Notes From The Valley

Like the woman who was never President, it is necessary for the proprietor of this website to have a public and a private position on many issues. There are three primary reasons for this. The first, of course, is that there is a little gang out there with a (not-quite-as-)secret(-as-they-think-it-is) Facebook group trying mightily to parse every single thing I write into reasonable grounds for termination. This task, while daunting, is at least possible in the right conditions, whereas the alternative path, which would involve being better at my job than I am and therefore rendering me superflous, is impossible for people of their pathetic capabilities.

The second reason is that I have no wish to oppress my readers with too much blatant opinion-giving on political topics. My liberal readers wouldn’t like my opinion on social issues; my conservative readers wouldn’t like how I feel on issues like tariffs, unionization, and economic justice. No matter who you are, I guarantee you we disagree on something. Heck, I can think of a half-dozen issues on which Brother Bark and I are probably on opposite sides of the bench.

Last and not in any way least, there’s what I call my privilege of isolation. I’ve chosen to live in a place where protests/riots/whatever simply don’t happen and likely never will happen, largely because most of my neighbors would see such an occasion as a fine opportunity for a turkey shoot. (Here at Riverside Green, of course, we own nothing more frightening than a solid array of airsoft pistols, one Crossman BB gun, and the King James Bible.) Those of you who follow the news will be very aware of a recent incident in which a Columbus, Ohio police officer shot a young woman who was yelling “I’m going to stab the fuck out of you bitch,” as she attempted to, uh, stab the fuck out of another young woman. Although I live twenty miles from the event, there has been zero impact here. No marches, no looting, no fiery but peaceful protesting. Therefore, I like to defer commentary on this stuff to people who have skin in the game, so to speak.

One of those people with skin in the game is the writer of the “Up In The Valley” blog. I had dinner with him in Van Nuys on Tuesday the 13th, before the Floyd verdict and the Ma’Khia Bryant stabbing/shooting. We discussed the future of America; I view it from a distance, but he has a seat in the front row.

For that reason, I think his latest column is worth reading. If you’d rather just have the high-concept, here’s a relevant paragraph:

Mark Zuckerberg underwrites a private army worthy of Pablo Escobar. There are 6,000 security people on the Facebook payroll, $18 million per year dedicated to his detail alone. There is an escape chute in his office that goes to an underground garage and a waiting vehicle, staffed by ex-Secret Service and military people. He maintains this posture of maximum deterrence while living in Palo Alto, the least diverse and safest city in California. All while donating millions to the Racial Justice Accelerator Fund, which backs BLM, George Gascon, and various pro-crime initiatives, including the effort to de-felonize mugging and assault down here in L.A. He’s not alone in this. Jack Dorsey, Laurene Powell Jobs, Mackenzie Scott, Dustin Moskowitz, Patty Quillan, all heavy donors to The Cause. (That’s Twitter, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Netflix, if you were wondering)

Zuck is far safer from the consequences of street violence than I am, by a factor of ten or a hundred or even more. Yet he doesn’t share my authorial detachment from the issue. He has ideas as to how everyone else should live. Those ideas bear very little resemblance to his life. Yet he funds those ideas with millions of dollars. Would you, the reader, think less of me if I sat in my little suburb and funded organizations that promoted street violence in downtown Columbus? Of course you would, and you would be right to do so. Actually, forget the “street violence” part of it. Would you think less of me if I funded organizations that promised to alter the way other people lived, while leaving my own life 100% intact, just the way I wanted it?

The media is encouraging us to view Ma’Khia as a child — and she is. They are showing you her TikTok videos on hair care, as proof that she was no activist, no political person, no wannabe gangster. In this, I believe they are correct. The media encourages you to envision a scenario where it is your child being gunned down by police. To be forthright, that is beyond my imagination. There is no conceivable situation where my son is going to knock an adult down then turn to stab another adult, all while being perfectly aware that there is an armed policeman just ten feet away.

Certainly the same is true for August Chan Zuckerberg, the infinitely wealthy daughter of Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. Surrounded by a million-dollar private security force, living in mansions, traveling by private jet… can any of us imagine the day when August will need to grab a knife and handle her own business? Yet The Great Zuck watches the video of Ma’Khia’s most desperate moment and he feels that he has the answers to this. And the answers involve a massive decrease in police presence. Not in my neighborhood, mind you; the Powell Police will never be “defunded”, nor will our county sheriff, and if someone tried to do it they would be laughed out of the polling place. Nor will Zuck’s private security ever be “defunded”. The “defunding” will happen somewhere else, a safe experimental distance from his escape chute and his armored Suburban.

Van Nuys, the valley of Up In The Valley, will see the results of Zuckerberg’s meddling long before I will. (August Chan will, of course, never see the results, not from her helicopter.) The night I had dinner with “Mr. Up” at the MacLeod brewing company, things were generally nice and quiet. My $28,500 Kawasaki motorcycle went untouched at the curb. Yet there was a single moment when someone screamed and a Dodge Charger came roaring down our 25mph side street at perhaps three times the legal limit. Someone else shouted out a coarse threat. There was no cop waiting to write a ticket. No consequences for that behavior.

If, like me, you’re sequestered from the places where modern history is being made, you should peruse that blog the same way people in Ohio used to crowd the theatres when newsreels came in from Iwo Jima. There’s a war going on out there. It might not touch you, and it might not touch me, and it certainly won’t touch Mark Zuckerberg. But someone will be hurt. You should be aware.

44 Replies to “Notes From The Valley”

  1. stingray65

    What you mean there is something going on beyond the peaceful and patriotic protests over the rampant and out of control police open season on law abiding black folk just minding their own business? Thanks for the heads up Jack, but perhaps someone should inform CNN, PBS, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post that their reporters have somehow inadvertently missed a story.

  2. CJinSD

    Perhaps AR15s will keep the suburbs safe from the Democrats’ domestic terrorists, but you should be paying attention to what the people who planned COVID-19 are deploying next to bring about massive population reduction. The World Economic Forum boasts it is going to use food shortages to further destroy our illusions of security and reason, just as Dr. Fauci said the Trump administration would be struck by a pandemic back in 2016.

    The marxist street thugs smashed all but one of the store fronts in my neighborhood several months ago, fighting over control of a bridge right in front of my door. An area police department recently fired an officer over a small donation to the legal fund of a child who had to defend himself against two typical Democrats; a registered sex offender for a sex crime with a minor and a violent criminal with battery and strangulation on his rap sheet. The local criminals wouldn’t feel supported by law enforcement if the department tolerated an actual concern about justice from one within its ranks.

    Meanwhile, in the left-wing dystopia that is my home town, I’ve heard multiple reports that the aging campus radicals of Charlottesville society are now packing heat everywhere they go. I don’t know if they are prepared to use their guns, and I doubt they suddenly believe the Bill of Rights is more than a scar of slavery on the nation, but they’re said to be convinced that the Trump supporters who make everything work that they need to survive outside of their mothers’ wombs are going to overthrow the totally legitimate election of Beijing Joe. Attacks on white people in the city have been under-reported, ignored and lied about since at least 1993, but these imbeciles think the January 6 insurrection is going to spill over into an existential threat to the vegan aisle at Whole Foods.

    • stingray65

      Apparently the Target store that was looted, vandalized and burned during the peaceful protests near the site where Saint Floyd took his last breath has reopened with a large mural on the exterior wall depicting the burning of the store with one of the peaceful protesters holding a “I can’t breath sign” in a show of solidarity and contrition. I hope Target also had the foresight to install automotive type safety glass front windows so the next set of peaceful protesters don’t hurt themselves breaking in, and a set of easier to dismantle cash registers so the peaceful protesters don’t have to work so hard hammering and prying the cash drawers open. Some of them may have bad hearts like Saint Floyd and it would be a real shame if they collapsed dead from over-exertion during their protests, because if you are going to die from a heart attack it really pays to do it in police custody.

      • George Jetson

        I live near Minneapolis, and I read with interest that when Daunte Wright was shot in Brooklyn Center (a northern Mpls suburb) on April 11, “peaceful protesters” looted stores in Brooklyn Center (naturally), as well as seemingly unconnected stores in Mpls, near the Target mentioned above. Good old Lake Street just can’t catch a break, it seems.

        The crimes of opportunity afforded by awful situations will keep happening, but for some reason they seem to happen in the urban core areas, and not the suburbs, as Jack mentions. There are reasons for this, I suppose.

  3. David Florida

    In Re Zuck’s motivations:
    Where have you gone, Tom Wolfe? A nation turns its wondering eyes to you…

  4. Rick T.

    I read that blog but not too much or too often as it would lead to complete despair for our country. I think you turned me on to it.

    It really grinds my gears how the media plays up these people to be little short of saints with Ozzie and Harriet parents. I’m sure while you are familiar with the family details here, all most people know and see are carefully curated pictures and videos.

    • JMcG

      It’s a Ninja H2. Supercharged, 1000 cc, 200+ HP. The ‘21 model can be ordered for just 29,500.00. Plus, you can connect your cell phone to it!

      • Scott

        Isnt everything still governed at 186? Whats the point? Even more Acceleration? Vanity? More money than sense? I never even got close to my r1 capabilities and they were no where near that.

        • Jack Baruth Post author

          My ZX14R will drop an R1 from 80 to 150 like it’s a Grom. Thankfully there are still young men out there with the free testosterone to think this should be verified.

    • dejal

      Thumbs up. Don’t want to cash out, but at the same time it sure doesn’t look like it’s going to be fun. But it sure will be interesting. Was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in March. Very small and it is going to be monitored with biopsies and the PSA tests for now. Push comes to shove, you average about 10 years if it gets bad enough to do something about. So, I look at the world and think “10 years from now…” , rinse/repeat. Even if it never happens.

      • Tony LaHood

        Best of luck to you, friend. My urologist once told me that even untreated prostate cancer grows so slowly that most men who have it die of old, old age before it can do any damage. The trick is catching it early, and it sounds like you did.

  5. hank chinaski

    He (Zuck, not Mr. Up) lives like a real life Bond villain and perpetrates crimes of a similar scale. Madame G *thirsts*.

    ‘Conservatives’ haven’t conserved a thing in my lifetime. Nixon and Ray-gun are either rolling in their graves or pissing their pants laughing at the recall election.
    As for your views on things fiscal, the economy is supposed to work for the volk, er, people, not the other way around. So good on ya.

    Ms. Bryant was in that foster home because her mother beat her. Her father (the one kicking the other young woman in the head in that video) is out of central casting. They are jockeying for a St. Floyd-esque $27M payout.

    That shade of green is fetching.

  6. benjohnson

    Just about every elections cycle, I tend to lament that indeed Conservative are generally rotten. Then the left goes an tries to steal my work, sex my children before their time, stomp on the bill of rights, and burn my city down and I reluctantly vote.

    • John C.

      CJ you might want to get your news from better sources than some psuedo-Christian woman whining that her multi-national NGO is not getting in on enough of the blood sucking. As if the blood sucking system was designed for her. These fake religious witnessing story telling on Facebook et all is just a way to keep people down who are already having a hard enough time coping.

      As for Grace, I bet she was born with enough talent to be certified anywhere as a trauma causer for the people around her.

      • Will

        You mean like “the paper of record” blatantly lying about ALL the Russian stuff and the bounty story? Pretty sure the “better” sources are just as bad, if not worse than random links at this point.

        • John C.

          Will, you might have been following the Project Veritas libel suit against the NYT. The NYT asserted that the libel was okay because it was the opinion of their lady writer. Even today, the Judge ruled that proved malice. A woman’s opinion being of course a waste of time in a hard news story. Being the NYT, it is a safe bet that the woman was Jewish. I will assert here and now though that the opinion of the alleged Christian Grace, is every bit as worthless and can only lead CJ astray.

          • John C.

            It is important that if you you really oppose the lies of the NYT and it is not just a talking point, you understand where they are coming from and what their agenda is. Frankly that is true when evaluating the output of any journalist.

          • Ronnie Schreiber

            Being the NYT, it is a safe bet that the woman was Jewish.

            Being John C., it is a safe bet that he’d find some way to blame his favorite boogeymen.

            It took me two clicks and less than a minute to determine that the authors of the two NYT’s articles over which Project Veritas is suing for defamation are Maggie Astor and Tiffany Hsu. With surnames like Astor and Hsu, they’re not likely to be landsmen.

          • John C.

            For the paper of record, my favorite boogeymen are Boris Karloff, Lon Cheney Jr. Peter Lorre, Lionel Atwell, and especially Henry Daniell. Lots of Hollywood names there, so click away to determine who they really are. It is after all what I am suggesting you should always do.

  7. George Jetson

    I’ve been reading “Up in the Valley” since you mentioned it long ago. The perspective “Mr. Up” offers of his (and thus, our) world, from historical, social, artistic, and other angles, is remarkable. I’d say enjoyable, but the news ain’t all good, all mentioned above. Eye-opening and useful might be better descriptors.

    Great article, Jack. It behooves every suburbanite to get out and explore the real world now and then. And to understand the weird, hypocritical, mixed messages coming from everywhere.

    It is the same as it ever was, to paraphrase Talking Heads, or is it really different now, I keep wondering?

  8. Newbie Jeff

    “Would you, the reader, think less of me if I sat in my little suburb and funded organizations that promoted street violence in downtown Columbus?”

    Can I do one better?

    A legacy air carrier flies a BLM flag over their corporate headquarters in Atlanta. They incessantly bombard the employee group with “racial justice” narratives, most of which are directly transcribed from BLM literature. I’m quite sure they’re putting money into local BLM activist cells…

    …the company ALSO recently relocated all overnighting crews from downtown layover hotels within major cities in anticipation of “peaceful protests” following the Chauvin verdict. All crews reporting for trips overnighting in Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, Seattle, etc had to acknowledge a corporate security notification warning crews to stay away from downtown areas and peaceful protests.

    Note: Portland was not on the list of relocated layover hotels. The company moved all Portland layover crews out of downtown Portland months ago.

    • dejal

      Tim Scott gives the Republican response to Joe Biden and his speech. Mentions Georgia’s voting law.

      Nicolle Wallace of MSNBC says MLB left town with the All Star game. It’s settled. They are the arbitrators of society and laws.

      Nicolle Wallace was communications director for W. Worked for McCain and his campaign.
      I feel dirty ever supporting W.

      • Ronnie Schreiber

        You think you feel bad? Much to my eternal shame I voted for Jimmy Carter. Okay, so I had the excuse that I was young and stupid and thought it was cool that Carter quoted Bob Dylan. Of course, now I realize that was a cynical attempt on Carter’s part to get my vote.

        “Don’t follow leaders
        Watch your parking meters.”

        • Will

          My dad is pretty conservative/libertarian and he voted for Carter too; I still give him shit about it. Don’t feel bad, it happens.

  9. bluebarchetta

    Jack, I’m curious to get your opinion: how does the White Woke Left decide which Black lives matter?

    Remember when Casey Goodson and Andre Hill were shot by LEOs here in Columbus? Lots of questions in both cases, not many answers. Neither guy had any serious criminal background. In response to both shootings, there were peaceful (no, really!) protests and prayer vigils, mostly attended by Black folks.

    Then Ma’Khia Bryant gets shot, and the police immediately release video that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the shooting was justified – and the White Woke Left goes nuts. The little white commies are back downtown with their matching spray-painted shields that say “The Whole Damn System Is Guilty As Hell,” shouting “Whose streets? Our streets!” blocking traffic and threatening everyone.

    1) Why does the White Woke Left ignore cases like Goodson and Hill, but rally around thugs?
    2) The little commies with shields don’t show up unless they are summoned. Who is summoning them? And why is that person not in Gitmo?

    • Don Curton

      I can’t say I have any real answers, but for your first question …

      If there’s a real case of injustice, then most normal people would indeed demand some accountability towards those responsible. And that’s without regard to anyone’s skin color. But BLM doesn’t want our support (nevermind what they say, look at what they do). If we’d support it, they don’t want to touch it. How can you start a race war when 99% of the people support justice over injustice?

      But when there’s a case (such as Ma’Khia) where most normal people think the shooting was justified, then BLM flocks to it. They can protest, riot, raise hell, and then accuse normal people of racism when they don’t support BLM. And normal people won’t support it. So now you have a clear divide with BLM on one side and all of us on the other. That’s what they want, not justice.

  10. Eric H

    I don’t blame Zuck for having ridiculous security.
    The guy is fantastically wealthy, a huge hypocritical asshole, and almost universally hated.

    If I were that guy I’d worry about my safety too.

  11. -Nate

    As one who lives on the front lines I think that anyone who wants to de-fund any police department needs to come live on my block .

    I was chasing parts this morning with my 14 Y.O. foster boy and in a nice neighborhood in Harbor City a car jacking occurred 1/2 block in front of us, 911 was called and five police cars and four motor officers showed up in about 2 minutes, they comforted the scared witless woman who as far as I could figure out was car jacked after the criminal smashed into her, disabling his new Mercedes .

    The cops went off in various directions and inside of 5 minutes collected one mile North, I decided not to go see what was going on ,

    De-fund that you assholes .


    • CJinSD

      Are you saying that the car-jacker was driving a new Mercedes that he smashed into a woman’s car before stealing her car by force? If so, I’m guessing the new Mercedes was also appropriated.

    • stingray65

      Hey, I’m sure the Mercedes was insured, so no need to get the police involved and tie up the courts over a victimless crime that might ruin a future Nobel prize winner’s life with a criminal record.

  12. Disinterested-Observer

    Like Jack where I live is pretty far removed from any possible trouble. Unlike Jack, I am armed to the teeth. Partly because it’s fun, partly as a part of a diversified portfolio (although I did miss out on that GME money) and partly as an insurance policy of last resort, even though I suspect and hope that like all my relatives who have been police officers I will never fire a shot in anger. Unfortunately, as Jack has pointed out elsewhere, I may not be interested in the dialectic, but it is interested in me. People who don’t live in my neighborhood or even my state are spending a lot of money to fuck with me for some reason.

  13. MD Streeter

    I’ve read several articles warning us about our proximity to actual civil war and what we can do to keep ourselves safe from it. I want to believe the articles are merely exaggerated fear mongering, but how do you come back from the past year of rioting– excuse me, that is mostly peaceful protesting and covid-related mandates that taste strongly like an authoritarian exercise in control? The safest place to be will be outside of any big city, and maybe it’ll just resemble the past year of mostly peaceful protests only with more blood and horror and it won’t really affect us out here away from where it all happens. Still, I try (and generally fail) not to spend too much time dwelling on these things. What can I even do about them? Does society even want me to do something about them? I want to think like George Carlin and look at the whole idiotic thing like it’s a form of entertainment, maybe that will make it more palatable. Except those are people on the front lines, and those who are not Of The Body will be dealt with by those who are.

      • Newbie Jeff

        …and I consider France to be the European country most like America.

        I guess our options are either to surrender to the left-wing totalitarianism and secure a peace in ideological and literal squalor, or descend into the inferno of ceaseless political chaos. We are a worthless, stupid disease of a species to squander what we had.

        • Will

          France?! You mean the proto-bolshevik revolution? Naww, they nothing like us, they just wish they were.

          • Newbie Jeff

            I’ll concede it’s arguable, and more anecdotal on my part… I visited France regularly when I lived in Germany. I got the feeling that the French were arrogantly indifferent, proud of their nationality – even when it probably wasn’t completely justified. France was the only European country where the people either could not or chose not to speak English. The French seemed to endure the same resentment from the other European countries that Americans endured… again, anecdotal.

            At any rate, I believe CJ’s point was to highlight the direct parallels between France and America careening towards civil war, each suffering divisions stoked by internal ideological enemies determined to destroy our respective national identities…

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