That Was The Year That Was: Fits 7, 8, and 9


Some of this year was simply silly, but a lot of it was dangerously stupid.

Fit the Seventh—July: A Trojan Whatever

The Daily Wire has a post up titled Biden Is ‘A Trojan Horse For A Radical Agenda,’ Mike Pence Warns. I believe the Vice President is on the right track, but he may have identified the wrong Trojan critter.

Fit the Eighth—August: Cultural Appropriation

I’d like to suggest that people who find my culture offensive should stop appropriating the things we have created.

I’m an engineer. In my culture we rely on certain facts of nature (as we understand them) being actually true. For example, engineers believe, based on the evidence, that 2+2=4, and we rely on the mathematical principles behind that fact in order to design and build things that people can use.

It’s come to my attention that there’s a bunch of wokies trying to sell the idea that 2+2=4 is not a universal truth but some sort of tool used to oppress minorities. (Note: Engineers are a very tiny minority group within humanity.) While I believe that the wokies are foolishly wrong in their worldview, they have the right to be wrong. However, I also believe that, given their worldview, they are acting immorally (if Morality is connected to Truth) when they appropriate my culture’s concepts and artifacts for their own purposes.

For example, if 2+2 can equal 5, then 12 percent can equal 22 percent. I picked those numbers because, to the extent that most of wokies pay income taxes, they are probably in the under $40k bracket. If they were withheld at the next higher marginal rate of 22 percent instead of the lower rate, they would have no grounds for complaint by their own logic. But most would surely complain.

Also, most, if not all, of the wokies I’ve encountered, seem to have cell phones, and cell phones use microprocessors which rely on the mathematical logic behind the truth of 2+2=4 in order to operate. Is it moral for them to be appropriating that artifact from my culture?

Well, that depends on how “moral” is defined. Morality is a body of standards or principles derived a particular definition of what is Good. If the definition of Good is connected with Truth, then what is moral may be quite different the if the definition is connected with Power. The wokies’ worldview is marxist and rooted in Power. For them, life is as O’Brien explained to Winston Smith: “The object of power is power.” Truth can be arbitrary for them.

IIRC, O’Brien was also a proponent of 2+2 being 5 or 3 or whatever it needed to be.

I don’t think that I would like to live in a world in which most of the power was in the hands of the wokies. Therefore, I propose this strategy—Don’t let the wokie win.

Fit the Ninth—September: Bad Science and Even Worse Theology

The Federalist reports that Nancy Pelosi wants to keep churches closed. When asked to comment on her archbishop’s statement that the state and local governments’ restrictions on worship violate the First Amendment, the Speaker said,

With all due respect to my Archbishop, I think we should follow science on this. And again with faith and science, sometimes they’re countered to each other.

Mrs. Pelosi is wrong in multiple ways in her statement. First, there is less science involved the medical response to the Wuhan virus pandemic than many people imagine. Good medicine, like good engineering, uses scientific knowledge and principles to the extent they are available and applicable to the case at hand, but sometimes a new problem must be dealt with without existing good scientific knowledge available. Guesswork based on experience may or may not give an optimal solution, and some guesses will be wrong. Today’s news about Nashville’s wrongheaded response in closing certain business is just one example of how fallible public health officials, mayors, and governors have been. Continuing to act as if a failed hypothesis is correct in bad science.

Second, while her invocation of science is bad science, her theology is even worse. Without exception, apparent contradictions between what we think we understand from science and theology wind up being caused by a lack of clear understanding of what one or both of them are trying to tell us—or from asking one of them to answer questions about which it has no answers. Science tells us how. Religion tells us why. (See the posts under the Science and the Bible tab in the menu above for more on this point.)

Third, her due respect for the pastoral authority of her Archbishop requires that she submit to his spiritual leadership. If she can not or will not, she has a limited range of options. She can go full Karen and speak with his manager. The Pope would probably take her phone call. (Come to think of it, she might even get support from Pope Francis.) Her other honest choice is to leave the Catholic Church. I expect she will do neither.

The voters of San Francisco are getting what they voted for. Good and hard.

* * * * *

And we aren’t done with 2020 yet.

That Was The Year That Was: Fits 4, 5, and 6


Moving along with the Hogewash! year-in-review theme brings us these—

Fit the Fourth—April: The Day It Finally Bothered Me

Being required to stay at home for the past month has resulted in occasional inconvenience, but hasn’t been truly bothersome. Attending church and other Zoom meetings over the phone had been my biggest annoyance. (Zoom isn’t installed on any of my devices because of security issues. I connect to those meetings with a landline phone.) My son happened to pick up toilet paper, paper towels, and other household staples at Costco a few days before things went nuts, and the stores where we shop have generally restocked well after the initial disruption. Working from home has actually been more productive because I’ve had fewer interruptions and meetings via Microsoft Teams usually have run more efficiently than face-to-face meetings. Doing The Other Podcast from Studio B here at Stately Hoge Manor is easier in some ways and more challenging in others than schlepping gear to an undisclosed location each week.

But yesterday, something about the shutdown finally truly bothered me.

Yesterday was Arbor Day.

My late wife Connie was deeply involved in issues related to natural resources, especially trees. She served as the President of our county’s Forestry Board and was a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council of Forest Sustainability. The photo on the left shows Connie in a hollow sycamore tree. It was taken while she was with a group of Forestry Board people measuring trees to determine the largest of various species in the county.

Connie died on Thanksgiving Day, 2016. On Arbor Day, 2017, a group of friends planted a sycamore tree in her honor in a county park. The Gentle Reader should not be surprised to learn that I go by the park from time to time to see how her tree is doing. Yesterday, was the first Arbor Day that I missed going. The park is closed.

Fit the Fifth—May: I’m So Old …

… I remember when the Left fancied themselves to be the Reality-Based Community, people who adhered to facts.

These days, facts keep interfering with The Narrative.

Fit the Sixth—June:

The Democrats let Joe Biden win their primaries.
Wuhan virus lockdowns.
Defunding the police proposed as a solution for rioting.

Paging Potiphar Breen. Potiphar Breeen to the white courtesy phone, please.

* * * * *

I was obvious by mid year that 2020 was crazy, and it was beginning to look like Breen’s cycles  really were beginning to line up.

That Was The Year That Was: Fits 1, 2, and 3


It’s year-in-review time. I couldn’t have made up 2020 if I tried.

Fit the First—January: Sometimes I Feel Like a Bowl of Petunias

There’s a scene in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in which the use of a spaceship’s infinite improbability drive causes two guided missiles to be changed into less threatening objects several miles above the surface of the planet Magrathea. One becomes a whale which asks all sorts of questions about its new situation as it plummets to its death. The other is a bowl of petunias which simply says, “Oh, no, not again.” That’s pretty much my reaction these days when I hear someone claiming to be a victim because he was truthfully quoted. I’ve had to endure multiple LOLsuits alleging defamation because this blog wrote truthfully about certain people.

The latest bit of such whining comes from Don Lemon, Wajahat Ali, and Rick Wilson. They are upset because of a Republican ad which uses a video clip from CNN which shows them expressing their distaste for Trump supporters. Wajahat Ali would have us believe that he is being bullied by being truthfully quoted.

Yeah. Right.

My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has a post up appropriately mocking Lemon, Ali, and Wilson. Go read it.

Fit the Second—February: Math is Hard

Bernie Sanders is proposing a national health care system commonly referred to as Medicare for All. The low-side estimates of the program’s cost are around 3 trillion dollars a year.

Michael Bloomberg’s net worth is estimated to be about 62 billion dollars. If Bernie were to confiscate all of that wealth (and it could be liquidated as cash), he could pay for a week of his proposed program. If he could similarly liquidate the fortunes of the ten richest Americans, he wouldn’t find enough money to run Medicare for three months. And he would have destroyed productive assets that would generate further cash flow to fund the system. Even if he kept the seized assets as an investment portfolio (equivalent to a 100 percent income tax rate), a reasonable long-term rate of return would only provide for a week-and-half of Medicare for all each week.

The other 95 percent of the money required would exceed the government’s current income from taxes, so bringing Medicare for All online while maintaining something near the current level of other government services would require at least doubling the current total amount of federal taxation. If the billionaires have had their assets seized so that they have nothing left to be taxed, who do you think is left to be taxed? Cleaning out the millionaires won’t produce the same windfall as billionaires. If it’s still possible to pay wages at the current level after much of the productive investment in the economy is destroyed, then the average citizen’s share of the federal tax burden would likely rise to above 33 percent of personal income.

And then we’d have to figure out how to pay for the Green Nude Eel.

Fit the Third—March: Generational Differences

Mrs. Hoge and I were both Baby Boomers, but she was seven years younger. Her idea of old time rock was the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Mine was Bill Halley and Elvis, so even within a “generation” there are differences in world experience. I was old enough to be subject to the draft during the Vietnam War. Many younger boomers weren’t. (I served in Vietnam as an officer in the Army Signal Corps.)

I saw this tweet go by, and it reminded me of how the lack of big wars over the past couple of generations as lulled some people into a false sense of security.When one has experienced the fear of running out of ammunition, the prospect of running out of toilet paper is less likely to be viewed as a existential threat.

UPDATE—America’s Newspaper of Record reports that some are responding to The Pandemic properly—

* * * * *

Stay tuned for more.

The Future in Films


The movie industry’s projections of the future are not always accurate. Space travel in 2001 was up to the standards of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the Los Angeles of 2019 wasn’t quite as grim as foreseen by Blade Runner.

Let’s hope that film makers were equally inaccurate in their projections of life in 2020 (Annihilation Earth), 2022 (Soylent Green), and 2026 (Metropolis).

Yeah, It’s 2020


This year has been … um … interesting, and it looks as if the summer and early autumn may bring us more intriguing events.

I’m an amateur radio operator. Many of us provide backup communications support for government agencies and NGOs (like the Red Cross and Salvation Army) during natural disasters. One of the agencies we support is the National Hurricane Center through the Hurricane Watch Net. I received an email yesterday that contained the following:

Long-range forecasts for the 2020 Atlantic Basin hurricane season, which begins on June 1 and extends until November 30, anticipate above-normal activity. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) 2020 outlook calls for a season about 140% more active than average, with four Category 3 to Category 5 hurricanes. The 2019 season saw three major hurricanes (out of six).

“The above-average prediction is largely due to the hot Atlantic and Caribbean waters and lack of a substantial El Niño in the Pacific,” the NHC explained, noting that the combination of a busy hurricane season and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could create a nightmare scenario for affected areas. FEMA and local emergency management agencies are already issuing COVID-19 guidelines for hurricane shelters, which include face masks and social distancing.

Given the way 2020 has gone so far, …