Monday, November 24, 2014

Black Out The Blackers-Out

Ostrich tactics only work if your enemy is an ostrich – and an ostrich afraid of you, at that. Just now, the major networks, wholly dedicated to the protection of His August Majesty Barack Hussein Obama, first Emperor of these United States, are employing ostrich tactics: they’ve completely embargoed the most devastating revelations of the political cycle: Sharyl Attkisson’s Fast and Furious discoveries, and Jonathan Gruber’s megascandalous admissions that ObamaCare’s passage was made possible only by a systematic campaign of deceit.

To be perfectly fair to the satraps of the networks’ news divisions, the tactic has served them well in the past. Republicans and conservatives have almost never confronted them on it in a significant way. Indeed, we’ve tended to act like ostriches ourselves. We’ve disdained the Big Three as unreliably biased, turned to the alternative media for our news, and let it rest there. We’ve allowed the farce to continue unchallenged.

But that doesn’t loosen the Big Three’s grip on the national consciousness, which remains terrifyingly strong...and malevolent.

Here’s Ricochet’s Stephen Miller recommendation to the Republican National Committee:

ABC and NBC have instituted a three-week blackout — on network broadcasts, websites and social media pages — of the devastating admissions of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. The ACA architect repeatedly boasted of deceiving the American public about legislation that cost six million people their family doctor. This should be the final straw in any relationship the GOP and RNC leadership has with these networks, period. No more debates, no more appearances on “Meet The Press,” “Morning Joe,” or “This Week” on ABC.

Boycott both NBC and ABC over failing to report on Gruber’s revelations and put CBS on final notice over the revelations that they coordinated with the Obama administration to tank Sharyl Attkisson’s Benghazi reporting. Network news is a dying religion becoming more ideologically rigid, forgoing any attempt to stay relevant in a media landscape that no longer needs them. Leave them behind. We’ve already shown that it works. Marginalize them and label them progressive news outlets and make them live by it. MSNBC came out of the progressive closet fully earlier this year and their ratings and web traffic got worse. Air America is no more and Current TV is now an unloved stepchild Al Gore gave away for oil money.

Indeed. Broadcast news departments are middlemen. They don’t produce the news; they package and resell it. Should one of the two major parties deny them access, appearances by its national figures, and the privilege of covering its conventions and other events, they’d lose a hefty fraction of their wares. Now that that party holds 31 of the 50 governorships, the majority in both houses of Congress and in 67 out of 99 state legislatures, the loss might be enough to send the networks’ news divisions into irremediable collapse.

Alternately, it might evoke a long-needed purge of network news department mandarins whose faces have been wedged so long and so deeply in the Democrats’ posteriors that they’ve become inured to the taste and aroma.

On a tangentially related matter: have you followed the broadcast networks’ coverage of developments in Ferguson, Missouri? Have you felt adequately informed by it? Were you aware that private citizens and businessmen in that city have been buying guns and ammunition faster than local retail stores can stock them? That Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and Al Sharpton have been egging the black mobs on? That the mouthpieces of those mobs have threatened “demonstrations” – mass violence – in 90 cities nationwide unless Officer Darren Wilson, not even the subject of an indictment yet, is convicted of murder?

Feeling safe in your home, Gentle Reader? I did, once long ago. I check my own armory a lot more often these days than I did back then.

(Cross-posted at League of Outlaw Bloggers.)

Systematized, on-going ruination.

According to Obama our immigration system is broken because it doesn’t allow illegal aliens who illegally crossed the border to take American jobs. That’s not a broken system, that’s what the system is supposed to do.

When illegal aliens aren’t allowed to legally take American jobs, that’s how you know the immigration system is working. In the language of progressivism, helping means ruining and fixing means breaking. A system that fulfills any useful purpose must be reformed out of all usefulness.[1]

To conceal their true destructive purpose, progressives must lie. Today, every single area of public life is awash in lies of the worst kind. The lie about the numbers of unwelcome foreigners in our country is one.

Another is the lie about St. Trayvon in Sanford and Michael Brown in Ferguson. Both were thugs and thieves and the insolent Brown took to walking in the middle of the street and clearly – clearly – attacking the police officer who witnessed his "fuck you" behavior and confronted him. The black segment, for I can find no evidence warranting the descriptor "community," including our first anti-American occupant of the White House, have united behind the manufactured fantasy that Brown was a pleasant soul yearning to attend Rocket Science School. Even, the "conservative" Newsmax cable channel just a moment ago showed a picture of Brown wearing a . . . SHMG . . . school graduation cap. The scholar! Another image showed him wearing earphones. An innocent "youth" enjoyin' him some tunes safe at home!

The picture of him stealing from the store clerk was not shown. The lie of omission.

The authorities grovel before liars and thugs in Ferguson -- not a few of them New Black Panther scum and other outside communist agitators -- as though they were upstanding citizens with legitimate grievances. Progressive "truth." And the U.S. Dept. of Justice investigates the officer and his department when he and it enforced the law as they were sworn to do. Something needin' fixin', yo.

Effective law enforcement = broken system. Persecution and personal ruination for the officer = solution of choice.

Progressives are at war with common sense, human nature, basic morality, simple decency, the rule of law, tradition, custom, economics, religion, truth, and even cultural survival. The summum bonum of progressives is the immiseration of the productive middle class; the enslavement of the middle class, the poor and the lumpenproletariat; and the installation of a new Constitution-free alliance of voting parasites, intellectuals, the ultra wealthy, Muslims, other foreigners, and the courts.

Notes
[1] "Amnesty for Unamerica." By Daniel Greenfield, the Sultan Knish, 11/22/14.

The lie of 11 million illegals.

Collapsing the System and America’s First World identity has been the objective of Obama’s government all along.

Immigration patriots need to know that it’s not about Amnesty for five million people—it’s about enabling the fifty million that will reduce the U.S.A. to a geographic expression and the historic American nation to a despised minority.[1]

Fred Elbel of the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform, cited in source, "now believes the total to be closer to '50 million.'”

Notes
[1] "The Myth Of The 11 Million: Wall Street Analyst Estimates 21-25 Million Illegals Now In U.S." By Nicholas Stix, VDARE.com, 11/23/14 (links omitted).

Sunday, November 23, 2014

New Fiction

Well, one of them is new, anyway:

In The Waste: Sequel to The Warm Lands. The trek westward from Anam brings Gregor and Laella to a surprising denizen of the Great Waste: a gigantic, magnificently vital tree whose survival amidst the surrounding desolation Gregor cannot explain. But life requires no explanation. It is its own justification...and life will always call to life.

The Common Good: Sequel to In The Waste. Gregor and Laella’s westward trek has brought them to Luzan, a prosperous and surprisingly stable oasis-community protected from the Wastes by a girdling forest of a sort Gregor’s sorcery instructors at the Scholium Arcanum had told him was no more. However, Luzan’s stability is founded on a grisly secret: a price that proves to be most unsettling.

Enjoy!

Bar The Doors And Don Your Bullet-Proof Vest!

Our beloved Ace of Spades has suggested an ingenious rejoinder to Barack Hussein Obama’s imperial presumptions:

Yesterday we saw a number of ideas floated about how to respond....rescission, lawsuits, de-funding and withholding votes on nominees to name a few on the table. There's one idea I'd like to add that is in many ways symbolic but that would focus the nation on the seriousness of this problem, do not invite Obama to address a joint session of Congress to deliver the State of the Union address.

The Constitution simply requires that "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." Nothing requires that he do so in person. The modern in person State of The Union dates back to Woodrow Wilson but Truman, Eisenhower and Nixon all gave written reports as was the custom from Thomas Jefferson to Wilson.

And Presidents don't simply show up whenever they please to address the Congress, they must be formally invited. That's where Boehner and McConnell can strike a blow for the legislature...simply don't invite him.

Brilliant, especially given Obama’s penchant for making everything into a campaign appearance...but we must ponder the possibilities:

  • Obama hates to be balked.
  • He might, conceivably, try to force his way in, with Secret Service backing.
  • It would therefore behoove Congress to prepare to prevent him from doing so.
  • That would require an augmentation of the Sergeant-At-Arms’s forces on hand.
  • It would also be wise for the members of Congress to wear protective gear: body armor.

Lead might fly. Individuals might be wounded or killed. But the properly prepared would have at least some reason to worry less, having less likelihood of being harmed. Do you think Obama would be among them?

(Apropos of the above, remember this episode? They weren’t ready to prevent him from forcing his way in. Verbum sat sapienti.)

(Cross-posted at League of Outlaw Bloggers.)

The Apolitical King: A Sunday Rumination

“My kingdom is not of this world.” – Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God and Redeemer of Mankind, as reported in the Gospel According to John, 18:36

The last Sunday before Advent is the Feast of Christ the King, which concludes the liturgical year. Kingship – the proper role and conduct of royalty in a society that supports it – is inherently bound to political conceptions: i.e., the proper role of coercive power and whence the authority arises for its use. This makes the conception of Jesus as King of Kings a seemingly paradoxical one, for He claimed no temporal powers. Indeed, as I noted above, He explicitly said that His kingdom is not a temporal realm.

That politics – public policy, public obligations, and the political affiliations of Christians – should color our conceptions of His New Covenant goes beyond absurdity into blasphemy.


Some years ago, I wrote:

We of the Twenty-First Century are largely unaware of the obligations which lay upon the kings of old. They were not, until the waning years of monarchy, sedentary creatures whose lives were a round of indulgences and propitiations. They were expected not merely to judge and pass sentence, but also to lead the armies of the realm when war was upon it. The king was expected to put himself at risk before any of his subjects. Among the reasons was this one: the loss of the king in battle was traditionally grounds for surrender, after which the enemy was forbidden by age-old custom to strike further blows.

The king, in this conception, was both the leader of his legions and a sacrifice for the safety of his subjects, should the need arise. He was expected to embrace the role wholeheartedly, and to lead from the front in full recognition of the worst of the possibilities. Not to do so was an admission that he was unfit for his throne:

     "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."
     "How?"
     "By cutting off your lines of retreat in the face of an invasion."
     "Good. Another."
     "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."
     He waited.
     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."

[From On Broken Wings.]

But the King of Kings, intrinsically above all other authorities, would obviously be aware of this obligation. More, His sacrifice of Himself must perforce be for the salvation of the whole of the world -- indeed, the whole of the universe and every sentient creature in it. Nothing less could possibly justify it.

That He surrendered Himself to death by torture ought to have provided our comprehension of His role with all the clarity it requires. Yet there are a fair number of persons who, confronted by some political proposition, will reply that “you can’t be a Christian if you think that.”

The wound to Christianity is more than superficial.


There could hardly be anything more blasphemous than for a priest of Christ to state, from the pulpit, that Christians are under an obligation to support certain political parties or public policies. Yet we hear this sort of thing from far too many pulpits...and from far too many persons whose conception of Christ’s New Covenant is shallow, to say the least.

Consider the current foofaurauw over America’s illegal alien population. The proposition that Americans owe persons who were not legally entitled to enter or remain in this country the right to legal residence, plus perhaps other privileges of citizenship, has many persons in a lather, myself among them. My sentiments are on record, nor have they changed at all since I first penned that essay. But above all other things, the issue is a political one, that touches upon the nature of a polity with a government largely conceded to be legitimate. And politics is always about the use of force.

Christ’s sole use of force while on Earth was to drive the moneychangers and sellers of sacrificial animals from the vestibule of the Temple of Jerusalem: “My house is a house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.” [Luke 19:46] That episode cannot be used to sanction or condemn the use of political power for any reason. Neither did He ever make a pronouncement on public policy, or on the proper attitude of the Jews toward the Rome-dominated State. His artful evasion of the matter – “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” [Luke 20:25] – is an all-time classic, and a perfect lesson to pastors tempted to insert their own politics into their Sunday homilies.

It should be clear that Christians, whatever their denominations, are under no religious obligation to vote this way or argue that way about any political subject. If there’s an exception, it would apply to officeholders who presume to advocate policies that would result in slaughter, oppression, or injustice...but even here, there’s a legitimate argument about the relative weight of intentions and the gulf between meaning well and doing well.


If your parish is blighted by a political priest, as is mine, and you find that nothing you say or do can induce him to keep his politics out of his preaching, at the very least you may rest assured that your conscience remains your guide in such matters. You have no political obligations arising from your faith. Your sole responsibility toward others is summed up by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” [Luke 6:31] Together with Leo Tolstoy’s dictum that we should act with love toward those whom God has placed in our path, it provides all the ethical guidance we need.

The King of Kings has said it. That’s good enough for me.

May God bless and keep you all.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Triple From Glenn Reynolds

Our beloved Instapundit remains one of the Blogosphere’s most valuable jewels. Today he hits a three-bagger (or a natural hat trick, if you prefer hockey) with the following citations, all of which concern male-female relations and the “angry ugly girls:” i.e., the gender-war feminists.


1. War On The Male Genitalia.

Here’s the story. Please read it all. A small taste:

They’re not called the family jewels because they are ordinary. They’re not referred to as stones because they’re impervious to injury. No, they are both extraordinary and surprisingly fragile. So, sorry notsorry if we give them some breathing room when we sit, if we don’t smash them betwixt our legs on public transit. But as the horizon of “male privilege” is constantly expanding, giving the old wedding tackle ample space is now a crime against humanity.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) announced on Monday that a new campaign addressing courtesy on public transportation will come into effect by January. One of the targeted behaviors is ‘man-spreading’ — the act of spreading one’s legs so far apart that other passengers are forced to squish their own together.

Or, if you prefer a more nuanced description, one of the most infuriating and outright ridiculous display of male privilege and machismo in existence today. As Mic’s Derrick Clifton succinctly put it, ‘Hey, bro, you’re not that well-endowed.’

What I find most striking about this excellent piece is the following:

...might I direct your attention to Frank T.J. Mackie. Yes, he is an extreme caricature, one meant to mock your enemies.

If you haven’t seen the admittedly weird movie Magnolia, starring Tom Cruise, William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jason Robards, please do so. Frank Mackie, played by Cruise, is an ultramasculine counterpoint to the gender-war feminists, the leader of a cult who encourages his followers to see women as exploitable bodies only, and purports to be able to teach them how to act on that view. I can’t describe him more compactly than that, so please see the movie.

It’s an open question whom the Mackie character was meant to mock, but entertainment can be like that. What we have before us, however, is a trend in sociology (inter-gender relations subdivision) that will evoke Mackie’s attitude and the consequent behavior in many thousands of men who would, in a more civilized society, have been as deferential and courteous to women as any woman could possibly have wished.

Incentives matter. Eventually, feminists, bless their pointed little heads, will learn that...hopefully before they become extinct, thence to be found only in anthropological textbooks.


2. “Victim-Blaming”

There’s a tremendous amount to be said on this subject, but perhaps one article will suffice for now:

Don’t drink so much. "Stop victim-blaming."
Watch your drink. "Stop victim-blaming."
Walk in well-lit areas at night. "Stop victim-blaming."
If colleges cannot suggest basic common sense measures to protect students — which help guard against crimes that aren’t rape and help men as well — without being accused by the feminist chorus of blaming victims, what can they say?

Indeed. The whole thrust of the “Stop victim-blaming” trend among feminists is to remove the weight of responsibility for their personal behavior from women’s shoulders. This is so plainly idiocy that one must ask, “Are these women stupid as well as ugly and socially graceless?”

The very same advice, given to young men, is utterly ordinary and noncontroversial. But then, we already know what delicate hothouse flowers women are...in the eyes of the very same feminist activists who insist that they’re men’s equals in all things.

(Hey, it’s a special! Two lies for the price of one! Grab ‘em while they’re hot!)


3. “Geeks On Strike”

Dr. Helen Smith, Reynolds’ beloved wife, prompted by an inquiry about “Gamer-Gate” and “ShirtStorm,” cites a relevant passage from her recent book:

The “strike” theory is generally correct, I think. The problem is that games and porn are entertaining, inexpensive, easily accessible, and reliable. Women can be entertaining, but they’re expensive, inaccessible for most men, and from the male perspective, shockingly unreliable. I would say that porn has raised the bar somewhat—it’s bound to be seriously annoying when Little Miss Real Life won’t give head when Jane Pornstar is twice as hot and is cheerfully performing all sorts of acrobatic stunts. And if you think about it, is a real woman who is average and only wants to have missionary-style sex once a week, minus a week for her period, actually any better than a wide variety of gorgeous porn stars catering to every bizarre fetish the Japanese can imagine and available on demand? It’s not quite so clear once you put it in those terms. The biggest communication problem is that most women see “relationship” as a positive thing. Most men see it as an ambiguous thing. So, when the selling point of Little Miss Real Life over Jane Pornstar is “relationship,” you can see where it’s not going to be very appealing. I don’t think there’s much of a “fuck you” element, though. The guys who think that way tend to be the players, particularly the Sigma players. A lot of the guys who opt out aren’t particularly angry at women, they just don’t see much point to pursuing involvement with them.

Every word is gospel truth, but the part I flashed on more or less immediately was:

Women can be entertaining, but they’re expensive, inaccessible for most men, and from the male perspective, shockingly unreliable.

Well, yes, but you could say the same about Lamborghinis, and we certainly don’t stop desiring them for those trifling reasons.

In truth, a lot of wishful thinking takes place in just about any young man’s mind, whether he’s Alpha, Beta, or Omega. As a longtime proponent of the “Shove it up your ass, bitch” school of male-female relations, the hostility of any woman – or women – has never troubled me, which might have something to do with my current choice of mate. But the typical “geek,” a sociological subgroup to which I superficially belong, allows himself to dream of “her:” the attractive, intelligent woman who will value his abilities and assets more than she deplores his lack of first-string-quarterback status...hopefully, far more.

Yes: “she” might exist. But it would be best not to delude oneself about how likely one is to encounter her. Life generally proves simpler for those of us who confine our dreaming to the wee small hours.

(Cross-posted at League of Outlaw Bloggers.)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Part The Second!

The League is now a functioning concern. Those who have requested admittance are on the membership roll, and will have Members' posting privileges as soon as you send me the email address in your Blogger profile  (and I finalize the template).

Members: Don't forget to put the sigil of the League on your own blogs' pages!


I look forward to your contributions, both there and here.

On Thrillers

Let’s divert from politics for the length of an essay, and consider one of the forms of entertainment oriented toward men’s tastes: the modern military, paramilitary, or political-intrigue-oriented adventure novel, henceforth to be called the thriller.

As an indie writer, I take an interest in other indies, their achievements, and the degree of success they experience. Many indies craft thrillers by preference. That might be because that’s the genre they most enjoy; indeed, I’d say that’s the overwhelmingly most common reason. But sadly, most of those writers haven’t bothered to master fundamental writing skills – and that includes many who have plotting and storytelling gifts that their lack of writerly chops under-serves.

I’m not talking here about stylistic arabesques of the sort identified with “literary” fiction. Anyone who’s been reading my thoughts on fiction for any length of time will already be aware that I regard gratuitous verbal vermiculations as the writer’s equivalent to masturbation – and in public, at that. No, I’m thinking first of the sort of sins for which grammar-school children were once castigated, and second of some egregious sins against the reader’s patience that a really accomplished storyteller would instinctively avoid.

That first category is, of course, about slovenliness in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Such slovenliness is often made manifest in the writer’s promotional blurb, which once moved me to publish this mini-tract. For there’s no better guide to a writer’s seriousness than the care he puts into a length-limited bit of promotional prose intended to sell his wares. If that fails the grammar-school-kid test, I pass by his novel without a backward glance.

The second category is at a more advanced level, but not so advanced that its principles should be incomprehensible to a reasonably intelligent writer – say, intelligent enough to format a book manuscript for Amazon’s CreateSpace publishing subsidiary using Microsoft Word. Those principles are quite few in number:

  1. Maintain viewpoint consistency. (In other words, don’t “head-hop.”)
  2. Avoid the expository lump.
  3. Use description to tell your reader what he needs to know and nothing more.
  4. Show character; don’t “tell” it.
  5. Your reader is there for an emotional journey; respect him and it.

It’s possible that many of the indie thriller writers who’ve recently perplexed me have never even heard of those principles; there’s no way to tell from their novels. They certainly violate them often enough. The violations can turn an otherwise engaging adventure story, the sort that many men who read specifically seek and enjoy, into a trial of the reader’s endurance.

Gentle Reader, I could give classes on those rules. Many, many indies desperately need to learn them. Sometimes I think it would make for a good retirement career. Yet the typical indie thriller writer seems to think he’s “got it knocked” already. Many of them dribble on, novel after novel, repeating the same sins.

I assure you, the tragedy is more than superficial.


The reason the late Tom Clancy was an important writer has little to do with the overall quality of his novels. It’s far more about how his fiction drew men back into the fiction reading marketplace, which had largely become a women’s preserve. When The Hunt For Red October was first published, the trends in fiction were all feminine, politically correct, and dreary beyond words. Even my own long-time favorite genres (as a reader), science fiction and fantasy, had grown so tiresome that I’d all but abandoned my search for worthy new works in those fields. Nothing could be more distressing to an addict to the printed word.

Clancy’s first book was virtually an instant success. Despite being the offering of a small, virtually unknown press and the target of an ocean of critical contempt – when the critics deigned to notice it at all – it sold hundreds of thousands of copies in hardcover and millions more in paperback. The predominant buyer was one who had long been absent from the fiction marketplace: the adult American male.

The rush by the major publishing houses to “get in on the gravy train” was almost as swift. Thriller writers and their novels multiplied like toadstools after a rain. Most of them, of course, were nowhere near as gifted (and were received nowhere near as enthusiastically) as Clancy, but the sheer number of them was enough to imply that something important had happened...as it had.

It is a testament to the impact of that development that the proliferation of thrillers continues today, with indies pitching in as never before. But that merely sharpens my ultimate point.


I read thrillers. Indeed, these days they seem to constitute the bulk of my fiction reading. However, I don’t write them, which will cause many an indie thriller writer to shrug off this tirade as that of a “non-practitioner” whose opinions are of no value. That is as it may be; I stand by them nonetheless.

The ultimate determinant of success in entertainment is the “bottom line:” how many units one sells. In the indie-fiction world, that can be tough to determine; a single copy of an eBook is often passed around to several readers, yet only counts as one sale. That’s not really a negative thing, despite the near-term impact on the writer’s revenue, for “eyeballs today” engender “revenue tomorrow.” A writer who keeps on writing – hopefully growing more skillful and more confident as he goes – will ultimately benefit from eBook lending, just as writers have always benefited from lending libraries.

Nevertheless, the fundamental skills must be there. Should the thriller market be deluged with eBooks replete with the sins I’ve decried here, the “Clancy trend” will be reversed: male readers will abandon the fiction market once more. The PC crowd and the dreary, too-precious-to-be-borne litterateurs will regain dominance.

This matters more than you might think. What a nation reads with pleasure and enthusiasm is a barometer of its ethics, its convictions, and its overall attitudes...which suggests that this piece is about politics after all.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The New Segregationists: Eye On Ferguson

Back in 2007, I wrote:

The removal of punishment as a deterrent to crime and antisocial public behavior would be bad enough if it were absolutely uniform. But it is not, and the situation is accordingly far worse.

When a society makes special provisions for a particular class of persons, such that those persons have a good expectation of not suffering for illegal or antisocial behavior, it has committed the worst imaginable injustice against the persons in that class who honor their society's laws and norms: it has equalized the legal, social, and moral positions of good citizens and thugs. Thus, if ninety percent of such a class is law-abiding and decorous while ten percent is violent, dishonest, or disruptive, the latter category will come to overshadow the former in the perceptions of persons outside the class -- not because ten percent is a majority, but because that anti-social subgroup is identified with the class's special set of privileges.

A class is defined by its legal and social privileges. The aristocrats of medieval times were not distinguished by their lineages or their deeds, but by the things they were allowed to do, without penalty, that commoners were not. There is reason to believe that the majority of medieval aristocrats were fairly responsible stewards of their lands and of public order within them. That does not justify the creation of a class of men who could wield high, middle, and low justice over others, but who would normally escape all consequences for deeds for which a commoner would be severely punished.

The American response to the failings of traditional aristocracies was the Rule of Law: the fundamental principle that the law must treat all men impartially, regardless of their identities or station in life. The old shorthand for this principle was "blind justice," meaning that the law must not see one's person, only one's deeds. In a society that respects the Rule of Law, a king would stand in the same dock as a trash-hauler, were the two accused of the same offense. All that would matter would be the evidence for their guilt or innocence.

In the absence of a scrupulously observed Rule of Law, classes with differing degrees of privilege will emerge. The flourishing of the members of each class will be influenced, often heavily, by the class's privileges and how effectively they can be exploited. Men being what we are, we will be moved to use those privileges in our own interest, both against competitors within our class and against other classes.

Success breeds emulation. If there are advantages to be had from the ruthless exploitation of a class privilege, over time more and more members of the class will be drawn into doing so. Thus, the coloration given to the class by its privileges will become stronger and more inclusive over time.

This is not an unbounded progression; as in all other things, a tendency toward equilibrium will ultimately assert itself. However, the mechanisms by which equilibrium is restored are always unpleasant. The deterrents that curb full exploitation of a class privilege, if any exist at all, will be applied by other classes, whether through the law, other social institutions, or "informally." "Informally" usually means lynching: the application of extra-judicial, often unmerited punishment to members of one class by members of another. In the usual case, the lynchers come from a more numerous class than the lynchees, though there are occasional exceptions.

Lynching, if it goes unpunished, is itself a class privilege. There are satisfactions in it that are incomprehensible to moral men who live in ordinary times. As with other activities with innate satisfactions, the popularity of the practice will grow over time. A mob that's tasted the blood of one aristocrat is seldom satisfied with just that one sip.

Lynching writ large is genocide.

That was written long before the troubles in Ferguson, Missouri.


Ponder well the following stories:

Now ponder what hangs on the impending grand jury decision over whether to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown:

I’m not thinking near-term here; I fear a genuine campaign of genocide by American Caucasians against American Negroes. There’s no way to know in advance how much violence and lawlessness would be required to trigger such a reaction. Nevertheless, I maintain that the train of reasoning in the previous section is sound; there is a threshold which, if crossed, will evoke outright genocide. If that should come to pass, who would be more to blame than Leftist luminaries Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and the “unofficial” race-hustlers stoking the fires in Ferguson, Missouri?


The Left is heavily invested in victimism: broadly speaking, the proposition that all of us are either oppressors or oppressed, and that the former owe the latter an unlimited debt. In no case are they more relentlessly strident than in matters of race relations. Thus, it should surprise no one that prominent leftist voices have been egging on the “protestors” in Ferguson, edging asymptotically close to condoning violence and looting, while ceaselessly insisting that the fault for any such occurrences would belong, not to the “protestors,” but to the rest of us for “not doing justice for Michael Brown.”

Exactly two years ago today, I wrote:

The original New Segregationist pieces focused on racial segregation and how the media's suppression of important facts about trends in dissolution, profligacy, and criminality among American Negroes has contributed to it. Yet any collectivity designated for "help" will exhibit a comparable set of trends, more or less dramatically according to context and prior socialization. As always, it's a matter of incentives.

The late Clarence Carson, in his landmark book The American Tradition, made a critical set of points about the "civilizing of groups." Groups, he noted, can overwhelm individual rationality and morality, a point made with equal force by philosopher Eric Hoffer. Therefore, they must be denied legal and political standing; they must never become capable of asserting privileges or immunities that non-members don't possess. This parallels Isabel Paterson's penetrating partition of sociopolitical orders into Societies of Contract, where individuals are the sole recognized actors within the legal and political order, versus Societies of Status, where membership in one or another group dwarfs every other consideration about what an individual can do, or to what he can aspire.

Plainly, Leftist thought and policy departs completely from that insight; the creation of politically privileged and empowered groups is virtually the whole of Leftist politics. But that departure rests upon Leftists' need to see themselves as morally superior to the rest of us, in which effort their politicized "good intentions" are the indispensable element.

Whereas the media merely suppressed news about the sort of incident that might elicit a doubt or two about the unanimous good will of Negroes toward Caucasians and the safety of the latter among the former, the activist Left seeks a multiplication of such incidents, preferably as large and dramatic as possible. More, when such incidents occur, its sympathies and protective efforts are openly with the lawbreakers. Yet according to the Left, we who want only to see the guilty apprehended and punished as prescribed by law – who want nothing but peace with those who’ve remained within the law, regardless of their race – are the villains!

Is it possible to draw any conclusion but one? Given that conclusion, if the tide of violence should reverse and a wholesale slaughter of American Negroes result, who would be properly to blame? Who are the real racists here?

It’s well that the residents of St. Louis are arming themselves. Indeed, I hope the trend is nationwide, and nationally publicized. Consciousness of the potential consequences might be the only effective deterrent of a second Civil War – this one color-coded not by artifice of uniform, but by the flesh of the combatants.

We shall see.

Useful Summaries Dept.

The following is courtesy of new Blogroll entrant (and Outlaw Blogger) Weird and Pissed Off:

Indeed.

On the national disease.

When you just have a slight headache, you don’t imagine that it is the first indication of a much worse ailment. But as with my very sick friend, the symptoms have gotten bad enough that we can no longer ignore them. And now we have the terrible diagnosis: our nation has a late-stage political cancer rotting our republic from the inside out.

* * * *

[Obama's actions] are the symptom, not the disease.

* * * *

. . . [This "belief in executive authority without limits"], like cancer, is an assault on the internal political structures on which our nation’s health rests.

"Political Metastasis." By Ross Kaminsky, The American Spectator, 11/20/14.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Pursuant to this excellent suggestion from Our Imperial Majesty Emperor Misha, I hereby announce the formation of the:

League Of Outlaw Bloggers

...and do therefore solicit applications for membership.

Requirements:

  • You must write decently.
  • You must have been “born with a six-gun in my hand.”
  • You must pledge never, ever, to kowtow to the Left or the shrieks of the perpetually offended.

Members shall display the following logo at their sites:

...and while in good standing shall have Guest Posting privileges here at Liberty’s Torch.

Who’d like to join?

Update: Just in case anyone misunderstood: The Member's Guest Posting privilege is exactly that: a privilege. It's not mandatory that you actually use it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What Makes A Word Offensive?

Just yesterday, I had an email exchange with another fellow over whether the word Negro is offensive. Because it’s the technical anthropological term for one of the three major races of Man, I maintained (and maintain) that it isn’t. Here’s his reply:
Don't play dumb with me, Francis. "Negro" is an offensive term today and you know damn well, why: because it is an unusual word to hear today that invokes and reminds of an offensive time. The time when all black people in this country were referred to as negroes was a time when they were legally second class citizens in many states. By insisting on calling them negroes today you are implying by your choice of language (and you can deny it all you want) that you wish America was back to the age in which it was fine for them to be second class citizens.

As it was clear from the above that the exchange had turned acrimonious, I decided to cut it off. However, anyone who claims to be intellectually honest is required to entertain the possibility that he might be wrong. So I’d appreciate it if the Gentle Readers of Liberty’s Torch would ring in on the following two questions:

  • What makes a word offensive or insulting?
  • If a word remains in common use, does any opprobrium apply to it because some persons have deemed it offensive?

I’ll add your replies to the bottom of this post.


Here we go:

1. Rick Barcomb suggests:

George Carlin did an x rated rant on words in the 70s. It was called 7 words you can't say on television. If you can get past the vulgarity there is a good message on words there

2. Dan comments thus:

To determine that anyone that uses a word or phrase necessarily means it offensively (even unintentionally) itself as it implies that the listener knows more of the mind of the speaker than the speaker themselves.

It is the height of arrogance and condescension, a level of rudeness that would have rightly been deemed verboten before our culture was feminized to the point that we all must have our minds searching for deeper meanings in the trivial every minute of every day.

There are certain words that are offensive by nature, because they are insults. Negro isn't, broad/dame/chick aren't, and anyone who insists that a word or phrase is offensive because the receiver may take offense is exactly the type of fascist that has no good intentions behind their tantrums.

3. Ron Olson comments thus:

Words aren't offensive by themselves. It's the intent behind the word that is offensive. Time was you could challenge an intent to duel. A proffered insult hidden in innocent language but dripping with sarcasm would not be allowed to stand.

Now terms of grace can be turned to insult with impunity and done often enough by many, use of the word becomes proof of evil intent. Take "lady" as an example.

4. Hans in North Carolina comments thus:

Been thinking about your question in context of an old assertion that our founders never intended our laws to protected men from thought or speech deemed offensive by some.

Perhaps the question for discussion should be: "at what point does a man have legitimate recourse to legal or violent self-defense against the use of language perceived to be offensive or abusive?"

Tentative answer: at the threshold of offense, no; at the threshold of immanent threat, yes.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.

5. Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia comments thus:

Jeff Goldstein at the Protein Wisdom blog has written extensively on this subject (intentionalism).

Words should be judged offensive based upoin the intent of the speaker (or writer) not upon what the observer/audience chooses to create (make up/invent) as an objective of the speaker/writer.

People of color = OK
Colored people = Not OK

Negro/Negroid = not OK
Caucasian/Caucasoid = not OK

Orient/Oriental (based upon a location on a map/cartography/geography) = not OK

East Asian (based upon a location on a map/cartography/geography)= OK.

It is all stupid semantic games.

It should simply be, Does the author/speaker wish to or is trying to insult or not?

6. Keith comments thus:

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” -- George Orwell, 1984

“It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.” -- George Orwell, 1984

The Left ceaselessly moves the goalposts when it comes to language, as witness the corruption of many words, e.g., 'gay', 'liberal', 'equality', 'marriage', and, in this example, 'Negro'. Objectively, the word is no more offensive than 'Caucasion' or 'Mongolian'. But the Left seeks to control thought by the process of making certain innocuous words 'politically incorrect', in order to advance their agenda. In my lifetime the words 'Negro', 'colored', 'black', 'people of color', and 'African-American' have all had varying degrees of acceptance. There are probably other words I've missed. It's all about control; one must adhere to the Left's dictates and use whatever term is currently in vogue, or be banished from discourse.

7. Magnus comments thus:

"By insisting on calling them negroes today you are implying by your choice of language (and you can deny it all you want) that you wish America was back to the age in which it was fine for them to be second class citizens."

Simply amazing how he knows your mind better than you do. And you can deny it it all you want! you racist, you.

To answer your questions:

  1. The hearer's insecurity in himself or his group, or the hearers desire to feel or be perceived as morally superior by being offended on behalf of others (whites do this).
  2. No. America has become a nation of whiners and pu**ies, quick to blame their dysfunction on outside influences. My people (white Southerners) are one of the only groups left in America that may be maligned with impunity, but do we hang our heads and whine about not being able to make it in life? No, we were brought up to not play the victim. This constant victim mentality needs to stop. Men don't whine about the word "negro."

8. Walking Horse comments as follows:

Words are just words. Offense is in the complete control of the recipient. There are fighting words, sentences crafted to incite or serve as a precursor to a physical attack. In my book, people are within their rights to respond in kind to fighting words.

9. Adrienne comments as follows:

I think the word offensive is offensive. I was raised with the old saying about sticks and stones.

People need to "man up" and quit all this "I'm offended" crapola.

10. Dystopic comments as follows:

1. There are two answers to this. To the reasonable man, a term which is descriptive is not insulting or offensive. Black, White, Negro, Caucasian are descriptive terms. Insults go beyond the descriptive. Nigger is an insult because it is unnecessary. The unoffensive individual would use a descriptive term, not a shorthand designed to offend.

2. To the unreasonable man, anything that is clear and unambiguous about a protected class is offensive. This is where problems occur. Instead of Black or Negro, they will use African-American. But, eventually, African-America BECOMES unambiguous (i.e. everyone knows what it means). So that term becomes offensive and a new one must be developed. People of Color is the currently favored term. Soon that will be unambiguous and will have to be replaced. The cycle continues.

Clarity of meaning, to unreasonable people, is offensive on its own. Reasonable people, on the other hand, specifically desire clarity of meaning. So conflict is inevitable.

11. Dr. D. Puts it thus:

Count me in with Dan.

The Left is constantly trying to limit our vocabulary, to render us unable to express ourselves. We must resit this; we must fight back.

I insist that any words that were acceptable when I was a child (over 70 years ago) are still acceptable today. I will continue to use any works I would have spoken to my Mother or grandmother, and avoid the rest.

I get called all sorts of names, but that reflects much more on the speaker than it does on me.

12. A fascinating observation from an anonymous commenter:

For whatever light (if any) this sheds on the matter:

The words "Shit", "Piss" and "Fuck" are Germanic Anglo-Saxon words. They were perfectly acceptable for use in the Court of the King. Until that king became William of Normandy, ... from France. Then, the latinate forms "Defecate", "Urinate", and "Fornicate"/"Copulate" were the only polite words for those actions, as they were the words preferred by the Norman nobility. The Germanic-English words were deemed obscene as they were only used by the vulgar Anglo-Saxon lower classes.

The point being that obscenity or offensiveness seems based on two things:

  1. Aversion to or disgust with the actual thing or action that the word refers to, and;
  2. The relative social and political power of those who commonly use the word, versus those who choose to find it offensive or obscene.

In post-Norman-Invasion England, the powerful were the French speaking Norman nobility. In post-America America, the powerful have been in Academia and the Media. Those first shamed into preferring polite "defecate" to vulgar "shit", and into using polite "African-American" as opposed to vulgar "Negro" were, of necessity, those in or aspiring to National Politics, followed by anyone educated by Academia (read everybody who's anybody), and anyone whose opinions were shaped by the media (read everybody).

One thing is different, however. The English language USED TO evolve, with dramatic changes like the Norman Conquest being relatively few and far between. NOW, English no longer evolves. Those in a position to do so breed it, manage it, and forcibly modify it ... for their own purposes.

Those purposes were perfectly explained by Orwell in his novel 1984.

FINALLY: From the comments I've received, the consensus is that a word (or phrase) becomes offensive only if propelled by an intent to insult or wound. That's my own position...but the gentleman with whom I had the exchange I mentioned above -- who deems himself a conservative, by the way -- clearly believes otherwise. Food for thought.

Evidence Trails

First, a video from the very bowels of the controversy:

And from more recently:

“I just heard about this.” “Some advisor.” From the man who met with Jonathan Gruber, both while Obama was a United States Senator and in the Oval Office as President, specifically because Gruber had played the major role in crafting Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care bill. Credible? Or not?

As they like to say on C.S.I., people lie; evidence doesn’t. In this case, the evidence seems incontrovertible: Barack Hussein Obama, a known liar whose contempt for ordinary Americans is well documented, has made two statements that contradict one another. What are we to believe?

This doesn’t appear to be a case in which Obama’s statements could be simultaneously true.


Perhaps the only good thing about politicians’ predilection for shoving their mugs at the cameras and microphones is the profusion of evidence they provide us to their intentions thereby. In Barack Hussein Obama we might have the pinnacle of the species of self-indicting liar. The evidence trail of his deceits is likely to be the best-remembered feature of his eight years in the White House.

Quite a lot of Americans have become so terminally weary of self-serving political bloviation that they eschew all news sources and avoid all occasions on which a pol might appear and shoot off his mouth. It’s a special case of the general inclination of the private American citizen: the man who asks nothing of others except to be left alone. Politicians, of course, live to inflict themselves on others, whether through the actions of the media or the actions of the State; their lives have no other significance. The disjunction between those motives is absolute.

Yet as greatly as we yearn for peace from the political elite, it might just be that we can only have it on conditions, and that the requirement is exactly the opposite of what we might think.

Given the evidence trail he’s already created against himself, consider how ardently Obama must wish, in the slightly paraphrased words of Hillary Clinton, that the Internet had a delete button. Doesn’t that suggest a course just a little contrary to our intuitive impulses?


Imagine if, upon entry to public office at any level, a politician were legally compelled to wear:

  • A tracking anklet;
  • A digital video camera;
  • And a cell-phone-like device that continuously broadcasts the data from the above to YouTube.

...with the additional proviso that removing, disabling, or otherwise impeding the operation of any of the above would immediately expel him from office and permanently disqualify him from ever again being a government official. Given the typically low characters of its members, how do you think the political class would respond? Would it strike them as the answer to their prayers, or as the nightmare that quenches their desire for power?

Yes, it would mean that we’d be barraged with even more political talk and events...but only from men who believe their characters to be equal to the challenge, plus those hardy souls who believe themselves capable of “keeping up the act” despite continuous public scrutiny. I’d surmise that the members of that latter group would wear tar and feathers more often than they’d expect.

In our never-ending quest for a countermeasure to political deceit, peculation, and oppression, perhaps this is a path to be considered, as irritating as the short-term consequences might be. Besides, consider how much laugh material the recordings would undoubtedly provide us.


The obvious dynamics of power-seeking, coupled to the total deterioration of the character of the “public man,” can only lead to one conclusion: He who seeks power over you cannot and must not be trusted. If he must be allowed such power, whatever the rationale, he must be watched continuously, for there is never a moment in which a man’s baser impulses are absolutely prevented from expressing themselves.

Indeed, it was ever thus. The second of our Constitutional presidents, John Adams, one of the moving forces of the American Revolution, gave us the Alien and Sedition Acts. The third, Thomas Jefferson, a high genius and possibly the best man ever to occupy the presidency, claimed a power nowhere authorized in the Constitution to execute the Louisiana Purchase. If these men could transgress so easily, what should we assume about the products of two centuries of ethical devolution in the quest for power: the politicians of today?

Isn’t this is the Information Age? Aren’t we likely to fare better and be freer for having more information about our public scoundrels, rather than less? Besides, think of the marketing possibilities, both for the gadgets and for the documentaries they’d make possible. Everybody loves to see a villain brought low, especially when it’s by his own actions.

Normally, I’m repelled by collectivism of any sort. This is an exception. Making visible the sort of fiend who aspires to power in our time by albatrossing all such persons with continuous recording equipment appeals to my baser impulses, specifically my desire to see the thing the power-seeker most desires – publicity – turned into a cross he must bear until he removes himself from public life. Indeed, let’s not wait until he’s elected; let’s equip him the moment he declares himself a candidate.

Think of all the wives, interns, and Congressional pages who’ll thank us from the bottoms of their hearts.