Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Snort Time

     (A new series for Liberty’s Torch? Perhaps.)

     If you’re “of a certain age,” you might remember Francis Ford Coppola’s early triumph The Godfather. This towering movie and its equally impressive sequel both won the Oscar for Best Picture, and deservedly so. Marlon Brando’s performance as Vito Corleone was among the best of his career. Al Pacino’s portrayal of Vito’s son Michael was his launching pad to stardom. Many who had thrilled to Mario Puzo’s novel of the Corleone family and its conflicts had a hard time sincerely saying “I liked the book better.”

     The Godfather offers many striking moments. But for me, the snippet I cherish most and will remember longest is this one:

     I, too, like to drink wine more than I used to...and here at the Fortress of Crankitude, there’s a special moment reserved for the day’s first glass of wine: 3:00 PM Eastern time. We call it Snort Time.

     Snort Time takes precedence over anything else that might be going on. I could be in the middle of a Nobel Prize In Literature-winning sentence. The C.S.O. could be balancing the Vatican’s own books. All that will be set aside for that first glass of “the fruit of the vine and work of human hands.” (The dogs and cats don’t get a vote, though they do get Greenies and catnip.)

     In recent years, owing to our discovery of a number of absolutely smashing New York State wineries, Snort Time is often a time of discovery as well as of bibulous pleasure. We’ve made a point of getting onto those wineries’ PR mailing lists, so that we’ll be notified as soon as some new vintage or new varietal is introduced to the consuming public. We seldom fail to “buy in”...and we seldom fail to enjoy what follows.

     Today arrived a shipment from one such winery: Chateau Lafayette Reneau, in Hector NY: a case of its award-winning 2017 Dry Riesling. Upon the arrival of Snort Time today, I opened the case, uncorked a bottle, and poured glasses for the C.S.O and myself.

     I’m not a technical expert in the assessment or description of a wine, so I’m not going to go into a long discourse about the aroma, the foretaste, the balance of tannins and sugars, or anything else the pseudosophisticates who style themselves “oenophiles” would dribble endlessly on about. (Around here we call them “wine snobs.” We won’t have them in our home.) Instead I’ll simply tell you that this is a delightful beverage: slightly tart and slightly sweet, with a unique and refreshing character. Were I anything but the superbly disciplined, even Spartan epicure all Liberty’s Torch readers know me to be, I’d find it easy to drink far too much of it. (Yes, I’m still struggling to lose the last 15 pounds. Thanks so much for asking.)

     Chateau Lafayette Reneau takes orders over the phone or Web. It ships to all of New York and several other states. Give its 2017 Dry Riesling a try. You won’t regret it.

For Anyone Who Needs A Laugh

     And really, who doesn’t?

     I hope President Trump gets to see that video before someone it embarrasses contrives to have it taken down.

     Needless to say, the various “journalists” and “analysts” featured in that clip were expressing more than a little wishful thinking. But then, that’s what they do, right? That’s the core of their job descriptions, isn’t it? I mean, if it isn’t, what else are they supposed to be doing and why aren’t they doing it?

     I’d been having a down day, but that made me feel a whole lot better.

Yet Another Thing I Hadn't Thought Of

In the last budget reconciliation, Trump tossed The Wall for the money to build up the military - which, given China's periodic moves, and the hordes heading for the Mexican-US border, probably was a shrewd deal. At least, that's what The American Spectator is arguing.

In the best of scenarios, American Forces may have to fire upon the invaders. And, given the Leftist propensity for putting women and children in front of their cowardly hides, it will be a headline-making, endlessly-regurgitated, Democratic/Progressive/Leftist Talking Point for years to come.

I hate to see military doing what our cowardly Congress wouldn't - taking a stand against unregulated immigration.

Blogging may be spotty for the next month - it's National Novel Writing Month again, and I'm set for another run at it. I have several books in progress, and I'm going to just start with one, and keep writing until the month is over. With luck, I'll finish more than one.


     President Trump’s recent suggestion that he might undo the birthright citizenship of “anchor babies” – babies born to mothers illegally in the United States – has evoked a flurry of opposed interpretations of the first paragraph of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution:

     All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. [Emphasis added by FWP]

     The emphasized phrase is the nub of the matter. Is a child brought illegally into this country in his mother’s womb subject to the jurisdiction of the United States? When the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, the answer was no. Left-leaning outlets claim that the Supreme Court changed this interpretation in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, but that’s a tendentious reading of the decision. Ark’s parents were legal residents of the United States when Ark was born. There is no indication anywhere in the majority opinion that it was intended to apply to the children of illegal aliens.

     Conservative commentators have invoked the context in which the Fourteenth Amendment was passed: specifically, that it was aimed at establishing the citizenship of children born to the recently emancipated slaves. This was an egregious matter indeed, for after the 1808 legal changes that forbade the further importation of slaves, slave owners asserted that a child born to a slave was, quite as much as the mother, the slave owner’s rightful property. The federal government did not address the matter, and of course the slave states would not contradict the assertions of the slave owners.

     I’ve searched my reference books for further Supreme Court decisions relevant to the question. I can’t find any.

     There is considerable conflict among the nations about this matter of jurisdiction. The two principal conceptions about it clash dramatically.

     The first of these is the Law of the Soil or jus soli:

     In some countries, jus soli system or birthright citizenship is followed. According to this principle, citizenship of a person is determined by the place where a person was born. Jus soli is the most common means to acquire citizenship of a nation.

     The second conception is the Law of the Blood or jus sanguinis:

     This term when used in the context of citizenship refers to acquisition of citizenship, by the citizenship of the parents. It lays down the principle that the nationality or citizenship of a person is determined by the citizenship of the parents who is a national or citizen of a state.

     In its determinations of citizenship, American law uses both conceptions:

     Pursuant to 8 USCS § 1401, the following persons can acquire citizenship by jus soli:
  1. A person born in the U.S., and subject to its jurisdiction.
  2. A person born in the U.S. as a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe.
  3. A person of unknown parentage found in the U.S. while under the age of five year. The person can remain a U.S. citizen if it is not shown before s/he attains twenty five years that the person was not born in the U.S.
  4. A person born in an outlying possession of the U.S. (i.e., including Puerto Rico, the Panama Canal Zone, Panama, the Virgin Islands and Guam.) of parents, one of whom is a citizen of the U.S. who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year at any time prior to the birth of such person.

     The above supposedly applies jus soli criteria. However, note that the children of federal government employees stationed in other nations, no matter how long it might have been since either parent was last in the United States, are granted birthright citizenship through the application of jus sanguinis. (It would be far more difficult to hire people into the Foreign Service were that not the case.)

     American law is moderately (but not completely) averse to the concept of dual citizenship. If American citizen parents were to birth a child in another country while there under the terms of the fourth provision of 8 USCS § 1401 enumerated above, American courts would recognize the child’s American citizenship, but (with certain exceptions) would not recognize his citizenship in that other country. This provision is seldom of importance to ordinary Americans. It tends to arise only in matters of extradition and the voluntary renunciation of American citizenship, both of which are fairly rare.

     Senator Ted Cruz was briefly troubled by dual-citizenship questions during his 2016 presidential campaign. Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta to Eleanor Wilson, an American citizen who satisfied the fourth provision of 18 USC § 1401; thus, he had birthright American citizenship. However, he also had jus soli Canadian citizenship, owing to his birth in that country. That evoked challenges to his Constitutional qualifications for the office of president, which were ultimately resolved in his favor. (Whether Cruz was qualified under jus soli to become prime minister of Canada has never been addressed.)

     It’s quite a mess, isn’t it? In all probability it won’t be settled any time soon. Should a case be presented to the Supreme Court, the Court might well decline to hear it. If the Court were to hear it, there would be arguments on both sides, owing to the clashing applications of jus soli and jus sanguinis in federal law. Moreover, as birthright citizenship has been conferred on the children of illegal aliens for several decades, a conservative’s approach to the issue would be caught between the strict wording of the Fourteenth Amendment and a desire to preserve stability by ratifying existing practices.

     Americans’ great need is to know what the law really is:

    “Miss Weatherly,” he said with a note of regret, “I’m a lawyer. I was raised by a lawyer. He taught me to think of the law as our most precious possession. One of the questions he repeatedly insisted that I ponder was ‘What is the law?’ Not ‘What would I like the law to be,’ but ‘What is it really, and how do I know that’s what it is?’
    “My profession, sadly, has made a practice of twisting the law to its own ends. There aren’t many lawyers left who really care what the law is, as long as they can get the results they want, when they want them. So they play the angles, and collaborate with judges who think they’re black-robed gods, and generally do whatever they can get away with to get what they want, without a moment’s regard for what it does to the knowability of the law.
    “I care. I want to know what the law is, what it permits, requires, and forbids. I want my clients to know. And the only way to reach that result is to insist that the words of the law have exact meanings, not arbitrary, impermanent interpretations that can be changed by some supercilious cretin who thinks he can prescribe and proscribe for the rest of us.
    “The Constitution is the supreme law, the foundation for all other law. If it doesn’t mean exactly what its text says—the public meanings of the words as ordinary people understand them—then no one can possibly know what it means. But if no one can know what the Constitution means, then no one can know whether any other law conforms to it. At that point, all that matters is the will of whoever’s in power. And that’s an exact definition of tyranny.”

     Before we leave this subject, have a highly relevant observation from Robert Curry:

     The Democrats are done with paying lip service to American ideals they do not believe in just so they can get elected. They have had it with the American people, and they have decided to replace us with people more to their liking, people who will never consider blocking their progressive agenda.

     How can the Democrats be so certain that the floodtide of illegals they’ve chosen for this task can be counted upon to empower them? Could it be because those people are not exactly dedicated to the American idea, either?

     These new people may not be able to mouth the progressive talking points against the Electoral College or argue for “the living Constitution” but, for the progressives, their hearts are in the right place and their votes will obediently follow their benefactors. That’s what counts.

     The stakes are clearly very high. High stakes means that the big guns – legal and opinion-editorial – will be firing. Nor would they cease to fire even after a definitive, 9-0 Supreme Court decision. Two utterly opposed agendas are involved, and the backers of both will go all in.

     Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

There Comes A Point which the agenda of those who despise the United States and envy it for its success becomes too obvious to deny any longer:

     UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic told VOA his agency has alerted countries along the caravan's route that it is likely to include people in real danger.

     "Our position globally is that the individuals who are fleeing persecution and violence need to be given access to territory and protection including refugee status and determination procedure. And, if the people who are fleeing persecution and violence enter Mexico, they need to be provided access to the Mexican asylum system and those entering the United States need to be provided access to the American asylum system," he said.

     Mahecic said the UNHCR is very concerned about the developing humanitarian situation along the migratory route. He said there are kidnapping and security risks in the areas where the caravan may be venturing.

     So! The UN is “very concerned” about the well-being of this caravan, 80% of which consists of military-age males and all of which has been financed by George Soros and other left-wing agencies determined to destroy the borders, and therefore the sovereignty, of the United States. Then what is the UN doing for them? Is the UN providing food, clothing, shelter, resettlement support? And what about Mexico? Does the country through which the caravan has traveled, illegally but essentially without resistance, have any responsibility for it? Why should the United States lift a finger to assist those who would destroy it?

     The UN has no authority in this matter. The United States makes its own laws, including its entry and residence laws – and those laws forbid anyone from entering without a visa, or other than at an official port of entry. These are the requirements of all modern nations...but apparently the U.S., for no clear reason, is forbidden – by the UN! The UN! — to have and enforce such laws.

     President Trump: Get the UN out of the U.S.
     And for the love of God, get the U.S. out of the UN.


     This one took place after this morning’s Mass. It is not funny:

FWP: How are you today?
Other Parishioner: Do you get this Hallowe’en stuff?

FWP: Well, it’s based on a custom from medieval Europe—
OP: No, I mean what’s with all the decorations and lights?

FWP: People like special occasions. It’s an excuse to dress up in costumes and have a party.
OP: I think it’s just more commercialism.

FWP: Well, if businessmen see a chance to make a buck—a
OP: I just don’t get it. People treat it like Christmas!

FWP: It had a serious purpose back when—
OP: I don’t want an education!

FWP: You just want to complain?
OP: Yeah.
FWP: Have a nice day.

     I have to tell you, Gentle Reader, that shook me a little. Have you ever experienced anything like that?

The Problem of "Nudging"

For those who didn't read it when it first came out, you might want to check Amazon for Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness. It's not cheap - the Kindle edition is $13.99, and the money goes to Leftists Thaler and Sunstein. However, you can get used real books for $5 or less, and a new book is marked at $8.

However, it's a fascinating look at how Leftists think about people, their motivations, and how the Left might profit from those tendencies. Ya' see, Leftists and Progressives think the Normal people (to use Kurt Schlichter's phrase), are kinda stupid.

OK, they think they're VERY stupid. Easy led. Incapable of thinking for themselves.

So, 'cause these Slow People need the Elites to tell them What to think, How to think, What to say and do, Leftists want to step into that void, and just TELL them what they have to do.

Unfortunately, the Brighter Leftists have, over time, observed that Normals really dislike someone telling them how to live. Why, so much do Normals value their independence, they actually elected someone that the Elites told them was No good, in fact Evil, and a Big Dummy, too.

Honestly, those Stupid Normals just don't get that the Elites know better. Maybe the Elites (or, their delegated mouthpieces, those who WANT to be Elite) need to just shout LOUDER.

Hmmm. That didn't seem to work.

That's where the concept of Nudging comes in. You see, the Elite are going to SUBTLY use tricks to get the Normals to act in ways that the Elite approve of. The Elite are going to rig the selection process SUBTLY, by selecting their preferred choice. Those Dumb-Ass Normals are too Stupid to figure out what's going on, and will just click on the Submit button, thereby selecting the Default Choice.

Which, the Elites maneuvered to be the one that they wanted the Normals to choose.

It's all Real Subtle. Because those Dummy Normals are just too Stupid to see what's happening, and will go along like the Sheeple the Elites wish they were.

Little does the Left realize that the Normals have caught on. All those web forms that have "Yes, I want to receive endless spam emails forever" as the default choice have taught the sharper ones to de-select the default. And, thanks to Facebook, they were able to spread that knowledge to others, making it very hard for spammers.

And the Elite said, Damn.

And, it must be Trump's fault somehow.

Here's a take-down of the concept of Nudging.

A Quick Lexical Bitch

     Today promises to be a frazzler, and anyway, all I have at the moment is this:

  • When we speak of whether a thing is legal, we are discussing its legality.
  • When we say that a man is frugal, we are noting his frugality.
  • And when we describe a condition as normal...

     Hint, hint! It’s not “normalcy.”

     (Warren G. Harding was a better president than many suppose, but as a speaker of English...well, he was a much better president.)

     I’ll probably be back later with something more substantial.

The Changing Nature of Work and Industry

I just found the Claremont Institute Review of Books (CRB). I have no idea why I'd not read anything of theirs before, but I find myself finishing one article, then moving to another, and repeating that process over and over.

This one caught my eye, as it looks at two books about the Victorian Era, and examines just why it was such a pivotal moment in the world's economies and political systems.

From there, I went to this one, about the globalization of industry and work. The analysis of the practice doesn't merely discuss US-3rd World economic interactions, but also points out that the heavy hand of government enters into the equation, putting its own hand on the scale.
Global supply chains are big, closed systems. “The manufacturing revolution,” Baldwin writes, “only happened in developing nations that high-tech firms decided to invite into their production networks.” International corporations are constantly threatening and laying down the law to backward societies. The United States has frequently succumbed to the temptation to marshal corporate power to wreck, through boycotts and blockades, the economies of countries with which it has even minor disagreements. One of the alarming innovations of the Obama years was the way the president’s aides enlisted corporations of various kinds—from Wal-Mart to the NCAA—to discipline recalcitrant American states in the same way. Indiana was going to have gay marriage and North Carolina was going to let conflicted males use ladies’ restrooms, or the administration would rally corporate friends to destroy their economies.
 It's possible that at least some of the discontent of the Privileged Class is because their own well-being is threatened by similar changes. The value of a medical or legal education has been sharply discounted - technology has changed those professions, and they are experiencing the pinch.

The same with education - the freedom brought about by the charter school movement is accelerating, and virtual schools are fast undercutting their wages. The elementary education of the future may not need the high numbers of teachers in a local school, instead using facilitators from nearly every English-speaking nation.

Need I mention that medicine, law, and education are all professions that have been flooded by  women? The future of work does NOT look good for the highly-paid, expensively-educated female members of the Ruling Class. It would seem that many women have spent huge amounts of money to enter professions that will never be able to provide a return on the investment they have made.

Monday, October 29, 2018

It’s War To The Knife Time (UPDATED)

     We’ve already had indications of this. AntiFa committing mass assaults and vandalism and getting away with it. Organized bands of hecklers shutting down talks by conservative and libertarian spokesmen. Public harassment of Republican Congressmen and Trump Administration figures. Major Web service providers Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube censoring anyone to the right of Hillary Clinton. And of course, pustules on the body politic such as Maxine Waters and Eric Holder slyly encouraging all the above and more.

     The latest casualty brings a unique poignancy to the situation:

     If you’re unfamiliar with, it’s a Twitter replacement that doesn’t censor. It excludes illegal materials – e.g., child porn, doxxing, threats of violence – but that’s all. Everyone is welcome to say whatever he pleases as long as what he posts doesn’t violate the law. Its founder and chief executive, Andrew Torba, has been stalwart in his defense of absolutely free expression. Yea verily, even for folks whose views nearly everyone would find repugnant.

     But the Left is determined that we in the Right shall not be permitted to express ourselves. So ever since this affront to Leftist domination of social media got seriously rolling, the Left has conducted a campaign to have “deplatformed:” i.e., deprived of a Web host, payment processors, and anything else a social medium requires for survival.

     Web hosts and payment processors are apparently pusillanimous enough to be bullied into denying their services. As of this morning, Web host provider Joyent has pulled its service out from under Gab’s site. The rationale? Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers had posted there:

     The alleged gunman in Saturday’s mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue spewed anti-Semitic posts on a social media platform where he claimed that Jews were "the enemy of white people," according to a report.

     Two hours before Robert Bowers, 46, allegedly burst into the Tree of Life Synagogue and opened fire during a Shabbat service, he posted on the chat site about the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the New York Times reported.

     People like Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton – the lowest and most vicious dregs of humanity – can say anything they like at Facebook and Twitter, including a huge amount of anti-Semitic vitriol...with no consequences. But for to allow an anti-Semite to express himself is unacceptable? is somehow responsible for what this maniac did in the flesh?

     I hardly need to draw my intelligent Gentle Readers a cartoon.

     The Left has figured it out: If we can keep Americans in the Right from finding and communicating with one another, we can keep them feeling isolated and helpless. They’re doing everything they can to bring that about. The elimination of relatively young, relatively small social-medium indicates that the Left has resolved that its silence-and-isolate strategy shall be seamless.

     Does that put you in mind of anything else. Gentle Reader? Perhaps a passage from a famous novel?

     “Yes, I suppose I should explain,” said Dr. Ferris, “that we wish to get your signature early in the day in order to announce the fact on a national news broadcast. Although the gift program has gone through quite smoothly, there are still a few stubborn individualists left, who have failed to sign—small fry, really, whose patents are of no crucial value, but we cannot let them remain unbound; as a matter of principle, you understand. They are, we believe, waiting to follow your lead. You have a great popular following, Mr. Rearden, much greater than you suspected or knew how to use. Therefore, the announcement that you have signed will remove the last hopes of resistance and, by midnight, will bring in the last signatures, thus completing the program on schedule.” [Emphasis added by FWP]

     There are still people who laugh at Rand’s nightmare vision. There are still people who say, to themselves if not to others, “Oh, it will never get as bad as that!” or “Well, freedom of speech is all very well in theory, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

     Some years ago, Jonah Goldberg, whom I once respected, wrote that everyone is in favor of censorship; we just want to censor different things. Perhaps he’s reconsidered. As I disagreed with him then just as now, I don’t have to.

     Allow me to reprise a snippet from another visionary, the late Dr. Clarence Carson:

     [W]e are told that there is no need to fear the concentration of power in government so long as that power is checked by the electoral process. We are urged to believe that so long as we can express our disagreement in words, we have our full rights to disagree. Now both freedom of speech and the electoral process are important to liberty, but alone they are only the desiccated remains of liberty. However vigorously we may argue against foreign aid, our substance is still drained away in never-to-be-repaid loans. Quite often, there is not even a candidate to vote for who holds views remotely like my own. To vent one's spleen against the graduated income tax may be healthy for the psyche, but one must still yield up his freedom of choice as to how his money will be spent when he pays it to the government. The voice of electors in government is not even proportioned to the tax contribution of individuals; thus, those who contribute more lose rather than gain by the "democratic process." A majority of voters may decide that property cannot be used in such and such ways, but the liberty of the individual is diminished just as much as in that regard as if a dictator had decreed it. Those who believe in the redistribution of wealth should be free to redistribute their own, but they are undoubtedly limiting the freedom of others when they vote to redistribute theirs.

     Effective disagreement means not doing what one does not want to do as well as saying what he wants to say. What is from one angle the welfare state is from another the compulsory state. Let me submit a bill of particulars. Children are forced to go to school. Americans are forced to pay taxes to support foreign aid, forced to support the Peace Corps, forced to make loans to the United Nations, forced to contribute to the building of hospitals, forced to serve in the armed forces. Employers are forced to submit to arbitration with labor leaders. Laborers are forced to accept the majority decision. Employers are forced to pay minimum wages, or go out of business. But it is not even certain that they will be permitted by the courts to go out of business. Railroads are forced to charge established rates and to continue services which may have become uneconomical. Many Americans are forced to pay Social Security. Farmers are forced to operate according to the restrictions voted by a majority of those involved. The list could be extended, but surely the point has been made.

     Dr. Carson was quite as incisive as Rand. Yet he might not have anticipated that once freedom of speech became dangerous to the Left, it would strive to eliminate that vestige of American liberty just as it had striven to eliminate all the previous ones. Note also how Leftists have striven to corrupt the electoral system. They can’t abide that any longer, either; after all, it rejected their anointed candidate in favor of a real estate magnate from Queens!

     There’s a moral here, and it shouldn’t take a lot of skull sweat to divine it.

     We are at the edge of the abyss. We are quite literally fighting to remain even slightly free. And we are losing.

     We can afford no more prissy reservations about tactics. If we insist on keeping to Marquess of Queensberry rules while the Left batters us with bats and stomps our fallen bodies with spiked boots, we might as well surrender now.

     I trust that no more need be said.

     UPDATE: Read this if you have any remaining doubts.

New Fiction!

     But not from me:

     Where we go one, we go all!

     When the Civic Circle tries to embroil the U.S. in a senseless war, Pete must leverage his summer intern position to infiltrate their Social Justice Leadership Forum on Jekyll Island, and disrupt their plans.The danger - and the opportunity - are far greater than he imagines. The sinister power behind the Cabal - a power that aims to reshape society, destroy our civilization, and cast humanity into bondage - tolerates no rivals. Deep within the conspiracy's stronghold Pete discovers not only the secrets by which they retain their power, but also a crucial vulnerability that could cripple the Cabal with one decisive blow.

     With his plans in jeopardy and his life at risk, Pete must forge an unlikely alliance of rivals, turn The Civic Circle against itself, expose their secrets, and end their threat once and for all.The ultimate struggle for the ultimate stakes hinges on one simple question:

     Will fortune favor the brave and the bold?

     This third, exciting volume in Hans G. Schantz’s alternate-timeline techno-thriller is available in both paperback and Kindle editions.

     Highly recommended.

Sunday, October 28, 2018


     If God were the sort of Being Who writes out the requirements for a creature before setting to work on it, the requirements document for Mankind would have been very long. Mind you, I don’t think He did any such thing. Producing an explicit requirements document is the sort of activity that arises from having a paying customer who’ll demand that your product pass an acceptance test before he signs the check. All the same, it’s fun to contemplate what the requirements document for the human body would include.

     One of the less obvious but more vital requirements would be the inclusion of a functioning anti-infection subsystem. The one we’re equipped with is impressive. It’s not unbeatable, of course; that’s impossible in the nature of things. But it displays an ingenious degree of flexibility and responsiveness.

     The central element in our anti-infection subsystem is the antibody: an organism the body generates in response to the detection of a hostile bacterium or virus. I’m not a biologist and can’t detail exactly how this works; I only marvel that it does. The human anti-infection system is able to invent countermeasures against invading organisms it hasn’t encountered before – and those countermeasures are usually sufficient.

     This morning my thoughts are on the mental equivalent of the antibody and how it’s produced.

     One of the inner requirements of organized thought is for terms with specific and agreed-upon meanings. Without agreement on the meanings of the words we use, effective thought and discourse are impossible. Indeed, you can dismiss – not refute; simply resist – any argument simply by refusing to accept the meanings of the terms critical to it.

     Probably the best current example of this gambit is the Left’s perennial rejection of the word socialism as applicable to any real-world case. “That isn’t / wasn’t real socialism!” is their immediate reply to anyone who cites North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, or the Soviet Union as a case for study. But under no circumstances will the Left attach a firm definition to the word and stand by it; that would expose them to counter-arguments and counter-examples that would destroy their claims.

     A few years ago we witnessed a comparable phenomenon: the application of the word science to computer simulations of the global climate system. “The science is settled!” the warmistas would chant...when there was exactly no science in their methods, just a bunch of programs that embed assumptions about how the Earth’s climate behaves. Not one of those simulations has successfully predicted any aspect of the world’s climate. Many of them can’t even use historical data to “predict” historical climate conditions. To call this “science” is to destroy the meaning of the word.

     But then, destroying the agreed-upon meanings of words short-circuits any attempt to apply evidence and logic to the Left’s claims. Refusing to allow such destruction is a prerequisite for the development of mental antibodies to specious ideas.

     The phenomenon of large numbers of persons demanding to be protected from encountering ideas they dislike is a recent thing. It’s producing masses of Americans who have no defense against hostile ideological currents. It is the encounter with a disliked idea that stimulates the development of counter-arguments to it. Because such encounters are shunned today, quite a lot of people have no capacity for intellectual self-defense: no mental anti-infection system with which to repel an invading idea. The consequences are all around us.

     Take the ludicrous notion of “degrowth” I mentioned yesterday. Today’s universities are producing graduates incapable of refuting this extraordinarily silly notion. Their “educations” haven’t compelled them to develop the mental tools required to fashion counter-arguments:

  1. Awareness of relevant historical evidence;
  2. The ability to distinguish causal forces from incidentals;
  3. The ability to formulate tests capable of falsifying a claim.

     The sciences are better off in this regard. Scientific inquiry embraces those three things. You can’t do science without them. But very few recent graduates have been exposed even lightly to the methods of science.

     It’s not always the case that a specious proposition is obviously false. (Besides, we’ve been here before: “obvious” really means “overlooked.”) If you suspect that a claim is false, analyzing it with evidence and logic is demanded of you. Looking for what a proposition implies and testing the veracity of those implications is vital, for a true proposition cannot imply a falsity. Indeed, even if an idea seems obviously true, it’s wise to examine it closely, and to test its implications as rigorously as possible. The more often you do this, the better you’ll get at it, and the readier you’ll be to defend yourself against hucksters and con men.

     But instructors don’t compel their students to face ideas they dislike. Indeed, the kids aren’t even asked to analyze ideas they find attractive. Instead, the persons and institutions they look to for knowledge and wisdom pontificate to them, expecting that they’ll accept what they’ve been told without questioning them. Education – the drawing of an untutored mind out of the darkness of uncertainty and confusion, into the light of hard thought – has been displaced by indoctrination.

     And so a great many persons – especially young Americans – are being infected with stupid ideas whose stupidities they can neither detect nor refute.

     This is a superficial treatment of a complex subject: the cultivation of the ability to analyze and judge an abstract proposition. Yet the bones of the thing are there: exactitude in the use of words, and the willingness to confront adverse ideas, tease out their implications, and develop arguments against them.

     How can we reassert these antibodies of the prepared mind in the educational institutions of today?

Nobel Laureate in Physics; "Global Warming is Pseudoscience"

Professor Ivar Giaever, 1973 Nobel Prizewinner for Physics on December 17, 2015:

“Global temperature “amazingly stable.” -- Professor Giaever.

Pearls of expression.

When Al Gore was born only 7000 Polar Bears existed. Today only 30,000 remain...
Comment by heavybones on “Nobel Laureate in Physics; 'Global Warming is Pseudoscience.'”

Makes sense to me.

Jimmy Dore is always worth watching. Guest Chris Hedges in this episode has a terrific story about when he decided to become a war correspondent. It’s right at the beginning:

Much nonsense afterwards about “neo-liberalism” and fascism from Hedges who’s afflicted with the usual liberal snark about the American experiment in self-government (“the market”) and likes to suck up to the dregs of American politics (e.g., Jeremiah Wright). But good on elite control.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

A New Rationale Every Day

     “Give up your freedom!” the Left shrieks. “Let the State make all your decisions for you!” It’s lunacy, of course. Lunacy with an ever-changing rationale, to be sure. But the prescription is always the same: eliminate capitalism in favor of larger and more powerful government. Here’s an article that lays it out plainly:

     Enter Dr. Jason Hickel of the London School of Economics, a man on a crusade to end "the tyranny of GDP."

     In an interview for BBC's Newsnight show on Thursday, Hickel called for "degrowth." Ignoring energy innovation in fracking, nuclear power, renewables, and battery-based power systems, Hickel claimed that Earth is running out of resources. Rich nations are apparently to blame because we "use three times our fair share of bio-capacity."

     Hickel then claims that degrowth is not the same as "austerity" (reduced government spending). Instead, he says, "the goal is to increase human well-being and happiness while reducing our economic footprint."

     That’s only 106 words. (About “0.1 pictures.”) But what a picture it paints! It helps, of course, if the reader can see the implications of a program of “degrowth.”

     Let’s start with this one: How does it come about? For individuals, following their natural desires to be better (not worse) off, will naturally strive to produce more (not less). So the only route toward “degrowth” is coercion: the heavy hand of an Omnipotent State.

     The rationale is the currently fashionable one about “running out of resources.” It’s never been plainer that this is false. The prices of natural resources of every sort have been falling. We’re better at natural resource exploitation, conservation, and recapture than ever before in history. Scarcity is measured better by price than by any other metric.

     Hickel’s nonsense about increasing “human well-being and happiness” is merely camouflage. There’s no causal connection between making people poorer and increasing their well-being. The reverse is quite plainly true: making people poorer results in a decline in their well-being. If you don’t believe me, ask the Venezuelans.

     What else did this obvious government-worshipper have to say about his program?

  • "Cut excess consumption by curbing advertising and taxing carbon."
  • "Introducing a basic income and a shorter working week would allow us to get rid of unnecessary jobs."
  • "Industrialized countries will have no choice but to downscale their economic activity by 4-6 percent per year. And poor countries are going to have to follow suit after 2025, downscaling by about 3 percent per year."

     The question such ultra-statists never face is quite simple: “What if you’re wrong? What then?” Whether that’s because they’ve made it a precondition that no such question be asked of them or because their interviewers are pusillanimous poltroons, it’s never raised. Coercive utopians have never been able to face it. They can’t be wrong; it’s an article of faith.

     But this is nothing new.

     Consider this snippet from For A New Liberty, by the late Dr. Murray Rothbard:

     Left-liberal intellectuals are often a wondrous group to behold. In the last three or four decades [Dr. Rothbard published this in 1973], not a very long time in human history, they have, like whirling dervishes, let loose a series of angry complaints against free market capitalism. The curious thing is that each of these complaints has been contradictory to one or more of their predecessors. But contradictory complaints by liberal intellectuals do not seem to faze them or serve to abate their petulance—even though it is often the very same intellectuals who are reversing themselves so rapidly. And these reversals seem to make no dent whatever in their self-righteousness or in the self-confidence of their position.

     Dr. Rothbard goes on to catalogue seven successive Leftist demands for greatly increased government power over the American economy: each with its own specious rationale, wholly disconnected from the rationale that preceded it:

  1. Secular stagnation in the late 1930s and 1940s;
  2. Insufficient economic growth in the early 1950s;
  3. Excessive affluence in 1958 (cf. Galbraith’s The Affluent Society);
  4. Increasing poverty in the early 1960s; (cf. Harrington’s The Other America);
  5. The “automation crisis” in the mid 1960s;
  6. Pollution in the later 1960s;
  7. Exhaustion of resources in the 1970s and beyond.

     The malady changes, but the remedy remains the same: Capitalism and private property must be abolished. Quoth Joseph Schumpeter:

     Capitalism stands its trial before judges who have the sentence of death in their pockets. They are going to pass it, whatever the defense they may hear; the only success victorious defense can possibly produce is a change in the indictment.

     Considering that capitalism – the system of free people producing and trading in a free market – is the only economic scheme that’s done anything to improve human well-being and happiness, we must ask: Why is the Left so implacably hostile to it?

     This is not a new subject for me. I’ve ranted about it on occasions beyond counting. What brings it to mind afresh is not some recent change in the Left’s arguments against capitalism. The arguments enumerated above seem to have exhausted their ingenuity. Rather, it’s about the Left’s recent descent to violence.

     When a miscreant is determined to have his way, but he’s become convinced that he can’t get it by peaceful means – i.e., reason, evidence, victories at the ballot box – he’ll recur to seedier methods. He’ll usually start with deceit. If deceit proves insufficient, he’ll try fraud next. But if he can neither lie nor cheat his way to his goal, he’ll consider violence.

     Violence as a political tactic works when it’s not vigorously opposed. I’m not talking about what we might call “normal violence,” the sort the police and justice system exist to deter. I’m talking about large mobs of violent thugs, sufficiently numerous to overwhelm normal police forces.

     The Left’s embrace of AntiFa makes it plain that the critical battle for the soul of these United States is at hand. They’ve failed to persuade a majority of Americans that their nostrums are right for us. They’ve cheated their way to several Congressional and Senatorial seats, but haven’t managed to achieve a majority that way either. Other fraudulent tactics have proved no more useful to them. Violence is their sole remaining weapon.

     A political movement that chooses violence has “crossed the Rubicon.” If it doesn’t win, it will be exterminated. The Left’s strategists know this. Therefore, knowing that to lose is to lose everything, they will go “all in.”

     A rational man must ask why. What makes the risk seem worthwhile to them? Considering that the majority of Americans are happy with capitalism and don’t want to see it replaced by a socialist system, the Left’s masters must know that the odds are against them. Why not accept being the “loyal opposition” for a generation or two, and live to press its case some other day?

     The only plausible explanation is hatred. But it’s not quite plausible enough.

     Hatred attains its greatest intensity when it’s conceptualized in personal terms. That is, the hater must conceive of his target as a conscious entity that is doing him harm, or seeking to do so. It’s far easier to inflame oneself with hatred of Smith than with hatred of an abstraction such as capitalism. So how did we get here? How did we reach a point at which large masses of people – mostly young people – are willing to risk unlimited harm to themselves for the chance to suppress the views and associations of peaceable strangers?

     Perhaps if we knew the answer, we might find an antidote. But answers are lacking at the moment. All we have is video clips of thugs smashing windows, setting fires, and attacking peaceable conservatives and Republicans. We infer their hatred without being able to explain it – and owing to the many flip-flops their pseudo-intellectuals have committed, none of their rationales will hold water.

     It might be a consequence of the numbers involved. When millions of people are engaged in discourse over a political or economic subject, some will be more passionate than others. Perhaps the numbers are large enough to provide for a few thousand conscienceless, utterly violent souls willing to do harm to others in the name of their passion.

     But their absolute, unreasoning antipathy to capitalism still requires an explanation, and I don’t have one.


Friday, October 26, 2018

Quickies: 1500 Years Old And It Still Provokes Outrage

     Get a load of this:

     In response to pressure from clients who were demanding a CoC before they would do business with him, Richard Hipp, the founder of the widely used SQLite database engine, adopted the Rule of St. Benedict as the guiding principles for his community. The move angered many in the tech community — but was applauded by others who are fed up with the distractions CoCs have caused in recent years. The rules encourage users to love God and their neighbors and to forsake overeating, laziness, and grumbling, among other things.

     Pretty wild, eh? But the reactions of the social-justice warriors / non-playable characters whose pole star is promotion of “the marginalized” and “the oppressed” are very revealing:

     Many in the tech community, accustomed to CoCs focused on sexual diversity, an obsession with gender, and safe spaces, were startled by Hipp's move to adopt the overtly religious Code of Benedict.
     Critics said that his CoC lacked a means of enforcement and insisted that a CoC must make people feel safe and welcomed.
     That was news to Hipp. "Who decided this?" he asked. "Did I miss a memo?"....
     "From what I've been able to piece together from tweets, the purpose of a CoC is to make marginalized people feel welcomed and safe. And there must be some means of enforcement written into the CoC so that if hostile forces infiltrate the community, 'safeness' can be restored by censoring or expelling the miscreants," he explained. Those two rules are apparently "sufficient to disqualify the Rule of St. Benedict as a valid CoC."....
     "Your code of conduct is a terrible joke," wrote one angry user. "Wow, you really didn't understand sh*it, did you? What you're doing there is just disgusting."
     "I will stop using SQLite wherever I can," another user declared. "Please apologize publicly, replace bogus CoC by some actual CoC that addresses issues marginalised groups actually have, and if required (and I strongly suppose it is required!) seek professional help to avoid this kind of behaviour in the future."

     The Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia is over 1500 years old. It focuses on personal virtue and the proper treatment of others. Yes, it’s a Christian document – Catholic, really – but its prescriptions are as applicable to the secular world as to any monastery. But how dare this business owner employ a Christian document as the basis for his commercial enterprise! Why, you’d almost think he’s a Christian himself! And you know how “woke” Leftists feel about those folks!

     This got me laughing so hard my wife rushed over to see if I was all right. Next: A tech entrepreneur that needs a code of conduct adopts The Catechism of the Catholic Church, and heads explode nationwide.

Watch These Supplements - or Risk Liver Damage

Green Tea pills, of all things.

Liver damage is no joke - of all the things that could go wrong with your body, it's one of the worst things.

My baby brother has liver damage. He's currently looking for a Living Liver donor - he falls in that range of not-TOO-bad, but not good health, either. A living donor (he's A+) would be best. Sadly, none of his immediate relatives qualify - either wrong blood type, or too old, or with health issues. If you'd like to explore the possibility of checking to see whether you'd be a good donor, drop me a comment. We'd sure appreciate it.

This DOES Change the Situation

Who is Khasoggi?

You would NEVER be able to guess.

Now that you know, should Trump use his influence with the Saudis to bring his alleged killers to court?

True Enough - But What CAN We Do?

The Sultan of Knish has an interesting post about the plans of the Dems after November.

When, and I acknowledge that it's not IF, it's WHEN - the Left loses, and they do go Full Court Press on Supreme Court Attacks - what should be our response?

I tend to favor the sneaky hit, not the straightforward attack. For example, keep them so busy fending off indictments, investigations into their financial arrangement with donors, family connections, and the like, that they have little time to spare going after us.

Arrange with allies to impound Soros' money in their country, pending resolution of various legal issues.

Challenge Dem donors in international venues, in ways that threaten their hegemony in tech industries.

In short, run them ragged fending off threats to their money, freedom, and reputation.

Variety Shows

     Do any of my Gentle Readers miss the old variety shows? The Ed Sullivan, Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, Sid Caesar, Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante panoplies of comedians, singers, magicians, jugglers, contortionists, ventriloquists, puppeteers, balloon artists, and so on, each of which got about five minutes to divert us before it was nudged aside to make room for the next act? I found myself thinking about them just a little while ago: wistfully, and with more than a trace of regret for their passing.

     But strangely enough, that span of reminiscence was interrupted by another memory:

At precisely eight-o-five
Doctor Frederick von Meier
Will attempt his famous dive
Through a solid sheet of luminescent fire.

In the center of the ring
They are torturing a bear
And although he cannot sing
They can make him whistle Londonderry Air

And the price is right,
The cost of one admission is your mind

We shall shortly institute
A syncopation of fear
While it's painful, it will suit
Many customers whose appetites are queer

Or for those who wish to pay
There are children you can bleed
In a most peculiar way
We can give you all the instruments you'll need

And the price is right,
The cost of one admission is your mind

If you're harder yet to serve
We have most delightful dreams;
Our recorders will preserve
The intensity and passion of your screams.

For we only aim to please;
It's our customers who gain
As their appetites increase
They must come to us for pleasure and for pain.

And the price is right,
The cost of one admission is your mind.

[Joseph Byrd, “The American Metaphysical Circus”]

     The above was recorded in 1967, by an experimental / electronic group that styled itself The United States of America. Its leader, Joseph Byrd, was a Communist: an actual, open, card-carrying member of the Communist Party. The song above, a nightmarish reimagining of American leisure pursuits at that time, was representative of his views of this country. Other tracks on the group’s one and only album reinforced that image.

     Contrast that vision with the happy, relaxed image of America that emanated from the variety shows.

     The rise of grievance politics began just as the variety shows were being removed from our televisions. First came the racial grievance groups. Shortly thereafter we confronted feminism. The homosexuals were next. The fractionation of American society into groups clamoring for attention and political privileges took off as if jet-propelled.

     The musical currents of the time were part of that, of course. But you wouldn’t be exposed to much of that by the variety shows. They were family-oriented, never worse than mildly PG. Even the most risque of them stayed on the right side of the lines.

     The innocent, diverting, generally harmless variety shows departed the stage; the radical themes and musicians who proclaimed them remained. Why?

     How did Americans suddenly acquire an appetite for entertainment that departed so completely from their previous way of life? Or did we in reality? Is the horrid, life-denying and perversion-promoting Grand Guignol “variety show” of our time something we chose, or is it something that was foisted upon us?

(Agnus dei
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Miserere eis.

Agnus dei
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Donna eis requiem.)

Do you remember what you said and did a thousand years ago?
Where is yesterday?
Do you remember what you said and did a thousand weeks ago?
Where is yesterday?

Yesterday in crannies or in nooks you will not find;
Yesterday in chronicles or books you will not find;
All you see of yesterday is shadows in your mind;
Shadows on the pavement but no bodies do you find.

Do you believe that snows of winters long ago return again?
Where is yesterday?
A voice you knew a thousand years ago you can't remember when?
Where is yesterday?

Here is only waiting for a day that went before;
Here is only waiting for an answer at the door;
Here is only living without knowing why for sure.
Here is something gone you cannot find it anymore.

[Gordon Marron and Ed Bogas, “Where Is Yesterday?”]

     The fifty years immediately behind us have cost us heavily. But to recognize the losses, one must be able to remember the time before: the milieu of America the Good, when it was in truth what de Tocqueville said:

     I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests--and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning--and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution--and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

     Radio and television stations unabashedly told us that “The family that prays together stays together.” They exhorted us to “go to the church of your choice.” Of course at that time, “the family that prays together” was likely to eat dinner as a unit, and “the church of your choice” was overwhelmingly likely to be a Christian church. Married couples were largely faithful to one another; divorce had not yet become trendy. Parents expected the schools to teach their children rather than indoctrinate them. Children mostly loved, honored, and obeyed their parents. We expected to have to work for a living. We believed in our political system and, when we sought a change in the laws, strove to work within it. There was a sense that America was “doing it right.” That sense was reinforced by pre-Sixties cultural products: the sort that filled the agendas of the variety shows.

     The correlation of the cultural shift with the sociopolitical shift is too strong to ignore.

     Going backward is barred to us. We cannot restore faith in generations that have never known it and have been taught to deride it. We cannot instill patriotism in young people who’ve been taught that patriotism is inherently wrong – worse, that the United States is the fountainhead of every evil extant in the world today. And we cannot inculcate a work ethic in young people who believe they’re owed whatever they happen to demand.

     But maybe we could bring back the variety shows. Television is getting so bad that I’ve taken to watching the grass grow in preference. For my cable subscription, I get over two hundred channels – but for the past month not one of them has offered me anything I’ve cared to watch except Yankees baseball and Rangers ice hockey.

     Where’s Ed “really big show” Sullivan when we need him?

Gotta Brag!

I have a post in The Declination linked to in Instapundit!

GREAT Way to Fight the Patriarchy and Repressive Religion!

Sinead O'Connor - the former singer who famously tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II on television, as a way of demonstrating against The Patriarchy (trademark pending), and Repressive Religion, has found a new way of life that avoids those horrors.

As a Muslim.

No, I'm not kidding.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Petty, Petty People

Leftists NEVER forget an injury, or a pretended injury. That's why Curt Schilling, by having a career after baseball as a conservative radio talk show host, is being snubbed by the Red Sox.

Snubbed. The Man Whose RED Sox was THE image of the game.

It was thanks to Curt's determination to pitch in the 6th game of the League Championship Series, that led to their eventual World Series victory. Read the whole story here.

Curt's show is available on Sirius.

Let's Get THIS Story Out

Correction: Gun-Free Zone has the story, as well.

This is in Spanish-language news, not, as far as I can tell, yet in the English-language media. Hit the Translate button if you don't speak it.

The short version:

Some of the people on that "caravan" have turned around, and are heading home. About 3,400 - roughly half - of the less ideological/thugs looking for a quick buck/clueless are no longer heading for the US border.

That's good news for us - fewer people to worry about. It's also good news for Mexico - if they DO act to keep them from crossing the border (they MIGHT if the alternative is closing ALL traffic), they are less likely to injure innocents.

Please Share the link with others.

Quickies: The "Bombs"

     Apparently, the “bombs” received by various left-wing personalities, including a former president, a recent presidential candidate, and a possible future presidential candidate, are today’s headline news. Not one of these “bombs” was capable of exploding. All were found to be utterly inert – harmless. Yet I have no doubt that the Left will trumpet these “acts of terrorism,” claiming they’re the work of conservatives and Trump supporters, until Election Day.

     Of course! What else have they got with which to deflect attention from the impending invasion of the United States by a carefully nurtured “caravan” of Central American “refugees?”

     The legacy media must have a story. It can’t simply tell you to “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” (Or “Do not look at the hooded figures in the dog park.”) What happens then? “The man behind the curtain” gets even more attention!

     Today, “the man behind the curtain” the legacy media and their Leftist masters don’t want you to look at is:

  • A roaring economy;
  • Reinforced alliances;
  • A booming energy sector;
  • Record levels of employment;
  • Greatly improved trade agreements;
  • Sharply reduced taxes and regulations;
  • Conservative repopulation of the federal courts;
  • A resurgence of business investment and activity;
  • A reborn sense of American potency and confidence;
  • Surging approval for President Trump and his agenda;
  • And a column of invaders – at least 80% military-age males – approaching our southern border.

     For the public to pay any attention whatsoever to these things is mortally dangerous to the Left and the Democrats. Our attention must be deflected, diverted to something else! So we have a few utterly fake bombs sent to prominent Democrats. Add a Gucci socialist who runs her mouth as often as she can secure an audience. Hillary Clinton is seen laying a foundation for a third run at the presidency. And for lagniappe, the New York Times publishes a little assassination porn.

     I’d like to believe that they’re not fooling anybody, but I know better. There are people – nominally Americans – who’d believe that the Sun rose in the West if it were printed in the Times. (And quite a lot of them are militant atheists. Go figure.)

     Current indications are that the Democrats are about to be rather disappointed by the results of the midterm elections. They’ve been looking forward to taking back control of one or both houses of Congress ever since Donald Trump was elected president. Midterms are a choice opportunity for that sort of reversal. But it appears that that’s not going to happen.

     In anticipation of conservative happiness on November 7, allow me to present a classic of sorts:

     (Ever since I first heard that song, I’ve wondered: “Why ninety-six tears? What would have happened on Tear #97?” It appears we’ll never know.)

A crisis of legitimacy.

Central banks’ free reign over monetary matters has not only brought about the greatest age of inflation in human history, but has led to the exacerbated development of financial markets and financial instruments, no longer connected to sound money or to the ‘real’ economy. The rotten core of the system was only briefly exposed in 2007 during the financial crisis, but bailouts and the regulatory patchwork of the following years have calmed the waters once more. But this cannot last forever. It is naïve to think that the corroded roots of the financial system will last for long, or that real financial stability is achievable without producing at least a partial implosion of the current system built on money produced out of thin air.[1]
This is like the transfer of tens of thousands of American factories in China. This gigantic mistake has been devastating to the American economy, communities, and workers and brought fabulous riches to China. China’s a communist dictatorship that persecutes Fa Lun Gong adherents and, by some accounts, uses those of them it imprisons as feed stock for China’s thriving organ transplant business. China also made it clear that it was extremely interested in building up its military to surpass that of the United States. Where were the Yale, Harvard, and C.F.R. geniuses when a glimpse into the near future might have prevented this ghastly error on “our” part?

Similarly, what segment of the Treason Class sounded any kind of a warning that the “nation building”/"regime change" pipe dreams in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, and Syria were an exercise that only morons would participate in?

Now this article by Ms. Dorobăț points out the consequences of short-sighted and arrogant financial manipulation. Even the Fed’s “target rate” of 2% annual inflation means that by the Rule of 72 anything you have saved is reduced 50% in value in 36 years (72/2). That’s what the Fed wants to have happen as an expression of their wise monetary stewardship. If inflation happens to actually be 5% then you can kiss half of what you’ve saved goodbye in 14 years. And who's to say the Fed isn't lying about its “ideal” rate of inflation and not conniving in higher rates of inflation? How this is different from plain vanilla theft in either case? Since Dorobăț talks about “greatest age of inflation in human history” we’re talking about a massive transfer of wealth into hands of people who are quite invisible or unreachable and for reasons that have exactly nothing to do with the welfare of the people.

So outright theft aside, even the slow, inexorable effect of inflation was blown off by the beautiful people, whose perfumed underwear and luminescent diplomas came to exactly nothing when it came to stewardship of the nation. But a whole lot of reckless, grasping, conniving banks here and in Europe got their bacon saved and lived to screw over their nations’ fortunes for another decade and counting.

This is what is known as government of the people, by the people and for the people. Moreover, it's beyond obvious that the Treason Class will not enforce the criminal laws and will NOT seal the border. They are going to jam "diversity" down our throats if it kills them.

I'm sick of Trump's shucking and jiving on this impending invasion of our nation, talking as he does of "alerting" and "notifying" U/I entities and mewling about how he's somehow hamstrung by Congress's failure to pass the "right" kind of laws. "If only Congress would act, I could defend the nation." What a crock.

God bless Trump for having shaken things up a bit here and abroad but on the core issues he's scoring A+ on fecklessness and obfuscation. He won't step up to the plate and effing ORDER the military to the border and he's for damn sure not making any kind of a coherent, principled case for the use of force in the defense of sovereignty. The very best we can expect is a tweet storm concluding in each case with "not good" or "very bad." Well, when do we march?

This has been going on for decades and people aren't satisfied with hind tit on vital issues any longer. The political system, including Trump, can adapt and light a fire under themselves or this show won't continue in its present form.

[1] "Our Easy-Money Economy Is Not Sustainable." By Carmen Elena Dorobăț, ZeroHedge, 10/23/18 (ZeroHedge emphasis removed, author's link removed, my emphasis added).

Strain at a Gnat, Swallow a Camel Department.

Feminism has strange priorities. On New Year’s Eve, 2015, gangs of migrants harassed, assaulted, and in some cases raped large numbers of women in Cologne and other German cities. The feminist outcry over this was insignificant, almost non-existent in comparison to the loud noise they are currently making over Brett Kavanaugh, the charges against whom are unsubstantiated and suspiciously timed. Indeed, most feminists have jumped on the “migrants welcome” and anti-Islamophobia bandwagons, proving that while politics makes strange bedfellows, intersectionality makes the strangest bedfellows of all.
[1] "Assorted Reflections." By Gerry T. Neal, Throne, Altar, and Liberty, 9/17/18.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Quickies: A Thought About Border Control

     A long time ago, one of Reason magazine’s writers suggested that Israel could secure its borders against the more common sort of invaders and terrorists by making them radioactive, such that anyone who attempts an unauthorized entry would be fried as he did so. At the time there were practical problems that made such a project dubious of completion, but the fundamental idea – make the border automatically hostile to life – remains attractive.

     Today it could be done rather easily, and at a modest cost compared to the complete militarization of the border. Indeed, it could be incorporated into President Trump’s proposed wall. Don’t bother climbing over or tunneling under it; either way you’ll get a lethal dose of neutrons. Anyone who did manage to cross would be easy to detect by his, ah, glowing personality.

     The technical difficulties that remain involve allowing for safe passage at designated entry / exit points. But not only would this approach solve much of our border security conundrum; it would also provide a socially beneficial way of dealing with spent nuclear plant fuel rods. Talk about a win-win!

A Reasoned Argument for Marriage

No, co-habitation is NOT 'just the same'.

Too often, those who have children end up taking from the rest of us, to support their kids. That's NOT fair.

Those who marry, create a bond. With that bond, comes obligations that may chafe. They restrict the freedom of the individual, in order to better raise children.

Those who co-habit, toss away those obligations to a spouse. They also aren't picking up their share of the support/obligation for those children.

Compulsions To Hurry: A Midweek Rumination

     Among my many faults is one that’s dogged me all the days of my life: I’m in a hurry. No matter what I’m doing, I’m doing my best to speed it up. I move as quickly as possible at all times, in every situation. I’m infuriated by obstructions and delays. As you can imagine, that makes Long Island traffic an unusually severe trial for me, which is one of the major reasons I retired.

     Contrast this with Harlan Ellison’s admission that no matter what he does, he’s inevitably late. (It was the genesis of his early award-winner “Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman”) I wouldn’t want his problem, but I don’t much like mine either. There’s no virtue in hurrying all the time unless you’re hurrying toward something important, perhaps even vital.

     Every now and then, someone will inquire about it: “Who’s chasing you?” “Do you have a plane to catch?” I never have an answer. It’s just what I do, automatically.

     So what am I hurrying toward? I don’t know – I’ve never known – but it’s a lead-pipe cinch that whatever it is, I’ll hurry through that, too. It appears to be built into me at some low level that I can’t reprogram by conscious effort, even though I’m aware that it costs me quite a lot in a number of ways.

     When you can feel the end of your life approaching, questions such as that one acquire a compelling force.

     I believe I’ve told this little parable before, perhaps at Eternity Road, but it bears repeating now and then:

     A man was feeling unwell, unusually so, and went to see his doctor. The doctor agreed that the man’s run-down condition and general malaise merited a close look, and ran him through a battery of tests.

     The results of the tests were grave: the man was terminally ill. He had only a few months to live. When the doctor told him of his condition, he was immediately stricken with a great fear. “Doctor,” he said, “I’m afraid to die. What happens when we die? What lies beyond death?”

     The doctor, an unusually humble man, whispered “I don’t know!” He reached out to take his patient in his arms when there came a commotion in his waiting room. The two men looked toward the door as it burst open and the doctor’s pet dog, a large Newfoundland, swarmed in, jumped into his arms, and smothered him with dog-kisses. When the siege had lifted somewhat, the doctor turned to his moribund patient and smiled.

     “Here is our answer,” the doctor said. “My dog has never before chosen to go exploring, but he chose this day to leap over our fence. And what did he do then but to come here, to my office. What did he know of what lay beyond that door? Nothing, except that his master is here, and that was enough.”

     The doctor tousled his Newf’s head affectionately. “So it is with us,” he said. “We know nothing of death, and nothing of what lies beyond it...except that the Master is there. And that is enough.”

     At any rate, it should be.

     The doctor’s insight is a reason to keep calm, to live in the present, and to do what there is to do right now to the best of our ability. Temporal life is the second-greatest of all God’s gifts to us. Yes, it’s a time of testing, when our trials reveal our ability to discern right from wrong and to choose properly between them. But it’s also a time of blessings. The world is filled with other gifts, most particularly our loved ones, our communities, and our chosen trades. It is right and necessary that we should show these the proper appreciation. Always being in a hurry is inconsistent with that.

     Now, my hurrying problem is probably constitutional; it’s consistent with my unusually quick reflexes, high pulse rate, and high blood pressure. But many others whom I’ve observed hurrying as if they were late for their own funerals don’t do so out of an inner compulsion. The influences that surround them subliminally urge them to an ever higher pace. It’s possible that their loved ones, trusted advisors, and confidants have told them that they’re doing themselves harm. But the many voices through which our milieu speaks silently to us keep whispering that there’s no time to lose! And they can be damnably difficult to oppose.

     Life is short. (“Eat dessert first!”) And yes, it’s a test. Whether you’re a believer or not, you can feel it testing you: your moral sense, your attentiveness, your reaction time, your intelligence and good sense, your ability to persevere, and much else. But it’s also a blessing to be enjoyed, even savored. It will be over soon enough; trust me on that.

     May God bless and keep you all.

Quickies: Some Political Irony

     The video I embedded in the post below is now circulating widely. One response I found particularly poignant appears below. Have a look at it:

     Now read this:

     The Jeffersonian drive toward virtually no government foundered after Jefferson took office, first with concessions to the Federalists...and then with the unconstitutional purchase of the Louisiana Territory. But most particularly it foundered with the imperialist drive toward war with Great Britain in Jefferson’s second term, a drive which led to war and to a one-party system which established virtually the entire statist Federalist program.... Horrified at the results, a retired Jefferson brooded at Monticello, and inspired young visiting politicians Martin Van Buren and Thomas Hart Benton to found a new party–the Democratic Party – to take back America from the Federalists and to recapture the spirit of the old Jeffersonian program. When the two young leaders latched onto Andrew Jackson as their savior, the new Democratic Party was born.

     The Jacksonian libertarians had a plan: it was to be eight years of Andrew Jackson as president, to be followed by eight years of Van Buren, then eight years of Benton. After twenty-four years of a triumphant Jacksonian Democracy, the Menckenian virtually-no-government ideal was to have been achieved. It was by no means an impossible dream, since it was clear that the Democratic Party had quickly become the normal majority part in the country. The mass of the people were enlisted in the libertarian cause....But then a fateful event occurred: the Democratic Party was sundered on the critical issue of slavery....

     [Murray Rothbard, For a New Liberty. Emphases added by FWP.]

     How infinitely far the Democratic Party has fled from its freedom-and-limited-government roots! But the damage is irreversible. There’s no course left but to make the Republican Party the Party of Freedom, and to make sure it stays that way.

Got Milk? You RACIST!

It's apparently a serious concern on the Deranged Left (copyright pending). Because the largest group of lactose-tolerant people are the Indigenous Northern Europeans, drinking milk is a marker for racism.


I do hope you hadn't put milk on your cereal. I'd hate to be responsible for a Milk-thru-Nose-Spew.

Here's a link to a fun way to drive the Anti-Milk Forces of The Left insane. OK, even MORE insane.


U.S. Has 3.5 Million More Registered Voters Than Live Adults — A Red Flag For Electoral Fraud.[1]
But the Russians are a threat to “our democracy.” Isn’t that the mantra?

Republican position: Somebody should do something.

Trump position: Alert someone. If that fails, notify someone. Not good.

Jeff Sessions position: There must be no weed.

Fun fact: 14-month-old story.

[1] Editorial, Investor's Business Daily, 8/16/17.

Fabulous Mock Democratic Party Ad!

     Troll level: Galactic Overlord:

     Enjoy – and spread it around!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Treachery On A National Scale

     I’m not nearly as concerned with the politics of Europe as I am with that of the United States. However, now and then a development on the other side of the Puddle will whisper to me in monitory tones. Just now, such a development is much on my mind.

     Consider this report on the state of the “Brexit” process:

     The enormity of [British Prime Minister Theresa May’s] deception beggar’s belief. She has repeatedly promised that Great Britain will be leaving the EU after the two-year Article 50 period has expired on 29th March 2019.

     Mrs. May has promised on a myriad of occasions that this means leaving the EU single market, leaving the customs union and leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In turn this means taking back control of Great Britain’s borders, trade policy, money, fishing grounds and an end to the hated free movement of people. These make up the core of the non-negotiable red lines.

     While Secretary of State Davies was negotiating in good faith, Mrs. May appointed her personal advisor and career bureaucrat Ollie Robbins along with a cabal of unelected civil servants to negotiate with the EU below the radar to come up with an agreement that keeps Great Britain attached to the EU institutions.

     This agreement not only breaks the red lines but also her solemn promise to leave the EU and all its institutions. This is the notorious and thoroughly discredited Chequers Plan which she is attempting to bounce the British people into accepting.

     Here in America, we can often blame this sort of duplicity on some element of the “Deep State.” Politicians who occupy elective offices can rail against the Deep State all they please, but most are quietly, covertly in league with it. The Deep State, you see, is a perfect whipping boy for the politician who wants to represent himself as a “reformer;” it can take an infinite number of strokes without suffering any pain or damage at all. Thus the visible portion of the Leviathan State can employ it both for campaign purposes, and for doling out favors and privileges to preferred cronies.

     However, in the U.S. the politician must at least pretend to be “on your side.” Apparently that’s no longer the case in the United Kingdom.

     In the British parliamentary system, the prime minister is chosen by the majority in the legislature, immediately after a general election. The prime minister then selects the rest of the Cabinet. Thus, the administration can rely on majority support from the legislature, at minimum during the first couple of years after its formation.

     One consequence of the British arrangement is that legislation and administrative practices can change at a far swifter rate than in our “checks and balances” system. Inasmuch as the United Kingdom has no constitution, and therefore no Supreme Law that constrains all other law and government, the system has no brakes other than the statutory five-year limit on the intervals between elections. As long as the prime minister continues to enjoy majority support in Parliament, the government can do as it pleases.

     With that sort of assurance, an executive administration can get away with a great deal more than ours. That includes the ability, given sufficient motivation, to ignore the plainly expressed will of the electorate.

     From the state of the “negotiations,” it seems the entirety of the British government has chosen to thwart the will of the majority of the British people – openly.

     Long ago, socialist playwright Berthold Brecht, during an exchange with Sidney Hook, quipped “If the government doesn't trust the people, why doesn't it dissolve them and elect a new people?” Perhaps Brecht meant it as a joke, but the events of recent decades are bringing it near to reality for the subjects of the United Kingdom. Consider in this light the total disarmament of law-abiding private Britons, the huge movement of Middle Eastern and African Muslims onto the Sceptered Isle, and the near-total refusal of the British justice system to act against their obscene, vicious, and treasonous practices.

     Then consider what might become of We the People of the United States, were the federal government to acquire enough power to do the same to us.

Something Interesting About Censorship Efforts

Shutting people up is, generally, not an American value. We may disagree with others, but, we seldom push for them to stop talking. Even when angry or annoyed with the content of others' speech, we tend to respect the 1st Amendment right to speak freely.

So, why the current push to shut up speech that inconveniently points out flaws in the Left?