Monthly Archives: October 2011

Riddled With Jew-Hatred

British author Melanie Phillips praises one member of Parliament for deploring the Jew-hating nature of the various “Occupy” demonstrations:

…John Mann, the Labour MP for Bassetlaw, is also the very splendid (and non-Jewish) chairman of the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Committee against Antisemitism. He has now put down this Early Day Motion in the House of Commons (hat tip: The Commentator):

‘That this House notes the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ and ‘Occupy London Stock Exchange’ protest movements; believes the right to protest is an essential tenet of democracy; further notes concerns have been raised in America about the anti-Semitic nature of some of those protests; further believes signs referring to ‘Hitler’s Bankers’ and ‘Google Jewish Billionaires’ are offensive and have no place at such protests; further believes the verbal or physical abuse of Jews by demonstrators is unacceptable; and calls on leaders of the Occupy demonstrations worldwide to condemn anti-Semitism and act to stamp it out whenever it occurs.’

Needless to say, although web-based journalists and bloggers have been noting the Jew-hatred coursing through the ‘Occupy’ movement … this aspect has gone all but unremarked in the mainstream media, and has not prevented politicians and journalists on the left from puffing ‘Occupy’ in admiring and respectful terms. Of course – Jew-hatred is now the prejudice that dare not speak its name; and the western left is riddled with it. Which is one thing its cadres have in common, of course, with the Islamists.

Our Best-Loved Stalinist Stooge

Pete and the Useful Idiots Band

The New York Times is happy to report that ninety year old Stalinist apparatchik Pete Seeger has joined the Occupy Wall Street hootenanny.

As a musician, Seeger was and is a talentless hack. His songs, such as they are, are either silly agitprop or rip-offs. Part of his act is the sing-along where the audience is supposed to join in the singing to show, I guess, that ol’ Pete is one and the same with his audience, a comrade so-to-speak. The comedian Jackie Mason, who had a unique talent to sell to his audience, used to make fun of “folk singers” like Seeger who apparently expected the audience to pay to entertain themselves.

Pete tried to undermine the truly talented Bob Dylan (no sing-alongs, please) when Dylan abandoned the protest song plantation to become an artist rather than a “journalist” (which is what Dylan called the Seeger-like bore Phil Ochs). As Jesse Larner notes in the Huffington Post:

…Dylan was nobody’s spokesman, nobody’s pet “protest” singer, and he was singing about life, not about politics. At 22, he had the adoration of millions as well as the artistic and erotic companionship of the beautiful Joan Baez, at that time far more famous and respected than he was. He could have translated this into a particular kind of role. He wasn’t interested. When he got into the abstractions of Mr. Tambourine Man, and especially when he picked up an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, the folk establishment turned on him. Pete Seeger himself threatened to cut the power cables with an axe, revealing himself as the blind reactionary he truly is. (I should say that Seeger has for many years insisted that he was only upset because the sound quality was so poor, that he wanted the crowd to hear Dylan. I believe this to be a lie; or, more charitably, an example of the malleability of self-interested memory.)…

But what is most annoying about Seeger idolatry is the whitewashing of the great man’s life-long support of totalitarian dictators in slavish obedience to the communist party line laid down from Moscow Central.

Mark Steyn did a good job on the old fart two years ago:

…One must congratulate the old banjo-picker on making it to four score and ten, which is a lot older than many “dissenting artists” made it to under the regimes he’s admired over the years. Two years ago in The New York Sun, you’ll recall, Ron Radosh had a notable scoop: Hold the front page! Stop the presses! Grizzled Leftie Icon Repudiates…

Who? Castro? Chavez? Al-Qaeda?

Whoa, let’s not rush to judgment. No, the big story was: Grizzled Leftie Icon Repudiates …Stalin.

A couple of months earlier, there’d been some documentary or other “celebrating” the “spirit” of Pete Seeger, the folkie colossus, with contributions from the usual suspects – Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen, one or more Dixie Chicks, two-thirds of Peter, Paul and Mary, etc. Mr Radosh had also been interviewed but his remarks about Seeger’s lifelong support of Stalinism had not made the final cut. No surprise there. In such circumstances, the rule is to hail someone for his “activism” and “commitment” and “passion” without getting hung up on the specifics of what exactly he’s actively and passionately committing to. Giving him a Kennedy Center Honor a decade or so back, President Clinton hailed ol’ Pete as “an inconvenient artist who dared to sing things as he saw them”, which is one way of putting it. You can’t help noticing, though, that it’s all the documentaries and honors ceremonies and lifetime-achievement tributes to Mr Seeger that seem to find certain things “inconvenient”. The Washington Post’s Style section, with its usual sly elan, hailed him as America’s “best-loved Commie” – which I think translates as “Okay, so the genial old coot spent a lifetime shilling for totalitarian murderers, but only uptight Republican squares would be boorish enough to dwell on it.”

Anyway, in the Sun, Mr Radosh, a former banjo pupil of the great man, did dwell on it, and a few weeks later got a letter in response. “I think you’re right,” wrote Pete. “I should have asked to see the gulags when I was in [the] USSR.” And he enclosed a new song he’d composed:

I’m singing about old Joe, cruel Joe He ruled with an iron hand He put an end to the dreams Of so many in every land He had a chance to make A brand new start for the human race Instead he set it back Right in the same nasty place I got the Big Joe Blues (Keep your mouth shut or you will die fast) I got the Big Joe Blues (Do this job, no questions asked) I got the Big Joe Blues…

It’s heartening to see that age (he’s now 88) hasn’t withered Seeger’s unerring instinct for bum rhymes (“fast/asked”). Still, Ron Radosh was thrilled that, just 54 years after the old brute’s death, a mere three-quarters of a century after the purges and show trials and whatnot, the old protest singer had finally got around to protesting Stalin, albeit somewhat evasively: He put the human race “right in the same nasty place”? Sorry, not good enough. Stalin created whole new degrees of nastiness. But, given that the guy got the two great conflicts of the 20th century wrong (in 1940, he was anti-war and singing “Wendell Wilkie and Franklin D/Both agree on killing me”), it’s a start. I can’t wait for his anti-Osama album circa 2078.

Mr Seeger has a song called “Treblinka”, because he thinks it’s important that we should “never forget”. But wouldn’t it be better if we were hip to it before it snowballed into one of those things we had to remember not to forget? Would it kill the icons of the left just for once to be on the right side at the time? America has no “best-loved Nazi” or “best-loved Fascist” or even “best-loved Republican”, but its best-loved Stalinist stooge is hailed in his dotage as a secular saint who’s spent his life “singing for peace”. He sang for “peace” when he opposed the fascistic armaments stooge Roosevelt and imperialist Britain, and he sang for “peace” when he attacked the Cold War paranoiac Truman, and he kept on singing for “peace” no matter how many millions died and millions more had to live in bondage, and, while that may seem agreeably peaceful when you’re singing “If I Had A Hammer” in Ann Arbor, it’s not if you’re on the sharp end of the deal thousands of miles away.

Explaining how Stalin had “put an end to the dreams” of a Communist utopia, Seeger told Ron Radosh that he’d underestimated “how the majority of the human race has faith in violence”. But that isn’t true, is it? Very few of us are violent. Those who order the killings are few in number, and those who carry them out aren’t significantly numerous. But those willing to string along and those too fainthearted to object and those who just want to keep their heads down and wait for things to blow over are numbered in the millions. And so are those many miles away in the plump prosperous western democracies who don’t see why this or that dictator is their problem. One can perhaps understand the great shrug of indifference to distant monsters. It’s harder, though, to forgive the contemporary urge to celebrate it as a form of “idealism”.

James Lileks, the bard of Minnesota, once offered this trenchant analysis of Pete Seeger:

‘If I Had A Hammer’? Well, what’s stopping you? Go to the hardware store; they’re about a buck-ninety, tops.

Very true. For the cost of a restricted-view seat at a Peter, Paul and Mary revival, you could buy half-a-dozen top-of-the-line hammers and have a lot more fun, even if you used them on yourself. Yet in a sense Lileks is missing the point: yes, they’re dopey nursery-school jingles, but that’s why they’re so insidious. The numbing simplicity allows them to be passed off as uncontentious unexceptionable all-purpose anthems of goodwill. Which is why you hear “This Land Is Your Land” in American grade schools, but not “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic”. The invention of the faux-childlike faux-folk song was one of the greatest forces in the infantilization of American culture. Seeger’s hymn to the “senselessness” of all war, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?”, combined passivity with condescension – “When will they ever learn?” – and established the default mode of contemporary artistic “dissent”. Mr Seeger’s ongoing veneration is apparently indestructible. But at least we now know the answer to the question “When will he ever learn?”

At least half-a-century too late.

Speaking of talentless, leftist bores, Harry Belafonte seems to be getting the same kind of adoring media treatment with a new autobiography and HBO “special,” which I refuse to watch without heavy sedation.

The Ugliness

Lee Harvey Oswald

Robert Bork

It’s big of New York Times columnist Joe Nocera to admit that what he calls “the ugliness” (actually, left wing ugliness) started with the Bork Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Sorry, Joe. Unhinged left wing politics started much earlier.

I would date it to the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination. Before November, 1963, most of the loony conspiracists resided on the right, notably the now obscure John Birch Society whose leader believed, among other craziness, that President Eisenhower was a communist.

As I have written previously in this space, the liberals of the early 60’s refused to believe that Kennedy had been murdered by a communist and besides Kennedy’s family and hagiographers wanted to give meaning to his assassination by turning him into a martyr for civil rights. On the positive side, the campaign to transform Kennedy from what he actually was (ambivalent toward the civil rights movement and unequivocally anti-communist) into a Lincoln-like martyr produced the passage of the civil rights bills which had been stalled by Southern Democrats.

On the negative side, the civil rights martyr campaign unleashed confusion and then paranoia over the identity of Kennedy’s murderers. How could a communist supporter of black civil rights have been responsible for the murder of a civil rights martyr? Lee Harvey Oswald, many were led to believe, had obviously been framed by racists and right wingers; otherwise, Kennedy’s death made no sense.

The result: Today, 57% of Americans reject the “lone gunman theory” described in the Warren Commission Report which is certainly responsible for a great deal of the unhinged nature of American politics. It has fueled the violence and “ugliness” of the anti-war movement (Hey, Hey, LBJ. How many kids did you kill today?) and Watergate where Nixon irresponsibly responded in kind to home-grown anti-American, pro-communist provocations.

The Bork hearings were a symptom of the Kennedy assassination paranoia as were the Hill-Thomas insanity, the vicious attacks on George Bush, and ,yes, the Clinton impeachment where liberals saw one of its own hoisted on his own petard (Clinton lied under oath in a civil rights case in which he was accused of violating a sexual harassment statute which he signed into law!).

So thanks, Joe, for conceding the ugliness of the left’s campaign against Robert Bork. That’s a good start, but only a start. There is a lot more ugliness for which the left needs to answer.

Mormons: The Safe Target For Liberals

You gotta love it when liberals trash a religion whose adherents, they know, will not fight back with threats of violence, riot and murder. Take the big Broadway hit The Book of Mormon by the self-consciously iconoclastic creators of the TV show South Park.

I have seen neither the TV show nor the hit musical, but I did catch a bit of a 60 Minutes interview with the now very rich “Mormon” authors Matt Stone and Trey Parker who responded No to the question: Is there any target you will not ridicule?

I am told that Stone and Parker have made fun of Muslims on South Park.OK, but I seriously doubt they would write a lavish Broadway musical devoted almost exclusively to making fun of Islam. And does anyone think investors would have the nerve to invest money in such a show or allow it to be performed in their theater?

I don’t know much about Mormonism, but I am certain that brave souls like Stone and Parker know they have nothing to fear from Mormons. And the same for the intrepid New York Times’ columnist Maureen Dowd who uncritically quotes the oleaginously odious Bill Maher:

At an appearance at George Washington University here Saturday night, Bill Maher bounded into territory that the news media have been gingerly tiptoeing around.

Magic underwear. Baptizing dead people. Celestial marriages. Private planets. Racism. Polygamy.

“By any standard, Mormonism is more ridiculous than any other religion,” asserted the famously nonbelieving comic who skewered the “fairy tales” of several faiths in his documentary “Religulous.” “It’s a religion founded on the idea of polygamy. They call it The Principle. That sounds like The Prime Directive in ‘Star Trek.’ ”…

I am waiting for Stone, Parker, Maher and Dowd to show the same “courage” by ridiculing the even more ridiculous beliefs and, more importantly, the violent and oppressive practices of Muslims.

I won’t hold my breath.

Where Is The Outrage?

Anti-Semites on the left (where most of them reside) and their apologists:

Where are the self-described anti-bigots who screamed loudly about alleged racists in the Tea Party?

The Devastation of Muslim Inbreeding

The heads of government of Great Britain, Germany and France have declared the multiculturalism project in their countries a complete failure.The “failure of multiculturalism” is, in Europe, a euphemism for the refusal of Muslims to adapt to the values and mores of the host country.

Here is a politically incorrect description of just one aspect of the problem that ought to scare the hell out of people:

…close to half of all Muslims in the world are inbred. In Pakistan, the numbers approach 70%. Even in England, more than half of Pakistani immigrants are married to their first cousins, and in Denmark the number of inbred Pakistani immigrants is around 40%.

The numbers are equally devastating in other important Muslim countries: 67% in Saudi Arabia, 64% in Jordan and Kuwait, 63% in Sudan, 60% in Iraq, and 54% in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

According to the BBC, this Pakistani, Muslim-inspired inbreeding is thought to explain the probability that a British Pakistani family is more than 13 times as likely to have children with recessive genetic disorders. While Pakistanis are responsible for three percent of the births in the UK, they account for 33% of children with genetic birth defects.

The risk of what are called autosomal recessive disorders such as cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy is 18 times higher and the risk of death due to malformations is 10 times higher.

Other negative consequences of inbreeding include a 100 percent increase in the risk of stillbirths and a 50% increase in the possibility that a child will die during labor.

Lowered intellectual capacity is another devastating consequence of Muslim marriage patterns…research shows that children of consanguinous marriages lose 10-16 points off their IQ and that social abilities develop much slower in inbred babies.

The risk of having an IQ lower than 70, the official demarcation for being classified as “retarded,” increases by an astonishing 400 percent among children of cousin marriages.

Certainly this is one reason why British Prime Minister Cameron is today announcing a plan to criminalize forced marriages.

However an article in The Commmentator, seems to show that no one wants to deal directly with the married first cousins problem for the usual reasons:

…Forced marriage should not be conflated with arranged marriage: individuals enter into arranged marriages voluntarily; whereas people forced into marriage are usually tricked into going abroad, physically threatened and/or emotionally blackmailed to do so.

The Ethnic Minority Foundation, a group working closely with the government on an initiative to tackle forced marriage, estimated there were 400 cases of forced marriage the year before its launch in 2009. It is believed these numbers are growing.

In 2008, the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC), now part of the Henry Jackson Society, published Crimes of the Community, a comprehensive report on honour-based violence in the UK based on interviews with women’s groups, community activists, police working in the field and victims of honour-based violence. Almost all were unanimous in saying that tougher measures are needed to tackle the root causes of such crimes.

The report stated that making forced marriage a civil offence had not worked and recommended a high profile law to criminalise forced marriage, holding people who carry them out accountable. It also suggested that people who seek to impede police investigations or withhold evidence should be prosecuted.

Politically incorrect common sense reveals that a great many if not most of these “voluntary arranged marriages” are anything but voluntary and that an awful lot of them are between first cousins.

The figures cited above ought to sober up those still gullible enough to believe that Muslim immigrants are no different from other immigrant groups.

The “Pro-Life” Poster Boy

Characteristically, David Warren concisely gets to the heart of the late Steve Jobs and his creations:

…Anecdotes of Jobs and that other Steve (Wozniak), depend largely on the frailties of human memory, mythologized in the retrospect of later achievement. Jobs himself became larger than life, his vices subtly transmuted into virtues in the public mind.

Like the late Princess of Wales …, he was a brilliant and charismatic self-salesman. (And had been at least since adolescence, when he brought himself to the attention of Hewlett Packard’s CEO, just to get a summer job.) Unlike Diana …, he had products to bring to market, stamped with the ineffable mark of his personality; and is now lionized almost in spite of the fact he was a capitalist entrepreneur.

Here was a man whose company’s cash reserves have sometimes exceeded those of the United States of America. Who made it company policy to give not one penny to any philanthropic cause. Who pitched entirely to the mass market, with cleverly purposeful branding. Who imparted intangible fashion qualities to those products, through fanatic attention to industrial design. Who rode often brutally over opponents; who had anger management issues; and was the boss from hell to anyone who didn’t perform according to his exacting specifications.

A great salesman, as great a nerd (hundreds of patents with his name on them), and finally a great artist, in an age when art has taken the strangest egalitarian forms. More positively, he carried the hallmarks of an artist, even into his salesmanship, from the attention to fine detail to the Zen drama of his presentations. It is rare when so many gifts, not necessarily compatible, combine in one man and are harnessed together.

An orphan, adopted by step-parents who misrepresented themselves and their situation to get hold of him. (Later, a college dropout himself.) His ancestry was secularized Syrian Muslim; he was born in 1955 to a young couple “not ready for children yet.” Twenty years later he would surely have been aborted: together with who knows how many others with commensurate gifts. Yes, Steve Jobs could be a poster boy for “Pro-Life.”

A man who genuinely changed the world, though, let me add, not entirely for the better. For the cumulative effect of all these ingenious electronic devices is to train the attention of a huge population narcissistically inward. And from the moment they look out, to assist them in finding the distraction of cheap and mostly worthless entertainment. The iPod, iPad, iPhone, etc., are all instruments of distraction. Each reduces some segment of reality to the virtual, and each reprograms the habits of its users within the spiritual confines of a kind of computer game.

But that is the story of all technology, since the “apple” first presented to Eve: a dubious good, whose merits are made visible through salesmanship. Whose costs are subtly hidden.

Technology by increments has conquered the world, from the harvesting of fish to what Stalin called “the engineering of human souls.” We are caught in the net of our own ingenuity.

Yes, He Got No Vaginas

It’s tragic: Amateur gynecologist Andrew Sullivan has, as a result of Sarah Palin’s decision not to run for president, promised to cease and desist from Trig trutherism. Thanks for the laughs, Andrew.

For those of you who like to obsess over right wing nut jobs who think Barry was born abroad or who believe in “creationism” or who are stupid enough to be just a tiny bit skeptical about man made global warming, Trig truthers, of whom Sullivan has been the most prominent, assert that Palin’s youngest son is really her daughter’s child.

Sullivan used to be considered a somewhat serious journalist until, some think, Sarah Palin mysteriously bewitched him and precipitated his transformation into a mirror image of those right wing racists and conspiracy maniacs the left likes to say make up the Tea Party.

Well, you can get the flavor of Sullivan’s derangement symptoms from his Trig Truther retirement post:

…This meme on the right – simply equating genuine, real, empirical questions about the insane stories made up by Palin about her last pregnancy with some kind of creepy fascination with vaginas – is one more dodge from the Palin partisans. Trust me: I am the last man on the Internet with an interest in gynecology. I am, however, duty bound, as I see it, to say when a leading politician is saying something obviously nuts or, at the very least, wildly implausible, and asking for empirical proof. That used to be called journalism, until “deference” became the norm.

There are many individuals in the world nutty enough to make up stories about pregnancies, and this blog covers none of them. Indeed, I couldn’t care less if someone capable of such a thing walks around in a free country. All I ever cared about was that someone who was incapable of understanding reality, who was, in my view, clinically disturbed, intellectually incapable and emotionally crippled, should not be foisted on the world as a potential US president because John McCain had a temper tantrum.

The record shows I had an open mind in the first blissfully data-free minutes I absorbed her candidacy. I had no desire to spend hours on a story out of a movie-of-the-week. But as a blogger, I owe my readers honesty. I could not disguise the fact that I did not believe her on Trig, and that if the worst were true, we had a fullscale nutjob potentially in line for global power. What was I supposed to do? I took a day off when it dawned on me I shouldn’t lie, and yet knew I would be pilloried for airing the question. That day off was entirely my own choice, and I used it to try and think skeptically about what was in my head and to pray for the right response. The obloquy and ridicule from my fellow hacks was close to universal, and I put awful strains on my colleagues at the Dish. The only reason I did this was that I simply didn’t believe her. None of it made sense to me. I regard it as a sacred rule of this blog that I will not bullshit you. So I didn’t. Fuck the consequences.

According to Andrew: He took a day off during which he prayed and then prayed again. He concluded from this day of agonizing self examination in the wilderness that he must go forth and endure the slings, arrows (not to mention ridicule) hurled at him by the sentient community in order to save the civilized world from…Sarah Palin?

“Mission, as they say accomplished,” Sullivan writes. True, but not the mission he imagines. He has succeeded magnificently in making a complete ass of himself.

Cheney Lives On… In The Obama White House!

Reuters reports:

Steve Breen

American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials.

There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.

The role of the president in ordering or ratifying a decision to target a citizen is fuzzy. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to discuss anything about the process…

In an ironic turn, Obama, who ran for president denouncing predecessor George W. Bush’s expansive use of executive power in his “war on terrorism,” is being attacked in some quarters for using similar tactics. They include secret legal justifications and undisclosed intelligence assessments…


Whining Wall Street Bullies

Dana Summers

The great Canadian columnist David Warren gives some sage advice to the zombies “occupying” Wall Street:

The “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations – now franchising across the U.S. and Canada – are the latest fashion statement from the Left, for the fall political season, in a year that has already offered the Arab Spring, and the debt riots of Europe. North Americans hate to miss out on a trend.

What can be said to these people? Where to start?

If you honestly think the banks are making too much money, then you should buy some bank shares. They are freely available in the open market.

And if you think all these profits are immoral, then get your friends together. Buy up lots of shares. Collect all these obscene dividends, and then: give the money to the poor and unemployed.

No, I’m not kidding. The poor are unlikely to refuse. I have the honour to live among them (thanks to the ministrations of government bureaucracies, with initials like CRA and FRO), and I know them. They are not shy. They will take your money. Indeed, if you get to know them yourself, you will find that they are as human as bankers, and as greedy. Just not very successful…

[O]pen a soup kitchen… Or pay some poor kid’s college tuition. It’s your call. (I personally think a college education is, these days, about the most destructive thing you can provide for a kid, but that’s just my opinion.)

This is the unanswerable argument to the Left of all ages: Instead of trying to coerce someone else to do what you think is right and just (and every Left policy I have ever seen involved coercion of the non-Left), put your money where your mouth is. Go “liberate” cash by legitimate means (within the laws), then set an example in how you spend it.

Give, until it hurts, to the most needful. And you can volunteer your free time into the bargain, for in my experience, you cannot begin to know who is most needful, until you have rolled up your pant legs and waded into action…

But now comes the disappointment. For I am recommending a course that gives none of the rewards craved by the cavorting young ego. There is none of the euphoria of street demonstrations, none of the easy applause (and easy sex) that comes from boldly posturing as one of the “good people,” fighting against the “bad people.”

The rewards for doing something, where it counts, are different in kind; and they do not come easily.

I look at all the faces of the young, made up as zombies, clutching that fake dollar-store money, and strutting down Wall Street. Most, obviously, college-educated: the final products of an educational system that imparts little knowledge but a lot of self-esteem. I look at the sheer smugness in those faces, of people who have never experienced real hardship. All demanding that someone else do something.

For that is the nature of street demonstrations: a form of coercion, of public bullying. Getting yourself arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge, by gratuitously blocking the traffic of the working stiffs, does not help anyone. It is a form of personal display, an act of whining self-righteousness that is intrinsic to the psychology of the bully.

The attraction, to the copy-cat demonstrators across the continent, is “me too.” This is the Left’s answer to the Tea Party in the U.S. – a point made repeatedly through the liberal media, which themselves take pleasure in the analogy.

The comparison is utterly false. The Tea Party types have not taken the streets, and their organizers have consistently struggled to maintain civility: to ostracize any member whose behaviour or loose talk detracts from the dignity of the movement. They are organizing to win elections, chiefly through the established Republican Party: to advance their cause by legitimate democratic means. And their rank-and-file consists, overwhelmingly, of grown-ups.