Thursday, July 30, 2015
The coup already occurred. Everyone is keeping their head down, and praying for a change of ruler in the next election.
Which leads me to wonder - will the elections happen? Will they offer REAL choices? Will fraud and deceit overturn the Will of the People?
I've been reading Sharyl Attkinson's book, Stonewalled. Don't read it if you are already depressed about our country's future - or, at least hide the guns.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
A friend of mine liked to say that there’s only one major party in American politics: the “Incumbent Party.” He would dispute with those who disagreed by pointing out the 95%-or-better recidivism rate in Congress, the collusion of the government and the media to marginalize and dismiss third parties and their spokesmen, and the prevalence of cross-aisle logrolling that fattens the cats associated with both the nominal major parties at taxpayers’ expense. He made a damned good case out of it.
Another way of characterizing the Incumbent Party, which has a lot more resonance with the politically reachable, is as the “Permanent Regime:” a governing class that cannot be removed from power short of armed revolution...which, of course, the regime is doing its best to render unlikely if not impossible.
We have a Permanent Regime in Washington, though it strains to preserve the illusion that it can be removed and replaced by something wholly different. Recent developments in the Continuous Campaign® have started to peel back its cloak of concealment, such that Americans can finally see what we’ve allowed to fetter us.
Who is the only candidate that Hillary Clinton can beat? Uhm, Joan, that would be Jeb "Call me Jeb!, not Bush" Bush:"Behind a garden modeled on Monet's, Jeb Bush addressed a lawn-full of chief executives and hedge-fund managers at an East Hampton, New York, estate Saturday morning. While the candidate is no stranger to courting wealthy donors, this time was different: about half the attendees were Democrats.
"This guy sells well," said Kenneth Lipper, the money manager and registered Democrat who hosted the event, after Bush left. Virtually the only one who left without writing a check, Lipper said, was a buck deer that wandered past the group assembled on the wooded grounds...
Jeb Bush has so many negatives against him that I could make an essay out of them alone. Yet donor-class members, including habitual Democrat donors, consider him worthy of large amounts of their money. Why?
Doug Ross thinks it’s because Hillary Clinton can defeat him easily:
How dim do you have to be to believe that Jeb! can win a general election against any Democrat?
How's that Bush brand name doing? Is Common Core suddenly popular? How about illegal immigration in the wake of Kate Steinle's senseless murder?
Friends, this is a course called False Flag 101, and Jeb Bush is the subject. As well as the antithesis of an electable candidate for the GOP.
Doug might well be correct, but I take a more “inclusive” view: Jeb’s performance in office would not differ significantly from that of Hillary, and the donor class knows it.
Draw your own conclusions.
I wonder. Is Debbie Wasserman-Shultz perhaps related to Sergeant Shultz -- of the Juden Polizei.
She, along with an overpaid idiot at the JDF (Jonathon Greenblatt, a former advisor to Obama no less), came out swinging at Mike Huckabee -- whom I personally detest -- for saying what any sane Jew should be saying. In short, for saying that the Iran deal is allowing Iran to turn the entire nation of Israel into a Jewish oven. A sane Jew is one who has heard "Never Again" reverberating in their ears their entire lives. That clearly leaves out Mrs. Shultz. (Hmmm. Is she less Jewish and more a gut German?)
Appearing on CNN Monday afternoon, the Democratic chairwoman said such words were “unacceptable” for any presidential candidate, regardless of party. “No matter how people feel about the Iran deal,” she said, “to make the suggestion that there is some comparison to the six million Jews who lost their lives… to preventing Iran, in a deal, from achieving a nuclear weapon is an outrageous, unacceptable analogy.”
Wasserman-Schultz claims to be “reviewing” the terms of the deal, but is unwilling to let Huckabee express a strongly negative opinions. Apparently, “calling a spade a spade” has become “unacceptable” in Washington...at least, as long as the one in the Oval Office hates Israel.
In a 45-minute speech, Obama called for reducing or eliminating mandatory minimum sentences, reviewing the use of the solitary confinement and banning of Confederate and Tea Party Flags on public property, among other things.
“Any system that allows us to turn a blind-eye to hopelessness and despair, that’s not a justice system, that’s an injustice system,” Obama said Tuesday. “Justice is not only the absence of oppression, it’s the absence of racist, divisive symbols in our public discourse.”
Don’t you just love the way the spokesmen of the Regime redefine words like justice to suit their own suppressive purposes? They started with rights a century ago, and today you can hardly find anyone under the age of 90 who knows what the word really means. But I digress.
A resistance that cannot publicly display the symbols of resistance has been partially atomized, and thus partially disarmed. There’s no other imaginable rationale for banning flags, billboards, bumper stickers, stained glass windows, or any other visible form of expression. Think about it.
Fourth, we have the political elite’s revulsion against and concerted attack on Donald Trump. ‘Nuff said.
When all the errors are in the bank’s favor, you can be forgiven for thinking there’s more at work than sloppy arithmetic – Me.
The two “major parties” have allied with one another against private Americans. Not one element of American politics and public discourse since the departure of Ronald Reagan from the White House countervails this proposition. Indeed, the behavior of the Republican caucuses in Congress should nail it to the wall. That nominally private organizations such as the U. S. Chamber of Commerce have leagued with them against “conservative insurgents” is merely icing on the cake. The Democrats have their own nominally private annexes, as the behavior of the unions and the Main Stream Media has made clear for quite a while.
Now that government has burst all Constitutional bounds and has succeeded in enervating the traditional conception of individual rights, he who seeks significant power, profit, and prestige has no choice but to get into bed with the Permanent Regime. However, the Regime isn’t a cheap whore; it exacts a high price for its favors. Cosa Nostra dons who required an unconditional promise of unspecified future service before they would confer their favor upon a supplicant were extremely moderate by comparison.
As we can see from the above, the Regime knows how to defend itself. If the occasional quarrel succeeds in penetrating its armor, the wound only spurs it to reinforcement.
There are still some conservatives and libertarians who believe that the GOP can be salvaged and returned to a Constitutional orientation. Here are some thoughts from one of them. They might be right; I make no claim to infallibility, on this subject or any other. However, the evidence is strong that even an ultimately successful effort will take several decades and a high price in toil and treasure.
As I’ve been saying all too often lately, there is no Last Graf. There are no guaranteed solutions, and no perfect defenses. But at the very least we can open our eyes and ears, see plainly what lies before us and hear clearly what our political masters are saying. We can recognize the enemy: that he is not localized to a single party, and that whether we hope to defeat him or merely to deflect him, we will need vigilance and resolve not on one front, but two.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
What odds would you give on the likelihood of the DOD refusing to pay out death benefits, due to their use of the weapons?
However, she does have the experience to make it worth reading, as a point of view.
Please share as widely as you are able on social media - I'd like to get some traction on this story.
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Quite a long time ago, I read a semi-humorous article written by a man who was left-handed. The thrust of the article was that “it’s a right-handed world:” i.e., that commonplace devices and the conventions of the world cater to right-handed persons, and that left-handers must cope as best they can. Being rather young at that time, I was somewhat intrigued by this revelation. It set me on a kind of quest: I went looking for ways in which ordinary things embedded the assumption that their users would be righties rather than lefties. As you can imagine, I found a multitude of them.
However, the discovery did not cause me to infer that the world is prejudiced against lefties, nor that lefties are treated unfairly. It did accentuate the importance of normality – conformance to the most common patterns – in easing one’s journey through life.
Left-handedness is not normal. That’s not to say that it’s “unnatural,” or “perverse,” or bad in any other sense. It’s merely uncommon. Lefties constitute about 15% of the population of the United States, according to recent surveys. Thus, one who is pursuing a “mass market” for his new device will more likely orient it toward righties, if handedness matters to its use.
This is not wrong or evil; it’s merely good sense. It does mean that lefties will have to cope with burdens righties don’t. But that’s also the case with persons distant from the norms for height, weight, and general intelligence. More, there are specific occupations in which left-handedness is a valued asset; pitching and orthopedic surgery are two examples.
This highlights the difference between normality and hegemony.
In our time, attempts to conflate normality and hegemony are rife. It’s normal:
- To be right-handed (~85%);
- To be heterosexual (~97%);
- To have two arms and two legs (~99%);
- To have the “normal” five senses (~99%);
- To prefer the company of those who share one’s race, religion, or ethnic heritage (~100%).
None of these conformances to various norms confer privileges beyond a degree of convenience. Yet they matter. The lefty, the homosexual, the amputee, the blind and the deaf, and the member of a minority race, creed, or heritage must all find ways to cope with their minority standing. It’s no one’s “fault;” it’s merely the way things are. Yet there are activists determined to impose those minorities’ preferences upon the rest of us by political means, as if not Nature but the State had decreed their disadvantages.
And far too many of us let them get away with it, most commonly in the name of “compassion.”
It’s not that long ago that the overwhelming majority of Americans would have known how wrong that is without needing time for reflection. But the conflation of normality with hegemony has penetrated so deeply into the public consciousness that many of us react in precisely the opposite fashion – by reflex conditioned in by the relentless propagandization of those aforementioned activists.
This is on my mind this fine July morning due to a phrase I first encountered quite recently: “sundown segregation.” It refers to the natural human tendency to prefer the company of others like oneself when there are no overriding considerations (e.g., one’s occupation). That tendency is why America has “Chinatowns,” “Germantowns,” “Little Italys,” and the like. It’s also the main reason why American Negroes tend to concentrate geographically, despite racialists’ claims that they’ve been “herded into ghettoes.”
Political initiatives to combat that wholly natural tendency are, in a word, unnatural. It takes no more than ordinary intelligence to realize and deplore this, just as it would take no more than that to condemn a State decree that 50% of all marketed devices be oriented toward the convenience of the left-handed. Yet such initiatives have multiplied. They receive a truly unnatural degree of acquiescence.
What too many good-hearted persons fail to realize is that the overt rationale for such initiatives is nothing more than a cover for the all-important covert motive: the desire of the power-hungry to assert absolute hegemony over every aspect of human life.
In some cases, it starts innocently. Just as it’s normal to have two arms, two legs, and five senses, it’s normal for a person so equipped to feel sympathy for the plight of the amputee, the blind, and the deaf. Just as it’s normal for an American to be self-supporting (or a member of a family with an adequately functioning “breadwinner”), it’s normal to feel sympathy for those who aren’t, whether by reason of incapacity or tender age. Power-mongers have learned how to latch onto such sentiments and politicize them. Thus “programs” are born to redress such “iniquities,” so the “afflicted” can feel “included.” Note that such programs tend to be eternal, by reason of the natural existence of such persons...and that they swell in a fashion detached from the prevalence of the “afflictions” they purport to relieve.
In other cases, there’s nothing innocent about it. I hardly need to tell any Gentle Reader of Liberty’s Torch about the inroads black racialist mouthpieces, homosexual activists, and flacksters for “undocumented immigrants” have made into America’s politics. The salient thing here is that those inroads were paved with propaganda: ceaseless beratings of the majority about supposed “injustices” done to those minorities. Power-mongers and members in good standing of the political class have exploited them to the hilt.
Were we to stipulate that some true injustices have been inflicted on members of minority demographics, wouldn’t it still be a far greater injustice for the State to penalize the overwhelming (and wholly innocent) majority of us to redress them? Wouldn’t that constitute a perversion of the very idea of justice: the punishment of the guilty without penalty to the innocent?
You know the answer full well.
The above might seem too obvious to emphasize...which is why I repeat so frequently that obvious means overlooked. The gulf between the claims of “rights” and “injustices” and the cupidity and malice of the grievance-mongers that make them should be highlighted, yet it’s far more often ignored. Given the Main Stream Media’s swiftness to seize on exploitable occurrences to feed the grievance-mongers’ furnaces, coupled to politicians’ readiness to leap onto podia and trumpet “causes” in which we should all be compulsorily enrolled, the importance of reversing the tide has never been greater.
A final thought: normal does not imply good or better. Majorities have no rights nor privileges as such, all pseudo-democratic notions notwithstanding. Assertions of hegemony through demography ought always to be resisted and refuted, no matter what demographic might claim it. It’s merely the irony of our place and time that minorities – groups outside the norm and distinct from it – should be waging a largely successful campaign to wield hegemony over the rest of us.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Perhaps you thought once the Supreme Court had recognized a “right” to same-sex marriage, the Sturm und Drang would be over. But within hours, polygamists were demanding the legal recognition of their “marriages.” And why not, after all? A man married himself shortly before that. If you can have zero or one spouses, why not two or more? And of course, the pedophiles are waiting for their day in court.
(Note: The publication Miss Valente’s article mentions cannot currently be found at Amazon. Apparently, Amazon has delisted it. Too much blowback? Or was it some sort of sick joke?)
Say, remember when Senator Rick Santorum said publicly that if there’s a “right” to same-sex marriage, then you have “a right to anything” -- ? He was roundly condemned for that blatant sin against the PC Code. Here’s a sample just in case you’ve forgotten:
Santorum wants a a ban on gay marriages. He would likely bring back antiquated anti-sodomy laws as well. “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have a right to bigamy, you have a right to polygamy, you have a right to incest, you have a right to adultery. You have a right to anything.”
When Santorum gets on the subject of homosexuality, one can’t help noting a tinge of hysteria, along with a generous helping of illogic and exaggeration. Santorum would probably try to ban other related activities, such as the use of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. He certainly wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood.
What this adds up to is that when Santorum says religious values should play a greater role in government policy, he means that there should be lots of laws regulating your personal life, particularly your sex life. This is pretty typical of religious fundamentalists, particularly American Christian ones. They just can’t leave other people’s bedrooms alone.
Is Lawrence Davidson, the author of the above article, a “fudge packer,” a “meat smoker,” a faggot? I wouldn’t know. But he’s definitely pro-sodomy, pro-infanticide, and a religious bigot, as you can see from his words above.
Which brings us to this obscenity:
A homosexual man has filed a $70 million lawsuit against Bible publishers Zondervan and Thomas Nelson, alleging that their version of the Bible that refers to homosexuality as a sin violates his constitutional rights and has caused him emotional distress....
[Litigant Bradley LaShawn] Fowler, who is representing himself in both cases, claims that Zondervan manipulated Scripture by using the term “homosexuals” in 1 Corinthians 6:9 of their 1982 and 1987 revised edition Bibles. He also contends that the reference to homosexuality were deleted by the publisher in later versions without informing the public.
He alleges that since the older Kings James Version containing the term “homosexuals” is used by his family pastor, he has been outcast by his family.
The 39-year-old is suing the Grand Rapids publisher for compensation of 20 years of “emotional duress and mental instability,” he told WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids.
“But what harm could it do to let them marry one another?” far too many good-hearted conservatives argued. Now you know.
“Equality.” We’re all for it, right? Old Tom Jefferson put it in the Declaration: “All men are created equal.” That must mean we should all be equal, in every way and at every instant from birth to death, right? Besides, our pastors teach us that we’re all equal in the eyes of God, right? Right?
That’s the Gospel of Egalitarianism. Perhaps it’s better stated as an Eleventh Commandment:
It lacks a certain something, though: an enforcement mechanism. As matters stand, people vary all over the map. What to do, what to do...hmmm...wait, I have it! We’ll have the State make us all equal, like in that Kurt Vonnegut story! With the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful State to watch over us, no one would dare to be better than anyone else at anything!
At last: there would no longer be any reason for anyone to envy anyone else! A magnificent Utopian vision! The dream of the Left in glorious Technicolor! There are just a few wee problems:
It would be totalitarian;
It would occasion an unprecedented bloodletting;
And no matter how much force you use, it can’t be done.
You already had an inkling or two about that, didn’t you?
Certain totally insane notions simply refuse to die. Egalitarianism is conspicuous among them. Contrary to what many think, it’s not that such notions are genuinely beautiful, dreams we would truly love to achieve if only it were possible. It’s that they’re useful to those who seek power over others.
No two individuals are equal in any way.
No two races are equal in any way.
The two sexes are not equal in any way.
No two ethnicities are equal in any way.
No two cultures are equal in any way.
No two religious creeds are equal in any way.
And they cannot be made equal by any application of wishful thinking or force.
However, the notion that X and Y should be equal – in political terms, that such equality is a God-given right -- justifies the use of State power over them. If your goal is the expansion of the State and its powers, egalitarian claims and those making them are weapons in your arsenal.
Are you happy with the way American government has used its powers to this point, Gentle Reader?
Retirement USA is a national initiative that is working for a new retirement system that, along with Social Security, will provide universal, secure, and adequate income for future retirees. The initiative has developed 12 Principles for a New Retirement System, which provides a framework for a future system in which employers, workers, and the government would share responsibility for the retirement security for all American workers.
Make sure you have a look at those “principles.” Then make sure you have a quiet place to lie down until the shakes subside.
What, precisely, is the rationale behind this new socialist initiative? Why, that a “secure retirement” is a right. Never mind that only recently, in historical terms, has anyone but the very wealthy been able even to contemplate retirement. Never mind that other socialist gestures toward “secure retirement,” such as the one currently destroying Greece, have all eventuated in failure at best, disaster at worst. Never mind that the American step in that direction, Social Security, is on the verge of collapse and cannot be saved without either means-testing it – i.e., changing it from a form of insurance to a form of welfare – or tax increases so massive that working Americans would essentially be made serfs laboring for the leisure of retirees.
It’s not the first stroke in this direction, of course. Congress has already entertained the suggestion that private pension funds and savings should be confiscated:
RALEIGH — Democrats in the U.S. House have been conducting hearings on proposals to confiscate workers’ personal retirement accounts — including 401(k)s and IRAs — and convert them to accounts managed by the Social Security Administration.
Triggered by the financial crisis the past two months, the hearings reportedly were meant to stem losses incurred by many workers and retirees whose 401(k) and IRA balances have been shrinking rapidly.
The testimony of Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economic policy analysis at the New School for Social Research in New York, in hearings Oct. 7 drew the most attention and criticism. Testifying for the House Committee on Education and Labor, Ghilarducci proposed that the government eliminate tax breaks for 401(k) and similar retirement accounts, such as IRAs, and confiscate workers’ retirement plan accounts and convert them to universal Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs) managed by the Social Security Administration. Ghilarducci’s plan first appeared in a paper for the Economic Policy Institute: Agenda for Shared Prosperity on Nov. 20, 2007, in which she said GRAs will rescue the flawed American retirement income system (www.sharedprosperity.org/bp204/bp204.pdf).
The current retirement system, Ghilarducci said, “exacerbates income and wealth inequalities” because tax breaks for voluntary retirement accounts are “skewed to the wealthy because it is easier for them to save, and because they receive bigger tax breaks when they do.” Lauding GRAs as a way to effectively increase retirement savings, Ghilarducci wrote that savings incentives are unequal for rich and poor families because tax deferrals “provide a much larger ‘carrot’ to wealthy families than to middle-class families — and none whatsoever for families too poor to owe taxes.”
In a radio interview with Kirby Wilbur in Seattle on Oct. 27, 2008, Ghilarducci explained that her proposal doesn’t eliminate the tax breaks, rather, “I’m just rearranging the tax breaks that are available now for 401(k)s and spreading — spreading the wealth.”
Private pension funds, IRAs, and 401(k) accounts hold approximately $18 trillion in assets. That’s almost exactly the size of the federal debt. More than coincidence? Your Curmudgeon reports; you decide.
Then decide whether “retirement equality” strikes you as a noble goal or just one more scheme of State theft under a wholly deceitful veneer of good intentions.
Whenever some noisy interest group starts prattling about “equality” or “rights,” a smart man puts one hand on his wallet and the other on his sidearm. The Rights of Man are laid out plainly in old Tom Jefferson’s magnum opus:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Though many argue otherwise, the “equality” Jefferson had in mind was equality before the law: i.e., that the law cannot justly distinguish among men according to their identities, their assets, or their origins. That stands in sharp contrast to the egalitarianism of the Left, which seeks to use State power to coerce us all in the name of various unattainable “equalities.”
But there’s a simpler way to cut away the nonsense, buried in that innocent-looking phrase “the pursuit of Happiness.”
Does a right to pursue something imply a right to catch it?
Isn’t a secure retirement merely a material goal some of us pursue, on the grounds that it would make us happy to be able to retire after spending forty or fifty years laboring?
What about the trades in which there has never been any possibility of retirement, such as farming? Did the innumerable legions throughout history that labored over the land, coaxing from it the food we require to sustain our lives, have a “right” they never knew about? Or was it that the way they chose to “pursue Happiness” simply foreclosed that possibility, that they were aware of that from the outset, and chose to work the land even so?
And should we grant the smallest groat of respect to a claim of “rights” that infringes upon others’ right to “pursue Happiness” peaceably and as they see fit?
In closing: I have no equals. Neither do you. Keeping that constantly in mind would armor us against nearly all the various claims of “rights” being bandied about today. For in truth, there is only one right that can be defended without contradicting oneself: the right to be left alone, so long as one honors others’ right to be left alone. All other claims amount to nothing but a power grab.
There’s no limit to the power-mongers’ ability to claim new “rights.” They haven’t gotten around to claiming that “an equal right to life” prohibits some persons from living longer than others...but it might not have occurred to them just yet.
Give them time.
Friday, July 10, 2015
"Some thoughts on the coming collapse of the United States of America." By Paul Dragu, RedState, 6/30/14.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
- Gotten a WHOLE lot of books on radio topics, including the one that I wanted to use to upgrade my license to General.
- Played around with a USB-based oscilliscope, which I can take with me, as well as several circuit board test modules.
- Learned how to use a breadboard to test circuits.
- Made a 24 hour digital clock.
- Received a Boe-Bot, which is a programmable robotics kit (I'm in heaven - putting things together, and programming for FUN!)
I felt like rinsing my eyes out with Drano.
There Jeb was, talking about his qualifications for office, to a soft bluesy background.
Then, in stepped Fallon, making some of the sleaziest, smarmiest, most innuendo-laden comments after each segment.
I warn you - DO NOT CLICK on the video, unless you have a strong stomach.
I never thought that much of Jeb. He always seemed like one of those guys who thought he wat better than everyone else.
Well, he sure proved that he DIDN'T excel in basic common sense.
Sunday, July 5, 2015
Saturday, July 4, 2015
It’s more than the title of an overhyped Spike Lee movie. It’s a way of life...or it should be.
Many people talk a good game. They proclaim, propound, and promise. They make extravagant statements about what they would do – or will do – if this or that should occur. They pose as Twenty-First Century versions of Patrick Henry...as long as they know they won’t be called on it.
Sportsmen call that “the locker-room game.” It has no effect on the eventual score.
Today, the draft of the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress, which had voted unanimously for independence from Great Britain two days earlier. (To the anonymous commenter who quarreled with me about that: brush up on your history. It’s a matter of public record.) As I wrote yesterday, the fifty-six delegates whose names appear on the document probably spent a good deal of the time since pondering the consequences of their decision. For many, the consequences would be terrible indeed.
They did the right thing: the thing their consciences urged upon them. They did it knowing that that price could be their lives.
Contemporary Americans are much slower to risk such a price.
There’s a significant amount of game theory involved in my former trade, which has compelled me to become acquainted with a few highly useful concepts. The two of interest today are minimax and mainchance.
If your gaming strategy is to minimize what you could possibly lose, you’ve adopted the minimax approach. You will select your moves such that no matter what your opponent(s) might do, your maximum loss has been minimized. Games in which the players adopt the minimax strategy tend to be boring and highly predictable, especially if there’s no random element in the mix. Payoffs will be low, and over time every player’s aggregate winnings and losses will tend toward zero. In other words, clear victories or losses are rare, unless the game’s rules are inherently biased toward or against some of the players.
If your gaming strategy is to play for the highest possible return and not worry about potential losses, you’ve adopted the mainchance approach. Needless to say, as most real-world games tend to associate great potential gains with equally great potential losses, this requires courage. Games in which the players choose the mainchance strategy can be wild – and wildly exciting. Oftentimes a player “goes broke” from his choices, and must leave the game. Mainchance delivers winners and losers as minimax does not.
A revolutionist must be a mainchance player from the very first. The penalty for being an unsuccessful revolutionist is almost always death plus the attainder of one’s family, often out to second and third cousins. Exceptions are rare.
It says something about the human psyche that as regards the deliberate triggering of dramatic social upheaval, we find minimaxers among the well off and well-to-do, and mainchancers far more often among those who have little or nothing to lose.
You might be wondering what this is headed toward. You have good reason; I’ve been more circuitous even than my usual.
Perhaps you’re familiar with the case of Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Oregon couple who declined, out of Christian conviction, to make a wedding cake for a lesbian wedding. Just recently, the state of Oregon piled injury upon injury:
Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian finalized a preliminary ruling today ordering Aaron and Melissa Klein, the bakers who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, to pay $135,000 in emotional damages to the couple they denied service.
“This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage,” Avakian wrote. “It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal.”
In the ruling, Avakian placed an effective gag order on the Kleins, ordering them to “cease and desist” from speaking publicly about not wanting to bake cakes for same-sex weddings based on their Christian beliefs.
“This effectively strips us of all our First Amendment rights,” the Kleins, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which has since closed, wrote on their Facebook page. “According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech.”
Were you aware that a state official has the power to silence dissent? I wasn’t. Indeed, I don’t think he does – freedom of speech is a Constitutionally protected right – but the question I find most interesting is whether the Kleins will defy him.
They’ve been fined a huge amount of money – probably more than their bakery took in over a whole year. The bakery has been closed. They’ve been subjected to enormous torrents of vilification by the activist homosexual community. I don’t know whether they have any means of subsistence. They have very little, if anything, left to lose...but they have a great deal to gain by challenging this upstart official directly, charging him with abuse of power under color of law and compelling him to answer those charges in a federal district court.
One of the blessings of our time is that the Internet enables those of us who believe in their cause to support them, with verbal encouragement and funding.
Consider also the recent case of harassment of Reason magazine:
The United States Department of Justice is using federal grand jury subpoenas to identify anonymous commenters engaged in typical internet bluster and hyperbole in connection with the Silk Road prosecution. DOJ is targeting Reason.com, a leading libertarian website whose clever writing is eclipsed only by the blowhard stupidity of its commenting peanut gallery.
Why is the government using its vast power to identify these obnoxious asshats, and not the other tens of thousands who plague the internet?
Because these twerps mouthed off about a judge.
Last week, a source provided me with a federal grand jury subpoena. The subpoena1, issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, is directed to Reason.com in Washington, D.C.. The subpoena commands Reason to provide the grand jury "any and all identifying information"2 Reason has about participants in what the subpoena calls a "chat."
The "chat" in question is a comment thread on Nick Gillespie's May 31, 2015 article about Ross "Dread Pirate Roberts" Ulbricht's plea for leniency to the judge who would sentence him in the Silk Road prosecution. That plea, we know now, failed, as Ulbricht received a life sentence, with no possibility of parole.
Several commenters on the post found the sentence unjust, and vented their feelings in a rough manner. The grand jury subpoena specifies their comments and demands that Reason.com produce any identifying information on them.
That’s bad enough...but it’s not the end of the story:
Last Friday the folks at Reason confirmed what I suggested on Thursday — that the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, after hitting Reason with a federal grand jury subpoena to unmask anonymous hyperbolic commenters, secured a gag order that prevented them from writing about it.
Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch describe how it all went down. Read it.
So, the truth is out — and it's more outrageous than you thought, even more outrageous than it appears at first glance.
What, you might ask, could be more outrageous than the United States Department of Justice issuing a questionable subpoena targeting speech protected by the First Amendment, and then abusing the courts to prohibit journalists from writing about it?
The answer lies in the everyday arrogance of unchecked power.
An organ of journalism was forbidden by a federal gag order to write about an egregious abuse of power. Ponder that.
If it can forbid an American organ of journalism to report on the most important sort of story – the abuse of State power – “our” government is no better than that of North Korea. Surely the editors at Reason know that. Yet they remained silent about the abuse targeted at them. Why?
I don’t read minds; ordinary English text is enough of a challenge. But if I had to place a bet, I’d wager that Reason’s editors feared that the feds would contrive to ruin them and their magazine completely, even if they were eventually to win in court. In short, they have more to lose than they cared to venture.
John Peter Zenger, call your office! Urgent! Urgent!
The critical paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, whose approval we celebrate today – see previous tirade – sets forth the rationale for the American Revolution:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Those two hundred words are among the most famous ever written, and deservedly so. But the real punch comes at the very end of that famous document:
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
No other phrasing of “and we really mean it” has ever come near to that one.
As you’re aware, I always go by my full and correct name, whether in the flesh or on the Internet. I consider it a matter of propriety – I don’t want anyone else to have to answer for my statements – but I also consider it a matter of integrity. I intend to stand behind my words. Should I be proved wrong, I’ll admit it. Should I change my mind about some issue, I’ll explain why I did so. I want the record to be clear and complete.
Most Internet commenters won’t do that. Why not? What do they fear? Hate mail? Awakening to a severed horse’s head?
When I’ve been harassed over the Net, it’s almost always been by some clown who goes by an anonymizing moniker. That’s his right, I suppose, but it makes it fairly easy for me to dismiss him as just one more low punk without any courage at all, much less enough to stand by his convictions in an open contest of intellect. I suppose they’re not bright enough to realize what worms they’ve revealed themselves to be, but that would be part of the syndrome, wouldn’t it?
There’s neither honor nor integrity in rejecting one’s own identity. There’s no profit in it for anyone...and there could be consequences for innocent others, as the federal harassment of Reason has shown.
I once described my readers’ favorite character thus:
His quality was plain and open. He did not hide, and he did not strut.
That character endeared himself to my readers in exactly that way: He always said what he meant, without unnecessary artifice, and he always did what he thought was right, regardless of the possible cost. He was a genuine hero in a world overrun by pretenders and antiheroes, and hundreds of readers continue to email me, pleading for more stories about him.
“Oh please, Chris. You’re totally self-sacrificing, oblivious to personal danger, and resistant to temptation, though God knows I’ve tried. I knew what you were going to do for those kids the moment I saw the expression on your face. You right wrongs. You fight for the little guy. Why do you think that Chatterjee chick calls you the Hammer of God?”
We can’t all be heroes – no, sorry, David, not even just for one day – but we can all speak plainly and stand behind our words. We can all defy those who would intimidate us into anonymity or silence. Are some of the fears that impel us to conceal ourselves legitimate? Possibly, even probably. But they fall far short of “our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
If you would like to honor the Founders in a true commemoration of their courage and their achievement, you can do that much. Swear this day that you will always go by your right name, and never deny your own words. Swear it to yourself if to no one else. You’ll know whether you’ve fallen short of that standard...and you’ll punish yourself for it.
Lend strength to those who have come under the State’s hammer by lending not merely your words but your name to their cause: the cause of freedom.
Happy Declaration of Independence day.
Friday, July 3, 2015
Independence Day weekend is just ahead! Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Fire up the old barbecue grill! Let’s have a hot dog or two in commemoration of our glorious history!
Uh, no, sorry. Actually, Independence Day was yesterday, July 2. The Continental Congress voted unanimously for independence from Britain on July 2, 1776. Approval of the draft of the written Declaration of Independence – which, incidentally, does not contain the words “declaration of independence” – took place on July 4.
Imagine the thoughts that percolated through the minds of the Congressmen after that vote. They had unanimously agreed to revolt against the strongest military power in Europe. Their names were known to all and sundry, and would not escape the notice of the British authorities. Those who had seen the draft of the Declaration knew how radical and uncompromising it was. The aftermath would surely ratify the fears of many of those whose names would appear on that world-shaking sheet of parchment.
Thus, July 3, 1776 was a day between momentous events: a day for the Congressmen to reflect on what they had done, and on the storm that would surely follow.
We stand at exactly such a pass today.
In November 2008, American voters raised a glamorous, openly Marxist mediocrity – a man reared by Communists to be a Communist; a man with no substantive accomplishments to his credit; a man whose rise to federal office was based on his skin color and the backing of the incredibly corrupt and vicious Illinois Democratic Party – to the presidency. Given the tens of thousands of well-documented cases of vote fraud from the November 2012 election, whether that mediocrity truly won re-election is open to question. The two midterm elections of 2010 and 2014 make the answer more probably no than yes.
Our day between the storms has lasted for six years and more. Have we reflected? Have we come to understand what we did and how it has cost us? Who among us who voted for that glamorous, openly Marxist mediocrity regrets his decision today? Indeed, who of that number fails yet to grasp the price we will be required to pay to undo all the damage he has done?
I’m not of the “we’re doomed” school of thought. I still harbor hope for these United States, though the most promising course forward seems no longer to be that of a politically unitary nation. But all hope of any shape is premised on the reflection and repentance of those who committed the original sin: they who allowed a Marxist Government Uber Alles type to occupy the highest office in the land. This is no longer a nation where a 10% rebellion can throw off a Potsdam tyrant.
It might not take all of us...but it will take more than 10%.
“Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.” – George Orwell, 1984
The conscious adherents of
liberalism progressivism the all-encompassing State have characterized themselves as many things, including “tolerant,” “compassionate,” and “reality-based.” The facts do not support those bits of self-praise; indeed, they never have and never will. But facts cannot be made to sway those who have elected to subscribe to a totalitarian ideology. They want absolute, unbounded power over you. They might say it’s “for your own good.” They might chant (along with the glamorous, openly Marxist mediocrity) that “we’re all in this together.” They might harbor all sorts of unadmitted motives – motives they daren’t admit even to themselves – but their object is power, and no other end will be permitted to obstruct it.
Erick Erickson told us that two years ago:
The left will allow no fence sitting. You may not believe me. You may think me hyperbolic. But the history of the world shows this. Events ultimately come to a head. They boil to their essence. And at that point you must choose....
The time will come, more quickly than you can imagine, when you will be made to care.
You will be compelled to accept the Left’s dictates.
You will be made to mouth the Left’s slogans.
Should you dare to dissent even with words alone, you will be made to suffer.
For the object of power is power...and there is only one way to ensure that you obey the will of those in power:
“How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?”
Winston thought. “By making him suffer,” he said.
“Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating?” Ibid.
I hardly need to ask O’Brien’s question of any regular Gentle Reader of Liberty’s Torch. What about the rest of America – that is, the rest of innocent America? Do they begin to see? If not, what will it take to remove the scales from their eyes? How much longer will it be before they repent having elected a glamorous, openly Marxist mediocrity on the supposition that “a black president would be good for the country” – ?
There is a possibility – and I no longer believe it to be a small one – that Barack Hussein Obama will attempt to prolong his time in the White House beyond its Constitutional limit. There’s a movement in progress to repeal the Twenty-Second Amendment for exactly that reason. It’s unlikely to pass; too many people are already disgusted by career officeholders and an eternal, unchanging “government class.” But something worse could eventuate...and the foundation has already been laid for it, under the paradigm of “national emergency.”
Do I hear the chorus chanting “It can’t happen here” – ? Are the usual naysayers, pooh-poohers, and well-compensated acolytes of the status quo laughing the idea aside? Does anyone else remember Franklin D. Roosevelt running for and winning four terms as president on the grounds of “national emergency” – World War II, wasn’t it? – and claiming that it was “good for the country?”
Don’t kid yourself. Obama might do the same, or worse. Besides, he’s ignored the first ten Amendments; why assume that he’ll respect the Twenty-Second, especially with a compliant Supreme Court and an opposition that’s behaved so spinelessly to this point? Are you quite sure that, were a national election to be held today, he wouldn’t get a third term – one way or another?
Don’t leave all the weight on the shoulders of us few vocal ones, Gentle Reader. Ponder what you should do. Ponder how and where you should raise your voice, and to whom. Ponder what you’re willing to say...what you should be ready to say. Above all, ponder what preparations you should make for the possibilities we can all foresee.
That’s what a day between storms is for, isn’t it?
It’s also hard to feel badly for a nation of people who have chosen to pursue this ruinous political path—people who cast 52% of their votes for communists or neo-Nazis, and who have proven completely unable to take any responsibility for what has transpired.We're no different.
Greece will probably respond to the failure of extreme-left Syriza by electing even more extreme politicians. It seems likely that they will choose a strongman to “get things done.” I think people fail to understand how totalitarianism can happen in the 21st century. Think of this as a YouTube tutorial video on the subject.
Who voted for Comrade abu-Twinkletoes twicet in a row?
"'It Could Never Happen Here' - America Is Not Greece." Jared Dillian, The 19th Man, 7/2/15.
H/t: Zero Hedge.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
You can get away with anything as long as you say you’re doing it for somebody else. -- Robert Gore
It’s always gratifying to be agreed with, even if the substance is something...disagreeable.
I’ve been screaming – figuratively, of course – about power being the highest – indeed, the only – priority of politicians and aspirants for so long that I can no longer remember when I started. It’s baffled me that something so obvious should have confounded so many for so long. But then, George Washington baffled his contemporaries by refusing the crown of America, and again by declining to accept a third term as president.
For a while, back then, it seemed to many as if the new Republic had succeeded in creating something new twice over: first, a government founded on popular sovereignty and delegated authority; second, a political class that genuinely agreed on the pernicious nature of power and did not want it for its own sake. But as we Christians have been saying for quite some time, God is not mocked: the dynamic of power would eventually overwhelm the truly public-spirited among the Founders. All it takes is time...and the ascension of the Roosevelts and Woodrow Wilson proved that time enough had passed for the dynamic to triumph.
What brings this to my mind today? So glad you asked:
- The same people who told us 30 years ago that “marriage is just a stupid piece of paper” now insist that it’s a “human right.” -- Kathy Shaidle
- The Battle of Mount Soledad -- Mark Pulliam
- It's always a mistake to expect first principles from the left. In Turkey President Erdogan famously explained that democracy is a train you ride until the stop you want to get to - and then you get off. That's how the left feels about "rights". There are no principles, only accretions of power. -- Mark Steyn
- No cookie will ever satisfy [social-justice warriors]. Our politics will only get uglier, as those who resist this agenda realize that compromise is just another word for appeasement. – Jonah Goldberg
- 90% of the left's attempts at social control are simply attempts to outlaw behaviors they perceived as favored or engaged in by 'traditional" "conservative" "old-school" "white" etc. people. -- Zombie
- The left does not care about social justice. It cares about power. That is why no truce is possible with the left. Not on social issues. Not on any issues. -- Daniel Greenfield
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for these blinding flashes of the obvious. And on we go.
In his book For A New Liberty, the late Murray Rothbard noted that regardless of what it seized upon as a “problem” to be “solved,” the Left always proposes the same solution: more government with more power over more areas of human life. Regardless of whether the “solution” involves banning, regulating, taxing, or otherwise decreeing, the ultimate effect is the expansion of the State and its powers, such that what’s done, if it’s allowed, is done by permission. I wasn’t the first to say it – the origin is probably classical – but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when the “problems” are infinitely variable but the “solution” is constant, the proponent wants the solution and nothing else.
The recent foofaurauw over same-sex marriage, an idea so fatuous that only toddlers and idiots could possibly find an argument for it, provides an example. Kathy Shaidle’s observation above is the key. The point was never “marriage equality;” it’s always been the arrogation of power over marriage by the federal government. Compelling us to accept “married couples” of the same sex, who cannot produce children and routinely violate their “vows of fidelity” in the name of “polyamory,” will of course bring about the destruction of this oldest and most vital of all human institutions – which proves that “marriage equality” is totally beside the point.
Why would power-mongers want to destroy marriage? It’s simple: the marital bond is private, even more so than the family. It’s massively resistant to intrusions by the State. It’s stood off all attempts to insert law or regulation into it. It’s even survived heavy tax penalties. But it cannot survive being reduced to a laughingstock by federal decree...and thus another bastion of wholly private life will fall.
Learning to look beyond the present, and beyond the nearest-term consequences as well, is the key to developing a true habit of critical thought.
True marriage is intimately linked to the Judeo-Christian moral-ethical tradition, which is itself founded on Natural Law. Christianity in particular is under the power-mongers’ crosshairs, for it constitutes a bastion against arbitrary assertions of authority:
All genuine progress results from finding new facts. No law can be passed to make an acre yield 300 bushels. God has already established the laws. It is for us to discover them, and to learn the facts by which we can obey them. – Wheeler McMillen
I asked one of the members of Parliament whether a majority of the House could legitimize murder. He said no. I asked him whether it could sanctify robbery. He thought not. But I could not make him see that if murder and robbery are intrinsically wrong, and not to be made right by the decisions of statesmen, then similarly all actions must be either right or wrong, apart from the authority of the law; and that if the right and wrong the law are not in harmony with this intrinsic right and wrong, the law itself is criminal. – Herbert Spencer
Thus, it’s entirely consistent for the power-mongers to assail those religions, not out of their pretended concern for the tender feelings of atheists, but because alternate sources of moral and ethical guidance are anathema to their aims. Christianity has long been the staunchest of all barriers to the totalitarian program, which is why the great totalitarians have all hated and attempted to destroy it. Even during the era of Throne and Altar, when Church and State were supposedly allied, the Church acted as a brake upon the ambitions of the State and its rulers. The key was and is Christianity’s assertion of the Natural Law: i.e., the laws God has written directly into the natures of His creatures, especially Mankind.
Natural Law is the First Principle, from which all other reliable principles must derive. It cannot be repealed, amended, or abridged. It simply is. It is self-enforcing, though the penalty for a violation may take years to become visible. Nothing we can imagine could pain a power-luster quite as gravely.
Natural Law acts itself out most visibly under freedom. Consider the animals of the wild; observe how their natures manifest themselves in every action, at every moment. Thus also with Man: when we are free, we do that which conduces to human flourishing, and to the sort of society best for that purpose. Yes, there are criminals and deviants – free will is like that – but free societies have always succeeded at making them suffer for their sins. Only when the State intrudes, opposing the Natural Law with legislation, do we suffer for sins other than our own.
I called this piece the “Told-You-So Edition” because at long last significant commentators and analysts with audiences larger than mine are beginning to get the point, and to say it where others can hear. Perhaps the message isn’t too late. Perhaps it will spread swiftly enough, and resonate with enough Americans, that we can halt our pell-mell rush toward destruction. There can be no certainty; there is only hope.
But I’ve said that before too, haven’t I?
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
It would seem that we haven’t seen the last of it:
Gangs of blacks are targeting Walmart departments stores and other outlets all across the country in targeted attacks while terrorizing shoppers and perpetrating retail theft and property damage, police say.
The latest black mob was a planned attack on a Walmart in Macon, Georgia on Tuesday where shoppers were injured — including a disabled man in a motorized wheelchair — merchandise was destroyed and stolen, and at least one arrest was made.
The group of about 50 blacks ransacked the Macon Walmart causing an estimated $2,000 in damage, all in an effort to “see how much damage” they could wreak.
During the 1:45 AM attack, mobbing blacks pulled a disabled man from his wheelchair and threw him to the floor.
A black suspect who was later arrested reportedly told a Walmart employee: “This was a planned event, and that they had planned to see how much damage they could cause.”
Have you heard of any rampaging mobs of white teenagers trashing shopping centers or terrorizing passers-by, Gentle Reader? I haven’t.
I have a few other questions:
- According to The Telegraph, the mob originated at a nearby party. Who owns the location of that party?
- Were there any adults at that gathering?
- Why has only one suspect – an idiot who returned to the store to retrieve his dropped cell phone – been arrested?
- Will the Bibb County authorities pursue the identities of the other rioters vigorously, that restitution may be extracted from them, or will they leave it to Walmart’s insurers to cover the destruction?
- Apparently, the aforementioned idiot has a mother and a father, who came to collect him after his arrest:
- Are they Christians?
- Are they married to one another?
- What responsibility will they take for having reared the criminal pictured below?
I imagine that the store’s managers and other staff will have questions of their own.
Incidents such as this are the fruits of several converging influences:
- The destruction of the Negro family by welfarism (69% of Negro children are born out of wedlock);
- Racialists’ incitement of resentment and entitlement syndrome among American Negroes;
- Failure to enforce the law and to prosecute lawbreakers when race is a factor;
- The weakening of parental authority over minor and adolescent children;
- The loss of influence among religious authorities.
In many ways, the last of the above factors is the most important one. Hearken to Clay Christensen in the following brief video. Trust me; it’s worth your time.
Rose Wilder Lane made approximately the same point in The Discovery Of Freedom. It’s not the fear of arrest, prosecution, conviction, and punishment that safeguards life and property, but the near-to-unanimous respect for those things that Americans feel...or perhaps we should say, in light of the developments of recent years, that Americans once felt. Such respect can be acquired in only two ways:
- By symmetry arguments and perturbation analysis, a tough intellectual journey;
- By the inculcation of moral norms as sacred precepts.
In a nation of approximately normal intellectual distribution, widespread respect for the sanctity of life and property depend heavily on the power of religious convictions...and sad to say, the distribution of intelligence in these United States is no better than normal.
The Left has deliberately set out to create racial divisions. Its mouthpieces have repeatedly told American Negroes that they’re “owed,” that “Whitey” is determined to “keep them down,” that they’re not responsible for their own condition – and that their young are not responsible for their own deeds. How could we have expected any results but the ones before us? Even if all the contentions above were true, which they most assuredly are not, the resulting resentments and lack of respect for moral and social norms would have eventuated exactly as we have seen. Sowing the wind always reaps the whirlwind.
Factor in the halving of so many Negro households, the weakening of parental authority, and the disdain for religious authority so many youth exhibit. Is it not clear that we’ve been sitting on a huge sociological bomb – a bomb that might be in the process of exploding as we watch?
Daniel Patrick Moynihan pinned it many years ago:
In a paper prepared for the Progressive Policy Institute, Elaine Ciulla Kamarck and William A. Galston wrote that "if the economic effects of family breakdown are clear, the psychological effects are just now coming into focus." They cite Karl Zinsmeister:There is a mountain of scientific evidence showing that when families disintegrate children often end up with intellectual, physical, and emotional scars that persist for life. . . We talk about the drug crisis, the education crisis, and the problems of teen pregnancy and juvenile crime. But all these ills trace back predominantly to one source: broken families.
As for juvenile crime, they cite Douglas Smith and G. Boger Jarjoura: "Neighborhoods with larger percentages of youth (those aged 12 to 20) and areas with higher percentages of single-parent households also have higher rates of violent crime." They add: "The relationship is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime. This conclusion shows up time and time again in the literature; poverty is far from the sole determinant of crime." But the large point is avoided. In a 1992 essay "The Expert's Story of Marriage," Barbara Dafoe Whitehead examined "the story of marriage as it is conveyed in today's high school and college textbooks." Nothing amiss in this tale.It goes like this: The life course is full of exciting options. The lifestyle options available to individuals seeking a fulfilling personal relationship include living a heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual single lifestyle; living in a commune; having a group marriage; being a single parent; or living together. Marriage is yet another lifestyle choice. However, before choosing marriage, individuals should weigh its costs and benefits against other lifestyle options and should consider what they want to get out of their intimate relationships. Even within marriage, different people want different things. For example, some people marry for companionship, some marry in order to have children, some marry for emotional and financial security. Though marriage can offer a rewarding path to personal growth, it is important to remember that it cannot provide a secure or permanent status. Many people will make the decision between marriage and singlehood many times throughout their life.
Divorce represents part of the normal family life cycle. It should not be viewed as either deviant or tragic, as it has been in the past. Rather, it establishes a process for "uncoupling" and thereby serves as the foundation for individual renewal and "new beginning
Need I say explicitly how important the loss of respect for religious authorities and precepts has been to family dissolution?
A race war has been in progress for some time now: at least a full year. Catalogue the “knockout game” attacks of black youths on white passers-by. Chronicle the “flash mobs,” always uniformly composed of black teens and young adults. Consider outbreaks of racial violence such as we’ve seen in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland. Ponder the full significance of the trial of George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin and the hounding of Officer Darren Wilson out of his job and career for killing Michael Brown, in both cases in defense of their own lives.
But don’t stop there. Go on to survey and comprehend the reactions of black racialists and how the media has kowtowed to them. Ponder the wholly gratuitous intrusions into these affairs of Barack Obama and Eric Holder. And try to imagine how things could possibly get better, rather than worse.
We’re in for some dark times. Prepare accordingly.