Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Civil War II Journal: To See, You Must Look

     The more you look, the more you see. -- Robert M. Pirsig

     The observation above seems a tautology. Its import rests on connotations that strike some as “obvious” but leave others scratching their heads:

  • To look is an act of volition; it requires the willingness to see.
  • To see is to perceive reality and to accept it as supreme over all preconceptions about it.

     As with so many other things, it does seem perfectly simple once you understand it:

     Almost all knowledge, after all, fell into that category. It was either perfectly simple once you understood it, or else it fell apart into fiction. As a Jesuit—even here, fifty light-years from Rome—Ruiz-Sanchez knew something about knowledge that Lucien le Comte des Bois-d’Averoigne had forgotten, and that Cleaver would never learn: that all knowledge goes through both stages, the annunciation out of noise into fact, and the disintegration back into noise again. The process involved was the making of increasingly finer distinctions. The outcome was an endless series of theoretical catastrophes.
     The residuum was faith.

     [James Blish, A Case of Conscience ]

     The chaos of contemporary sociodynamics arises from a rampant particularism: the assignment of personal allegiances to ever more narrowly defined groups or – in the current argot – “identities.” Today the focus is upon political and racial allegiances.

     It’s an open secret that political affiliation tends to condition attitudes toward lawbreakers and miscreants. For example, as the mainstream media are now firmly aligned with the Left, they routinely downplay horrors committed by the Left and its mascot groups. When we in the Right dare to expose such media malfeasance, Leftists try their damnedest to silence us. Failing that, they strive to shout us down: “Racist!” “Sexist!” “Homophobe!” “Xenophobe!” and so forth.

     The mainstream media also strain to give the Left’s preferred coloration to the statements and actions of politicians in the Right. Who could possibly forget how the media characterized President Trump’s magnificent Mount Rushmore speech? “Divisive” was the mildest of their condemnations. Anyone who listened to the speech or read the transcript would know the condemnations for lies...but persons on the Left would rather swallow the media’s portrayal uncritically, in a state of self-imposed ignorance, than check it against the facts.

     Is it possible that we in the Right are guilty of the same sort of self-imposed blindness in the service of our partisanry? Yes, it is. However, I can’t put my finger on an example of it. That should tell you something as well, especially if you can cite examples of it.

     Allegiance groups are hardening the boundaries that define them, partly in response to the hostility of their opponents, but also to keep their allegiants within them. Fewer and fewer persons are actually willing to look. The consequences for what they see “should” be “obvious.”

All the Protestants...hate the Catholics,
And the Catholics...hate the Protestants,
All the Hindus hate all the Moslems,
And everybody hates the Jews!

[Tom Lehrer, “National Brotherhood Week”]

     Left versus Right. Black versus White. Urban versus Suburban / Rural. Muslims versus Non-Muslims. Homosexuals versus Heterosexuals. White Collar versus Blue Collar. And Establishmentarians versus Everybody Else.

     I am put in mind of George Alec Effinger’s marvelous, horrifying short story “All The Last Wars At Once.” What will be left when the shooting stops? Will there be a foundation upon which we can reconstruct our traditional E Pluribus Unum? Will there be anything worth saving?

     Unclear. Massively unclear! And mortally frightening to those who love this country and its ideals, and who honor those who have labored, sacrificed, and bled to actualize them. Millions of good-hearted people from coast to coast are screaming for it to stop, to recognize the brotherhood of all men and return to public order. They’ve had enough and they want their country’s previous, admittedly imperfect harmony restored.

     I can’t convince myself that it’s possible. The divisions have been cleaved too deeply. The hatreds have been too greatly inflamed. And some of the groups involved have admitted quite candidly that their aim is to destroy the American sociopolitical order. In favor of what? It varies...but the destruction of the existing order, they maintain, is absolutely required.

     I look with both eyes open, and that is what I see.

     I want to be wrong about this. I want the country of my youth back; yea verily, just as much as I want my youth back. But the more I look, the more evidence I see that the struggle has become total and final: those who cherish America as it was versus those who seek to tear it down. I remain alert for evidence to the contrary. Where is it?

     Where are the Leftists who will restrain their violent ideological brethren?
     Where are the blacks who will discipline their unruly co-racialists?
     Where are the homosexuals who want only to be left in peace?
     Where are the Muslims who will corral the jihadis?

     And where oh where are the academics, entertainers, and assorted glitterati who will rein in their fellows who persistently condemn us in the Right as ignorant, subhuman, aspiring totalitarians?

     To any men of good will who sit silent among the left-inclined, the blacks, the homosexuals, the Muslims, and the rest: Show yourselves! If you retain your decency, step forward. Proclaim the brotherhood of man: that as we are equal in our Creator’s eyes, we must do unto others as we would have them do unto us. That all lives matter! Rebuke and restrain those of your particular “identity” who would dare to say otherwise. Else I will disbelieve in you. I will have no choice.

     I will continue to look, and I will report what I see.

Monday, July 13, 2020

White Hollywood in Tears

They are unlikely to be able to resuscitate their careers after the C-19 restrictions end. Ever.

They are walking on eggshells, first posting their 'affirmations' of support for BLM, then cowering in shame when they are criticized for doing so 'wrongly' or 'insensitively'.


I'm trying not to hit the floor, in actual pain from the belly-laughs this causes. I have NO sympathy for the White Hollywood Elite Woke (WHEW! for short) - they were fine with the 'outing' of NLDs, non-conforming gays, and the Insufficiently Woke, but, when the carnage hits THEIR house, it's suddenly a 'horrible travesty of justice'.


Strictly on commercial grounds, looking at the bottom line, the studios would be crazy to ignore the population that makes up a HUGE part of their audience:
  • The Urban Youths (mostly Black, but also Latinos and others) who make up MOST of the people going to non-Marvel, non-Star Wars movies. They've made gigantic hits out of the films of Black creators, including Black Panther, Get Out!, and just about every Tyler Perry movie ever made. They deserve to be listened to about their preferences - they ARE the paying customers.
  • Asians - the success of Asian imports, from the old Kung Fu movies, to Bollywood spectacles, to sensitive, nuanced films (Be There - available on Prime Video), Crazy Rich Asians, and many more. They do go to the theaters, often to see the imports, but also to see Western/Chinese joint creations, films in which THEY are the heroes who get the girl, films that portray the complexity and variety of the Asian experience.
  • Women - yeah, I know that these films are about How Women Are Put-Upon and Eventually Rise Up to Crush Their Patriarchal Enemies, but, women have been sitting in the audience for a LONG time.
All of the above audiences are also more likely to subscribe to premium cable offerings. They spend more time watching that entertainment.

In short, they've EARNED the right - with their dollars giving them the vote - to get the entertainment they want. By the people they want.

And, all the de Niros, Streeps, and other WHEW! people can just suck on it.

The Antidote For Spiritual Poison: A Belated Rumination

     There are many ways to be unhealthy. One can be diseased in the body, disordered in the mind, or afflicted in the soul. Each of those categories knows many internal variations. There are specific treatments for each of them. As I’m neither a medical doctor nor a mental health professional, my focus is on spiritual maladies.

     (I can hear you muttering all the way over here, you know. “Here he goes again, practicing soul-doctoring without a license.” Well, yes. But at least, pace Robert Sheckley, I confine my prescriptions to stuff you can get over-the-counter. The worst of the known side effects is a mild case of boredom.)

     One common spiritual malady is emptiness: the absence of a guiding belief system to which one has sincerely committed oneself. Sincerely is a key component. Many who claim to hold to a faith of one sort of another, when observed “in action,” reveal that faith to be cosmetic only. Such persons are quite as empty as any candid nihilist. Only heartfelt commitment to a wholesome faith will serve their need.

     Another important disease of the soul is adherence to a toxic belief system. A creed which is logically unsound, or whose ethical prescriptions contradict the Law of General Benevolence, will have deleterious effects both on the believer and on those around him. There have been many such creeds, though only one – Islam – remains an important force.

     Those are the two worst spiritual afflictions. Many who suffer from them are unaware of what’s causing their suffering. But help is available for both.

     I recently acquired a remarkable little book: God Knew There Would Be A Today, by multi-virtuoso “Mean Mary” James, her brother Frank, and her mother Jean. It’s a collection of 365 very short devotional pieces, each of which speaks to a particular spiritual theme. Each day in the non-Leap-Year calendar is assigned one piece. The reader is advised to read and reflect upon the day’s piece before he begins his day...and perhaps again when his day is done. Their beauty, directness, and simplicity remind me of the devotional poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins.

     I hope the Jameses will not take it amiss if I reproduce here the entry for July 16:

     This earth’s worldly-wise-do-gooders claim we shouldn’t meddle with the religion of different heathen peoples. They say that a heathen’s belief is his heritage, and we should leave it alone. That sounds reasonable, but what if we know of a wonderful field of food, and we meet hungry people who are trying to gain sustenance from stubble? Shouldn’t we show them where they might fill their bellies with satisfying, life-sustaining fare? If we overhear a dying person pray to a force of nature, a merely human god, or an idol, should we stand by and let that person be lost for all eternity so as not to interfere with someone’s heritage?
No heritage exists outside of Jesus Christ.
Christ’s servants had enough boldness to make this statement in Biblical times.
Do we have enough love to say it today?

     Time was, all the Christian denominations not only said it but lived it. They sent missionaries to the dark places of the world to proclaim the love of God, the mission of His Son Jesus, and the promise of everlasting life. Such missionaries were remarkably effective, as long as they practiced what they preach...and most of them did.

     Those were times of a character that differed greatly from ours. People were less worried about “offending” by stating their convictions. Nor were they in any doubt, when they confronted some evil, that evil was what it was. Consider this famous statement by Sir Charles Napier, on being told that suttee, the practice of burning a widow on her late husband’s funeral pyre, was a traditional practice of India with which he should not interfere:

     “You say it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom; when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your customs. And then we will follow ours.”

     And damned be he that dares to say the British shouldn’t have “interfered” with an important native custom.

     Religious proselytizing has acquired an unpleasant reputation, partly because of those who propagandize against it, but also because of those who do it badly. I’m no fan of door-to-door proselytizers. I’ll allow that their hearts are usually in the right place – they’re trying to share something they consider critically important – but the method has a huge freight of negatives, including the intrusiveness of it and the tendency they exhibit to over-press even the tentatively receptive. Rare is the man who’s entirely comfortable with finding a stranger on his doorstep, there to pitch a religious creed.

     But there are other ways. Living your faith, and standing ready to explain it to those who take an interest in you, and in what it is that has rendered you so serene, is one. Magician and humorist Penn Jillette experienced another:

     I was struck powerfully by this statement Jillette made:

     “How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible...and not tell them that?

     Reflect on that. Then go back to the previous segment, reread the snippet from God Knew There Would Be A Today, and reflect some more.

     A wholesome faith is the best imaginable antidote to a spiritual poison. Christianity, whose Founder told us that eternal life in bliss is available on simple terms, who demonstrated His sincerity by dying on a cross, and who certified His authority by returning from the dead, is the most wholesome of all creeds. Some have skepticism issues that they must work past on their own. Some must see the creed demonstrated in the lives of its adherents. Others know its value immediately upon encountering it. As my Vietnamese-American sweetie Duyen has said:

     Being a good example is a form of charity that isn't much appreciated. But it's always been the most effective form of preaching, the preparation for everything else. Your deeds can open the door for your words; nothing else will. And when that door is opened to you, you must speak. You must tell your story -- without embarrassment or fear -- and you must learn how to reassure others who haven't "gotten there" yet that their stories still have a few chapters to run.

     May God bless and keep you all – and by the way, Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself, and Ghislaine Maxwell won’t either. Just sayin’.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Turnabout Is Fair Play, Right?

     This had me in stitches:

     I hope it really happened.

Fisking Fran Lebowitz

I was reading an interview of Fran Lebowitz in The New Yorker (don't know quite why I started, probably was avoiding doing work). I stopped dead when I hit this from Fran:
Franklin Graham I’ve kept track of since I saw him swearing in George W. Bush to the Presidency. 
I actually took the time to check, as it didn't strike me as truthful - presidents are typically sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (some had other members of the Judiciary do that ceremony - Calvin Coolidge, due to Harding's sudden death, was sworn in by his father, a judge). I was correct - it was Chief Justice Rehnquist, both times).

The interviewer said,
Don’t they make volunteers agree to something that says marriage is between a male and female?
Referring to Franklin Graham, and his charity, Paid Staff are asked to sign the Statement of Faith, which does follow standard Baptist teaching. Volunteers don't have to (and those that said they had been rejected for not signing had no proof of those statements).

For those who've never heard of Fran, she's kind of this protypical New Yorker - sour, acerbic without being profound, and myopic about the mystical New York of her youth. She's a former writer - look, she hasn't written a book since 1981 - that's almost 40 years of living off her reputation as a writer (not as bad as Salinger, but...). Correction, she co-wrote a book. I do understand people hitting rough patches, but, decades of not writing is NOT a bad patch. It's giving up.

I don't know why she has the reputation she does - most of her work consists of collected essays she'd previously written. Apparently, they like the way she wears man-tailored suits, smokes non-stop, and is famously solitary and with absolutely NO housekeeping skills. She's like the female version of Woody Allen - Jewish-but-not-really, loads of quips and sarcastic put-downs, and a visage even a mother would have to work to love.

She makes a living by talking:
 I’m more concerned with how we will know this is over. I do speaking engagements—that’s how I make a living—and they’re all cancelled. I suppose places will reopen, but no one knows when.
She hates DeBlasio and Sanders, disdains Biden for his corruption, is lukewarm about Cuomo, and - what a surprise! Hates Trump. But, she LOVED Liz Warren, of whom she said:
It’s very unusual to have such a good candidate. I realized that she’s a woman and that was going to be a bad thing for her, as it is for all of us. Also, that she was the smartest, and that has always been something that Americans cannot stand. So a smart woman, I thought, doesn’t really have much of a chance.
Right. Americans can't stand 'smart' people. 

You keep telling yourself that, honey.

A Brilliant Idea

     As I mentioned yesterday, there’s a mass migration taking place in the U.S. Tens of thousands of Americans are leaving the coastal cities where things are going to Hell and moving to still-civilized places. Many are making great sacrifices to do so. They deem their safety, and the safety of their loved ones, to be of greater importance than the jobs, relationships, and conveniences their old neighborhoods afford them. From that perspective, it’s a laudable decision, though some would argue that electing to stay and fight for what they value would be even more praiseworthy.

     I am one such person. I’m about to spend a great deal of money and undertake no end of trouble to relocate my little family from Eastern Long Island to North Idaho. New York has become hostile to my sort. I’m disinclined to remain here long enough for that hostility to reach our district, especially as I have a wife and seven four-footed dependents.

     But the evils that motivate such relocations are also on the move. They’re oozing outward from their origin points in the large coastal cities and slowly encroaching on communities that were once untroubled by the racialist / socialist malady. Their backers, including some members of the political class, are encouraging that oozing. I’ve written about the reasons for this. Indeed, I’ve done so more than once. I hope you’ve been paying attention.

     The dynamic is a simple one:

  • Governments and private predators share a need for victims to mulct and / or subjugate.
  • Both gain from making their intended victims fear them.
  • Predators always move toward their prey. Should the prey attempt to flee, the predator will follow.
  • Citizens’ fear of private predators is an asset to governments eager for expanded and increased powers.

     But predatory behavior does not exist in a vacuum. Governmental predation must partake of “the consent of the governed,” at least initially. The chaos in America’s great cities was made possible by the political elite – and those persons were awarded their powers by the populations that voted for them.

     Now the people who voted in the politicians whose policies engendered the cities’ chaos are flocking toward the still-civilized regions. Should they bring with them the beliefs and attitudes that made the riots possible, the cancer will spread along with them.

     In recognition of this, Jesse Kelly has a bill to place before Congress:

     If only! Perhaps enforced with high walls and armed patrols. But of course it’s both politically impossible and Constitutionally unacceptable. Yet it expresses an ardent desire felt by those of us who want to be left alone. I find myself wishing it could be done, for the majority of the alternatives are worse. Some are much worse.

     Decent Americans cannot put the strife-riven cities in rings of steel. We have lives to conduct. Standing watch over a portion of the border between Nassau and Queens would put a large crimp in my activities, at least. Yet we’re getting to a point where a readiness to respond as the residents of Coeur d’Alene responded to reports of an influx of rioters from Spokane will become a responsibility of a good American. Being a member-in-readiness of an armed citizen militia will go from being a quaint, long-abandoned Eighteenth Century notion to a Twenty-First Century obligation of the able-bodied male.

     The rioters and those who have backed their activities from the outset won’t simply retire from the field. They will assuredly challenge those militias. There will be mass bloodshed.

     No, I don’t like it either. But it’s in the tea leaves, the yarrow stalks, the Tarot cards, the chicken entrails, and the Zodiac. Given the political conditions in the coastal cities where the chaos is rampant, I have no idea how to head it off.

     Just a few unpleasant thoughts for your early Sunday morning. Oh, and by the way, buy guns and ammo.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Are You "Living Your Principles"?

Or just being a spiteful, vengeful D**K?

It's primarily women who do this - or, girlish kinda-men.

It's pretty much the same script - over and over and over again.
  1. Someone "outs" himself as a NLD (Non-Leftist Dissident).
  2. The Outraged Right-Thinker immediately jumps in to:
    1. Identify the person publicly (dox them)
    2. Use social media to call for a boycott of the NLD
    3. Aggressively add to the pile-on with ever more violent and vindictive comments
  3. When it's all over (generally when the person is broke, homeless, and near-suicidal), justify your actions as Living Your Principles.
  4. Preen about your Glorious Sanctity.
  5. Repeat ad infinitum
We who have normal moral thinking need to target those business owners for special promotion among all we can influence. Patronize that place, suggest them for any business or community organization functions, and buy gift cards for any and all occasions.

And, cut those Special People from your lives entirely. If forced to stay in contact, use quiet refusal to engage in any non-essential talk or interaction. If asked why you are doing it, have hardcopies of their malevolent behavior available, and make sure the family knows you are NOT going to 'make nice' about this.

They need to apologize publicly, post that apology on social media, and go to the owner, groveling and making amends.

Otherwise, they can go F--- themself.

Which Way Are You Inclined?

     I know a fair number of people who are utterly confident that President Trump will be re-elected in November, that the Durham investigations will produce massive numbers of indictments of former Obama Administration insiders, that the economic rebound after the Wuhan virus panic will break all records, and that there will be a meaningful World Series this coming October. I also know a fair number or people who are utterly despondent, as they’re convinced that President Trump will lose to Senile Joe Biden, that the Durham investigations will sputter out without meaningful consequences, that the economy will linger in the doldrums for many more months, and that baseball as we have known and loved it is but a memory.

     I belong in neither of these groups. I won’t predict any of the outcomes they foresee. I wait, watch, and wonder whether all is not as it seems.

     What about you, Gentle Reader?

     John Wilder opines thus:

     How did the Modern Sporting Lawyer make you feel?

     That’s why he and his wife are condemned. That’s why they have vowed to cancel him, to make an example of them, to find a way to charge them with crime. They are the opposite of demoralization.

     The Modern Sporting Lawyer and his wife drive the Left crazy. Here, their desire to destroy as a senseless mob was turned back by only two people.

     Can you imagine if the Right was united? I can.

     Wilder is cheerfully optimistic, despite his warning that we in the Right must stop fighting amongst ourselves. I like the tone of his piece and the direction of his sentiments, but I can’t fully share his optimism. As a wise man once said:

Confident is how you feel
Just before you get blindsided.

     (Who was that wise man, I hear you ask? I think it was me.)

     To that effect, we have this recent development:

     Law enforcement officials in St. Louis have allegedly served a warrant on the St. Louis couple who recently defended their home when a large mob of angry demonstrators allegedly trespassed onto their private property.

     “5 On Your Side has learned St. Louis police officers executed a search warrant Friday evening at the home of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the Central West end couple who confronted protesters with weapons in June,” KSDK News reported. “Sources tell 5 On Your Side police seized one of the weapons, the rifle, from the couple and they told police their attorney has the pistol seen in photos.”

     Fox News host Shannon Bream confirmed the news in a tweet, writing, “BREAKING: Warrant reportedly served on St. Louis couple who stood outside their home with weapons as protesters approached. We’re told weapon(s) seized. We’ve got the warrant and pictures for you at 11p – PLUS, Missouri @AGEricSchmitt joins us LIVE…”

     So the “forces of order” in St. Louis have disarmed a couple targeted by a violent and destructive mob. That couple is the very same one Wilder referred to in his optimistic piece. As this news was broadcast on St. Louis media, the mob now knows that the McCloskeys have been shorn of the power to resist them. What would you predict from these conditions?

  • Will the McCloskeys ever get their weapons back?
  • Will they face charges for having dared to defend themselves?
  • Will other St. Louis residents dare to defend their property with weapons?
  • Will the mob attack the McCloskeys’ home now that they’ve been disarmed?
  • Will the D.A.s of other riot-torn cities react similarly toward armed defense of private property?

     It doesn’t look good to me – certainly not as rosy a picture as John Wilder has painted.

     The central unanswered question throughout the riots has been “Which side is officialdom on?” It must be answered locale by locale, of course. In some areas, the answer has been heartening: no one in Coeur d’Alene has been harassed by the police for having defended that city from the rioters who tore up Spokane. In others, the answer appears to be the reverse: in St. Louis, defending yourself against criminals is being treated as a criminal offense. Here on Long Island, the chips have yet to fall.

     A great rearrangement of regional populations is underway. Large numbers of Americans are departing from long-time homes on the coasts, especially in and around the major cities. They’re moving to less densely populated areas that have not yet been targeted by the Black Lives Matter / AntiFa / Communist coalition. Many are giving up a great deal – careers, neighborhoods they’ve loved, proximity to family and friends – in a quest for greater safety from the rampaging mobs. That constitutes a barometer of popular sentiment: yea, even among those who voted for the very officials who have sided with the mobs and against peaceable citizens.

     As soon as I can manage it, I will be part of that population rearrangement. I want to believe that all will be well, as John Wilder has predicted. However, belief must give way before the evidence – and just now the evidence does not inspire confidence:

  • The mass army of the Right John Wilder envisions is not yet in evidence.
  • Police forces in riot-torn cities have stood aside before the rioters.
  • D.A.s would rather prosecute the peaceful and law-abiding.
  • No federal response to the riots is in prospect.

     So: How do you see things working out, Gentle Reader? If you’re a resident of – or proximate to – one of the riot-torn cities, what are your strongest inclinations concerning the safety of your home and family? What conceivable developments would cause you to alter those inclinations?

     Please let me know. What you can tell me about conditions in your district, and how you’re minded to meet them, is information of value to others in similar circumstances. Lives could be at stake.

Self-Study During Lockdown

The extra time available during this time of limited outside activities could be productive. I suggest that you educate yourself - no, not in that pretentious and condescending "Woke" way.

This could be a great opportunity to acquire information about how mobs form, and are used, by the Left. A good place to start is with a documentary on the Chinese Cultural Revolution, in which students were used to identify dissidents, publicly shame, torture, and humiliate them, and - ultimately - turn them over to the 'authorities' for jail, confiscation of their assets, and even death.

Over the next few weeks, as I have time, I'll add other suggestions to the list. I'll add the tag 'Conservative Self-Education' to each post, to make it easier to find them in a search of this site. Consider sending the links to young people of your acquaintance - they really do need to learn The History That Schools Will Not Teach.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Round-Up Time

In no particular order, some things that caught my eye:

Trump's action to keep online-only foreign students from getting a visa - well played, sir! Foreigners playing the American university systems to get access to jobs is long-standing, and a disgrace. We who are the American public pay a lot for the colleges and universities - either directly, through state subsidies, or indirectly, through the colleges taking advantage of their tax-free status to amass a HUGE endowment, while continuing to charge Americans ridiculous tuitions. Yet, foreigners take up many places in those schools, because they can be charged double for the privilege of attending.

What you see is not always "the truth". This is a lucid and clear explanation of why we need to wait until the trial to make our decisions about the policeman's culpability. Too many people, including some public officials, are arguing for summary execution - what is commonly called lynching. Which, generally, USED to be considered a very bad thing.

I guess it depends on who the lynchee is.

What the hold on Floyd was, apparently, a restraint, that kept him from injuring himself or others, and kept the officers from being in a position where the only way to stop him would be use of a gun. Why do I say that?

Look at the position of his hands while he was restraining Floyd; his hands were in his pockets. That's a position that you would take if you wanted to make sure that you weren't accused of abuse.

So, was Floyd smothered? Read an explanation of the technique, and others, here. Police Magazine has information about the technique, and when it might be dangerous to use.

I swear, the Zman and I must have been separated at birth. He's wondering some of the strange things I've also been asking about. 

Why is debt reduction suddenly up? 

Why are the media talking about how important the Sports Monopoly is to us, when we can clearly see that attendance in person, and interest in any medium, is WAY down? 

Why are people buying even more guns than when Obama was president? (Well, I have my suspicions, but...)

And, speaking of buying binges, there are a LOT of people stocking their pantries and putting in gardens.

Why is trust in Media, "recognized authorities", and the Important Ones That Tell Us What to Think, so drastically down?


I'm thinking it, too.

Soon, very soon, All Hell is Going to Break Loose. It's already begun. It's reached the point that others - those not normally aware of the oncoming storm, are seeing it.

It's not even necessarily a conscious awareness. But, like the restless birds and animals before a storm, they are showing that they FEEL it coming.

To HELL with the term "The New Normal".

No. It's the New Abnormal. And, most of us are WAY past heartily sick of it. Expect increasing levels of resistance. And, THAT'S when the Real Revolution starts - not because of these manufactured riots in big cities - ho-hum, same old.

No, it's when the average person gets a load of pissed-off circulating in his system, and begins to think, and act, like an outlaw. Outside of the law. Contemptuous of the law. Ready to toss the law, and it's enforcers, over.

The teachers - elementary, middle, and high school - had better stop talking on FakeBook, and start listening to regular people. Most people are not so afraid of C-19 as to consider keeping their kids out of school for another year, or even part of one. And, they will NOT see why the teachers should keep collecting their full pay for not being in the classroom with those kids.

Right now, many are 'sharing' their concerns, and talking bravely about refusing to return. Like that's gonna stop the schools from opening. Or, the parents in those few systems that don't from coming into the school board meeting, pitchforks in hand.

I do realize that many teachers have valid reasons for not wanting to return to the classroom:
  • Personal concerns about health; family members who are at high risk for complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Old age/being in that group that, if infected, is more likely to die
  • A realistic assessment that their life, if they return, is likely to be more difficult, loaded down with a huge number of tasks that HAVE to be done properly, or else, and including covering for classes without teachers (and no subs - many of them are in the critical age range)
For those folks, taking time off - a year or two, or even leaving permanently, might be best for them.

But, the actual risk for most is low, the procedures they will be using should reduce even that risk, and the exposure to others will likely result in a sweep of illness for a few weeks, then - nothing.

Followed by the protection of the herd having become immunized. End of problem.

In Vino Gravitas

     You’ve seen the phrase In vino veritas before, right? “In wine, there is truth.” Well, there might also be a measure of Constitutional insight:

     (Shamelessly stolen from Kenny “Wirecutter” Lane.)

     It recalls to mind an Independence Day piece I wrote long ago, which first appeared at Eternity Road. The meat of it follows.

     Today is, of course, Independence Day, the quintessentially American holiday. In a way, it's misplaced, for independence was ratified by a unanimous vote taken on the Second of July, 1776; the final wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved on the Fourth, and the signatures of the majority of the delegates were affixed to it on the Second of August. Down the decades that have passed since then, historians and others have speculated as to why the delegates waited nearly a full month to sign Thomas Jefferson's immortal document.

     Actually, people "in the know" have simply refrained from letting the information get around. It was too embarrassing. It would abrade too many sensibilities. The national psyche could be mortally wounded. Nevertheless, the time has come for full disclosure. The delegates to the Continental Congress refrained from signing the document on the Fourth for the best of all reasons.

     They were drunk.

     You've been drunk at least once, haven't you? So you know what it's like to awaken gummy-eyed and dry-mouthed, feeling as if you've been knocked down by a dog and run over by a truck. There's this pain somewhere behind your eyes that suggests that your sinuses have been invaded by a regiment of Desiccators from Death Valley. Your joints feel as if someone opened each one up and poured in a handful of sand. When you first sit up, you get a distinct feeling that the world ended during the night, and for your sins you've been named to the cleanup crew. Coffee doesn't really help; it only awakens you still further to the magnitude of your self-inflicted agonies.

     And that's if you remember the night before.

     Anyway, the ratifiers of our Declaration of Independence surely understood the gravity of their decision. At that time, Britain was the preeminent military power in the Western world, while the American colonies could barely muster an army. To sign the Declaration, putting one's public stamp of approval on a win-or-die rebellion against so powerful an empire, must have evoked intense fears...especially among those delegates who'd have to explain their decisions to their wives. Beyond all question, after the Declaration was approved, the delegates trooped in a body into the nearest watering hole and did their damnedest to drown their anxieties in ale.

     (You didn't really think Samuel Adams's name was famous for his insurrectionist activities, did you?)

     And a mighty drunk it must have been. For whenever a delegate returned to partial sobriety, he needed only to glance at his partners in rebellion, snoring around him, to remember why he'd embraced Bacchus so fervently the night before. That was more than enough impetus to call for another round.

     That classic binge gave rise to one of the most important features of the new republic: the national debt. For the delegates had been sent to Philadelphia by the state legislatures; they were on expense accounts. And when was a politician's claim of "entertainment expenses" ever put to serious scrutiny? Of course, eventually the tab exceeded the delegates' means, at which point the innkeeper rousted them all out. That allowed them to sober up sufficiently to sign the Declaration a mere twenty-nine days after actually ratifying it.

     That wasn't quite the end of the affair. The innkeeper harried the delegates from place to place, demanding compensation for their multifarious uses of his establishment. Their frequent relocations owed as much to his wrath as to the danger from the Redcoats. Ultimately, the imperative of national unity compelled a Second Continental Congress in 1777, where their gargantuan bar bill was appended to the war liabilities of the federal government in a "closed" session. They proceeded to draft the Articles of Confederation and, still being hung over, guaranteed national insolvency by neglecting to give the newly formed federal government the power to tax. Thus was the Constitutional Convention of 1787 made inevitable, and the phrase "not worth a Continental Congressman," unfortunately shorn by overprotective historians of its last word, coined.

     Happy Independence Day, America. Hoist one or two or six for me, would you please? I'll be sure to do the same for you. For we are all truly blessed...and in my case, in more ways than I can count, but one meriting special mention today: the friendship of a certain brilliant and extremely well shod American-by-choice, whose contributions to the maintenance of my mental health are greater than I could ever say.

     And from such persons and their bibulosity, we got the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Doesn’t that lend a bit of support to H. L. Mencken’s recommendation that, for maximum social harmony, it would be best to keep the entire population of the world “gently stewed?” Give it some thought. I have – and I believe I’ll have another drink. The Pinot Noir this time, sweetie.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up Dept.

     Anyone who’s been paying attention is aware that since Bill de Blasio was elected New York City’s mayor, the Big Apple has been on an accelerating dive toward shithole status. Indeed, de Blasio has worked hard to destroy New York. He’s left no stone unturned in his efforts to undo the critical reforms of the previous twenty years, especially the law-enforcement practices Giuliani put in place that were continued by Michael Bloomberg. In consequence, New York is headed back toward the chaos of the Nineties, when decent persons were unsafe at all hours and the worst elements in the city controlled the streets.

     Of course, de Blasio is aware of all this. So apart from his ridiculous run for the Democrat presidential nomination, how has he been spending his days?

     Murders and crime are at an all time high in New York, but this ignorant and arrogant stupido sucks up salary from the citizens of New York to indulge in petty photo-ops with fake "Reverend" Sharpton, and his bi-sexual wife (aka I'll have sex with anyone or anything.)

     Fairly strange behavior from a man who’s simultaneously seeking billions in “bailout money” from the Trump Administration, eh what? But de Blasio is a committed hard-Leftist, and this is the behavior of the Left in our time.

     If you aren’t already biting your tongue in the hope that this is just a bad dream, have a little more:

     Later Thursday afternoon, the Commie mayor told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he is banning all large gatherings such as parades, fairs and concerts except for Black Lives Matter riots through September.

     Summer is cancelled in New York City.

     Yes, really:

     A Communist totalitarian commands the administration over what was once the greatest city in the world: the Mecca to which ambitious men and visionary executives all aspired. Is it any wonder that people and businesses that can flee the city are doing so as swiftly as they can?

     Any bets on whether de Blasio will win a third term as mayor?

This is the economy.

It's hard to see where the following is wrong. Who would take the position that some devilishly clever master plan by the intellectual giants of our precious political "elite" will make all this come out fragrant, clean, and shiny?
[The stock market did very well in 2Q 2020, but the] economy, on the other hand, was severely scorched. Decades of debt had built up like dead wood amongst a forest understory. Then, at the worst possible time, government lockdown orders sparked a match and set it ablaze.

The results were predictable to everyone but the experts. Supply chain disruptions followed by retail disruptions, followed by declining sales, followed by disappearing cash flow, followed by layoffs, followed by business closures, followed by shrinking tax receipts, followed by unserviceable public and private debt, followed by mass bankruptcies, followed by riots, followed by full societal breakdown. The economic wildfire raged through so fast most people don’t comprehend what has happened.

The interim solutions from Washington, in concert with the Federal Reserve, have been to add more fuel. That is, the solutions have centered around mega efforts to paper over the economic depression with massive amounts of fake money.[1]

And for some really depressing news, Mr. or Ms. Gordon writes:
Indeed, the systematic destruction of the dollar, as a matter of policy, has grave consequences. Something big and ugly is coming.[2]
As one recovering alcoholic put it after recounting the utter disaster his life had become when he was an active alcoholic, "And my best thinking got me there." It is tempting to think that all of this is mere misjudgment, a series of honest judgment calls that went sideways. But that kind of thinking is for naifs and the addle-brained. This was avoidable a long time ago but every last opportunity that presented itself along the way to reverse course and re-embrace sanity was firmly declined like an invitation to a Nancy Pelosi pole dance.

Returning to sobriety left town on a rail to cries of "neo-liberalism!!!" and "austerity!!!"

We are so screwed with, inter alia, a corrupt Supreme Court, a hollow shell of a Constitution, vote fraud as astra, a predatory and hostile political elite, stifling monopolies, lunatic feminists, homosexuals and their corrosive agenda, a corrupt press, and half the population determined to recreate the Bolshevik catastrophe and turn the country over to millions of parasitic, hostile, non-assimilating foreigners and minorities in the process until their usefulness evaporates and firing squads can be organized. "Thank you for your service."

[1]  "'Something Big & Ugly Is Coming' - Game Over Spending." By M.N. Gordon, ZeroHedge, 7/10/20 (emphasis removed and added).
[2] Id. (Emphasis removed.)

Thursday, July 9, 2020

How the GOP Could Use The Language of the Left

I got up, started the coffee, and read this post.

And, suddenly, Just Like That, I was Awake (in contrast to Woke).

From now on, the GOP and their candidates, in their ads, need to argue, not to reduce the expenses of government, but to Defund them.

Think about it - the main complaint we have about government spending (other than not wanting to break the budget) is that the programs don't work.

If the programs are ineffective, and don't truly help those who 'need' them, then why should we keep spending on them?

Defund them:

  • EPA doesn't work, hasn't cleaned up the cities, still spends most of its time working on keeping business out of Elite Enclaves, the wilderness (where the White People are the ones taking advantage of the scenery), and the beaches (again, largely a White people thing). So, Defund it. Let the local government take over the function.
  • The Dept. of Education doesn't work. The kids are not learning, the paperwork takes away from the teacher's time, and it forces schools to pay more administrators, just to handle all the testing and reporting. So, Defund it.
  • The CDC is not doing its job - they release tests that didn't work, give out advice that turns out to be wrong, and is not managing the most simple jobs - managing PPE supply and distribution to hot spots. So, Defund it, return those employed to the Army Medical Corps to be re-assigned (Hey! Maybe the VA Health System could use some trained doctors who speak English!), and outsource the activities to private vendors. The CDC was started at a time when there were few doctors/medical personnel educated and trained on dealing with outbreaks of infectious diseases. There are MANY of them now, working for private companies, along with private labs with researchers. Keep a core group, working under direction of HHS, to oversee reports, and send in the outsourced troops.
  • Public Housing. Expensive, dirty, gang-infested. Obviously not better than private housing. Demolish the aging buildings. Eliminate Section 8. Instead, use publicly available resources - the market. Allow a 2-year bump in the size of the check for those currently in housing - but, no rent subsidy. They can use that bump to:
    • Rent an affordable apartment - in cities today, they are getting concerned about housing oversupply, as those in the top tiers leave. As those apartment become vacant, the next tier down will move, freeing up cheaper apartments. I would expect the free market to bring downward pressure on housing costs, making affordable housing widely available.
    • Move to another city. Continue using that money to get their lives back on track, including getting a job. Whatever. When their time is up, they're off the dole.
    • Move in with family or friends, and use most of that money to prepare to live independently, including paying old debts, saving the leftover (bank saving accounts should be permitted, without penalty, for the duration of this experiment). Take advantage of the situation to get a job, get an education (up to a 2-year college degree), and get OUT of that lifestyle.
Anyway, it will sound better in a commercial/debate this fall to say, "I want to Defund the programs that are not making our citizens lives better". Use any of the examples above, or ones like Asset Seizure before trial - widely abused in many states, including my own - South Carolina.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Nice of the Never-Trump RINOs to Out Themselves

Those that don't go? MAYBE for health concerns - some of them are quite elderly (a good argument to stepping down and having their replacement take their place), but most are just - well, baby kitties.

Cesar Rodney would be whirling in his grave at the thought. He already was suffering from the cancer he died of, a few years later, when he rode a horse 70 miles through a storm to be in Philadelphia for the Declaration vote.

BTW, when I dissed baby kitties, I was not serious. I've known those furry little guys to stand up to large animals and - with the assistance of those razor blades, run them off.

Sow Wind Reap Whirlwind Dept.

     There’s an attempt in progress to perpetuate the “lockdown psychology” the media and the CDC bureaucracy inflicted on us over the Wuhan coronavirus. It’s a multi-pronged thing, with components derived from the Wuhan virus (“there could be a second wave!”), the possibility of a new strain of the infamous “swine flu,” and a general drive to inculcate Americans with mutual fear as the default social condition. It’s made little headway so far, thank God, in part because of the blatant hypocrisy of the political elite and the media in tarring religious gatherings and Trump rallies as unspeakably dangerous, while Leftist “protests” – i.e., violence, vandalism, and looting – are deemed quite safe. That having been said, don’t expect the Establishment and its media annex to give up easily. The WuFlu lockdowns gave them a taste of the totalitarian power they dream of each night, and they want more of it.

     But there are signs that the reaction to their gambit might refute it utterly:

     Like it? I do. I’d advise spreading it around. You might garner some useful new acquaintances. You might also get a few nasty comments, but that’s part and parcel of anything pro-freedom or pro-American today.

     The point, of course, is that private citizens have also had their taste of totalitarianism, and they’ve been revulsed by it. They want their country back the way it was. If this was a deliberate attack by Red China – a possibility I refuse to discount – that makes it especially galling that our political elite and media should have fallen in line with it. If it was a collaboration between Red China’s masters and ours – another possibility I refuse to discount – the hour for action is upon us: it’s time to break out the muskets and march.

     In either case, it must be tolerated no longer. Further rationales for the reimposition of the lockdown regime must be rejected with prejudice. States where it hasn’t actually ended – New York is one – must experience a full course of “Irish democracy:” that state of affairs in which the government can decree and orate to its heart’s content, while ordinary folk ignore it and go placidly along with their affairs.

     I say this despite being a member of the “high risk group” according to the CDC. It’s important enough for those of us who understand and love freedom to take the risks involved.

     Approximately 88,000 governments ride Americans’ backs. If the laws, regulations, taxes, and fees they impose upon us don’t produce measurable improvements in our society, our environment, and our nation’s prospects, why submit to them? Especially when some persons are openly defying those laws, including the most serious of them, and getting away with it with official connivance. What else can it mean that the BLM / AntiFa “protests” are winked at while the rest of us are sternly counseled to keep our masks on and stay at least six feet apart?

     One good rebellion deserves another. In the face of officialdom’s attempts at tyrannizing decent Americans, while they look the other way as anti-Americans pledged to our destruction loot, burn, and kill, the rebellion we commemorated just this past Saturday deserves a rerun.

     Buy guns and ammo. Verbum sat sapienti.

Time for an Executive-Judicial Showdown

It may have to wait until after the election, but - yeah, it's time.

The Atlantic pipeline people, Dominion Energy, have dropped further work on the pipeline, as Obama-appointed Federal judges have - once again - ruled with the Sierra Club and their allies in court.

Two thing have to happen here - Trump's DOJ needs to go to the Supremes, asking for a sweeping order forbidding these decisions, based on it being a clear Restraint of Trade Between the States - a clear act against a Red Letter Prohibition in the Constitution.

Not a 'penumbra' - an actual clearly stated refusal to permit actions by the Federal government that interfere with intrastate trade and commerce.

It's time. Trump may want to see if Ginsberg croaks first, but, failing that, he also needs to have a quiet investigation of ANY Justices that appear to be forced, by blackmail, into certain positions.

It's POSSIBLE that other factors are involved in otherwise inexplicable events/rulings, but - ensuring a pressure-free judiciary is paramount.

Second part - the EPA needs to be informed that they are subordinate to the Constitution, and may NOT engage in restraint of trade that is not clearly necessary to handle an EMERGENCY situation.

Which the pipelines are not.

So, yeah, anyone not on board with that Executive directive needs to turn in their resignation. Trump may not be able to change their minds, but he doesn't have to let them keep their jobs and undermine his orders. If a staff member is working with some of these enviro-Nazis, wasting time working on plans to sue the government, or otherwise acting in an insubordinate manner, they need to be directed to find other employment - NOT in government.

We should not be funding workers for the other side.

If the USA gets out of the business of transporting oil, other countries will jump in with producing energy - and, not the Unicorn-like "clean energy" kind. Other countries, known for being: massive polluters - Russia, China, and/or horribly corrupt and tyrannical - Russia, China, and the Mideast, or headlessly causing massive environmental damage to the air, water, and land, should not be a fallback for our citizens. Off-shoring the damage doesn't stop it.

The states that will be affected by this - the producers of energy, as well as those that need to import it - need to vote against Biden, who has vowed to stop ALL pipelines. That's a recipe for a long, cold winter to come, and a lot of economic chaos and collapse.

Kurt, you need to write another Kelly Turnbull book.