Saturday, April 20, 2019

A Book Recommendation

I'm reading The Red Thread, by Diana West, with my Kindle Unlimited account. Signing up for KU might be a good idea - if you like books about politics/culture/education, they are often quite highly priced. KU can make them accessible. If you think them worth having after that, it will cost you the same price (or less, if you wait a few months), allowing you to have a test-drive on whether to purchase it for your library.

My Leg ITCHES!

I'm stuck in a boot - broken leg - with instructions NOT to put any weight on it.

It's the most boring 4 days I've ever spent. You don't know how much you depend on being able to move around, until you can't.


I really shouldn't complain - after all, I will be able to use my leg and walk - eventually. I can briefly remove the boot to shower.

But, I'm bored and restless. My electronics keep running out of juice, and I have no outlet nearby.

It's not life and death. Just one of those things that irritate us. I'll get used to it in a few days.

Great Oaks From Little Acorns Grow

     I would venture to guess that none of Liberty’s Torch’s Gentle Readers were alive and reading the Austrian local papers in 1889. Not that it matters. There was no mention of the event that occurred in the village of Braunau-am-Inn 130 years ago on this day. The principals, whose names were Alois and Marie, had no idea what they had done. They predeceased their infant boy by quite a few years.

     The little tyke was sickly at first, and his parents feared for his survival. Later on in life it was determined that one of them – the records don’t indicate which one, but it’s usually the mother – passed congenital syphilis to the boy. When his health appeared to stabilize, they were overjoyed, and lavished a great deal of attention on him…possibly too much.

     The young man that child became dabbled in several trades. He painted; he worked in construction; he served as a soldier of the German army during the Great War. During the Twenties he became involved in fringe politics, including an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Bavarian government. The attempt landed him in prison, but it also resulted in his making several political contacts, including Erich Ludendorff and Paul von Hindenburg, who would be useful to him in later life.

     The accelerating disorder of the Weimar period proved fertile ground for Germany’s fringe parties, including a “workers’ movement” descended from that Bavarian coup attempt. Our protagonist rose steadily in prominence in that movement, slipstreaming into public consciousness behind figurehead Hindenburg. In 1932, when Hindenburg was elected German President, he appointed our protagonist to the post of chancellor of Germany, in which he functioned as its chief executive officer.

     Anyone who hasn’t yet recognized the person whose early life I’ve narrated above should go back to his Gilligan’s Island reruns.


     Adolf Hitler was not a political innovator. He seized on existing currents of thought and disaffection among the German people and applied two theses to win popular sentiment to his National Socialist German Workers’ Party: Benito Mussolini’s newly minted fascism, a variant on Marxist-Leninist theory that sought to evade socialism’s major failing by leaving nominal title to productive enterprises in private hands; and the suggestion that Germany had only lost the Great War because of treachery, with emphasis on “the Jews.” The festering wounds in Germany’s national psyche, augmented by some highly unwise behavior on the part of France, proved sufficient to place Hitler in unopposed control of the nation. And for a while Germany under the Nazis seemed to be once more in the ascendant.

     For a while.

     Fascism, a mere cosmetic gloss over Marxian socialism, had the same overall effect on Germany’s economy as Soviet socialism had: it caused productivity to dwindle as governmental dictates overrode market forces. The Betriebsfuhrers the Nazis installed to parallel the nominal owners of Germany's industries were the true masters of those firms. To defy them was to being sentenced to death for treason. A very few industrialists, intimates of Hitler and the regime, managed to become wealthy, largely by catering to the expansion of Germany’s military. The rest were slowly impoverished, brought to the margins of existence.

     Hitler was canny enough to exploit his government’s control of the currency, which had been toughened after the ruinous Weimar inflation, to commit a kind of international robbery of those nations that exported capital goods to Germany. He successfully challenged the pacific inclinations of the Western powers with the Anschluss of Austria, the seizure of Czechoslovakia, and the reabsorption of the Rhineland. But a government cannot sustain an economy that has been burdened beyond its limit, except by ever-expanding conquest. The expansions of the classical empires and their subsequent downfalls had taught that to the masters of the Old World. The pivot point, after which the rest of Europe could no longer soothe itself with pleasant fantasies about the limits to Hitler’s ambitions, arrived on September 1, 1939.

     I trust that my Gentle Readers know the rest of the story well enough, at least, that I need not recount all of it here.


     There is controversy among historians about how important any individual can be to a political development. Some believe that great men rise to master the social and political currents of their times. Others maintain that the currents are the masters, and merely unearth the “leaders” the currents demand. Ultimately it matters very little. Events are what they are. History being what it is, experimentation to determine the “true” causes of a development such as Nazi Germany and what it unleashed on the world is impossible.

     But parallels are important, and should be noted by those who care about their nations. We have this by way of The Feral Irishman:

     Peer about the American political landscape. Can you spy a rising Hitler? A personality of sufficient cleverness and charisma to galvanize and direct a mass movement as compelling, as voracious, and as brutal as the Nazis of Hitler’s time? I cannot…but then, I doubt I could have done so if I were a German of the Twenties.

     Be watchful, always.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Just In Case You’ve Forgotten

     On June 13, 2016, David Plouffe, a senior advisor to President Barack Hussein Obama, tweeted thus:

     Remember that. It encapsulates perfectly the attitude of the political Establishment toward our president. And they will not cease their efforts to unseat him and destroy the movement he created, Mueller Report or no Mueller Report.

At Times, We Wonder Whether Blogging Makes a Difference

Sure, there are those rare times when a post is re-shared multiple times, to the extent that it makes that blogger's/blog's reputation. Even in the early days, during Blogging's heyday, that was rare.

Today?

A scoop or a many-times-mentioned blog post seldom leaves a lasting impact.

We don't - generally - blog for money or fame. We blog because we enjoy the process of communication, the opportunity to communicate with like-minded people, and the possibility of affecting someone else's opinion/thinking about an issue we feel strongly for or against. For some of us, it's a way of letting off steam without risking losing our long-suffering family.

In the recent run of politics, did blogging make a difference? Probably. It certainly did provide an alternative to the Rabid Mainstream Media (RMM), who actively hunted anything even faintly resembling evidence against anyone even remotely associated with Trump. Without a steady analysis of the specious nature of the "evidence", Trump might well be on the way out.

He is, BTW, not out of the woods yet - we now have the Left spinning the Mueller Report as a "Blueprint for Impeachment". And, given the ferocity with which the Left yearns to exact payback for the Clinton Impeachment - yes, Bill Clinton WAS impeached, but not convicted - this is not over.

However, the very crazed nature of the Left is beginning to make it obvious to Schlitchter's Normals that voting for the Non-Left is a safer choice. Fewer Goodies, but More Sanity.



The Mueller Report: Some Speculations

1. Objective Matters.

     The factual contents of the report should not surprise anyone in the Right. There was never any basis for a claim that the Trump campaign had colluded with the Russian government, or with any “private-sector” Russian organization (insofar as such a designation has objective meaning). The Democrats seized on a jape by candidate Trump to the effect that if one of the Russian intelligence agencies had Hillary Clinton’s mysteriously disappeared 30,000 emails, it would be considerate to let the world see them. They elevated that jest to an accusation of collusion to undermine the November 2016 election which, as the Mueller report admits, is without substance. Thus, the report vindicates the president completely on that charge.

     As a legal matter, one cannot “obstruct justice” without doing something material to impede the investigation of a crime. In the absence of a crime and an investigation into who did it, when, and under what circumstances, an allegation that President Trump “obstructed justice” is baseless. As if more were necessary, note in this connection that no statue defines a crime of colluding with a foreign power to influence an election. For President Trump to express his displeasure at the accusations and the agonizing length of the Mueller probe was entirely innocent, just as it would have been if he were a private citizen rather than a public official. Despite the report’s dog-in-the-manger statement about “not exonerating” Trump, if no underlying crime was found, then a charge of obstruction was impossible to sustain, ludicrous on its face. It’s the prosecutor’s burden to establish that a criminal act took place; it is not required that the target of unsubstantiated accusations prove his innocence of a crime no one can objectively demonstrate.

     That takes care of both the facts of the matter and the Mueller report’s discussion of them.


2. Why The Length Of The “Investigation?”

     Twenty-two months is a long time for a prosecutor to pursue anything. Robert Mueller and his hirelings had no other duties but to look into the question of Russian interference in our elections. Did it really take that long to ascertain that while Russian agents tried to influence the election, no American collaborated with their efforts?

     It might have. Presidential campaigns are roughly two years long. They involve thousands of people and transactions. A number of incidents of dirty dealings – all from the Left – came to light while the campaign was in progress. While those incidents were not part of the Mueller report, consciousness of them might have animated the determination to keep looking, from the conviction that it’s rare for one side of a contest to be underhanded while the other is simon pure.

     However, an alternative explanation deserves to be addressed. Prosecutors who don’t prosecute are swiftly cast into disrepute. Robert Mueller saw himself as a prosecutor. Perhaps he was certain he’d find a crime beneath all the rhetoric if he only looked long enough and hard enough. He might also have been fueled by his Establishmentarian disdain for “upstart” Trump. Of these matters no one can be certain unless Mueller himself should one day admit to them.


3. Why The Length Of The Report?

     An investigator’s report 448 pages long is a long document indeed. The natural expectation from such length is that the investigator has a lot to report. However, in a heavily politicized case such as this one there’s a better explanation: the need to persuade the report’s audience that the investigation was thorough.

     Mueller’s team conducted interviews of and background investigations of dozens of people. There was assuredly enough material to write a 400-plus page report. Indeed, Mueller probably could have doubled its size had he chosen. But the facts of the matter are unaffected by the report’s bulk.


4. The Dog-In-The-Manger Comment.

     Robert Mueller, a long-time federal bureaucrat who was once the director of the FBI, probably shares the Establishment’s disdain for Donald Trump, the very first man to rise to the presidency with neither prior experience in office nor a distinguished military background. Atop that, Mueller was under pressure from the Left throughout the investigation. While his personal allegiances are unknown, he might have felt compelled to throw the anti-Trump forces a bone to improve his life expectancy, or the security of his loved ones.

     Andrew McCarthy has called Mueller’s “neither does it exonerate [Trump]” statement a breach of prosecutorial ethics, and he is certainly correct. Prosecutors either deem a deed criminal and he who stands accused of it prosecutable, or they refrain. To suggest that the president of the United States might be a criminal, albeit without substantiation or a filing for prosecution, is to suggest that Trump should be required to prove his innocence. This, when not only is the burden of proof on the prosecutor to prove the guilt of the accused, but the police and prosecutor’s office are required first to establish objectively that a criminal deed occurred, is more than merely a breach of ethics. Now that the report has been made public, it verges upon actionable libel.

     Nevertheless, Robert Mueller will certainly suffer no consequences for this breach.


5. What Now?

     The Democrats’ leaders and subsidiary voices will cherry-pick from the report in a despairing attempt to invert its plainly stated conclusions. They know that the report’s plain and unembellished findings spell disaster for their prospects of unseating President Trump nineteen months hence. So they must embellish; they must obfuscate; they must invent – and all of it without allowing public discourse to settle on the report’s conclusions.

     It won’t be pleasant. Neither will it cease at any foreseeable time. Fortunately, the Democrats will be waving, gesticulating, arguing irrelevancies, and slinging insults: throwing shadows rather than dealing with established facts. At this point we in the Right have all the real ammunition.

     Trump in 2020.

OH School Initiates Expulsion of Student for Thinking Some Girls Hotter

Which, as any goodthink person knows, is a crime. He has been targeted by the school system, after being arrested for "telecommunications harassment", for listing The Hottest Girls of the School.

The arrest will likely not result in charges - it's a pretty clear 1st Amendment violation.

Here's my letter to the Superintendent:
Have you completely lost your mind? Has a raging feminist got pictures of you in drag, smoking crack?

The student certainly should be told to shut down the site. He should have to face those girls at school every day, noting their scorn and disapproval. Heck, if you wanted to keep him from participation in extra-curriculums, until he displayed more adult behavior, OK.

But, EXPULSION?

No.

Not unless you ALSO expel all of those girls who contributed to making girls feel badly about themselves. As a retired OH teacher, I absolutely KNOW every high school in the country has a sizable number of “Mean Girls” who harass, lie about, attempt to drive to suicide/isolation/anoxeria/whatever, just because they can.

Are teens going to be talked about? Sure. Are they - too often - judged on superficials like looks, cars, clothing? Sure.

Ain’t gonna stop - this kind of repression will only drive it underground.

Your system should stop the expulsion process entirely. He’s a pig, not a criminal.

I’d take a wager that you have students who have engaged in actual crimes - some of them against girls - and still are not expelled.

BTW, I have access to blogs, and I intend to use them to expose this over-the-top response to a student’s exercise of Free Speech - you remember that Constitutional Right, don’t you?

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Few Words About Everyone’s Favorite Subject

     I found this over at 90 Miles From Tyranny:

     It’s not perfectly correct, though the underlying sentiment is spot on. However, it makes a good introduction into the overall subject of taxation: why it’s done, what it’s supposed to fund, how it’s executed, and why Americans have come to hate even the mention of it.


1. The Why.

     The rationale for taxation is moderately complex, but comprehensible by anyone who can read English:

  1. There are things that must be done for the benefit of the entire polity.
  2. Those things must be paid for.
  3. However:
    • No one receives a sufficient individual benefit to volunteer to pay for them;
    • Anyone who avoids paying for them would get the benefit anyway.
  4. Therefore:
    • Payment must be made legally mandatory and enforced;
    • The government must determine the amount and perform collection and enforcement.

     Don’t yell at me. I didn’t come up with it. It’s the generally accepted rationale. It’s been the generally accepted rationale for centuries. It’s been called the “public goods” or “externalities” argument. It says nothing specific about what will be funded or how lavishly. Some fine minds, including those of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman, have defended that rationale as inescapable, and have devoted their subsequent attention to the omitted specifics.

     From this point forward, remember that a “rationale” is something employed in the service of rationalization: i.e., composing a post hoc justification for something you’ve already decided to do – something you’re determined to do regardless of any and all other considerations.


2. The What.

     What specific undertakings, as referenced in Item #1 above, “must” be paid for but “justify” taxation by the criteria listed under Item #3?

     Today in the Land of the Formerly Free, there are innumerable such activities and projects. No living man could list them all. And – drumroll, please – if we omit those things under the Departments of Defense, State, and Justice, only a vanishingly small percentage of Americans benefit, directly or otherwise, from any particular one of them.

     However, in aggregate, it is arguable that for any particular American, there’s a measurable chance that one or more of those activities and projects does bring him some benefits. Possibly it’s even a better-than-even-money chance. And that is the version of the Washington Monument Defense that protects the tax system. “It’s good for everybody! What’s that you say? You’re against it anyway? Very well then; we’ll eliminate your slice.”

     Columnist Russell Baker pinned this back in the Sixties, when income tax reform was being hotly discussed. As he put it, everyone is in favor of simplifying the tax code...with the exception of the portion upon which your personal calculations for survival are based.


3. The How.

     Taxation in pre-Enlightenment societies was conducted by the undisguised use of armed force. Soldiers went door-to-door raking in the loot, skimming off some portion, and toting the rest of it back to the King or the local fief holder. Taxation in modern societies is largely deemed “voluntary.” In the American system, you fork it over through “withholding,” and possibly in an annual “adjustment,” because if you fudge your busybody neighbor might tattle on you, after which the IRS will send armed men to your door and haul you off to live in a reinforced concrete box guarded by other armed men, who will shoot you if you try to leave.

     (Why, yes: I did have to send an “adjustment” to Washington this year. A rather large one, at that. However did you guess?)


4. The Hatred.

     The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has. Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don’t know when it’s through if you are a crook or a martyr. – Will Rogers

     America’s best beloved humorist has nailed it exactly. Everyone knows that taxation is excessive, that the burden is unequally distributed, and that special interests are cleaning up at our expense. Everyone knows that regardless of the legal and pseudo-ethical rationales taxation is indistinguishable from armed robbery. And everyone knows, especially between January 31 and April 15, that the great majority of us have become liars and fabulists in a despairing attempt to keep some of what we’ve earned.

     Why shouldn’t we hate it? It’s made us hate the sight of our pay stubs. It’s made us hate the nameless others who benefit from it. It’s made us hate a government that’s no more “of the people, for the people, and by the people” than any private-sector con job.

     Most terrifying of all, it’s made us hate ourselves.

     Our forebears failed to realize the danger. They were caught in the toils of envy, class animosities, and ersatz “progressivism,” as so many are even today. They failed to restrain the Omnipotent State when it was still within our power. Indeed, many of them cheered as they watched Leviathan burst its Constitutional chains.

     And here we are, in this year of Our Lord 2019, forking over ever more of our pittances to governments that do little more than fatten political insiders and ne’er-do-wells, and make us beg permission even to ply our various trades.

     Perhaps I’ll expand on this later. Just now it’s time for Mass.

"It's Hard to Say What His Intentions Were"...

Yeah. A guy walks into St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC, armed with gasoline, lighter fluid and lighters.

A "New Jersey" man. Naturally, his name/background wasn't released. We all know why that is.

The full quote:
“It’s hard to say what his intentions were, but I think the totality of circumstances of an individual walking into an iconic location like St. Patrick’s Cathedral carrying over four gallons of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and lighters and lighters is something we would have great concern over,” Miller said.

Insight into northern European politics.

The Yankees also call Sanders fringe left.. in my country Sanders would be a middle of the road conservative, Pelosi would be a extrem right winger and the republican party would probably be forbidden. Heck we have a couple REAL communists in parliament that want to abolish capitalism.
Comment by schroedingersrat on "Britain's Fleet Street Ignores Pelosi's Pandering To EU Autocrats." By Mark Angelides, ZeroHedge, 4/18/19.

Pearls of expression.

But perhaps it is not Pelosi’s lack of political charisma or knowledge on Brexit that is to blame for the paucity of British media coverage. She is not well-known in the U.K., nor is she seen by those who do recognize her as a major political player. It is both the blessing and curse of the American presidential system that there is only one Big Kahuna capable of commanding media attention; it seems the Brit public would rather deal with the organ grinder.
"Britain's Fleet Street Ignores Pelosi's Pandering To EU Autocrats." By Mark Angelides, ZeroHedge, 4/18/19.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A Just War

     The theory of the “just war” is largely unknown to the general public. As with all concepts about justice, it attempts to draw a dividing line between wars that are morally acceptable, even mandatory, and wars that are driven by evil motives such as cupidity. It also touches upon tactics: what methods are legitimate in conducting a just war, and what methods are morally proscribed. As with many other elements of moral-ethical theory, the Catholic Church has been in the forefront of just-war theory for many decades.

     Now that the Church and Christianity itself are under attack by a worldwide force determined to destroy them, the time has come to answer some important questions. Start from the following premise: the pope – not necessarily Jorge Bergoglio – has declared that the Church is at war with that force.

  1. How are the allegiants of that force to be identified, ideologically or strategically?
  2. Would taking up arms against them – actual weapons of war and destruction, not just talk – be justified?
  3. What tactics would be morally acceptable in conducting the war?

     We begin.


0. Can you make war on an ideology?

     Before we address the questions enumerated above, let’s dispose of a canard that would otherwise hamper the discussion. The notion that “you can’t fight a war against an ideology / belief system / conviction / opinion” has been widely promulgated in recent years. It first received circulation during the Cold War years, when our principal foe was communism. More recently its importance has derived from the position of Islam in the array of anti-Western and anti-Christian forces.

     This misconceives the nature of war. War is not a thing apart from all other things, a phenomenon aloof from all other aspects of existence. War doesn’t simply “happen now and then.” War is a method: a technique for pursuing a goal, chosen by persons who believe it will get them what they want at an acceptable cost.

     Some wars are ideological in nature. They’re initiated to elevate one belief system over another, or to impose it on unwilling others. Many of the wars of pre-Napoleonic Europe were ideological wars. Some were fought between contending religious doctrines. Others were fought over principles of royal succession. The Treaties of Westphalia and the Congress of Vienna were in large part animated by the desire to put an end to such wars.

     An ideological war can be quite as bloody – and quite as conclusive – as any war for gain. Yes, the wars for gain of the Twentieth Century were the bloodiest conflicts in history, at least if we go by body counts, but that’s because those wars were fought with weapons of unprecedented killing power in the hands of armies of millions. A contemporary ideological war could reap casualties quite as copiously. Depending upon how it’s fought, it could be just as conclusive as the Allied Powers’ defeat of the Nazi Axis.

     So let’s not waste our time on whether one can fight a war in defense of a belief system. When the enemies of our belief system – specifically, Christianity – are already openly at war with us, our alternatives are somewhat limited.


1. How are our enemies to be identified?

     They tend to identify themselves:

  • Their more militant allegiants mount physical attacks against Christians and Christian institutions;
  • Their other allegiants defend the overarching ideology from the identification of its role.

     Consider in this light what happened on the one occasion that President George W. Bush cited Islamism as the core driver of terrorism. CAIR and other Muslim mouthpiece groups immediately assailed him, with the connivance of the Legacy Media, as calling for a war against Islam. Dubya immediately backed away from his statement. He and his political strategists didn’t want to deal with the flak from the matter, even though it emanated from a relatively small number of institutions. Yet Islam explicitly commands violent jihad against all “unbelievers,” among which it numbers Christians and Jews most prominently. “Islamist” is merely a convenient term for those who act on Islam’s politico-religious imperialism.


2. Would taking up arms against them be justified?

     The core of just-war theory is that shooting back is always justified. The aggressor is responsible for what happens afterward. The problems involved in dealing with the ideologists and apologists of an aggressive ideology are more complex.

     At this time, a bare handful of Islamic militants have emerged in the United States. Up to now, when they’ve revealed themselves, we’ve pursued them through the justice system. It’s acceptably workable…at present. However, if the U.S. were to experience Islam-powered violence and vandalism on the scale already suffered by France and England, it would be necessary to abandon that approach for a more military one aimed at quelling the insurrection. That would necessarily involve shutting down Islam’s support networks, whether or not their organizers and supporters were provably involved in the violence.


3. What tactics would be morally acceptable?

     Those who make war against Christianity are diffusely distributed among us, but concentrated in a handful of other nations. Thus, the problem is twofold.

     In conducting the domestic conflict, Americans determined to defend Christianity against its Islamic attackers must use discretion. As L. Neil Smith has observed, a diffuse threat can only be countered with a diffuse defense. Moreover, the law will extend no tolerance to any organized effort to extirpate the as-yet-“innocent” Muslims among us: they who confine themselves to words and agitations. Yet they can be opposed, and not merely with words of our own.

     The key is to make their continued existence within our borders intolerable:

  • Socially,
  • Economically,
  • Politically.

     Ostracism, refusing to have commerce with them, and opposing them politically by every legal means, especially giving true and accurate coloration to their aims, will do the trick.

     Yes, there are some legal problems, but were millions of American Christians to act approximately in concert – refusing ever to buy from, sell to, or employ a Muslim – the federal government would be powerless to do anything about it, no matter how ardently the Left and the Deep State might wish otherwise.

     Concerning the external concentrations of our enemies – i.e., the Islamic states of the world – in the absence of aggressive acts by their subjects against the U.S., American citizens, or Americans’ property, the same approach could be applied:

  • Terminate all diplomatic contacts with those nations;
  • Embargo all trade with those nations;
  • Oppose the Islamic governments of those nations at every opportunity.

     This of course requires command of the political system – but once again, were American Christians to act in reasonable concert, eyes unclouded by specious notions about “compassion” and “fairness,” it could be done.


4. The Left and what to do about it.

     It has become painfully clear that the American Left sees Islam as a useful if unwitting collaborator in its efforts to destroy American social, economic, and political norms. That leagues the organized Left with our overt enemies de facto. It suggests that similar tactics can be used to bring it to heel.

     Yes, millions of Americans consider themselves left of center. However, few of those, if challenged directly on their fundamental allegiance, would side openly with Islam and its ideology of world conquest. (They’d probably protest that “you can’t fight a war against an ideology,” for which see section number 1 above.) These “weak tea” left-liberals can be shamed out of opposition, just as they were after September 11, 2001, if American Christians can remain united and resolute. The full-blooded enemies of the Republic are the Left’s strategists, tacticians, and public mouthpieces. These must face the same weapons we must bring to bear against their Islamic analogues. Once again, the legal difficulties can be surmounted with a sufficient degree of concurrence among American Christians.


5. Non-Christian sects other than Islam.

     Given that 74% of Americans self-identify as Christians, some 26% remain to be considered. Yes, by the numbers as well as historically, America is a Christian nation. However, extending our tolerance to that which is tolerable is an essential of Christian ethics. Those 26% must be accommodated to the maximum possible extent: i.e., short of allowing them to take up our enemies’ cause.

     I wouldn’t expect American Jews to pose a problem, despite their historical allegiance with the increasingly left-wing Democrat Party. Neither would Buddhists, Hindus, Shintoists, Taoists, Hare Krishnas, or Amiable Agnostics be a cause for concern. Militant atheists, who’ve made the Christian faith their favorite target for several decades, would be required to show their true color…and in the preponderance of cases that color would be yellow. However, as long as they stay out of the conflict, these too could be ignored.


Coda.

     There’s a certain amount of “throwing out the rule book” involved in the above. The major “rule” that must be set aside is that of treating individuals as individuals, disassociated from the crimes of those who share their anti-Christian ideology and have acted on its dictates. The relevant insight here was provided by none other than the greatest butcher in human history, Mao Tse-tung:

     “The people are the sea in which the revolutionary swims.”

     By “the people,” Mao meant the ideologically allied, not the undifferentiated mass of the people. Though they commit no violence themselves, the ideologically allied provide concealment, sustenance, and “human shields” to the insurgent. This cannot be tolerated.

     Are nine tenths of the Muslims who attend some particular mosque innocent of personal misdeeds? Irrelevant, just as Brigitte Gabriel said in the video I embedded yesterday. They are enablers and supporters of our more active enemies, whether voluntary or coerced. It’s like dealing with a pest species; the best way to clean it out is to destroy its habitat: the environmental conditions that support its flourishing. Supposedly innocent and peaceable Muslims are the jihadist’s habitat, and must be routed out of the country.

     Yes, it’s a harsh prescription from start to finish. I don’t like it much, but it’s being forced upon us. Feel free to suggest another.

     Deus vult.

Absolutely intolerable.

America first.
A few weeks later, in his first formal foreign policy address, he [Trump] announced that “America First” would be his guiding policy as president. Here’s what he said:
My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else. It has to be first. Has to be. That will be the foundation of every single decision that I will make. America First will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.
More poison protest headlines followed. But consider for a moment what it means when the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States makes waves by declaring he will put America first in formulating his policies; and, further, has to explain what it means to do so; and, then, on the whole, is met with derision, outrage and fear on the part of commentators and politicians and academics and the like – no matter where on the political spectrum they may have located themselves.
"The Case for Trump -- Minus "America First"?" By Diana West, 4/12/19 (emphasis added).

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Notre Dame

     It wasn’t the most glorious of Christendom’s cathedrals, but it was one of the oldest. It was deeply embedded in the history of France. Now a lot of it is gone. Will it be restored? A good question, given Europe’s flight from Christianity and its welcome of Muslim savages. Indeed, I would expect restoration efforts to be opposed rather vigorously, especially if the French government proposes to lend a hand. Can’t afford to anger the Muslims!

     This is what Europe has done to itself. Yes, I know the “official story” is that the fire was “an accident.” I also remember the old maxim about such things: “Never believe anything political until it is officially denied.”

     The despicable Ilhan Omar referred to the cathedral somewhat dismissively as “art and architecture.” But then, Omar is a Somali Muslim, and is given to excusing Muslims and Islam for anything and everything. (Hey, so “some people did something.” So what?) On the other hand, she regards depictions of the horrors of September 11, 2001, which I still call Black Tuesday, as a threat to her life. She got some concurrence from the equally despicable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who called a video of the attack “triggering.”

     My God, yes, it’s “triggering.” Any red-blooded American should feel his trigger finger twitching as he watches it. He should yearn for a properly sighted-in rifle, ten thousand rounds to hand, and a federal declaration of “open season,” to continue until every Muslim within our borders is a corpse.

     How can any American worthy of the name watch what Europe is suffering yet support the continued importation of Muslims to our shores? For many do, as if we owe them something, though specifics on that matter are sorely lacking. After those Muslim “refugees” have been here a short while, they start trying to recreate the hellholes from which they emerged, by creating Islamic exclaves, bullying and terrorizing American Christians and Jews, and “progressively” inflicting shari’a law upon regions of American cities. Yet the Left tells us we’re supposed to welcome them, in the name of “diversity.” Note that these selfsame cheerleaders for mass Islamic immigration have no sympathy for Christian refugees from Islamic persecution. I can’t help but wonder why.

     It’s happening throughout the U.S. It’s pervaded my state. The political class and the Legacy Media are blandly dismissive of it all.

     That’s all for the moment. I feel my blood pressure peaking and need to decompress. Perhaps I’ll be back later.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Quickies: An Important Project Has Hit The Anvil

     Co-Conspirator Linda Fox and longtime friend and reader Pascal have suggested a compilation of the “Death Cult” pieces, from here, Eternity Road, and the Palace of Reason into a downloadable pamphlet for the convenience of pro-life activists. It immediately struck me as an immensely worthy undertaking, so I’m heading into it at once. Accordingly, I expect not to post, other than this announcement, until I’ve finished it.

     I intend to put the completed work at Amazon for $0.99. (Amazon balks at making a publication permanently free, so that’s the best I can do.) Stay tuned.

WHY Those Responsible for the Attempted Coup Have to Face Charges

In a court of law. Not just exposed. Brought up on CRIMINAL CHARGES.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Ultimately Taboo Topic

     I’ve written before about taboos, specifically the Left’s tabooing of particular words as “hateful,” “racist,” “sexist,” or what-have-you. The Left’s attempt to exert linguistic control over us is a great part of its overall strategy. It makes it more difficult for conservatives to give the full, horrifying coloration to many of their intentions.

     It’s the intentions that matter. Consider, for example, the steady advance of the Left’s drive to eliminate the right to life.

SCREECHING HALT!

     “What’s that you say, Fran? You can’t be serious about that! Why, no one would dare to…” Yes, Gentle Reader, I am serious. Moreover, at this point that element of the Left’s agenda should be as plain as a fart. If you’ve been reading Liberty’s Torch for any great length of time, you’ll have seen this list at least once:

  • Abortion without restrictions.
  • Assisted suicide.
  • Commonplace ritual mutilations of the human body.
  • Involuntary euthanasia of those deemed untreatable or having "no quality of life."
  • Legal infanticide within the first X days post-birth.
  • Compulsory surrender of the organs of the deceased for transplantation.
  • Environmentalist crusades that prioritize human life below other considerations.
  • Use of “abandoned” embryos for “research.”
  • Creation of zygotes and embryos for non-procreative purposes.
  • Government-enforced "triage" to “conserve medical and financial resources.”
  • Compulsory acceptance of specified therapies.
  • Procreation licenses (alternately, compulsory sterilization of those deemed “unfit”).
  • Government eugenics programs:
    • At first, as subsidies to couples with favored genetic characteristics;
    • Later, as compulsory donations of gametes for use in government-supervised breeding programs.
  • Conscription for military purposes.
  • Conscription for non-military purposes.

     The first five elements on that list are already among us. Yes, including de facto legal infanticide. What else could it mean for Congress to have rejected the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, to secure the lives of babies who have survived an attempt to abort them? As for the rest of the list, several items are approaching at a steady clip.

     But those first five are critical. Politically they’re “the camel’s nose under the tent lip.” They had to come first; the rest are founded on them. The Left is aware of their indispensability.

     So naturally, when some cultural item arises that challenges any of the Fundamental Five, the Left must stamp it out. Certainly no one in a position of authority or influence should be allowed to promote it – or even make reference to it.

     Consider this squib in that light:

    
White House To Screen Gosnell Movie Today And The Media Throws A Fit

     In the midst of the many other relevant issues going on such as the Barr revelations, two movies have been getting attention like never before. The first is the incredibly brave “Unplannned” movie talking about one’s move from pro-abortion to LIFE. The second is the movie about an abortion butcher, Kermit Gosnell, that debuted last fall. The White House will be screening it this afternoon and the media is throwing a tantrum.

     Please read it all, and follow the embedded links.

     Gosnell and Unplanned are the most important polemic films ever made. They make obvious what the Left does not want you to know: that the drive for “abortion rights” is exactly and only an attack on the right to life. It was never anything else.

     Were the Left capable of it, it would prevent those movies from ever being seen by anyone. That the President of the United States is hosting a showing of one horrifies them, as the wails from their media annex demonstrate. What outcry will they mount should he host Unplanned?

     For the Left to succeed in its drive for total power over all things forever, you must be stripped of your right to life. You must be reduced to a tool in the State’s toolbox, to be used and disposed of when no longer useful. A right to life, predicated upon the sanctity of human life, is inconsistent with that.

     Of course they began with defenseless infants. Of course the next step would be almost-as-defenseless elderly people, increasingly looked upon by their progeny as burdens to be sloughed if possible rather than treasured ancestors to be protected and loved. And of course both drives will be swaddled in the Left’s most successful shibboleth: the aura of “compassion.”

     Have you ever heard a Leftist refer to abortion as a “safe medical procedure?” Safe for whom? It sure as hell isn’t safe for the baby. The mother frequently suffers as well. But it’s “compassionate,” you see, because a girl who’s “made a mistake” ought not to be “punished with a baby.” It was the 44th President, Barack Hussein Obama, who said that last. The promoters of euthanasia will call it “compassionate” too; after all, the guest of honor has “no quality of life” and therefore should be relieved of the burden of existence.

     Don’t think so? Have you no familiarity with Peter Singer or Daniel Callahan? Have you never heard of the Groningen Protocol, Jack Kevorkian, or the rash of involuntary euthanasias in Belgium and Holland? Are you unaware of Eric Pianka and his followers?

     The Left could not prevent us from knowing about Kermit Gosnell. It strained but failed to keep us from knowing about Abby Johnson and the Planned Parenthood sales of baby parts. It has protested and obstructed showings of the movies about those things, with tactics ranging from street demonstrations to lawsuits. There’s even been some violence against persons and property.

     The airing of Gosnell in the White House is driving them insane. All their cards are face up. Their camouflage has failed. They can no longer conceal their intentions.

     Draw the moral. And pray.

Tundra tyranny.

Nowadays, making political candidates and dissident voices invisible and depriving people of their livelihoods is job number one for the political elites. James Kirkpatrick turned over that rock last year in his coverage of the mayoral campaign of Faith Goldy in Toronto, Polarbearstan's answer to The Matrix.
Still, RT provided one of the best breakdowns of the deplatforming campaign against Goldy:
In every avenue of her activity, obstacles have been created not just to delegitimize Goldy, but to make her campaign difficult, if not impossible.

Patreon, a major source of income for non-mainstream public actors, shut her out in May, while PayPal closed her account in July. Campaigners have attempted to no-platform her to deny her access to speaking venues, and organizers barred her from mayoral debates, claiming she did not fill out a form, something Goldy, who gatecrashed the debate anyway, denies.

Bell and Rogers, the two large media conglomerates dominating the landscape, have both accepted money to run her adverts, and then refused to run them, defending this as a business decision.[1]

Mr. Kirpatrick found what you usually find under a rock. The leftist PressProject – having no interest in promoting anything like a free press – reached deep into its kit bag of original observations to allow how Russian "propagandists" were hard at work. They were planting the totally false idea that Goldy was being ground into Yukon mine tailings by that faction of Canadian society being charter members of The Vicious Prick School of Democratic Governance.

Kirkpatrick rather aptly notes on the hyped foreign threats in Canada (and America):

Meanwhile, however, the same media outlets that claim to be concerned about foreign interference are openly shilling for mass immigration, even though each foreigner that occupies our territory effectively disenfranchises one American or Canadian citizen.[2]
Strain at a gnat, swallow a camel.

I wonder what happened to Ms. Goldy's white privilege.

Notes
[1] "'Managed Democracy'—Faith Goldy’s Heroic Mayoral Run, The MSM, And Steve King." By James Kirkpatrick, VDARE.com, 10/23/18.
[2] Id.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Day Off

     Apologies, Gentle Reader. I’ve had a very poor night, and many necessities impinge – especially preparing for having my floors refinished, and preparing to pay for having them refinished – so I shan’t be posting today. See you tomorrow.

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Serious And The Unserious Cannot Converse

     You’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself. It’s a requirement for civility in any age. It’s a requirement for survival in an absurd age such as ours.

     How doth our milieu mock thee, base reality? Let me count the ways…naah, strike that. I’m not sure I have enough lifespan left. But there are certainly enough to keep the satire sites and publications fat and happy. Here’s a recent piece from the Babylon Bee:

     GLENDALE, CA—A man was rushed to the hospital yesterday after encountering a slightly different viewpoint than his own Wednesday. Shortly before 12:30 p.m., Glendale PD officers responded to a 911 call at the Java Lounge Coffee House in the 900 block of North Emerson Road. They found a person who had collapsed in shock and went to the station for help. Witnesses say the man was having a casual conversation about politics with another patron when the minutely opposing viewpoint was expressed.

     "They were both Democrats, Bernie supporters," said Janice Hughson, a barista at the Java Lounge. "Then the guy he was talking to said he had some issues with abortion and thinks there should at least be a few limitations put on the practice. That's when the man seized up and began foaming at the mouth. It was terrible."

     Four other bystanders were also emotionally injured by the moderately divergent opinion but were not hospitalized.

     The man is being kept stable on ideology support at St. Francis medical center, surrounded by friends and family who agree with him 100% on every single issue.

     The man who suggested the slightly differing opinion fled the scene. Anyone with information is asked to alert the authorities.

     Funny? Hilarious! But note how infinitesimally it departs from contemporary American reality. It reminds me of college slanging matches between mathematics majors: “Oh yeah? Well, my differential is smaller than your differential!” (Yeah, I know: “What?” Be glad you weren’t there. I was.)

     But here’s the real punchline: There are “Americans” who don’t think the above is funny. Indeed, there are probably some in your neighborhood. I could name a few in mine. (No, I don’t seek them out. I have enough aggravation.)

     Humor, according to Nessus, a Pierson’s Puppeteer, is associated with an interrupted defense mechanism. Nessus was trying to explain to Louis Wu, a somewhat unusual human, and Speaker-To-Animals, a Kzin, why Puppeteers have no sense of humor:

     "We do not joke," said Nessus. "My species has no sense of humor."
     "Strange. I would have thought that humor was an aspect of intelligence."
     "No. Humor is associated with an interrupted defense mechanism."
     "All the same —"
     "Speaker, no sapient being ever interrupts a defense mechanism."

     The Pierson’s Puppeteers are herbivores and natural cowards. Hangs together nicely, doesn’t it?

     I make jokes, puns, obscure ridiculous references and allusions. I always have. But it’s getting harder – not because my penchant for such things is fading, but because far too many people, approaching a majority lately, refuse to get the joke.


     I have a couple of homosexual acquaintances with whom I get along tolerably well. Time was, homosexuals could joke about their own condition. That time has passed. Today, no one is allowed to joke about homosexuality or what it entails. When a colleague told me the following:

Colleague: You know how you can tell if a guy is a homosexual?
FWP: No, how?
Colleague: His dick tastes like shit.

     I laughed – and immediately cautioned him about “audience selection.” In a work environment that sort of jest can get you canned…even blackballed at other potential employers. People simply refuse to accept the notion that something about homosexuality could be the legitimate bait for a joke.

     Here’s another:

FWP: How many lesbians does it take to change a light bulb?
Unwitting victim: I don’t know, how many?
FWP: Two: One to change the bulb, and one to rave about how much better it was than with a man.

     I caught a lot of flak for that one.


     This one is making the rounds:

FWP: Hey, there’s a new complainant in the Gropin’ Joe Biden scandal!
CSO: Who?
FWP: Michelle Obama!
CSO: No, really?
FWP: Yeah! She claims he grabbed her penis!

     Beware, Gentle Reader. Obama worshippers will not allow such blasphemy. They’ll be on you like flies on feces, and there are a lot more of them roaming around loose than you can possibly imagine.

     Humor is close to being disallowed as a form of interpersonal exchange. It’s bad already. It looks to get worse. And that, like dirty public washrooms, bodes ill for our civilization.


     I don’t plan to cease cracking jokes, puns, et cetera, regardless of the reception they get. But I do plan to go more heavily armed from now on. People are being assaulted for innocent japes and jests. Lawsuits are being filed over “offensive jokes.” The old feminist joke:

FWP: How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?
CSO: That’s not funny!

     …is coming ever nearer to being the de facto law of the land.

     Reistance is demanded of us. But do we have it in us?

     I cannot say. All I can do is keep on keepin’ on…and watch for the humor in quotidian existence. Because – drumroll, please – only genuinely serious people make humor. The unserious are too self-absorbed. They look, perhaps, but they do not see. Some of them refuse to see. Either way, they miss the delicious ironies, the multifarious absurdities, surprises, and contradictions that make the human carnival a marvelous, eternally laughable thing to behold.

     The serious and the unserious cannot even converse constructively. Humor? Forget it, Jake; that bus drives past the unserious without even slowing.

     But the serious among us, we who understand the need for humor, will keep on crackin’ ‘em. We must. It’s genetically mandated. And we’ll give as good as we get, if not better, from the unserious who aim to shut us down with their frowns and grim catecheses. But we really must be careful about audience selection. After all, the humor-challenged are people too. Besides, you wouldn’t want a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act aimed at you, would you?

     I must see what I can do to assuage their pain. Perhaps a joke:

Hire The Handicapped!
(They’re Fun To Watch!)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Conversations

     Just a few minutes ago:

CSO: What’s your agenda for the day?
FWP: First, I’m going to assemble a medium-size box and fill it with books I intend to give away. After that, I’ll bring a Totelocker® upstairs and fill it with books I intend to keep. And finally, I shall peruse what remains, select one single, very special book, and read it.

CSO: Wow! What an innovator!
FWP: Better than being an outivator, no?

CSO: Well, you could fool everybody and be an excavator.
FWP: Naah. They don’t make enough money.

CSO: But they get to play with really big toys!
FWP: Come on! Do you really think they drive their bulldozers around the neighborhood for fun? Picking up garbage cans and tossing them across the street? Digging up mailboxes and leaving them on front porches? That sort of thing is considered dirty pool most places. Remember, most of their neighbors don’t have bulldozers of their own!
CSO: (Unintelligible)

Mining Twitter for Stupid Leftist Comments

The Left has, largely, abandoned Blogs. Those that continue are what you might call Institutional Blogs - those controlled by organizations/Old Media.

Where the Left lives is in the limited-text, largely graphic/meme New Media - Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. Where some of need to spend time is on those sites, both looking for Stupid Leftist Comments/Statements to analyze (Boy! There's a LOT!), but also to use to grow our audience, through SHORT statements/memes summarizing our thoughts, with links for those ready to tackle the larger argument.

Also, pictures, video, and some audio. That, I think, is the way to hook our new audience.

Any ideas or rebuttals?

Thursday Tergiversations

     There are far too many things going on for me to write an essay about any one of them. It would leave me feeling guilty that I’d shortchanged the others. So instead I’ll do a frivolous piece that shortchanges all of them.


1. Targets.

     In hewing to Alinsky’s dictum that it should personalize its targets, the Left operates according to certain criteria, of which the following are the most imperative:

  1. The target should be white – i.e., of Euro-Caucasian ancestry.
  2. He must, of course, have done something to disserve the Left.
  3. He should display a certain hesitancy about expressing his convictions.
  4. He should lack a platform from which to speak on his own behalf.
  5. He should be reliably disinclined to fight back.

     Candace Owens’ recent appearance before a Congressional committee supposedly convened to discuss “white nationalism” made it plain that the Left cannot afford to target her. Not only is she black and forthright, she’s the communications director of Turning Point USA and she fights back fearlessly. Newly confirmed Attorney-General William Barr, on the other hand, fits all the criteria:

     The stammering is a dead giveaway that Barr was massively reluctant to express his belief that the Obama Administration, or parts of it, did spy on the Trump for President campaign. And the Left’s mouthpieces were immediately all over him like a cheap suit.

     I hope the Attorney-General is braced for the torrent of vilification and slander guaranteed to follow.


2. The Witch Hunt Continues.

     The Dishonorable Jerrold Nadler (D, NY) is determined to spread as much manure over President Trump as he can. His charge that Trump has indulged in “betrayals of the public interest” got a lot of press attention when he first leveled it. Has he produced even a single specific allegation to that effect? No. He has no evidence for it…but that’s never stopped a Twenty-First Century Democrat.

     The Supremely Dishonorable Maxine Waters (D, CA) has apparently taken a “time out” from haranguing her colleagues about the importance of impeaching the president. Instead she’s pursuing members of his Administration…but as usual for Mad Maxine, she can’t keep her ducks in a row:

     Mnuchin made it plain how little he thinks of her – and it’s about time.

     Democrats mistreating Republican Cabinet Secretaries has a long and detailed history. Remember this incident, from when the late William E. Simon was Gerald Ford’s Energy Secretary?

     While we were in conference, I got a message that Representative Al Ullman, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, wanted me. At the end of the conference I rushed out to my car, from which I intended to phone him. Actually I rushed backward, since I was talking to two lieutenant-governors who were talking to me. As I backed into my compact car—I had already “grounded” all government limousines—I cracked my head, splitting the back of my scalp wide open. Blood started to pour from my head. I held a handkerchief to it and phones Al Ullman. He said “We want you up here immediately to answer the Shah’s charges.” I replied, “I’ve just split my head open. I’ll have to see a nurse first.” I visited the Treasury nurse, who told me that my scalp required half a dozen stitches. I relayed that information to Congressman Ullman, and that kindly fellow said “Absolutely not. Get down here right away. We’ll keep you only half an hour.” In fact I was there for about five hours, bleeding incessantly, in considerable pain and facing Congressmen who were screaming and yelling. [From A Time for Truth]

     That was forty-two years ago. What’s changed since then?


3. The Old Guard Is Getting Tired.

     Mike Hendrix – and Gentle Reader, he goes back to blogging’s Big Bang – has some thoughts for us:

     As I’ve said before: over lo, these many years I’ve occasionally mulled over packing this blog up myself, and come damned close to doing it too, more than just once. Doing this stuff is work, and it’s time- and energy-intensive, and I find myself with precious little of both these days. But then along would come an email, from a soldier or sailor or Marine or flyboy slogging along out there at the pointy end of the spear, telling me how awfully much the blog means to them. Whereupon I sit right back down and get back to it.

     Is there a point to doing this, anything to be accomplished? Probably not, honestly. After years of sincerely and respectfully debating with the libs who wandered in once in a while, it finally dawned on me that I was never going to persuade them about anything. The divide is fundamental, deep, and unbridgeable; debate is bootless now. As I’ve so often said: either you favor a limited central government as the Founders intended and their Constitution demands, or you favor a meddlesome, almighty federal Superstate with no meaningful restrictions on what it may choose to either mandate or forbid. There is no middle ground left. After decades of steady Leftist encroachment and subversion, all that remains now is the desperate struggle for victory…or defeat.

     It has become plain that the top and middle tiers of the Left’s pyramid:

The Top: Ideologists and Strategists
The Middle: Organizers and interest-group administrators
The Bottom: Low-level allegiants who mainly provide money and votes.

     …are unreachable for religious reasons. (The top men worship only power; the organizers and interest-group barons have made their politics the justification for their sense of moral superiority.) The bottom tier is theoretically persusasible, but in practice this is usually cost-prohibitive, owing to their fear of condemnation, ostracism, and worse by other Leftists.

     So why continue to talk at them, especially as they reply with slanders and insults far more often than not?

     Good question. I lack a convincing answer. But the Dextrosphere still has a part to play in keeping up the Right’s morale and helping conservatively-inclined Americans to stay abreast of developments.

     All the same, as Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde have told us, all good things must end someday:

     Stay tuned.