Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Quickies: An Important Distinction

     There are many causes out there, as many as there are persons promoting them. No two promoters are exactly alike...with the result that no two causes are exactly alike, even if they bear the same names, the same physical trappings, and appear to allege and promote the same things.

     The promoter cannot help but alter the cause he promotes. It’s inherent in the possession of personal preferences and priorities.

     The consequence of this recognition is that drawing the distinction between the promoter and the cause has become supremely important. The promoter could be an outright villain, guilty of a thousand abominations and in the process of planning and executing a thousand more; yet his cause could still be logically and morally sound. Conversely, the promoter could be an angel made flesh, a composite of all the best qualities of Thomas Jefferson, Florence Nightingale, and Albert Einstein; yet his cause could be utterly, morally vile, perhaps because it had seduced him with false assertions or a chain of pseudo-logic his intellect was inadequate to refute.

     The cause is what demands our strict attention. The identification and prosecution of villains, and the discovery and exaltation of heroes, are matters for another board of review.

     This exhortation might sound like “previous work” to an intelligent person on the Right. Yet in practice it’s ignored, if not consciously violated, many times every day. The reason is simple; it’s the same as the reason the promoter inevitably alters the cause. We all have our individual preferences and priorities, and for some of us the highest priority is to be seen among the “right” associates.

     Note how frequently the Left exploits the seducibility of entertainment celebrities, knowing that the Bellwether Effect will draw unreflective others, eager to “associate” with such glamorous figures, into their train. Note also how often we of the Right celebrate the discovery that this or that celebrity espouses conservative or libertarian views. Even those of us who know that the cause and the promoter must be kept distinct are susceptible to the power of the Bellwether Effect.

     Yet ultimately, the cause – the set of ideas promoted and the evidence and reasoning used to promote them – is all that matters. Causes almost always outlive their originators, even if they’re never adopted by any great number of people at one time.

     Please, please: If you attach yourself to a cause – a conception of rights, a campaign for some legislative outcome, or a political alignment, or anything similar – make certain you’re doing it for the cause itself as you understand it, and not to “be seen with” others whose names have been associated with it.

     Then you should make certain that you really understand and can articulate the premises and implications of your cause...because you, its promoter, will change it as surely as the Sun will rise tomorrow.

Why lies are essential to leftists.

History and biology have not been kind to the left. It’s no accident, as Marxists used to say, that the nomenklatura is so fixated on language, and so ready to persecute violators of its shibboleths. Its grip on power and its programs depend on obfuscation. Leftists have become expert weavers of the emperor’s new clothes.[1]
If you want a taste of the leftist imperative, just find the video of Chris Matthews asking Debbie Whatsername-Shoots about the difference between Democrats and socialists. The lady was about to have a heart attack at this ambush and slithered away to the best of her ability until she had reframed the question as, "What's the difference between a Democrat and a Republican." Yup. That was the question that was asked alright.

It was a sight to behold. A lot like watching Whoopi Goldberg suck her big toe after Thanksgiving dinner.

How do they do that?

[1] "The Rectification of Names: Confucius Takes on Political Correctness." By Jeff Lipkes, American Thinker, 9/28/15.

Magnificent speech: the God's honest truth about the GOP.

Sen. Cruz has delivered a magnificent speech and I recommend it highly to all. It is, however, very long and I hesitate to inflict such a lengthy post on Fran.

Please go to my site where I've posted the whole speech.

I wish he had addressed mass illegal immigration as well, which is a curious omission in view of how it is obviously a huge issue in the minds of the public. I am, nonetheless, amazed by this excellent speech which will endear Cruz to no GOP "leader" with (1) a free parking spot on Capitol Hill and (2) a Cadillac health care plan exempt from the requirements of Obamacare.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Quickies: A Study In Victim-Blaming

     Our beloved InstaPundit directs our attention to a whiny piece that oscillates between clueless and demanding:

     Using his background in economics and statistics, [writer Jon] Birger sought out an answer. The result is his new book, Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game, a clever read with a sobering conclusion: There simply aren't enough college-educated men to go around. For every four college-educated women in my generation, there are three college-educated men.

     Not news. And so?

     So, where are all the men?
     I mean they exist, they're just not going to college. This isn't China or India where they have a man-made gender imbalance because of all sorts of horrendous things. [Men are] out there, they're just not going to college. Last year about 35 percent more women than men graduated from college.

     Still not news. Does the writer have any causal theories for us to contemplate?

     Why are more women graduating from college than men?
     Obviously, if we'd had this conversation 40 years ago, this conversation would have looked different. There would have been a lot more [college-educated] men than women. Once upon a time, colleges were discriminating blatantly against female applicants, thinking they only went to college to get their Mrs. degrees. High schools did a particularly wretched job when it came to teaching girls in math and sciences. So there are a whole host of reasons why girls underperformed in high school and were discriminated against when it came to college applications, but Title IX leveled the playing field.

     Read the rest at the link if you like. To sum up, Birger completely misses the number-one reason men aren’t graduating college at the same rate as women: Contemporary colleges discriminate against men at every step, from application to matriculation.

     Young men have become aware, both through direct experience and through the many horror stories in the media, that today’s colleges are actively hostile to young men. Colleges accept fewer male than female applicants. Feminism, sometimes of the most radically misandrist sort, rules the campus inside and outside the classroom. Young women have been taught to view their male classmates as predators. Male enrollees often find the campus environment so hostile to them that they drop out before commencement, regardless of their academic standing or prior ambitions.

     Yet the very same people and institutions trumpeting a wholly false and thoroughly debunked assertion that “one in five college women are raped” would like to know why there’s a “shortage” of eligible, college-educated young bachelors. It is to laugh...hollowly, and with many a tear.

Day Of The Archangels: An Impulsive Gift

     On September 29 each year the Church celebrates God’s Archangels with a special day of their own. As it happens, the Bible refers to only three by name:

  • Michael, the Angel of Protection and Courage;
  • Gabriel, the Herald of God;
  • Raphael, the Healer.

     ...though if the Book of Revelation is taken as accurate, there are at least seven. One of whom the Apocrypha speak, albeit ambiguously, is the Archangel Uriel, sometimes called the Dark Angel or Doorwarden.

     Uriel’s function as Doorwarden is entirely a matter of speculation, but the preponderance of those speculations is to the effect that Uriel is the angel who helps the soul of the newly deceased to escape his fleshly envelope and find his way to the afterlife. In other words, he “opens the door” from our temporal realm to the eternal one, where the soul finds eternal bliss or eternal remorse.

     I was so charmed by this conception of an angel whose special office is to act as conductor between the realms that I fashioned a story around it...a story in which a man of science, freshly bereaved of his family and frightened by his own imminent death, decides to see just what he can do about it...

Terminal Guidance

     Darius Culloden almost fell asleep and missed the capture. His apparatus did not.
     Culloden had picked one of the four derelicts in the storeroom as likeliest to expire that day. The old man's skin was chalk white. His beard was caked with mucus. His shallow, raucous breathing presaged pulmonary failure, barely fogging the chill air. His slumped position, head canted against the grimy wall tiles, suggested that there was no fight left in him. Culloden had positioned the detector coils and meson generators accordingly, and had retreated to the hall outside before any of the winos alerted to his presence.
     Culloden struggled to stay awake in the gloom of the maintenance tunnel. He could risk no light by which to read. He dared not make any unnecessary sound. The tumor in his gut stabbed at him sporadically, and his body, all its other defenses exhausted, yearned for the shelter of sleep. He muttered fragments of poetry under his breath, recited mathematical derivations in his head, and grieved over his dead wife and daughter. By three AM it had all failed, and his pain-wracked body slouched toward slumber.
     Culloden had surrendered to exhaustion when the dying bum emitted a bubbling gasp, the field coils hummed and the meson generators surged to life.
     He pushed back the curtain of darkness with groggy determination and raised himself erect. The humming from the storeroom rose as he shouldered open the dented steel door.
     The wino was breathing what would have been his last, save for Culloden's trap. Tracer beams illuminated a cube eighteen inches on a side over the derelict's face. Had it been a solid object, the old bum would have been kissing it.
     Within the cube surged a power source of enormous size. The field coils hummed and glowed in time to its efforts to free itself, but the meson flux held it tight.
     Torn between supreme exaltation and borderless fear, Culloden fetched his containment and inched toward the trap. Heedless of the grunts and stares of the other three derelicts, he knelt, slid the technetium box delicately around the trap zone, swung the lid over the open face and snapped its clasps shut. The wino did not stir. The humming sank to a subsonic bass, then dwindled to nothing.
     He held his breath.
     The box was solid and steady in his hands. It emitted nothing his senses or instruments could detect.
     Pain shrieked from Culloden's abdomen. Fear howled at the center of his brain. Adrenaline sang in his veins. He strode out into the tunnel, and raced out of the Penn Station sub-basement, toward the world of living men.


     By the time Culloden reached his lab and locked its door behind him, all his fatigue had fled. His body was indifferent to pain, alive with imminence. He stood at the threshold of a greatness no man had ever approached.
     The technetium box remained static and silent. The thing trapped within gave no indication of its presence. If it struggled to escape, there was no sign.
     He stepped carefully over the bundles of cables that crisscrossed the floor and mounted the box in the sensor cradle at the center of the web. As the box's walls slid against the cradle's slip-contacts, the instruments that lined the lab began to show readings. Within seconds, all the screens were active. Culloden stepped back cautiously, eyes fixed on the box, and slumped into the high-backed chair at his battered sheet-steel desk.
     Fatigue surged back. Dizziness tipped him forward, tilted his head toward his chest. His eyes slid closed.
     The godlike basso profundo blasted him a million miles from sleep. He shot forward as if catapulted from his chair. No one else was present. The lab door was still closed, still locked.
     The voice had seemed to come from all around him.
     The technetium box was where he'd left it. The many displays around the room were as they had been.
     "Is it you?"
     It was evident that the entity in the box preferred the former choice.
     "How is it that you can speak to me?"
     Culloden's head swiveled about the room again, examining each of his instruments in turn. All continued to function.

     Culloden's muscles had turned to water. He could not bring himself to move even enough to return to his chair.
     "There was... more."
     A bellows-like sigh ghosted through the room.
     Culloden's resolve returned in a flood.
     "You will not be returning to those duties, Uriel."
     The last syllable, though no louder than what came before, seemed to shake the walls with its gravity.
     "It is my mission." The researcher marshaled his will. "I am alone in the world. All that I loved, you have taken away. Parents, friends, colleagues, even my wife and child. Soon, myself... unless I take your scythe from you. From this day forward, for as long as that box will hold you, no one shall die."
     The silence became immeasurably deep. Culloden had wondered how the angel would respond. Surely an immortal would not passively accept imprisonment by a lesser creature.
     Culloden smiled.
     "Not so, Uriel. What of the amoeba? What of the bacteria and viruses? What of the carp? If these can pass down the eons, why not Man?"
     Footsteps sounded in the hallway outside. Culloden's guts leaped at the thought that Uriel's booming voice might reach into the adjacent labs. Then he thought about being found talking to himself in an empty room, and could not decide which would be worse. His reputation had already deteriorated because of his obsession with religion and myth. He stepped closer to the box.
     "Uriel," he murmured, "I cannot risk having others discover your presence here. Please lower your voice so that only I can hear it, or I shall sever the connections that permit you to speak."
     There was a brief silence.
     "Agreed." It was a barely audible murmur, as if the word had been impressed on the wind. Culloden slumped back into his chair. One hand rose to rub at his chest.
     Was it possible for an angel to lie? Could the Dark Angel, the Doorwarden between the worlds, be telling him the literal truth?
     If so, his family had perished for no reason at all. Unthinkable.
     "Until I have proof, I prefer to believe otherwise. If I'm right, I save uncounted lives with each hour I confine you. If I'm wrong, I do no harm."
     "No harm, you say?" Though the voice remained whisper-quiet, its words rode an undertone of scorn. "Do you think a multitude of souls expelled from their mortal bodies but tethered to this world, unable to affect their surroundings or reach their destinies, constitutes no harm?"
     "Unable to reach... what?"
     "Their destinies, Doctor. Their final rewards for the lives they've lived and the deaths they've died. It is by my hand that a soul slips the bonds of time and passes into eternity. I am the Doorwarden. I do not kill. I liberate.
     "As we speak, souls accumulate about the globe in unprecedented numbers. They are confused, distressed, uncertain of their fates. They await a guide to the next plane, the guide you have taken prisoner.
     "Imagine your wife and child, set free of their bodies, confronting their remains. Imagine their bewilderment at not being able to communicate with you, not knowing what has happened or why you don't respond. Imagine the frenzy that would build in them, were that condition of silent impotence to be prolonged. Now multiply it a millionfold for each day you chain me here. The consequences will not be long in coming."
     Culloden's tumor, quiet since his flight from the Penn Station storeroom, awoke and racked him with pain. He winced, clenched his teeth, and waited for the attack to subside.
     "What consequences?"
     "The souls of the dead cannot act upon the material world, but if they remain upon this plane, they can be sensed by the souls of the living. The sensation is not pleasant. Weaker minds are unhinged by it. In time, the accumulation of unguided spirits will cause eruptions of mass psychosis. They will be worst in those parts of the world where mental discipline is least practiced. The Middle East might well devour itself whole."
     Culloden's brain reeled in the silence. He imagined a thousand pairs of ghostly eyes, Sophia's and Bridget's among them, weighing him, questioning his judgment, and pondering the punishment for his arrogance.
     "I cannot... It's unthinkable, Uriel. You must take me for a mortal fool. No such thing would occur. God would intervene at once."
     "He would not. He has not, has he? After the Deluge, the Almighty renounced the police power over your world. Until my brother Gabriel sounds the last trump, it will be what you make of it, nothing more."
     Despite his agony, Culloden smiled. "But all of this requires the assumption that you do only what you say, that you don't take lives. Without that premise, your argument fails."
     "Are you a scientist in name only, Dr. Culloden, or in fact?"
     The researcher stiffened. "What do you think, my unwilling guest?"
     "I think you have evaded the question."
     "I am a scientist." He hurled the words at the Dark Angel, a return of service of the glove Uriel had hurled into his face.
     "What is the first rule of science?"
     "Prediction is knowledge."
     "How many counterexamples are required to disprove a theory?"
     Culloden could see the end of the syllogism. "One."
     "Then let us return whence you found me."


     The nether dankness of the Penn Station sublevel was more oppressive than before. Rivulets of moisture dripped from the overhanging pipes and ran down the mottled cinderblock walls. Each step scuffed a cloud of gritty dust from the concrete floor. Now and then Culloden glimpsed motion in the crannies along the walls and ceilings, where webs of pipe or electrical conduits had allowed vermin to nest.
     The researcher clutched his prize and pressed on, oblivious to pain and fatigue. Uriel had been still since they left the lab.
     Down the long main corridor, through a near-invisible side vent and down a narrow, steeply sloped passageway devoid of light, were the oldest of the terminal's storerooms. Shorn of their original purpose for a century, they stood unlocked, unlit, and unused, except by the bottommost bottom dwellers of the city. Culloden fumbled out his torch, lit it, and pressed cautiously against the battered door where he'd kept vigil. It swung open at his touch.
     Four bodies lay sprawled amid the trash. Two were visibly moving, chests rising and falling in the wheezing labor of pneumonia. The third was less obviously alive. It did not seem to move, and made no sound. The fourth, over which he'd poised his trap, lay absolutely still, exactly as he'd remembered him. As he'd left him.
     Culloden set the box down next to the motionless derelict. He pulled headphones from his coat pocket, slipped them on, and taped their jack against a contact on the technetium box.
     "We're here, Uriel," he whispered.
     "Indeed." Through the headphones, the angel's voice thundered like an enveloping storm. "How would you describe the man I was attending when you captured me?"
     Culloden squatted, muscles clenched against the protests from his abdomen, and laid his fingers against the pulse point in the derelict's neck. There was no vibration, and no warmth. He put his palm against the bum's grimy mouth and nose. No breath.
     "He's dead."
     "Now, you might argue to yourself that I had finished with him before your trap closed upon me. But what of the others?"
     Culloden went to the other unmoving derelict. He performed the same checks as before. There were no signs of life.
     "This one's dead too. But he could have --"
     "He did not."
     "How can you expect me to take your word?" A spasm from his tumor lanced through his body. "If I release you in error, I've unleashed death on the world, only hours after chaining it!"
     There was a long silence from the box. Yet Culloden sensed a gathering of energies within it, as though a mighty engine were being prepared for an unknown purpose.
     "You need not take my word, Dr. Culloden. Look yonder, to your left."
     One of the two remaining derelicts had gone into crisis. His back arched against the floor. His hands flailed the darkness, fingers twitching galvanically. He grunted a series of weak protests against... what? The intrusion upon his privacy? The quality of his accommodations? The unfairness of it all?
     Culloden crept silently toward him.
     The bum's back flattened against the dirty concrete. His gruntings and twitchings grew slower and weaker. Presently that stopped as well. The silence was restored.
     Straining against a reluctance that dwarfed any emotion he had ever known, Culloden laid two fingers against the pulse point in the old wino's neck. Nothing.
     "Are you satisfied, Dr. Culloden?"
     Culloden started to reply, stopped. He rose shakily from his squat over the dead derelict, closed his eyes, and surrendered to tears. It was the first time he'd wept since the accident in which his family died.
     "It was all for nothing."
     "Was it, Doctor? You have gained knowledge of a thing which has been a mystery throughout all the ages of man. You have pierced the veil that shrouds the lands beyond time. No one has ever thought to investigate the phenomenon of death as you have done. Likely, no one will ever do so again.
     "And there is this as well. Listen."
     "To what, Uriel?"
     "Just listen."
     At the fringes of his consciousness, Culloden detected a faint, non-auditory buzz. Despite its insubstantiality it was decidedly unpleasant. He strained toward it in a manner he could not define. His five conventional senses collapsed to shadows.
     The buzz crescendoed from a faint, sinister scraping against the surface of his mind to an insistent, terror-filled cadence that converged upon him from a thousand points of pulsing not-light and not-sound. A battalion of triphammers might have made such a clamor, if triphammers could feel ultimate loss and fear.
     Culloden reeled back, desperate to put space between his ego and whatever keened at it so piercingly. But the yammering things were faster than he. They beat at the defenses around his consciousness, screaming for mercy and vengeance as one, growing louder all the while. The torch fell from his nerveless hand.
     "Stop it... Uriel, stop it, please!"
     "You must open the box."
     The researcher dove for the angel trap and groped for the catches. He ripped back the lid and frantically thrust himself away, toppling backward, smashing his head and elbows against the concrete. His brain floated in an ocean of pain.
     Something uncoiled from the box. It expanded through measureless dimensions to enclose the mass of shrieking ghosts that had assailed Culloden. The clamor subsided at once. Silence returned.
     A tide of acceptance swept through Culloden. It relaxed his entire body, washed away his pain and fear. Though he lay amid the greasy detritus of a century, with three dead bodies nearby, he felt only peace. He closed his eyes.
     When he opened them again, he beheld a glowing naked figure, a young man of extraordinary beauty. Though his flesh shone white, radiant as the sun, his eyes and hair were of the darkest jet. He smiled and spread his arms in welcome.
     "Now, do you see?"
     Culloden rose to his feet with unaccustomed fluidity. The torment from his gut had disappeared. There was no pain from his fall. Even the long-endured stiffness in his hips and knees was absent.
     The youth nodded.
     "Be at peace, Dr. Culloden. You chose well."
     "But how is it that I can see you?"
     The angel indicated the floor behind Culloden with a gentle wave of the hand. Culloden turned.
     He lay supine in the filth, arms splayed wide, eyes closed and features at rest. No movement. The technetium box sat open and empty beside his corpse.
     Of course.
     "Will I lie here for long?"
     Uriel chuckled. "Your flesh, perhaps. The rest will soon embark on a remarkable journey. More remarkable than even the man who conceived of how to capture an angel can imagine."
     "If I had died before releasing you --"
     "But you did not."
     "Then --"
     "Come. The Father awaits."
     The Doorwarden stepped forward to embrace the soul of Darius Culloden. As Uriel's arms closed about him, he unlinked from the reality he had known. The grimy storeroom, the labyrinth beneath the city, and the world of men were swept to an infinite remove. Around them shone a golden light that knew no sun.
     "Will I... are Sophia and Bridget...?"
     "Yes. Be at peace."
     "And your other duties? The ones I... interrupted?"
     "The work of a moment."
     "Uriel..." Culloden faltered, "will there be work for me?"
     Culloden felt the angel's smile as a wave of serene joy, the embrace of a purpose that could consume even an eternal life.
     "You may rest assured of it, Dr. Culloden. God wastes not."


     [Sadly, I must add that the above story, which first appeared in a collection titled Colored Shadows, Unsetting Suns that’s no longer available for sale, was plagiarized word for word and quite shamelessly by this anonymous clown. There’s little to be done about it, of course, but one would think that a “writer” with even a shred of pride would never stoop to claiming another’s work as his own.]

Impedimenta Intellectua

1. Fear Of Work

     “Man is a working animal. He likes to work.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Beyond This Horizon

     Well, most of us do, anyway. But there are exceptions. And it isn’t always about laziness.

     Last night on Fox News’s Special Report, Bret Baier interviewed likely Speaker-of-the-House-to-be Kevin McCarthy (R, CA). It was the sort of interview guaranteed to fill time while telling the viewer exactly nothing. McCarthy answered Baier’s questions, the great majority of which addressed specific subjects and deserved specific answers, with one windy platitude after another. The performance was so blatantly an act of political hairdressing that even the panel discussion noted how evasive McCarthy had been, albeit gently, to spare Baier’s feelings.

     Baier has demonstrated his willingness to cut off Barack Hussein Obama when he initiates a session of his trademarked “run out the clock” gasbaggery. Yet he refrained from showing the same dutiful aggressiveness toward a Republican. Why?

     My theory is that Fox News really has got a sotto voce deal with the GOP, which guarantees Fox agents “access” to Republican officeholders in exchange for Fox’s guarantee that they won’t be embarrassed. Baier risks his reputation for being a penetrating interviewer by cleaving to such a deal if it exists. He risks Fox’s audience loyalty if it doesn’t.

2. Laziness.

     And sometimes it is about laziness. Have a few words on the subject from Ace:

     [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell could have both broken the filibuster and then campaigned hard against the Democrats for blocking payments to our troops -- if he'd been willing to sacrifice some weekend Me-Time.
     Instead, McConnell did what Democrats expected him to do. He griped about it, moved on, and looked to a continuing resolution. He extracted no price at all from Reid and his caucus for shutting down the budget process. There was no pain or penalty for Democrats for killing the appropriations process. That, after all, would have required working weekends.

     The truth is that the budget process, in the absence of earmarks, is extremely inconvenient for members. Republican leadership was not serious about restoring it -- requiring them to rake members over coals for weeks on end and degrade the quality of life of being in the Senate. McConnell would be viewed as a giant a-hole, sure --– but this is what it takes. Eventually, Democrats would have broken, and the appropriations process would have proceeded. So today, instead of looking at a looming shutdown, it would be at most a couple of departments at risk of losing funding.

     Senate Republican leaders have allowed the obstruction of the budget process (Congress's core reason for, you know, existing). They chose personal convenience over the hard work of breaking the Democrats. And they conceded themselves to the view that President Obama has the power of the purse, and Republicans should be satisfied running against his abuse of it.

     Had he done that, the most critical parts of government would have been funded, so a shutdown would tend to shutdown the parts of the government that primarily service liberals -- not as dangerous a thing for the GOP.

     Which is why the Democrats didn't want the troops funded -- they want to keep doing this by CR, because they know the cowardly, lazy McConnell won't tangle with them when it comes to the power of the purse.

     McConnell might prefer that situation himself -- as it gives this well-compensated layabout a constant excuse as to why he should not work a bit harder.

     The usual excuses will, of course, be proffered. There are always passable excuses for not prodding a sleeping dog. But note that Harry Reid has stood ever ready to do so, and from a minority position, at that.

3. Establishmentarians Gonna Establish

     Colonel Lawrence Sellin makes a point I’ve hammered long and hard:

     The main objective of the political-media establishment and, in particular, Barack Obama is to prevent any post-election investigation of the rampant corruption in Washington DC.

     Both the Democrats and the Republicans want to maintain their standing as permanent political elites, whereby they may continue to treat ordinary Americans as indentured servants and broker the tax revenues for the benefit of themselves and their wealthy donors.

     This, of course, requires bipartisan action. On the Left:

     It is clear that the Obamas and Valerie "Rasputin" Jarrett hate the Clintons and do not want to risk "payback time" from a vindictive and ruthless President Hillary.

     The Obama strategy is stretch out the homebrew server scandal to undermine Hillary's campaign through a death by a thousand cuts. It has to be delicate surgery, something short of indictment and trial, which would likely implicate him, and something that would prevent retaliation from the Clinton camp, perhaps leaks of the Muslim or birther variety that we witnessed from them during the 2008 primary season.

     And on the Right:

     Equally eager to avoid any corruption investigations, the Republican establishment has selected Jeb Bush, the candidate most likely to continue business as usual and not raise any embarrassing questions.

     Jeb's poll numbers are so anemic, however, an anticipated maximum of 15-20%, that the Republican establishment had to devise a plan that would keep Jeb afloat and gain enough primary victories in the key states to ensure his nomination. By splitting the vote amongst a number of other establishment candidates, the "Jebettes," enough votes would be drawn away from any significant challenger. Ballooning the field with a large number of candidates has been a deliberate strategy, whereby Jeb could win, not by gaining support, but by fracturing his opponents' support. The original cast of "Jebettes" was Graham (South Carolina), Kasich (Ohio), Perry (Texas) and Rubio (Florida) with further insurance policies in Virginia (Gilmore) and New York (Pataki).

     Unfortunately for the Republican establishment, Donald Trump transformed their grand strategy into a bridge to nowhere. And that is why they are so aggressively trying to get him out of the race, lately by leveraging the fluctuating popularity of Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina as a counterforce to Trump.

     Nicely and concisely put.

     “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power....Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.” – George Orwell, 1984

4. Popeulum.

     Mark Steyn is unsparing of Pope Francis’s vague and pointless blather:

     His speeches were fatuous and evasive pabulum, and already forgotten. I am not a Catholic but I understand that, unlike the position of Archbishop of Canterbury, where total contempt from the congregants more or less comes with the job, the Bishop of Rome is generally held in some respect by his church. So last week, out of deference to Catholic readers' sensibilities, I confined myself to an aside:
     Best to talk about the dangers of "climate change", as the Pope is doing this week, even as in the heart of Christendom the post-Christian future is showing up at the express check-in.

     As the years go by, I like to write about what matters. And in this last seven days, the Mohammed cartoons and the "refugee" tide now engulfing Europe both matter more than "POPE CAME TO THE USA". His Holiness in fact has chosen not to matter, even as European politicians take decisions that will guarantee "Christendom" will be non-Christian. There is something shallow and decadent about a pontiff who prioritizes "climate change" even as every last Christian is driven from the Archeparchy of Mosul. What will they say of such a pope? That he fiddled with the thermostat while Rome burned?

     Where are the Catholic commentators who have dared to say anything as incisive? Do they fear that questioning whether the Holy Father should blather about “climate change” when all of Europe is being Islamicized would entail excommunication?

5. Matters Fictional.

     Yes, Statesman continues to fight me. I’m beginning to think I shouldn’t have committed to it in the first place. Never fear; I will finish it, though there might be a delay. But I can’t help but wonder whether it will please the readers who’ve awaited it for so long.

     I could use a few prayers, if you have any bandwidth to spare.

Good questions for the candidates.

Read the questions here: "The Obnoxious and Important Questions I Would Ask At The GOP Debate." By Kurt Schlichter,, 9/14/15.

Which list raises the question, "Why will someone like this with hard questions never EVER get within a mile of a microphone at a presidential candidate "debate" or an actual president at a news conference?

Our actual and possible leaders are insulated from questions from actual citizens by a phalanx of hoplite infantry (whose services are not needed on any Greek frontier at this juncture).

How can this be healthy for the republic and aren't we seeing in this very sad fact all the proof we need that America is anything but a constitutional republic?

We have lost control of our government.

Politicians are not accountable to voters in the electoral process, they are safe from annoying citizens with hard questions, they are served by a press corps who would rather have sex-change surgery than ask a question about a serious issue (or report the truth), and they can finesse any inquiry from any citizen phoning or writing to ask specific questions. "Dear Valued Constituent: Thank you for your thoughtful letter. You and many others have asked similar questions that I have taken the liberty of answering in this letter . . . ."

H/t: Linda Fox.

P.J. O'Rourke – cuckservative.

I happen to be a pro-immigrant person. As I said in my piece, [Ann Coulter's] from Connecticut, and she’s very upset about immigrants. I’m willing to lend a sympathetic ear to people from Connecticut when it comes to immigrants — if they happen to own a tribal casino! My feeling is, unless you’re Native American, you should just shut up about this. ‘Cause you ain’t from here.
~ P.J. O'Rourke quoted in "P. J. O’Rourke’s Hit Piece On Ann Coulter–A Combination Of Jealousy And Ellis Island Fever." By James Fulford,, 9/28/15.

I used to like this putz.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Pope’s Persian Conversion

Popemania – the new Beetlemania.  The new cable news network mantra, “All Pope, all the time.”  Why the mainstream media’s interest in this Pope?  My hunch, they think he can be turned -- they think deep-down he’s a leftist too.
I was raised a Roman Catholic, but after reading the Bible in 1993 became a non-denominational, Bible-believing, born-again, washed in the blood, follower of Jesus Christ.  Louie Giglio, an Atlanta pastor and founder of the Passion movement, made the point one Sunday that “non-denominational” is not the best term since one would not want to be defined by what they don’t believe in.  I get that.  Consider the saying, “American by birth, Texan by the grace of God.”  In the spiritual realm, my case would be, “Roman Catholic by birth, Christ follower by the grace of God.”  

In the military, the two main services were either Catholic or General Protestant.  Although I would identify as “protestant” (after 1993) in keeping with Louie’s logic, I was not protesting anything.  My allegiance is not to a particular church or denomination – it is to the God of the Bible.

So, is the Pope Catholic?  Do bears defecate in the woods?  The answer used to be obvious.  In a opinion piece published December 04, 2013, editor Adam Shaw (a Catholic) said, “Pope Francis is undergoing a popularity surge comparable to the way Barack Obama was greeted by the world in 2008. And just as President Obama has been a disappointment for America, Pope Francis will prove a disaster for the Catholic Church.”  He’s obviously right about the former but what about the latter?

Shaw continued, “Just like President Obama loved apologizing for America, Pope Francis likes to apologize for the Catholic Church, thinking that the Church is at its best when it is passive and not offending anyone’s sensibilities.”  How’s that “apology approach” to foreign policy working out for America and the world?  Shaw then describes the results for the Catholic Church: 

  ”For all we’re being told about how ‘disenfranchised’ Catholics are being brought back by Francis ‘reaching out,’ a recent Pew Research study showed that in America, the number of people who identify as Catholic has actually decreased.  Lesson: rubbing the egos of Church-hating left-wingers doesn’t make more Catholics; it just makes the Church less respected.”  

Take a lesson America.  Jesus knew the world would hate Him and made no bones about it, explaining, If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.   If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”   So how is it that this Pope trumps this teaching of Jesus? 

Another indicator beyond the press drooling over the Pope that should alert one’s spidey-senses – nary a peep out of the “freedom from religion crowd.”   There’s the Pope flying around in Marine One, the President’s personal helicopter, again, silence.  It is common knowledge that that aircraft is supposed to be reserved for flying the Obama’s on vacations – not a supposedly anti-gay marriage, pro-life, male-only priesthood promoting pontiff.   The leftists’ lack of outrage at this cooperation between Church and state is deafening, and a sure sign that they aren’t scared of the guy. 

As a wacko Bible believer (i.e. orthodox Christian) I’m anticipating the prophesied marriage of the apostate church and the government.  Seeing Obama and this Pope side-by-side at the White House the other day was almost enough to believe the archangel’s lips were on the trump of God.  Perhaps this Pope is just Obama’s new Jeremiah Wright – to be thrown under the bus at some future date.  Maybe it’s a marriage of convenience – each hoping to advance their respective agendas by appearing together in unity.   

Although Obama and the left-wing American media may have rolled out the red carpet for Francis, I’m pretty sure Jesus would not enjoy a similar welcome.   If the Jewish Messiah were to show up tomorrow (and scripture says it’s very, very possible), it’s my bet Obama and the press would treat Jesus a lot more like the last Jewish guy to address a joint session of Congress – Benjamin Netanyahu.  

Another way Obama, the Pope and the press are alike (besides believing in climate-change) – they all support the Iran deal.  Said the Pope, "it is proof of the potential of political goodwill, exercised with sincerity, patience and constancy,"

Now that’s faith.

This column appears in The Upson Beacon, 30 SEP 2015 published in Upson County, GA.

Growth, Change, And Death

     Perhaps it’s for the best that the political news has been so stagnant lately, and not just because “no news is good news.” It also leaves me free to address other matters, including some to which I once devoted a much greater share of my thinking and writing.

     After reflecting on this story, Tom Kratman wrote as follows:

     Plausible. Idiots or traitors; Holy Mother Church lives because she changes so little. They will murder it.

     ...and as sometimes happens when his face has been slammed full-tilt into a bedrock truth of reality, a little light went on in Your Curmudgeon’s skull.

     If you’ve read John Wyndham’s classic dystopic novel Re-Birth, you might be familiar with the following passage:

     “Your work is to survive. Neither his kind, nor his kind of thinking will survive long. They are the crown of creation, they are ambition fulfilled – they have nowhere more to go. But life is change, that is how it differs from the rocks, change is its very nature. Who, then, were the recent lords of creation, that they should expect to remain unchanged? ‘The living form defies evolution at its peril; if it does not adapt, it will be broken. The idea of completed man is the supreme vanity: the finished image is a sacrilegious myth.”

     It’s a perspective many would endorse without reflection. Many would say it’s beyond refutation. But it’s incomplete.

     Individual living organisms do appear to adhere to the law that “the cessation of change is the beginning of death.” Certainly we would resist ascribing the characteristic alive to something that never changes: i.e., that sits eternally in one place and in one position, consumes nothing, produces nothing, and exhibits no dynamism whatsoever. But what seems an ironclad law when applied to individuals appears flawed when we examine the peculiar kind of colony organism we call an institution.

     Institutions are assembled to focus on an agenda: a list of goals to be pursued. In a sense that transcends all matters of place, time, and personnel, the institution is the agenda and the agenda is the institution. The institution came into existence entirely because of the agenda; were the latter never to have formed, neither would the former.

     A particularly illuminating case of this can be found in the March of Dimes. The original March of Dimes was formed ostensibly to raise funds for the pursuit of a remedy for poliomyelitis. When the polio vaccine was perfected, the March of Dimes’ executives saw death approaching. So they rechartered: they changed their overt agenda from combating polio to combating birth defects. The executives kept their jobs, as did most of the lower-level employees, and the fundraising continued uninterrupted.

     Reflect on that for a moment. Let’s stipulate for the purpose of argument that the March of Dimes was sincerely focused on fighting polio. The victory over polio was stunningly complete; therefore, the mission had been accomplished and the March of Dimes could end. But it didn’t. It adopted a new nominal agenda so that those whose livelihoods depended on it wouldn’t have to seek other work. Therefore, if the original agenda was sincere, the institution that had called itself the March of Dimes was no more. In its place was an identically named institution, largely populated by the same workers in the same places, whose real agenda is the perpetuation of their jobs.

     Not every institutional death is announced via a corporate dissolution or notice of bankruptcy.

     The Catholic Church came into existence to conserve and propagate the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Son of God, and the Redeemer of Mankind. That is the whole of its justification for existence. Should it cease to serve that end, it will no longer be the Church Christ Himself founded; it will have died. Perhaps something else will animate its corpse, seeing in it a useful vessel with which to pursue some other agenda.

     The institution is the agenda and the agenda is the institution. Tom’s observation that the survival of the Church requires that it change very little, and very slowly, is on all fours with this principle. Change in an institution’s agenda must remain wholly, organically consistent with the original agenda. Only a vague (and therefore of dubious sincerity) agenda permits large, swift changes without killing the institution that pursues it.

     From the original Rod Dreher article:

     These men — [Cardinals] Danneels, Van Luyn, Kasper, Lehman, and Hume, at least — all preside over dying churches.

     It is frequently observable that the bitter and resentful cannot abide the health or happiness of others. Though it would do them no good at all, they strive, entirely out of envy (“Hatred of the good for being good” – Joseph Sobran), to drag those others down into destruction with them. And so, it appears, do the European prelates tabulated above.

     A war is in progress. The survival of the Church – the real Church, not the “stained-glass staging area for the crusades of special interest groups” – is visibly at stake. And every sincere Christian on Earth is a soldier on the front lines.

The mask comes off.

A great many things are becoming clear about the attitude of elites in this world. Obama’s discretionary war on Syria and the E.U. surrender to mass Islamic immigration evidence an unmistakable contempt for the people of both areas.

Chuck Baldwin sheds further light on how the treason class thinks by quoting John Boehner on the topic of what it's like dealing with conservatives: “Garbage men get used to the smell of bad garbage.”[1]

This is a strange place to which we have come in the 226 years of this nation's existence when you consider that conservatives most closely reflect the views of the Founders and Ratifiers: that America should have a crippled federal government vastly inferior to the states and the Constitution, defended by a patriotic Supreme Court, should be a bulwark against the machinations of ambitious men.

Instead the New America is to be ruled by atheistic, clueless fools who are deluded as to their wisdom and capabilities. It is to be peopled by ignorant sybarites with no memory of or love for their ancestors and who yearn to be ruled by and fleeced by foreigners, savages, fools, and tyrants.

[1] "Trump Vs. Boehner: A Slugfest For The Soul Of The GOP." By Chuck Baldwin,, 9/24/15.

Many a true word.

"After Al Qaeda Declares War on ISIS, US Unsure Which Terrorists To Back." By Joe Zieja, The Duffel Bag, 9/15/15.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Political Papacy: A Sunday Rumination

     This is a supremely difficult subject for me to address. I’m merely a lay Catholic, in no way a voice of authority. I write from my own, utterly personal perspective. I love my Church, but only insofar as it remains faithful to the teachings of Christ Who founded it. When the Church goes astray – when it deviates from the teachings of Christ – Catholics’ moral and spiritual obligation is to cleave to Him and do what we can to correct the Church.

     Please keep that in mind as you read what follows.

     Organizations are magnets for those who desire power or influence over others. As I’ve written on several previous occasions, the dynamic of power guarantees that “the worst” – those persons most driven by power-lust and least concerned with the ostensible mission of the organization – will “get on top,” as Friedrich Hayek has told us. Thus it comes as little surprise to learn that the College of Cardinals has been corrupted by power-seeking and the consequent formation of “cabals:”

     Catholic journalist Edward Pentin got his hands on a copy of the authorized —repeat, authorized — biography of retired Belgian cardinal Godfried Danneels. Blockbuster stuff in it, according to Pentin’s report. Excerpts:
     At the launch of the book in Brussels this week, the cardinal said he was part of a secret club of cardinals opposed to Pope Benedict XVI.

     He called it a “mafia” club that bore the name of St. Gallen. The group wanted a drastic reform of the Church, to make it “much more modern”, and for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to head it. The group, which also comprised Cardinal Walter Kasper and the late Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, has been documented in Austen Ivereigh’s biography of Pope Francis, The Great Reformer. ...

     It was also revealed this week that he once wrote a letter to the Belgium government favoring same-sex “marriage” legislation because it ended discrimination against LGBT groups.

     The cardinal is already known for having once advised the king of Belgium to sign an abortion law in 1990, for telling a victim of clerical sex abuse to keep quiet, and for refusing to forbid pornographic, “educational” materials being used in Belgian Catholic schools.

     He also once said same-sex “marriage” was a “positive development,” although he has sought to distinguish such a union from the Church’s understanding of marriage.

     Thus, we learn that Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio was the choice of a group of politically-minded cardinals, who worked studiously to elevate him to the Throne of St. Peter. Given that, should it surprise anyone that Pope Francis has politicized his papacy – that his principal concern is the influence he can wield over governments?

     No other pontiff ever addressed the Congress of the United States or the General Assembly of the United Nations. I’d like to think that, had those opportunities been offered to John Paul II or Benedict XVI, they would have declined them as outside the proper role of the Vicar of Christ on Earth. I could be wrong, but that is my belief. But then, it’s also my belief that any cleric’s entire responsibility lies in safeguarding the spiritual welfare of his flock. The Holy Father’s flock is merely the largest such.

     As is always the case when a hierarchically elevated figure speaks, the reverberations travel far and wide.

     Let us all remember and reflect on what Jesus said:

     When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
     And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
     And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
     Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
     For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
     Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
     Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
     When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
     Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
     And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
     Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
     For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
     I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
     Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
     Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
     And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

     [The Gospel According To Matthew, 25:31-46]

     I don’t see a word in there about governments, or voting; do you?

     Christ’s message to the world was about our conduct as individuals. If the Gospels are a reliable guide, He never once said anything about governments or public policy. Moreover, when He told us to “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” He beautifully skirted the question of what “the things that are Caesar’s” might be; considering the pervasive and inarguable lawlessness of governments, that, too, is a question properly resolved by the individual conscience. And let us not forget that He effectively forbade a bloodthirsty crowd to stone “the woman taken in adultery,” making it plain that temporal punishment is not appropriate for a spiritual sin.

     When a cleric of any altitude whatsoever deviates from Christ’s prescriptions and proscriptions for individual conduct, he ceases to function as a cleric. From deacon to Supreme Pontiff, the consequences are the same: he lays down his shepherd’s crook and becomes just one more crank venting his own opinions. When a man upon whom has been bestowed the Throne of St. Peter does so, he abuses the authority of that chair by yoking the respect felt for its occupant to his personal agenda.

     The deleterious effects are being felt in parishes around the world.

     Allow me to close with two snippets of fiction. The first comes from a writer whose religious inclinations I don’t know, but who has written more feelingly and accurately about the malaise that besets contemporary Christian churches than any clerical authority:

     'You see, the overall concept of evil in the Catholic Church has undergone a radical change in this century. Do you know what caused it?'
     'I imagine it was Freud.'
     'Very good. The Catholic Church began to cope with a new concept as it marched into the twentieth century: evil with a small "e". With a devil that was not a red-horned monster complete with spiked tall and cloven hooves, or a serpent crawling through the garden - although that is a remarkably apt psychological image. The devil, according to the Gospel According to Freud, would be a gigantic composite id, the subconscious of all of us.'
     'Surely a more stupendous concept than red-tailed boogies or demons with such sensitive noses that they can be banished with one good fart from a constipated churchman,' Matt said.
     'Stupendous, of course. But impersonal. Merciless. Untouchable. Banishing Freud's devil is as impossible as Shylock's bargain to extract a pound of flesh without spilling a drop of blood. The Catholic Church has been forced to reinterpret its whole approach to evil - bombers over Cambodia, the war in Ireland and the Middle East, cop-killings and ghetto riots, the billion smaller evils loosed on the world each day like a plague of gnats. It is in the process of shedding its old medicine-man skin and re-emerging as a socially active, socially conscious body. The inner city rap-center ascendant over the confessional. Communion playing second fiddle to the civil rights movement and urban renewal. The church has been in the process of planting both feet in this world.'
     'Where there are no witches or incubi or vampires,' Matt said, 'but only child-beating, incest, and the rape of the environment.'
     Matt said deliberately, 'And you hate it, don't you?'
     'Yes,' Callahan said quietly. 'I think it's an abomination. It's the Catholic Church's way of saying that God isn't dead, only a little senile. And I guess that's my answer, isn't it? '

     [Stephen King, Salem’s Lot]

     No one could say it better than that. Certainly not I. But it must be said...and I did try to say it:

     Schliemann took his duties seriously. His vision of those duties was clear, and quite at odds with the notions of most newer priests. He had little patience for the social-activist clergymen, whatever their denomination. They seemed to want to make their churches into gathering places for the envious and self-pitying. They were infinitely willing to use politics to impose their visions of good upon others. Father Heinrich Schliemann led no marches, signed no petitions, and never talked politics. While the prelates of the American Church tacitly permitted the social-activist priests to convert the legacy of Saint Peter into a stained-glass staging area for the crusades of special interest groups, the pastor of Onteora parish remained exclusively a man of God.

     [From On Broken Wings]

     Stand against the politicization of the papacy and the Church. We have more to lose by allowing it than words are capable of expressing.

     May God bless and keep you all.

Neo-neocon on Pope Francis.

A very illuminating look at Pope Francis can be found here: "More on the Pope and politics." By Neo-neocon, 9/24/15.

Comments are unusually good as well.

The Great Replacement and the death in Europe.

We must remain lucid, the illegals cannot be reduced to the level of potential economic players as German and French businessmen would like. These migrants are not abstract beings, existing out of time and space. They are men and women, many more men than women, bringing with them their own identity, practicing Islam, a religion sure of itself, and having a way of life that is radically different from ours. (…) The result of this historic process is clear: the definitive destabilization of the identity of European peoples who will not be able to take in these illegals, ever more numerous, or integrate them, even less assimilate them culturally. (…) In reality, we forcefully denounce and condemn this suicidal process of population substitution that dooms in the long run the civilization of our continent. A civilization that is distinguished by a Christian anthropological center, by a carnal heritage, that must be cherished and preserved, despite those whose minds have been sold to globalism.
~ Karim Ouchikh, president of SIEL (Sovereignty, Independence and Liberty), speaking before the German embassy in Paris on 9/24/15.

H/t: "SIEL protests Europe's immigration policy." By Tiberge, GalliaWatch, 9/25/15 (emphasis added).

Saturday, September 26, 2015

There's New Content... my fiction-promotion site.

Quickies: A Sop To Cerberus

     The excitement among conservatives over the resignation of Speaker of the House John Boehner is entirely misplaced. Boehner loses nothing by stepping down from his post, and by conferring beforehand with various highly placed Republicans and Democrats, has ensured that his successor will be just as much an accommodationist as he. In particular, he has forestalled all possibility of a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding, and has virtually guaranteed that the Obama Administration will be presented with a budget that meets all the president’s demands.

     But Boehner could have achieved all that while retaining his office and his elevated position. So why did he decide to resign?

     Cast your mind back to the 2006 elections, after which President Bush announced the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Those elections transferred control of both houses of Congress from the Republicans to the Democrats, and by substantial margins. Bush felt that the reversal of the Congressional majorities spoke of a realignment of opinions among unaffiliated voters that could only be appeased by a sacrificial offering. Donald Rumsfeld, a popular Cabinet secretary who had become visible due to Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, was his choice.

     Similar to the Rumsfeld sacrifice was Barack Obama’s sacrifice of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after the 2012 elections. For all the demurrers that Clinton’s departure from her post was entirely her decision, what has followed suggests strongly that Obama and his advisors knew that there were clouds massing on the horizon. American diplomacy was at an all-time low for effectiveness. The atrocity in Benghazi, and the outright lies Clinton had told in support of the “a video caused it” thesis, had endangered Obama’s re-election prospects. The unholy interleaving of State Department operations with the solicitation of “donations” to the Clinton Global Initiative threatened to become obvious. And of course, there was the Clinton email server to be dealt with. The easiest way to defer, at least, the political impact of those matters was for Clinton to leave office, supposedly so she could set to work on her campaign for the presidency.

     Thus it is with the Republican leadership cadre. Boehner has been the target of conservative ire, but he has never been irreplaceable in anyone’s eyes. So he’ll depart, no doubt to take up some sinecure that will guarantee him a cushy retirement, and will be replaced by Kevin McCarthy, whose inclinations are entirely consistent with those of the departing Speaker. The hats will be shuffled, but nothing else will change.

     It’s a move of venerable lineage, in a game as old as politics. A friend of mine once called it an “All-In-The-Family revolution.” And it will have about as much impact on federal politics, policy, and the behavior of the GOP as changing the channel on your television.