Getting Rid Of The Burden

Salma Zito has done it again:

Café Raymond is a favorite destination and, as usual, both floors, the balcony and the sidewalk tables at the diner are packed with patrons.

None of the people waiting for his signature stack of ricotta pancakes stuffed with blueberries, his home-cured smoked salmon and caper platter or his savory sunny-side-up egg and brisket hash have any idea the man behind the kitchen counter — Ray Mikesell — has placed his beloved restaurant up for sale. He’s calling it quits two decades after he returned home from Baltimore to raise his children and carve out a life in Pittsburgh.

Through tears he says he simply has had enough — not of his customers, not of creating new dishes or specialized drinks, but of all the uncertainty that has dogged nearly every small businessman in the country since the beginning of the pandemic.

“It started with COVID and just over time, the uncertainty, the stress of trying to stay open, the inability to hire people, the underlying tension in society, the inflationary cost of everything you need to purchase to create quality food, that is, if you can get it…” he says, his voice trailing. He stops and pauses to hold it together.

The food costs are crushing him, he said, but so is the cost of doing business, period. His utility bills have skyrocketed, as has the cost of fuel to pick up fresh meats and vegetables from local farms or to deliver food for catering jobs. The costs are crippling, he says, and they are creating a barrier to investing in a business he has loved for so long.

“It just breaks you down no matter how strong you are,” said Mr. Mikesell.

Here’s my take on this.  Every time a politician says he cares about small businesses and their owners, he’s lying in his teeth.

This new crowd of socialists (including, alas, the Socialist Lite Republicans) absolutely loathe small, successful businesses, for the same reason they hate people owning cars: having your own car gives you freedom of movement, and your own business makes you part of a community, a community that binds you to itself because they now have the freedom to decide when, where and what they want to eat, and not have to go at specific times to a dreary commissariat like the hapless Winston Smith in Orwell’s 1984, and be fed the same slop and gruel as everyone else.

And the government absolutely hates that you have those freedoms.

If that’s not the case, please then explain to me why commuter and passenger rail systems are so popular with neo-socialist governments and why, when businesses like that of Ray Mikesell experience the same ghastly misfortunes (created, it must be said, by government), the government policy does absolutely nothing to help those businesses except by ladling out one-time, piddly subsistence-level “incentives” instead of addressing the main issues that cripple both the businesses and their customers:  soaring inflation (created by the government printing too much money), high fuel prices (even though we are the most self-sufficient energy-producing nation on Earth), the double whammy of ever-higher food prices and shortages (in America!!!), and logistical / transport operations that are crippled by (all together now) government regulations.

I know that anecdotes are not data — except that they are, when the owner of a business like Café Raymond is not a statistical outlier, but just one of tens of thousands in a similar or worse predicament.

Explain to me why Ray Mikesell, and all those other business owners, should not just quit and go somewhere else.  Explain also why the millions of ordinary people who are affected by the closing of small businesses and their own personal misfortunes should not be heating barrels of tar, oiling ropes, and loading up their semiautomatic sporting rifles.

But then we’re the bad guys.  Yeah, right.

News Roundup

Brought to you by our all-vegan sponsors:

So let’s skin it and wring it with some news:

From the Disaster Department (Florida Division):

...everybody panic!

...the FuturePOTUS shouldn’t have bothered.

In Italy:

...good thing they voted for her and not him, then.

And then there’s this, which might be a little more important:

...let’s hope she does.

...actually, that’s not bad advice.  I’m assuming the soldiers don’t have any clotting salve because Russia. long as they swap them, one for one, with convicted Mexican criminal child molesters, then fine.

the more science progresses, the closer it comes to magic.

From the Furrin Travel Department: long as you want to visit Airstrip One, with their ubiquitous telescreens, $20 pints and non-existent crime, that isOh, wait:

...having solved all other crimes, they can afford to do thisOh, wait:

...and of course, no guns or rights to self defense for you.  They, however, will be carrying Glocks, knives and machetesAlso: much for that tour of the UK, thenAnd:

...yup:  never a better time.

Back on this side of The Pond:

...I suspect the “zero tourists” thing may have had something to do with it.

...but what if the FBI was responsible for the breach?  Asking for a friend.

...headline edited for clarity.

...which never existed anyway, except in Nancy Pelosi’s wet dream.

...remember Kim’s 7th Law:  no cameras in the bedroom, ever.

And from the bowels of INSIGNIFICA:

  say okay, then ban her from the party.

And finally:

...perhaps if you dressed with just a tad more modesty, sweetie…?

And the pics in question:

I have no idea who this tartlette is, of course, and I suspect that the same may be true for many of my Readers.  So what follows is purely for educational purposes, of course:



Just your standard Hollywood skinny, then.

And so much for the news.

Giving It Away

I think this malfeasance started in earnest back in the Clinton administration:

The rare earths dependency on China stems in part from the fact that extracting rare earth minerals is an extremely polluting process that China has been willing to undertake, while most other countries have not, including the US, which ironically prides itself on having extremely strict environmental regulations in place.

The US, according to Reuters, has only one rare earths mine and no capability to process rare earth minerals. If China were to stop exporting them to the US, the country would fast run out of the basic building blocks required to produce the military hardware that the US needs, not to mention all the other items where rare earth minerals are needed.

And the article supplies a little extra perspective on China’s Belt And Road initiative.

Read it and weep.  (Or go to the range.)

News Roundup – International

This, our first-ever All-International Roundup, is sponsored by:

Pure class, them Strylians, huh?  Try this:

...nice to know that the WAGov has taken care of all the region’s other problems.

...proof that 2022 Russia isn’t the same as 1941 Russia.  And:

...a.k.a. “pre-surrender”.

...I dunno;  you oppress a nation for nearly fifty years, and this is how they repay you?

...LOL so: would you have no problem with people attacking homosexualists, OR prefer that the Swedes deport all Third-Worlders?

Or you could just do what the Krauts are going to do:

...thus making the problem of “Third-World immigrant violence” disappear, just like that.

showing that Brits can get it right on occasion.

And in election news:

...good ol’ Silvio:  still politicking, still bonking younger women.  The man’s a national treasure.

...not to be unkind, but there’s enough blubber there to keep TWO houses warm.

... and trust me, you do NOT want to go there… o-kay, but you’ve been warned.

And in guaranteed link-free INSIGNIFICA:



Finally, from Wales:

…ah yes, we haven’t been here for a while, so it’s time for a little more Carol:


…and some earlier-vintage Carol:

And that’s all the news from the international front [sic].

News Roundup

This Roundup is sponsored by:

And into the news we slide: you get a guy who has been clinically diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome onto your live TV show, and are shocked — shocked! — when he says “rim”.  Which, by the way, is actually a harmless word in the context in which he used it.

...just wait till the conscripts get there;  it’s going to get worse.

...resist it.  Fix the fucking economy first.

...if it were only vapors and couches, all would be well.  But the dickless Karens wanna get the guy fired.

...that many?

...I got nothing.

...and Texans explain to Sec. Buttplug why he should just fuck off.

...thank you Sir, may I have another?

And on a similar topic: jumps into snake pit, complains when he gets bitten.

Mr. Scorpion, meet Mr. Frog.

...whatever he says, it had better be good considering all the fine poontang I’ve given him and all the life decisions I’ve entrusted him with over the years.

From the annals of INSIGNIFICA:


I’ll bet money that she hasn’t tasted it in years, if ever.

I bet quite a few men would be comfortable inside her skin, too.  Fifty-seven?  Have mercy

…and some others, because why not?

I’m betting Shania doesn’t need any Olly…

News Roundup

Today’s Roundup is sponsored (courtesy of a Reader) by the folks at:

So in that excellent school spirit, we see the following:

next up:  dildos for gradeschoolers.  You heard it here first.

...amazingly, not in Scarsdale NY, but Pakistan.

In other news:

eh, tell the old bitch to fuck off and MYOB.  She’ll be gone by December, anyway.

and in a related item:

so now most of the country is bizarro, according to President Braindead.

gettin’ scary out there, folks.  Time To Carry (as if we need reminding).

From the International News Desk:

for Princess Sourpuss, that’s hardly a new look.

key words:  “alcohol”, “of no fixed abode”, and “Liverpool”.  I’m amazed that she was even arrested, given the circumstances.

And speaking of Matters Sexual:

meh;  his dick, his choice of recipients.  As it should be.

don’t all rush there at the same time, or you’ll crash the page.

And from the INSIGNIFICA Files:


…aaahhhh, I still can’t get used to RollerGirl being over 50:


At any age, Bubba.

And on that deep throat thought, we end the news.