Short Takes for Deranged Times

By John Zmirak Published on May 13, 2020

I need a vacation. Not on a sandy beach or quiet ranch. That would just stress me out. What would really refresh me? A week or so in Manhattan, eating challah French toast in Ukrainian diners. Strolling slowly through the Metropolitan Museum’s medieval collection. Dodging traffic to hunt down Victorian stained glass windows in pristine, barely-used Episcopal churches. Hunting down the best dim sum in Flushing, the freshest Huitlacoche in Long Island City.

That’s the kind of activity that relaxes me. Plus most of my friends and family still live in or near there. I’d love to drop by Eric Metaxas’ actual bunker in person, and watch Impractical Jokers with my best friend since second grade, Anthony, recalling together our real-life pranks and our near-brushes with death and dismemberment.

But something tells me it’s not going to happen. I wonder if in the wake of the lockdown, and under the thumb of its Sandinista mayor, New York City will ever recover. Or if it’s headed back down the long, slimy trail it pursued from the 1960s through the early 90s. That’s when the pro-crime party ran things. (There’s no other way to characterize Republicans like Lindsey or Democrats like Dinkins. Read the great Thomas Howard’s memoir of New York’s decline for a deeper analysis.)

As it is, glimpses of the city in our media increasingly look like outtakes from Taxi Driver and Joker. The same policies, repeated, will produce the same result. Only now there aren’t enough white working class voters to join disgruntled Jewish Democrats to elect another Giuliani. Which suggests to me that New York will end up more like New Orleans, plus Wall Street. And since that’s mostly run by computerized algorithms, don’t be shocked if it moves to Texas, eventually.

So my geographical recharger is out of order. My spiritual battery’s locked away behind the shuttered gates of my local church. Occasionally I’ll drive by to feel, at 100 feet distance, the Eucharist’s pulsing Presence. But that doesn’t quite do the job.

If you’ll pardon me, then, instead of the considered column I lack the vim and vigor to craft today, I present some “short takes” on different aspects of the current global crisis. Some were columns that petered out into Tweets. Others are self-contained insights that I hope either assuage your anxieties or send you racing off to picket at the governor’s mansion or practice at the gun range. Either way is good with me, so long as you aren’t bored….

Something was off with the optics of protecting the jellyfish at Jones Beach while infecting Korean war vets in locked nursing homes. And bantering with his brother about which multi-million-dollar mansion would shelter their mom Matilda, while New Yorkers coughed their lungs out.

Super Cuomo Brothers

After weeks of media heat, much of it stoked right here at The Stream, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has admitted he’s wrong. No, not explicitly of course. He’s above such petty humility or common decency. But Cuomo has reversed his deadly policy of dumping virus patients on nursing homes. Something was off with the optics of protecting the jellyfish at Jones Beach while infecting Korean war vets in locked nursing homes. And bantering with his brother about which multi-million-dollar mansion would shelter their mom Matilda, while New Yorkers coughed their lungs out. My proposal to prepare for the next pandemic? It’s twofold, and Cuomo-inspired.

  • Contract in advance with hotels, motels, and major real-estate developers. The moment a major pandemic seems to threaten again, offer free, secure facilities where the vulnerable can shelter. A voluntary quarantine. Those facilities should get the first supplies of tests, masks, ventilators, etc., and be scrupulously kept virus-free. Our first priority should be the protecting the most vulnerable, not enacting the most unconstitutional.
  • Every state governor who doesn’t set up such facilities should see his living parents, grandparents, etc., (his Matilda) relocated to a state-run nursing home for the duration of the pandemic. Call it The Skin in the Game Act of 2020.

Since Cuomo lit the Empire State Building pink to celebrate legal infanticide, how soon before he lights it a festive silver to mark geronticide, the organized wipe out of the elderly? You know, as Biden’s coronavirus advisor, Ezekiel “Baal” Emanuel essentially favors, after age 75. Do we think Cuomo will:

  1. Light up the building to coincide with the Democratic National Convention?
  2. Wait until Christmas Eve?
  3. Save it for next Grandparents Day?

Weekend at Biden’s

Joe’s still hiding in his bunker. #MeToo Democrats have decided it doesn’t matter if he commits rape tomorrow on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, so long as he’s wearing an N95 mask. They’re going to back him anyway, and treat him as a Disney animatronic dead president. Meanwhile some non-white, non-male leftist yet to be named waits in the wings as veep, and the Deep State runs the country. A fitting conclusion to the career of Joseph Biden. He was a plagiarizing unprincipled hack prone to foreign bribes at the height of his powers. We Catholics aren’t sending our best.

World Syncretism Day at the Vatican

Not even to Rome. On May 14, Pope Francis is promoting an inter-faith, syncretist, minimally theistic worldwide day of prayer. Not just among Christians, or even Christians and Jews. He encourages those of every religion to invoke whatever gods they honor against the virus. Vatican News reports that “The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity” (not to be confused with the “National Institute for Coordinated Experiments,” which appears in That Hideous Strength) issued a call. It reads in part:

Each one, from wherever they are and according to the teachings of their religion, faith, or sect, should implore God to lift this pandemic off us and the entire world, to rescue us all from this adversity.

Now, in the past Christians have speculated that pagan gods are demons. They’ve seen Muhammad as a type of antichrist, and the image of God he preached a monstrous parody of Our Father. For the Vatican to urge common prayer among Christians and Jews on the one hand, alongside Muslims and Hindus… . Well it seems like a whole new gospel. And St. Paul told us to watch out for those.

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The Deep State Coup and Its Plotters

It’s increasingly clear, as The Stream’s Al Perrotta has noted, that the false imprisonment effort against Gen. Mike Flynn can be traced straight to the top. To outgoing President Obama, that is. It’s tempting to take that and run with it. President Trump is clearly tempted. He shouldn’t take the bait, as I observed below:

As much as Obama deserves the fullest scrutiny of the law, what matters right now is winning the next election. Otherwise the Deep State will go absolutely unpurged. Indeed, it will be vindicated. A Democrat victory in November would reduce Trump’s entire presidency into a grim footnote in the history of a “fundamentally transformed” nation. As Latin America marched through the whizzing turnstiles of our open borders, and the last red state turned blue, it would prove cold comfort to reflect that the very last GOP president was “tough on Obama.”

Instead, the Justice Department should work overtime to put Obama’s henchmen and puppets in prison. Then in Trump’s second term in office? Trace the conspiracy all the way to the top, and prosecute accordingly.


John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream, and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism.

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