Also: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/706-vol-34-no-4-prenatal-influences-on-child-development  and https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/706-vol-34-no-4-prenatal-influences-on-child-development ) 

The poor, unmarried, uneducated and pregnant teenager is probably not going to be a picture of serenity, even with a supportive family.  Ironically, the more conscientious she is, the more apt she is to be worried about her future, to suffer “maternal stress.”  

Sorry kid: Strike THREE!  

Katherine Stevens, a Resident Scholar in early childhood at the American Enterprise Institute, was recently on a podcast with Paul Gessing of The Rio Grande Foundation, where they discussed New Mexico’s lousy education results.  In her opinion, trying to fix education with pre-kindergarten programs, what she called “a fourteenth grade,” is “a waste of money.” 

https://errorsofenchantment.com/tipping-point-nm-episode-214-katharine-stevens-improving-outcomes-for-new-mexico-children/ 40 minutes 

She described “the too-young mother problem” as “huge.”  It’s a problem that incorporates single parenthood, lousy prenatal care, and a stressful pregnancy, the trifecta that dooms the new-born child. Thinking that early education is going to fix all that is irresponsible nonsense. 

This is not to say that we shouldn’t try to help these kids, it’s just that trying to do so through the educational system is the wrong way.  She said that studies that show pre-k programs are effective are measuring the wrong variable. Since these programs are voluntary, their apparent success is really a function of more conscientious parenting.  

She expanded on the problem of confusing statistical significance with real world significance in a just released report published by the Rio Grande Foundation, “Why Expanding New Mexico State Pre-K Won’t help the Children Who Need Help the Most:  

New RGF brief debunks LFC report on pre-K: Why Expanding New Mexico State Pre-K Won’t Help the Children Who Need Help the Most

On a different podcast on the AEI website, Ms. Stevens noted that work of Dr. James Heckman, often used to justify pre-k programs, consisted of only two studies, done in the 1960’s, one of which was a full-day, birth to age five program targeted at poor kids, hardly what is being proposed today. Dr. Heckman recently said that he has never supported UNIVERSAL pre-school, and that “the benefits of public pre-school programs are the greatest for the most disadvantaged children.” 

https://www.aei.org/multimedia/is-universal-child-care-universally-beneficial/  17 minutes 

https://medium.com/@ArchbridgeInst/nobel-prize-winning-economist-dr-5550da1df5c3

He did not describe the specific programs that helped, but they are almost certainly NOT those being proposed in New Mexico today. Regardless, using the educational system will not solve a problem Ms. Stevens describes as mostly medical, i.e., meeting the physical and emotional needs of pregnant, at- risk women will do more to improve far-off graduation rates than hiring hundreds of new pre-k teachers and Public Education Department experts. 

Ms. Stevens did identify a specific program for the at-risk child, one she says has had “extraordinary results.”  It involves group therapy and is called CenteringPregnancy. From the web site of The Centering Healthcare Institute:  

“How It Works: Centering group prenatal care follows the recommended schedule of 10 prenatal visits, but each visit is 90 minutes to two hours long – giving women 10x more time with their provider. Moms engage in their care by taking their own weight and blood pressure and recording their own health data with private time with their provider for belly check. Once health assessments are complete, the provider and support staff “circle-up” with moms and support people. They lead facilitative discussion and interactive activities –Centering materials help moms and providers ensure that everything from nutrition, common discomforts, stress management, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and infant care are covered in group. 

“— CenteringPregnancy brings 8-10 women all due at the same time together for their care. Providing care in this way allows moms and providers to relax and get to know each other on a much deeper and meaningful level. Members of the group form lasting friendships and are connected in ways not possible in traditional care. Centering groups comprised of women of different ages, races, and socio-economic backgrounds see those differences diminish in importance as they share the common experience of pregnancy, birth, and family care. Many continue on for family centered well-child care through the first two years in CenteringParenting.”    

https://www.centeringhealthcare.org/what-we-do/centering-pregnancy

It would also appear that this program would be much more cost effective than trying to comply with a court order that simply cannot be complied with, given the sad reality of so many New Mexican children. Shoe-horning those kids into a fourteenth grade, having smaller classes, home visits, extended teaching year, etc., all sounds good but I’m afraid it won’t be very effective, if at all. 

Since the state has acknowledged that more money spent on education won’t help the at-risk child, and since the at-risk child is precisely the child CenteringPregnancy is designed to help, one would hope that New Mexico would at least experiment with the CenteringPregnancy model.  One problem is that it will take a few years to see any measurable results, if there are any, but the same is true for all the other programs.  

The one very encouraging take-away from the recent court ruling is that it appears to require just that: measurable results, POSITIVE results, before letting the politicians and bureaucrats off the hook.   At long last, somebody wants proof that a government program is working. One can hope that this will also expose government programs that AREN’T working, but that may be a bridge too far.  

Dear Black Lives Matter: Tear down mosques, not churches

Dear Black Lives Matter: Tear down mosques, not churches. By Peter Burrows 6/29/20 elburropete@gmail.com – slivercityburro.com 

From The Daily Wire, June 23, 2020: ‘Tear Them Down’: BLM Activist Shaun King Calls for Destruction of Jesus Christ Statues, Churches: ‘White Supremacy,’ ‘Oppression,’ ‘Racist Propaganda’  – Shaun King, the controversial Black Lives Matter activist known for pushing false claims, called for the destruction of Jesus Christ statues and Christian churches for their depiction of the “white” holy family, which King argued are forms of “white supremacy” and “racist propaganda” that promote “oppression.” 

“Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down,” the activist posted via Twitter on Monday. “They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been.” 

“In the Bible,” King continued, “when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went? EGYPT! Not Denmark.” 

“Tear them down.” 

Good grief, Shaun. If you would have just checked the scriptures a little more closely, you would have known they actually wanted to go to Sweden but that flight was booked, so they opted instead for Denmark. When the Stockholm airport was snowed in, they had to land back in Egypt. Sheesh. Somebody might think you BLM types are really, really stupid, in addition to being mindlessly violent.    

But!! I know better, and I can prove it! Just bear with me. 

Jesus never owned slaves, nor as far as I know, did he ever advocate owning slaves. That would be mildly surprising, since slavery was widely accepted back then. Regardless, Seventeenth Century Christian abolitionists started the drive to eliminate slavery, and the American Civil War finally ended it. Not in the entire world, just in Europe and North America. 

Slavery still held on in parts of the Muslim world, and only a few years ago slavery became an accepted part of the ISIS ruled regions of the Middle East. That was because slavery is an accepted part of the religion of Islam. The website, The Religion of Peace, just published an article giving chapter and verse to this truth.  

https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/slavery.aspx

In the above article, there are citations to a number of authenticated stories about Muhammad and slaves he owned. These stories, called hadith, are similar to the Gospels of Christianity. The most revered are the “gospels” of Bukhari, and here are two that leave no doubt Muhammad owned black slaves: 

Narrated `Umar: I came and behold, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was staying on a Mashroba (attic room) and a black slave of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was at the top if its stairs. I said to him, “(Tell the Prophet) that here is `Umar bin Al- Khattab (asking for permission to enter).” Then he admitted me.‏ (Sahih al-Bukhari 7263, Book 95, Hadith 17. USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 9, Book 91, Hadith 368.) 

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was on a journey and he had a black slave called Anjasha, and he was driving the camels (very fast, and there were women riding on those camels). Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Waihaka (May Allah be merciful to you), O Anjasha! Drive slowly (the camels) with the glass vessels (women)!” (Sahih al-Bukhari 6161, Book 78, Hadith 187. USC-MCA web (English) reference: Vol. 8, Book 73, Hadith 182.) 

Given there is no doubt Muhammad owned black slaves and Jesus didn’t, we have to ask why mosques aren’t being threatened instead of churches. Silly question! BLM and the Muslims are on the same side in the farcical race scam being played out, and both would like to see, for different reasons, American political institutions destroyed.  

In addition, I have no doubt that Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam will be very quick to show the BLM thugs that George. W. Bush was wrong when he said, “Islam is peace.” Ditto for many other mosques in America. Churches and synagogues are soft targets, the typical mosque could be an entirely different matter. The BLMs know this.  

Therein the proof that Shaun King and the BLM are NOT stupid, not mindlessly violent. They know just what they are doing, It’s the white people who are stupid and mindlessly acquiescent.  Now, if the BLM proves me wrong and they start to attack mosques, then I will apologize to Shaun King for ever doubting his stupidity.          

Islam and adolescent girls

Islam and adolescent girls by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com 6/26/20 

I was surprised to learn that the population of Israel is over 17 percent Muslim. Any other Judeo-Christian nation with that many Muslims would be in a civil war. I wonder if Israel’s Muslim citizens are tacitly grateful to live in an oasis of civilization, free from the smothering requirements of sharia law.   

On the other hand, it could be the Muslims know their Jewish brethren have a low tolerance for sharia nonsense. I prefer that latter explanation, but what else would you expect from an old Islamophobe? 

It will therefore be interesting to see what happens in the wake of a recent Israeli court ruling that has, for the first time, indicted Israeli Muslims for facilitating the underage marriage of their daughters. The charges were brought against four families, and their daughters range in age from 11 to 14. 

Sharia law usually permits girls to be married as young as 9, although some Islamic scholars say girls can be married at any age. Also, sharia law explicitly empowers parents to arrange a virgin daughter’s marriage without her consent, regardless of age, which is no doubt what was about to happen in Israel.  

In Muslim ruled countries, attempts to raise the age of marriage to protect young girls from such a fate have often been met with violent outrage. Devout Muslims see such man-made laws as a desecration of both the Koran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad.   

In Islam, a man cannot divorce a pregnant woman, and to guard against this, Verse 65:4 in the Koran decrees a waiting period of three months, both for wives who have reached menopause as well as for wives “who have not yet menstruated.” Both the 1996 Saudi Arabian Khan/Al-Hilali translation, “The Noble Qur’an,” and the 2011 English version of the Pakistani translation by Sayyid Mawdudi, “Towards Understanding The Koran,” have scholarly annotations explaining that this part of the verse refers to prepubescent girls.  

Muslims are not free to disagree with this conclusion. Sharia law says, “Never explain a verse of the Holy Koran by your own opinion, but check on as to how it has been understood by the scholars of Sacred Law who came before you.” If your opinion differs, “forsake your wretched opinion and fling it against the wall.”  

A second verse in the Koran, Verse 33.21, tells Muslims that Muhammad lived a life worthy of emulation. Since Muhammad married a six-year-old and began having sex with the little girl when she was nine, a law that would prevent such a marriage is seen as a criticism of a man Allah says cannot be criticized.  (We know the Koran is from Allah because Muhammad said so. We know everything Muhammad did was approved by Allah because the Koran says so. Makes sense to me.) 

Thus, when Bangladesh considered a law banning child marriage, an Islamic authority said, “Banning child marriage will cause challenging the marriage of the Holy Prophet of Islam,” adding that 200,000 jihadists were ready to sacrifice their lives for any law restricting child marriage. In Iran, that wouldn’t be necessary because the law specifically allows girls to be married at the age of nine, in accord with Muhammad’s example.  

This is how Islam treats girls who are Muslims.  If you think non-Muslim girls would be exempt, you couldn’t be more mistaken. The Koran authorizes the sexual enslavement of non-Muslim women captured during war, and when ISIS was ravaging parts of Syria and Iraq, many unfortunate Yazidi and Christian women and children were raped by their Muslims captors, who felt no moral compunction against such behavior. It’s in the Koran, after all!   

In fact, ISIS published an instruction manual for its jihadists on the proper treatment of captive women, which answered a number of questions a jihadist might have. For example: “Question 4: Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female captive? A: It is permissible to have intercourse with a female captive. –Question 6: Is it permissible to sell a female captive? A: It is permissible to buy, sell, or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property —Question 13: Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female slave who has not reached puberty? A: It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who has not reached puberty —.” 

The enterprising ISIS Muslims even raised money by selling their captive women, pricing them by age categories. You might guess that the most expensive would be those in the 20 t0 30 group, but you would be wrong. For only $84.60 you could buy, on average, a Yazidi or Christian woman. The most expensive female slaves were children in the 1 to 9 age range, with an average price of $169.21, twice that for a mature woman.  

When ISIS came under military threat, they moved their slave markets into Turkey, where they were protected by the Erdogan government, Erdogan being an unapologetic Islamic fundamentalist.  

If you are appalled by the foregoing, then you must, perforce, be appalled by the religion of Islam.  Islam commands jihad, and Islam commands women captured in jihad are slaves who can then be sexually abused, regardless of age.  No ifs, ands or buts. If you think this is some perversion of Islam, you are wrong.  

This is what Muslims MUST believe or they are considered apostates, and apostates can be murdered with no penalty because they “deserve to die.” The question then becomes, “Why do we allow Muslims to immigrate to America?”  

Personally, I would allow Muslims to immigrate here if they were escaping their religion, but, unfortunately, almost all of them are bringing their abominable religion with them, a religion totally incompatible with our Constitution and our common decency, which has its roots in Judeo-Christian ethics.  

People who defend Islam on multicultural grounds are morons, as are those who think Muslims represent a ‘race’ that must be protected.   If you have been a defender of Islam and Muslims, for whatever reason, you have defended the molestation of young girls, whether you knew it or not.   

Now, you know it.  

The New Racism

The New Racism by Peter Burrows 6/12/20 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com

The charge that America is systemically racist is, unfortunately, all too true.  I know some of you are thinking, “But Burro, whenever someone who says that is asked to prove it, they can’t.”

You’re right, they can’t.  No mathematical analysis of racial disparities shows that there is any meaningful racism in America, but those analyses are looking at what racism used to be. The old racism was the majority discriminating against minorities. That’s dead. The new racism is the majority discriminating FOR minorities. In addition, and this is a biggie, the new racism has the majority discriminating against ITSELF.

Some of you are thinking, “Burro is off his rocker again,” but how else can you explain white people buying into the absurd charge that they have benefited from ‘white privilege?’ Jordan Peterson, the Candian psychologist, demolishes this argument on You Tube by noting that what is called white privilege is simply majority privilege and has nothing to do with race. Would white people enjoy white privilege in China? Japan? Zimbabwe?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEESNpAu1EU&t=15s

He points out that skin color is not nearly as important as things like intelligence, personality, education, family, character, talent, etc.  If you think white privilege trumps all that, then you will believe the following story:

When I was about 12, I discovered Louis Armstrong.  My parents bought me a used trumpet and I began practicing. When Louis appeared at a nightclub in nearby Chicago, my parents drove me and my trumpet over to hear him. I wanted to sit in, and Louis made a big mistake by saying, “Sure, kid. Let’s hear what ‘ya got.”

Well, I proceeded to blow poor old Louis off the stand. He was begging me, “Stop white boy, stop! I can’t compete against white privilege!” And then there was the time I got in the ring with Ali, and the time I auditioned on SNL against Eddie Murphy and — you get the point.

Racism, racism, racism. That’s all we hear today from the Left side of our political spectrum.  The Democratic Party is obsessed with race, defining almost every issue terms of race. For example, I just read that nuclear generated electricity and radioactive waste have a “violent legacy of environmental racism and injustice against indigenous people.” This from a leftist group that opposes nuclear power.

This is an example of what I define as systemic racism, and the only place I see it is the left wing of American politics, especially the Democrat Party, not anywhere else. I don’t see it in groups like the KKK because the KKK isn’t in charge of anything.  Democrats and their leftist allies are in charge of the schools, the old media, the social media, the environmentalists, Hollywood, and most of the religious groups in America. It’s through those institutions the left spreads its racist lies.

Ironically, the Democratic Party is openly racist in their support for quotas, minimum wage laws, and denying school choice to parents. (See, “Take the ‘Who’s a racist’ quiz,” silvercityburro.com, 12/19/2019.) They get away with this because white Republicans are too intimidated to make race an issue even when the facts are on their side.

Black Republicans are another matter, but they lack both credibility and numbers. Black Democrats, however, if they start to see through the BS, could become the catalyst for both the destruction of the Democrat Party and the salvation of America, which are NOT mutually exclusive goals.  Whites can help, but far too many whites are blinded by ‘white guilt.’

Have you seen those videos of white girls on their knees begging forgiveness for their white privilege? I’m surprised we haven’t seen the little dears performing fellacio on the black punks to prove they aren’t racists. Those black punks must be laughing their asses off at these stupid white liberals, but the blacks who aren’t punks, and that’s the great majority, are not laughing as they watch their neighborhoods being destroyed.

In the past, such destruction might have had a glimmer of justification as racial protests, but in today’s mayhem there are white punks joining in the fun destroying black neighborhoods, and that may be a bridge too far.   When Black Lives Matter teams up with Antifa and this has the approval of Democrat mayors, both black and white, some of the good black people of America are starting to realize they’ve been had.

I hope it’s not too late. Harry Stein, a liberal turned conservative, dedicated a book he wrote thusly: “To black conservatives everywhere, shock troops in the battle for America’s soul.”

Amen, brother.

If I were “Mao For a Day”

If I were “Mao For a Day” by Peter Burrows 6/06/20 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com

Some years ago on Meet the Press, famed New York Times columnist Tom Friedman said that he had often fantasized about America being China for a day so that we could “authorize the right solutions” for “everything from the economy to environment.”

Since China is a dictatorship, what Friedman really fantasizes about is Tom Friedman being a Mao Zedong for a day. Like most liberals, Friedman possesses invincible moral and intellectual certitude. That’s why his solutions would be the” right” solutions.

Well, the Friedmanites of the world are not the only ones who possess invincible certitude.  I have a list of things I’d do if I was ‘Mao for a day,’ hereafter MFAD.  My first list of MFADs addresses four issues that I perceive as posing existential threats to America. Two are external, two are internal.

1) No Mosques, no Muslims. Islam is an authoritarian theocracy totally incompatible with our Constitution. If you think otherwise, you are mistaken. I have written about this in the past and will do so again in the near future.

2) The death penalty for anybody involved in the manufacture or distribution of the synthetic drugs fentanyl and methamphetamine, and any analogue of those drugs, which are pouring into our country from China via Mexico. Death by OD will be administered after a tribunal reviews the evidence.  No death row for these offenders. They are busy killing us, and we should return the favor.

3) Any proposed Federal regulation must be reviewed by a Congressional oversight committee before it goes into effect, and if no such oversight occurs within 60 days, the proposed regulation is null and void and must be resubmitted – indefinitely.

Our Federal bureaucracy, by one estimate, issues 4,000 regulations per year, few of which are reviewed by the actual people we elect to pass laws. The Congressional Review Act of 1996 was supposed to restore this Constitutional responsibility, but has failed because it allows unreviewed regulations to automatically become law within 60 days.  My MFAD reverses that: No Congressional review within 60 days? Start over.

4) Anybody receiving a government payment cannot vote in that government’s elections. This would eliminate the biggest weakness of any democracy, which is politicians using the public purse to buy votes.  Essentially, any voter getting money from a government has a conflict of interest and shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

I know some of you are thinking, “Old Burro is off his meds again,” but let me explain. If you work for the Federal government, or if you are receiving Federal retirement checks, you can’t vote in Federal elections for Federal office holders. Ditto for state and local governments. I might even extend the restriction to include campaign donations. I’ll have to Mao mull that for a bit.

This would mean that in New Mexico, all the school teachers, University employees, state bureaucrats, state retirees, etc., could not vote for who is going to be their boss. In the last election, they all voted for the Democrat, who promptly gave them a pay raise. Some of that pay raise will go into union coffers to elect more Democrats, even though the taxpayers are not all Democrats. Sweet deal, isn’t it?

The prohibition includes Social Security and welfare recipients. No welfare recipient could vote for anybody who would be able to increase his or her welfare benefits, and no one whose SS benefits are over, for example, 30 percent of total income could vote in a Federal election.

Imagine how that would change the political landscape! The big negative is administering the eligibility lists, something best done by the IRS. This would mean that to vote, a person has to file a tax return. This could enable cross-checking with voter registration lists, another measure to reduce voter fraud.

I admit, number four needs a little Mao mulling, but I think it could fly. After those four, I have a long list of MFADs that are relatively trivial. None would require the use of force, although some people might say term limits “force” people out of elected positions, which is why I would grandfather all current office holders. Anybody running for office in the future would know the rules. Don’t like the rules? Don’t run for office. After term limits, in no particular order:

Tort reform requiring the loser pay court costs  –  A national voter ID card like Mexico has –  A national ‘Constitutional carry’ law for handguns – Leave the UN and form a League of Democracies –  Eliminate ethanol blending into gasoline – Legalize marijuana and have the FDA regulate THC levels – Raise Social Security retirement ages to reflect current mortality rates –  Eliminate the corporate income tax – Eliminate the estate tax – Eliminate the Dept. Of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – Fold the EPA into the Department of the Interior and the Department of Education into HHS – Eliminate the Federal minimum wage law – eliminate subsidies for wind and solar – eliminate the EEOC division of DOJ – eliminate the Energy Information Division in the Department of Energy – eliminate the efficacy test  required for FDA approval of new drugs – Eliminate Federal fuel efficiency standards, e.g. CAFE – Eliminate Federal flood insurance –  figure out some way to penalize states that don’t allow parents to get school vouchers – etc., etc., etc., ad-damn-near-infinitum.

Is Islam a ‘race?’

Is Islam a ‘race’? By Peter Burrows, 5/25/20 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

Is Islam a ‘race’? Most people I know would think that is a really, really dumb question, but most people I know aren’t liberals.  The liberals I know have to think about that question, proving that all you have to do to turn a liberal’s brains to mush is to mention the word ‘race.’  

For proof, see the following, from a liberal, one who even has a Ph.D.:  

re: is Islam a race? As a biologist, that is a difficult question because the genetic necessity of the category does not hold up to statistical testing. In other words, if racial categories are considered statistical treatments, we find more variability within the treatments than between them. At the scale of the individual case and only considering the evidence you have presented for cause and effect (which is again a problem of scale), then I would, of course, and meaninglessly, agree with you. 2/25/20 

I know what you’re thinking: “You made that up, Burro! Nobody, NOBODY could be so creatively stupid!” 

Nope.  I’m flattered if you think I’m smart enough to come up with such a convoluted parody of liberal thinking. It brings to mind something George Orwell once said: “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.” 

To clarify the above answer from my liberal friend, his PhD. Is not in biology, but Forestry, and while he ends by agreeing with me, I had proffered no opinion, so I assume he knew that I don’t think Islam is a ‘race.’ In that he is correct.  

After all, if Islam is a race than Christianity is also a race, as is Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.  These ‘races’ must be further divided into sub-species, e.g., Islam would have the Sunni race, and the Shi’a race; Christianity would have the Catholic race and the Protestant race; and the latter would have its own subspecies, e.g. the Baptist race. 

All of which would mean that my Lutheran wife and I have had a very long biracial marriage, me being raised a Methodist. Of course, if I wished to join the Muslim race, all I would have to do is repeat the shahada: “There is one God who is Allah and His prophet is Muhammad.”  

Voila! I have changed my race! About now you are thinking, “Enough, Burro! We get it. Nobody can possibly think a religion is a race.”  

Au contraire, mon frere.  Trump’s terrorist travel ban targets mostly Muslim majority countries and has been called “blatantly racist” by the National Council of Churches. When Trump expanded the travel ban last January, The Executive Director of The National Immigration Justice Center said, “This Muslim Ban expansion is founded on nothing more than cruelty and racism.”  

Sadly, the terrorist travel ban should be against all Muslims but it isn’t. Trump was on the right path when he campaigned on an anti-Muslim theme, saying in 2015 that he was “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the Hell is going on. We have no choice.” 

That was then. Unfortunately, while the word ‘race’ turns liberals’ brains into mush, it also turns conservatives’ SPINES into mush. Trump advisors John Bolton and Sebastian Gorka, who were familiar with Islamic ideology are gone, and Trump now sounds like so many other politically correct morons. 

For example, the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, is celebrated with a dinner called Eid al-Fitr, “Festival of Breaking the Fast.” The White House had hosted such diners since 1996 as a gesture of friendship to the Muslim world. Trump ended that tradition in 2017, and I had hopes there would never be another. However, he reinstated the dinner in 2018, continuing in 2019 and 2020.   

This year he put out a press release that read: “On Eid al-Fitr, the First Lady and I send our warmest greetings to Muslims in the United States and around the world as they celebrate. —Now more than ever we are reminded of the reassuring peace, uplifting love, and heartening fellowship that religion brings into our lives.  We send our best wishes for a blessed and joyous Eid al-Fitr.” 

“Reassuring peace”?  The Religion of Peace website has this tally for acts of atrocity committed by Muslims during this year’s Ramadan: 718 deaths in 175 attacks in 20 countries. The site notes that this year’s Ramadan didn’t have any incidents “in the name of other religions or from the much-touted ‘right-wing’ threat.” 

So, what has changed Trump the realistic campaigner into Trump the delusional President? I doubt he thinks Islam is a ‘race,’ and I hope he is engaging in some Machiavellian strategy to lull Muslims into a false sense of security, but I’m afraid that’s not the case. I think he just doesn’t understand Islamic fundamentals and for political reasons is trying to refute the charge that he’s a ‘racist.’. 

I’m saddened because I was hoping to cast a proactive vote for a president this year, instead of voting against whomever the Democrats nominate. But alas, Trump has joined his two predecessors, Obama and G.W. Bush, as just another useful idiot in the spread of Islam. I cannot vote ‘for’ a president who doesn’t recognize that Islam is an existential threat to our country. 

I wish there was a “None of the Above” on the ballot.  

 

Economics for Dummies and Liberals

Economics for Dummies and Liberals by Peter Burrows 5/19/20 elburrpete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com

Most people hear the word “economics” and their minds shut down.  That’s too bad because the basic fundamentals of economics are not difficult to understand.  Most people would think that these fundamentals are just common sense. Maybe we should call it ‘simplenomics” so people wouldn’t be intimidated.

The most fundamental rule of economics is what I call the Brezhnev rule, named after the former Russian dictator. (I’d call it the “Burro” rule but then you wouldn’t be impressed.) Leonid Brezhnev ruled the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1982, longer than anyone except Stalin.  By most accounts, he wasn’t a bad guy as Russian dictators go. He certainly was reflective, as this statement reveals:

“It is an elementary fact that a society cannot consume what is not first produced and transported.” He made this statement, as I recall, when addressing the Duma, the Soviet Parliament, in a state-of-the- union type address.  It is an unremarkable economic statement except for the “and transported” part, which caught my attention and is why I remember it so clearly.

At the time I recalled pictures of piles of cabbages rotting at rail depots in Russia because their economic system was so poor in the “transporting” function, and I could understand why Brezhnev would mention it.  It’s not something an American would even think of because we take our distribution system for granted.  That doesn’t just mean roads and rails and trucks. It’s also Walmart and Kroger’s and McDonalds and all the enterprises involved in getting products from the producer to the consumer.

By mentioning “and transported,” Brezhnev was revealing a weakness in central planning that hadn’t occurred to me. Also, his comment that production was required before consumption impressed me as an elementary fact that I had never heard articulated before, certainly not by any Western politician.

I think trying to run a state-run economy is a crash course in “elementary” economic fundamentals, and If there is a more elementary economic fundamental than that things must be produced before they can be consumed, I don’t know what it is.  This has always been true. If you were a hunter-gatherer and the rains didn’t come and the berries dried up and the deer disappeared, you died.  It’s true regardless of the economic system, feudal, free or state-run.

Since a corollary fundamental is that the more a society produces, the wealthier that society becomes, the question then becomes: which economic system produces the most?  Experience has proven beyond a doubt that the most prosperous economies are free-enterprise economies.  Contrast East and West Germany, North and South Korea, or try to find a Walmart in Cuba.

If everybody looked at the world with this production-then-consumption view, we could avoid a lot of stupid government economic policies. For example, minimum wage laws are very popular but they put the economic cart before the horse.  For example, the purpose of a $15 per hour minimum wage is to ensure that workers can consume $15 worth of goods for each hour they work. However, if they can’t produce $15 per hour, they won’t have a job. Period.

In common sense language, you can’t be paid more than you earn. Seen in that light, minimum wage laws don’t make economic sense.  Such laws are widely blamed for dramatic increases in teenage unemployment over the last 70 years, but minimum wage laws are “feel good” and emotional. Facts don’t matter,

The same could be said of capital gains taxes, which reduce the capital of successful investors, precisely the group society should want to have more capital to invest. Why? Because private investors are much better investors than government bureaucrats.

Here’ an analogy to ponder. Imagine we are bench-sitters on a basketball team starring Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Who do you want to see taking shots, those two guys or the referees?  Do we really want to take capital away from people like Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, and Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, and put that money in the hands of government officials?

Unfortunately, that’s precisely what some people want to do. The accumulation of private wealth is offensive to their egalitarian sensibilities, even though such wealth was earned fair and square, not a penny stolen from anybody. From a legal standpoint, that’s also true for Chicago janitors retiring on $100,000 per year, presidents of marginal New Mexico universities making over $300,000 per year, or managers of tiny New Mexican cities being paid $100,000 per year, and on and on and on.

Libertarians have a cute little phrase, “taxation is theft,” technically inaccurate but morally apt in all too many cases.  I notice that those who would penalize Bezos don’t seem to have any problem with overpaid government workers.

I do, because I don’t have any choice in the matter, but I’m OK with Bezos becoming the world’s first trillionaire. I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon, and I watch ‘Bosch’ on Amazon Prime. Thanks, Jeff, for enriching this bench-sitter’s life, you stupid liberal.

(Note to economic geeks: All of the above can be interpreted as a version of Say’s Law, from the 18-Century Frenchman Jean Baptiste Say, who famously noted; “Products are paid for with products.” This is another way of saying that the essence of all economic activity is barter, your pig for my cow, etc. The invention of currency both greatly increased economic efficiency and stared to complicate things. ‘Produce before consume’ is nice and simple. Even I can understand it.)   

 

Being Mao-for-a-day

Being Mao-for-a-day by Peter Burrows 4/30/20 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

Over the years, Thomas Friedman, the renowned New York Times columnist, has fantasized about America being “China for a day,” because then “— we could actually authorize the right solutions, on everything from the economy to the environment.” (Meet the Press, 5/23/10) 

By “authorize” he means “dictate,” and by “right solutions” he means what HE thinks are the right solutions. That’s a little redundant. Friedman’s solutions are obviously the “right” solutions because they’re Friedman’s solutions.  

What Friedman is really saying is that since China is a dictatorship, he, Tom Friedman, would like to be dictator for day, and who was China’s iconic dictator? Why, Mao Zedong, who modernized Chinese agriculture with his “right solutions.”  A few people had to die – 40 to 50 million – but they were just ordinary people, not gifted visionaries like Mao and Friedman.    

I believe Friedman first expressed his Mao-for-a-day dream in a highly acclaimed book he wrote in 2008, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded.” There was a chapter, “China For A Day,” in which the focus of his fantasies was dictating what we would today call the Green New Deal: “–imposing all the right taxes, regulations and standards needed to launch a clean power system in one day.” 

Here are some of the reviews Friedman’s book received, downloaded from Amazon:  

“A convincing case for the green revolution required to rescue us from an unsustainable course.”–USA Today; “He gets the big issues right.”–The Washington Post; “A compelling manifesto that deserves a wide reading, especially by members of Congress.”–The Boston Globe; “If Friedman’s profile and verve take his message where it needs to be heard, into the boardrooms of America and beyond, that can only be good–for all our sakes.”–The New York Times Book Review 

This was back in 2008, and since then Germany has pretty much done what Friedman recommended to achieve a clean power system. By 2025 Germany will have spent $580 billion on renewable energy and will have reduced fossil fuel use by maybe ten percent. Electricity bills have gone up over 50 percent and will go up a great deal more if the country achieves its goal of 100 percent renewable electric generation by 2050.  

California is having a similar experience with its push for renewables, and New Mexico is about to impoverish itself as it pursues the renewable goals in the recently passed Energy Transition Act.  None of the renewable goals, Germany’s, California’s, New Mexico, wherever, are achievable without self-destructive costs.  

This has been known for quite some time.  Bill Gates once said the cost of 100 percent renewable electricity would be “beyond astronomical.” He also said something to the effect that it would be nice if people would “bring a little math” to the problem.   

In time, I have no doubt the math will prevail, but that will take decades. In the meantime, math has no chance against the emotional appeal of a messianic mission to save humanity. The environmentalists and their useful-idiot lawmakers see themselves engaged a moral crusade to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. So far, they have been oblivious to the disastrous consequences of their policies.  

That may change.  Michael Moore’s’ new documentary, “Planet of the Humans.,” available for free on You Tube, pulls the plug on renewable energy and exposes some of the villains involved.  Sadly, it doesn’t mention the number one villain: Government. Without mandates and subsidies, the renewable energy industry disappears.   

Still, Moore’s documentary could provide the emotional fervor that is needed to counter the emotional fervor pushing renewables.  Michael Shellenberger, and others, have long made the argument that renewables aren’t going to save the environment, and in fact we must save the environment FROM renewables.  Moore’s documentary dramatizes that fact.  

Unfortunately, Mao-Moore agrees with Mao-Friedman that the world needs drastic action to avoid an inevitable environmental apocalypse. Since green energy is proving to be a bust, the only thing that can save us is population control.  For over 50 years, environmentalists, most notably Paul Ehrlich, have been predicting mass starvations, but those pesky humans keep figuring out new ways to feed themselves.  

The unacceptable result is that they keep multiplying, using up the earth’s resources and in this greed-driven process, are KILLING THE PLANET!  

What would Mao Zedong do to solve this crisis? We know that if Friedman had been Mao-for-a-day, by now we would have needlessly sacrificed even more billions of dollars on the altar of Global Warming. (Always capitalize a religion.)  With Moore as Mao-for-a-day, would that mean that in ten years we will have sacrificed billions of PEOPLE?  Isn’t that what the real Mao would see as “the right solution” to the “problem” of overpopulation?  

The lesson here is twofold. One, people filled with invincible moral and intellectual certitude are almost always WRONG. Two, such people can do a lot of harm if they are in positions of power.  Examples abound, and not just dictatorships. Neville Chamberlain and Angela Merkle come to mind, as well as L. Ron Hubbard, Jim Jones, and any American president who listens to people with the “right” solutions. The list is long. 

That’s not to say that there shouldn’t occasionally be a Mao-for-a-day.  Some potential Maos are in fact morally and intellectually superior people who would do a lot of good, not just on the big stuff, like climate change, but in helping individuals with their personal problems.  

In this regard, Mao-Burro has noticed both Thomas Friedman and Michael Moore are, to put it charitably, a little chunky.  A couple of years helping Cuba harvest sugar cane would do both of them a lot of good, whether they know it or not.  

Well, fellas, Mao-Burro knows, and someday you’ll thank me.