Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Part Exposition, Part Canonization

     I’ve just seen Dinesh D’Souza’s “docudrama” Death Of A Nation, and I thought it important to set down my thoughts about it before they have a chance to fade.

     The primary thrust of the movie is to make plain the parallels, and the outright identities, between “progressivism,” ostensibly the philosophy of the Democrat Party, and the fascism of Mussolini and Hitler. D’Souza does a good job at this, in part by delineating the historical connections that united Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt to Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. Let there be no mistaking it. Wilson, the first U.S. president to decree the federal enforcement of racial segregation, was entirely in line with Hitler’s racialism. Moreover, Wilson used World War I as a lever with which to impose a fascistic system of control on the American economy. FDR, an open admirer of Mussolini who sent several members of his “brain trust” to study Mussolini’s Italy, instituted a fascist economic program much like Wilson’s as the core of his “New Deal.” Hitler saw in FDR a kindred spirit whose program greatly resembled his own. D’Souza draws this out through historical documents and interviews with prominent historians of those eras. He ably establishes the ideological continuity between those “progressives” and those of today.

     However, the movie has a secondary thrust of almost equal importance: to establish Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, as the ideological progenitor of contemporary free-market conservatism, and Donald Trump as his ideological progeny. This is false to fact. Despite many stirring things Lincoln said about freedom in the abstract, the policies he pursued while in Congress and as president were at best cool toward freedom. He was a supporter of high protective tariffs, a central bank that would have de facto control over the American dollar, and an extensive system of “internal improvements” to be undertaken by the federal government. He suspended the writ of habeas corpus, acted to suppress internal dissent, and instituted the Republic’s first income tax and its original system of conscription. Moreover, while he was a sincere enemy of slavery, Lincoln did not believe in the equality of the races; this can be documented with his own public statements.

     The movie, thus, is split between historical-ideological analysis and exhortation of a completely different kind. In some ways it’s quite valuable; in others it’s somewhat misleading. In particular, it attempts a partisan whitewashing of the Republican Party, by passing silently over the gulf between what Republican officeholders claim to stand for and what many actually do when in power.

     It’s commonplace for a partisan to represent his party as the crown of wisdom and virtue, while depicting its adversaries as deluded at best, evil at worst. The tendency to do so is stronger today than it’s been since Lincoln’s time; in that regard Death Of A Nation provides an important – and sobering – historical perspective. However, uncritical partisanry, in which the other party is made to look like the embodiment of evil, is easily exploited by party kingmakers to create opportunities for its elected ones to get away with all sorts of mischief.

     In short: see the movie and benefit from its depiction of “progressivism” as a soft-focus version of Twentieth Century fascism, but don’t buy all the way into its canonization of Lincoln nor of the Republican Party in our time. While today’s Republicans are preferable to today’s Democrats, Republican officeholders have underperformed on their supposed commitment to free markets, limited government, and the defense of the rights of the individual. To cheer for the GOP uncritically is to condone that underperformance. That guarantees that we’ll receive more of the same.

     Never forget that the one and only goal of any political party is to get its candidates elected. Once they’re in office, the party’s task becomes keeping them there, not enforcing the party’s nominal ideological commitments upon them. The job of enforcement belongs solely to us.

De-Constructing the Narrative

I was responding to something my grandson (Liberal, soon to be married to another - I love them both!) had posted on Facebook.

My response:
""Trump had a scheduled lunch today with Vladimir Putin, but the French President scuttled it the last minute by separating their seating arrangements" - this is FACT. The rest that follows is THEIR interpretation.
Could Trump have had a legitimate reason for wanting to meet with Putin - OTHER than to plot the destruction of America?
Sure - world leaders meet when they have the opportunity, all the time.
Note that the story does NOT say, what is evidently true:
The EU leaders are threatened by alliances that bypass their little Union. What happens if Trump and Putin meet, and come to some agreements mutually beneficial?
Could this diminish the EU influence?
Could this accelerate the end of their Union?
Could they be feeling quite threatened about their loss of influence and power, and respond by these CATTY media leaks - of course, not totally made up, but DEFINITELY reported with a LOT of BIAS.
Note the bias:
Trump is not walking alone, perhaps absorbed in his own thoughts of that horrible time in history, and perhaps needing some time away from others to process this historical event.
No, according to the "story" - he is SULKING! It MUST be a bad thing if he does it.
Hell, they didn't even get on Obama for taking selfies and laughing with pretty blondes at Mandela's funeral as much as the media and the associated elite have WORKED to make Trump look bad.
Watch.
Soon, this will be "accepted FACT" - that Trump stormed around by himself and sulked.
Not a biased statement, which it is.
"FACT"."


I've been thinking about the process of persuading people that their opinions, beliefs, and prejudices are wrong.

It's hard, damned hard. The stronger your argument, the tighter they cling to their bias. Worse, they often take any logical questioning you make of them as a personal insult, and will lash back with viciously harmful slurs - Racist, homophobic, hater.

I've been thinking, we may have been approaching this wrongly. We might need to think about how to communicate our thinking on public issues in a way that the PERSUADABLE might be able to hear what we're saying.

Logic does NOT work. Emotional appeals are somewhat more effective. We might aim for an approach that is more warm & fuzzy, but with an underlying purpose of teaching people about what the Constitution actually does contain, as well as an understanding of the reach - and limits - of the law. And, a whole lot about culture - for me, that's the basis of a lot of our failures as non-Leftists. We lost the Culture War, and have not mounted an effective counter-attack.

I'm saying, let's reach for the Mushy Middle - those whose beliefs are not Hard Left, who tend to go along with the crowd, who MIGHT listen, if they didn't anticipate that their willingness to hear would leave them alone, without allies.

I'm going to be mulling over this for a while, over the next few months. I'm going to explore the possibility that I might be able to write the Rules for Getting the Mushy Middle on Board.

I'll update, as I am able.

Race to the bottom.

The Sinema / McSally contest is a snapshot of everything wrong with the country. There is absolutely no comparison regarding the character and integrity of these candidates. McSally is an amazingly accomplished and formidable contender. Sinema, on the other hand, is the quintessential representation of the modern Democratic Party: A featherweight, lying globalist scumbag; complete with thick-rimmed glasses and a snotty attitude.

The fact that Arizona race was even close is a sign of the times. A flashing neon sign, actually, with bright red letters screaming: THE END IS NEAR.

"Three (3) Reasons Why Elections Don’t Matter." By Doug “Uncola” Lynn via The Burning Platform, 11/13/18.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Turn And Face The Strange Changes

     I was perusing Gab.Ai a few minutes ago when I chanced upon a thread in which one participant, in defending the thesis that “we are a nation of individuals,” seemed to reject the very possibility that there are statistical – or if you prefer, aggregate – differences of several kinds among identifiable demographics. The suggestion that such differences exist, that they are systematic, and that they can be contextually significant horrified her. She simply didn’t want to consider the possibility, and cast aspersions on anyone who argued that they are factors that must be taken into account.

     The enveloping subject was immigration to these United States.

     Over the past five decades, immigration to the U.S. has wrought significant changes to our society. Those changes are most pronounced where racially, religiously, or ethnically grouped immigrants cluster. The non-Muslim residents of Hamtramck, Michigan could tell you about some of them. The Caucasian residents of Minneapolis and Saint Paul could tell you about others. And the native-born citizens of California and the Southwestern states could tell you about still others.

     It’s not somehow unfair to note the patterns in identifiable demographics. If the pattern is reproducible – i.e., if any observer, watching the behavior of the groups under study, would perceive it as well as any other – it constitutes important information. But so sensitized has our society become to accusations or intimations of prejudice that merely speaking of a pattern one sees has become hazardous to his social and commercial health...possibly to his corporal health as well.


     Does anyone remember this survey of traffic-law-observance and breaking on New Jersey’s roads?

     A recent, tax-funded study, conducted by the Public Service Research Institute, dared to delve into the truth or falsity of the allegations that New Jersey State Troopers have been enforcing an unlegislated statute against Driving While Black. According to what I've read, the study was conducted with meticulous alertness for factors that might bias its results. It made use of impersonal, double-blind techniques at every stage of its processing. It was apparently a model of its kind, a showcase for the best statistical practices of the social sciences.

     Unfortunately, the results of the study were:

  • The troopers were not engaging in racial profiling when they stopped black drivers, because:
  • Black drivers violate the motor vehicle laws disproportionately to their numbers. The disproportion is approximately 50%. That is, whereas blacks made up 16 percent of motorists on the New Jersey Turnpike, they accounted for 23 percent of the traffic stops and for 25 percent of the speeders. This verdict was rendered not by the troopers themselves, but by automated radar units and camera records.

     Because the study both exonerates the troopers and indicts the most sensitive American racial group, the US Department of Justice has turned its face against it. The state of New Jersey refuses to release the study to the public. That didn't keep it from being reported by the New York Times -- and denounced by the NAACP.

     Perhaps the statistics would have been different on another road, or in another county or state. But the ones that New Jersey State Troopers recorded on the Turnpike proved to be reproducible. The instruments that recorded them could not have been biased, being without opinions about matters racial.

     Yes, Virginia, there are differences among the races. One of them is in our relative propensity for lawbreaking.


     Now, a statistical difference such as the one explored above tells us nothing about any particular individual. Human characteristics, including the propensity for lawbreaking, tend to follow a Gaussian (a.k.a. “normal”) distribution. There will be numbers of persons in any given demographic who are distant from its axes of symmetry – i.e., from its averages. Have an illustration:

     As is illustrated here, about 68.2% of all the people in a Gaussian distribution will be within one standard deviation of the average. About 95.4% of them will be within two standard deviations. And about 99.7% will be within three standard deviations. So: If we were considering a demographic that contains one million persons, then:

  • 682,000 of them would be within one SD of the axis: 341,000 above, 341,000 below.
  • 954,000 of them would be within two SD of the axis: 477,000 above, 477,000 below.
  • 997,000 of them would be within three SD of the axis: 498,500 above, 498,500 below.

     ...which means that out of that million, about 3000 persons would be more than three SD from the axis. Depending on the characteristic under discussion and the size of a standard deviation, that could prove significant.

     Neither the averages nor the standard deviations are unimportant; far from it. When it comes to immigration policy, both of them matter quite a lot. We’ve been learning that as immigrant demographics have clustered tightly in selected regions.


     For the sake of what follows, and to shield myself from premature accusations of bigotry, in the next example I shall use Scott Adams’s favorite fictional ethnic group: the Elbonians. And to avoid invidious comparisons of other kinds, the characteristic I shall address is the propensity to draw to an inside straight.

     First, let’s have a little clarification for those unfamiliar with the game of draw poker. Each player is dealt five cards. After all players have had a moment to assess their hands, the dealer goes clockwise around the table asking for draws. Each player seeks to produce the highest ranking hand possible. The various combinations of cards, in ascending order of rank, are:

  1. Nothing matches.
  2. One pair.
  3. Two pairs.
  4. Three of a kind.
  5. A straight: five cards in numerical sequence.
  6. A flush: five cards of the same suit.
  7. A full house: Three of a kind plus a pair.
  8. Four of a kind.
  9. A straight flush: i.e., a straight that is also a flush.
  10. A royal flush: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suit.

     Now, let’s imagine that we’ve been dealt:

  1. Four of spades;
  2. Five of hearts;
  3. Seven of clubs;
  4. Eight of diamonds;
  5. Ace of spades.

     Clearly, nothing matches in the above hand. As no player is permitted to discard and draw more than four cards, we’ve got poor prospects in this deal. If it’s a money game, the best move would be to fold: i.e., to declare oneself out of the betting, forfeiting the ante (i.e., the bet required to buy into the deal). But an excessively optimistic player might say to himself, “If I discard the Ace, I might draw a six, which would complete a straight.” This is what’s meant by drawing to an inside straight. He would stay in the betting hoping for that very low probability to come true...and probably lose more money than he would have by folding.

     Drawing to an inside straight is something experienced poker players don’t do. They’re either aware of the unfavorable probabilities involved, or they’ve lost enough money doing it in years past to have learned better.

     But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It’s a gaggle of Elbonians, an ethnicity whose excessive optimism about draw poker is known worldwide! Invite ‘em into the game! Why not? It’s only neighborly. Heh, heh, heh!

     If the Elbonian propensity for drawing to an inside straight is substantially greater than that of the typical American, the Americans in the game are likely to profit from Elbonian participation. Conversely, Elbonians would be rather foolish to allow a large influx of American poker players to their games.

     Can you see how that logic would apply to immigration policy?


     In crafting immigration policy, it’s important to be aware of the effects of past policies. If past policy has admitted a lot of Elbonians, with the result that nearly all of them are on the welfare rolls due to having lost their life savings at poker, the new policy should take account of it. Similarly, if past policy has admitted a lot of ethnicity X, religion Y, or race Z, and that group has caused a great deal of social discord – possibly even violence – then the new policy should take account of that. And as it happens, such patterns in racial, religious, and ethnic immigration are perceptible, regardless of the agonized cries of the “we’re all the same” bien-pensants.

  • The immigration of Muslims, who refuse to assimilate and repeatedly demand special provisions and exceptions for their “religion,” is causing harm to non-Muslims.
  • The immigration of sub-Saharan blacks, who are notoriously more prone to lawbreaking than other races, is causing harm to Caucasians and Mongolians.
  • And the exclaves formed in the Southwestern states by immigrants – legal or otherwise – from Latin America are gradually seceding, de facto, from the language, customs, and laws of these United States.

     Perhaps it could be made clearer, but for the life of me I can’t see how.

Class - Just, Class

From Crenshaw.

Retribution

     It had to happen eventually...and it has:

     Matt Yglesias is one of the co-founders of the progressive site Vox, which aims to explain the news to its readers.

     After the Antifa mob harassment of Tucker Carlson this week, Yglesias took a less than sympathetic position on the issue and has now been doxxed himself.

     Various commentators have noted that what happened at the home of Tucker Carlson – a mob so noisy and violent that Mrs. Carlson locked herself in her pantry out of fear that her home was about to be invaded – is highly unlikely to happen to Yglesias. We in the Right find such measures more than just distasteful. But note what Yglesias had to say about the AntiFa attack on the Carlsons:

     There hasn’t been even one instance of that sort of harassment, intimidation, or assault practiced by conservatives against any left-winger or his loved ones. As a specimen of projection, this one is unbeatable.

     It had to happen. Indeed, it must happen many more times, to many more left-wing figures, before Left and Right can agree on a truce. The Left has successfully wielded fear and intimidation for far too long to lose the taste for it all at once. In that regard it’s much like their interminable cries of “racism.” The tactic is ingrained in their thinking. It will take a great many counterstrikes to jar them out of that groove.

     Verbum sat sapienti.

Veterans' Day.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Questions No One Is Asking

     Well, except your humble Curmudgeon...


     What percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product arises from the production and sale of products to improve, change, or eliminate odors? A few examples:

  • Perfumes and Colognes
  • Aftershaves
  • Scented soaps
  • Scented shampoos
  • Deodorants and Antiperspirants
  • Mouthwashes
  • Room deodorizers
  • Car fragrances
  • Scented candles
  • Pot Pourri

     What others come to mind?


     Certain foods are known as things that give you gas. Prominently featured among them are the members of the bean family. Yet beans are an important dietary item, being high in fiber and therefore good for the lower digestive tract. Which raises a question: Do the additives that negate the gas in beans affect their fiber content? If so, is the effect positive or negative?


     We’ve all seen videos of volunteers passing out plastic cups of water to the runners in a marathon. The image must have a lot of charm, given how often we see it. But has anyone ever passed out solid foods? Granola bars? Doughnuts? Big Macs? Do the rules for a certified marathon allow it? (And who certifies marathons, anyway?)


     Did that rancher ever get the head of Alfredo Garcia?


     Somewhere in the world – I once knew where, but, well, age, you know – there are a number of “official standard” items. One of them, the official standard kilogram, was recently in the news because it was losing mass. But there have been others: the official standard meter, the official standard liter, and so forth. I understand that as those measures have been “restandardized” as some fixed multiple of an atomic or quantum value, the official standard items have been “retired.” But what became of them? Is there a museum for such things? Perhaps an old folks’ home of sorts? Are they sold to collectors? Or are they unceremoniously discarded, with no respect for their historical importance?


     Now that the U.S. dollar is no longer redeemable in specie – i.e., you can’t demand to exchange it for a statutorily defined weight of gold or silver – does it have a value as such? Or is the “value” of a dollar whatever someone will give you for it at any moment in time?

     (And shouldn’t we be a bit more concerned about that than we currently are?)


     It was once an item of common discussion that no matter which brand of canned tuna you might purchase, all of it came through Continental Can Co. It must have been quite an intricate operation in its time, as keeping the tunas of the various brands separate from one another would have been both difficult and critically important. How was it done? Were there any documented cases of “tuna fraud,” such that what was supposed to be labeled Bumble Bee was mistakenly – or deliberately – labeled Chicken of the Sea?

     Inventory control is hard enough for end vendors. When you’re a middleman, the ramifications are compounded with legal consequences for failure. Not to mention the potential disillusionment of canned tuna aficionadi everywhere.


     Have you ever had a day of fishing that was so bad that you wished you’d gone to the office instead? Is such a thing even possible?


     What becomes of political caricaturists after the politicians they’ve specialized in mimicking have passed (or been shoved) out of the spotlight? Does anyone else here remember Vaughn Meader, who mimicked John F. Kennedy, or David Frye, who mimicked both LBJ and Nixon?


     What is the statutory penalty, if any, for using the wrong fork at a formal banquet? Does it vary from state to state, like the ages of sexual and marital consent?


     There you go: ten questions no one has answered satisfactorily, as far as I know, and that no one much cares about, also as far as I know. Try them out on the guests at your next cocktail party. Guaranteed to result in an early cleanup and bedtime!

It Takes a Crook to Free a Crook

A crook like Comey, who whitewashed the HRC email scandal - or should I write, "scandal". As the Sainted Obama (PBUH) has given the word from on high that his administration was scandal-free.

If you don't count all the bodies - including 4 in Benghazi.

Comey did the same as Hillary - he used a non-government account to discuss government business that is so sensitive that the emails cannot be released.

Not just a "hey, let's meet on Friday to discuss XYZ".

Details. So sensitive they cannot be permitted to fall into the public's hands.

Apparently, not so secret that they can't be open to the vulnerabilities of hackers, bots, and other pests that infest EVERY public mail system.

The Great War.

Ineffable courage. Criminal stupidity.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

“The Most Important Election In Our Lifetime”

     The title phrase has been applied to every election for the past three decades. Biennial or quadrennial, incumbents in or out, each election has been billed that way. If the attribution is true, then each election was / is more important than the previous one. Apply your skills at mathematical induction, if you retain any; I’ll wait here.

     That’s right, Gentle Reader: The series does not converge. It zooms off to infinity. Politics is taking over everything.

     One Web colleague is sick to death of it:

     We just got our mid-terms over with which means we’ll catch about a 2 month break before we start seeing ads for the 2020 elections.
     Fuck that.

     Please read it all. I’d say his expectation of a two-month grace period is a little optimistic, but otherwise he’s right on.

     It’s time we did something about it. But if the past is predictive, we won’t.


     A long time ago, a serious young man who’d had an insight into the fundamental conditions required for human happiness wrote a book. The book became very popular. It was at one point the best selling nonfiction book in the English-speaking world. It catapulted its author to worldwide renown as the foremost social and political thinker of his day.

     The most significant thing about the young man’s insight was its simplicity. It became known as The Law of Equal Freedom:

Let each have freedom to do all that he wills,
Provided that he infringe not the equal freedom of any other man.

     From that premise the author deduced a series of propositions in political theory that no one has ever managed to refute. One of them, inarguably the most controversial, is that an individual who accepts The Law of Equal Freedom in both word and deed thereby acquires a right to ignore the State.

     Here’s his peroration on the subject:

     “No human laws are of any validity if contrary to the law of nature; and such of them as are valid derive all their force and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.” Thus writes Blackstone, to whom let all honor be given for having so far outseen the ideas of his time and, indeed, we may say of our time. A good antidote, this, for those political superstitions which so widely prevail. A good check upon that sentiment of power worship which still misleads us by magnifying the prerogatives of constitutional governments as it once did of monarchs. Let men learn that a legislature is not “our God upon earth,” though, by the authority they ascribe to it and the things they expect from it, they would seem to think it is. Let them learn, rather, that it is an institution serving a purely temporary purpose, whose power, when not stolen, is at the best borrowed.
     Nay, indeed, have we not seen that government is essentially immoral? Is it not the offspring of evil, bearing about it all the marks of its parentage? Does it not exist because crime exists? Is it not strong—or as we say, despotic—when crime is great? Is there not more liberty—that is, less government—as crime diminishes? And must not government cease when crime ceases, for very lack of objects on which to perform its function? Not only does magisterial power exist because of evil, it exists by evil. Violence is employed to maintain it, and all violence involves criminality.

     The book is Social Statics, written in 1851 by the young Herbert Spencer. Note how Lysander Spooner echoed the sentiments above in 1867, writing of the State in No Treason as “a secret band of robbers and murderers.”

     In the Nineteenth Century, the general comprehension, among both Americans and Englishmen, of the dangerous nature of the State and the susceptibility to corruption of its officials was very great, certainly far greater than it is today. Today we allow the State to rule on everything: to tax, regulate, and control ever more aspects of human life and activity. Which by its very nature results in each election being more important than the ones that preceded it.

     Draw the moral.


     The late Dr. Thomas Szasz once defined freedom as “That which you demand for yourself but would deny to others.” Szasz, a psychiatrist, was appalled at the ever-expanding, often pseudo-psychiatric rationales for State control of everything. In his book Psychiatric Slavery, a scathing treatment of the evils rampant in his own profession, he wrote:

     When man believed that happiness was dependent upon God, he killed for religious reasons. When man believed that happiness was dependent upon the form of government, he killed for political reasons. After dreams that were too long, true nightmares...we arrived at the present period of history. Man woke up, discovered that which he always knew, that happiness is dependent upon health, and began to kill for therapeutic reasons.

     Szasz was clear-eyed about the nature of the State. He, with Gandhi, knew it to be a “soulless machine:”

     The State represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from the violence to which it owes its very existence. [ Mohandas K. Gandhi ]

     But of course, machines do only what they’ve been designed to do. The State is designed to wield coercive force – violence or the threat of violence – against those who defy its decrees. As those decrees proliferate in number and scope, so also does the realm of coercive force...and the importance of elections, to ensure that your gang, and not the other guys’ mob, controls the State.

     Got the idea yet?


     Rants give rise to other rants. The one you’ve just read was stimulated by this one, which I cited briefly in the first segment of this tirade. So feel free to blame Wirecutter for both of them.

     But for the love of God and whatever yearning for freedom you might still possess, think about what we’ve done to ourselves. Think about the rationales that politicians and do-gooders have used to fetter us and tighten our shackles year after year. Think about how those rationales have been broadened, and the immense mass of “law” under which we labor has expanded as well. Think of the State – federal, state, county, or municipal; it hardly matters which – not as an instrument for “getting things done” but rather as a weapon. The reason why each election is “the most important election in our lifetime” will at once become clear to you.

     Even if you choose to do nothing about it.

This Will NOT Surprise You

The men in that recent club shooting risked their own lives to protect women - whether they knew them, or not.

An eyewitness reports the heroic actions of the men in that club.

I did suspect this when I saw the lopsided numbers of men in the dead patrons. My husband confirmed it - he said only 3 of the dead victims were women.

All the others were males.

So, Ladies, Women, Womym, TG-"Women", et al - THAT is why you don't work to destroy the "patriarchy".

Because, sometimes, that untamed masculinity saves your ass.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Matters Fictional

     Politics? Politics?? Politics is boring.


     For the two or three of you who’ve been waiting for the publication of Experiences — note the teeny, tiny change to the original title – at this point I’m waiting on my cover artist. As she’s very good, I hate to jog her elbow, but it’s now been seven weeks since I gave her the go-ahead, and I’m beginning to wonder...


     For those who’ve been awaiting it as eagerly as I, E. William Brown’s fourth Daniel Black novel, Thrall, will be available at Amazon on December 1. This one promises to upset a number of applecarts, one of them being the political status of the city of Kozalin, another being the domestic tranquility that has (so far) prevailed in the Black Coven.

     So far the series has proved unusually imaginative while nevertheless remaining true to what Tom Kratman and I call the “eternal verities.” I can hardly wait.


     If you’re looking for some rip-roaring urban fantasy that doesn’t skimp on either action or intrigue, I recommend Lisa Edmonds’s series about semi-rogue mage Alice Worth. At this point there are three novels in it: Heart of Malice, Heart of Fire, and Heart of Ice. All three are well plotted, well characterized, and brimming with complications. Protagonist Alice has some of the conventional cliches – she’s fanatically independent and hates to need anyone’s help, especially if the “anyone” is male – but for all of that the series holds my attention. It might hold yours too.


     Another urban-fantasy series I’ve recently enjoyed is Amber Lynn Natusch’s Blue-Eyed Bomb trilogy: Live Wire, Kill Switch, and Dead Zone. Protagonist Saphira has powers she doesn’t understand and doesn’t completely control, which makes her membership in an ultra-important society responsible for keeping order among the supernatural races somewhat problematic. This series features difficult family relations, difficult romantic relations, and difficult public relations – all of which are comingled in a fashion neither Saphira nor her relatives are able to disentangle. The lady doesn’t get enough of anything she wants, and several things that she finds mandatory costs her heavily. Good stuff.


     Last but certainly not least is one of the segments in J. S. Morin’s Black Ocean universe. This one he’s titled Mercy For Hire. It concerns a far future galactic civilization held together by both advanced technology and wizardry, and a rogue wizard, Esper Richelieu, who’s made it her life’s work to help others in desperate need. There are four volumes: Wayward Saint, Behind Blue Skies, House of the Orion Sun, and Break The Chain. The fourth becomes available on November 20.

     Esper isn’t your ordinary “tough chick” heroine. Some of her most urgent needs go unsatisfied for very long periods. But her commitment to her Robin Hood-style of galactic do-goodism is firm. She braves quite a few extraordinary hazards to remain true to it. And really: isn’t the idea that interstellar travel at superluminal speeds requires a wizard rather charming?


     Finally for this evening, Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War series has entered a new phase: Vatta’s Peace. I’ve just finished the first volume, Cold Welcome, and it’s a worthy continuation of Moon’s vision of a galaxy in which cutthroat commercial empires vie with one another through political intrigue and military might. As usual for Elizabeth Moon, it’s heavy on characterization and personal relationships and light on technology. You won’t enjoy it unless you’ve read the Vatta’s War books, but if you have, and if you’ve been itching to learn more about the intricacies of politics and commerce on the Vatta homeworld of Slotter Key, this is for you.


     That’s all for this Friday evening, Gentle Reader. I promise to keep you up to date on Experiences as developments progress. Have a nice evening.

This Needs to be Shared - as Widely as Possible




"So it looks like the Democrats are trying to steal elections in Florida, Arizona, and Georgia. Arizona is completely depressing, because that one never should have been close enough to steal. But that's another topic. My point is, why, in all of these close races with the Republican in the lead always seem to be won by the Democrat? They're always coming up with hitherto unknown boxes of boxes of ballots that are all marked for the Democrat. I have never heard 'oh look, here's a bunch of *GOP* ballots in this closet here that, pinky swear, have been here all this time.' Never, not once. I refuse to believe that the reason is because Republicans are more virtuous than Democrats. However, I do think it's because they're more naive. They would much rather pretend that the vote-counting process is not at all corrupt and then say 'oops, looks like we lost after all, oh well' rather than rushing a slick of lawyers down to Broward County and actually putting up a fight. Trump, though, they'll fight him. Because Russian collusion. Not Democrats, though. Democrats would *never* collude with corrupt election officials to steal an election."

From Ace of Spades. If it's not on your regular list of blogs to read,
Why the Hell NOT?

Not That Anyone Asked Me, But...

If I were Trump, here's what I'd do.

Call together the most supportive Republicans, along with the leadership of the Senate. Let them know what your most urgent priorities are; make them a part of getting these things done. If they have their own pet projects, they can submit them in writing at a later time. You'll consider them individually.

Lay down the law - the entire team has to stick together - no "side deals" with the Democrats, period.

No meetings that are not official business, or STRICTLY social. No more talking to them behind the party's back - they will try to co-opt anyone they can.

When they talk about bipartisanship, listen, and reply, "Great! What are you prepared to give up?" Make no promises, but agree to take their offer back to the leadership.

No definite compromises, no deal - don't even bother the other guys with that.

If there is anyone on your staff who is halfway in the pocket of the other party, living with them, socializing with them, or related to them - let them go. Don't make it ugly, send them off with nice recommendations, severance, whatever.

But, get rid of them. I don't care how gifted they are at their assigned duties. Job ONE is loyalty.

As far as immigration for the next few years. Probably the most important thing any of us can do is to wear down those not understanding the situation (the majority, who support immigration primarily on humanitarian grounds). This is best done, one fact at a time.

Memes can come in handy here. They don't attempt to argue ALL the facts; they just focus on giving one tiny bit of information, preferably with a picture that hits people emotionally.

Or, a graph, with a link to more information, like the one at the link.

You want them to focus on ONE thing, such as this take-away:


The Farce Continues

     Time was, the function of the reporter was to report the news. Today, it appears that function has been superseded by a need to wallow narcissistically in its wounded self-importance:

     The White House’s decision to revoke CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials and its controversial defense for the action was the talk of the Washington, D.C., media on Thursday, though the discussion was muted on his own network.

     Arguments swelled on social media, MSNBC and Fox News about the White House’s decision and its subsequent explanation for pulling his permanent press pass.

     Note the use of the word controversial in describing the White House’s action. If there’s any controversy to the matter, it lies between the president’s defense of his prerogatives and the media’s assertion that “freedom of the press” entitles it to override those prerogatives. In other words, it’s a media fabrication.

     As I wrote yesterday, the outrageous behavior of Jim Acosta, who has persistently pushed the outside of the envelope of human arrogance in his dealings with the White House, would not be deemed acceptable if aimed at any ordinary citizen. Yet he strove to impose himself on the president of the United States, a man with responsibilities several orders of magnitude beyond those of any private American. More, he expected to get away with it.

     President Trump’s backhanding of Acosta and subsequent suspension of his “hard pass” to the White House were not merely appropriate; they were overdue. The reason is simple:

Success Breeds Emulation.

     Egregious behavior that obtains the result it seeks will be repeated and imitated unless punished -- egregiously. But of course, the media will never concede that its hirelings can and should be held to a standard of behavior that binds the rest of us.

Help Needed

Money or bodies. I have neither in good shape, so I'm passing this along.

https://twitter.com/ali/status/1060714880024633344

This guy is working to stop FL from stealing the election. The person in charge of counting the remaining votes - Brenda Snipes - previously had a judge rule that she destroyed ballots.

Here's the story on her:
In May, a judge ruled that Snipes had violated state and federal law after she destroyed voter ballots in the state’s 2016 congressional election. In the race, former Democratic National Convention (DNC) Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz won re-election by less than 7,000 votes against Democrat primary challenger Tim Canova.
The next year, when Canova asked to review the paper ballots in the race, it was revealed that Snipes destroyed the ballots only 12 months after the primary. Federal and state law mandates that ballots not be destroyed until 22 months after an election.
The case exposed that Snipes’ staff had opened ballots in private in 2016 on election day.
It all validates what Hugh Hewitt wrote so many years ago - If it's not close, they can't cheat. FL was, unfortunately, within that margin, and MUST be fought with everything we can throw at them.

If you're in FL, let everyone know what is at stake. Offer financial support to someone who can fight in your place. Go, and bring along your cameras - you will want to record this, not only to show what is happening today, but to let your kids know:

What Did You Do in the Anti-Leftist War, Daddy?

Thursday, November 8, 2018

It’s Time These Bastards Got A Taste Of Their Own Medicine

     In case you weren’t aware of it, an AntiFa mob stormed Fox News personality Tucker Carlson’s home yesterday evening and tried to break in, ruining his oak front door in the process. They screamed and chanted outside, terrorizing his wife and children, for some time. Here’s left-wing shill, ignorant, bigoted, generally despicable waste of flesh Matt Yglesias’s reaction:

     I want this bastard to suffer. Does he have a family, or is he just another left-wing cocksucker who would never undertake the responsibility of a wife and children?

     They must taste their own medicine, or the harassment will never stop.

     UPDATE: Here’s a little more from an arrogant fatboy dribbler with absolutely no claim to anyone’s respect:

     Make them suffer.

Assorted

1. Press Pugnacity

     It’s been said before, of course, but nothing remotely comparable to what Jim Acosta said and did at yesterday’s press conference ever occurred during the Obama years. Indeed, for a “reporter” to do any such thing would have been cause for ostracism by the rest of the press corps. Obama, you see, was sacred, a totem object to be worshipped, never criticized or doubted. But under the presidency of Donald Trump, the mainstream media have apparently decided to see just how far they can push the boundaries of public deportment before evoking a punitive reaction.

     The media mouthpieces have attempted to defend Acosta and his confederate April Ryan as “just asking hard questions.” It’s nonsense, of course. Acosta’s physical resistance to surrendering the microphone when told to do so by the President of the United States and Ryan’s characterization of Trump as a “white nationalist,” both of whom were trying to defame Trump with accusations disguised as “questions,” were entirely in the pattern of an enemy press. Not, mind you, an “adversary” press, a term that’s been detoxified by the press itself to put a righteous gloss on “holding power accountable,” but an outright enemy determined to destroy an Administration of which it disapproves for ideological reasons. Consistency required CNN, Acosta’s employer, to assail the president as somehow against press freedom.

     It’s mind-boggling, really. Acosta and Ryan were in the White House, a place to which their admission is conditional on a modicum of good behavior. They outrageously insulted the current tenant of that House and expected him to stand still for it. Would they demand to be allowed such behavior in the home of any other American citizen?

     It becomes a lot easier to understand why the mainstream media is so willing to swallow the hallucinatory suggestion that the huge columns of aggressive marchers making their way toward our southern border are just “refugees.”


2. The Hostility Is Two-Way.

     I’ve been holding onto this compendium for a few days. With the Acosta ejection, it seems a perfect time to use it:

     [T]hese liberal media prima donnas are comfortable in describing the president of the United States as a sociopath, a disturbed person, a traitor, white nationalist, white supremacist, white bigot, racist, sinister, destructive virus, treasonous, straight out of Munich 1928, Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Nazi, evil, mentally unfit, dictatorship, Hitler, unfit to be human, domestic terrorist, psychologically troubled, hate monger, imperial wizard, neo-Nazi, Axis Power, unfit, a national security threat, piece of sh*t, killer, out of control, domestic terror group, a menace, nuts, dictator, mentally unstable, Putin's c**k holster, madman, giant a**hole, bigot-in-chief, and racist-in-residence

     This is another please-read-it-all column. Indeed, my Gentle Readers need to read the whole thing, and to file it away against future needs. Without substantiation of their hostility, the media are far too good at persuading their audiences that their portrayal of President Trump is accurate.

     It’s been said that what the media dislikes most about Trump is that he fights back. That’s certainly a large part of the reason for their antagonism. Republicans aren’t supposed to fight back. They’re not supposed to take umbrage at being slurred as racists, Nazis, et cetera. Prior Republican presidents have kept the kid gloves on even in the face of extreme and incontrovertible hostility...not that it got them anything but more derision and denunciation.

     A John McCain presidency would have drawn the same slurs and slanders as President Trump is now enduring. McCain, ever more desirous of press adulation than of actual achievement, would have absorbed it without counterpunching. But the upstart in the White House today is of another cut. His media enemies can make no headway against him, and that purely enrages them.

     The idea that they might “catch more flies with honey” either hasn’t occurred to them or strikes them as distasteful, a surrender to the hated Right. And so the charade of a press “speaking truth to power” by demonizing the duly elected president (and by implication Americans who support him) will continue, though whether any depths of vilification remain for it to plumb is uncertain.


3. More on Republican “NeverTrumpers”

     Ace is still on fire:

     Jonah Goldberg has been loudly bragging that he supports gay marriage since before Obama admitted he supported gay marriage.

     He also recently declared that he's basically or "essentially" pro-life, which is code for what I am: pro-choice, but not really upset by the sort of minor restrictions that conservatives are likely to actually get through the courts.

     He's a social liberal.

     There's nothing scandalous about that -- any party should have, and will be strengthened by, a diversity of opinions on various matters.

     But the pro-gay-marriage position is not a minority opinion in the class that rules the Republican Party. It is the dominant position, and long has been.

     Do you really think Bill Kristol favors gun rights?

     Have you ever seen him holding a gun? Writing about guns?

     Do you really believe the conservative writers who are not chiefly on the pro-life beat are really very pro-life?

     Please read it all. It’s Ace at the top of his form. What he’s pointing out here isn’t just that these “thought leaders” hold views that diverge from the conservatives they claim to represent (and to write for); it’s that their number one priority isn’t to uphold and promote conservatism. It’s something else.

     Ace maintains that these folks are actually liberals. He could be right. But the explanation which seems soundest to your humble Curmudgeon is otherwise: their political preferences, if they have any, are of a far lower priority than maintaining their positions in the political Establishment. Continued acceptance in the circles they frequent is more important to them than any abstract proposition in social, economic, or political discourse. They will not willingly take or defend any position likely to get their Washington cocktail-party passes pulled.

     That’s appreciably more consistent with their “NeverTrumping” than a covert inclination toward left-wing policies.

Much clarity from Ann Coulter on birthright citizenship.

Ann Coulter never fails.
As FNC's Bill O'Reilly authoritatively informed Donald Trump on Tuesday night [2015]: "The 14th Amendment says if you're born here, you're an American!"

I cover anchor babies in about five pages of my book, "Adios, America, but apparently Bill O'Reilly and the rest of the scholars on Fox News aren't what we call "readers."

Still, how could anyone—even a not-very-bright person—imagine that granting citizenship to the children of illegal aliens is actually in our Constitution?[1]

She lays it all out.

Notes
[1] "Ann Coulter: FOX NEWS Anchored In Stupidity On 14th Amendment." By Ann Coulter, Vdare.com, 8/19/15.

“Fake news” in a nutshell.

Fake news is a label for news that doesn't follow the narratives of an agenda. Let the people filter the news. There's enough resources at yoar finger tips than there was in all recorded time in history. Problem is, that people like the news that feeds their beliefs or fantasies. If the facts are counter to their fantasy, they discard it. . . .
Comment by Justin Case on “UK Government Bans The 'Fake News' Label To Facilitate Further Censorship.” By Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review, ZeroHedge, 11/8/18.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What I’ve Been Waiting For

     CNN’s Jim Acosta is one of the most irritating, biased persons in “journalism.” He constantly tries to monopolize press conferences, routinely mistreats Sarah Huckabee Sanders, strives to bait her into disagreeing with President Trump, and frames left-wing talking points as “questions” with rhetorically predetermined answers. If he’s any part of the reason for CNN’s recent demise in ratings, you’d think his employers would do something about him. That they haven’t opens many questions into their agenda.

     But at least he’s finally been told off by someone in a position to make it sting:

     There’s some consolation in there for having lost the majority in the House of Representatives.

Combating Prejudices

Most people think they know who their political opponents are.

Most people would be wrong.

The Morning After

Like many "mornings after", this one contains some 'what the hell happened?'.

First - the positive - not only did we keep the Senate, we did so with candidates that were solidly Right. We got rid of a few squishes - like Flake.

On the House side, we're no longer the majority, so - it looks like the Vampiress Pelosi is back.

Although, from their distancing of themselves during the election, many of them are NOT happy with that.  Dan McCready, candidate for the 9th Congressional District, was very open about NOT supporting Pelosi for Speaker.

He lost, anyway, in a squeaker. He hasn't conceded, and in a recount, who knows what skulduggery could unearth votes from the crypt?

That, BTW, is one of the main positives from this race - we won (corrected) some critical ones - Mark Harris in District 9, DeSantis in FL, Blackburn in TN, Crenshaw in TX (maybe this will get them to tone down their over-the-top crazies).

And, of course, some of our greatest successes:

  • Keith Ellison, MN
  • Ocasio-Cortez, NY
  • Pelosi, CA
What? You think those were LOSSES?

Oh, please! Those jackasses will not only be an endless source of gaffes, Tweets, and memes, they are likely to drive the Dems even further to the Left - and you saw how much that helped them in this election.

Probably the most striking success is that we have weeded out most of the most horrific RINOS in the Senate. Although some of those seats have gone to Dems, there is something to be said for your enemy being openly against you, rather than next to you, stabbing you in the back.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

And, It's ON!

I voted early today, and my impressions:

  • Heavier turnout then you'd expect in a mid-term election. I'm at Ground Zero, in SC. I'm in both McMasters and Ralph Norman territory.
  • The early vote was primarily - by about 10:1 - Black. Doesn't mean anything, necessarily. Previous elections have been just as lopsided in the first hour or so. But, it does say that the Dems have their ground game in place.
  • My polling place used electronic checks of voter ID. They scanned your driver's license, and were sent a copy of the information on it. They also checked the signatures against the license - I hadn't seen that before (however, in the previous elections, they had used copies of the original voter signature from their registration).
  • There was a small glitch early on. A curbside voter experienced a screen failure, and they had to take the pad (quite large) back inside to try to get it working. When I left, the poll worker was on the phone with tech support, trying to resolve the issue. So, rather than 4 booths, they had 3 in operation.
  • There's a light rain, and some fog - it is NOT deterring attendance. 
So, what can we take from this?

If you live in one of the heavily contested districts, it is absolutely imperative that you vote. No excuses. The Dems have brought in the professionals, and they are VERY organized. I don't believe that fraud will decide this election - in SC, the poll workers are very professional, checking every ID, and making sure that the election is fair. That was true in the rural areas, as well as the cities, as far as I've seen.

If you don't vote, You ARE the Weakest Link!


The Bifurcated GOP

     Ace of Spades has an important column today:

     I mentioned in a post below that the NeverTrumpers -- who are actually the most liberal of all Republicans, but pose as the most conservative for branding purposes, and because this party has this utterly retarded I'm-more-conservative-than-you dick-measuring syndrome where no liberal Republicans can ever just admit they're liberal Republicans -- are trying to hand this election to the Democrats, because they want their precious control over the party back and they will sabotage it and empower the left until we embrace liberal Republicanism again.

     Please read it all; it’s more than worth you time – and not because I agree with it in its entirety, because I don’t.

     Go ahead; read it. I’ll wait here.


     Even among persons who think seriously about such things, there’s a tendency to regard the realm of conviction as:

  1. Flat;
  2. Static.

     In other words, if Smith possesses two convictions about some subject – and this applies far more broadly than to politics alone – they will have equal weight. Moreover, they won’t be prioritized, whether against one another or against Smith’s other desires, fears, and beliefs. This could not be more untrue.

     Personal considerations will, more often than not, take precedence over abstract convictions in individuals’ decision-making. Indeed, that’s at the core of the rationality-versus-allegiance phenomenon I wrote about yesterday. This might seem like an “of course” sort of observation. It’s not, especially in the realm of politics.

     The several pseudo-conservative figures Ace calls out in his essay might really hold, at some abstract level, to conservative premises and postures. It’s not guaranteed, but it is possible. What’s almost guaranteed is that they regard personal considerations as of much higher priority. When gauging whom to support politically and what to say about him against those considerations, their conservatism, if any, fails to register. It’s of far higher priority that they protect their rice bowls. To expect otherwise is to take the short end of the bet.

     But what’s in those rice bowls? And what sort of vessels are they?


     As I wrote yesterday, most of us don’t arrive at our political positions through a rational process, but rather as a consequence of upbringing or as tools in a quest for personal advantage. Moreover, even among persons who have a sufficient conversance with history, economics, moral-ethical theory, conflict resolution studies, and so forth to make rational choices, personal considerations are likely to have a higher priority. This is colloquially known as “voting your pocketbook.”

     What I have in mind is the prestige factor that animates persons whose public persona is critical to their self-regard, their social standing, and their livelihood. The prestige of a political commentator can be damaged in certain ways:

  • The discovery of hypocrisy;
  • The discovery of venality;
  • The admission of error.

     The Kristols, Frenches, Goldbergs, et alii who are frequently classed as “NeverTrumpers” have excessive self-regard, owing to...drum roll, please...their status as widely read conservative commentators. That’s natural; when tens of thousands of people read you daily or weekly, it tends to fatten your opinion of yourself. Beyond that, their political adversaries regard them as “big boys” of equal stature. They travel in a common social circle. Under social circumstances, they treat one another cordially.

     That mutual acceptance as “one of us” is a component in their livelihoods. Even though his emphasis is on “business interests,” George Carlin’s observations about the “big club” (that we ain’t in) are highly relevant here.

     But seats in that club, that little league of “us” in which the Kristols, the Frenches, the Goldbergs, et alii have sat for many years can be lost. And repeatedly being wrong, especially about who and what will serve one’s supposed, repeatedly expressed political convictions, is one way to lose them.


     So I differ to that extent with Ace’s analysis. These “NeverTrumper” pseudo-conservative commentators aren’t necessarily liberals in conservative costumes. They could be, but they might honestly hold to conservative convictions. They might even support politicians who would implement the conservative, pro-American policies Donald Trump has implemented, as long as it isn’t Donald Trump who’s implementing them. But they don’t like being wrong – and their reaction to having been visibly, audibly, and repeatedly wrong about Trump and his agenda, often from the very start of Trump’s campaign for the presidency, has made them fear for their standing in their occupation and their acceptability in the social circles they frequent.

     Personal priorities are like that. It’s not just the indignity of having been proved wrong and outperformed by a businessman from Queens. The upper echelon of today’s Republican Party is bifurcated for that reason, and essentially no other.

A record of duplicity and support for jihadis.

This is an excerpt from Elijah Magnier’s excellent article on America’s dishonorable involvement in Syria. Nothing about it has been on the up and up, starting with the CIA Annex in Benghazi and its connection to arming jihadi scum in Syria through Turkey:
During the seven years of war, the US never ever aimed for the stability of Syria nor did it work in harmony with the “interests of the people”. ╬Ło Syrian institution gave the right and freedom to the US to speak on its behalf. US forces are blocking al-Tanf crossing in order to impoverish the Syrian population. The US has protected ISIS in the north-east enclave without destroying the jihadists. Not only that, ISIS attacked, imprisoned and killed dozens of the Kurds acting as US proxies in north-east Syria who allowed ISIS to move in and occupy areas around Hajin. When units of the Syria army looking to combat ISIS moved hundreds of meters east of the Euphrates into an ISIS-controlled area a few months ago, the US destroyed them, thereby supporting ISIS’s ongoing presence in the region.

The US establishment is in denial. It has not come to terms with its defeat in Iraq and Syria. Today, it is moving unilaterally against Iran to implement further sanctions that can certainly harm the Iranian economy. Nevertheless, the Americans will not be able to uproot the Iranian ideology that has taken root in Iraq and Syria precisely because of the failed US foreign policy and regime change strategy that was meant to protect its hegemony and dominance in the Middle East.[1]

Deda Cvetko has a pithy comment on the article playing on its title:
The fig leaf of fighting islamists went down in 1992, when US of A openly sided with mujahedeens and terrorists in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia - and against indigenous Christians.
I never understood our taking the Muslim side in the Balkans. I could never let loose of the fact that Serbians helped many of our downed airmen reach safety in WWII, yet we repaid them with heavy and deliberate bombing of civilian targets in Serbia. Well, that falls under the category of “What have you done for me lately?” I suppose.

If Mr. Magnier is correct, and I think he is, the U.S. failed in Syria and is now flailing around with no decent objective in mind. Not that there was a decent one before. Draw your own conclusions as to whether there is any vitality in a policy aimed at dismemberment of a sovereign state without U.N. authorization and establishing a protectorate for the dregs of humanity in Idlib, with a strong dose of saber rattling and threats directed toward Iran. I’ve been no fan of that country in the past but Trump’s treatment of it is the absolute best way of ensuring that the current dispensation in Iran remains locked in concrete and that the political establishment there is provided irrefutable proof of irrational and eternal U.S. enmity.

Onward, it seems, into more U.S. confusion and killing in Syria.

Notes
[1] "With New U.S. Anti-Iran Policy In Iraq And Syria, The Fig Leaf Of Fighting ISIS Falls." By Elijah Magnier, ZeroHedge, 11/4/18 (emphasis removed).

Monday, November 5, 2018

Rationality Versus Allegiance: A Comment On Voting Habits

     A rational army would run away. – Baron de Montesquieu

     What applies to armies applies with equal force to voters and voting blocs. We know from long experience that the majority of citizens don’t reach their political positions through rational analysis. Rather, they inherit them from their parents, or adopt them for social or commercial advantage, or wear them as persona masks intended to achieve some non-electoral effect.

     This is not the condemnation it might appear. A perfectly rational approach to voting would cause the overwhelming majority of persons to abstain from it. After all, what are the odds? How likely is it that my vote will decide any election? Add the notorious infidelity of politicians to their campaign promises, and just what is electoral victory really worth? So why not forget the electoral charade and choose one’s supposed politics on the basis of personal advantages available thereby?

     (Yes, yes, I know that many citizens refrain from voting. Some of them do so in keeping with the argument above. But the majority of non-voters abstain out of laziness or indifference. A poll of non-voters taken in the Seventies, which asked them “What would motivate you to go to the polls on Election Day?” a healthy plurality responded “A candidate worth voting for.” There’s a moral in there, somewhere.)

     However, there are influences at work other than rationality.


     My thoughts this morning were stimulated by this statement by J. J. Sefton:

     Along with the myth of the blue wave being exploded, when you take into account how completely wrong the polls were in 2016, the nature of polling in general (that they are meant not to measure public opinion but to influence it) and the fact that the past 4 election cycles have seen the Democrats lose something like 1,200 seats at every level down to dog catcher, that the election of Donald Trump in 2016 was the final rejection of Obamanism/Hillaryism, a 24-month economic miracle not seen in decades that underscores the abject failure of Democrat policies and personalities, the campaign of violence and intimidation of the Democrat-Media Complex against this President and those who elected him (Scalise, Kavanaugh, #MeToo, Mueller witch hunt), a series of special elections that were supposed to be the harbingers of Trump's downfall which saw only one or two Dems elected, the fact that Democrats who are struggling in red to purple states (and even some blue ones) are scrambling to cover their embrace of socialism and Joo-Hate as well as clamming up when it comes to amnesty and immigration - the optics of the staged migrant invasion alone are an absolute disaster for the Left - and guns (for the most part) and crucially the Trump factor and his ability to communicate directly with the people and in doing so make the Dems and media look like utter fools, it just makes absolutely zero sense to me that any sane, rational voter would abandon all of this and give a book of matches to a pyromaniac in an oil refinery by voting Democrat.

     Despite all that, it’s virtually certain that millions of Americans will vote for Democrats tomorrow, just as many already have in the early balloting. It’s not about what’s good for the country, or what would be in those voters’ best interests. It’s about allegiances they’re excessively reluctant to abandon.

     An old friend once said to me that he couldn’t bring himself to vote for a Republican without suffering a seizure. He’s black. He regards the Democrat Party as “his party,” unalterably and forever. When he goes to the polls he pulls the Democrat straight-ticket lever and walks away without a moment of thought or regret. Yet he’s fairly intelligent. He needn’t be told that the Democrats and the policies they’ve championed have harmed him and “his people.” He simply can’t bring himself to vote against them.

     Allegiances are like that.


     The long-time partisan – i.e., he who has voted straight-ticket for many years – is as close to being politically unchangeable as a human being can come. Whatever his original reasons for choosing his party alignment, the persistence of that alignment over time has burdened him. The burden consists in this: the difficulty of admitting that his partisanry, if not all partisanry per se, was / is a mistake.

     No one likes to admit to error. “I was wrong” is one of the hardest of all English phrases to master. “I’ve been wrong for decades” is an order of magnitude worse. When the subject is politics, with the implication that the victories of one’s chosen party might have brought harm to millions, the conscience factor creeps in...and then, as Alexander Rose wrote in Pay The Two Dollars, most people would prefer to plead guilty to murder.

     The “rational” voter finds such an attitude incomprehensible. Wouldn’t it be better balm for one’s conscience to admit to error and resolve not to repeat it? This discounts the terrible aversion most of us have to accepting guilt, even when that guilt is widely shared. That Smith’s own vote didn’t “elect the bastards” by itself matters less than that Smith ratified the choice with his ballot.

     A similar attitude can be found among the doctrinaire anarchists. (The true anarchists, mind you; not the assholes that actually espouse socialism, syndicalism, or communism.) An anarchist rejects all government, regardless of its form. He feels that by voting, regardless of how his ballot is cast, he would ratify a system of government. It doesn’t matter that his vote can’t determine who will win or what policies will be followed; the act of voting is itself immoral, so he abstains. Neither does it matter that one party is far more inclined to expand the State than the other. His moral precepts forbid him to participate.

     We can expect to see millions of votes cast for Democrats tomorrow. Many of those who cast their ballots thus will suffer loss or harm due to Democrat policies and perfidies. Moreover, many of those voters are already aware that that would be the case in the event of a Democrat victory. Nevertheless, they will go to the polls and pull the straight-ticket Democrat lever. Their allegiance is to the Democrat Party. They can’t even imagine renouncing it. And there is approximately nothing that anyone can do about it.

Quickies: About The U.S.-Born Children Of Illegal Aliens

     Most of the time my memory functions like a junk drawer, or perhaps a disorderly basement used for the indiscriminate storage of uncategorized items. When I reach into it, I can’t be sure what I’ll get. However, it also has an active mode, in which it tosses up interesting bits that bear some relevance to whatever I’ve recently been thinking about. It just presented me with one such item.

     The item is a curious legal term: estoppel:

     Estoppel is a legal doctrine that prevents a person from adopting a position, action, or attitude, asserting a fact or a right, or prevents one from denying a fact inconsistent with an earlier position if it would result in an injury to someone else.

     Now, that’s written in legalese, which makes it a challenge for most of us English-speakers to decode. For disentanglement, hearken to the late Louis Nizer, in his legal autobiography My Life In Court, about his participation in the curious case of John Jacob Astor, the man with two legally recognized wives:

     Astor [asserted] that the Mexican divorce decree that he had obtained against Gertrude [his first wife] was void, and therefore that he was still married to her and that Dolly [his second wife] was not even his wife. He imposed a counterclaim in which he took the offensive. He asked that the court annul his marriage to Dolly because of a prior subsisting marriage. Finally, for good measure, even if he lost his other contentions, he asked for an absolute divorce from Dolly on the grounds of extreme cruelty. So the issue was joined.

     We contended that Astor could not take advantage of the invalidity of the Mexican divorce because he had procured it himself and had asked Dolly to marry him on the strength of it. We invoked the ancient equitable doctrine of estoppel. One may not take advantage of his own wrong deed. He is estopped from so doing. [Emphasis added by FWP]

     Estoppel has many applications, as the citation from U.S. Legal goes on to detail. However, the moral rationale is uniform: The misbehaver must not be allowed to profit from his misbehavior.

     This might not bear upon the citizenship or lack thereof of the baby – indisputably as innocent as any party to the matter could possibly be – but it would defeat any contention by the illegal-alien parents that they’re entitled to permanent residence in the United States by virtue of having borne a child on our soil. One is forbidden to profit from one’s lawbreaking.

     Finally, to any readers Liberty’s Torch has in the United Kingdom: Happy Guy Fawkes Day! It’s always struck this revolutionary firebrand funny that our English cousins commemorate a coup attempt that failed, but hey, other places, other mores.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

ALLELUIA!

Gab.Com is back!

Claw-Back

     The aim of the High is to remain where they are. -- George Orwell

     It is inherent in the nature of things that he who feels what he most values slipping from his grasp will intensify his efforts to retain it. It shouldn’t surprise us, nor does it. That having been said, Americans have expected that in political contests over who shall direct the future of the nation, regardless of the perceived magnitude of the stakes certain boundaries will be observed. So a video clip like the one I embedded in this piece tends to disturb even those who differ with President Trump, whether about substantive matters or notions of personal style. Yet it will not abate.

     The Establishment’s attempt to claw back the power taken from it by Trump’s ascendancy operates mainly through the press. The Legacy Media, which are almost unanimously aligned with the Democrat Party, have been tireless in assailing the president. Stories that would confirm the success of his policies are covered lightly if at all. Any sort of calamity, regardless of its nature or genesis, is tied to him, however fancifully. And as we have seen, opinion-mongers with Legacy Media platforms denounce him in terms and tones seldom directed at a mass murderer.

     And we have a critical election scheduled for the day after tomorrow: an election that will be in large measure a referendum on President Donald Trump.


     The unbridled slanders and condemnations should disturb both President Trump’s supporters and his opponents. They indict those of us who voted for him of having committed, at minimum, a terrible error in judgment. Several of the president’s high-profile detractors have made that indictment explicit. Apparently, for having elected the candidate they disdained, we’re the Twenty-First Century’s equivalent of Nazis. We deserve to go about in sackcloth and ashes, ritually flagellating ourselves, for the remainder of our lives. Here’s what soi disant “conservative” columnist Jennifer Rubin had to say about one of the president’s employees, Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

     “We’re not going to let these people go through life unscathed. Sarah Huckabee has no right to live a life of no fuss, no muss, after lying to the press – after inciting against the press. These people should be made uncomfortable, and I think that’s a life sentence frankly.”

     What had Sanders done to deserve such a sentence? What? You have to ask? She works for the Trump Administration. She speaks on behalf of the president, and that makes her bad, don’t you see? So according to Jennifer Rubin, she deserves to be sentenced to a life of harassment without parole. And the press has been unanimous, whether openly or covertly, in ratifying Rubin’s proclamation.

     Sanders has maintained her reserve and her aplomb with near-perfect dignity. Only on one occasion has she allowed any of her feelings to show through:

     The catalogue of calumnies and condemnations that Sanders cited in that clip would have enraged a saint to violence. But that doesn’t matter to Jim Acosta. He didn’t get Sanders to kowtow. He didn’t get her to distance herself from her boss. He scored no points for his political masters and enablers. To the Establishment and its lackeys, that’s the only thing that matters.

     Note Acosta’s mealymouthed attempt to distance himself from his trade’s assault on every norm of decency toward an employee of a political opponent:

     “You did not say in the course of those remarks that you just made that the press is not the enemy of the people,” Acosta replied. “Are we to take it from what you just said, we all get put through the wringer, we all get put through the meat grinder in this town and you’re not an exception and I’m sorry that happened to you. I wish that did not happen.”

     “For the sake of this room, for the people in this room, this democracy, this country, all the people around the world are watching what you are saying and the White House for the United States of America, the president of the United States should not refer to us as enemy of the people? His own daughter acknowledges that and all I’m asking is you acknowledge that right here and right now.”

     Sanders replied with a curt dismissal of Acosta’s melodramatic demand: “I’m here to speak on behalf of the president. He’s made his statements clear.” Or in the vernacular of our time, “fuck you and the horse you rode in on.”

     The above are reasons for both anger and hope.


     While the Trump Administration has known considerable turnover, it appears that it is now populated with persons who are prepared to weather the fusillades of accusation and denunciation the press has poured over their boss. Sarah Sanders is a good example.

     The GOP has taken a lot of heat in recent years for milquetoastedness: the sin of not standing foursquare for its principles and its platform. Republicans have repeatedly sought to mollify their opponents and detractors in the press by qualifying their positions in a fashion displeasing to the Republican base. The late John McCain was particularly notorious for this. Others almost as spineless retain seats on Capitol Hill, though in some cases not for much longer.

     In recent weeks there’s been a dramatic change. Perhaps it was kicked off by Senator Lindsey Graham’s righteous tirade over the pillorying of Brett Kavanaugh with completely unsubstantiated accusations of sexual misconduct. At any rate, Congressional Republicans are doing a lot less mincing lately – and the electorate seems to prefer them that way.

     Tuesday will be the next joust over federal power. The Establishment’s claw-back campaign will receive an important diagnosis then. The Democrats and their press handmaidens have been predicting a “blue wave” that will sweep them back to power. However, recent polls suggest that no such transformation of Congress is likely. How the Democrats, the press, and their street activists will react to having their hopes of such a wave dashed cannot be predicted...but I have an uncanny suspicion that it will be fun to watch. Stay tuned.