Projection

In a presidency that should be lauded for its accomplishments, one of the most invaluable services that Donald Trump has given to this nation is his success in forcing the Deep State out from under its rock and into the open for all to see. Similarly, his determination to drain the swamp has driven the swamp creatures (both Democratic, Republican and Other) out of their minds and into a state of Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) that has given America its first crystal clear look at who they really are. In psychological terms, it’s called “projection:” seeing in others the flaws or faults that afflict you. In political terms, it is the adoption of this maxim of the philosophical founder of communism/socialism/statism:

“Accuse Your Enemy Of What You Are Doing, As You Are Doing It To Create Confusion”

Karl Marx

And so the Democrats have accused Donald Trump of trampling the Constitution and flaunting the law–even as they used the awesome police surveillance powers of the United States government to spy on his campaign and later his administration.

They accused Donald Trump of “colluding” with Russia to steal the election–even as Hilary Clinton paid for Russian disinformation to smear him and to help launch the baseless investigation mentioned above.

They accused Donald Trump (and impeached him) for a quid pro quo with the President of Ukraine–even as Joe Biden, their (soon-to-be) candidate for the presidency, could be seen on video threatening the President of Ukraine with withholding one billion dollars in aid from that foreign nation if the prosecutor was not fired–the Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating corruption at the gas firm where Biden’s son held a “no show” directorship for which he was paid somewhere between $50k and $85k a month.

They accused Donald Trump of sowing division and hatred–even as they unleashed on him and his administration a tidal wave of vitriol and rancor unparalleled in American history. Since his inauguration he has been subjected to unrelenting attacks, some of them so explicit in their evocation of violence that they were worthy of investigation by the Secret Service…even if most of them did not elicit such an investigation. (Just a few examples: the image of Kathy Griffin holding Trump’s “severed head”, Snoop Dog shooting the “clown Trump” in one of his videos, and the play in New York featuring Trump as Julius Caesar, stabbed to death by his ministers.) Over and over, Trump has been accused of fostering hate and division, but he does so only by serving as the lightning rod for their endless vituperation. As I have said before, blaming Trump for the hatred in America today is like blaming the Jews for antisemitism. Now, with his recent hospitalization for Covid-19, Trump has drawn out the most disgusting clots of the left’s poison from America’s veins, and it can be seen clearly in all its disgusting infamy on social media.

A long time ago I stopped paying much attention to friend requests on Facebook. It’s not because I don’t want friends; it’s because I just don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook and I already get a lot more traffic on my timeline than I can actually observe in the few minutes that I do waste there. But I did have one friend to whom I responded much more often than any other. He is a doctrinaire liberal/leftist/Democrat and I enjoyed arguing with him about current events, but mostly just responding to his ongoing attacks on Donald Trump, to whom he usually referred as “ScumFraud” and often as liar, racist, traitor, etc. He even casually accuses Donald Trump of being personally responsible for all of the 200,000+ Covid-19 deaths in the USA. Our conversations were all pretty much the same. He would post commentary that attacked Donald Trump, I would defend the president and sometimes ask him for specific examples of the evil things of which he accused Mr. Trump. He would usually respond with some condescending references to me as a sycophantic follower of Trump, but never those specifics I requested.

I just unfriended him. I have never unfriended anyone before, and honestly, it bothers me. I didn’t unfriend him because of his leftist political views or the way that he argued them. I didn’t even unfriend him because of his oft-described hatred of Donald Trump and anyone associated with him. I unfriended him because he is so affected by TDS that he sees nothing wrong with publicly wishing that the President of the United States would “suffer mightily” and then “expire in anguish.” This is a level of blind hatred that I do not need, want or can afford to have in my life.

This is what the left, the Democrats and the mainstream media have done to America–not Donald Trump. They need to be held responsible, and the only way to do that is to provide the mainstream media with the ultimate slap in the face by ignoring them and voting the Democrats and leftists out of government in an historic landslide one month from now.

National sins and civil war

The United States of America was born with a birth defect: slavery. Contrary to what Tim Kaine (D-VA) asserted in the well of the senate, we did not invent slavery. It’s been around just about as long as humans have, and we did inherit it from our father, the British Empire. Slavery was America’s original national sin, and our founding fathers knew that it was an affront to the fundamental principle upon which our nation was built: that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among them: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It took about eighty years, but eventually a majority of Americans mustered the will to confront this sin and act to eradicate it, even though they knew that doing so would be costly.

A great many Americans were determined to safeguard the institution of slavery because their wealth was built upon it and they could not see any way to maintain their position without it. Despite being fundamentally religious people, because it was valuable to them they managed to convince themselves that it was right, and mankind has always been adept at justifying what we really want to do. As those who opposed slavery came closer to the power to legally ban that abomination, the slave states saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to leave the Union before abolition was imposed on them. The end result, of course, was a “great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated [to the proposition that all men are created equal] could long endure.”*

We are hearing a lot today about the evils of racism and slavery, and some are even demanding reparations for the crimes committed by some of our progenitors more than a hundred years ago–deliberately forgetting that other progenitors fought and died to end that evil. Slavery was a great evil, but if it is wrong to put a man in chains, what is it to rip a living child to pieces inside the womb, suck them out and sell them to laboratories? If it is wrong to make merchandise of a living human being, how can it be permissible to kill an innocent child and then make merchandise of them?

Legalized abortion on demand is not a birth defect, but neither did all Americans choose it. It was imposed upon the nation by a cadre of unelected judges who substituted a perverse and arcane legal calculus for the will of the majority of America’s citizens, inventing a “right” to end the life of an unborn child and creating a multi-billion dollar industry that funnels millions into the pockets of politicians who promise to keep abortion safe, legal and profitable. And just as the antebellum slave owners refused to even consider relinquishing their property, those who have been enriched by legalized abortion will fight to keep the abortion mills in operation.

The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has ignited a firestorm of rancor and ratcheted up the stakes of this election to eye-bulging intensity. Why? Because as the liberal majority on the Supreme Court to which liberals/progressives/Democrats feel entitled slips away, they have realized that the handwriting is on the wall for abortion. It was never constitutional, it was always bad law and it was always pure evil to declare millions of unborn children non-human so that their lives could be extinguished. America has awakened to this horror, it is trying to right the wrong, and the abomination of abortion on demand must be purged from our national conscience. I sincerely hope and pray that it does not take another “great civil war” to atone for the taking of so many innocent lives. After slavery, our second great national sin was forgetting God and the best chance we have of ending the slaughter of the unborn without a great slaughter of those already here is to remember God, turn from our sin and plead for His mercy.

I’m afraid that ultimately the choice will be up to those who have profited by saturating the earth with the innocent blood of more than sixty million unborn Americans.

I am not optimistic.

*Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

Dred Scott was Settled Law Too.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court, is certain to be questioned at length (and ultimately opposed no matter her answers) over the issue of abortion. Just as slavery was America’s defining issue of the 1800’s, abortion will be our defining issue of the 20th and 21st centuries. Just as slavery was America’s original national sin that cost us a bloody civil war to extirpate, legalized abortion on demand is the terrible sin that may cost us even more dearly. If it is a terrible crime to put a man in chains, what can we say of the slaughter of more than sixty million unborn, innocent children?

“Roe v. Wade is settled law,” the Democrats like to say, and they will demand that any nominee for the Supreme Court assure them that it will remain settled law.

Precedent and the law. It is interesting how important the principle of stare decisis becomes once the Democrats have achieved their desired outcome. Prayer banned in public schools, gay marriage, abortion: the courts are the least democratic of our branches of government, but it is there that the Democrats have accomplished their most dramatic and corrosive transformations of American society. Transformations that they could not pass through the legislative process. Transformations that they do not intend to be reversed.

Roe v. Wade is bad law. It was literally made up, an exercise in creative thinking from the mind of liberal justices with no basis in the Constitution. But now it is settled law, the Democrats say, and may not be touched. So if the Supreme Court rules on something, that mean it is absolute, immutable, forever set in stone and no legislative or judicial process can ever change it.

Really? The people have no recourse whatsoever if SCOTUS speaks? That is absurd on its face. We are no more bound in slavery to a tyranny of nine unelected judges than we are to any branch of our government. What recourse do the people have through the democratic process?

First, legislative. Everyone seems to have forgotten, but we have three co-equal branches of government, and any two of them may overrule the third. Congress and the president have the power to remove an issue from the purview of the Supreme Court, and if that effort reaches an impasse (a runaway court tries to declare such an action by the other two branches”unconstitutional”) Congress may impeach if necessary. But a resort to such drastic measures would be one of those “constitutional crises” we’re always hearing about. The usual (supposedly) non-confrontational method of overturning a decision of the Supreme Court is as follows:

  • The people elect a president that will appoint justices who see things differently.
  • The people elect a senate that will confirm the justices that their president nominates.
  • The people wait for vacancies on the court to provide their president the chance to act.

This process can take decades, and when the lives of sixty million or so unborn children are the price of the patience it demands, it is especially unfortunate that the people, the president and the congress were unable to muster the courage or conviction necessary to restrain and overturn the corrupt decision immediately. But the fact that it took decades for the will of the people to move does not somehow render the original flawed decision immutable. If the people cannot in any way reverse a bad decision of the court through the legal processes of government, then we truly do live under a tyranny, and the only remedy is the one prescribed by the Declaration of Independence:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…

Is this what the Democrats are suggesting? That the only way the American people can overcome stare decisis is to overthrow their government and start over?

No, Roe v. Wade is “settled law” just like the Dred Scott decision was settled law. It is settled until it is reversed.

Does America still have the guts to stand up to terrorism?

We just remembered the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001. The terrorists dealt us a terrible blow, but we stood up, stood together and struck back. As I watched the ceremonies on television, I wondered if America still has the guts that we demonstrated back then, because we are under a direct terrorist assault right now that is unprecedented in our history. The next few months will demonstrate if we are still the United States of America, or sheep.

Terrorism is the use of fear and intimidation to accomplish a political goal. Terrorism is exactly what the Democrats/Socialists (at some point we’re no longer going to need to make any distinction there) are using right now to try to keep conservative America quiet and cowed. “Do you think the violence is going to stop if Donald Trump gets reelected?” Biden asks. “The protests are going to continue, and they should,” says Kamala Harris. NY Governor Cuomo warns that “Trump is going to need an army to protect him if he comes back to New York.” You know that it is true: there are many places in the country today–lots of them–where you dare not go wearing a MAGA or TRUMP 2020 hat unless you are prepared to be harassed and perhaps killed or else protect yourself and then face prosecution for doing it. Now, with the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the temperature of the rhetoric has risen noticeably. “Over our dead bodies! Literally!” Tweeted former CNN host Reza Aslan, and later “if they even TRY to replace RBG we burn the entire f–ing thing down.” Some other recent quotes:

  • “We’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election.”
  • “If the democrats don’t fight, the people are going to have to march on Washington and just shut it down ourselves.”
  • “F— no. Burn it all down.”

Particularly regarding the nomination of a replacement for RBG, Democratic lawmakers are making unusually direct threats. Nancy Pelosi is hinting that the Democratic-controlled House may impeach Trump again in order to prevent the Senate from holding hearings for a nominee, and Chuck Schumer is warning that next year “everything will be on the table” if Republicans proceed. Since the House has already impeached President Trump over absolutely nothing and Democrats in the Senate have already stated that they intend to eliminate the filibuster, pack the court and expand their seats in the Senate by seeking statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., one wonders what more they could have in mind.

The Democrats are trying to create an atmosphere in our nation just like they have already succeeded in fostering on college campuses, where contrary voices will be silenced and political goals achieved by intimidation if possible, violence if necessary. You’d better do as we say, they are warning, or things are going to get much, much worse.

America has gotten the message. Everyone knows it now, even if they will not admit it. If Joe Biden wins, Trump supporters will be furious (especially since they will be pretty sure that the election was stolen using millions of fraudulent mail-in ballots) but they aren’t going to fill the streets and start hurling things at cops, burning down small businesses and looting Target Stores.

But if Joe Biden loses, hell is going to break out in America’s streets. What we’re seeing now is just a warning: let us win or else.

Does America still have the guts to stand up to terrorism? We will find out in a few weeks.

Five Reasons Republicans should fill that seat

In an election year that is shaping up to be the most pivotal, consequential and contentious in modern history, the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has raised the stakes exponentially. Democrats, of course, are demanding that the president and/or Republicans refrain from attempting to fill the empty seat on the Supreme Court, while Donald Trump has promised to announce a nomination within the next few days. While it is true that the Republican-held senate did refuse to vote on election-year Obama-appointee Merrick Garland, there are some important differences in the situation and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that Mr. Trump’s nominee will get a vote this year. I can certainly see why the Democrats don’t want the seat filled now, when there is a chance that Joe Biden (or whoever is controlling him) could fill the seat in a few months, and I’ll admit that in their shoes I’d feel the same way, but there are some very good reasons that Republicans should go ahead, hold hearings and confirm Donald Trump’s next nominee to the Supreme Court as soon as possible:

  • As Mitch McConnell has explained, in cases where both branches of government were held by the same party, historically, the nomination has been considered and voted upon.
  • Even more compelling is this: if the shoe were on the other foot and the situation were reversed, is there anyone anywhere in America who would care to assert that the Democrats would not push their nomination through? I didn’t think so. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” should not be applied in a political situation where the “others” are determined to seize power at any cost and have already clearly indicated what they intend to “do unto you.” (See next point.)
  • The Democrats have already promised that if they gain control of the White House and the Senate they intend to (among other things) “pack the court” by nominating and confirming a few more Supreme Court justices to ensure a more or less permanent liberal majority. If they’re going to “pack to court” why are they worried about one more Trump appointee? Just throw in a few more activist judges when you start packing!
  • “Over our dead bodies. Literally.” (That is a quote.) Quite a few Democrat activists are warning that if Trump and the Republicans “even TRY” to fill the seat before the election that they “will burn the entire f—ing thing down.” Another tweeted: “We’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election.” The Democrats are threatening violence in the streets if the president and Senate dare to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities. Threats of violence to force a political outcome is nothing less than terrorism and we must not acquiesce to it. Of course, this is a familiar tactic in the Democratic playbook. They are already threatening to “burn the entire f—ing thing down” if Joe Biden is not elected.
  • But most important of all, the Democrats have clearly warned that their plan for victory in this election relies heavily on a mountain of mail-in ballots (only God will know how many will be fraudulent) and a tsunami of lawsuits. More than 600 Democratic lawyers are waiting in the wings to attempt to litigate Joe Biden to victory. Many, if not all of those lawsuits will end up at the Supreme Court. We are close enough to a civil war now; having a 4-to-4 split on the highest court in the land as it tries to settle this contentious election is simply begging for bloodshed.

Justice Ginsburg reportedly told her granddaughter that her “most fervent wish” is that she would not be replaced until “a new president is installed.”* With all due respect, it isn’t the late Justice Ginsburg’s seat to bequeath, nor is the decision up to Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer. The Constitution lays that responsibility upon the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate. Donald Trump is still the president and he will be, God willing, until January 20, 2021.

And if God is merciful to us, Donald Trump will still be president on the 21st.

It has been very encouraging that many Republicans finally seem to be waking up to the situation. The Democrats are playing to win–at any cost–and if they win the consequences for this nation will be grave. They have been playing hardball for decades. It’s long past time that Republicans woke up and got in the game.


*Note: she was not hoping that it would happen after the election is over, but only after Donald Trump is out of the White House.. I suppose if he should be reelected, she hoped that SCOTUS would operate for four more years with only eight justices.

I Am Calling for Impeachment

In a 5 to 4 ruling, the United States Supreme Court rejected a Nevada church’s request to strike down a state restriction limiting attendance at religious services to 50 people, while allowing essentially unrestricted admittance to casinos. Chief Justice John Roberts opined that Nevada’s restrictions on places of worship “appear to be consistent with the First Amendment’s free exercise clause.” In case you have forgotten (as Chief Justice John Roberts apparently has) the First Amendment states (in part):

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

U. S. Bill of Rights, First Amendment, First Clause

Seriously. This should worry you. If Chief Justice John Roberts and the other four liberal, activist justices can rule that limiting attendance at church is “consistent” with “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” then they are perfectly capable of ruling absolutely anything. Absolutely anything.

A justice who can make that leap could also rule that forcing the Fox News Network off cable or banning Rush Limbaugh from the radio is “consistent” with the “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” clause; or that banning all political protests (except Black Lives Matter) was “consistent” with the “right of the people to peacefully assemble” clause of the First Amendment.

A justice who can rule that way could also rule that banning possession of firearms by American citizens was “consistent” with the “shall not be infringed” clause of the Second Amendment.

Such a justice could also rule that a law allowing police to break into your house without a warrant and search for anything that they can use to prosecute you is “consistent” with the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” clause of the Fourth Amendment.

A justice who can rule as these five lawless judges did in this case is capable of ruling that allowing you to be tried for a criminal offense again and again until the jury finally finds you guilty is “consistent” with the “nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb” clause; or that torturing you until you confess is “consistent” with the “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself” clause; or that a law allowing the government to seize your belongings and hold them until you prove yourself innocent of some charge* is “consistent” with the “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” clause of the Fifth Amendment.

For too long American have accepted that the Constitution says what the Supreme Court says it says, but this disastrous error has allowed activist judges and justices to do virtually anything they like and call it law. The Constitution says what it says, and there is no one reading this post who cannot judge what “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” means.

Supreme Court justices who can rule that limiting attendance at church while encouraging attendance at a casino is constitutional should be impeached. Their arrogant disregard for the clear text of the First Amendment and the Constitution is the very essence of “bad behavior.”

*We’ve already got this: see “Civil Asset Forfeiture”
https://fee.org/articles/the-governments-war-on-property/

Mars!

I just finished watching both seasons of the Nat Geo series “Mars” on Netflix. Spoiler Alert: I’m going to give some details, so don’t read any further if you’re afraid I’ll spoil it for you.

It was actually pretty interesting. It seemed very believable. The dialogue was fine. The acting was quite good. The sets and effects were well done. It was somewhere around the second or third episode, though, that I realized that the whole thing was really about Climate Crisis, Global Warming and preservation of our fragile earth from the exploitation on greedy capitalists. As the series continued, the comparisons between humanity’s plunder of earth’s natural resources and the desperate attempts of “science” to protect and preserve the pristine Martian world from the same horrible profit-motives that have wrought havoc on the earth’s fragile ecosystem became rather heavy-handed and obvious. When a “commercial” enterprise made it to Mars and began heedlessly trying to exploit the red planet, it became a little hard to stomach and I started skipping forward a bit. But this isn’t intended as a review of the series. I just wanted to point something out and see if anyone else noticed it.

The ending of Series 2 was predictable: a juxtaposition of earth, now in the midst of a terrifying and calamitous Climate Crisis of Global Warming, the result of the unrestrained capitalism of the energy industry; and Mars, a new planet, pure and untouched, under the protection of those Priests of Pure Science, who are gathered together to celebrate the appearance of liquid water near the Martian poles, the first evidence of the success of their “terraforming” efforts!

Does anyone besides me see the hilarious but unintentional irony of hand-wringing over “global warming” created on earth by the energy industry, immediately followed by the starry-eyed wonder of intentional “global warming” created on Mars by the “responsible” scientists?

I’m sure the writers and producers didn’t.

The Unarmed Man with a Knife

“Instead of standing there and teaching a cop, when there’s an unarmed person coming at them with a knife or something, you shoot them in the leg instead of in the heart is a very different thing. There’s a lot of different things that could change,” Biden said in a meeting with community leaders at Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del.

[https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/joe-bidens-terrible-gun-advice/]

I actually had to look that up because (and I hate to admit this) I couldn’t believe that even Joe Biden said that, but apparently he did. The article quoted above provides some very apt, very common sense analysis on why this is patently stupid advice, so I’m mostly going to stay away from that, but I will say that in my opinion, the article was just a little too soft on the “patently stupid” observation. It takes about two seconds for a man (even an unarmed man) with a knife to charge you from ten feet away and mortally wound or instantly kill you. If you are not in mortal danger, you don’t use deadly force. If you are in mortal danger, you shoot to kill. Even leaving aside the stupidity of risking your life, shooting to wound would leave the shooter open to the charge that he was not actually in fear for his life and therefore the use of deadly force was not justified.

Off to prison you go!

But I sat down at my keyboard tonight to record one simple observation: of all the stupid, nonsensical, totally incoherent thoughts that former Vice President Joe Biden has expressed, surely this one has to rank near the top. An unarmed man with a knife or something? Something like a sword? Something like a handgun, maybe? Or a hand grenade? Maybe the unarmed man has a chainsaw? Or perhaps the unarmed man is armed with a semi-automatic “assault weapon” with a “high-capacity magazine”?

We all know that Joe Biden is a walking gaffe machine, but this is just too much.

Singularity

Those familiar with my website are aware that I usually reserve these posts for commentary on political matters. However, today I wish to discuss what is possibly a very serious existential threat facing, not just the United States or even humanity, but our planet and, perhaps, our solar system.

It has come to my attention that a micro-singularity exists somewhere near the floor in my workroom beside my bench. Under the right circumstances, small objects that are dropped or that fall from my bench are drawn into this tiny black hole and pass out of existence in our physical universe. Many small washers, screws, nuts, springs and other important parts have already been gobbled up, and I have, in fact, noticed a direct correlation to the likelihood of an object being captured in this fashion and the level of difficulty there would be in replacing it.

This phenomenon seems to be occurring with greater frequency, and computer modelling indicates that the singularity is increasing in size at an exponential rate. Larger objects, such as wallets, car keys and power tools are at increasing risk. Unfortunately, it does not seem likely that our dog or cat will be threatened until just before the earth is swallowed up.

I am willing to make my workroom available for study and research to any qualified physicist or other suitable scientific professional, provided that a grant offering adequate compensation is forthcoming. In the meantime, I suggest that less important matters such as the Climate Crisis be sidelined until it is determined if there will even be a climate this time next year.

Don’t Buy Shari’s Berries

One of the nice things about having your own website is that if you want to share a really bad experience with a company, you have the ability to do so. I’m probably admitting that I’m a lousy husband, but a long time ago I considered ordering Shari’s Berries for my wife after hearing them touted by both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, but when I looked into it I decided that there are no strawberries on the face of the earth that are worth $5 each, unless, perhaps, they are coated with gold instead of chocolate. My son is not as miserly as I, and for this Mother’s Day he ordered a box of them for his mother, who by happy coincidence is also my wife.

They were shipped on Thursday and were supposed to arrive on Friday before Mother’s Day, but FedEx delivered them at 6:13 PM on Saturday. When we opened them, we found that they were boxed up with a single cold-pack, which was liquid and lukewarm. The berries were also lukewarm, almost liquid and smelled unappetizing. But stuff happens, I know, so I wasn’t too upset. There was a “Quality Guarantee” card in the box that says:

“At Shari’s Berries, we’re committed to the highest standards of quality and service. If you are not completely satisfied, please call our 24-hour Customer Satisfaction Department at 1-877-BERRIES or email us at customercare@berries.com.”

I called and was connected to their system, which told me:

“All of our agents are busy helping customers deliver smiles. Your call wait time is greater than 20 minutes. Need help with your order right now? For faster assistance check out our convenient customer service portal online at www.1800flowers.com/customer-service. We are experiencing long hold times right now. We know your time is precious, so we would be happy to hold your place in line and call you back when a customer service specialist is available. To receive a call back please press 1. To continue to hold for a specialist please press 2. For a brief description of this service please press 3.

I don’t like talking to people on the phone, so while I was waiting I tried the website, but there was no help there. I did see a “chat” link, but clicking it produced no result at all and the only other option there was a phone number, and I was already there. The first time I pressed “2” to continue to hold and I found myself in “silent purgatory” with no music or any indication that I was still on an active call. I held that for about ten minutes and then hung up to try again. The second time I called and got the message, I pressed “1” to request a call back. Instead, I was put right back into the queue with light classic music (one of the Brandenburg Concertos, I think) and the repeating message described above. I held for one hour and seven minutes, pressing “1” each time to request a call back. Well, one time I did press “3” just in case it did something different, but after that brief message it shunted me right back to the message above.

After that one hour and seven minutes I pressed “1” for the final time and, instead of hearing the Brandenburg Concerto I found myself shunted back into “silent purgatory.” I left the line open for another half-hour before hanging up and sending them an email briefly describing the situation and asking for a call back. I also had to tell my son what was going on. He was disappointed to say the least.

I tried again the next day at 1:45, having received no call back. This time the message told me that my call wait time was now “greater than two hours.” It’s Mother’s Day, and I guess lots of disappointed berry recipients are burning up the lines just like I was yesterday. I hung up.

Tried again on Monday, again on Tuesday, again on Wednesday. Same result. “Your wait time” is anywhere between “more than two hours” and “more than sixty minutes.” Still no answer to my email. Still no call back. Still nothing. I am telling my son to dispute the charge when it shows up on his statement, and I will continue to call and post results here, but I think I have made my point. Shari’s Berries is a company with some serious problems in the customer service department. If you order these ridiculously overpriced treats, be prepared.

UPDATE: They never did call me back or email me. (They could probably tell from my email that they didn’t want to talk to me at all.) Instead, they called my son, who ordered the berries. They apologized and said they were sending another shipment right away. They did. The shipment arrived yesterday. This one had two cooler packs inside, but they were both totally thawed, liquid and lukewarm, as were the strawberries. Again, completely inedible. I’ve sent them another email with a copy of the tracking card. I also told my son if/when they contact him, he should just demand his money back and, if they won’t refund it, dispute the charge with his credit card company. I’ll continue to update you here.