Minor repairs to the rear foundation wall at Second Chance Ranch hit a snag last week when the contractor, while in Michigan visiting family, had truck trouble and got stuck there ’til it could be fixed. It wasn’t his fault, but it set us back a full week.
He and two helpers arrived around 10am yesterday to resume. Without getting into details, the project had reached a point at which the work couldn’t stop — and so it didn’t. As the sun went down we set up a couple of work lights and switched on the floods out back.
It all reminded me of a damp, drizzly night on The Mountain a few months ago, the second day of our shed build, when light from Mercy and Deb’s cousin’s tractor helped get the job done before weather moved in.
Yesterday, just like that day in February, work continued well into the night. It was after 10pm when the guys got to a place where the process could be paused and picked back up today.
That’s the nature of good work — long days and honest labor defined not by the clock but by the job.
The guys were back this morning to wrap things up. We’ve enjoyed watching them devote fine attention to rough detail, the elegant contradiction of the craft of masonry.
A small section of wall was replaced, deliberately and expertly, and the surrounding blockwork was repointed. The 70-year-old tip-in window is gone, glass block taking its place. Deb and I are thrilled both with the result and the crew that did the work. They’ll return tomorrow to haul away the debris it created.
This morning, as advertised, the current occupant of the Oval Office went to Buffalo. That sort of duty goes with the job, a perfunctory but inconsequential display of humanity. Usually it’s done with less whispering than we had to endure today.
We knew what he’d do, of course. We all knew what he’d say. It was no secret that this speech would be all about race — pandering to one and sowing hate of another, a game of Victims & Oppressors.
In that way, he did not disappoint. It wasn’t enough simply to commiserate with the Buffalo community — no, he had to pick every scab, pour salt in every wound, make it clear that black Americans are besieged by white Americans every day, everywhere they go.
Eleven times he invoked “hate,” “white supremacy “ five times and “weapons of war” three. He even mentioned January 6th. Combining the hysterical with the truly bizarre, he said this:
“Look, the American experiment in democracy is in a danger like it hasn’t been in my lifetime. It’s in danger this hour. Hate and fear are being given too much oxygen by those who pretend to love America, but who don’t understand America.”
It’s impossible to take any of that seriously. And he kept going:
“To confront the ideology of hate requires caring about all people, not making distinctions.”
That from a speech all about making racial distinctions. It capped a spectacular show of dishonesty.
I want to highlight one more line from the speech, five words that are getting a fair amount of play in the mainstream press:
“White supremacy is a poison.”
That brings to mind a passage from Tucker Carlson’s monologue last night. Like the rest of us, Tucker hadn’t yet seen the speech but he knew it’d be a race-fest:
“There is no behavior worse than this. All race politics is bad, no matter what flavor those politics happen to be. No race politics is better than any other. All of it is poison. Race politics subsumes the individual into the group. It erases people. It dehumanizes them. Race politics elevates appearance over initiative and decency, and all the other God-given qualities that make every person of every color unique yet morally equal to every other person.
“And above all, race politics always makes us hate each other, and always in a very predictable way.
“So let’s say you were to make identity politics mandatory in your country, as they have. How could you be surprised when that leads, as it inevitably will, to white identity politics?
“Well, you could not be surprised. You did it, and it was always going to happen.”
His indictment — that the Left created “white identity politics” — is beyond credible dispute. Race hustlers and guilt-fueled appeasers have made white rage inevitable. And because there are disturbed and weak-minded elements in every corner of our society, some of that rage will turn violent.
You can wince at that, but you can’t argue with it.
As long as we have a ruling regime like this one — exaggerating and inventing threats, promising to unite but acting to divide in the most destructive ways possible — American culture will decline.
I follow a couple of Facebook groups focused on the area of northeast Ohio in which I grew up — Massillon, North Lawrence and western Stark County. This morning I saw that someone had shared a “public sale” poster from 1935.
The flyer promoted an auction of farm implements and livestock. The farmer’s last name, emblazoned across the bottom of the page, matched my own — this was my great-grandfather’s farm.
A generation earlier, about 1888, my great-great-grandfather had rented this land and began farming it. Twenty-three years later his son-in-law, my paternal great-grandfather, rented the farm.
My grandfather bought the property in 1935, right around the time of this auction, raising Guernsey dairy cattle on those 167 acres until his death in 1956. The farm was sold not long after that, bringing to an end almost 70 years in the family.
Beyond blood ties, that flyer held one other connection — it looks like the auctioneer was the great-grandfather of two of my high-school classmates. Their farm was just up the road from my childhood home, and at the time the family was still in the auction business.
One year ago today we let it rain.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.