Friday, December 14, 2018

Quickies: Policing For Profit

     Do you ever travel with a substantial amount of cash on you, or with valuable articles in your possession? Beware.

     Alex at has alerted me to yet another compendious, almost definitive article: Civil Asset Forfeiture: Policing For Profit. And once again, it’s a must-read for anyone who wants to keep what’s rightfully his out of the clutches of Bad Blue.

     The incentive structure erected around civil asset forfeiture guarantees that police departments at every level of government will be in on the action, and determined to stay there. As John Ross alluded in his blockbuster novel Unintended Consequences, such seizures can touch any item of value – and are often “engineered” at the moment of impact. In the following, gun expert Henry Bowman is invoking a favor from FBI agent Mike Garland, to aid a friend in getting a “contraband” gun into the United States:

     “[It’s] an elephant gun, made in England seventy years ago that Ray bought in a Boston sporting goods store in 1959. Customs guy’s not asking for duty. He's trying to steal the whole gun because of the front sight. It’s a piece of elephant ivory about the size of half a grain of rice....
     “Mike, I know the way this works. I’m trying to save everyone some time here....If the guy at the airport wants to be a prick and make Ray miss his plane and have to get a hotel, fine, but he’ll eventually get all his guns back.[1] If you tell him to let him go now, your guy can keep Ray’s .38 as consideration for expediting his clearance, okay?
     “But Mike? As we speak, Ray is watching his guns. There is no way that any drugs are going to miraculously appear inside any of them, as can happen sometimes with vehicles. Particularly expensive, fast, German vehicles.[2] Okay?”

     Note 1: Ray does have the documentation attesting to when and where he bought that “elephant gun,” but he doesn’t have it with him – and if the gun should leave his possession, it could easily “get lost:” i.e., wind up in some Customs agent’s private gun safe.

     Note 2: An earlier scene involving Mike Garland shows him boasting, oh so delicately, about his acquisition of a high-end BMW through “snowflaking.”

     Draw the moral. Never, ever carry anything with you that might tempt an act of “policing for profit.” Ship it instead.

Why Trump's Payments to Women are NOT Impeachable Offenses

Nor, for that matter, a violation of campaign finance law.

Is it just me, or are the Dems - particularly Clintons - acting in frantic desperation? The holes in their stories are being published - at last - in the media, the Dems are less eager to cover for them, and they are finding that some of the people in the know about their activities are beginning to turn on them.

I've noticed that the Obamas are conspicuously absent from politics, except for the ever-avaricious Michelle, eagerly hawking her book, Becoming. She's relaxed her careful control over her comments, less concerned about trying to appear gracious and First-Ladyish. She even got Down & Vulgar, spewing out a vulgar phrase on national TV.

But, the former President has been mostly absent from the public stage, except for a brief period of campaigning. Has he gone to ground? Is he trying to avoid the collateral damage that will likely be the result of uncovering the HRC mess?

Whatever. What he is NOT doing, it seems, is to write that book he's been paid for. Same old, same old.

Quickies: Hold The Outrage, Please

     Via the invaluable Knuckledraggin’ My Life Away comes a story that requires more than a cursory glance:

     The operation was serious and Anna felt relieved when her mother was moved from Intensive Care. But all that ended when the caring daughter found duct tape fixing her mom’s bandages. The ensuing scandal saw the head doctor sacked.

     Although Anna, from Blagoveshchensk in Russia's Far East, knew that her 63-year-old mother’s operation went well and that she was transferred from Intensive Care. But there was no way she could have predicted that a routine visit to her mom’s ward at the city’s clinical hospital would end in such drama.

     When Anna examined her mom, she was stunned to see that “the stitches were well-tended, but the bandages were attached to the body with duct tape instead of special medical adhesive plasters.”

     Where’s the scandal? Duct tape is versatile stuff! It adheres to surfaces that reject just about everything else, up to and including soldering and welding. Moreover, there is no evidence to suggest that it could infect a wound in human skin – assuming that it were used as the primary bandage, rather than as the anchor for a bandage as in the story above.

     The incident calls to mind a scene from one of John Campbell’s “Lost Fleet” books. Admiral “Black Jack” Geary, the hero-protagonist of the series, has just taken in flagship through a skirmish in which personnel were injured, equipment was damaged, and the hull of the ship suffered minor punctures. His damage control team patched all of these people and things with duct tape. It was what they had, and the nearest resupply point was most of a galaxy away. So they made do.

     But there were some aliens on board: diplomats Geary was ferrying to Alliance space, to make first contact with our civilization. The aliens noticed...and they immediately started negotiations with Geary to purchase the secrets of this “universal fixing substance.” I can’t remember exactly what Geary purchased from the aliens with duct tape, but it was rather valuable.

     Just another of the modern miracles we take too easily for granted, I suppose.

Why do SOME White Women Vote GOP?

They MUST have been coerced to do so by Patriarchal White Supremacists in their Families or Communities.

Honestly. That's the conclusion of Michelle Ruiz, writing for Vogue (I know, I know, it's a FASHION magazine, but...).

We really MUST set up a monthly award for the absolutely DUMBEST thing written on the web that month. Heck, I'll volunteer to set it up.

Did you know that being against killing babies makes you anti-woman? Despite some studies that showed around 2/3 of women reported being coerced or pressured to have an abortion, against their own wishes?

Anti-woman. I do not think that word means what you think it does.

That Feminine Manifesto is looking more and more needed every day.

Thursday, December 13, 2018


     Over the past few years, some Gentle Readers have lodged an unusual request: that I should occasionally say something about myself. My initial reaction to that was “Oh, surely not!” That’s like forcing your dinner guests to watch your home movies. Besides, if you’ve read my Amazon profile, you already know more about me than you should want to know. Some of the details in that squib should keep you awake at night, agonizing over the possibility that I might someday move to your neighborhood.

     But it’s policy here at Liberty’s Torch to honor readers’ requests as far as possible under the constraints of the law, Christian ethics, and good taste. And I really don’t have any public-policy or political crap to vent about this morning, so...

     I like to cook, as does the C.S.O. However, we have different attitudes toward measurement. I, the scientist, engineer, and man of precision in all things, measure all ingredients carefully. The C.S.O. does not; she seems to feel that meticulous measurement is the mark of the amateur. (“How could I ever be invited on Chopped if I were to insist on measuring everything?” she once said.) When she does give a measurement, it’s always in the Yiddish vernacular.

     So I thought she might like these:

     Let’s just say the idea didn’t go over big. But she did mention the names of a few people we know who ought to receive them.

     While we’re on the subject of food, do you like yogurt? I do. I even said so through the mouth of a protagonist:

     Her lord smiled impishly at her as she cleared the last serving. “Finally full, dear?”
     “I am, my lord.”
     “Good.” He took her plate and utensils, deposited them in the sink, joined her at the table and took her hands. “You had me pretty worried.”
     “If I have exerted too great a strain on your finances—”
     He laughed. “Not about that. I’d have bought you your own supermarket if that’s what it took to see you healthy and smiling again.”
     “What is a—”
     He held up a hand. “It’s a big store filled with all kinds of food. Delicious food. Meats, fruits, vegetables, breads, cakes, pies, pastries, nuts, cheeses, milk, puddings, yogurt! You’ve never had yogurt, have you?”
     “I do not know that word, my lord.”
     “Easily fixed. I’ll take you grocery shopping some time soon and we can get all kinds of things you’ve never had. I love food.”

     As do I, yogurt most definitely included. But of late, my historically preferred yogurt provider, Dannon, has been committing the contemporary sin of reducing portion sizes to avert a need to increase prices. What was once an 8 ounce cup was first reduced to 6 ounces. Now it’s down to 5.3 ounces, and We the Hungry have been given no assurance that it will cease to shrink. So I decided that it was time for a change.

     I’ve taken to buying “big” yogurt: the two-pound containers one can find in the very same portion of the refrigerated section at the supermarket. I usually get the Stonyfield vanilla. I also make sure to have several flavors of preserves on hand. Now, each morning when I hanker for a cup of yogurt, I fill a coffee cup with it and stir in a fat teaspoon of preserves or honey. And it is good.

     What with the cost of the preserves I can’t claim it saves money...but at least this way I get enough yogurt that I can pour four or five cups of coffee into me without destroying my stomach.

     Speaking still further of food, I was recently moved to count up the number of scenes in Experiences that involve food. I got a big number. A really big number. If it were the sort of book that Barnes & Noble would carry in its brick and mortar stores, the staff might mistakenly put it among the cookbooks.

     Fear not; there’s a lot of wine in there, too.

     And so we segue from food to fiction. There are certain informal “rules” about how one structures a novel. One of the most widely trumpeted is about the novel’s opening scene:

  • It should “rev the engines,” to engage the reader with the story;
  • It should feature one or more of the novel’s protagonists;
  • It should give a glimpse of the major conflict.

     I’ve broken that rule more often than I’ve adhered to it. A prologue almost automatically breaks the rule, and I’ve indulged several times in prologues, which (I’m told) publishers’ editors have come to despise. But even in novels that lack prologues, I’ve tended to start with an “out of the way” occurrence that doesn’t involve a protagonist.

     Opinions, anyone? It would help if you’ve read any of my novels, of course. (Hint! Hint!)

     Now and then I’m moved to praise the inventor, whether or not I know his name, of some convenience or assistance to good living that today tends to be taken for granted. For a long time it was the fellow who invented hot indoor running water. Most recently it was the inventor of caller ID, which makes it possible for me to sneer at a ringing phone with complete confidence in the justice thereof. But recently it occurred to me how swiftly we of Twenty-First Century America start to take some notable development for granted. This morning’s case in point: the “smart” cell phone.

     I don’t own a smartphone. (The C.S.O. does, and many are the times I’ve had to suppress the urge to rip the devilish thing from her ever-clutching hand and stamp on it.) But these days it seems everyone — yeah, yeah, everyone else — has a smartphone. Moreover, the majority of smartphone owners seem to rely on them for nearly everything digital (plus a few things that previously weren’t).

     Today, the smartphone is either taken completely for granted or very close to it. The “dumb” cell phone, which can only take and make calls, is an endangered species. But how long have smartphones been around? Less than twenty years.

     When some “customer service representative” tells me that I’ll “receive a text” to inform me that the service tech will shortly be at my abode, I must tell the poor gal that I can’t “receive a text” – indeed, that I don’t own a smartphone. In the wake of that disclosure always comes a brief silence that positively rings with disbelief and disapproval. What sort of atavism is he? she thinks loudly enough to be audible over the wires. And I can only smile. What need, after all, does one who sits before a hot computer all the live-long day have for a smartphone?

     A dear friend who, like me, has completely rejected the cell phone (and all its works, and all its empty promises) referred to it scathingly as “my electronic birth-control device.” I knew exactly what she meant. Oh, how well I knew!

     And thus, my Gentle Readers’ request for some personal stuff is deemed satisfied, at least for now. Perhaps I’ll be back later with something more...important. Until then, be well.

Pearls of expression.

H/t: ZeroHedge.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Quickies: American Women’s Life Script Has Been Perverted

     If you have time to read only one essay today, make it this one:

     Our culture is so saturated with feminism that even conservatives and devoutly religious people like me think inside its wheel ruts. This wouldn’t be a problem, except that feminism is antithetical to human flourishing, both individually and corporately, because it has a false view of human nature....

     Refusing to learn from history and experience only hardens people against the feedback from reality they need to make their lives better through smarter decisions. Thinking that the experience and wisdom of humans across time has a claim on our present behavior allows a form of troubleshooting and decisionmaking using billions of accumulated datapoints. Yes, it requires humility to consider whether your presuppositions and behavior are wrong, but what you may lose in feminist scorekeeping you reap a hundredfold in a richly happy life. How do I know? It’s happened to me.

     Joy Pullmann has penned a brutally candid, data-rich essay on the terrible damage the feminist lunacy has done to American women. It should be required reading for every American woman – especially the mothers of young daughters.

     I once reflected on this through the mouth of a fictional character:

     They talked to a woman from New York City. While still young, she had thrown herself wholesale into the corporate world. "One moment I was just graduating from law school," she said. "I looked down at my desk, blinked, looked up, and suddenly I was an old woman with nothing in the world but money and work." She had had brothers who were dearer to her than life itself, but had lost contact with them after college and somehow never managed to reestablish it.

     [From The Sledgehammer Concerto]

     There are people – feminist activists, mostly – who would condemn and strive to suppress Pullmann’s wisdom as “sexism.” Not so. It is sexism of the very worst kind to tell a young girl, “You have no nature we know anything about. The experiences of billions upon billions of women who have gone before you mean nothing.” Neither Karl Marx nor Adolf Hitler ever attempted a greater deceit.

Quickies: The Great “We Are The State”

     Recently a brief piece appeared at Hot Air that asks “Does The Right To Self-Defense Apply Against Agents Of The State?” This is not the question many would suppose it to be.

     In a de facto sense, the attempt to defend yourself against agents of the State is more likely than not to get you killed. Normally when they come for you, they come unannounced and with force majeure, such that the odds are heavily against you from the outset. However, in a de jure sense, if you had no right to defend yourself against an agent or agents of the State, then you would have no rights of any kind.

     This question must not be muddled up with the separate subject of “sovereign immunity,” an obscenity with which the courts have refused to treat as it deserves. Your right to defend yourself pertains to your actions, not those of the persons against whom you choose to defend yourself. If a law enforcement officer, or any other government employee, were to attempt to use deadly force against you for a reason or in a situation not sanctioned by the constraints applied by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and you were to defend yourself successfully — i.e., at the end of the exchange you’re alive but he isn’t – you would have a perfect case for self-defense against a criminal. A criminal is no less a criminal because he possesses a badge.

     There would still be unpleasantness to endure. You would almost certainly be arrested and forced to defend yourself in court. But assuming that testimony and circumstantial evidence were to bear out your claims, you would be acquitted. And that is as it must be.

     But should a LEO come to arrest you for some offense for which he has a valid warrant or an in-person complaint, you’re much more likely to survive if you go along peacefully.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Why America?

Why is America the only country to be blamed for injustices? For not having instituted Heaven on Earth?

Google - Too Noble and Pure to Work with the US Government

Google - Not Too Noble and Pure to Work with China

The Deadliest Poison, 2018 Edition

     “A lie will go halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on.” – Originator unknown.

     “Faster than a nasty rumor” – one of my favorite comparisons.

     It was only a few days ago that I wrote this:

     I got a particularly vicious laugh out of this piece. After haranguing us for decades that men are predators, that women don’t make false accusations about sexual assault, that even sex consented to at the time is rape if she regrets it afterward, et cetera ad nauseam infinitam, women are discovering the secondary consequences: that men no longer trust them. Quite a lot of men have institutionalized that distrust. Wall Street executives, sensing the rich possibilities for false claims against them, have adopted a “never be alone with an unchaperoned woman” attitude. No one is laughing at Mike Pence now.

     But it was obvious from the start that that would follow! What man in his right mind would leave himself open to attack by the less ethical and more vicious female sex? And of course, the more he has to lose, the more likely it is that he’ll understand the importance of taking precautions, so America’s “top catches” are insisting upon indisputable pre-recorded consent.

     A decade or two ago, men determined not to be mulcted for babies not of their seed started requesting certificates attesting to having been vasectomized. Anyone with three functioning brain cells should have expected further deteriorations in the degree of trust between the sexes. And here they are.

     That piece concisely expresses my attitude toward those who deplore the trend it describes as somehow “men’s fault.” An old supervisor from my salaried days predicted it in all its details. He sketched out the double-bind in which “always believe the woman” pseudo-jurisprudence would leave men: vulnerable to charges of harassment and assault if we interact with women; vulnerable to charges of discrimination and exclusion if we don’t. The latter course is the one most men in white-collar situations deem the less hazardous. As it happens, a few people still need to be laughed at:

     I read in Bloomberg News the latest in what is now a series of articles detailing all of the absurd strategies men are using, ostensibly to protect themselves from accusations of harassment or assault in the #MeToo era.

     Some steps seem calculated to protect from false accusations, such as “the man in infrastructure investing [who] said he won’t meet with female employees in rooms without windows anymore.” Other steps, such as “no business dinner with a woman 35 or younger,” seem to reflect men’s distrust of their own ability to do something pretty simple: share a meal with a young woman without harassing her. In all cases, these self-instituted rules are deeply gendered, suggesting that the men suspect women are likely to fabricate harassment or assault allegations, and implying that the men do trust themselves not to sexually harass other men. Neither reflects well on them.

     It is maddening to watch adult men respond to revelations of endemic sexual harassment in the workplace by instituting a series of ludicrous personal codes, rather than by learning the relatively straightforward lesson on offer: Don’t sexually assault or harass anyone.

     To my great surprise, the author of that article, Tahir Duckett, is a young black man. Well, he’s allowed to take what chances he likes with his own career and reputation, but in the virulent “#MeToo” era, to call other men who might have more to lose “childish” and “cowardly” strikes me as supremely arrogant. Though I must admit, there are other possible explanations:

  • He’s a homosexual and senses no risk to himself;
  • He’s trying to impress the women around him;
  • He’s simply stupid.

     Arrogant; homosexual; on the make; stupid: take your pick. Any of those four explanations will suffice to encompass Duckett’s inability to grasp the real threat the “#MeToo” era poses to men: the power of the lie when granted the presumption of validity.

     There’s a war on. Indeed, there’s more than one. The one of interest to me today is the war feminists and their allies are waging against men.

     Men, in the feminist theology of today, are inherently the enemies of women. The feminist does not desire that women see men as individuals, for that would blunt their chief thrust. No, men as a class must be regarded as predatory and exploitative. A man with the opportunity to commit sexual assault should be regarded as one who would do so if he thought he would get away with it. In the men-as-enemies view, that is sufficient justification for an accusation of sexual assault even if nothing of the sort has occurred.

     Wait, what? How can that be a justification for a false accusation? Quite simply: There’s a war on. Men are the enemy and always have been. Even a man who has committed no offense is part of the oppressive “patriarchy” that stands in the way of women getting what they’re due. Therefore any blow struck against a man is a blow in the war, and is justified by the exigencies of war. As we mathematical types like to say, quod erat demonstrandum.

     A cultural presumption that when a woman lodges an accusation against the man, the man is therefore guilty, is an unstoppable superweapon in women’s hands. Men are defenseless against it. Indeed, even impossibility is no defense, unless he has video-recorded every instant of his life. Consider the slander by which Christine Blasey Ford attempted to torpedo the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. Consider that even though she could produce absolutely no evidence that he had ever so much as touched her, and had no corroborating witnesses willing to confirm her accusation or supply the circumstantial details she claimed to lack, millions claimed (and still claim) to believe her.

     Christine Blasey Ford is either deluded or lying. She appears competent enough to support herself and to cross the country unaccompanied for her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, so the presumption must be that she’s lying...yet millions claim to believe her.

     Tahir Duckett should shove that up his ass and sit on it awhile.

     Nothing is more deadly, whether to individuals or to a society, than a lie accepted without question. Lies have always been the favorite weapons of evil men – and so much more so with evil women. There’s certainly enough fiction on the subject. Start with To Kill A Mockingbird. Or if you prefer real life incidents, consider the case of the Scottsboro Boys, nine young black men who narrowly escaped execution for a gang rape they didn’t commit, and go on from there to the more recent case of Tawana Brawley.

     There’s an important quote from a historical figure most American youths never encounter, no matter how extensive their educations:

     “Do not look in the file of incriminating evidence to see whether or not the accused rose up against the Soviets with arms or words. Ask him instead to which class he belongs, what is his background, his education, his profession. These are the questions that will determine the fate of the accused. That is the meaning and essence of the Red Terror.” – Martin Latsis, deputy chief of the Ukrainian Tcheka during the primacy of V. I. Lenin over the U.S.S.R.

     Evidence was unimportant to Martin Latsis. What concerned him was class: whether the accused was part of a demographic or an occupation believed to be “counter-revolutionary.” Such persons were guilty simply because they existed. Any accusation, however farfetched, would suffice to condemn them. Latsis would approve their execution without a qualm. Compare this orientation to the “Always Believe The Woman” attitude of feminists in the “#MeToo” era.

     There’s no need to beat this any further. Either you get it, hate it, and will oppose it with all your powers regardless of the possible consequences, or you’re a misandrist feminist (or one of their political allies) and had better keep your hands where I can see them.

You Need to Share This/Print This Out and Leave it in Leftist Strongholds

It's one of the clearest summaries of the Trump "Investigation" that I've seen so far.

I'm afraid that the leisurely pace of this process is designed to take prominent Democrats, such as the Clintons and Obama, past the statute of limitations; once beyond that, they are bulletproof against prosecution by a less biased and more honest Dept. of Justice.

Although I'd prefer to 'Lock them up!", at this point, I'll settle for public disgrace, and ruination of their careers.

Pearls of expression.

Election Fraud Suspected After Vladimir Putin Wins North Carolina Congressional Race.
Babylon Bee, 12/7/18.

H/t: Russia Insider.

Monday, December 10, 2018

An Antisocial Socialist And His Addiction

     I don’t read The Nation, as a rule. Neither do I pay a lot of attention to the gasbaggery of Noam Chomsky. “Why not?” I hear you cry. For the same reason I don’t hire dwarves to pelt me with llama feces: it would be expensive and pointless, and doing something expensive yet pointless would only make me look ridiculous, and a man in my position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous. But when Instapundit Co-Contributor David Bernstein cites a Noam Chomsky interview, I’ll deign to give it a moment’s attention. What I reaped from that interview follows this segment.

     Note that I’m not plunging into it immediately. Chomsky is a master of linguistic dissimulation and verbal distortion. He deliberately changes the meanings of common words, such that to make any sense out of what he’s saying, it’s necessary to set aside what you know and understand about the tools with which people communicate. If you allow him that tactic, he can convince you of anything he pleases, because his superimposed definitions for fundamental concepts predetermine his “conclusions.”

     This sort of rhetorical trickery is the Left’s main weapon. It makes an honest man’s hackles rise, even if he doesn’t quite know why. Anger is the natural response, but it’s impotent anger: it’s incapable of disentangling the morass of verbal chop suey in which Chomsky seeks to trap his audience. And so for some it’s vital to avert one’s eyes and ears. If you’re one such, you might be wise not to read any further.

     I was going to quote from the interview as it stands, but the attempt brought me afoul of “fair use;” I found that to make my point that way I would need to lift virtually the whole of it. So you, Gentle Reader, have a choice: You can read the interview for yourself, or you can trust that in what I say below I haven’t twisted Chomsky’s sentiments as he expressed them.

     Chomsky starts by citing two venerable Leftist bugaboos: the development of nuclear weapons and “the environment.” He proposes “social democracy” as the “main barrier” to the destruction of the world, and “neoliberalism” – the Right’s campaign for freer markets and freer individual decision-making – as the principal influence in weakening that “barrier.” He gives us the clearest glimpse of the target of his ire in the following passage, the only one I’ll quote directly:

     That’s [“social democracy”] sometimes called “the golden age of modern capitalism.” That changed in the ’70s with the onset of the neoliberal era that we’ve been living in since. And if you ask yourself what this era is, its crucial principle is undermining mechanisms of social solidarity and mutual support and popular engagement in determining policy.

     It’s not called that. What it’s called is “freedom,” but “freedom” means a subordination to the decisions of concentrated, unaccountable, private power. That’s what it means. The institutions of governance—or other kinds of association that could allow people to participate in decision making—those are systematically weakened. Margaret Thatcher said it rather nicely in her aphorism about “there is no society, only individuals.”

     She was actually, unconsciously no doubt, paraphrasing Marx, who in his condemnation of the repression in France said, “The repression is turning society into a sack of potatoes, just individuals, an amorphous mass can’t act together.” That was a condemnation. For Thatcher, it’s an ideal—and that’s neoliberalism.

     For Chomsky, only collective decision-making is morally acceptable. He terms it “the one barrier to the threat of destruction.” This is an entirely unsubstantiated assertion, but that’s what you get from Noam Chomsky.

     Chomsky goes on to rail against “inequality, stagnation,” without the slightest consciousness that it is stagnation that perpetuates and worsens inequality. He rails insubstantially against “special interests” and the “liberal establishment.” He asserts that the promoters of freedom are the agencies responsible for the corruption of education: “The young have to be returned to passivity and obedience, and then democracy will be fine.” [Note that when Chomsky says “liberal” he doesn’t mean it in the American sense, but rather in the John Locke / Adam Smith sense of individual freedom as the goal to be striven for.]

     So what we have here is a Jeremiad against freedom, especially in the economic sphere, on the grounds that it’s leading us toward “destruction.” Chomsky’s solution is collectivism. He engineers it out of verbal distortion and unsubstantiated assertions. His technique is designed to induce semantic collisions and conceptual destruction in the mind of the reader. It seems that as far as interviewer Christopher Lydon is concerned, that’s perfectly all right.

     The most salient thing about the Left, of which Chomsky has long been a major luminary, is its total unconcern with the well-being of actual persons. In citing the Chomsky interview, David Bernstein comments thus:

     Chomsky goes on and on about the horrors of what he calls “neoliberalism” since 1979. As with other leftists of a similar ilk, he simply ignores the fact that the rate of extreme poverty globally has fallen from around 27% to around 4% (!). Indeed, poverty rates worldwide have fallen dramatically more generally. You’d think if you were a socialist (or really almost anyone, but especially socialists), this would be the greatest thing to happen in the history of mankind. And yet, they not only don’t celebrate it, they don’t even acknowledge it. Which makes you think that their purported concern for the poor and downtrodden isn’t really what’s motivating them.

     This “should” be “obvious.” As I and others have said many times, when a man proposes the exact same “solution” to every “problem,” you may be sure that the “problem” isn’t what matters to him. The Left seeks the elimination of individual liberty: the centralization of all human enterprise under the unyielding hand of a Supreme Soviet. So it proposes that as the “solution” to any and every “problem,” including any fictitious “problems” (e.g., “global warming / climate change”) it can invent to bedazzle the layman.

     Socialism isn’t about economic efficiency, or the elimination of inequality, or the defense of the environment. The history of socialism in the saddle has made that plain. Socialism is about power. Leftists are addicted to power. Under Carter and Obama they had a taste, and they want more – as much more as they can gather unto themselves.

     Pace their guiding light Noam Chomsky, they seek to destroy our language, all the way down to the words we use for the most basic concepts. Once they’ve succeeded at that – and through their control of education, journalism, and entertainment they’ve made a good start at it – they can reply to the protests of those they trample with a verbal head pat of “You just don’t understand, but then, we know you can’t.”

The Collapse of Civilization

It's been said that civilization is a fragile thing.
Civilization is hideously fragile... there's not much between us and the Horrors underneath, just about a coat of varnish. ~C.P. Snow
Unfortunately, many of us now alive may well find out for ourselves.

The Dark Ages were always the Bogeyman of the Enlightened Thinkers. In my youth, teachers pointed to that time as virtually devoid of comfort, learning, and trade.

In some ways, they were right, despite the fact that the average person's life was little changed - existing as a slave or a serf - which was worse? (Hint: they both sucked).

Comfort? Little of that for the common man or woman, in either of those times. Until fairly modern times, the 'biodegradability' of most clothing left the majority of the world badly clothed. There is a reason that beggars were portrayed as ragged. Their clothes would wear out in a few years.

The petroleum industry, by raising the manufactured fiber content of clothing, has completely changed the lives of the poor worldwide. In picture after picture, people who are STARVING still can wear clothing in decent shape. It's that cheap to cover people's hides since Dupont and other manufacturers managed to 'fake Nature'.

Think of the barefoot peasants. That must have been a horrible thing in the colder climates.

Here's the situation today - plastic castoffs do not litter, but are re-used by clever poor people, and make serviceable shoes.

Some would look at that and say "How Awful!". I look at those shoes and say, "How ingenious!"

Learning? Until the Gutenburg Revolution, the average person was illiterate. They depended on their "betters" to guide them through appeals to authorities, division of their properties, and just about any interaction outside of the village.

The Gutenburg Bible is well-known. But, did you know the most common book genre next to that?

How-tos. Practical books that allowed people to do it for themselves. The Old World equivalent of YouTube. That innovation was largely what killed the Guilds, increased crop productivity, and eventually brought down the pre-Renaissance society. Part of the growth in licensing laws is a reaction to the ability of people to do it themselves, without the expensive experts.

There's also a reason that there is a default in common law for inheritance - the common man, being illiterate, would NOT leave a will. In the absence of inheritance laws, the man's widow and family would have to fight off other family members to keep any property, whether real estate or personal. The dower laws anticipated that struggle, and made it possible for the widow to avoid penury, without having to resort to hiring a lawyer and going to court.

Trade? Largely the equivalent of local farmer's market/craft fair. You sold what you didn't owe the Lord of the manor, if there was anything left over. Other than that, fish markets near the shores, individual peddlers in the back country, A few might go long distances, and risk everything on the ability of their captain and crew to return with a full load. Just as often, might lead to financial ruin; it was a long-shot bet (and the source of the insurance industry).

So, as the Nation-States EU Model is collapsing, and the United States is teetering on similar disarray, the question is:
Will we again descend into a New Dark Ages?
 I don't think we will. We may fracture as a country, we might find we need to build defenses against the many people who will try to 'Go Viking' (Viking was not their name - it was what they called the raiding parties that plundered much of the British Isles and the Low Country).

But, we have families who are literate, communications systems that extend beyond a few miles, cheap gas and energy, and a tradition of resilience and ingenuity.

We also have God. Despite the push to secularize America, large numbers of people have a heritage of belief. In hard times, the churches suddenly become filled. People take God more seriously when their life depends on it.

Pope Francis is a fool. Had he backed the natives, he could have filled the churches with those experiencing the consequences of unchecked migration. Instead, he will doom Catholicism to the fringes. God knows what will replace The Church.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

What Comes Of “Equality”

     When I saw this article yesterday, it filled me with sorrow:

     SOUTH Africa has set a date for when its much-criticised land expropriations can begin after a politician declared: “Your time is up, white people.”

     The country’s National Assembly approved a proposal to change the constitution to make the so-called reforms legal in a vote of 183 to 77.

     This paves the way for land to be taken from farmers without giving any kind of compensation.

     And now lawmakers have agreed to set up a committee that will write and introduce a new bill for land expropriations.

     Every African nation that has transitioned from “colonial” (i.e., white) rule to native (i.e., black) rule has followed a similar path. It calls to mind a quote from Vladimir Bukovsky:

     Is it really surprising that whenever you get striving for equality and fraternity, the guillotine appears on the scene?

     What black South Africans don’t realize is that the people they’ll be guillotining are themselves. That is what comes of such policies, as anyone familiar with the course of things in Zimbabwe can attest.

     But this piece isn’t primarily about South Africa’s auto da fe. Neither is it about race.

     I’m on record as having stated, quite plainly, that I’m a racist. That is: I believe that as statistical aggregates, the races differ in ways that are important at some times and in some contexts. Thus I cannot be cowed by being called a racist, for I admit it freely and can’t imagine, given how amply it’s supported by the observable facts, how it could constitute a condemnation. This irritates the apostles of equality and that chimera called “social justice.” If they can’t silence me by wielding their favorite epithet, what would work?

     It is observably the case that those nations founded and peopled by whites have attained greater heights of justice, prosperity, and security than those founded and peopled by blacks. It is observably the case that in America, areas in which blacks concentrate have far more crime, squalor, illegitimacy, and local disorder than those in which there are few of them. It is observably the case that American blacks score, as an aggregate, about 15 points – one standard deviation – lower on intelligence tests than American whites. Moreover, the fantasies of the rosy-glassed notwithstanding, these are not “cultural artifacts.” They are patterns that have been repeated throughout recorded history and are equally observable in every other nation with a significant black population.

     Given all the above – and whether you like it or not, those are facts, not the venom-drenched snarls of a Ku Klux Klansman – why, when South Africa rejected white rule and transitioned to a majority-black power structure, should we have expected that the Euro-American norms the white governments had maintained would continue? For it is not “equality,” an unattainable condition except in the very shortest of short terms, that the blacks of Africa desire, but the assuagement of their envy, to wit: to pull down the whites for daring to outperform them.

     The envious are not satisfied with equality; they secretly yearn for superiority and revenge. In the French Revolution of 1848, a woman coal-heaver is said to have remarked to a richly dressed lady: “Yes, madam, everything’s going to be equal now; I shall go in silks and you’ll carry coal.”

     [Henry Hazlitt, The Conquest of Poverty ]

     Envy is ineluctable, implacable and irreconcilable, is irritated by the slightest differences, is independent of the degree of inequality, appears in its worst form in social proximity among near relatives, provides the dynamic for every revolution yet cannot of itself produce any kind of coherent revolutionary program.

     [Helmut Schoeck, Envy]

     Envy is a form of hatred. It’s the capital sin of which few, if any in our time, dare to speak. Leftist activists mouth platitudes about “equality” and “social justice” as camouflage for their designs, when what really moves them is their envy and the envy of those for whom they claim to speak. Some of them are merely deluded, though they’re dangerous nonetheless. The rest employ their pearly phrases to conceal a drive for power, status, and their perquisites. Those who kowtow to them can be partitioned into two groups: persons unable to believe in their right to what they have earned, and Democrats.

     Envy is particularly valuable to that second group. They pander to it, hoping to excite it sufficiently that the envious will raise them to power. Thomas Babington Macaulay knew it:

     The day will come when [in the United States] a multitude of people will choose the legislature. Is it possible to doubt what sort of a legislature will be chosen? On the one side is a statesman preaching patience, respect for rights, strict observance of public faith. On the other is a demagogue ranting about the tyranny of capitalism and usurers and asking why anybody should be permitted to drink champagne and to ride in a carriage while thousands of honest people are in want of necessaries. Which of the candidates is likely to be preferred by a workman?

     [From a letter from Macaulay to H. S. Randall of New York. Emphasis added by FWP.]

     But who envies? Not everyone. Not necessarily Macaulay’s “workman.” For many a decade the American most scrupulous about the property rights of all Americans, high or low, was the blue-collar workman or laborer. Indeed, many such workmen, perhaps most, are still of that mind today. And well they should be, for they know from experience that no gain of any sort can be had without hard work directed toward a good end. Their pride in their attainments, however modest, is well justified.

     No, the naturally envious man is of another cut.

     It’s time for a little C. S. Lewis:

     Democracy is the word with which you must lead them by the nose. The good work which our philological experts have already done in the corruption of human language makes it unnecessary to warn you that they should never be allowed to give this word a clear and definable meaning. They won't. It will never occur to them that democracy is properly the name of a political system, even a system of voting, and that this has only the most remote and tenuous connection with what you are trying to sell them. Nor of course must they ever be allowed to raise Aristotle's question: whether “democratic behaviour” means the behaviour that democracies like or the behaviour that will preserve a democracy. For if they did, it could hardly fail to occur to them that these need not be the same.

     You are to use the word purely as an incantation; if you like, purely for its selling power. It is a name they venerate. And of course it is connected with the political ideal that men should be equally treated. You then make a stealthy transition in their minds from this political ideal to a factual belief that all men are equal. Especially the man you are working on. As a result you can use the word democracy to sanction in his thought the most degrading (and also the least enjoyable) of human feelings. You can get him to practise, not only without shame but with a positive glow of self-approval, conduct which, if undefended by the magic word, would be universally derided.

     The feeling I mean is of course that which prompts a man to say I’m as good as you.

     The first and most obvious advantage is that you thus induce him to enthrone at the centre of his life a good, solid, resounding lie. I don't mean merely that his statement is false in fact, that he is no more equal to everyone he meets in kindness, honesty, and good sense than in height or waist measurement. I mean that he does not believe it himself. No man who says I'm as good as you believes it. He would not say it if he did. The St. Bernard never says it to the toy dog, nor the scholar to the dunce, nor the employable to the bum, nor the pretty woman to the plain. The claim to equality, outside the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior. What it expresses is precisely the itching, smarting, writhing awareness of an inferiority which the patient refuses to accept.

     And therefore resents. Yes, and therefore resents every kind of superiority in others; denigrates it; wishes its annihilation. Presently he suspects every mere difference of being a claim to superiority. No one must be different from himself in voice, clothes, manners, recreations, choice of food: “Here is someone who speaks English rather more clearly and euphoniously than I — it must be a vile, upstage, lah-di-dah affectation. Here's a fellow who says he doesn't like hot dogs — thinks himself too good for them, no doubt. Here's a man who hasn't turned on the jukebox — he's one of those goddamn highbrows and is doing it to show off. If they were honest-to-God all-right Joes they'd be like me. They've no business to be different. It's undemocratic.”

     [From Screwtape Proposes A Toast]

     Note that the word envy does not appear in the Lewis passage above. He speaks of the resentment of those who know themselves to be inferior in some regard. But this is envy’s natural habitat. Demagogues know it and play to it. They seize upon Thomas Jefferson’s stirring declaration that “all men are created equal” – by which he meant that we must be equals before the law, not in any other sense – and treat it as meaning that all of us “should be equal:” in attainments, in income, in property, and (may God save us from our follies) in dignity and others’ esteem.

     It’s an impossibility...but impossibilities are the stock in trade of the demagogue and always have been, which is why guillotines always appear in their wake.

     Not every man who envies – i.e., who hates others who have what he does not and would like to see them brought down – is an absolute inferior. Some have drive but lack talent, or the reverse. Some are without direction, and therefore never “get started.” And some, it must be said, are merely unlucky: not in the right place at the right time, and so are unable to put their gifts to their best use.

     None of these things, including unquestionable inferiority of talent, drive, direction, and good fortune, justifies envy. Of the seven capital sins, envy is by far the most likely to be capitalized upon: i.e., to propel action intended to assuage itself. That’s why it’s the only emotion forbidden by the Decalogue: Thou shalt not covet!

     But that will never deter the demagogues. They’d rather be shorn of their genitals than refrain from the excitation and exploitation of envy. For they are the ones best poised to reap an actual profit from that exploitation.

     One more quote, if I haven’t yet exhausted your patience with the previous ones. This one is from Katherine Anne Porter’s magnificent short story “Flowering Judas.” Hearken to her mini-portrait of “revolutionist” Braggioni:

     Braggioni loves himself with such tenderness and amplitude and eternal charity that his followers—for he is a leader of men, a skilled revolutionist, and his skin has been punctured in honorable warfare—warm themselves in the reflected glow, and say to each other: ‘He has a real nobility, a love of humanity raised above mere personal affections.’ The excess of this self-love has flowed out, inconveniently for her, over Laura, who, with so many others, owes her comfortable situation and her salary to him. When he is in a very good humor, he tells her, ‘I am tempted to forgive you for being a gringa. Gringita!’ and Laura, burning, imagines herself leaning forward suddenly, and with a sound back-handed slap wiping the suety smile from his face. If he notices her eyes at these moments he gives no sign....

     ....He bulges marvelously in his expensive garments. Over his lavender collar, crushed upon a purple necktie, held by a diamond hoop: over his ammunition belt of tooled leather worked in silver, buckled cruelly around his gasping middle: over the tops of his glossy yellow shoes Braggioni swells with ominous ripeness, his mauve silk hose stretched taut, his ankles bound with the stout leather thongs of his shoes.

     When he stretches his eyelids at Laura she notes again that his eyes are the true tawny yellow cat's eyes. He is rich, not in money, he tells her, but in power, and this power brings with it the blameless ownership of things, and the right to indulge his love of small luxuries. ‘I have a taste for the elegant refinements,’ he said once, flourishing a yellow silk handkerchief before her nose. ‘Smell that? It is Jockey Club, imported from New York.’

     The wealth the envious imagine themselves seizing from “the rich” invariably flows to the Braggionis of the world.

     Writing about this subject leaves me gloomy. It chafes me particularly to do so in Advent, when all Christian souls should be preparing themselves for the coming of the Christ Child. But that doesn’t diminish its importance, nor the imperative with which it ought to command the attention of every man of good will. Indeed, a decent definition of man of good will would run “One who despises envy, and would have none of it in himself or others.”

     The article about the South African devolution is only part of the reason it was on my mind at this time. I’ve recently seen and heard fresh demonstrations of envy and envy-powered resentment among the very people I’m supposed to act charitably toward, as a Christian should. Some of those demonstrations occurred even as those “poor people” were receiving assistance from their better-off neighbors.

     I shan’t draw the moral for you, Gentle Reader. If you weren’t intelligent enough to see it for yourself, you wouldn’t be a patron of Liberty’s Torch.

     May God bless and keep you all.

Bedrock principles of interpretation.

I have long believed that one of the surest ways to come to an understanding of any matter is to focus on what is not said or done about it. Sherlock Holmes made much of this approach when he focused on the un-barking dog in “Hounds of the Basketballs.” I’m also fond of the principle that people intend the natural consequences of their acts, "action" encompassing "inaction."

Building a border wall and hermetically sealing the border fall in this latter category. Nothing ever gets done about either so the conclusion must be that the Treason Class wants open borders and the immiseration and disenfranchisement of everyone, and replacement of the majority white population. If the Treason Class does not want this then they’d take care of business instantly. The Uniparty in Congress has no problem coming up with a disgraceful spending bill with a ghastly deficit built right in. Money for war. Money for earmarks. Money for welfare. Money for illegal immigrants. No problem. Done and done. Money for the wall? Wellll. Maybe later. That being the time-tested Democrat shuck on such matters that Ronald Reagan famously embraced in connection with amnesty years ago.

Even Donald Trump, the famed “build a wall” candidate et imperator, makes only a feeble gesture of putting troops on the border and pretends that defending the nation from foreign invasion is somehow hamstrung by the Comic Possetatus Act, as though repelling an invasion of the nation is an aspect of “law enforcement” subject to restrictions imposed by the jokers, knaves, varlets, grifters, fools, poseurs, traitors, subversives, radicals, and undetected felons in the Congress who don’t know the difference between an AK-47 and a toaster, between an invasion and a potato sack race at a church picnic. The provision in Article IV, Sect. IV of the Constitution commanding United States to “protect each of them [the states] against invasion” seems to be a provision recondite, obscure, remote, vague, smoky, abstruse, esoteric, mysterious, and profound to Mr. Trump. Calling invaders “asylum seekers” seems to have confounded his understanding of his powers as commander in chief completely.

Well, here’s the passage I ran across that got me to thinking about this. It affords us a glimpse of high-level thinking back in the days when the United States was awash with communist agents:

Not surprisingly, when some of this testimony [from former communist agents Whittaker Chambers, Elizabeth Bentley, Louis Budenz, and Hede Massing] became public in 1948, the U.S. government attempted a coverup. Rather than expelling communist agents from sensitive government jobs, the Truman administration wanted to prosecute Chambers for perjury.[1]
Those process crimes sure are popular though I admit perjury was a charge employed to good effect against Alger “The Lying Patrician Communist Spy” Hiss when the statute of limitations had run on his more serious crimes.

Truman did the Lord’s work by putting in place the loyalty program for the federal civil service which was used to good effect in keeping communists out of government though not with 100% success. Still, the reaction of the Department of Justice was odd to say the least and no prosecutions ensued from anything that the above agents revealed. As with Trump’s strange passivity in the face of an obvious coup d’etat attempt and hence constitutional crisis now, Truman showed the same disinclination to react forcefully to the internal communist threat. FDR and Churchill blithely turned Eastern Europe over to Stalin at Yalta and George Marshall did his utmost as envoy to China to weaken Chinese Nationalist military forces and to force them into an absurd and suicidal coalition with the Chinese communists.

And when told Mao Tse-tung and his followers were communists, Marshall [Truman’s special representative to China] remarked: “Don’t be ridiculous. These fellows are just old-fashioned agrarian reformers.”[2]
Why it was that Truman was willing to later react forcefully to the North Korean invasion of the south but sell out the Nationalist Chinese and not react to communist infestation domestically I can’t say for sure. The best I can do is to say that the force of domestic leftists and communist sympathizers was such an undercurrent that no patriot could resist it. And that the North Korean invasion was just too much of a communist atrocity to ignore even if he was not that alarmed by domestic communists burrowing in. That said, no one forced him to appoint Marshall and he had the power to dictate whom we would support in China after the war. At best his decision to support the Communist Chinese at the expense of the the Nationalists is inexplicable on its face.

The irresistible undertow point is starkly illustrated by the mendacious and vicious attack on Sen. Joseph McCarthy who inquired quite reasonably why the federal government was employing so many communists. The reasonableness of McCarthy’s inquiry was distorted such that he has become the poster boy for inquisitional inquiry and oppressive accusation. There’s one interpretation of McCarthy and only one: monstrous exception to all that’s decent in American political life. Even the courageous journalist John Solomon buys into that phony baloney characterization, even after studying up on McCarthy!

The defamation of McCarthy as reckless miscreant has remained holy writ from that time and it’s hardly surprising. Read Ann Coulter or M. Stanton Evans and you’ll understand what an enormous effort was made to neutralize McCarthy. Hand over Eastern Europe and China to the communists? No big deal. Talk about actual communist infiltration of the United States? No effing way. Defcon I and general quarters for all good leftists.

It’s been that way ever since. The Prime Directive is that National Socialist Germany was the source of all political evil in our time and all political inquiry must be strictly limited to the crimes of that regime. The United States Constitution can be stood on its head in the service of an ever-centralizing and power-grabbing federal government, but any steps in the direction of total government control and away from individual liberty and popular sovereignty will and must go unremarked and welcomed. Very modest attempts to call attention to the presence of socialists in our national life were punished. Diana West didn’t get her contract renewed at CNN after she mentioned the word “socialist” back in 2008.

In our day, Antifa is the supreme domestic manifestation of filthy, communist, anti-democratic thuggery but it operates virtually without hindrance from any level of the U.S. government. According to the principle announced at the outset, Antifa is untouched and thus encouraged because crucifying it is what our government chooses NOT to do.

This failure to take action that is OBVIOUSLY called for is a glaring symptom of the failure of our experiment in self governance. Violent suppression of legitimate voices occurs at the hands of obvious government auxiliary troops. The same purposeful inaction in our past shows that communist infiltration of America has been the heartfelt wish of our Treason Class.

The same obtuseness on the part of the Treason Class in Europe is evident now. 89,000 French cops have been deployed to deal with protestors. Cops/soldiers dispatched to French border? Zero. Plenty of resources to do what’s necessary to protect the all-powerful state. None when the interests of native Frenchmen are concerned.

[1] "A Short History of Communist Subversion of America." By J.R. Nyquist, The Epoch Times, 9/19/18.
[2] "China Betrayed Into Communism." By James Perloff, The New American, 7/24/09.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Ocasio-Cortez - Are People Underestimating Her Appeal?

This guy thinks so - and after reading it, I have to acknowledge he has a point.

NC Senate Race May Have Been Altered by Fraud

And, in a startling outcome, the fraud may have been committed by the Republicans!

I hope they pursue this. I hope the GOP investigates, and, if Mark Harris is guilty, drops association with him.

I also hope - devoutly - that this is used to pass a FEDERAL bill regulating how absentee voting can be handled:

  • No one may touch that ballot except the person that cast it, until it is counted.
  • Has to be mailed to the Election Office, and received BEFORE the election date.
  • Cross-check all ballots to make sure that person did not cast an in-person vote.
  • Disallow ballots that are sent out of town, unless checked against a list of voters from that locality - keeps 'sunbirds' and college students from voting twice.
  • No state may have more than 10% of votes cast absentee.
  • The initial registration for that voter must have photo ID
You can never completely eliminate fraud - but, you can reduce it by enforcing rules that limit common methods of cheating.

While we're at it, make it an offense that REQUIRES another vote - at the offending party's expense - if there are irregularities in the ballot counting process:
  • Counting not observed by BOTH major parties and any representatives of other parties that want to participate.
  • "Found" ballots - it is the responsibility of the Election Board to make sure that all ballots are moved, counted, and "corrected" for inability to process through scanning or other means in a manner that allows all parties to certify that the election was an honest one.
  • Any ballot not in the total by the end of the closing of the precinct voting is not added in, and will not be counted. The ballot will be opened and votes noted. If the ballot would have materially changed the election, a re-vote, under bi-partisan supervision, will take place within a week.
  • ALL ballots will be numbered, and accounted for. You have to have a trail for audit purposes. That includes absentee ballots. No sudden surfacing of ballots that - GOSH! We just HAPPENED to find in a closet or car trunk!

If a writer tried to put this into a book, it would be trashed as unbelievable!

Control of the Alaska State House is hinging on ONE seat, which was won by ONE vote.

And, just like the GOP has been saying for years, Democrats want to count the votes of the dead.

Yet More Friday Fumferation

     Fridays are good for this sort of indulgence!

1. And Then What?

     This is the question most lethal to the plans of the “revolutionary,” but it’s seldom asked:

     Some people, on both the “Left” and “Right” have been talking about revolution. Whether it’s “We need to get rid of those fascist right-winging KKK Nazis” or “we need to get rid of those liberal commie pinko hippies” or whatever, the idea of using widespread violence to overthrow the existing order and impose ones own has been gaining steam.

     I have discussed why this would be a bad thing elsewhere.

     But, let’s presume that people don’t listen (and given just how much influence I don’t have–thank all the gods I’m not the only voice crying out about that–I would not be surprised). Suppose we get the violent insurrection that grew into civil war. And suppose one side finally won.

     Now what?

     Indeed. Have a few quotes from persons more widely respected than David and I:

     Every revolutionary ends by becoming either an oppressor or a heretic. – Albert Camus

     Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny; they have only shifted it to another shoulder. – George Bernard Shaw

     Revolutions, as long and bitter experience reveals, are apt to take their color from the regime they overthrow. – Richard Tawney

     Those who have seized power, even for the noblest of motives soon persuade themselves that there are good reasons for not relinquishing it. This is particularly likely to happen if they believe themselves to represent some immensely important cause. They will feel that their opponents are ignorant and perverse; before long they will come to hate them...The important thing is to keep their power, not to use it as a means to an eventual paradise. And so what were means become ends, and the original ends are forgotten except on Sundays. – Bertrand Russell

2. Conversations.

     Make of this one what you will:

CSO: If you get a chance, would you please unpack Patty’s [our cleaning lady] new mop?
FWP: What’s this? You buy a mop for Patty to use, but I have to unpack it and deal with the trash?

CSO: I did say “please.”
FWP: All right, I’ll put it on my agenda.

CSO: At what letter?
FWP: Letter? Bah! I use Norse runes. They’re much more evocative.

CSO: Why not cuneiform?
FWP: Tried that, got mud all over the house. How did you think Patty broke the previous mop?

     Yes, Gentle Reader, mornings here at the Fortress of Crankitude sure are fun.

3. Oh, Come On!

     It’s practically guaranteed that someone on the Left will absolutely hate Christianity:

     Campus Reform is reporting that the LATEST man to get “#MeToo-ed” is -get this- God himself.

     Yup. Apparently, the Virgin Mary didn’t give consent.

     A Minnesota professor suggested in a series of tweets that the Virgin Mary did not consent to the conception of Jesus Christ and suggested that God may have acted in a “predatory” manner. Minnesota State University, Mankato psychology professor and sex therapist Dr. Eric Sprankle critiqued the story of the Virgin Mary in a tweet Monday, suggesting that the Virgin Mary did not consent to being impregnated by God.

     Here’s the tweet of interest, just so you know I’m playing fair:

     This “professor” goes on to argue that Mary could not meaningfully consent, because of the power difference between her and God. Yes, he’s a sex therapist. It figures, doesn’t it?

4. Their True Colors Are Shining Through.

     The people the Democrats have most recently installed as their party chairs and spokesmen have not been particularly distinguished by their achievements...but all of them have excelled in spewing venom at any institution not yet Left-converged that Americans still respect. Here’s the latest example:

     Ah yes, Roe v. Wade! The gift that keeps on giving...the Democrats absolute fits. You see, sanctioning the grisly murder of a million innocent children each year is the price they pay to keep the feminists in their coalition. But it’s a perfect target for any preacher who continues to believe, as Christians and observant Jews do, that innocent human life is sacred. That really frosts the Democrats’ buns. The remedy simply pops out of a slot: delegitimize the churches as sources of moral authority!

     Considering how far so many mainline churches have strayed from the Gospels, it might have worked...if the Democrats hadn’t already revealed themselves to be against all Constitutional constraints and determined to wield absolute power forever.

5. And While We’re On The Subject Of Feminists and Feminism...

     Feminists are determined to feel oppressed. Damned near anything will serve their purposes, even if it’s something they’ve been demanding for decades:

     A large clinical trial launched this week will test a new, gel-based form of male birth control, Gizmodo reported Friday.

     If it proves safe and effective, the gel could finally expand the very short list of contraceptive options that can be utilised by men....

     The gel, applied to the back and shoulders once daily, contains a combination of a progestin compound and testosterone that is absorbed through the skin.

     For how long have women been complaining that contraception is almost exclusively their responsibility? Well, here’s a potential alternative...but don’t expect them to applaud:

     They who demand to be oppressed shall get what they ask matter what it might cost them or anyone else.

     That’s all for today, Gentle Reader. I’m struggling with yet another novel project, and I’ve got to make progress on it today if I’m going to shave tomorrow morning without fatally injuring myself. Be well.

Solving the Health Insurance Problem - One Step at a Time

I was reading an interesting thread about Health Coverage and Pre-Existing Conditions. (Retirement is great, but you do - at times - find yourself meandering around the Internet with little purpose, but a lot of entertainment).

One commenter made a good point - if you are suddenly unemployed (and previously had health coverage), you are offered quite expensive coverage as your only option, at a time when you have LESS money to pay for it. So, many forego the coverage, and cross their fingers.

Sometimes, it works out.

Sometimes, it bites you in the butt.

I had an epiphany - why don't states offer access to Medicaid-level insurance - for a price comparable to employer-subsidized coverage - to those people on unemployment, who haven't access to a family member's health care? It would be ultimately cheaper than for those people to drop coverage entirely, and risk losing access to insurance.

Put a limit on how long it is available - perhaps with an increased price over time, to encourage people to take a job. That won't help everyone, but it will cover quite a few.

Revisiting double jeopardy and more on the broken link.

The Supreme Court will hear argument today on Gamble v. United States, a case that will re-examine the hitherto established doctrine that Double Jeopardy does not apply if the second prosecution is in a “different jurisdiction.” If you’re acquitted of a state offense in Simi Valley, California, you can, under this approach, be tried again in federal court on some concoted theory and God save the defendants.

But wait. There’s wonderful news:

For another, Trump’s Justice Department urged the Supreme Court not to take the case. It says the status quo, allowing state and federal prosecutions, should remain in place.[1]
Texas and 36 other states want the current skewering of the citizen to continue.

As I posted recently, there’s no connection between ruler and ruled and we see here in the position of the Justice Department and those state governments that they are just fine with prosecutions of individuals for the same crime. Some specious semantics and battery at the state level becomes “deprivation of civil rights” at the federal level, and we all know exactly what a deprivation of civil rights involves, don’t we? Nothing vague, slippery, or spongy about that charge. If I smack you in your face, state law is just not up to the task of punishing me. No, the feds can take after me with something ambiguous and rubbery so if they decide to charge me I’m toast before clerk in U.S. District Court drops the criminal charges in her “in” box.

Despite the clear injunction of the Constitution against double jeopardy, the courts have seen fit to make individuals defend themselves at huge expense from multiple prosecutions backed by the massive resources of the state. Sweet land of liberty.

It’s the same with every other issue you can think of. Congress address the issue of sealing the border? No way. Wayyy too simple. We the People have to wait with hat in hand while Congress and the president patch together “comprehensive immigration law reform” which means, as we all know quite well, The Big Finesse -- eternal delay, insulting lies, industrial strength ambiguity, and a giant middle finger salute to anyone who thinks it a bit odd to turn over the country to third-world hostiles, primitives and parasites as a priority matter. We can’t rush these things and many wise men must confer and craft the perfect fracking immigration “solution” to last through the ages.

Hey! Seal the border and stop all immigration except for people who can dance the Argentine Tango or have a sure-fire cure for ED. Wellll . . . .

Are AntiFa repulsive street thugs who routinely resort to violence against law-abiding citizens? Of course they are. It’s as obvious as your nose that they are lawless scum but one can grow old under the current political arrangements waiting for re-establishment of the King’s Peace.

Even a government headed by a man who spoke of making America great again doesn’t have the wit or the will to crucify filth like Antifa and he’s content to have his Justice Department argue for an extraordinarily oppressive legal interpretation harmful to ordinary citizens. You answered our call, Donald!

Clearly, addressing the needs of citizens is a matter of indifference to the feeble, useless leadership we have. What it is concerned about is maximum power over the citizen and maximum flexibility in going after its enemies. Protection of free speech, dissolution of monopolies, regulation of information utilities, closing borders, retreat from imperial adventure, and crucifying violent criminals take a back seat to the Treason Class getting theirs and solidifying their power.

But kudos for Justice Ginsburg and Justice Thomas for their opposition to the present oppressive approach to double jeopardy. Ginsburg makes a rare foray into concern for the liberty; Thomas has shown a lifetime devotion to it. And how the left despised him when his nomination was considered.

[1] "Supreme Court Set To Hear Landmark Case On Double Jeopardy." By Doug Mataconis, Outside the Beltway, 12/4/18.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Told You So Dept.

     Don’t you just purely hate the wisenheimers who say “I told you so” -- ? Isn’t their smirk simply the cruelest thing they could do to someone who’s just been hoist on the petard of his own arrogance / blindness / conceit? Wouldn’t you like to see a law passed that would indemnify you against any penalty for punching Mr. Told You So right in his grinning kisser?

     When we hear a told-you-so and feel our hackles rise, it’s usually because we wish we’d listened to him.

     Warning: Rant Ahead!

     Over at A Nod To The Gods, I saw and was struck by this picture:

     Teddy Roosevelt, an early Progressive who wielded the presidency like a club against anything he disliked, did a fair amount of damage to the Republic. However, he was clear-eyed about the disease we of today call identity politics. It’s a cancer, and cancers kill by devouring their victims from the inside. We knew it back then; we should know it today.

     But either we forgot TR’s simple wisdom or we willfully dismissed it. Identity groups, each with some claim to being “oppressed” or “marginalized,” are tearing the country to shreds. “Journalists,” ever eager for any increment of attention, are lining up to promote them, heedless of the damage to social cohesion. And of course coalition-minded politicians are feverishly outbidding one another to secure their votes.

     Until recently, identity politics was a “minority” phenomenon. Only a demographic cohort that could represent itself as “small” could plausibly play the game. But today we have identity groups of immense size. Consider the “women’s rights,” “men’s rights,” and “white identity” movements in progress.

     It had to happen. Once identitarianism became a political currency, everyone with an axe to grind would strive to collect on it. I’ve said so before.

     Identity politics and the particularism they embody could be the forces that bring about a second Civil War...if, indeed, such a war isn’t already in progress.

     I spend fifteen or twenty minutes per day surveying “social media” trends. That isn’t because I’m a social animal; quite the reverse. It’s because the “social media” are the Petri dishes for the next social trends. And if I read the chicken entrails correctly, one of the next social trends will be a rebirth of widespread anti-Semitism.

     There’s a lot of anti-Semitic opinion expressed on Gab. Enough, indeed, that it almost looks “mainstream.” The Jews have long been a favorite target of power-lusters and conspiratorialists. Among other things, they retain a tribal and cultural cohesion and resistance to adulteration. Also, they’re not numerous enough to fight back with much vigor.

     And now we’re beginning to see the anti-Semitic theme exploited by American Negroes. A good scapegoat will serve more than one attacker, so why not?

     This is what happens when a demographic is permitted to get away with a claim that its troubles, whatever they may be, are not its own fault and not its own duty to solve. But the “entitled” types refuse to accept the responsibility for their own fates. Rather, they demand that we accept them and oppress some other group – in this case, the best educated, most accomplished, most civilized, and most historically oppressed group in the history of Man.

     We’ve been told about this horror often enough. Anyone with a high school education should know all about it. Yeah, right.

     I got a particularly vicious laugh out of this piece. After haranguing us for decades that men are predators, that women don’t make false accusations about sexual assault, that even sex consented to at the time is rape if she regrets it afterward, et cetera ad nauseam infinitam, women are discovering the secondary consequences: that men no longer trust them. Quite a lot of men have institutionalized that distrust. Wall Street executives, sensing the rich possibilities for false claims against them, have adopted a “never be alone with an unchaperoned woman” attitude. No one is laughing at Mike Pence now.

     But it was obvious from the start that that would follow! What man in his right mind would leave himself open to attack by the less ethical and more vicious female sex? And of course, the more he has to lose, the more likely it is that he’ll understand the importance of taking precautions, so America’s “top catches” are insisting upon indisputable pre-recorded consent.

     A decade or two ago, men determined not to be mulcted for babies not of their seed started requesting certificates attesting to having been vasectomized. Anyone with three functioning brain cells should have expected further deteriorations in the degree of trust between the sexes. And here they are.

     You didn’t have to be a Certified Galactic Intellect to foresee all the above. You merely had to be familiar with the basics about human nature. You also had to accept that every action will have at least one undesired consequence, efforts to the contrary notwithstanding. But too many of us “think” with our wishes instead of our reason.

     I could go on for another hundred thousand words. I could detail the disasters brought about by political wishful thinking, especially in the realm of public finance. I could rave for days about what we should have foreseen would happen to the dollar once a “central bank” was permitted to create dollars out of thin air. I could compose a tirade for the ages about how obvious it was that the dependency the welfare state makes possible would be encouraged by welfare-state bureaucrats. I could vent for a whole year about the demise of “education” once “educators” were rendered immune to discipline for their excesses, school budgets were made irreducible, and activists were permitted unfettered access to our young.

     But I shan’t. There’s no need. What’s worse, there’s no point. Yes, I told you so. But so did a lot of other people with bulgier curricula vitae than mine. You didn’t listen to them, so why should I expect you to listen to me?

     Who are we failing to listen to today?

That Willie Horton campaign ad.

[G.H.W.] Bush's ad was so "racist" it never even showed Horton's picture. Instead, white male actors were shown passing through the "revolving door" of criminal justice.[1]
In fact, it was the forerunner of a zillion home security ads depicting the would be burglars as white males. Everyone knows the plot of that little fairy tale.

Rule Number One for our addled society is to finesse disproportionate black crime and that, among other things, without fail entails leveling the charge that the black prison population is large as it is because of “racism,” the gift that keeps on giving.[2]

Coulter aptly points out about the Horton ad:

What could be more central to a presidential campaign than an ad highlighting how Bush would handle criminal justice issues versus how the elected governor of Massachusetts was at that moment handling them?[3]
Indeed, what could? And Dukakis’s way of handling them was to release on furlough a violent felon who showed his predictably satanic nature when he invaded the home of his two victims. Quelle surprise!

It’s the mark of decent people that, within reason, they assume, the best about others. It’s only lunatic progressives, however, who assume the best about criminals with a court-certified track record of bestial behavior. Or who troll for votes even if it involves terrible danger to the law abiding.

But Bush was a racist for “noticing.” Noticing that Horton was a swine and that people who release such swine into the community are moral and intellectual cretins who shouldn’t be allowed to mow your grass let alone be president of the United States.

[1] "Bush's Finest 30 Seconds: The Willie Horton Ad." By Ann Coulter, uexpress, 12/5/18.
[2] The charge of “racist” drug policies is belied by the record of black support for tough drug laws. but don’t expect the political opportunists and liars to acknowledge that.
[3] Coulter, supra.