- School started 2 weeks ago (not counting the "teacher's week" mandatory time). I'm finding it easier, as I've taught the same subject for 4 years now, but it is time-consuming. Also, my principal put me in charge of the administration of a website that our students and faculty are to use for test prep.
- My husband and I are working to clear out the detritus of our lives - financial, housework, old paperwork - and we spent most of Saturday just doing a bang-up job on ONE room. I've been doing kitchen clean-up this morning. I spend 1-2 hours a day on clearing up the avalanche of paper that is teetering on my desk.
- Our washer is down - we're trying to decide whether it's worth getting a handyman in to fix the part, or just throw in the towel, and get a newer, more energy-efficient one. Meanwhile, we're schlepping the dirty stuff to a laundromat.
- I'm still working on the How to Teach Chemistry Without Blowing Up the Lab e-book. I've reached, and passed, the halfway point, so want to make sure that it gets done sometime this semester. If you might be interested in it (or know someone who might), send me your contact information, and I'll let you know when it's ready. I'm planning on making it available on either Amazon or Teachers Pay Teachers.
- I'm feeling the hurricane season - no, we haven't had one hit landfall yet, but the constant fluctuations in the air pressure is causing my joints to be stiff and achy. In 2005, when all Hades broke loose, I would wake at night in agonizing pain - being the slow creature I am, it took me a few months to make the connection to the weather. Still, it beats Lake Effect Snow.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Thursday, August 27, 2015
An early Robert A. Heinlein novella with the above title described an American theocracy that was eventually brought down in a violent revolution. I have no idea whether the young Heinlein was subject to influences that might have predisposed him to believe that such a future was probable. However, the Afterword to his collection Revolt in 2100, in which that novella appeared, suggests that he did think it plausible at least.
No, that future didn’t arrive. Instead, the United States has turned in the opposite direction: secular and hedonistic. But Heinlein wasn’t the only writer to explore the idea of an American theocracy. Michael Flynn, whose work has often been compared with Heinlein’s, sketched such a future in his The Nanotech Chronicles. If he was guided by presentiments like Heinlein’s, he gave no indication of it.
As usual, I’m sort of skirting my point here, so I’ll put it right out in the open:
One can “assemble” such a “trend” by choosing what to look at and what to ignore, which your detractors will call “cherry-picking” the news. However, the counterpoised effect is just as important:
And inasmuch as some trends are pretty BLEEP!ing scary, the urge to take refuge in I-don’t-see-it denial can be very strong.
The previous 250 words are prefatory. I see a trend in motion. It’s beginning to look to me like an avalanche. And I don’t like what it portends. But I’ll allow that I could be wrong; it’s the absolute requirement of intellectual honesty. In fact, I want to be wrong. So in reading what follows, please, Gentle Reader, do your best to:
- Refrain from an emotional response;
- Focus on the available data;
- If you don’t see it, tell me so and why.
The day had worn him down. His prior case, the fifty-seventh of the day, had just been dragged weeping from the office, but he could not rest. He was behind his quota. The ships were already behind their sailing schedules. He had to plow onward.
He pressed the button on his phone console that signaled to the pen outside that he was ready for his next case. The indicator light beside it went from dark to bright green. Barely a minute had passed when the door across from his desk opened and two husky guards brought him number fifty-eight. This one was female. She looked aged beyond her natural count of years, though the stress of the upheavals could do that to anyone.
The guards sat her none too gently in the restraint chair, secured her shackles to the chair’s hard points, and laid her paperwork on his desk before stepping back to line his office doorway. He reviewed the short description of her status and noted the contents of the check box. He’d seen it checked fifty-three times that day. This made fifty-four.
She’ll have two options. No others.
He steeled himself and faced her squarely. She seemed unable to meet his gaze.
“Have you been informed about what happens here...” He glanced at her form again. Her given name was one of the trendy sort that he found too challenging to pronounce. “...Miss?”
She shook her head, but remained mute.
“I’m your routing officer. You and I have the responsibility for determining the next stage of your life. I’m constrained by the law, but you will have a choice, though your choices are rather limited. The person who limited them was you.”
He picked up the form and waved it at her. “Do you know what this paper says about you?”
She sniffed and shook her head.
“Were you given a chance to read it?”
“Can’t read,” she said.
“Then I’ll read it to you. ‘Miss Jones is 34 years old and a single mother of two sons. Son Tyrell was killed at age 18 during a police raid of a crack den. Son James was serving a life sentence for a gang-related murder when the Sterilization Orders came down. He was 16 at the time of his execution. Miss Jones has never been self-supporting. She tests positive for cocaine, syphilis, and hepatitis B.’”
He looked directly into her eyes. “Do you deny any of that?”
She would not answer.
“Miss Jones, if I go by what’s on this paper, your future will not be a happy one. And I have to go by it unless you can convince me that what it says is not true.”
“Can’t,” she said at last. “It’s right. Never got married. Got by on the welfare. My boys was bad asses. Baddest in the hood.” Her eyes rose to meet his at long last. They flashed in challenge. “Ain’t gonna cry over it. Any of it.”
She thinks she’s hard. Maybe she is. She should hope so.
“Miss Jones, if all this is true, then under the Separation Edicts, there are only two places you can go when you leave this room.” He rose and pointed toward his eastward window. Her gaze followed his gesture and lit on the giant ship that stood waiting in the harbor.
“That,” he said, “is an exile ship. It’s one of your choices. If you choose it, it will take you to another continent, a place where you’ll be set free to live out your life as best you can. There are no whites there, no courts or prisons, and no welfare, either. And very little that you’d recognize from your life here in America.”
She looked out at the giant vessel, plainly uncomprehending. Before the upheaval it had been a cargo carrier. On every trip it had ferried two hundred thousand tons of cargo in steel containers, each one filled with some item the residents of other lands valued, across the breadth of the Atlantic Ocean. Its holds had been refitted as row upon row of barred cells. Its next journey would convey ten thousand exiles to their new homeland. They would next see sunlight, if they saw it at all, when they debarked on the west coast of Africa, in the land that had once been called Liberia.
Most of those exiles had been personally guilty of nothing. They’d merely abetted a race war. Some had promoted hatred of whites. Others, by their promiscuity and negligent parenting, had produced generation upon generation of layabouts and violent predators. Still others had done nothing but subsist on the handouts of a too-generous society, indolently declining to add to its riches.
Many of them had declined to board the ship. Far too many of them.
“Are you willing to board that ship, Miss Jones?”
She glowered at him sullenly. “Ain’t gettin’ on no ship.”
“I see. Well, you do have another choice, but I can’t recommend it.” He nodded toward the door to the right of his desk. “It goes through that door.” He started to describe what took place on the other side of the door, stopped himself. It might be better if she didn’t know.
“Would you like me to tell you about that second choice, Miss Jones?”
She sneered and looked away. “Ain’t gettin’ on no ship.”
“I need an answer, Miss Jones. Will you board, yes or no?”
She shook her head.
I suppose that’s good enough.
He nodded to the guards. They released her shackles from the restraint chair and stepped back.
“Then whenever you’re ready, just step through that door and close it behind you. You’ll be given instructions about what to do next.”
She gave him one more contemptuous sneer and shuffled to the side door. The three men watched in silence as she stepped through it and closed it behind her. The yellow phase indicator lit on his phone console. A moment later it changed to red. It glowed red for perhaps a minute before going out.
“Sir?” one of the guards said. “Why didn’t you tell her?”
He grimaced. “I thought it might be kinder this way.”
The guard frowned. “Maybe.” He glanced out at the exile ship. “It sure as hell ain’t gonna be kind for them.” They stepped out the door through which they had entered.
He lowered his face into his hands.
I volunteered. I understood the necessity. I still do. But it’s harder than anything I’ve ever done.
Colonel John MacKenzie had led troops into battle. His battalion had been the first into Monrovia, and had led its pacification. He’d killed men who’d been trying their best to kill him. He’d weathered it all and had come home to a wife who’d loved him unreservedly despite it all. She’d refused to let him doubt himself.
But they were armed, at least. They went to war knowing the risks. Miss Jones wasn’t armed with anything worse than her attitude.
He felt his tears rising again and sternly shoved them down.
Those are for the men I led who died in honorable combat. Not for the Miss Joneses of the world. They brought this upon themselves even if they were too dull to know it.
He pressed the button that would bring him number fifty-nine.
Think it won’t happen, Gentle Reader? Think it can’t happen?
I must disagree. It’s drawing nearer all the time. The indicators have never shone more garishly:
- Trayvon Martin.
- “Bryce Williams.”
- Ferguson, Missouri.
- Baltimore, Maryland.
- The “knockout game.”
- The New Black Panthers;
- Black illegitimacy at 69%;
- ”Flash mobs” of black teens;
- Black racialists openly inciting violence against whites.
- The many outbreaks of black-on-white violence chronicled by Colin Flaherty.
- And the rising tide of sentiment among normally peaceable whites that we have had enough.
If it happens, it will be horrible beyond measure. I don’t want it to happen. I fear it greatly. More people will die than have died in all of America’s wars together. But neither my fears nor anyone else’s will prevent it. Only a massive outbreak of good sense among American Negroes, most especially the willingness and determination to discipline their own and accept the verdicts of the judicial system when that discipline fails, can stave off the racial cleansing of the United States: the Separation Edicts and Sterilization Orders of the little story above.
“Bryce Williams” described himself as a “powder keg.” His focus was wrong; it’s America that’s the powder keg. His murders seem to me to bring the match very close to the fuse. We can’t have much time or many chances left to avert the explosion.
If I’m wrong, tell me I’m wrong...but tell me why. Convince me.
In order to make that profit, said "capitalist" must do business that makes his/her customers happy, and continuing to do business.
If said businessperson has other corporations trying to harm his/her downline, they retaliate.
You must keep your employees happy and therefore productive, and you must trim extraneous waste.
Logic, ain't it a bitch?
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
"Donald Trump and the Other Class Warfare. When democratic masses tire of being condescended to." By Bruce S. Thornton, FrontPage Magazine, 8/26/15.
H/t: Victor Davis Hanson. .
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Saturday, August 22, 2015
[The following was inspired by an objector to this piece, who called me “stupid” to compare the fascistic slanders and deceits of the anti-GamerGate forces to the Big Lie technique championed by chief Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels. -- FWP]
“Well, darling daughter,” he said through a half-regretful smile of remembrance, “it’s like this.”
“A long time ago,” he said, “everyone understood that we can all make mistakes, that no one can be all-knowing, and that it’s a decent person’s responsibility, no matter how strongly he feels about something, to remember that he could be wrong. It was an important piece of a child’s education to learn that no matter how good he is at something, there’s almost certainly someone who’s better at it – and that it’s guaranteed that lots of other people are better than he is at lots of other things. You see, when you know that you could be wrong, you have to admit that other people could be right, so it would always be wrong to try to force someone else to accept your point of view. A young boy or girl who accepted those truths would normally grow up to be courteous to others, even others he thought were really, really wrong about something important.
“Now, not every child really believed and accepted those truths, but so many did, and upheld them so firmly, that the children who didn’t believe them were compelled to act as if they believed them too. No one would let them get away with the kind of behavior that said otherwise. They didn’t like it – no one likes being compelled to hide his feelings – but they went along because the punishment for not going along was so much worse.
“But one day there was a big war. It happened because some of the children who refused to believe that they could be wrong became politically powerful. They went to war to force their neighbors to give them stuff they wanted but didn’t deserve. The war was terrible. It went on a long time and killed a lot of young men. At the end, everybody was really tired. And some other children who didn’t believe that they could be wrong, and who liked to write and talk a lot, started saying and writing that it wasn’t because the children who started the war didn’t realize that they could be wrong. They said it was that everybody was wrong about everything – that the war had proved that there was nothing anyone could believe.”
He paused as he shuddered afresh at his horror at learning how the mental disease that had been mislabeled skepticism had unraveled the whole of the civilized world. He reflected on his efforts to preserve his daughter’s innocence. How he’d fought to protect her from the juggernaut that had rumbled over the world! Yet forces far larger than he, and events beyond his power to control, had made all his struggles moot.
“But a funny thing happened. It turns out that if you accept that everybody is wrong about everything, then it doesn’t matter what you believe. And that meant that it doesn’t matter what you do. Whether you’re good, respectful, and kind or mean, hateful, and brutal just doesn’t matter.”
He drew a deep, shaky breath, let it out slowly, and did his best to smile at his daughter as he continued.
“Anyway,” he said, “if it doesn’t matter what you do, then all that really matters is what you want and whether you have it. Lots and lots of people started to think that way. Then they started to live that way. They would do whatever it takes to get what they wanted, no matter what that did to other people. And things got bad. There was another war, even bigger than the first one, and then lots of little ones – so many little ones that there was never a place or a time when people weren’t fighting. No one could feel safe any more. Yet no one could see what was happening, even though it was right in front of them.
“You see, when people understand that they could be wrong, they leave other people alone, unless those others try to hurt them or steal from them. That’s what we mean by freedom. But once enough children had been raised to believe that everything everybody believes is wrong, lots of people who wanted stuff they didn’t have and couldn’t get felt it was okay to take them anyway. After all, who was going to tell them they shouldn’t? And for some of those people, what they wanted most was to force other people to think and live just like them.
“You want to hear something funny, dear? Those people – the ones who wanted to force everybody else to think and live just like them – liked to say they were ‘fighting for freedom.’ Really! Of course, the kind of ‘freedom’ they wanted meant that no one else could be free. But that didn’t slow them down at all. They just kept fighting, and when they won they’d make the people they’d beaten say and do exactly what they commanded. Anyone who refused – who said he just wanted to be left alone – would be killed.
“Anyway, it went on for a long, long time. More and more people were conquered, more and more people were killed, and the people doing the killing became more and more powerful. Eventually they came to our part of the world, and when they did, we didn’t recognize what they were doing in time to stop them. Maybe we couldn’t stop it. Maybe they had already become so powerful that nothing we could do would have made a difference. We’ll never know. But it all started with a few children refusing to believe that they could be wrong. Because that, darling daughter, is where Nazis come from.”
He slipped a hand through the bars between their cages, tousled her hair, and won a brief smile from her. “And that is why you and I are going to die this morning.”
Saturday, August 15, 2015
But, I feel the same way about the debates and a lot of other news in the headlines - yes, it's important, but I just can't summon up the energy to hurl myself into the fight.
Before everyone goes all a-quirk over Trump and his blustering, keep in mind - it's almost a YEAR until the actual convention. The quicker we settle on a candidate, the more prepared the Leftists/Progressives will be to mow him/her down with lies, distortions, and hysteria. I'm not at all annoyed at Trump's early lead - maybe it will put the Fear of Non-Election in the politicians (greater than their Fear of God).
In case you’re unfamiliar with Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh, he’s a popular speaker and writer against feminism and on the resuscitation of masculinity. He’s the proprietor of the Return Of Kings Website, which offers articles by him and others of similar views. Needless to say, feminists hate him with a red passion.
Just recently, Roosh went on a speaking tour that included Toronto and Montreal. When they learned of this, feminists in those cities went completely apoplectic. This article provides late-breaking news and a taste of the feminist Left’s tactics:
On Friday, Return of Kings proprietor Roosh revealed that Matthew E. Duffy had incited those planning to attend the “Demonstration against Rape Culture” in Toronto and others to “swat” Roosh and his supporters. Not only is this an egregiously criminal act, faking the need for tactical response teams or otherwise heavily armed police squads, it also risks the public safety (and lives) of broader members of the community. This is aside from just Roosh and his lecture audience.
To boot, Matthew E. Duffy is perfectly content for those in emergency situations, such as seriously injured car wreck victims or people bleeding out on a street from gunshot wounds, to have critical reactions to their plight delayed by made-up calls about a writer’s peaceful lecture to a few men. His incitement reeks of callous indifference, narcissism, and depravity.
In other news, the Montreal address that obsessive compulsive “Twitter activist” Sara Parker-Toulson used to dox Roosh has now, unsurprisingly, been vandalized. She, “Jennifer” and others easily foresaw that such a doxxing would result in potentially serious damage to both property and person.
Let’s stipulate, right from the outset, that the advocates of violence cited above are not perfectly representative of all feminists. But just as is the case with Muslims, feminists who fail to criticize, much less discipline, their spittle-flecked co-partisans should not be surprised when they’re assumed to agree with the latter’s views and tactics. Indeed, I consider it fair to accuse all feminists of tacitly approving of Duffy, Parker-Toulson, et alii until they plainly and publicly condemn them.
Finally, this is not about Roosh’s opinions on the sexes; it’s about freedom of speech and the Left’s propensity for using violence and intimidation to silence those it dislikes. You needn’t fear to stand against it just because you don’t agree with what Roosh has said about masculine roles and female promiscuity – though I most certainly do.
Christ told us to “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Christians are supposed to take that stricture to heart and live by it: to condemn behavior rather than persons. The rationale, of course, is that no man can truly be condemned except by God, and He waits until the end of life to do so.
But it’s hard. Especially in light of stories like this one:
“He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God. … He said that raping me is his prayer to God.”
These extraordinary statements come from girls who were kept as sex slaves by jihadis of the Islamic State, as reported in a lengthy and revealing New York Times piece that was published Thursday.
Not only does the piece illustrate the horrifying ordeal that Yazidi and other non-Muslim women endure at the hands of the Islamic State when they are forced into sexual slavery, but — most surprisingly — the article explains in detail how these monsters believe they are pleasing their bloodthirsty god by destroying these girls.
Reported the Times’ Rukmini Callimachi:In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.
Reflect on that for a moment before continuing on.
With all the domestic troubles the United States suffers today, it’s hard to make room in one’s thoughts for seemingly distant evils such as ISIS, Iran, HAMAS, and Islam generally. But of course, just because we spare them no thought doesn’t mean they’re not out there destroying the lives and lands they afflict today. They’re potentially just as threatening to us here at home. They become more so by dint of our refusal to think about them.
ISIS isn’t currently top o’ the heap for Islamic threats; that honor goes to rapidly nuclearizing Iran. Yet it possesses a significance that Americans would be advised not to overlook. That significance stems from its wholehearted embrace of evil – an evil the Qur’an explicitly ratifies, even encourages, in its text:
And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then one of those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline to injustice. [Qur’an, Sura 4, Verse 3]
“That your right hand possesses” is the Quranic phrase that denotes slaves taken as captives in jihad:
This term includes the slave girls and slaves in general those who are under control of a free Muslim. As a rule, the only channel of producing this segment of society is Jihad in the cause of Allah....
At last, a Muslim has the right to have sex with a slave girl since she is "in the possession of his right hand". Then, if she has a child, it becomes Haram to sell her, and when her master dies, she becomes free.
Note that such slaves possess no rights against their owner. They may not refuse to be “married” to him. Note also that slavery is still practiced, more or less openly, in Islam-dominated lands – and I don’t mean just the swatch of land currently controlled by ISIS.
The Nuremberg Trials, a wholly unique exercise of jurisprudence in the history of post-Westphalian nation-states, were founded on a premise that had never before been articulated and acted upon: There is a law higher than any law made by a nation-state, and everyone is expected to know it. That premise was used to disallow claims by the Nazis that came before the tribunals that what they did was only what was required of them by Third Reich law.
Twelve Nazis were condemned to death by those tribunals:
- Martin Bormann, Nazi Party secretary
- Hans Frank, Governor of occupied Poland
- Wilhelm Frick, Reich Minister of the Interior
- Hermann Goering, Luftwaffe commander and original head of the Gestapo
- Alfred Jodl, commander of the Wehrmacht
- Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Reich Chief of Security
- Wilhelm Keitel, Reich Defense Minister
- Joachim von Ribbentrop, Reich Ambassador Plenipotentiary
- Alfred Rosenberg, Reich racial theorist.
- Fritz Sauckel, head of the Reich slave labor program
- Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Reich Chancellor of Austria
- Julius Streicher, publisher of Der Sturmer
Not one of those twelve could be proved ever to have taken a life by his own hand. Yet they had collaborated in the construction and operation of one of the greatest instruments of death the world had ever seen, whether as its planners, its executives, or its ideologists. They had lent their intellects and efforts to it willingly. The Tribunal’s verdicts were based on the premise above: i.e., that they could not have been unaware that what they were doing was absolutely wrong, despite any “laws” to the contrary.
For a villain who has wholly surrendered his will to evil, death is the only proper sentence. Consider this passage from Perelandra:
Then he remembers—as one remembers an island of consciousness preceded and followed by long anesthesia—going forward to meet the Un-man for what seemed the thousandth time and knowing clearly that he could not fight much more. He remembers seeing the Enemy for a moment looking not like Weston but like a mandrill, and realising almost at once that this was delirium. He wavered. Then an experience that perhaps no good man can ever had in our world came over him—a torrent of perfectly unmixed and lawful hatred. The energy of hating, never before felt without some guilt, without some dim knowledge that he was failing fully to distinguish the sinner from the sin, rose into his arms and legs till he felt that they were pillars of burning blood. It was corruption itself to which will was attached only as an instrument. Ages ago it had been a Person: but the ruins of personality now survived in it only as weapons at the disposal of a furious self-exiled negation. It is perhaps difficult to understand why this filled Ransom not with horror but with a kind of joy. The joy came from finding at last what hatred was made for. As a boy with an axe rejoices on finding a tree, or a boy with a box of coloured chalks rejoices on finding a pile of perfectly white paper, so he rejoiced in the perfect congruity between his emotions and its object. Bleeding and trembling with weariness as he was, he felt that nothing was beyond his power, and when he flung himself upon the living Death, the eternal Surd in the universal mathematic, he was astonished, and yet (on a deeper level) not astonished at all, at his own strength. His arms seemed to move quicker than his thought. His hands taught him terrible things. He felt its ribs break, he heard its jaw-bone crack. The whole creature seemed to be cracking and splitting under his blows. His own pains, where it tore him, somehow failed to matter. He felt that he could so fight, so hate with a perfect hatred, for a whole year.
Thus judged the tribunals of Nuremberg...and thus must be our judgment upon ISIS and all others who cleave to the conviction that “Allah” wills their subjugation and abuse of “the unbeliever.”
Perhaps the following expresses the concept most succinctly:
I, for one, would sleep soundly afterward.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
The rising of the tide is slow. He who watches the ocean for only a few minutes would fail to notice it. Only he whose attention persists through several rotations of the Earth has a chance of grasping what’s at work...or of glimpsing the mechanism behind it.
History, particularly the history of ideas and their applications, is important for that reason. It’s an old saw that “you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been,” but it is nevertheless true. Old ideas have almost all been tried. Those that succeeded were tried again. Those that succeeded repeatedly, such that we became confident that we could trust them to perform as advertised, became part of the conceptual infrastructure of our society.
Infrastructure of any sort has a bifurcated character. We need it, but we resent having to tend to it. When it fails us, we repair it with many a grumble. When it’s sound, it tends to vanish from our attention. Thus it is with the ideas on which our society was founded: as we gained confidence in them, we gradually ceased to think about them.
In the above three paragraphs lies a complete explanation for the gradual disintegration of the United States of America.
This morning, the esteemed Dystopic delivers an illuminating piece on the proper response to a Leftist’s attacks on one’s character:
Treat the Leftist like what he is: a lunatic, a self-absorbed, arrogant asshole with pretensions of intellectual superiority. How do you do this? Mock him. Ridicule him. Use statements like: “Oh, sure, Socialism is great. Why, just yesterday I was thinking about how wonderful the world would be if Stalin had been immortal.” Don’t attack the Leftist’s character — he has none — attack his intelligence instead. He doesn’t have much of that, either, but he will take offense to the notion that you think he is stupid. He cares about that. That will force him on the defensive and expose him for the worthless liar he is.
Buried in the above is an implicit recognition of the evanescence of memory and the importance of history. Among the Leftist’s most important assets is the short memory of the typical hearer. Our memories are particularly susceptible to the erasure of unpleasant episodes, whether personal or historical. Who cares to remember such things? Such memories are painful. They might actually be dangerous. Doesn’t recalling atrocities and the monsters who perpetrated them open the door to the possibility of repeating them?
Of course as Santayana has told us, the exact reverse is true. But no Leftist wants his audience to meditate on that truth, nor on its relevance to our contemporary social, economic, and political maladies.
Sooner or later, we’ll see bumper stickers and lapel buttons that say:
I’m convinced that it will be quite soon. The sentiment has appeared at an increasing number of sites. It’s frequently expressed through inaction, particularly the decision of so many Americans not to participate in elections, whether local, state, or national. Here are three representative expressions thereof:
“At this point… what difference does it make?”
“None” we say to ourselves. The GOP apologists then proceed to go apoplectic, filling the internet with their rage and bile – spamming Hot Air, The National Review Online, The Wall Street Journal and PJ Media with unvarnished rage directed at us unclean traitors. Oh well. We’ve been the front line in the culture wars for decades. They won’t be saying anything the commentators on MSNBC haven’t already shrieked at us – our hides are thick and calloused – from years of Republican snake bites. It’s doubtful we’ll much note this latest abuse.
Back in the real world, Obama still get’s his entire agenda – no matter who’s running congress or sitting on the Supreme Court. At least with the moonbat wreckers in charge, we have to endure less “failure theater” and insults to our intellect.
2014 was your last chance to do as you were told Republicans – you instead took it as an opportunity to give the Chamber of Commerce a hand-job. We got the message – and brought the gasoline.
You are now witnessing the utter collapse of your political party… and your executioner is a blustering reality-show host.
It would seem that history has a sense of humor.
[R]ight there is the rub: we’re not GOING to stop the apocalypse. Politics as usual has gotten us where we are in general; since the useless GOP has already abdicated its treaty responsibility and capitulated on Obama’s humiliating “deal” with Iran, politics as usual is going to get Iran its nuke, too.
“There’s an apocalypse to stop”? The GOP certainly isn’t going to do it, and the Democrat Socialists seem to be actively for it. Anybody still trying to understand the outrage behind Trump’s current popularity is hereby cordially invited to consider opening his damned eyes at this point, just a little bit.
[From Mike Hendrix]
Mr. Trump has actually built a successful business empire by creating products and services that people wanted to buy, not by force, graft and shadowy donations. I might point out that Mr. Trump doesn't really care what the Mushroom Media thinks of him, and is actually capable of breaking wind without consulting 27 polls first. I might point out that Mr. Trump is seen as something new and different in an era of worn-out sequels like 'Clinton On K Street II' and 'Night Of The Living Bush III.' I'm certain that these things are important to some of the Trumpsters, but I feel safe in saying that many of them don't really care about any of this. We've simply recognized reality: The American political process is corrupt to the core. It's nothing but a dog-and-pony show, and we're NOT voting our way out of this. PERIOD (no debate pun intended)....
The war for liberty in America is over. We lost. All we can do now is accelerate the collapse and prepare to come out fighting on the other side. And in the meantime, if we can enjoy the spectacle of Statist Party D, Statist Party R and the Mushroom Media all losing their tiny little minds over being told that at least one person simply doesn't give a fart in a windstorm what they think, that's pretty awesome. If we'd had more of that attitude over the past few decades, America might have survived.
In the meantime, let it burn and pass the marshmallows.
[From Weird And Pissed Off]
There are others.
What distinguishes the “Let It Burn” crowd from others on the Right of the political spectrum? If they have a case – and I would agree that they do – why don’t other, generally freedom-minded Americans flock to their incendiary banner?
There are a number of reasons. The most widely applicable one is wishful thinking: a stout resistance to the lessons of history, even recent history, because it would destroy all hope. Yet history speaks plainly and implacably on the dynamic that powers all governments: They grow until they are forcibly destroyed, whether by internal or external forces. Santayana stands beneath its banner proclaiming the importance of attending to it. The lesson is generally ignored.
“Cato’s Letter” #115, among the seminal documents of the American Founding, contains this passage:
We know, by infinite examples and experience, that men possessed of power, rather than part with it, will do any thing, even the worst and the blackest, to keep it; and scarce ever any man upon earth went out of it as long as he could carry every thing his own way in it; and when he could not, he resigned. I doubt that there is not one exception in the world to this rule; and that Dioclesian, Charles V, and even Sulla, laid down their power out of pique and discontent, and from opposition and disappointment. This seems certain, that the good of the world, or of their people, was not one of their motives either for continuing in power, or for quitting it.
It is the nature of power to be ever encroaching, and converting every extraordinary power, granted at particular times, and upon particular occasions, into an ordinary power, to be used at all times, and when there is no occasion; nor does it ever part willingly with any advantage. From this spirit it is, that occasional commissions have grown sometimes perpetual; that three years have been improved into seven, and one into twenty; and that when the people have done with their magistrates, their magistrates will not have done with the people.
“Cato’s Letter” #73 adds to this observation:
Alas! Power encroaches daily upon liberty, with a success too evident; and the balance between them is almost lost. Tyranny has engrossed almost the whole earth, and striking at mankind root and branch, makes the world a slaughter-house; and will certainly go on to destroy, till it is either destroyed itself, or, which is most likely, has left nothing else to destroy.
We are in the terminal stages of such an encroachment. As Ayn Rand once wrote, “We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission.” Meanwhile, we witness the fattening of every sort of fat cat who has the wit to ally himself with the powerful of his time. He who manages to prosper beyond the officially approved norm without paying obeisance and protection money to power does so only by accident: being fortunate enough to be overlooked.
If you dispute this, consider Michael Milken.
When I wrote Which Art In Hope, I still harbored some hope that the Republic That Was might be restored – that if a sufficient number of Americans simply came to their senses, rose up on their hind legs, and demanded the strict observance of Constitutional and moral constraints on government at all levels, it could be done. Therein I depicted a seemingly successful anarcho-capitalist society. It had absented itself from Earthly tyranny and prospered thereby. Yet it had come face to face, albeit unknowingly, with a lethal threat that pure freedom is insufficient to defeat. The solution required one very special man to sacrifice his life, his love, his home, and everything else that mattered to him. Being a hero of the old style, he did so.
A completely free society whose members believe unanimously that the coercion of the innocent is morally unacceptable could never impose such a fate on anyone. Being so incapable, it would die to the last man...unless that one gifted individual were to freely give himself as the ransom for the rest.
I felt the novel to be a sound depiction of an unpleasant but unavoidable truth: that like the State, anarchy is unstable, that it will eventually give way to hegemony, just as hegemony must eventually give way to anarchy. Part of the reason I wrote Freedom’s Scion and Freedom’s Fury, which were no part of my original design, was to bring that truth into even better focus.
It’s not a proclamation of doom. It’s the recognition that freedom is always temporary, just as is tyranny.
Once you’ve accepted the core thesis of the “Let It Burn” community, there are only two overall strategies that make sense: passive self-protection and active revolution. Most Americans who’ve adopted the “Let It Burn” mindset choose the former approach. I’ve moved in that direction myself. A commenter to yesterday’s post gives us an example of the considerations that militate toward it:
In actuarial terms, I have some 20+ years left. I don't know how many stones will be loosed in that time, or how much of that actuarial time I will really have. I thought maybe the idiocy of Ferguson and then the execution of the NY city cops might kick a few more pebbles in the mix. Add the Tennessee jihadist (a word the MSM will not utter) and one would think the avalanche has started.
Perhaps it has. We probably won’t recognize an actual “start” to the collapse before it’s well under way. But it’s coming as surely as the rising of the Sun.
Remember your Santayana.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
There’s already been enough ink spilled on the Trump candidacy to fill Lake Superior, so I’ll confine myself to the high points. (Regular Gentle Readers: In the following, note your host’s extraordinary degree of concision, restraint, and civility. There’ll be a test afterward.)
First, the case for Donald Trump:
- He’s a complete “outsider,” and thus is more palatable to a nation battered by politics and its fruits than anyone with a record in high office.
- Like a hereditary monarch, he owes no one any favors.
- He understands rewards and punishments, and when to apply them.
Second, the case against Donald Trump:
- His self-absorption is appalling. We didn’t like it from Obama and we won’t like it from Trump.
- Politics is not like business; you’re not spending your own money, and profits are illegal.
- The payoffs required to get acquiescence purchase less, and are a lot larger than he’s used to.
- Diplomacy is most definitely not in his arsenal, and you can’t “fire” the rulers of other countries.
- White House residence is temporary: the lease can only be “renewed” once, and there is no “option to buy.”
- The public expects a single First Lady per president.
Does anything else come to mind, Gentle Readers?
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Yes, yes, I know alliteration is considered passé. I like it anyway.
Success, as I’ve said more than once, is its own best justification. (Political version: “The victors write the history books.”) That makes it hard to emit a complete and justifiable condemnation of Donald Trump, one of the most successful men in the United States in his proper field. But it’s quite easy to see and enumerate his flaws as a politician...which is why I’ll close that subject right here.
Debates of the conventional sort have disappeared from politics. The question-and-answer format favored by television has displaced them completely. That was for the mental and emotional health of the candidates: in the new format, rather than straining their brains to answer a competitor’s arguments, they can relax and spend their camera minutes reciting memorized talking points.
“Do we really have to endure fifteen months more of this?” – The C.S.O.
In his blockbuster The B.S. Factor, Arthur Herzog covered (among other things) the many ways in which the American political dialogue had become a torturous experience. One of those ways came to mind during the “prime-time” debate Thursday evening as I marveled at the candidates’ fixed determination not to respond to the questions being asked of them, in favor of whatever talking point they feel would be most constructive to their support.
This is actually a step down from the sort of gaseous rhetoric Herzog cited in his concluding segment:
The only solution to the Attica tragedy...[is a] genuine commitment of our vast resources to the American people. – Senator Edmund Muskie
Organized religion—regardless of denomination—is an institution possessing a moral-ethical mandate – Vice-President Spiro Agnew.
But let me say one other thing. I think it is important that out of this mission we realize that it was not a failure...the three astronauts did not reach the moon, but they did reach the hearts of millions of people in America and in the world. They reminded us in these days when we have this magnificent technocracy that men do count, the individual does count. – President Richard Nixon
We have learned from the students—from you and your contemporaries—that we must come up with better answers to larger questions – Transportation Secretary John Volpe
Mind you, those were samples of PolSpeak from the late Sixties and early Seventies. See how fast the lingo can deteriorate?
The Permanent Campaign appears to be well and truly fixed upon us. While “journalists” celebrate – it relieves them of the need to go looking for actual news – the rest of us should review the consequences more soberly.
Consider how little has actually been done, at least in domestic American politics. Ponder how posturings, promises, and denunciations have risen to replace substantial developments. Now, in one way at least, this is a good thing (“No man’s life, liberty or property is safe when the legislature is in session.” – Gideon J. Tucker, 1866), as the politician at work – at anything other than campaigning – is a destructive force of incomparable power. In another, it reflects poorly on Us the People: we have accepted the posturings, promises, and denunciations in lieu of actual performance.
Panem et circenses was the formula the Roman Caesars applied to the placation of the masses. Well, the Omnibenevolent Welfare State was already supplying the panem. That compels me to consider an ugly possibility: Is it possible that the GOP solicited a Trump candidacy for its entertainment value?
In the midst of all this, Barack Hussein Obama, peeved that yet again he wasn’t commanding 100% of the world’s attention, simply had to toss a turd into the punchbowl by suggesting that the Republican Congressional caucuses were in some way collaborating with the “Iranian hard-liners.” He did so not once but twice. Rest assured that it wasn’t because he thought he hadn’t been sufficiently clear the first time, but rather that it struck him as the best way to keep the cameras focused on him. Chuck Schumer’s brief intrusion into their field of view, temporarily demoting Obama to nineteenth place, must have pissed him off big time.
There isn’t much that Obama hasn’t done to pollute the political environment. He’s usurped powers belonging to the legislative and judicial branches, or to the states and people. He’s forced millions of Americans into dependency or the underground economy. He’s divided the country along ideological, racial, sexual, and ethnic lines. He’s used various agencies of the federal government to harass and impede his opponents. He’s alienated America’s allies – in one case, allowing his “legacy” to trump the national survival of a longtime friend – while giving aid and comfort to powers that hate us and want to see us vanish. What’s left, apart from nuking a Super Bowl on the grounds of “national security?”
I can think of only one man likely to take any pleasure from the Obama presidency – and Jimmy Carter will be off to that Great House-Raising In The Sky soon enough.
All that having been said, and by many other commentators as well (though hardly with such dazzling eloquence), we must turn to the truly central question of the day: the one which we must face before so much time has passed that a critical situation has become unsalvageable:
Will the New York Rangers be able to contend for the Stanley Cup again this year, without Carl Hagelin and Martin St. Louis?
Friday, August 7, 2015
Some questions never die, not because they haven’t been answered fully and definitively, but because those who ask them:
- Appreciate their nuisance value;
- Have an agenda to which they lead;
- Reject the answer for personal reasons.
One such question, which is posed to me every year at about this time, is this one:
That’s not the usual wording, of course. Nor is the questioner neutral on the subject. He’s already decided on the answer – i.e., that it wasn’t – and is determined to press the question upon anyone who disagrees. It’s much like the behavior of Helen Thomas, who pestered the spokesmen of President Bush II with questions about the Middle East that embedded the assumption that the “Palestinian” irredentists are the good guys.
Nevertheless, as the question resurfaces at least once per year, it’s well to know how to cope with it...and many conservatives, especially young ones, don’t.
First, a brief quote from one of my novels:
Christine and Malcolm cleared away the Sunday breakfast dishes and reseated themselves at the kitchen table. Malcolm stared at his coffee mug as if studying it.
"We have talked," he said, "about all the strategies known to man for dealing with an armed enemy. We have talked about every aspect of deadly conflict. Every moment of every discussion we've had to date has been backlit by the consciousness of objectives and costs: attaining the one and constraining the other. And one of the first things we talked about was the importance of insuring that you don't overpay for what you seek."
She kept silent and listened.
"What if you can't, Christine? What if your objective can't be bought at an acceptable price?"
She pressed her lips together, then said, "You abandon it."
He smirked. "It's hard even to say it, I know. But reality is sometimes insensitive to a general's desires. On those occasions, you must learn how to walk away. And that, my dear, is an art form of its own."
He straightened up. "Combat occurs within an envelope of conditions. A general doesn't control all those conditions. If he did, he'd never have to fight. Sometimes, those conditions are so stiff that he's compelled to fight whether he thinks it wise, or not."
"What conditions can do that to you?"
His mouth quirked. "Yes, what conditions indeed?"
Oops. Here we go again. "Weather could do it."
"By cutting off your lines of retreat in the face of an invasion."
"Economics. Once the economy of your country's been militarized, it runs at a net loss, so you might be forced to fight from an inferior position because you're running out of resources."
"Excellent. One more."
She thought hard. "Superior generalship on the other side?"
He clucked in disapproval. "Does the opponent ever want you to fight?"
"No, sorry. Let me think."
Conditions. Conditions you can't control. Conditions that...control you.
"Politics. The political leadership won't accept retreat or surrender until you've been so badly mangled that it's obvious even to an idiot."
The man Louis Redmond had named the greatest warrior in history began to shudder. It took him some time to quell.
"It's the general's worst nightmare," he whispered. "Kings used to lead their own armies. They used to lead the cavalry's charge. For a king to send an army to war and remain behind to warm his throne was simply not done. Those that tried it lost their thrones, and some lost their heads -- to their own people. It was a useful check on political and military rashness.
"It hasn't been that way for a long time. Today armies go into the field exclusively at the orders of politicians who remain at home. And politicians are bred to believe that reality is entirely plastic to their wills."
Since Waterloo there have been no examples of the political leadership of a belligerent nation being part of its forces in the field. Those who order armies into the field stay home. Seldom does a ruling-class politician even have a child in his nation’s army. The severance between decision and consequence, between authority and responsibility, could hardly be more complete – and it’s a great part of the reason so many nations are so willing to go to war over any and every issue, no matter how trivial.
The United States, despite its large military and its ubiquity, has displayed more restraint about warfare than other historically dominant nations. There are many reasons for this, but the “citizen soldier” aspect of American military power should not be overlooked. Even a politician who has no blood stake in a contemplated war will have constituents to face, some of whom will have family members in the fight, come election time. He’ll have to persuade them that his decision to go to war was right and necessary. That’s not the case with the satraps of many other nations.
The only way to give an autocrat a blood stake in the war he contemplates is to make it thinkable that he could be one of its casualties. Nuclear weapons, particularly the sort that can be delivered ballistically, do exactly that. Thus, nuclear weapons “democratize” the battlefield for the first time since the Age of the Warrior-King.
Concerning World War II, Japan, and America’s use of A-bombs there, the morality of those actions cannot be predicated on a simple consideration such as the killing of innocents. Innocents are killed in every war. Indeed, a nation that conscripts its young men has guaranteed it, even if it negotiates “scheduled” battles with its enemy and arranges specific, limited venues for them in the style of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Europe. Yet the most moral of nations will go to war under some circumstances, for there are considerations that can make peace the worse choice morally.
We love peace, but not peace at any price. There is a peace more destructive of the manhood of living man, than war is destructive of his body. Chains are worse than bayonets. – Douglas Jerrold
When contemplating the bombing of Japan, President Truman took dramatic steps to preserve the lives of Japanese subjects, including any soldiers or munitions makers in the target zones. He commanded saturation leaflet-bombings, informing the residents of the target cities of what was to come and exhorting them to evacuate, several days before the actual strikes. Here’s what one such leaflet said, translated from the Japanese:
Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or a friend. In the next few days, four or more of the cities named on the reverse side of this leaflet will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories, which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique that they are using to prolong this useless war. Unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America’s well-known humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives.
America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique, which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace, which America will bring, will free the people from the oppression of the Japanese military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan. You can restore peace by demanding new and better leaders who will end the War. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked, but at least four will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately.
The reverse side of the leaflet named several cities, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The last such leafleting occurred on July 27, 1945: eleven days after the “Trinity test” and ten days before the A-bombing of Hiroshima. That was surely ample time for the residents of that city to get out of the target zone. Perhaps some did. Yet note that many did not. Nor did the destruction of Hiroshima persuade all the residents of Nagasaki to evacuate. On whose hands does their blood belong?
The estimates the Joint Chiefs prepared for President Truman on the cost of a ground invasion of Japan’s Home Islands were horrifying. The smallest casualty estimate was 300,000 American lives; the largest were on the order of 1,000,000. Ground invasions on a strategic scale are guaranteed to kill innocents, whereas the residents of the target cities had the option of saving themselves through evacuation. Assuming the JCS estimates to have been honestly arrived at, the A-bombings, which took about 200,000 lives in total, were the less bloody alternative, at least in retrospect.
Moreover, a Commander-In-Chief is supposed to hold his own nation’s interests above others, in particular above those of an enemy combatant. Were Truman to have made the opposite choice, American casualty totals for World War II would have doubled for that reason alone. Given that the elimination of Japanese militarism, which had committed gigantic atrocities wherever it ranged, could not be brought about by any other means than Japan’s unconditional surrender, Truman’s decision was morally more defensible than the alternative presented to him.
Add this as well: Even as Emperor Hirohito broadcast the surrender of Japan to the United States, troops loyal to Tojo and the militarists were storming the radio station in an attempt to prevent the broadcast. Tojo’s support was non-trivial even after the A-bombings. Kamikaze pilots were still targeting American warships. A Japanese submarine had succeeded in sinking the USS Indianapolis only days earlier. A substantial fraction of the Japanese people were prepared to fight to the death rather than surrender, at what ultimate cost in blood no one can say.
Viewed from that perspective, the A-bombings were the most moral, most humanitarian strokes possible at the time.
It became clear in the aftermath that the A-bomb, as terrifying as it was and is, remained a finite, even survivable weapon. Paul Nitze, in his analysis of the destruction involved, came to the conclusion that a saturation bombing by several thousand B-29 sorties would have had an equally devastating effect:
Nitze found the bomb’s physical effects surprisingly easy to gauge. Unlike [John] Hersey, he even discovered some cause for hope in the seemingly boundless wreckage and debris of the aftermath....The Survey’s unstated conclusion seemed to be that the destruction wrought by the atomic bomb, terrible as it might be, was still finite—and survivable. Nitze believed that he was able to measure the devastation exactly, in the process making the specter of the bomb comprehensible. Exclusive of radiation effects, the damage done to Hiroshima, he calculated, had been equivalent to that of conventional bombs carried by 150 B-29s. For Nagasaki his calculation was 210 bombers.
[Gregg Herken, Counsels of War]
But of even more striking significance was what Nitze discovered about the effect on Japanese attitudes:
To Nitze the greatest surprises in the Survey came with the measurement of the atomic bomb’s psychological effects. He discovered, for example, that civilian morale had not suffered an immediate collapse in the two cities after the bombs fell, despite the suddenness and near-totality of the destruction. The Survey noted how Nagasaki’s prefectural government the day after the bombing had called for “a rehabilitation of the stricken city and an aroused fighting spirit to exterminate the devilish Americans.” [Ibid.]
Apparently the effect on the government in Tokyo, a city that had suffered several saturation-bombing raids by B-29s and was essentially defenseless against them, was somewhat more pronounced.
The question will continue to be asked for the reasons given in the opening segment. They who are determined to invalidate the bombings morally will not rest, for their objection is essentially amoral. What they desire is to invalidate war itself, at least as practiced by the United States in pursuit of American goals. The specific weapons involved are ultimately of no consequence, except as they can be used to further the object of horrifying Americans into an unshakable pacifism.
But that the bombings were moral acts, performed under a sincere conviction that they were the best hope of compelling a Japanese surrender, there can no longer be any doubt.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
To make it easier for everyone, I will lay out a brief and very simple, minimalistic instruction manual as to what men can do if they are taken by the desire to give women a hand in destroying man’s dominion. It’s not an instruction as to how to be a feminist man, because as I said earlier, it doesn’t exist and men’s presence is highly undesirable and noxious to feminism. It’s not an instruction as to how to free women from men, because only we can do that. It’s just, if men want to do something for women, this is the LEAST, the VERY LEAST they can do, and it’s easy! No need to say anything! No faux-posturing or lying needed! No invading of women’s spaces! No stealing women’s work!
- Stop sticking your dicks in women. This is rape. This is torture.
- Stop sticking your dicks in women. NOW. For EVER!!!! Ever ever. Like, don’t ever put your dick in a woman or a girl again.
- The above is the utmost, absolute MINIMUM men can do to help women. This does not even count men’s infinite every-day torture that surrounds rape and impregnation of women by men that they should stop too. A man who sticks his dick in girls and women is a rapist (and scum). He is not helping women.
- Give back to women what you, and men in general, have stolen from women:
- Women need Land. Give land back to women.
- Women need money. Give money back to women.
- Women need houses and rooms of our own. Give houses back to women.
- Women need resources (food, water, equipment of all sorts…). Give resources back to women.
- Women need time. Clean your own shit.
- Reminder: stop using your dick against women, stay away from feminism, and refuse any credit for your what you give back to women. For a thief is not to be thanked for handing back what he stole.
This, above, is also the LEAST men can do. It’s very easy, all it takes is doing it, with no consequences to men’s personal integrity other than minor material loss.
Which demands a reply:
"I know he still loves me," Marilyn said, "and of course I still love him. It's just that --"
"'Of course? Of course?'" Helen's smile vanished and her face darkened. "You deny him all enjoyment of your body, you make him feel a churl even for thinking about it, you reave him of one of the essential achievements of manhood, but that's all right because you still love him? "
Marilyn gaped. "What achievement do you mean?"
"Do you have any idea," Helen said, "how radically different a man's experience of sex is from a woman's, dear?"
Helen sat back and folded her arms over her breasts. She looked at Marilyn as a teacher might an underachieving pupil, one who had more than adequate ability but refused to apply himself.
"We hold the veto power. We compel them to woo us, seduce us, cater to us. When we oh-so-generously let them near, they do almost all of the work, yet their orgasms involve only a tiny portion of their bodies and last a mere second or two. Ours are incomparably fuller and longer -- and at so much smaller a cost that it doesn't bear comparison." She shook her head. "We get so much more out of it than they do, it's a wonder they bother with us at all. So why do they bother with us, Marilyn?"
Helen's silent glare accused her of having missed something critical, something she ought to have known without needing to be told.
"I don't know. I...never thought about it."
The reproof in Helen's eyes remained strong, but something else entered to temper it, something wryly amused.
"You ought to have thought about it. But you're not the only one. Harridans all across this land have been telling women like you that you're owed, that men's desire for you is barely a hair's breadth from chattel slavery, that 'a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.' And you're too afraid to contradict them, or too proud to ask your mothers whether it might just possibly be some other way. So they go on to catechize the men, telling them what oppressors they are, and how awful the burdens of womanhood are, and how unfair it is that they should get to exhaust their bodies and erode their spirits with wage labor while women sit in the safety and comfort of their homes, being most oppressively provided for. " Helen shook her head. "If a hundredth of that were true, the race would have died out thousands of years ago. It's we who owe them, Marilyn. Without them, we would still be cowering in caves. They have made us a world where we can be whatever we please."
Perhaps it is indeed time for the return of kings.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
This column by Kurt Schlichter has gotten a lot of attention from the DextroSphere. It’s worth your time to read it in full. Schlichter’s tone is openly combative toward the Left, its spokesmen, and its iconic institutions, but buried beneath the overt message is another one of even greater importance. Here are the passages that really bring it forward:
[W]e have a GOP establishment that’s too wimpy to take its own side in a fight, much less humanity’s – or ours. No wonder a walking punchline like Donald Trump is walking all over them.
And we don’t need any more decorum cops like Mitt Romney sucking up to the libs and their MSM buddies by adopting their memes and chiding the likes of Ted Cruz for telling the truth. Hey, giving $150 billion to the Iranian mullahs means Obama is giving money to terrorists. That's called “the truth;” maybe you squishes ought to try it out instead of whining when GOP voters respond to it from others.
In the above Schlichter implies that the Republican Party’s Establishment is only a component in a larger, essentially unitary Establishment. And indeed, it is so. It provides a perfect explanation for its major figures’ hostility to boat-rockers such as Ted Cruz. Had we been alert to the possibility that the kingpins of the Left and the Right might join forces sub rosa, we might have had a chance to prevent it. Were more of us awake to current political reality, the GOP’s treatment of the Tea Party caucus and conservative “troublemakers” generally would confuse no one.
However, confusion and the concealment of power-brokers’ motives is essential to the advancement of totalitarian oligarchy under a veneer of democratic self-government.
It’s been observed by commentators with a much larger readership than mine that what most Trump backers like most about him is his combativeness, and the contrast it makes with GOP luminaries’ hypercautious, civility-above-all-else, don’t-make-the-New York Times-angry approach to doing business. That also applies to many, perhaps most, of the backers of Ted Cruz. Were a few more genuine fighters to make themselves heard nationally, the pattern would be clearer. As matters stand, the Establishment and the media are able to dismiss Trump, Cruz, and their backers as marginal players in the national political dynamic. More, the facility with which their detractors can marginalize them – Trump as the “angry outsider” in a time of anti-“insider” sentiment; Cruz as the “feisty Latino” of merely regional appeal – helps to deflect attention from the substance of their campaigns.
If you’ll allow me a quick swerve of focus, let’s consider Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Few persons anticipated Sanders’s entrance into the race for the Democrats’ nomination, and fewer still expected the substantial degree of enthusiasm he’s garnered. Yet there were clouds over the Hillary Clinton campaign from the very first. We ought to have seen them in such phenomena as the speculation about a Biden candidacy and the calls to draft Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Clinton, to put it as briefly as possible, is the Establishment’s choice for Democrat nominee, and those on the Left committed to the ideology rather than to the Democrat Party have known it all along.
The speculations about a second Clinton / Bush showdown in November 2016 are ultimately about whether America’s political Establishment will succeed in euchring all the fighters – the men of conviction and courage – out of the running. That is, indeed, the Establishment’s aim: to perpetuate the state of affairs that has existed since the election of John F. Kennedy, whose elevation to the White House began the dominance of federal politics by a quiet coalition of Yankee and Rimster political baronies.
There are tensions within that coalition, as there are within every coalition, but the members are united on one overarching rule: No boat rocking. Sudden, convulsive changes are the enemy of every Establishment. What is an Establishment but that assemblage of persons and institutions that have gained dominance over The Way Things Are – the group that has contrived to take the helm of the ship of state and steer it to its members’ profit and security?
Anyone who dares to raise a sincerely angry voice about any important aspect of the status quo is a boat rocker: a threat to the Establishment that must be neutered before he can mass enough sentiment behind him to compel a major change.
Even when nominally focused on a narrow issue, a major change to existing political arrangements is always widely destabilizing. Consider all the following thinkable major alterations to federal law:
- Ending the minimum wage.
- Establishing a national right-to-work law.
- Securing the southern border of the United States.
- Abolishing the Departments of Energy and Education.
- Firm dollar and duration limits upon federal welfare support.
- Abolishing the income tax in favor of a national retail sales tax.
- Repeal of the National Firearms Act of 1934 and all other federal firearms laws.
- A Supreme Court ruling that strikes down all state and local laws that infringe upon Second Amendment rights.
- A Constitutional amendment defining human life as beginning at some point earlier than emergence from the mother’s birth canal.
- A Constitutional amendment that establishes, in plain English, that Congress may not delegate its powers to unelected regulatory bodies.
Any one of those ideas would shake the American Establishment to its foundations. What the destruction of the One Ring did to Barad-dur would pale in comparison. Accordingly, should a candidate other than Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton gain his party’s nomination, the Establishment will make it quietly clear to him that its support is conditional on an enforceable promise that should he win, he will not act effectively to promote any such initiative.
The Establishment doesn’t control the votes of private citizens, though it strains mightily to bias public opinion against boat-rockers. Thus, there is a possibility that someone who has demonstrated political courage and determination, such as Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, will secure the GOP’s presidential nomination. Should Governor Walker get the nod through the primary process, an effort to pre-constrain a Walker Administration would begin at once. We the People would not be permitted to see that operation. Neither would it be guaranteed to succeed immediately, such that President Walker would be neutered from his first day in office. But it would be real and ongoing.
A great deal of Establishment control of the federal government is exercised by Cabinet members and “advisors.” The “inside Washington” mystique makes it difficult for a president-elect to select as major figures of his administration persons not steeped in that culture and its premises. Thus, a fighter in the Oval Office would be encysted with Establishment figures from the start of his tenure. Those “flappers” would perpetually counsel the president against any policy or initiative that might rock the boat. They would work to exclude from the president’s consciousness any individual or proposal that might countervail Establishment policy.
It happened to Ronald Reagan; it would surely happen to Scott Walker, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz. If not futile ab initio, resistance would be difficult at best.
To sum up: working to change the system from within it has never faced such long odds. There are no guarantees in politics, of course; it’s still remotely possible that a fighter in the Oval Office could mobilize significant changes back toward Constitutional governance. But it’s not the way to bet.
There are more promising directions for freedom advocates than conventional political involvement. One is private action: the weakening of the Omnipotent State by seizing its supposed duties and discharging them through voluntary mechanisms. Another is the pursuit of off-the-grid status, whether complete or partial, such that one’s public profile is minimized. A third, flight, remains problematic for the present, though progress in geoformy (e.g., the construction of artificial islands) and private spaceflight hold out some hope for the future.
To those straining to put a sound conservative fighter in the Oval Office: May God smile upon your efforts. But don’t kid yourselves about the size and power of the forces aligned against you. They’ll do whatever it takes to keep the boat steady. They’ve proved remarkably good at it for half a century and more.
Monday, August 3, 2015
Politics: n. from poli: “many;” and tics: “loathsome little bloodsuckers.” – Origin unknown.
P. J. O’Rourke nails it to the barn wall:
All politicians hate people. Politics is a way to gain power over people without justification for having that power. Nothing in the 11,000-year history of politics—going back to the governing elites of Mesopotamia—indicates that politicians are wiser, smarter, kinder, more moral, or better skilled at any craft (aside from politics) than we are.
But political rulers need the acquiescence of the ruled to slake the craving for power. Politicians hate you the way a junkie hates junk.
Read it all. No excuses.
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Never underestimate the tenacity of the would-be tyrant:
After backing down amid concerns she wanted to regulate political speech, and even new sites like the Drudge Report, the chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission has renewed talk about targeting campaign and political activities on the internet.
Ann M. Ravel, discussing election regulation during a speech in New York, suggested it was time to produce "thoughtful policy" targeting internet political activity. She also expressed frustration that her last bid was met with "threatening misogynist responses to me."
She was speaking at a day-long conference hosted by the Brennan Center for Justice, the New York City Campaign Finance Board, and the Committee for Economic Development when she was asked about regulating the internet, Google and Facebook....
When the Democrats on the FEC first raised the possibility of regulations, opponents feared they were going to target conservative groups, activities and news sites. A proposal to delve into the issue died in a 3-3 vote....
But in answering the question this week, Ravel indicated she wants to pursue regulations. "It would be under the purview of the FEC to look at some of the issues that arise in new media and the impact of new media, in particular with respect to disclosure and ensuring that there is no corporate contributions, for example excessive contributions or contributions to a particular candidates for example," she said.
The FEC is not a non-political body. It conforms to the agenda of whoever is in power – typically, whichever party controls the White House. And as we can see, they never kill an idea for suppressing dissent all the way: head chopped off and a stake through its heart.
What do you think, Gentle Reader? Time to lock and load? Got a lamppost picked out for this aspiring dictatress? If you’re not feeling your inner Patrick Henry struggle and surge yet, how much more will it take?