Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hallowed Names: A Sunday Rumination

     A story for you this morning.


     Long ago, in the capital city of a kingdom whose name has been lost, a horde of rag-clad beggars daily prowled the central square, pursuing prosperous-looking passers-by and importuning them for alms. As is the case even today, the greater part of those passers-by turned away their faces and hurried on, for they knew that the majority of the beggars were not truly victims of fate dependent upon the kindness of strangers, but could have lived by their own efforts. Thus did the many, who slothfully strove to live without work, pollute the square to the great detriment of the few.

     One of the few, a man named Aaron whom chance had genuinely disfavored, rather than aggressively pursuing every well dressed man who passed, stood stolidly and humbly at the edge of the square. Yet he was not neglected by those moved to give, for he made a practice of thanking his benefactors and praising the name of God for each gift. Near him chanced one of the many, a fellow named Balaun, who was ever alert for advantage. Balaun noted how Aaron’s receipts exceeded his own, though Aaron never strayed from his accustomed place. Balaun asked Aaron about his habit, learned of it, and was impressed. “Brother,” Balaun said, “one can easily see how slender are the proceeds for any mendicant in this place, for there are too many of us. We must go where there are fewer of us and more wealth at hand. Let us, therefore, go to the gates of the palace, for no one has yet dared to approach the king.” He smiled slyly. “Should he not have the opportunity to give alms?”

     Aaron was disturbed by Balaun’s suggestion. He foresaw not munificence but sorrow coming from such boldness. Yet he thought it his part to accompany Balaun, saying to himself, “Perhaps I can gentle the mood of the guards by my example, that they not drag Balaun away by his beard and put him to an ignoble ending.”

     At the right of the gates Aaron knelt and bowed his head, presenting himself in full and abject humility. Balaun stood at the left with his head thrown back and cried in a loud voice, “We petition His Majesty the King for succor.”

     The king, who by chance was strolling his grounds, heard Balaun’s outcry, stopped, and faced the gates. He saw the beggars, one standing and one kneeling, remarked to himself upon the novelty of the sight, and was moved to charity. He beckoned to a servant, who bowed low and asked of the king what he would have done.

     “Go to the kitchens,” the king said, “select two fat loaves, and bring them to the gates. Give one to each of the beggars there, tell them it is their king’s gift, and report to me on their replies.” The servant bowed again and departed to do as he’d been told.

     When Aaron received the loaf given to him, he quietly thanked the king for his gift, and said “Praised be the name of God, in whom all good things have their origins.” The servant recorded this and turned to Balaun.

     Balaun, who had watched Aaron closely, took the loaf from the servant with eager hands and cried out in a loud voice, “Forever praised be the name of our glorious king!” The servant recorded this, and the three went their separate ways.

     When they met the next day at the city square, Balaun persuaded Aaron to repeat the experiment of the day before. Aaron assented, and the two returned to the palace gates. Once again Aaron went to the right and dropped to his knees in a posture of humble supplication. Once again Balaun stood at the left with his head held high and cried out, “We petition His Majesty the King for succor.”

     The king took notice, summoned the servant of the day before, and asked him “What response did these beggars make to yesterday’s gifts?” The servant replied, “Lord, one thanked you and quietly praised God as the origin of all good things. The other shouted praise to you and your glory.”

     “Was it so?” the king said. “Then today let us follow a different path. Select two fat loaves as you did yesterday. Then go to my treasury, slit open one loaf, hollow it out and fill it with gold and silver coins. Then seal the loaf to conceal your tamperings. Give that loaf to the beggar who called out praise of my name. The other shall receive no more than he had yesterday.” The servant bowed and departed to do his king’s will.

     When the servant gave the unmodified loaf to Aaron, he did as he had done the day before: he quietly thanked the king for his gift, and said “Praised be the name of God, the progenitor of all blessings.” Balaun took the modified loaf, once again loudly praised the name of the king, and the three went their separate ways.

     As they hurried back toward the square, Balaun weighed his loaf in his hands and felt doubt. “It is not like yesterday’s loaf. There is a defect in it. Perhaps it was not baked to completion.” So when they reached the edge of the square, when Aaron momentarily set aside his loaf to adjust his garment, Balaun swiftly and cunningly exchanged the two, and hurried off before Aaron could notice and hail him back.

     Aaron took up the loaf, noted its considerable weight, and broke it open to expose the riches within. Overcome with gratitude and joy, he cried out “Blessings unlooked-for and unmerited! Thrice praised be the name of God!” He then roved the square to distribute the wealth, a little to each of the other beggars, so that all would have some share in it. Upon seeing this, a passing vineyard owner, who had need of a steward for his lands, approached Aaron and took him into his employ, and from that day Aaron begged no longer.

     The next day, when Balaun returned to the square, he saw no trace of Aaron, but departed alone to beg at the king’s gates once more. When he cried out for alms, the king was disturbed, summoned his servant, and asked, “Is that the beggar who praised my name yesterday, to whom you gave a loaf filled with riches?” The servant replied, “It is, my lord.” The king then said “To what extent did you enrich him?” The servant replied, “Lord, I chose the fattest loaf in the pantry, hollowed it almost to the crust, and poured in handful after handful of your coin until it was filled.”

     The king was deeply angered. “Avarice cannot be countenanced, especially from one who has already been the object of such beneficence.” So he summoned the captain of his guard, pointed at Balaun, and spoke a single terse command:

     “Behead him.”


     Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.

     And may God bless and keep you all.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Quickies: “Change”

     To all those crusading for “change,” marching for “change,” collecting bottle caps for “change...”

     What do you mean? What do you want to change, in what direction and by what magnitude? If it’s something you can do personally, then do it and leave the rest of us in peace. If it’s a political quest, such that you think the government “must” take more power over our lives, stay well away from me: I shoot first and deal with the paperwork later.

     Nothing is quite as ignorant as a demand for unspecified “change.” Those who make such demands deserve to be dismissed with prejudice. They get an unfortunate amount of attention and media adulation, as if they were actually capable of doing something that would benefit others. In nearly every case they’re consuming our time and attention to no constructive purpose, and creating an opening for demagogues eager to snatch away still more of our hard-earned money and our rapidly dwindling freedom.

     Insult them. Be crude. Mock them. Be cruel! Make them feel like the morons they resemble (and probably are). Take vengeance for their consumption of your precious time. Nothing else – nothing within the penal law, at least – has the slightest chance of deterring them.

     Yes, I’m in a foul mood. I got up, looked in the mirror, and realized afresh that I’m old – that the hours of my life are trickling away. And the very first thing I confronted thereafter was a moron calling for completely unspecified “change.”

     Attila the Hun brought “change.”
     Genghis Khan brought “change.”
     Timur-i-leng brought “change.”
     Tomas de Torquemada brought “change.”
     John Calvin brought “change.”
     Hitler brought “change.”
     Stalin brought “change.”
     Fidel Castro brought “change.”
     Mao Tse-tung brought “change.”
     Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Mobutu Sese Seko, and Haile Mengistu Mariam brought “change.”
     Ruhollah Khomeini brought “change.”
     Osama bin Laden brought “change.”

     None for me, thanks.

Quickies: On Punching Back

     Remember The Won’s exhortation to his allegiants to “punch back twice as hard” -- ? It’s become something of a mantra on the Right, in part due to the efforts of Glenn Reynolds. As it turns out, the “twice as hard” part might not be necessary.

     I’ve discovered that metaphorically speaking, the Left has what boxing enthusiasts once called “a glass jaw.” They can’t take a punch. Not even an oblique, glancing one.

     Just recently, a Web conversation that I was privy to included a typical sort of Leftist disparagement of Donald Trump. I’m not one of Trump’s bigger fans; about the most positive thing I can say about him is that I think he’d be a better president than Hillary Clinton. But this...person made a direct, undisguised comparison of Trump to Hitler.

     To which I responded:

     “If you’re an American, another county heard from; how nice, but the voters will decide in November. If you’re not, we’ll gladly stay out of your politics if you’ll stay out of ours.”

     The original commenter replied “what are you trying to say in your response to my comment about trump sounding like hitler?” (Note the lack of capital letters; many Leftists never learn to shift for themselves.) He then blocked me from responding. No one else has responded – and I’d bet my bottom dollar that the others privy to it were as far to the left as the original commenter.

     It surprised me a bit. I’d thought I was being fairly mild...for me, at least. But Leftists cannot abide any dissent from their doctrines – and one of those doctrines, as several successive presidential elections have shown us, is that whoever the GOP nominates is “just like Hitler.”

     Now, some will “punch back,” but they can seldom rise above the sort of economic, social, and political ignorance of a Bernie Sanders fan. It’s nearly always sufficient to laugh, call them unintelligent and uneducated, and stroll away. The others reel in shock that someone has dared to call them out – even as mildly as I did above. They retreat to the Leftist cocoon to lick their wounds and garner sympathy from their fellows for having been so cruelly abused.

     Many on the Right have refrained from tactics such as mine out of a desire not to “offend,” or to “avoid unpleasantness.” The asymmetry involved could not be starker. They’ll call you every foul thing in their lexicon – and they do so because they’re confident that you won’t respond.

     If we go by the transactional classifications in Eric Berne’s famous little book Games People Play, the Leftist has descended to Child level in hurling an unsubstantiable insult. It’s the Rightist’s part to respond as a Parent: with the reproof an ignorant, unintelligent child deserves for such a remark. To refrain from doing so is to miss a huge opportunity: not for outreach – there’s no outreach possible to someone such as our hypothetical Leftist; he’s a life member of “a compact and unified church” outside which there is no salvation – but for the humiliation and discouragement of the enemy.

     Think it over. The tactic might be more valuable than it appears at first blush, and we need all the weapons we can get.

The Times delivers the slime.

The execrable New York Times writes of the increasingly important role that Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner plays in Trump's campaign and inserts a greasy insinuation at the end:
A 35-year-old real estate developer, investor and newspaper publisher, Mr. [Jared] Kushner derives his authority in the campaign not from a traditional resume but from a marital vow. He is Mr. Trump's son-in-law. Yet in a gradual but unmistakable fashion, Mr. Kushner has become involved in virtually every facet of the Trump presidential operation, so much so that many inside and out of it increasingly see him as a de facto campaign manager ... Much about the Trump candidacy seems at odds with Mr. Kushner's personality and biography: An Orthodox Jew and grandson of Holocaust survivors, Mr. Kushner is now at the center of a campaign that has been embraced by white nationalists and anti-Semites.[1]
Where is Robert "Have you no sense of decency, Senator" Welch when you need him?

We already went through this over what Trump was supposed to do because David Duke allegedly supported his candidacy. Politicians can't be tagged with the views of any of the millions of people who support them. If the New Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam support Hillary, I suppose we'll read how her campaign has "been embraced by black nationalists and screwballs who believe there are invisible space ships circling the earth." Don't anyone hold their breath if that happens, however.

Where Trump is concerned, the Times sullied what's left of its reputation by insinuating that the Trump campaign is characterized by white nationalists and anti-Semites.

So, it's beyond fortunate Times didn't get hold of this confidential rough draft of the seating chart for the Republican convention that one of our sources was kind enough to pass on the Intergalactic Source of Truth. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the Convention proceeded to seat merely the state delegates. But you see here a good example of what Republicans mean when we say we're a "big tent" party:


Little did the Times realize how close they came to putting their finger on the true nature of the Republican Party.

Notes
[1] "Quiet Fixer in Donald Trump's Campaign: His Son-in-Law, Jared Kushner." By Michael Barbaro and Jonathan Mahler, The New York Times, 7/4/16 (emphasis added). Good job, Michael and Jonathan. Your future at the NYT is assured.

UPDATE 7/23/16:

CNN contributes its own slime:


That black gentleman is awesome.

Friday, July 22, 2016

It’s Over...

     ...the Republican National Convention, that is...and the Democrats’ jamboree will soon follow. The serious Sturm und Drang is on its way.

     Several speakers at the RNC characterized Hillary Clinton as a criminal, and wholly corrupt. I shan’t dispute the point – I can’t, really; no honest man can – but I shall point out that in our time, the fraction of office seekers who aren’t at least somewhat corrupt is vanishingly small. While that doesn’t make Republican disparagement of Mrs. Clinton a case of “the pot calling the kettle black,” let it serve as a reminder: He who points his finger at another is pointing three other fingers back at himself.

     The final stage of the campaign is likely to be as vitriolic as any political contest in American history. Moreover, it’s possible that this will be part of the Democrats’ strategy, as Democrat voters are harder to drive away from the polls with simple nastiness. Unfortunately, the GOP’s nomination of Donald Trump gives them a clear target: Trump’s embrace of insult and vilification as weapons to wield against his Republican opponents opens him wide to such attacks. But then, they also showered such attacks on Mitt Romney and George W. Bush, two of the most gentlemanly men to enter politics in a century.

     Do you get the sense that I’m not looking forward to what’s next, Gentle Reader?


     Everyone has opinions. I’m open about mine, as any Gentle Reader will attest. One of them is that no matter whom the voters choose on November 8, “the government” will remain as it has been since the inception of the New Deal. I’d like to be wrong about that, but Of course I don’t think I am.

     Something else is “over,” something apart from and much larger than any political party’s convention: the presumption of individual rights as the foremost of all legal and political considerations. The Deep State, the militarization of state and local police forces and large parts of the federal bureaucracy, and the rise of a political class that:

  1. Believes itself entitled to power;
  2. Believes itself above all laws, including the Constitution;
  3. Has rigged the game such that it cannot be defeated by any nonviolent means;

...have put an end to that aspect of the American creed.

     Freedom as our grandfathers spoke of it – i.e., as a political attribute – is dead. For practical purposes, every assertion of a right – to speak, to worship, to bear arms, to assemble, to be secure in one’s possessions, to a trial by a jury of one’s peers, and so on – can be nullified by an assertion of “compelling government interest.”

     For any “right to vote” fans in the audience, that’s been reduced to a farce by vote fraud, voter intimidation, and the casting of ballots by millions of illegal aliens. But do go ahead if it makes you happy. Just remember that I’ve said it: We’re not voting our way out of this.

     An alternate approach is required.


     In his novel The Black Cloud, the late Sir Fred Hoyle had his protagonist character opine openly that political authority is a matter of belief:

     ‘Here’s a fine thing,’ he gurgled. ‘I forgot to stop our conversation going out on ten centimetres. They’ve been hearing everything we’ve been saying – Alexis’s reference to the Kremlin, Chris’s remark about cutting their throats. No wonder they’re in a rage! I reckon the fat’s in the fire now, all right.’
     No one seemed quite to know what to do. At length Kingsley walked over to the control board. He flicked a number of switches, and said into a microphone:
     ‘This is Nortonstowe, Christopher Kingsley speaking. If you have any message, get on with it.’
     An angry voice came over the loud-speaker:
     ‘So you’re there, are you, Nortonstowe! We’ve been trying to get through to you for the last three hours.’
     ‘Who is that speaking?’
     ‘Grohmer, U.S. Secretary for Defence. I might tell you that you are talking to a very angry man, Mr Kingsley. I am waiting for an explanation of tonight’s outrageous conduct.’
     ‘Then you will go on waiting, I fear. I will give you another thirty seconds, and if your statements have not assumed some reasonably cogent form by then, I shall switch off again.’
     The voice became quieter, and more threatening:
     ‘Mr Kingsley, I have heard before of your insufferable obstructiveness, but this is the first time I have encountered it myself. For your information, I intend that it shall be the last time. This is not a warning. I am simply telling you here and now that very shortly you will be removed from Nortonstowe. Where you will be removed to, I shall leave to your own imagination.’
     ‘I am anxious that in your plans for me, Mr Grohmer, you have given full consideration to one very important point.’
     ‘And what is that, may I ask?’
     ‘That it is within my power to obliterate the whole continent of America. If you doubt this statement ask your astronomers what happened to the Moon on the evening of 7 August. You might also like to take into account that it would take me substantially less than five minutes to implement this threat.’
     Kingsley clicked off a group of switches and the lights at the control panel went off. Marlowe was white-faced and there were little beads of sweat on his forehead and on his upper lip. ‘Chris, that was not well done, it was not well done,’ he said. Kingsley was genuinely disturbed.
     ‘I’m sorry, Geoff. It never occurred to me while I was speaking that America is your country. I say again that I’m sorry, but by way of excuse you must know that I’d have said the same thing to London, or to Moscow, or to anybody.’
     Marlowe shook his head.
     ‘You’ve got me wrong, Chris. I’m not objecting because America is my country. In any case I know you were only putting up a bluff. What worries me is that the bluff may turn out to be damn dangerous.’
     ‘Nonsense. You’re giving an exaggerated importance to a storm in a tea-cup. You still haven’t got over the idea that politicians are important because the newspapers tell you so. They’ll probably realize that I might be bluffing but while there’s just the possibility that I could make good my threat they’ll lay off the strong arm stuff. You’ll see.’
     But in this matter Marlowe was right and Kingsley wrong, as events soon showed.

     [Sir Fred Hoyle, The Black Cloud]

     As Hoyle illustrates in what follows, political power isn’t about us peones believing that it exists. It consists in the willingness and ability to enforce its will, which arises from weapons and men willing to wield them at the politicians’ behest. In other words, political power is a matter of the allegiance of enforcers.

     It’s been suggested, for example by promoters of the Oath Keepers approach, that one avenue back toward freedom lies in splitting the enforcers off from the politicians and bureaucrats. The allegiance of our military and police forces to the political class isn’t impenetrable. Indeed, many soldiers, sailors, and airmen have expressed disgust with Washington – sotto voce, of course – and have suggested that they might be amenable to a coup. Nevertheless, this is a chancy path to follow; violent revolution always is. The typical revolution is followed by greater tyranny, not greater freedom. At best it’s a roll of a twenty-sided die with all of one’s hopes and prospects staked on getting a twenty.

     Besides, counting on others to liberate you places the ultimate decision out of your hands.


     Freedom, de facto if not de jure, consists in not being interfered with. He who can contrive that precious condition for himself is freer than any obedient citizen of any government, however straitly limited.

     Given the conditions that prevail today, the man determined to be free will find that his best chance of achieving it lies in individual action. Actions taken to reduce one’s visibility, and thus one’s vulnerability, to the State, judiciously supplemented by cooperation with like-minded friends and neighbors, are the most promising way forward. Nor will it matter who prevails at the polls in November. All power seekers want power; that makes them enemies to freedom wherever and whenever it arises.

     There are things “we” can do “together.” The most important of them is the creation, refinement, and dissemination of tactics: methods by which to keep the State unaware of our decisions and actions.

     I’ve suggested this before. However, no significant conversation on the subject has arisen. We’ve spent too much of our precious time and energy listening to politicians scream imprecations at one another. Why, if their posturings will amount to mere noise? Wouldn’t you rather be doing something constructive? Something that will enhance your life, broaden your possibilities, and maybe put a little extra purchasing power in your wallet?

     Wouldn’t you rather be free?

More pearls of expression.

I'm confused. Did Romney and McCain represent authentic true conservatism? If so then that is redefining the term. What is laughable to me is the outrage against Trump when the Party hasn't elected a true conservative since Reagan. And boy did Reagan have a mixed past. This is just personal and that is okay, just say so. But stop making this a true conservative argument because that is a joke.
Comment by Unqualified? on "I Choose Ted." By Jonah Goldberg, National Review, 7/21/16.

The real agenda of the climate hysterics.

In recent years we've documented the true motivations that are driving the global warming scare.

Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change, who aspires to be U.N. secretary general, has admitted that the goal of environmental activists is to destroy capitalism.

* * * *

Ottmar Edenhofer, who co-chaired the IPCC working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015, has conceded that the climate crusade is an effort to shackle capitalism and establish a global welfare state.[1]

Milton Friedman stated it simply: Capitalism has done more than anything else in history to lift people out of poverty.

Notes
[1] "Global Warming: One More Official Exposes Real Goal Of Climate Scare." By Kerry Jackson, Investor's Business Daily, 7/19/16 (emphasis added).

Pearls of expression.

This gave birth to “Black Lives Matter”, which started as a banal cliché and then grew into a radical protest movement. The movement is founded upon the idea that the United States of the present day is a white supremacist country in which black lives are devalued and the police, the agents of white supremacism, systematically target blacks with violence causing a disproportionate number of black deaths. This idea is, of course, completely contra factual, although every smug, snarky, self-assured, progressive on the planet seems to be convinced of its truth.
And:
At the beginning of his presidency, Obama’s administration asked for a national conversation on race, and at the end of it, what he has given America is a race war. This will be all that history will remember him for.
"Obama's Legacy." By Gerry T. Neal, Throne, Altar, Liberty, 7/20/16.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Endorsements, Conscience, And Political Campaigns

     There’s been a lot of noise over Senator Ted Cruz’s speech of yesterday at the Republican National Convention. Much of the noise has been to the effect that Cruz “broke his promise to endorse the nominee.” But look what I found!

     I didn’t hear the word “endorse.” I heard the word support, which is not the same. One may support a candidate without granting him an endorsement. An endorsement is a positive affirmation of quality and fitness; in contrast, one may support the least of the evils, as Ann Coulter did in supporting Hillary Clinton over John McCain in 2008.

     Cruz made an impassioned plea for voters to “vote your conscience.” He exhorted them to vote, up and down the ticket, for candidates they can trust to defend freedom and the Constitution. Absolutely nothing in that strikes me as objectionable...because nothing about it is to any slightest degree different from what I would do – what I always do.

     Republican Party unity is at a low ebb. Many Republican diehards are unhappy about that, feeling as they do that the most important thing, the thing to be striven for at all costs, is to elect Republicans. They sense a threat from the Libertarian ticket, which is currently polling at about 10% and could be the deciding factor in November. Other minor parties could also have a disproportionate effect on the outcome, though the likelihood is considerably less.

     But will Republicans raised to federal offices improve on the performances of those there already? Some say yes, once there’s a Republican in the White House. But the matter admits of some doubt.

     Others have attacked Cruz personally as somehow insincere in his exhortations to “vote your conscience” and to vote for pro-freedom, pro-Constitution candidates. Why? Has he been an insincere promoter and defender of those things in the Senate? Doesn’t his record there entitle him to the benefit of the doubt?

     Political campaigns are becoming affairs where those of decent sensibilities refuse to go. No one is tolerant of a difference of opinion any longer. No one is willing to grant the other person’s sincerity or integrity. That can’t be good for the country.

     Worse, not only has the political polarization of America divided Left from Right with an impenetrable wall; it’s clearly invaded the GOP as well, further reducing the possibility of a restoration of Constitutional government. This is not a state of affairs that bodes well for the preservation of any particle of our badly battered freedoms...and it casts a shadow over the candidate best known for his personal aspersions upon his competitors.

     I shall echo Senator Cruz:

Vote your conscience...
if you vote at all.

     UPDATE: Hearken to the esteemed Ace of Spades to much the same effect.

They Have Given Us A New Commandment

     What is that commandment? It’s not that we love one another. That one is already taken, and if there’s Anyone you shouldn’t get into an authorship wrangle with, it’s the Son of God. And tangling with the shade of Ronald Reagan is almost as ill-advised.

     No, the newest commandment is this:

“Thou Shalt Not Make Other Races Feel Inferior.”

     That’s from The Gospel of the Left. When a white man dares to speak well of white people, or an American praises America, or a Christian lauds Christianity, he’s in violation. Neither is a white person / American / Christian allowed to defend white people / America / Christians from insult; that’s considered a backhanded violation as well. However, note that the stricture does not apply to any other group.

     Congressman Steve King violated it yesterday:

     Congressman King is exactly correct: Essentially all of human progress has been due to the white race – principally white Christian males – and minorities chafe under the sense of inferiority that gives them, whether it’s stated explicitly or merely implied.

     Let’s take a close look at the contributions of the other races:

  • Mongolians / Asians: gunpowder and pasta.
  • Negroes / Blacks: broken-field running and the slam-dunk.
  • North American Indians: maize?
  • Pacific Islanders: poi?

     But actually trying to come up with more than those “contributions” would excessively embarrass the moderator schmuck, so he had to mention Hitler and Stalin. Of course he made no mention of Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Mao Tse-tung, Tojo, Julius Nyerere, Idi Amin, Sekou Toure, Haile Mengistu Mariam, Mobutu Sese Seko, or any of the bloodthirsty leaders of the African cannibal tribes European colonial powers strained so hard to civilize.


     Congressman King is being pressed to back away from his early, quite clear and correct remarks:

     Fellow panelist Charlie Pierce, of Esquire, had said on Monday: “If you’re really optimistic, you can say that this is the last time that old white people will command the Republican Party’s attention, its platform, its public face,” adding, “That hall is wired by loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people.”

     “Now, that’s disparaging a group of people, and ‘old white people’ — can you trade that language out by adding any other group in there as an adjective?” King said Wednesday. "And by the way, I am wise enough not to even do that for people, because then it blows the whole Twittersphere up again. But he was disparaging a group of people, a subgroup of people, ‘old white people,’ and saying they’re going to be out of the politics of the Republican Party. That’s gotta be answered....

     “And so, yes, any civilization, you can look down through that and say these are things that we’re not proud of. I could go back and give you that list,” King acknowledged. “But the sum total that’s been contributed by Western civilization, it surpasses any other culture or civilization, partly because we borrowed from them along the way, and we’re flexible enough to do that. And so I don’t think we should apologize for our success. And the idea of multiculturalism, in that every culture is equal — that’s not objectively true. And we’ve been fed that information for the last 25 years in this country, and we’re not going to continue to become a greater nation if we don’t look at this objectively.”

     But even defending white people – by the multiculti edict, the source and reason for all evil anywhere – is forbidden by the Left, and the Left controls the major media. I have no doubt that the media reaction against any praise or defense of Christians or America would be at least as severe.


     I’ve had it with this nonsense. Let it be known to all:

  • The achievements of the white race are objectively superior to all the others.
  • The other races are consumed by their envy of whites.
  • Therefore, in accordance with the dynamic of envy, the other races are trying to destroy the white race.
  • And quite a lot of inferior whites are helping them.

     Note that today’s public proponents of segregation are nearly all black. Being compelled to measure their achievements against those of whites has warped their brains. They seek isolation...but not complete isolation; that would deprive them of whites’ largesse. They want political and legal separation from whites, but they also want whites to pay them Danegeld. That’s the real cause of most of the interracial violence in the United States today.

     It’s not “the legacy of slavery.” It’s the difference between what whites have achieved and what blacks have managed. That gap is indisputable, and it grows ever larger as time passes. Take a close look at the black-run nations of Africa. Then try to argue the point.

     And have a second look at these essays, and this one, and this one, and this one, and perhaps this one before you indulge in any foolish, unearned guilt.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fanboys

     This warning might be a wee bit late, but I’ll post it anyway: It’s a medically proven fact that watching televised political conventions will reduce your brain mass by as much as 103%, so don’t! (No, I didn’t. If I had, would I be writing this?)

     Anyway, the agonizing suspense has ended at last: the presidential nominee of the Republican Party is Donald J. Trump. That has a lot of people cheering wildly and a lot of others trying to drink themselves senseless. Which camp is “right?” Well, I’ve long been a proponent of the Mencken Recipe: i.e., that the country’s ills could be most effectively treated by keeping us all “gently stewed:”

     ...I marvel that no utopian has ever proposed to abolish all the sorrows of the world by the simple device of getting the whole human race gently stewed....The man who is [gently stewed] is a man who has put all his best qualities into his showcase. He is not only immensely more amiable than the cold-sober man; he is immeasurably more decent. He reacts to all situations in an expansive, generous, and humane manner. He has become more liberal, more tolerant, more kind. He is a better citizen, husband, father, friend. The enterprises that make human life on this earth that make men uncomfortable and unsafe are never launched by such men. They are not makers of wars; they do not rob and oppress anyone. All the great villainies of history have been perpetrated by sober men, and chiefly by teetotalers. But all the charming and beautiful things, from the Song of Songs to terrapin a la Maryland, and from the nine Beethoven symphonies to the Martini cocktail, have been given to humanity by men who, when the hour came, turned from well water to something with color to it, and more in it than mere oxygen and hydrogen. [“Portrait of an Ideal World,” 1924.]

     However, I draw the line at blackout drinking. Nubile young ladies can make free with your body and you won’t enjoy it. Indeed, you won’t even remember it.

     But seriously, Gentle Reader, the question of the hour is what it’s always been: What now? And your humble Curmudgeon Emeritus is here to tell you.


     Allow me to lay down a postulate. It’s an important one, from which much else follows:

No politician will succeed in restoring Constitutional soundness to government in these United States in our lifetime.

     At this point in our political degeneracy, elected officials possess far less power than what has been called the Deep State: the millions of unelected bureaucrats and functionaries who are the true rulers of our nation. It is they who set agricultural, industrial, commercial, and informational policy. It is they who determine what shall and what shall not be done. It is they who thwarted the efforts of Nixon and Reagan to reduce the burden of government on our longsuffering backs. Remember this blatant statement of conditions:

[United States Senator from Oklahoma David L.] Boren, formerly a state legislator and governor, went to Washington expecting to make some changes. “What impressed me most is the great power of the bureaucracy compared to that of elected officials. All the talk about growing control by the bureaucracy is not exaggerated. The shift in power is very real.... There is almost a contempt for elected officials.”...

Senator Boren found, to his surprise, that a Senator has great difficulty even getting phone calls returned by the “permanent” employees, much less getting responsive answers to his questions.

The voters can’t “throw the rascals out” anymore, because the main rascals are not elected but appointed....

Regulatory bureaucrats have extra power because they can outlast the elected officials. “Often,” Boren explains, “I’ve said to a bureaucrat, ‘You know this is not the president’s policy.’

’True, Senator, but we were here before he came, and we’ll be here after he leaves. We’re not in sympathy with his policy. We’ll study the matter until he leaves.’”

[From Armington and Ellis, MORE: The Rediscovery of American Common Sense.]

     Now imagine what would follow from an attempt by a sitting president to abolish an entire department of such creatures. The rest of the bureaucracy would rise in defense of their threatened colleagues. Tens of millions of private citizens – what’s been accurately if scatologically called the “Free Shit Army” – would league with them. Chaos unimaginable by a decent man would ensue. Congress and the White House would never recover.

     There are some who yearn to see such chaos. I don’t.


     Electoral contests are times when the politician’s central gift is on most garish display: the ability to make promises he can’t keep. Politics is like that. An old joke, the Pachydermic Personnel Predictor, puts it thus: “Politicians don't hunt elephants, but they promise to share the elephants you catch with whoever will vote for them.”

     That’s politics, Gentle Reader: the making of insincere promises to gain, keep, or increase one’s own power, prestige, and perquisites. An American over the age of forty has no excuse for not knowing it.

     Much of the enthusiasm for the candidacy of Donald Trump is founded on his being outside the political elite. That’s understandable; when you’ve become convinced that all of those inside the elite are corrupt or ineffective, turning to an outsider makes sense. However, it doesn’t make perfect sense.

     Should Trump become president, then all other things being equal, he will face the same resistance from the Deep State that other presidents have faced. Its incentives and constraints will be unchanged. Therefore, its behavior will be consistent in direction with what Nixon and Reagan faced. The vector of government growth and its progressive strangulation of individuals’ lives will continue as it was.

     But what if all other things are not equal? What if Trump should take office with a greatly strengthened Republican majority in both Houses of Congress, including a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate? Wouldn’t true change be possible then?

     Theoretically, yes. The Democrat minority would no longer be able to prevent any sort of legislation. But the Deep State, whose numbers are vast, would hardly sit idle in the face of such a threat. For example, consider what would happen were Congress to consider a bill to abolish the Department of Education:

  • The educrats would immediately rally government-school teachers to support their continuation;
  • The major media would trumpet alarms of unprecedented magnitude about the prospects for “crippling the educational system;”
  • Racialist mouthpieces would beat their drums about this “assault on minorities and the poor;”
  • A minimum of ten million voters, many of them residents of districts represented by Republicans, would descend upon Washington via letters, emails, phone calls, and no small number of demonstrations.

     Is there any great likelihood that the bill would even be reported out of committee?

     Think so if you like, but the odds are heavily against it.


     My point here is that in our milieu, to look to an office seeker as a potential savior is a mistake. Regardless of what a candidate promises, his power to effectuate such promises is sharply limited. The Deep State, with assistance from its allies in the media and various quasi-public institutions (e.g., teachers’ unions), will thwart any attempt to reduce its power in scope or magnitude.

     Political fanboys either don’t get this or willfully disregard it.

     Political fanboys can be more fanatic than other sorts of fan. There’s a reason for that: they’ve pinned enormous hopes for enormous changes on their idol. Anyone who suggests to them that their hero is a single man with ordinary human qualities, and no match for the Deep State in a contest of wills, becomes the enemy. Several such fanboys have assailed me for sentiments of this sort. The most fanatic of the lot have assumed high dudgeon over my having pointed out Donald Trump’s personal flaws. They seem to think he’s the living incarnation of Stephen Graham Sumner.

     Sumner is a fictional character in a plot premised upon a devil theory. He’d have as much chance of prevailing over the Deep State as an infant would have against a tank.


     Finally for this morning, a few words in support of a healthful skepticism.

     Anyone can make promises. When ordinary men make them, they tend to be trustworthy. When a politician makes them, it’s best to put one hand on your wallet and the other on your gun. There is no sort of political promise that can’t be dismissed by the invocation of a single word: necessity. Nor will it matter whether you and I disagree about the “necessity.” The nation’s experiences of Jimmy Carter and Bush the Elder should be sufficient to drive this home.

     It won’t matter what the promising politician’s intentions were at the time he made his promise. All that will matter is his perception of a “necessity” that trumps the promise he made. That the “necessity” might be illusory, political, or personal and venal will carry no weight.

     Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. [Psalm 146:3]

     In short, don’t be a fanboy. Trust only in yourself and those who demonstrably love you. All else is folly.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Too Much Truth Dept.

     I swiped this from A Nod To The Gods:

     Hopefully, the right heads will explode.

Rape And Islam

     The rash of rapes and other sexual assaults erupting in European districts where Muslim “refugees” have been permitted to mass has left a lot of commentators tongue-tied. On the one hand, they’re well aware that the rapists and molesters are Muslims, and that the general public is aware of that as well. On the other, they fear for their lives, jobs, broadcast licenses, and so forth should they dare to imply, however delicately, that Islam’s adherents as a group are more inclined toward sexual violence than other demographics.

     But then, there’s a lot – both about sex and about the cultures where Islam flourishes – that no one wants to discuss.


     I wrote, some years ago:

     Though the language seems brusque, even a bit savage, the principal fulfillment to the man is that of conquest: winning access to the body of his lover. The principal fulfillment to the woman is that of agreeable surrender: the cession of her body to his, not merely for immediate pleasure but also in hope of a union that will last well beyond the physical connection. These satisfactions greatly overshadow those of the body, despite all attempts to assert the contrary.

     This is the aspect of sex relations that writers typically refuse to mention: its undercurrent of aggression, which is – girls, hold onto your boyfriends – the man’s province. He and she both know, subconsciously, that the initiative is his. The decision about whether to respond affirmatively is hers...among civilized people.

     Among other things, civilized people hold that one’s body is one’s property, with all the rights pertaining thereto. Criminals excepted, civilized people don’t invade other people’s property. Here in the U.S., that’s considered a sound justification for homicide. Indeed, until about 1940, there were states where rape was considered a capital crime.

     But Middle Eastern Muslims are not civilized people. The sole civilized region in the Middle East is Israel, where Muslims do not predominate. And if I may “repurpose” an old maxim, you can take the Muslim out of the Middle East, but you can’t take the Middle East out of the Muslim.

     In the Muslim Middle East, all relations are about power.


     The principal difference between the civilized man and the savage is this: the civilized man, cognizant of the rights of others, will restrain himself from aggressing against those rights even when it would be to his profit and he’s certain he could get away with it. From this perspective, the criminal is a kind of savage, a throwback to Hobbes’s “war of each against all.”

     A civilized society is one whose uncivilized fraction is recognized and treated as such If it is small enough to be managed institutionally, it will erect institutions to do so; if not, that society is in a state of upheaval that will eventually cause a civil war or a descent into savagery...and possibly both.

     By that standard, the Muslim Middle East is not civilized. It’s a place of perpetual aggression – including sexual aggression against women who have been bludgeoned into accepting that they have no rights against any man. A Middle Eastern Muslim woman is always the property of some man – usually a husband or father. It’s equally significant that Middle Eastern preteen and adolescent boys are frequently made into sexual playthings by older men, emphasizing and perpetuating the only-power-counts ethic of that region.

     Part of the reason Islam took firm root among the peoples of the Middle East is that it ratifies such practices.


     Among civilized people, the aggression inherent in sex is tamed and made acceptable by a number of legal and social constraints. The most important ones are the laws against sexual trespass and the binding nature of a marital commitment voluntarily entered into by both parties.

     Note how this contrasts with the practices of the Muslim Middle East. It’s essentially impossible to prosecute a man for rape in that region, owing to the Islamic requirement for four male witnesses to the act. Moreover, a woman who alleges rape and fails to produce four such witnesses can then be tried and convicted for adultery or fornication and stoned to death. The connection to the “honor killings” of women and young girls by male relatives who suspect them of dalliances should be too obvious to require comment.


     Note that rape, sexual assault, and “honor killings” among Muslims in America are far rarer than in any other place where significant numbers of Muslims can be found. There are several contributory factors:

  • Some degree of acculturation;
  • America’s legal system, which isn’t Islam-compliant;
  • The prevalence of armed American husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons;
  • American women’s political and social power: far greater than their counterparts in other lands.

     However, such things do occur, especially in areas that have become Islamic exclaves and can therefore be covered up by the surrounding community. Islam tolerates Muslim men’s worst sexual aggressions and condones – even encourages – the reduction of women to property. When they can get away with it, they replicate the Middle Eastern pattern wherever they are.

     The governing elites of Europe have decided, sotto voce, to let them get away with it.


     If you wish a civilized society, in which a woman’s body is her recognized, rightful property and not to be trespassed upon, you cannot accept Islam or the Middle Eastern cultures from which it sprang. Yet Europe has opened its doors – admittedly, under some external pressure – to a flood of Muslim migrants, a great proportion of them young men. The consequences are only what one who understands the Middle East’s power-obsession and Islam’s attitude toward the female body would have expected.

     It’s not impossible that the pattern might someday be reproduced here in America. Perhaps that’s among the reasons our governing elites, who have been spreading a welcome mat for tens of thousands of Muslim migrants despite widespread resistance to the idea, are so anxious to take our guns from us. It would be a poor sort of “official welcome” to the Islamic horde to discipline it to civilized sexual norms under threat of death by armed and enraged male relative. The matter – both Muslim men’s tendency to rape and molest, and our authorities’ seeming eagerness to have them here – deserves a great deal more attention and discussion than it’s received.

Absurd. Protect American interests.

A brief summary of what the U.S. foreign policy establishment won't touch with a ten-foot pole:
If defeating the Islamic State really were the desired outcome [of Obama's policy in Iraq and Syria], the pieces are in place for an advance on Aleppo, Raqqa, and Mosul by the Syrian Army, the Kurds, and the Iraqi Army, backed by massive American and Russian air support.

* * * *

. . . It’s past time that U.S. foreign policy served the interests of Americans, not those of neocons and theocratic Sheikhs.[1]

This excerpt actually makes reference to the interests of the American people, which are in stark contrast to the mysterious, illogical, and unannounced purpose behind "U.S." foreign policy in Iraq and Syria. Assad is by far the best alternative for Syria yet the U.S. approach is one for which "success" would be measured, in part, by the takeover of Syria by:
  • ISIS,
  • al Nusra, or whatever the elusive al Qaida is called these days, and/or
  • a fanciful bunch of "moderate" Syrian "rebels" with unknown plans for a Syria without Assad and a demonstrated willingness to cooperate with the two former groups.
So that's the official U.S. policy now: Remove the obvious decent choice for Syria, wage a pretend air war against (and arm and train) scum, and lay the groundwork for it to take over a whole country.

However, the American people have no interest whatsoever in effecting a takeover of a sovereign country by our mortal enemies -- who are absolute animals.

A united front with Russia, Syria, and Iraq is the only strategy that will serve our true interests, one of which is disengaging militarily from where we're not needed and where we are doing immense damage, not least of all to ourselves.

Notes
[1] "Kerry in Moscow: What is more important for America: Defeating ISIS or overthrowing Assad?" By Edward Lozansky and Jim Jatras, Washington Times, 7/19/16 (emphasis added).

H/t: Russia Insider.

The vilification of Trump.

Sixth in a series.
  • "Trump’s abrasive, Know Nothing-like nativist rhetoric" – Jeb Bush.
  • "[S]et a new standard for disingenuousness and catering to voters’ fears"; "fabricates realities that ignorant people like to inhabit." – James Traub.
  • “[T]oo bigoted and racist” -- Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).
  • Vile, raging, vengeful, dysempathic, and relentlessly exploitative; foul, profane, and violent language and harangues; constant reversals of positions; compulsive lying – Sam Vaknin, Gulag Bound.
  • Conscienceless demagogue, serial liar, and nihilist with a belief in nothing save himself – Steve Fraser, The Unz Review.
  • Facitilitates “trickle-down racism.” – Mitt Romney.
  • "Megalomaniacal, Misogynist, Racist, Islamophobic, Ableist, Transphobic Hellhound" – Lena Dunham
  • "[S]eems a crude man of action"; creepy; little political knowledge; crudity and buffoonery; blond comb-over real-estate dealer -- Victor Davis Hanson. (Help wanted: Refined man of action.)
  • Racist, sexist demagogue – Arianna Huffington (Please, God. Not a sexist!).
  • A "scatter-shot speaker, a bully, an adolescent, and a narcissist" – Victor Davis Hanson
  • The Anti-Christ – New York Daily News.
  • Somebody "who has divided us, who is grooming brownshirts" – Glenn Beck.
  • "There is no longer a Republican Party rooted in the main street highways and byways of America. What's left of it is not even the xenophobic, nativist, crypto-racist flotsam and jetsam of the populist right that The Donald is successfully calling to arms." – David Stockman.
  • A platform that is "ugly, superficial and stupid." – David Stockman.
  • Guilty of "loose cannon oratory" – David Stockman.
  • Has "absolutely no semblance of a coherent program." – David Stockman.
  • His "pitch is comprised of pure bombast and bile." – David Stockman.
  • Trump "has fashioned his platform by opportunistically scratching the most fearful and bigoted itches roiling the electorate." – David Stockman.
  • "While he contributes to charity, it’s not so clear that being service-oriented has been a high priority for him. He said he got into real estate simply because it’s lucrative." – Stephen M. Krason, Crisis Magazine. (Being a social worker is a great way to accumulate money to donate to charity. And no one else in America engages in any endeavor because it might be "lucrative." Only Trump is that greedy.)
  • Massive business successes "accompanied by shady business practices. . . , questionable associations, loan defaults, using political connections and maneuvering to get what he wants"; eminent domain against a widow to expand his Atlantic City casino operation; a tendency generally to use pressure tactics on those who get in his way. – Stephen M. Krason, Crisis Magazine. (Uses political connections? That cur!)
  • "[C]ampaign has profited from voter prejudice and hatred" – U/I Washington Post writer mentioned in Pat Buchanan article, 3/4/16.
  • Trump represents an "authoritarian assault upon democracy." – Same Washington Post writer.
  • "Moral stain" if anyone embraces Trump. – Same Washington Post writer.
  • A lunatic; a national embarrassment; an exquisite marriage of ignorance and confidence. – Salon.
  • “I would sooner vote for Josef Stalin than Donald Trump” – Max Boot. (Stalin the mass murderer.)
  • “I’m literally losing sleep over Donald Trump.” – Max Boot, C.F.R. fellow, foreign policy adviser to McCain during 2008 presidential campaign.
  • Hillary Clinton “would be vastly preferable to Trump.” – Max Boot
  • “For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.” -- Robert Kagan, foreign policy adviser to McCain during 2008 presidential campaign
  • “I’m voting for Hillary” – Joshua Muravchik, neoconservative.
  • “I am very skeptical of [Hillary]. But Trump has degraded American politics in a way unlike anything I have ever witnessed. I can’t say enough bad things about him. His ignorance is staggering and his personality is revolting.” – Joshua Muravchik
  • Trump is "not sophisticated enough to have any political ideology. He is a narcissistic bully, a shrewd marketer, and an amateur politician with authoritarian instincts." – Sam Vaknin, Gulag Bound. (Politicians with authoritarian instincts. So rare these days.)
  • "[B]lusters in such an off-putting and sloppy fashion"; "his barroom rhetoric"; "mean-spirited rhetoric" (of course); "blundered into at least a few legitimate issues"; "the racial incendiary"; "a crude reaction to a smooth and unquestioned racialism"; "his racism, nativism, and xenophobia"; "a loose nuclear weapon" – Victor Davis Hanson.
This from the la-di-da, holier-than-thou Ladies' Auxilliary of the Uniparty. May Mr. Trump carry the day in November and treat us to a spectacle of watching all these hounds come crawling to him on their bellies.

Trump 2016!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Crisis And Politics

     Remember this golden oldie from Rahm Emanuel?

     For those allergic to videos, here’s the complete transcript:

     "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

     To the best of my knowledge, no one has publicly analyzed the subject of that political mantra for its internal mechanisms. Given the sudden rash of crises and events being styled crises, both here in America and elsewhere in the world, I’d say the time has come.


     Crisis, like many other dramatic words, is often employed idiosyncratically or interpreted tendentiously. Let’s take a hard look at what sort of event would constitute a crisis in the social, economic, or political order.

     First and foremost, crisis is a matter of scale. The number of persons affected must be large enough to be significant in the surrounding context. Shouting “Crisis!” over an event that affects only one person or family is disallowed.

     Second, there must be either ongoing damage or a serious threat of damage to the affected persons. Moreover, the damage must be significant. A hangnail or the loss of a quarter in a vending machine won’t make the cut.

     Third, and most important for political reasons, the event being styled as a crisis must appear to call for a centralized, authoritarian response. The “spontaneous order” coalescence of privately motivated healing forces must appear, or be made to appear, too slow or too weak to meet the needs of the affected.

     Fourth, it helps greatly to justify the categorization of crisis if the event features swift acceleration: a sharp crescendo away from normality. An effect that’s been building up gradually and gently over a long period of time is likely to become embedded in the general notion of the normal order of things. In contrast, a swift acceleration of damage throws people “off their stride,” and makes them more amenable to the arrogations of authority and its assertions of mastery.

     In summary, a true crisis must be:

  1. Large;
  2. Painful;
  3. Disordering;
  4. And preferably Quick to hit.

     Several events of recent years that would not qualify as crises according to the criteria above were nevertheless made to seem crises by the skillful withholding of information and manipulation of news coverage. Sometimes such pseudo-crises can be seen more clearly in retrospect as relatively minor matters which politicians and their hangers-on, eager to claim authority and garner public acclaim, seized upon for their own purposes.


     Just now, the United States is afflicted in several directions. It has a massive illegal immigration problem. It’s sprouted a number of racial, ethnic, and religious exclaves. Interracial, inter-ethnic, and inter-religious tensions have come to constitute a serious threat to social cohesion and the rule of law. Its economy is staggering under an unprecedented weight of laws, taxes, and regulations. Its federal government is in deficit every year, has amassed a debt greater than the Gross Domestic Product, and appears not to be reformable. Two enormous programs, Social Security and Medicare, are crumbling fiscally owing to changes in American demographics. Its military, overstretched for fifteen years, is no longer equal to the demands being placed on it. A steadily increasing fraction of its populace regards its governments as enemies rather than protectors. Those in that fraction have largely elevated their personal ethics over the laws of the land.

     In each case, the number of persons affected is in the millions. In each case, the damage or threat thereof is general and significant. In each case, the appearance of the thing suggests that only a centralized response can stem the tide. However, these conditions did not have swift onsets; they built up over the decades.

     Each of these phenomena has become a marching tune for some breed of social parasite: politicians, public figures, opinion mongers, and organizers of various sorts. Some want high (or higher) office, some want increased power and prestige, some want money, and some merely crave the limelight.

     These parasites have contrived both the crisis-like conditions mentioned above. Each of them was brought upon us by government: either by making bad laws with pernicious effects, or by failing to enforce good ones. However, to make it appear that increased government power is the proper response to the crises, they secured the cooperation of the news media at depicting them as having come upon us suddenly. Their success, while not complete, has been impressive.

     Anyone who’s been watching the important metrics would have known about the steady onset of these problems long before politicians et cetera mounted their soap boxes to pronounce them crises. Some pundits told us what was coming long before it reached its present magnitude. As is usually the case these days, not enough of us listened.

     There’s nothing more useful to the power seeker than a crisis. He’ll mount any that’s handy, and he’ll ride it until he gets what he wants or is shot off his steed. In the latter case, the fatal bullet is usually the penetration of the “official” news by “unofficial” voices with facts at their command. Consider the nicely debunked “man-caused global warming” fad as a prime example.

     Keep abreast of the news.
     Access a variety of sources, and remain skeptical.
     Remember the inherent dynamics of power and the power seeker.
     And though it might seem an “of course” matter, protect freedom on the Internet.

     We don’t need any more “crises” or politicians to ride them over our backs.

Political dumpster diving so you don't have to.

I don't know of a way to link to YouTube videos that start and stop at particular times and run on this page. Embedding an entire clip is simple enough but not embedding a segment so far as I know. Thus, please bear with having to click on each image, having a new page open for each clip, and having to make note of the time periods for each video clip that are relevant for my purposes (indicated after the names of the individuals below).

Aux barricades!

Hillary Clinton, candidate for president (2016), on retroactive classification (unh huh) of government documents, 7/2/16 (0:02-0:45 mins):

Since she received classified documents from other agencies (see excerpt from Dir. Comey's press conference below), to believe Hillary's version you have to believe that other federal agencies removed classification markings before sending classified documents to Her Grace -- an absurdity -- or that "someone" on Hillary's staff or a contractor (with unknown security clearances) removed those markings. Really?

Xavier Becerra (D-CA), on subsequent classification of government documents, 7/3/16 (5:50-6:59 mins.):

Rep. Becerra here either has a horrible memory, is recklessly making statements on a red-hot national issue he's not examined, or he is lying with a straight face.

James Comey, FBI Director on the documents on Hillary's server being classified at the time, 7/5/16 (4:08-4:43 mins.):

You have to love the Director's emphasis on "at the time."

Since emails pass through various portals on their way to their addressees and copies of what passes through those portals (non-government in Hillary's case) is possibly retained on their servers (at least outside of the E.U.), I wonder whether the investigation of Hillary's emails included subpoenaing those backup files to determine what each email looked like as it left that last portal before arriving at her server.

This "marked as classified" evasion is just garbage and Comey did not address it in his press conference. If U.S. law prevents retention then so be it but unencrypted emails still pass over the web whether or not they're retained.

Not my thing but it seems unlikely there's no retention since Google apparently keeps a record of every search any user makes. If there's no record or copy, hypothetically speaking, it's a certainty that there are existing capabilities to read email if the link immediately above is accurate. But then, who'd be interested in the email communications of the United State Secretary of State?

I'm under the impression that state of the art opinion is that you lose any practical (v. legal) right to privacy as regards the content of your email as you are in essence publishing your unencrypted email for the perusal of strangers when you hit "send."

Comey's being coy about the "marked as classified" issue and what I've discussed here, not least because a deliberate removal of classification markings writes a whole new chapter in the law on the (immaterial) element of her intent. Maybe Hillary's emails were encrypted and Guccifer thus did have to hack into her servers themselves.

At this point, who outside of the FBI and Hillary knows?

H/t: 5 MINUTES AGO for first two videos and LesGrossman2015 for the last one.