Left and right, or east and west?

St. Paul the apostle did not write the book of Acts, but he was the most prominent figure in it, because he was appointed by Jesus Christ to spread the gospel to the gentiles of the known world. “And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” Acts 16:6-10. Spread the gospel he did.

To me, the main significance of the Acts 16 quote is the two separate sentences crediting the intervention of God in directing Paul and the missionaries west, to Greece and Rome-the two main influences of “Western civilization”-instead of east, to the orient, or south, to the rest of Africa. The Roman Empire, heavily influenced by Greek culture, expanded to most of the known world, exporting their language and principles of governing, building roads, while persecuting this new “cult” of Christianity and battling fiercely independent tribes in their expansion. The Barbarians were, for the Romans, those people living outside the boundaries of the Empire: Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, Franks, Huns and others. They had in common being pastoral, tribal people, masters of great herds of cattle, possessing no cities and not given to agriculture. The Empire sometimes attracted them, for the easier, more secure living within its frontiers, sometimes warring with them.

The powerful and ruthless Roman Empire did not last, but the gospel did. By 774, Christianity was the dominant religion of Europe, having first been legitimized and spread under Roman rule. 17 of the 27 books of the New Testament are letters to other believers, mostly the churches of Greece and Rome. If I translate the spread of the gospel to current, postmodern dogma, it took root first in white cultures, and was initially spread to Asia and Africa by contact with the Roman Empire. My question, perhaps unanswerable, is “why did God direct the first missionaries west rather than east or south?” If I may be so bold—and I may, since this is my blog—I will attempt to answer my own question and in so doing, explain the root of hostility to “whiteness”.

By the time the United States Constitution was ratified, our nation and Western Europe, primarily Britain and Germany, were the “standard bearers” of Protestant Christianity. Spain, Portugal, France and Italy were the “standard bearers” of Roman Catholicism. The pilgrims who sailed here and established Plymouth Bay colony–the “spiritual progenitors” of the United States, were English Protestants highly influenced by the Protestant Reformation, and the theology of John Calvin, who wanted to purify the Anglican Church (state Church of England) from Roman Catholicism. The Bible contains a number of passages exhorting expansion of the gospel, in both the Old and New Testaments. Two are representative: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:27-28. Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20.

In the next post I will explore this idea that God had Paul turn west rather than east or south because of the expansionist and industrious nature of the people of the west and north: Present day Europe. If that is true, then the hostility that self hating whites towards what they call “whiteness” is really hostility to the God of the Bible.

It’s up to you.

Last Friday, October 11, 2019, was World Obesity Day AND National Coming Out day!!! How does God, according to the Bible, deal with “celebrations” or special days that commemorate something that the Bible, either implicitly (obesity) or explicitly (sexual deviance) condemn? John Piper wrote this: “When a people turn the world upside down and elevate man and degrade God, one of God’s responses is to turn their values inside out. If they turn the world upside down, God’s going to turn their values inside out. Their glory becomes their shame. And God sees to it that that happens. Their shame becomes their glory.” “…because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!” Romans 1:25. “And one of the most appalling parts of Romans 1 is at the end, where Paul says every one of those people who turns God into a creature — who lowers God and exalts self — every one of them knows what they’re doing. When they reflect that inversion of God and man, and reverse their sexual roles, they know what they’re doing. It says they know God in the depth of their soul (Romans 1:21). And they know that homosexual practice and transsexual experimentation is against God’s righteous will.”

Christians who truly believe the Bible will have no problem with what he is saying about sexual deviancy (from the norm as described Biblically). But obesity? Surely that is not a sin; it is not even addressed in the Bible….is it? “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. Five short sentences. What do they say to you? The obvious message aside, can you reconcile obesity with being a temple of the Holy Spirit?

WorldObesity.org is launching a new World Obesity Day on March 4, 2020, “to call for a global response to this critical challenge. Obesity is now a global crisis affecting more than 2 billion people, but is poorly understood. The complexity of the disease, the challenge of developing sustainable solutions and the burden of stigma means we need to work together to address the challenge. The new World Obesity Day will include global recognition as well as regional and national campaigns and local activities and events. Organisations from across the world will acknowledge and celebrate our efforts on 4 March 2020. Together, we can change the narrative around obesity.

Okay, this topic is a difficult one for me to address, because it deals with my most entrenched, perhaps most unreasonable(?), prejudice. Really think hard about the statements in the previous paragraph, “complexity of the disease, the challenge of developing sustainable solutions and the burden of stigma means we need to work together to address the challenge” and “we can change the narrative around obesity.” A global response to this critical challenge is ……what? If obesity is, as they claim, “poorly understood”, then how do they know it’s a disease? “We need to work together”? Who is “we”? Everyone? Just fatties (there’s my prejudice)? Just slim people? “Sustainable solutions?” Are we talking about free range fair trade organic gluten free food? If it’s a disease, as they insist alcoholism is, then “sustainable” takes on a different meaning. The most successful alcoholism recovery program, Alcoholics Anonymous, starts meetings with “I am an alcoholic.” It’s sustainable only in the sense that you will always be one.

Slim people know how to maintain a healthy weight, presumably they are conscious of how they do it, perhaps they could teach what they do to fat people. Fat people know how to be fat, not how to maintain a healthy weight. I am not sure what they have to teach about it, except “don’t do what I do.” What exactly is “the narrative around obesity?” Is it the same narrative around addiction as a disease, or hyperactivity as a disease, or gambling as a disease, or “born this way” as the explanation for homosexuality? If obesity isn’t a disease, what is it? My prejudice says “it’s mostly about lack of self control around food.”

Scientifically, it’s taking in more calories than you burn. That truth is inescapable. If I were wrong, and it’s a disease, let’s list the symptoms: I consume more calories than I burn, I consume a lot of sugar, empty calories from soft drinks and juices, I choose highly processed calories rather than purer, more natural calories (sugar Frosted Flakes over steel cut oatmeal for example), I eat too high a proportion of meat and carbohydrates, too low a proportion of vegetables. Years ago I would have added foods high in fat, but I believe that sugar is a much bigger problem, that most of the extra fat on your bones isn’t consumed but manufactured by your body as a way of storing those calories from sugar. “Those aren’t symptoms” you say, “they are behaviors.” Aren’t they visible indicators of an underlying problem? Yes? That’s what a symptom is. Calling the end result a disease does what? If it’s a disease, does that mean you can’t keep a record of what you eat? I could give you a list of do this and don’t do that. Does the disease prevent you from following the list? Well, stress – depression -loneliness – boredom – you name it, makes me eat. Exercise is too hard.

Anyway, it’s none of your business. Oh, isn’t it? According to a recent article in Science Daily based on a 2018 study by the Milken Institute: The impact of obesity and overweight on the U.S. economy has eclipsed $1.7 trillion, an amount equivalent to 9.3 % of the nation’s gross domestic product….The estimate includes $480.7 billion in direct health-care costs and $1.24 trillion in lost productivity….Universal healthcare means that universally, thin people are financially penalized for fat people’s culinary habits. We pay for their high blood pressure, their type 2 diabetes, their heart attacks, their strokes, their gallbladder disease, their osteoarthritis, their sleep apnea, the various obesity-related cancers they contract, and for all the mental-health treatment that goes hand-in-hand with realizing you are encased in a prison of your own making.

Remember when starvation was the big global health crisis? Those days are gone. According to Mike Bloomberg of the World Health Organization: Today, for the first time in history, more people are dying from too much unhealthy food than they are from too little healthy food. The “Fat Pride” movement apparently extends way back to 1967, when 500 or so people met in Central Park to stage a “Fat-In” where people burned diet books. Jim Goad opined, “If only they were so zealous about burning calories.” Do you defend the “right to bear arms” with the argument “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”? I do. Do you blame the food industry for obesity that results from unhealthy food? I don’t. I can put a gun in your hand, but you decide what to do with it. I can lay out a whole buffet of heart attack burgers and a buffet of fresh salads, but you decide which to eat. I can offer to pay for a prostitute for you, but you decide whether to violate your marriage vows. I could introduce you to a willing same sex partner, but you decide what to do from there. This entire post is about one thing only: The temptations we yield to, not whether or not we are tempted. My “issue” or prejudice isn’t about obesity, sexual deviancy or any other outward manifestation of the inner habits. It’s calling such habits “diseases.” I suppose some obese people have great habits or great genes or whatever, but are still obese. Maybe that’s glandular, genetic, a disease process. Only they know what their habits of mind and body are.

Lock, stock and smoking fingers.

Mara Rose Williams, writing in the Kansas City Star, October 10, 2019: A 12-year-old Overland Park girl formed a gun with her fingers, pointed at four of her Westridge Middle School classmates one at a time, and then turned the pretend weapon toward herself. According to Johnson County District Court documents, on Sept. 18, she “unlawfully and feloniously communicated a threat to commit violence, with the intent to place another, in fear, or with the intent to cause the evacuation, lock down or disruption in regular, ongoing activities…” A person familiar with a more detailed incident report spoke to The Star on condition of anonymity. The person said that during a class discussion, another student asked the girl, if she could kill five people in the class, who would they be? In response, the girl allegedly pointed her finger pistol — like the ones many children use playing cops and robbers. Because of that gesture, The Star was told, the girl was sent to Principal Jeremy McDonnell’s office, and the other students involved were also talked to. The school resource officer recommended that she be arrested, the source said.

Police hauled her out of school in handcuffs, arrested her and charged the child with a felony for threatening. Shawnee Mission school officials said they could not discuss the case, citing privacy laws, but did say it wasn’t the district that arrested the child. “We don’t do that,” said spokesman David Smith. “That is not our job.” He said the role of the district police is “not to enforce the law but to keep kids and adults safe.” Smith said that in general, pointing a finger pistol might violate the district’s policy against intimidation and bullying. “I might not have anything in my hand but I might be so clear that the individual definitely feels threatened,” Smith said. She was detained by police and later released to her mother. Ah, now I get it. If someone “feels” threatened, it’s a felony, even if there’s no actual threat or ability to cause the kind of harm an individual feels might happen. Why didn’t you say so in the first place?

Isn’t the first rule of gun safety to treat every gun like it’s loaded? Which brings me to wonder, how does one load the thumb and forefinger? Seriously, though, how is this a police matter? It’s a 12-year-old girl, armed with nothing but her fingers. Are we going to force kids to wear mittens year-round so they don’t accidentally shoot somebody? A couple of kids recently brought real guns to school in the same district but weren’t charged with a felony. Officials, who wouldn’t disclose how the two students were disciplined, said there was no evidence to suggest the teenagers planned to use the guns at school. Both were charged in juvenile court with possession of a firearm, a misdemeanor. Let me understand, if someone feels threatened by your finger, it’s a felony. But if you actually have a gun but there’s no evidence you plan to use it, assuming that I can read your mind, then it’s a misdemeanor. Last question, if I don’t intend to shoot you with my finger, what is it?

If finger guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have finger guns. After this incident, the girl moved to a saner place. She’s now living with her grandfather in California, where governor noisome has banned finger ammunition.

“Trumpeting”: Assassination by headline.

I began this post on October 12, 2019, by skimming Flipboard, a news app on my iPad. I like Flipboard because I can follow multiple news sources, rather than a single website or newspaper. Today I decided to aggregate just one day of negative headlines about President Trump, and then read the stories themselves to determine whether the headlines accurately reflected the story and the evidence. Here’s what I found. This is only a partial list–I ran out of energy before i ran out of headlines.

Bad impeachment move for Trump—GOP senators enraged by turkey’s invasion of Syria. Fox News. “There is rage over Trump’s decision. It is rage over a policy choice, not over high crimes and misdemeanors. Only the most blindly angry can doubt the lawfulness of the commander-in-chief’s movement of U.S. soldiers, even though it rendered inevitable the Turks’ rout of the Kurds. Ironically, though, the lack of an impeachable offense is not the relevant impeachment consideration. Nor does it matter much that, while excruciating, the president’s decision is defensible and will be applauded by Americans weary of entanglement in the Muslim Middle East’s wars.” Quoting this non-story, in which no senators were named or quoted, shows that Fox is hardly Trump’s mouthpiece.

Top military officers unload on Trump. The Atlantic. None of the “top military officers” were named or quoted. Rather, the writer summarized and editorialized. But the headline sure sounded good for impeachment, I guess, or simply to show that accusation without evidence can work in the United States, not just dictatorships.

Opinion: Trump Needs to be Brought to U.N. on Charges of Genocide. PoliticusUsa.com. “A review of the convention’s (1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide) salient articles makes clear that not only is Trump complicit in this current act of ethnic cleansing against the Kurds, but also his administration has repeatedly in its policies engaged in genocidal behavior, most blatantly in his immigration enforcement policies, his denial of asylum seekers, and his caging of children and separation of them from their parents.” So now Trump is to blame for what Turkey does, as well as Obama administration immigration policies.

Rudy Giuliani Just Got Trump Impeached By Admitting The President Directed Ukraine Operation. PoliticusUsa.com. “While defending himself in the criminal investigation, Rudy Giuliani admitted that he was acting at the direction of Trump in Ukraine.” So how does that “get Trump impeached”?

Anatomy of the phone call now imperiling Trump’s presidency. AP. They go into great detail comparing procedures of briefing the president. White House staffers did not brief the president on this call the way other presidents were briefed on phone calls to foreign leaders. So what? How does that tidbit “imperil Trump’s presidency?”

The Latest Hero Exposing Trump’s Corruption Has a Name, and She Is Not F*cking Around. Esquire. The article was about the ambassador to the Ukraine who was just replaced complaining about some anonymous person (the article suspects it was Rudy Giuliani) badmouthing her to Trump. I failed to find the promised expose of Trump’s corruption.

Trump’s losses mount in stunning day of setbacks. CNN. “Five federal courts dealt blows to President Donald Trump on Friday just as the limits of his legal strategy to block an impeachment inquiry became clear. It amounted to a challenging end of a challenging week for Trump, who remains consumed by an impeachment crisis that is clouding his presidency.” I read the court decisions. They were hardly stunning. Most had nothing to do with impeachment.

We could not “in good conscience” show parts of a Trump 2020 campaign rally. MSNBC. “Trump held a campaign rally in Minnesota last night. There are parts of it we can’t show you — or, rather — there are parts of it that we’re not gonna show you……the president consistently spews ‘red meat vitriol,’ but the he went further than he’s ever gone before, so, we are going further than we’ve ever gone before to say we aren’t going to play the sound. We aren’t going to repeat the president’s vicious attacks on Hunter Biden.” I for one would like to know specifically what he said about Hunter Biden (who couldn’t possibly be guilty of anything) and what constituted “red meat” vitriol, but I trust MSNBC implicitly to accurately assess and deliver judgment on Trump….LIKE HELL.

Whether you like President Donald Trump or not, agree with his policies or not, want him re-elected or not, do you understand what is happening here? In a dictatorship (ex. Syria, Somalia), or a totalitarian mock-democracy (ex. Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo), the national leader is usually replaced violently, by assassination. In most Communist countries (ex. Cuba, North Korea), the national leader usually isn’t replaced, except by purge or coup. In the United States, assassination has occurred, though without violent upheaval, and neither coup nor purge has replaced the president, nor are those methods likely to. Here, we are so “civilized”, character assassination by media is the preferred method, but rarely leads to replacement (Nixon being the sole example, by resignation). “Unprecedented” is a word that is almost always hyperbole, but it is my opinion that this degree of assassination by headline and soundbite IS unprecedented. When the headlines “scream” guilty and the text of the editorial or article doesn’t provide the substance to back up the headline, when Trump’s opposition voices opinions about what he “said” while rarely quoting (and letting the public decide what the words mean), when the New York Times creates an entire project devoted to distorting US history (1619 project) for the purpose of undermining Trump or when CNN and it’s ilk devotes 12 hours bashing Trump for every hour of actual news, does it not make you wonder?

They want us to think “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”, which is not true in the case of a smoke grenade. I am dubious about some of Trump’s policies, many of his ideas and practically all of his tweets, but I intend to vote for him. My biggest single reason is this: He has obviously kicked over a hornet’s nest, stepped on a fire ant colony and started bulldozing a too-comfortable bureaucracy and entrenched establishment. A wrecking ball is needed.

“Free speech” may seem free; the cost is in the listening.

Steve Kerr, famously woke, socially conscious coach of the NBA Warriors, offered this take on the China/NBA controversy: “Again, we’re fortunate in this country to have free speech. I exercise that. But part of having free speech is also electing not to speak if you don’t feel comfortable about something.” When asked a follow-up on whether he was broadly supportive of the right of other NBA officials to speak on matters outside the U.S. and, specifically, if he believed (Daryl) Morey shouldn’t be fired for doing so. Kerr’s response: “I appreciate the fact that you have to ask me something like this. I get it. But I’d hope you’d appreciate my right to not answer that question. Because all it does it create a headline and a soundbite. I choose not to be a soundbite tonight. Probably too late for that tonight. I choose not to be that soundbite.”

Both TheDailyWire.com and NBCSports.com wrote about Mr. Kerr’s remarks, and except for their adjectives, the reports were very similar, but the adjectives often tell us more about the bias of the writer (and the audience their employer wants to attract) than anything about the subject. Wire described Kerr’s remarks as cowardly, NBC described the same remarks as thoughtful. Guess which one appeals to the “right” and which appeals to the “left”? I do agree with one thing–he is smart enough not o be the “soundbite.”

The best commentary on Kerr’s remarks came from TheAthletic.com: “A lot of social media discussion feeds off the hunt of hypocrisy as an end game. The way it’s played is that you capture your out-group’s hypocrisy for the pleasure of your in-group. The unstated goal of the hunt is to rob your foe of moral authority, in hopes that nobody will ever listen to them ever again. Nobody really wins the hypocrisy game, other than clout seekers. Kerr will continue to speak and if people agree with what he’s saying, they’re likely to resonate to it. Merely mocking Kerr and the other NBA figures for their silence doesn’t often convey a sense of how certain matters should be handled.

“Again, if NBA people don’t wish to comment due to fear of the censors, then they should not comment. That actually gives the public a better sense of what’s happening than these tortured rationalizations about why providing any commentary is simply impossible. The NBA’s leading figures are trying to maintain the pretense of open honesty while keeping their mouths shut on the relevant topic. It’s probably best they just do the latter rather than try to sell the former. The dishonesty is jarring and insofar as it is accepted as wisdom, it undermines the case of stateside residents who are actually making informed, salient judgments on the issue.”

I agree. My two problems with celebrities, be it in the world of professional sports or entertainment–though they are the same thing–speaking their opinions on events and mind-reading motives on the national and global stage are: they are not truthfully informed–they generally only pay attention to their own preferred media; they are unduly influenced by both their economic motives (“protecting their brand”) and maintaining popularity with their equally uninformed peer group. Still, they have the right to speak, or not speak. The rest of us have the right to listen, or not.

Another sports figure, Jacksonville Jaguars billionaire owner Shahid Khan, told the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit, “You have to respect the norms. An opinion…of the sovereign management of those countries is for those people.” Khan emigrated here from Pakistan as a penniless youth, and now owns companies in multiple countries. He is far more sophisticated and experienced in these matters than most other professional sports figures. He praises some and criticizes some of President Trump’s policies, rather than imputing motives and launching personal attacks. I am more likely to listen to him than someone like Kerr, who claims he is “more qualified” to speak about problems in this country than overseas “where I am not informed.” Mr., you aren’t informed about either–you just have opinions. Every terrible thing you liberals accuse Trump of “wishing he could do” (mind-reading anyone?), China has ACTUALLY DONE, and much worse. So you can refuse a White House visit because “Trump is evil” but can’t speak about China because you aren’t “well informed”? Puleeese…..

As Theodore Dalrymple of Takimag.com wrote: “The need to say something is often far greater than the need, or the capacity, of the speaker to say something important or worthwhile listening to. Many a person wants to communicate without having anything specific to communicate.” AMEN!

Ellen needed my “pre-friendship acceptability” questionnaire.

You didn’t use the questionnaire!

What can I say Ellen? You seem to be a sweet person, though naive. How naive? You are discovering that being friends, or friendly with, someone just because you like them personally, despite their political views and presidential decisions, is fraught with landmines. You were seen on national TV sitting next to, and even laughing with, former President George Bush, and you didn’t grovel an apology when the Twittersphere erupted. You could have tweeted in response, “I only sat next to him because there were no other available seats” or “because he offered me free booze for a photo op” or “ I wanted to get close to a hot female secret service agent” (or secretly, a male one) or “I’m so apolitical I didn’t know who he was.” But no, you actually said on your show—again on national TV “Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them,” you told the audience (and over 28 million viewers to date on Instagram and Twitter combined). “When I say ‘be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do, I mean be kind to everyone,” you said.

You were expecting maybe praise? Or perhaps simply doing the right thing. Or most likely, that’s just who you are. Instyle wrote your take “earned the praise of many, including fellow celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Kendall Jenner, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Orlando Bloom, and Lenny Kravitz.” But, those were in the minority, and not URMs (under represented minority) either. A dude named Tim Hendricks tweeted “Ellen killed people with kindness, Bush killed people with torture and bombs. Friends ‘til the end.” That was in response to Orlando Bloom tweeting “Kill ‘em with kindness.” I’m not exactly sure that was praise though. Soledad O’Brien tweeted, “With love to Reese and Ellen—whom I don’t know). People who lost loved ones in New Orleans and elsewhere during Katrina because of a failed response by FEMA might find this kind of answer a little pat.” I never knew that poor prez Bush was responsible for hurricane Katrina, or the slow (compared to?) response of FEMA. Terrible guy. Noah Michelson, who is probably not a MENSA member, tweeted “Privilege is Ellen DeGeneres explaining her friendship with George Bush by saying ‘just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not gonna be friends with them,’ as if what they disagree about is who was best dressed at the Emmys or what the best mayo is.” Privilege? How does that get in there? Remi Kenazi, no relation to Saddam Hussein (I don’t think), tweeted “If George Bush killed a million white women, I don’t think Ellen would be talking about her friend George Bush. But since it’s a million dead Iraqis and Afghans, no big deal.” My, George Bush’s trigger finger must have gotten very tired, or maybe he was using a bumpstock. Also not MENSA.

The dumbest tweet is from Arlen Parsa, “So cool that Ellen has forgiven George W. Bush for trying to withhold human rights from gay people.I’ll never forgive Bush for his victims. Victims of the unqualified rich crony he appointed as head of FEMA. Hurricane Katrina killed 2,000 mostly poor black people. Needlessly.“ I guess Prez Bush really was behind Katrina! Actress Kristen Bell tweeted “she’s my 👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑.” Huh? I am not sure what that means, but just in case the crown signifies privilege, several people commented on the post. Among them were people calling for the post to be deleted and pointing out what they called Bell’s “privilege.” “Why are celebs using this as an opportunity to let their privilege jump out,” one user wrote. Not to be outdone in the outrage sweepstakes, Vanity Fair, a publication certainly worthy of its name—not a compliment by the way—posted an op ed by Laura Bradley, writing “There’s something especially on-brand about DeGeneres’s plea for unconditional kindness; she’s made her name as a bubbly talk show host slash celebrity whisperer who can befriend just about anyone,” writes Bradley. “But the continued backlash against DeGeneres—even after her address—is also a sign that such a brand is incompatible with reality.” Backlash from certified non-geniuses, like conflating privilege with being friendly, is what’s incompatible with reality. My humble opinion: Bradley, you and Arlen Parsa deserve each other.

How can my “Pre-friendship” questionnaire be used? Only if your candidate for friendship answers “yes” to all questions should you make your friendship public. Otherwise, keep it private. “Private” means no selfies, no tweeting, no Facebook posts, no instagram posts with your private, i.e. secret friends. Never meet at Starbucks or any place where both cellphone cameras and tables and chairs are present, because you can hardly claim you accidentally bumped into each other if you are sitting together, as you could at a Walmart, though just being seen at Walmart is bad enough in its own right, because you are either ugly or cheap. If you are both, then outing your secret friend is the least of your problems.

Question 1: Even if you don’t know what the word “woke” actually means, you love the sound of it. Yes___ No___

2. The right people are “woke”, the wrong people are “right.” Yes___ No___

3. People who live in L.A., San Francisco, New York City and Washington D.C. are smarter and better looking than those who live in the rest of the country. Yes___ No___

4. The truest, least biased news comes from CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post and NY Times. Yes___ No___

5. Donald Trump, Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, Stephen Crowder and Rush Limbaugh all deserved to be hounded, hacked and hanged. Yes___ No___

All “yeses”? Tweet friend memes. All no’s? Wear a mask when meeting at Walmart.

MIB III: The Social Justice version.

The secret conference taking place in a room below San Francisco city hall is about to begin, the gentle purring of the air conditioning a dramatic contrast to the riotous demonstrations outside. Groups of indigenous earthlings, i.e. people like you and me (which does not include the SF board of supervisors), chant and wave signs saying, “earth for earthlings” and “save our bodies from extraterrestrial predators.” Meanwhile, counter demonstrators, also native earthlings, wave signs saying,”we were planted here by aliens” and “every living creature entitled to a fair share of carbon.” Inside, as the conference gets underway, the two sides, human and alien, sit—as their appendages and misshapen bodies allow—on opposite sides of a long table. On my right is a representative group of human political leaders past and present: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, and guest celebrity Alyssa Milano. On my left are representatives of various illegal alien species: Edgar the Bug, an Orthopterous Exomorphs, a belligerent race of insect-like aliens; Boris the Animal, an intergalactic criminal and the last known member of the Boglodite race; Serleena Xath, the evil, shapeshifting Kylothian queen in the human form of a lingerie model; an unnamed Worm; Lauranna, princess of the Zarthans. MIB (Men in Black) agents K and J provide security. Why’s security needed?

Edgar the Bug has already been making threats if it doesn’t get its way. “Have you ever pulled the wings off a fly? Wanna see the fly get even?” he sneers at K and J. Such threats are no joke. K once described Bugs thusly, “Imagine a giant cockroach with unlimited strength, a massive inferiority complex, and a real short temper is tear-assing around Manhattan island in a brand new Edgar suit.” Living on Earth includes a lack of oversight from the different alien races’ leaders. Most venture on hedonistic binges partaking in vices that are forbidden on their home world, as if they are German tourists in America, or tourists from anywhere in Amsterdam. Lauranna came to Earth decades ago, so she could hide the Light of Zartha, which if it got in the wrong hands, could lead to the demise of Zartha. The Zarthian true form is unknown, but they always appear as human females, adopting the appearance of various nationalities, usually Japanese, or British blondes.

The topic of the conference is “administering social justice between the indigenous inhabitants of planet earth (earthlings. i.e. you an I) and the illegal aliens.” Real off-planet aliens. Thankfully, neither the Alien nor the Predator franchises are included, or the everyone would be eaten, which, if you have to live in San Francisco these days, could be the lesser evil, but once again, I digress. How many true aliens are actually living here? Only the MIB know for sure. I am the moderator of the conference, hopefully safe in my titanium steel cage, with the guns of K and J ready, because who knows what these aggressive creatures might do if they get mad? I’m even more worried about the aliens. Anyway, let’s get started. I will open this intergalactic social justice conference with a statement from each side. “Mr. President, how about articulating the official earth position?” Three former presidents each defer to the others, until Mr. Churchill’s voice rumbles to life.

Churchill: “There is a hush over all Europe, nay, over all the world. Alas! it is the hush of suspense, and in many lands it is the hush of fear. Listen! No, listen carefully, I think I hear something yes, there it was quite clear. Don’t you hear it? It is the tramp of armies crunching the gravel of the paradegrounds, splashing through rain-soaked fields, it is the tramp and slither of uninvited aliens, worse than the tramp of two million German soldiers and more than a million Italians, going on maneuvers. Yes, only on maneuvers! They said, many years ago, ‘ we only want to hide the light of Zartha, nothing more’, just as the camel told Abdul he just wanted to warm his nose. Now look at what we have. Loathsome bugs bigger than Shaq, drinking from toilets while insisting on using human facilities. Shouldn’t human females have the right to use a toilet without being chomped on by a rogue Orthopterous Exomorph? What’s next, aliens laying eggs in unsuspecting human bodies, then protesting being separated from their babies?”

Ms. Xath, since you have taken such pains with your makeup today, can I assume that the alien contingent has chosen you for their spokescreature? Serleena: “You earthlings have some colorful sayings, not the least of which is ‘assume makes an ass out of u and me.’ I will indeed speak for the undocumented visitors, but not because of my makeup, rather because I can change myself into anything, including the freely salivating gigantic carnivorous lizard/insect that threatened Ripley in Alien, Alien 2, Alien 3….Alien 50+.” While continuing to stare balefully at Edgar, who briefly challenged for leadership until Xath chomped off a leg (which he replaced by ripping off a leg of a passing human and fastening it to his hip with industrial fasteners), she hissed, “we’re here, we’re queer, you will accommodate us, or your end is near.”

Churchill: “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm, and Serleena is not lacking in enthusiasm. As for her, it’s, xe’s or whatever pronouns such a creature deigns to adopt, that lingerie model look reminds me of Christine Keeler, and we know how she ended up. She was so famous that at one point she said ‘the only two people in the world who wouldn’t take my phone calls were the Pope and Marlon Brando. After that it was all downhill. I have survived and possibly I should not hope for more than that.’ We’re all for social justice, but what would that look like here?”

Suddenly, Lauranna stood. The gasps were audible. How dare she! Serleena was in charge, Edgar was ready to mow down her opposition, but Lauranna challenged them all with, “great question, what does social justice look like? It looks like the Light of Zartha, the very reason we from other worlds came here and want to stay here!” The other extraterrestrial delegates sat mute, realizing that each species had the same problem—none cared for justice, each wanted to be treated more equally than the others. They knew no way to resolve their differences except by force. Why not let Lauranna speak? “I came here centuries ago, in your time measurement, to hide the Light of Zartha, a precious jewel which bathes all in a sense of universal justice. What is justice? You earthlings once knew what universal justice was. You called it, in your vernacular, ‘having your day in court’: The opportunity for each party to tell your side of the story, to be heard, and to have a judgment rendered. Court used to be the disputing parties giving their side, without all the complicated rules, procedures, appeals, publicity and confusion. Your peers—humans you lived among day after day would hear both sides—bathed in the emanations of the Light, would listen, discuss, then render a generally fair verdict.

“The winner of the judgment would be compensated by the loser, the loser would pay restitution. What a beautiful idea, that the human who had done the wrong was given a chance to make their victim whole, the wronged human given a chance to forgive. With the restitution and the forgiveness, the Light would shine on your community, the loser would be restored to fellowship, justice was done. No one used the term social justice, no one believed that wrongs could never be forgiven nor demand that those innocent of the wrongs still owed something to those who were wronged and long dead. But you humans covered up the Light, forgot it was there. Now look at what you have. Instead of justice, grievance. Instead of restitution, greed. Instead of forgiveness, venom. Serleena does not speak for all of us. We beg you, uncover the Light once again, let its emanations bathe us in love and justice. Only then will all of us—earthlings and extraterrestrials—know what is right and what is wrong. We will be free to choose right.

The conference ends with tumultuous cheers, the clapping of hands and waving of tentacles!