Wednesday, September 30, 2020

“Say What?” Dept.

     The construction and layout of the Fortress – a long-line ranch – are such that to go from the kitchen to my little office requires that I pass the C.S.O.’s office setup, where her computer is situated. It’s almost impossible for me to not notice what she has on her screen. Sometimes I capture the image “in real time” and only actually process it a few seconds afterward.

     This morning was such an occasion:

     Well! I have heard all sorts of qualities ascribed to chicken soup – my wife is Jewish, you know – but uplifting? Let me check the dictionary:

uplifting adj: inspirational; offering or providing hope, encouragement, salvation, etc.: e.g., an uplifting sermon.

     If a chicken soup, however yummy – and I must admit, the picture looks inviting and the recipe sounds good – can be uplifting, are we soon to hear of contemplative antipasto, edifying beef stew, and restorative rice pudding? I suppose, given the culinary miracles Fountain routinely performs, I should keep an open mind!

A quick course in the degradation of constitutional government.

We are far from the republic Franklin and his fellow patriots gave us, and as Franklin foreshadowed, we were unable to keep it. As the fledgling republic devolved into a mob democracy, with the Federal government grabbing more power during the Civil War, the banking cabal seizing control of the nation’s finances in 1913 with the creation from Jekyll Island, the growth of the welfare state with FDR and LBJ doing the most damage, the metastasis of the military industrial complex, the elimination of privacy after the Patriot Act surveillance state execution, and now the final countdown to Armageddon as the state, media conglomerates, Wall Street criminals, mega-corporations, and billionaire oligarchs use this purposefully over-hyped flu pandemic to consolidate their power, wealth and control over a dumbed down, iGadget addicted, fearful, easily manipulated, compliant populace.[1]
You've seen the maps you see in parks where there's a pointer and "You are here." Well, here we are on the cusp of losing any semblance of prosperity, liberty, or a coherent culture.

Our political elites have changed a bit over the last couple of centuries but never did they with malice aforethought intend, as this rotten bunch do, the destruction of our grand experiment in self government. Nameless strangers, jumped-up, soulless billionaires, tax-exempt foundations, hate-filled minorities and foreigners, communist street thugs right out of Weimar Germany, and vicious leftists in the universities, press, and government at every level are within one election of ending it all and implementing their lunatic, deadly agenda of anarchy and repression in the name of Utopia. They loathe constitutional government and Western (white) civilization but will soon beg for it all to return after the "right sort" of people have their way for a few months.

The only thing that gives me any hope is that whoever prevails in the coming election will in truth be no "winner" as 100+ years of monetary, fiscal, welfare state, judicial, and imperial stupidity and arrogance flower in resplendent color. Human stupidity and malevolence got us into this mess but the metasticized stupidity and malevolence will not get us out of it. Here comes Solzhenitsyn's "pitiless crowbar of events."

[1] "Jim Quinn: The Only Thing 'Systematic' Is The Destruction Of America." By Jim Quinn, ZeroHedge, 9/29/20 (bolding removed, underlining added).

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Post Partum

     Here I am again, having completed (at long last) the novel-in-progress and waiting for my test reader and cover artist to report back. It’s a difficult period in any novelist’s life: he can’t go forward while his thoughts are wrapped around the book he just finished, and he can’t go backward with the revisions he’s already thought of until the others involved have registered their various contributions. That’s me, just now, on this 29th of September in the Year of Our Lord 2020...and dear Lord, what a year it’s been.

     So, as I’m at a low ebb, here are a few semi-connected thoughts about the adventure just behind me: what I set out to do, what I wound up doing instead, and what I’ve learned from it.

     Back in the mid-Nineties, when I first decided to try my hand at a story of novel length, I had a clean sheet of paper before me: no obligatory setting, no required characters, no mandatory theme, and no prescribed genre. I was free to imagine, and to concoct, in whatever way I pleased, for my idiom was as yet undefined.

     As a reader my favorite genres have always been the speculative ones: science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I was confident that they would be the ones my stories would occupy, as well. But much to my surprise, I didn’t start out that way.

     The first requirement of any storyteller is a mating between characters and crises: people upon whom to impose problems they must solve, or at least cope with. I developed a bunch of attractive character sketches almost by accident – I still wonder from time to time where those fictional figures really came from – and immediately found ways to cast them into conflict with one another.

     But characters don’t struggle with their problems and one another in some sort of white space separate from all else; at least, mine don’t. They need a place to be. I had to pick a place, or conceive of one, that would provide a suitable stage on which to act out their destinies. Thus was born Onteora County, New York: that fabled land of heroes and geniuses who sniff at the merely difficult and sneer at the all but impossible. Nestled safely within the part of New York State that virtually no one who doesn’t live there is familiar with, it has proved a fertile field in which to plant the improbable figures I like to write about.

     Fertile...and damned near inescapable. Of the sixteen full-length novels I’ve written to date, only four have stayed completely outside Onteora County: three far-future science fiction novels and one magic-based high fantasy. The others have wound up there regardless of where they started or where I wanted to put them. Worse, the characters from my other Onteora Canon novels keep insinuating themselves into my new fictions. I’ve been unable to keep them out without killing them off...and in some cases even that expedient failed me.

     A recent short story of mine, “Sweet Things,” starts in Hamilton (a real place) and swiftly moves to Onteora. Because the readers of Liberty’s Torch praised it fulsomely, I started to toy with the possibility of developing a novel from it. My short romance Love in the Time of Cinema had proved popular, so I adopted the general approach I took in that novel for the new one, which I’ve titled Love in the Time of Capitalism.

     And by jingo, it happened again! Characters from just about every other Onteora Canon novel started insisting that they belonged in this new one. I managed to fit a few new faces into the tale, but the “old Onteora crew” is there in force. Hopefully the reader will find their contributions to be positive ones.

     I intended Love in the Time of Capitalism to be a romance / love story. Yes, that element is present, but it’s not alone. There’s music. There’s technology. There’s political intrigue. There’s even a spot of warfare. It’s a stew of many ingredients...possibly too many.

     While my lovers Gail and Evan are involved in all of it, I strained throughout the composition to keep their deep involvement with one another at the heart of the tale. Still, rather than a feel-good romance of the sort I’d initially envisioned, it seems I’ve produced a hybrid of about four different genres: romance, musical fantasy, near-future science fiction, and political thriller.

     I don’t feel an urge to go back and “straighten it out.” I plan to publish it essentially as it is. There are a few elements I’ve decided need buttressing, but not to the extent of “de-hybridizing” the book as it stands. I look forward to hearing what its readers will think of it.

     The remarkable thing about novelism (hey, if journalists practice journalism, why can’t novelists practice novelism?) is how little of one’s initial plan actually “survives contact with the enemy” – i.e., the actual construction of the story. My initial plan, whether expressed as an outline or a detailed synopsis, turns out to be mostly a way to recognize how little I really knew about my characters and their trials when I set out. It’s been that way through sixteen novels, and probably will remain so through however many more I produce. The other novelists with whom I occasionally swap thoughts report essentially the same experiences.

     However, that’s not a reason not to produce the initial outline / synopsis. If it weren’t for that planning document, I don’t think I could get started, much less produce something coherent. I think this has some connection to Mike Gancarz’s sermon about the Three Systems of Man, which he first related in his little book The UNIX Philosophy. My copy, alas, seems to have migrated to other hands.

     I have at least a few days of nervousness before me, wondering what my test readers will have to say about the book, and wondering what my cover artist, the estimable Cat Leonard of Adelaide, South Australia, will come up with for a front cover image. I’d like to be able to think about the next book, but I’m too close to this one to think of anything else. That condition will persist until the thing is burnished, proofread, equipped with a cover and released.

     I can’t help but wonder how many more books I have in me. I’m old, and not in the best of health. But storytelling is an addiction, a tough one to shake. And I imagine that those damned Onteora characters, settings, and institutions will continue to have their way with me. At least, they have so far.

Why I adore technocratic government.

The wise ones. The cognoscentipedes. The virtuous ones. They're just on top of things. Theories for this and theories for that. Third-world immigration. Spirit cooking. Crony capitalism. Globalism. Offshoring. Beggaring your productive citizens. Devising race fairy tales. Controlling hate speech. Pretty soon it adds up. The perfect society. Not what us schlubs manage to hammer out down in the weeds.

Something much better.

We’re seeing more deficit spending in 2020 than the past several years combined. The government will add more to the national debt this year than all presidents combined from George Washington to Bill Clinton.

* * * *

The next two decades of U.S. growth would look like the last two decades in Japan. Not a collapse, just a slow, prolonged stagnation. This is the economic reality we are facing.

And neither monetary policy nor fiscal policy will change that.[1]

[1] "We've Reached "The Endpoint" - Monetary And Fiscal Policy Won't Help." By James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning, 9/29/20 (emphasis removed).

Monday, September 28, 2020

Status quo September 28, 2020 Anno Domini.

We have also, for all practical purpose, jettisoned the entire corpus of international law and replaced it with "rules-based international order". In fact, I can only agree with Chris Hedges who, in his superb book the “Empire of illusions” and of the “triumph of spectacle”. [Speaks of the triumph of spectacle?] He is absolutely correct: not only is this a triumph of appearance over substance, and of ideology over reality, it is even the triumph of self-destruction over self-preservation.

There is not big “master plan”, no complex international conspiracy, no 5D chess. All we have is yet another empire committing suicide and, like so many before this one, this suicide is executed by this empire’s ruling classes.[1]

[1] "The World Has Gone Absolutely Insane!" By The Saker, The Unz Review, 9/25/20 (underlining added).

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Now The Fun Begins

     As had been predicted, yesterday President Trump announced his nomination of Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court seat vacated by the recent death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And – as has been predicted – leftists’ heads are exploding from coast to coast.

     Of course, we must expect leftists’ heads to explode when they don’t get their way. That’s become par for the course in these United States. As the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg was regarded as a secure vote to preserve such anti-Constitutional atrocities as the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade, the prospect of having Ginsburg’s replacement be a firm Constitutionalist was a heavy blow.

     They probably expected President Trump to nominate a judicial conservative. But a Catholic! And just look at her family: she really means it! That’s nothing less than the roof falling in on them. That would put six professed Catholics on the Court. Catholics are the last people in America it’s okay to discriminate against! How can you take that away from us? This nomination must be defeated!

     However, while anti-Catholic bigotry is alive and well in these United States, it still speaks in whispers. Arguments against the Barrett nomination, therefore, must be couched in terms compatible with the non-discrimination pose the Left strives to maintain. (Shut up with your nonsense about discrimination against white men. That’s not racism; that’s justice.)

     The Democrats’ standard-bearers are of course horrified that the last particle of Obama’s “legacy” is threatened by the Barrett nomination:

     Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, declared a vote for Barrett as "a vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act and eliminate protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions."

     "By nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, President Trump has once again put Americans’ healthcare in the crosshairs," he said, adding he would "strongly" oppose her nomination.

     He also accused Trump and McConnell of "shamelessly rushing to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat less than 40 days before a presidential election."

     "Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish was that she not be replaced until a new president is installed. Republicans are poised to not only ignore her wishes, but to replace her with someone who could tear down everything that she built," he said. "This reprehensible power grab is a cynical attack on the legitimacy of the Court."

     And also:

     Remarkable, this unwillingness to allow that the Affordable Care Act, which the Court has chipped away several times, just might be unConstitutional in its entirety, an exercise of a power never granted to Congress. But that’s the Left for you. Though it grants no stature to the victories of the Right, which it will assault a outrance, the Left insists that its victories, no matter how they were achieved, must be regarded as “irreversible.”

     We also have the spectacle of this New York Times column by Elizabeth Breunig:

     Roman Catholicism does not readily distinguish between public and private moral obligations. In the thought of John Locke, one of liberalism’s earliest architects, willingness to make that distinction was critical to participation in a tolerant society. “Basically,” the political theorist Jean Bethke Elshtain wrote in a 1999 essay, “Locke drew up a strong civic map with religion within one sphere and government in another. A person could be a citizen of each so long as that citizen never attempted to merge and blend the two.” Locke notably excluded Catholics from the religions meriting toleration because he suspected they could not be trusted to leave their faith in the appropriate sphere....

     Roman Catholic schools have warred bitterly over their exemption from anti-discrimination employment statutes, scoring a win in a case argued before the Supreme Court as recently as this summer. Catholic hospitals have found themselves embroiled in court battles for refusing to perform or even discuss abortions, regardless of state or federal law. And, perhaps most famously, the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns that operates nursing homes for low-income seniors, fought the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate all the way to the Supreme Court, and won.

     In each case, Catholic institutions have asked for exemptions to various laws, citing the First Amendment.

     Whether consciously or otherwise, Breunig has produced an anti-Constitutional argument. One of the most important purposes of the Constitution's constraint-by-specification of the powers of the federal government was to keep it out of the way of private convictions, as far as possible. Under an unconstrained government, there cannot be freedom of religion – unless, that is, “freedom of religion” is defined to occur solely within the confines of the skull. Inasmuch as the earliest European settlers came to North America in pursuit of freedom to practice their faiths, the irony is enormous.

     John Hinderaker pierces to the heart of the matter:

     The Democrats object to Amy Barrett because she is not a left-winger dedicated to perpetuating the Court as a liberal super-legislature, which is the only sort of justice they want. That is why they object to her, but they hate her because she is a Christian. The extent of anti-Christian bigotry on the left is astonishing, given that until recent years the U.S. was widely described as a Christian country. No longer.

     There will be a great tumult as the Senate undertakes Barrett’s confirmation hearings. It won’t be pleasant to watch...but fortunately, it won’t be necessary. We already know where the Senate Democrats stand. Government-controlled health care and unrestricted, unregulated abortion at any point during gestation are the hills they’re prepared to die on. Let’s hope the Republican caucus gives them a fine funeral, concluded with a fanfare of trumpets.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

This Trend Will End In Genocide

     Does anyone else remember Cannon Hinnant? No? I mean, why would you? He was just a five-year-old. Hadn’t been nominated for an Oscar. Couldn’t smack the ball out of the park. No hits on Top 40 radio. Just the innocent victim of a vicious black murderer.

     Well, now Cannon Hinnant is not alone:

     The media reacts quickly and with righteous indignation when a black person is shot by police, or by someone white, no matter what the facts of the case are.

     But far too often, even in the most heinous of cases, when the perpetrator is black and the victim or victims happen to be white, the headlines and reporting are not anywhere near the same.

     We have seen it in the case of 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant, who was executed by a black man in August, and we are seeing it again in the death of a 4-year-old white child in a targeted attack by a black man, WKBN reported.

     The shooting occurred in Struthers, Ohio, on Monday at around 1:55 a.m., Four adults were also shot and are hospitalized: Andre Stephon McCoy, Jr., 20, Yarnell Green Jr., 30, Cassandra Marsicola, 20, and Alexis Schneider, 22, of Struthers.

     The suspect, 24-year-old Kimonie Bryant, turned himself in to police after a massive manhunt began to find him.

     How many more such killings will occur before white Americans decide they’ve had enough? Is the media’s policy of concealing them founded on the fear that allowing the public to learn of them would trigger a bloodbath? Should they continue such concealment much longer, a bloodbath will be guaranteed. Word, as we know, eventually gets out.

     Decent, law-abiding blacks must step up and discipline their unruly co-racialists. The time they have left to do so is running short.

The Dems Are the New Know-Nothings

See here a description from Wikipedia (which I'm citing to show that even THEY acknowledge the deeply anti-Catholic nature of the party).

Despite the group's official name as The American Republican Party, it had nothing to do with Republicans at all. Rather, it was a breakaway from the Democratic Party.

Don't believe that? Think that - somehow - this was a secret GOP-linked cabal?

In the spring of 1855, Levi Boone was elected Mayor of Chicago for the Know Nothings. He barred all immigrants from city jobs. Abraham Lincoln was strongly opposed to the principles of the Know Nothing movement, but he did not denounce it publicly because he needed the votes of its membership to form a successful anti-slavery coalition in Illinois.[13] Ohio was the only state where the party gained strength in 1855. Their Ohio success seems to have come from winning over immigrants, especially German American Lutherans and Scots-Irish Presbyterians, both hostile to Roman Catholicism. In Alabama, Know Nothings were a mix of former Whigs, malcontented Democrats, and other political outsiders who favored state aid to build more railroads. Virginia attracted national attention in its tempestuous 1855 gubernatorial. Democrat Henry Alexander Wise won by convincing state voters that Know Nothings were in bed with Northern abolitionists. With the victory by Wise, the movement began to collapse in the South.[14][15]

This story is one that the Know-Knows would have applauded. It's filled with Anti-Catholic bigotry.

The Left only - sort of - likes Catholics when they stand in opposition to all of the beliefs of the Catholic Church.

Catholics for Choice (say, when are ya' gonna give a choice to the kid involved?)

Catholic Organizations for 'Renewal'

Catholics for Biden

Catholics for Peace and Justice

How about guidance from the Catholic Bishops? This 'nuanced' document attempts to steer Catholics towards support of Leftists, using the language of 'greater good'. Using that advice, Catholics could legitimately argue that - on balance - the Left is, despite their rock-solid support of anti-life initiatives, the more moral party.

So, yeah, unless the Senate (and, I mean YOU, Mitch!) takes a firm hand in this process, it will be the most bigoted trashing of Catholicism since the Klan was active.

But, there will be an end to this - if, God Willing, you do your part, and vote. Don't forget your Senatorial GOP - we need every one of  them we can get. I'm not only voting for Graham, I gave him a small donation today. Harrison seems to be a reasonable person (but, that's just the surface), but he IS a Democrat, and will fall in line with the party's dictates.

Below, for your viewing pleasure, an old video, but one that always makes me smile.

Sort of a tone poem.

Stupidity is gradually reaching the tipping point. Of course, peak stupidity is a logical impossibility but there is a point that accumulated stupidity just brings everything to a screeching standstill. Like a falling locomotive eventually encountering the earth's crust.
Leftists hate guns because guns mean a reality outside of Leftism and the social control it uses to stop people from attacking each other, even if — especially if — the “victim” is a criminal and deserves it. They also fear nature, so they destroy it, and organic culture, so they demographically replace it.[1]
It's like Forrest Gump when he just ran out of steam in Utah after a long, long jog. Dude, this is not the way.

For 300 some years the West has been pursuing the Sendero Luminoso of elite omniscience and competence, the universal franchise, human equality, human perfectibility, other fairy tales ad astra, rubbery constitutions, and rubbery spines. But. in pursuing these fairy tales, we now . . . that would be now . . . seem to have hit a rough spot that looks to have no sensible repair option short of good times in the great Two-Way Rifle Range of Life. One trigger pull, one vote. More's the pity but where are the leaders? And where is the yeomen's rage?

Singapore canes anti-social people; but we -- the exceptionals -- grovel at their feet. We celebrate subversion, treason, and every manner, form, and flavor of anarchy, dysfunction, treachery, betrayal, suicidal policy, and feminist, minority, and media horseshit. And we adore Lieawatha, Comey the Glib, Strzok the Possessed, Brennan the Dour, Michael "Bow to the Empire" Pompeo, Gov. Stacey, Maxine the Buffoon, Nancy and her Brazillian Blowout, Saint Trayvon, Glorious George, and Kamala your basic constitutionally ineligible vice presidential candidate butwhocaresaboutthattinydetail(again).

That sappy poem on the Statue of Immigration reads "Send us your huddled masses yearning for Medicaid, Food Stamps, and the end of White American civilization." It seems not to be working out well for (1) whites and, in short order I predict, (2) every other devotee of voodoo, Santeria, Islam, or socialism who happens to have wandered into the Exceptional Nation. But, as the great Ben Franklin pointed out, "Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other." So more sappiness, please. Until the lesson is driven home. The worse the better, as a certain earlier Vladimir observed.

[1] "Periscope (September 24, 2020)." By Brett Stevens, Amerika, 9/24/20.

Friday, September 25, 2020

After the Election

 Some random things that occurred to me:

  • We're going to have to put some money into rebuilding our economy - NOT by funneling huge grants to larger corporations, but in helping the states set up low-cost loans for smaller, local businesses. Those businesses need to follow normal business practices, have a business plan based on reality, and be able to qualify for insurance AND some amount of bank financing. But, yeah, those businesses that were viable, but killed by the lockdown restrictions should get a hand up.
    • BUT - the state needs to reduce barriers to businesses opening/functioning.
    • Any government entity that supports this needs to have some skin in the game - can we say "put the politicians supporting this in an agreement that some part of THEIR salary is invested in that business - and will NOT be bailed out by government action, should the business fail?"
  • Relocation money - maybe a 50-50 split between the individuals and the companies recruiting them? That expense can be deducted from income taxes.
  • Audits of companies who hire non-Americans. If they are abusing the system, fines, jail time for egregious offenses, and banning from using H1-B and other visas for life (of individuals in charge of the corporation, and of corporations). If the abusers are not natives, or are naturalized citizens, deportation WITH their families (which includes ALL the people they sponsored).
  • While we're at it, let's get DNA samples for deportees. Those who are in the criminal databases, or who return and commit crimes in the future, should be identified.
  • Legislation that forbids practices that increase the likelihood of voter fraud (I'm assuming that the Left doesn't win the House/Senate). Work with DOJ to improve the likelihood that the legislation will hold up in court.
  • NO - I mean NO - bailouts for the states that shutdown their own economies. Or facilitated riots/violence/insurrection. Make them pay for their treachery against the legal government, and for their refusal to enforce the law that citizens are paying them to do. Like other failed nations, the Left will not change until it costs THEM.
  • Clarification of the Constitution's census rules. Inclusion, by legislation, of a requirement that illegal aliens must be identified as such.
  • While we're at it, all driver's licenses for non-US citizens must have some way to identify that the holder is NOT a citizen. Maybe a colored stripe on one side, or other means that is recognizable by sight.
Personally, I'm exhausted. Yesterday, the plumbers descended upon my house for the whole day. They put in a LONG day, only leaving after 10 pm. There was just one part of the system not finished (the second bathroom).

I have to thank the men of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, located in the Carolinas, for their hard work to make sure we could bathe and otherwise take care of bodily functions. I am truly, truly appreciative of their work and good attitude.

It was expensive, but it's nearly done. We have updated water and sewage lines, a new kitchen faucet, and bathroom fixtures.

The War On Christianity Is Just A Myth!

     Oh, really?

     Police in Moscow, Idaho, arrested three people Wednesday for violating social distancing rules as their church sang hymns and Bible psalms outdoors — an event held, in part, to protest the city mayor’s mask mandate, which runs to January 2021.

     Officers arrested Gabriel Rench, Rachel Bohnet, and Sean Bohnet, according to Moscow Report, a local independent news outlet. A video uploaded to social media shows Bohnet, a local music teacher, and his wife telling officers they refused to comply with an inaudible order. Moscow Report says the apparent infraction is that they refused to show identification....

     Rench is a co-host of CrossPolitic, a Christian political talk show, and a candidate for county commissioner. “You guys should not be doing this,” he told officers as they walked him to a squad car. “And doing this kind of crap for the mayor, this is embarrassing. You guys are stronger than this.”

     In Idaho. IDAHO! Where I’d contemplating moving my family!

     Adrienne comments:

     You don't need a masters in political science to know this arrest was politically motivated. Rench is running for county commissioner, a job that carries quite a bit of clout. Obviously, the mayor of Moscow, Bill Lambert, a mask Nazi, is an enemy.

     Rench is running on "faith, family, and freedom." Yeah - good luck with that message in Moscow, Gabriel.

     Of course Moscow, Idaho is a “college town,” and such locales tend to be, shall we say, outside the mainstream of American thought. So I think I’ll amend my oft-repeated recommendation that we wall off all the colleges and universities in America and impose stringent border controls on them. Just a small change, really, but it could make a large difference in normal, decent people’s quality of life.

     Do it to the cities and towns that are home to them, as well.

No Commentary Required Dept.

     Sometimes, the raw facts are all we need:

     I want live ammo and shoot-to-kill orders, and I want them now.

Thursday, September 24, 2020


     The Fortress of Crankitude is a rather busy, interesting place. Along with myself and a mountain of books, records, electronics, and power tools I’m still struggling to master, there live here three dogs – German Shepherd mix Sophie, Pit Bull mix Precious, and Newfoundland puppy Joy – four cats – Chloe, Zoe, Fluffy, and Uriel the Great – and a practicing accountant: the C.S.O., a.k.a. my wife Beth. And of course we all have our preferred periodical publications. Beth’s occupationally oriented publication is titled Accounting Today.

     Just this morning, upon spying a copy of Accounting Today on the kitchen table, its title struck my mental funny bone:

FWP: Sweetie?
CSO: Hm?

FWP: If Accounting Today is the magazine for practicing accountants, shouldn’t there be a magazine for retired accountants titled Accounting Yesterday?
CSO: Why, yes! And of course we’d need Accounting Tomorrow for all the aspiring accountants who are still in school!

FWP: What an opportunity! Accounting Yesterday could publish articles about accounts in cuneiform in the days of Hammurabi, and accountants’ difficulties before the invention of the zero—
CSO: And Accounting Tomorrow would speculate about the golden days ahead once the rules of arithmetic are declared mere white patriarchal constructs!

FWP: How can we get in on this?
CSO: You know a few other writers, don’t you?
FWP: I’ll make some calls.

     (And you thought your household was bizarre.)

The Cthulists

     First, a few links:

     Please read the linked stories. They tell a consistent tale: a tale that depicts a trend. The trend is toward increasing disruption, vandalism, and violence against persons in a growing number of locales – by a growing number of insurgents.

     I have no idea how many times I’ve written this, but it seems to require further reiterations:

Success Breeds Emulation.

     Most of the insurgents are not principally motivated by a political ideology or aim. They might profess such an aim when interrogated under police restraint, but it’s merely a smokescreen for a more important motivation: the simple love of destruction. For it is a well-confirmed fact of human nature that an individual is principally motivated by the immediate satisfactions of his activities...and I’ve written that before an unknown number of times, as well.

     Now for a neologism: the rioters’ conduct is Cthulistically motivated. A passage from that progenitor of horror fiction, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, is on point:

     [M]ankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.

     [From “The Call of Cthulhu”]

     Let there be no doubt that a significant fraction of Mankind would thrill to such a gospel. They are Cthulists, whether or not they are familiar with Lovecraft’s mythos. Wanton violence and destruction is their chief delight. Such persons have existed in every place and time, for have we not records of their deeds that reach back as far as human recording extends?

     There is an element of playing at being gods in such conduct, for every wholesome faith maintains that life is “God’s to give and God’s to take away” (Alasdair Ian Stewart ). Justly acquired property, be it said plainly, is an extension of one’s life through the investment of labor. To destroy life and property is the Cthulist’s most joyous exercise, his expression of a “freedom” that raises him to the level of the divine.

     Many Americans are itching to close with the Cthulists and put an end to them – literally. I am one such, despite my years. But many others, probably a majority, are disheartened for the future of our nation...and sick with fear that what the Cthulists have inflicted upon Portland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Louisville, New York City, and other places will soon be inflicted upon their homes and suburbs. For some who might never imagined that any such thing could happen to them, the fear has already become a reality.

     Of only one thing am I certain: The Cthulists already at work, by demonstrating that you can get away with it, are attracting new allegiants by the day. Their ranks are swelling. They’re being funded and equipped by persons who want to topple the American order. If permitted to enlarge further, they will soon overwhelm any police force that might think to quell them. Only the mobilized field army of the United States will have a chance to put them down.

     Time is not on America’s side. Verbum sat sapienti.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Smart People, Foolish Notions

     The political trenches are heavy with commentators who write smart, literate pieces but who are utterly filled with folly. Folly, as Barbara Tuchman once wrote, is knowing better but doing worse. Persons who promote follies typically refuse to heed the lessons of the past. At least, that’s the most common form of folly in politics and political advocacy.

     Here’s a sample of current relevance:

     One of the big fears that some conservatives have about Republicans doing the simple thing that they were elected to do by confirming a conservative Supreme Court justice is that Democrats would respond by packing the court. As such, they are proposing a "compromise." The idea, first put forward by Adam White in a thoughtful piece, is that President Trump nominates somebody, but Republicans agree not to vote until after the election (and to not confirm a nominee in a lame-duck session if they lose) as long as Democrats agree to not pack the court. The idea has gained adherents, including David French and Jonah Goldberg.

     I don’t know anything about Adam White. I know little more about David French, other than that he’s a foaming-at-the-mouth NeverTrumper. But I followed Goldberg’s essays for some time, and I own one of his books. I have no doubt that he’s a smart fellow, his aversion to President Trump notwithstanding. However, these three persons are united in a folly of monumental dimensions: They believe the Democrats would keep a promise when violating it would be massively favorable to their interests.

     The Democrats do not keep promises. The record is quite definite on this subject. Why, therefore, would the GOP’s Senate caucus trust the Democrats to do so in this supremely important matter – a matter the Left has been talking about for years?

     Do I hear someone in the back rows nattering about “collegiality?” Where was collegiality during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings? Where was it during impeachment hearings and the Senate trial of President Trump? Where is it today, when prominent Democrats routinely slander President Trump as a dictator and anyone who supports him as either stupid or evil?

     Given the open, venomous viciousness of the highest-placed Democrats at this time, why would anyone believe, against the historical evidence, that “this time it will be different?”

     Folly, pure and simple.

     Now and then, I’ll encounter a smart fellow in a comment section. As often as not, such a person is riddled by folly. A recent case arose in the comments to this story about the Congressional campaign ads of Kim Klacik.

     I commented there much as I expressed here. But note the reply I received:

     I would rather my federal tax dollars go towards fixing an entirely broken city, one that is so broken that the local government can't fix it alone, so it can become successful enough to, once again, thrive on its own. Every city where a Democrat gains and keeps control is in danger of descending into squalor. So, how do we prevent such a thing from happening in Baltimore again after it has been fixed? By showing the citizens that it was a Republican who finally stepped up and fixed everything, by showing the citizens that voting red is what made a difference, and by showing the citizens that as long as they keep voting red, there is no limit to how successful their city can be. Doing all of this could create long-lasting memories of how it was actually the Republicans who cared for the black communities enough to fix things, memories that would be passed down from generation to generation. Kind of the same effect the Dems "party switch" lie had, but without the lie. I think such a thing is worth my federal tax dollars.

     Folly of the first water. Why believe that the residents of Baltimore, once bailed out of their own mess – a mess they created for themselves! – would care any better for their city afterward than they did beforehand? Simply because “it was a Republican who finally stepped up and fixed everything” -- ? Memories of good deeds done to the undeserving aren’t “passed down from generation to generation;” they aren’t even perpetuated for a year! Does no one else remember that just last year, when volunteer Scott Presler led a group to Baltimore to clean up one of its worst trash-filled alleys, after which the Baltimore Sun questioned Presler’s motives – then claimed that the rest of us owed it to Baltimore to clean it up for them?

     Collectivists never accept responsibility for anything. Whatever the “problem,” it’s always someone else’s fault, and someone else’s responsibility to correct. They certainly don’t feel an obligation to keep their promises. The Democrats are collectivists. As we mathematical types are wont to say at such times, quod erat demonstrandum. But people resolved upon promoting a foolish notion will never accept that.

     It doesn’t matter how smart you are if you’re unwilling to look at the objective facts, or unwilling to draw the moral they present. I speak with some authority on this, having fallen into various kinds of folly on several occasions, including some recent ones, out of a desire to believe something that clashed with the observable facts. Those follies have cost me time, money, emotional distress, and hunks of my willingness to trust the newcomer by default. I’m not quite to the point of turning my back on others, but I’ve come close. Certainly I no longer accept rosy-glassed claims or piteous plaints without checking the evidence.

     The descent into folly is almost always because one has forgotten – or has decided to ignore or dismiss – an important bit of knowledge about people and the laws of Nature: i.e., a sturdy wisdom. Here’s a brief, non-exhaustive list:

  1. Life is short.
  2. Debt is a form of slavery.
  3. Men and women are different.
  4. There is no such thing as casual sex.
  5. Governments never return seized rights or money.
  6. He who won’t help himself doesn’t deserve your help.
  7. He who wants power over you is inherently untrustworthy.
  8. To get a man to do something, you must get him to want to do it.

     Post that list over your computer. Refer to it often. It’s a handy way of averting the descent into folly – and take my word for it: you’re not so smart that you’re immune to folly’s lures.

Must-See TV

     It’s clear that Tucker Carlson has the courage of his convictions. How much longer he’ll have his commentary perch at FOX News is less clear:

     I’ve downloaded the video, just in case YouTube makes it vanish.

     You may recall that when former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich mentioned the George Soros campaign to purchase district attorneys’ offices throughout America, Harris Faulkner and Melissa Francis ordered him not to mention Soros’s name any further:

     I’ve downloaded that video, as well.

     It’s standard strategic doctrine for an invading force to seize the channels of communication before all else. The suppression of the mechanisms of communication atomizes any potential resistance. In effect, it gives the invader the advantage of fighting a blind opponent.

     The United States may not be dealing with a physical invasion at the moment, but those who seek to topple the nation are as clever as any commanding general. If they can’t seize our communications media by force, they’ll simply purchase them and install their own rules and overseers to enforce them. That, apparently, is what has happened at FOX News. Whether the funds to purchase FOX’s compliance came from Soros, I cannot say...but I doubt he’s distressed over their new “be kind to Nazi collaborators” policy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

My Catholic Faith - Straight Up, No Chaser

 Even Brit Hume, no right-wing zealot, agrees:

"What Sen. Schumer said, now that’s just a wild exaggeration," Hume said. "Judge Barrett isn't someone who is wildly out of the mainstream."

 And, despite Dianne Feinstein's comment:

When Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said, "The dogma lives loudly within you, and that's a concern," Hume explained, "the complaint that you heard from Dianne Feinstein was basically simply this: You take your religious faith too seriously as if that is now a vice in contemporary America."

Amy Barrett is not an ideologue who would jettison a Constitutional, if personally repugnant, law.

Barrett, a former law clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia from 1998 to 1999, responded: "It's never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge's personal convictions, whether they arise from faith or anywhere else, on the law."

 Now, what this message from Mitt Romney sounds like is a warning to Dems - do NOT make this an issue this election - he WILL stand with the GOP (like his word is worth all that much).

I always liked Patricia Heaton.

  1. She's from the Cleveland area, and I always root for the home team.
  2. She's a Catholic, and not afraid to say so.
  3. She's taken stands that likely cost her in her career.
  4. She walked out on inappropriate behavior at an awards show, and talked to the press about WHY she did it.
  5. And, she's made no bones about her support for the unborn.

She says she didn't vote in the last election, and would not in this one. It's not politics for her, it's about common decency.

Years ago, I read Advise & Consent, by Allen Drury. I'm checking it out of the library again (it involves a fight between the President and Senate on a nomination). Hint: the GOOD guys win.

And, last, the San Francisco bishop participated in an outdoor protest of the Mass restrictions on churches. Don't stop there, kiddo - go FULL-ON, and DARE them to arrest you!

Subsidiarity, Where Art Thou?

     If you’re a Catholic, you...well, you might be familiar with this tenet of Catholic thought:

     Subsidiarity is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. Political decisions should be taken at a local level if possible, rather than by a central authority. The Oxford English Dictionary defines subsidiarity as the idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level.

     From the definition, it’s clear that federalism – the American Constitutional principle that defines a small number of limited powers for the federal government and leaves all other legitimate authorities to the states – is a form of the subsidiarity principle. Many politicians, Left and Right, have either forgotten that principle or have dismissed it as an impediment to their agendas.

     Which brings me to the following ads:

     You may have seen one or both of those ads before this. They’re impressive statements by an impressive young woman. If the rest of her politicking is as powerful as those ads, she could well be in Congress on January 3. I’d love to see her there.

     But note that those ads highlight the city of Baltimore – admittedly, a city reduced to ruin – and what Klacik would like to do about it. Her focus is on the local problems of a particular city.

     Are Baltimore’s problems real? Yes. Are they serious? Yes. Do they demand immediate attention? Yes. But from whom? From what body of legislators and executives?

     Are Baltimore’s problems properly the concern of the federal government of the United States?

     Baltimore has a city government, doesn’t it? Doesn’t that government collect taxes, fund a police department, and administer a municipal garbage collection program? What are the officials of that government doing about Baltimore’s many problems?

     Under the principle of subsidiarity, the local affairs of the city of Baltimore should be handled by its local authorities: the city government. Under the principle of federalism, no government higher up than the state government of Maryland has any legitimate authority over Baltimore and what happens there. Except in cases of invasion or insurrection, the Constitution delegates no authority to Congress or the president to intervene in the local affairs of cities. Didn’t we hear all about that when the talk started about sending federal troops to Seattle, Portland, and Minneapolis?

     But Kim Klacik is running for Congress.

     People really ought to be thinking about this.

     Kim Klacik is an articulate, courageous, conservative young woman. As I said in the above segment, I’d love to see her in Congress. But the clash between her campaign’s focus and her political aspiration highlights an open wound in the American political system: the loss of the demarcations of legitimate authority established by the Constitution. That wound has festered for far too long.

     Local problems are best understood by the people and authorities of that locale. There is no valid argument that outsiders should thrust their preferences into the matter. Similarly, local problems must be assumed to be the product of local action. Americans from other parts of the country didn’t flock to Baltimore to commit thousands of felony crimes, nor to bury it in garbage. Why, then, are the problems of beleaguered cities such as Baltimore a proper concern for the federal government?

     So many concerns best left to state or local authorities have been federalized, whether by overt or covert action, that few persons even ask such questions today. Consider unemployment benefits, welfare benefits, and educational funding. Consider “revenue sharing.” Consider the handling of tottering corporations, which reflexively appeal to federal authorities for “bailouts.” Do the chief executives of such corporations even consider going to a local or state body before approaching a federal Cabinet department?

     What we call federalization, the Founding Fathers called usurpation: the federal government’s seizure of authorities and powers not Constitutionally delegated to it. The result is what James Madison termed consolidated government: a state of affairs in which the state and local governments are reduced to ciphers before the power of the federal Leviathan. Everything becomes a matter for federal decision making, which means that no matter where you are or what your particular local concerns may be, decisions about what will be done to you and / or for you will be dominated by persons far away.

     The lure is the prospect of having your problems solved for you by others, at others’ expense. The price is the loss of local and state autonomy, which were once fundamental to American governance. They made it possible, as Clarence Carson wrote in The American Tradition, for people to agree to disagree about many things and still share a nation.

     I could go on, but I have other work to do today, and anyway the point should be well enough established by now. Gentle Readers, please submit your thoughts in the comments.

Monday, September 21, 2020

For Those Who Have the Interest, and Time

 A Book Club - mostly older books, that are important to read.

Many of you are widely read, and a lot more scholarly than I. But, I thought it might be helpful to have access to some of the older books (Gulag Archipelago? Witness? The Prince?), for the benefit of those of us who hadn't had that exposure to non-Leftist Thinking/Pre-Leftist Thinking.

I thought some sort of online discussion might be interesting - or, maybe, a Moodle (forum that allows for larger groups to be easily managed). I'm still working it out.

This will NOT be for those women who attend Book Clubs for gossip, personal discussion, and the wine - LOTS of wine.

For whatever reason, the link is not working properly - here is a link to the poll giving feedback on what books we can start with.

Candidates Who Can’t Cut It

     I recall that during the presidential campaign in 1980, one of the Democrats’ jabs at Ronald Reagan was that he was “too old,” and therefore probably not physically up to the rigors of the presidency, which are considerable. Reagan’s robust good health – Martin Anderson once described him as having “the build of a linebacker” – confounded everyone during his eight-year tenure in the White House.

     Let’s return to a slightly more recent presidential campaign:

     The numerous times Mrs. Clinton was visibly suffering poor health were glossed over by most of the mainstream media. They were determined to get her into the Oval Office even if they had to carry her there on a stretcher. It didn’t work out for them. A candidate of about the same age, but who possessed – and possesses – amazingly good health and “dragon energy” defeated her, sending the Virago from Chicago to a well-deserved retirement.

     You’d think that after that fiasco, the Democrats would know better than to put forward yet another obviously physically infirm candidate for the presidency. You’d be wrong:

     Sick and senile Joe Biden is eight days away from getting crushed in a debate with Donald Trump. The effects are starting to show. After taking about ten steps to make some token comments today, sick and senile Joe Biden was so out of breath, he was choking and could barely get the words out of his mouth.

     Please go to Pacific Pundit (linked above) to view the videos.

     This is a species of cruelty I would not have expected from the blackest of black-hearted villains...but the Left knows no limits to what it will do to retake the White House. The Dems’ strategists deemed Biden their best chance to defeat President Trump. To them, nothing else matters. Certainly not kindness toward a sick old man.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Slime Mold 'Learning' and Current Events

 I've been watching this show on the science of slime mold.

No, not yucky - highly fascinating.

One thing researchers have been investigating is how slime molds learn:

  • Where food is located, and how to return to the food source through the shortest route.
  • That a slightly-distasteful pathway (with a salty surface) is not harmful, and can be ignored.
  • That slime molds can transfer that learning to new parts of the organism.

Now, what's the link to politics?

The individual organisms in the Leftist/BLM/AntiFa groups - although loosely affiliated - act much as the actually-not-thinking slime molds do.

They sense their environment. They learn to respond in specific ways. They can be directed with simple signals (light-bars, for example). They can move forward as a group. They can flee when threatened, or respond with attack, given appropriate signals.

The riots have been used to train the mob. They have learned to act in ways that please their leaders, and to risk self for the good of the group. They even use other organisms (the rioters) to deflect attention from their actions, or to achieve their aims without personal risk.

What am I saying?

The actual riots/protests have been - so far - unimportant, except as they were used, to train the participants in compliance to the orders of the leaders. They are training their armies to act together.

Don't underestimate them.

Get the Popcorn!

 Was reading the Chicago Boyz today, and found a comment.

I'm always surprised at the cluelessness of the Anglo Elite, who blithely assume that ALL the Brown/Black peoples (POCs) will naturally make common cause against the White People.

Wrong. Most of the Hispanics absolutely HATE the Black population, and only tolerate them when they stay away from their neighborhood, and women. If they think that the Spanish-speaking/descended will vote for the party that is burning up neighborhoods, making travel to their jobs difficult (most of that crowd are HARD workers), and attacking cops that are like them, the Left are nuttier than they look.

And, they look pretty nutty to us.

Jim Caviezel's New Movie

 The title says it all - "Infidel".

That's what Iran, and many other countries, consider us.


Enemies of the State.


The movie, about a person who has to CHOOSE to affirm his faith, in the face of persecution, is opening at AMC theaters on October 2, in my local area. I'm putting the link to that company here - I think they should be supported, not only for having the guts to show this, but also because, in many places in the USA, they are the ONLY theater that has opened.

Caviezel showed a lot of guts, when he tackled The Passion of the Christ. Not only did he do a bang-up job of acting, but he also put his commitment to the film's message on the line, in interview after interview, promoting it for months.

In this video clip, he talks about the physical challenges he had in the Christ movie. Then, he discusses what is meant by CHOICE, from the basis of the movie's story. Then, and this was unexpected to me, he talks about Reagan's famous speech - A Time for Choosing.

I tried to get the link from YouTube, but the clip that is there cuts off the end, about Reagan (Now, don't THINK it's intentional, but....).

However, if you watch it from The Gateway Pundit, it works.

And, just for those of you who, like I, actually never heard the original Reagan speech.

Now, it's strong medicine - and,  NOT to be taken as Holy Writ. However, SOME of it is applicable, even now - right to property, too much regulation, taxation too high. I'm not in favor of military intervention in most of the world. 

I think Trump is clever enough to avoid an open war with China. And, FWIW, I think China is MUCH weaker than is believed. That's not always a GOOD thing - a weakened enemy may decide to through everything into the pot, and aggressively attack (Essentially, the plot behind several Tom Clancy novels).

But, China is better situated, and sufficiently cautious, to USE their surrogates to fight their war in the US. The FAANGs, tech titans, the unions, and the money men (those that control investments, banks, and large corporations, all dependent on government goodies and favorable legislation/regulations to survive).

Oh, and the MANY NGOs - non-government organizations - mostly foundations, to you and me.

That's lined up against us.

On our side?

People of good will, good sense, and a strong awareness of the safety of their own hides. The non-brass military (minus the REMFs). Christians. Business owners (who have seen the lack of regard the Left has for their possessions). And a small, but growing number of LEGAL immigrants and non-White citizens with jobs or businesses.

Will that be enough? God, I hope so.

The Only Basis Upon Which Legislated Law Can Rest

     Quoth philosopher of law Lon Fuller:

     If we accept the view that the central purpose of law is to furnish baselines for human interaction, it then becomes apparent why the existence of enacted law as an effectively functioning system depends upon the establishment of stable interactional expectancies between lawgiver and subject. On the one hand, the lawgiver must be able to anticipate what the citizenry as a whole will accept as law and generally observe the body of rules he has promulgated. On the other hand, the legal subject must be able to anticipate that government will itself abide by its own declared rules. . . . A gross failure in the realization of either of these anticipations—of government toward citizens and of citizens toward government—can have the result that the most carefully drafted code will fail to become a functioning system of law.

     [Lon Fuller, The Principles of Social Order]

     A system with two tiers of citizens – one subject to the law, the other above it and immune to it – is inherently unstable. When the “tier above the law” consists of public officials – executives, legislators, judges, appointees, civil servants – the instability is magnified by the evident injustice: “Rules for thee but not for me.” It will topple, or it will be toppled. So are conditions in these United States as matters currently stand.

The Return Of The Vigilance Committee

     Matters are coming to a head:

     Three Philadelphia police officers riding in an unmarked car were checking on a man on a bike when he pulled out a gun and fired at them before a second shooter joined the fray, setting off a gun battle that saw two officers briefly hospitalized, police said.

     The 14th District officers, two men and one woman, were driving down the 1400 block of Sharpnack Street, in the Cedarbrook section of the East Mount Airy neighborhood, when the first gunman pulled up next to them on his bike around 8 p.m. Friday, Philadelphia Police Department Sgt. Eric Gripp said.

     The officer driving the car rolled down his window to check on the man when he suddenly pulled out a gun and started shooting, causing the officer to pull off Sharpnack Street and onto Fayette Street, where he crashed the car into a fence, Gripp said.

     The first gunman kept firing after the officers crashed, striking their vehicle multiple times, with one bullet piercing the car door, going through the seat and hitting the driving officer in the back, Gripp said. The officer’s bulletproof vest saved him, the sergeant added.

     As the cyclist kept shooting, the officers were able to get out of the car and return fire, but that’s when a second shooter further down the street joined in and also rained bullets on the officers, placing them in a crossfire, Gripp said.

     If it went as reported, this seems to have been a “hit:” a planned and coordinated two-person assassination attempt on the Philadelphia police. It’s not the first such attack in recent weeks, though reports of previous attacks on the police have generally not spoken of multiple attackers.

     Glenn Reynolds, not given to excesses of sentiment, opines thus:

     So at what point, faced with assassination attempts, do the police go rogue and form their own death squads to neutralize their enemies? That’s what generally happens in corrupt third-world polities, which is what our Democrat-run cities are becoming.

     One of Glenn’s commenters expands on his thought:

     [I]t WILL NOT create support for gun confiscation. It will, slowly, support the formation of "Societies of Vigilance", in which "law enforcement" is fast and certain, but perhaps at the cost of "justice". Because if I can't call the police to remove a live criminal from my property, I'll call the coroner to remove a dead criminal from my property.

     And indeed, a return of the vigilance committee of the 19th Century West is looking very good.

     Vigilance committees, whence we get the pseudo-pejorative vigilante, are of course disparaged, even condemned, in the official histories of the United States. The term of opprobrium most often attached to them is private justice, which is intended to imply that when justice is privatized it ceases to be just. But is that truly the case?

     Yes, some of the vigilance committees of yore did commit excesses. However, the committees arose in response to a need that would not have existed were the “official” mechanisms of justice in those places and times honest and responsive. In The Enterprise of Law, his massive survey of justice systems outside of State control and sanction, Bruce Benson of the Pacific Legal Foundation argues that in many cases the vigilance committee was a superior substitute for the “official” organs of justice:

     Local governments were established to replace privately produced law fairly rapidly in some places in the western frontier, and public police (e.g., sheriffs) were appointed. State and federal officials also appeared on the scene. But in several instances this government law enforcement was so ineffective or corrupt that private citizens had to re-establish law and order. As Alan Valentine wrote, “If the people had the right to make their own laws and to elect their own officials, then it followed in pioneer logic that the people had the right to change or overrule them. When they were sufficiently aroused to do so, they were not inclined to waste time on fine points of procedure or to show much deference to a protesting officer of the law.” Perhaps the best known cases of this kind occurred in San Francisco.

     Most of San Francisco’s laws during the late 1840s and early 1850s were developed through popular assemblies of citizens. Governmental law enforcement was instituted early, however, so anyone accused of a crime had to be arrested by the publicly employed sheriff and waited for a trial in the next Court of Sessions, which met every two months at the county seat. Lawyers often got trials delayed, and because jail facilities were scarce or nonexistent “postponements almost always meant that the accused would be discharged if he had not escaped first.” Witnesses had to pay their own expenses; and given the delays, many did not wait for the trial. With the swelling of San Francisco’s population during the gold rush, things began to get out of hand. In Valentine’s words:

     As they became increasingly harassed by crime and arson, San Franciscans became more and more ready to sacrifice legal procedure for elementary justice and security. The situation was becoming worse, not better, as new criminals moved in and more and larger fires swept across the city. The better citizens were torn between two fears: fear that nothing short of popular tribunals could cope with crime and fear that popular tribunals would degenerate into lynching mobs, led by the worst elements in town. . . .

     Many of the most respectable citizens believed that the only compromise between rampant crime and rampant lynching was an organized, stable popular tribunal that could be controlled by the better elements in the city. . . .

     San Franciscans wanted something better than slapdash justice, whether legal or popular, but above all they wanted crime reduced.

     The city’s press was urging drastic action by early 1849, but the citizens of San Francisco held back until February of 1851.

     On February 19, 1851, the owner of a San Francisco clothing store was robbed and beaten. The sheriff arrested two men and charged them. A large number of people gathered the next day before the city offices, demanding quick action against the accused. Some speakers advocated an immediate hanging, but one, William T. Coleman, prevailed. He told public officials,

     We will not leave it to the courts. The people here have no confidence in your promises, and unfortunately they have no confidence in the execution of the law by its officers. Matters have gone too far! I propose that the people here present form themselves into a court. . .that the prisoners be brought before it. That testimony be taken, counsel on each side allotted. . .if the prisoners be found innocent let them be discharged, but if guilty let them be hung. . . . We don’t want a mob! We won’t have a mob! Let us organize as becomes men!

     A committee of fourteen prominent citizens, including Coleman, was chosen to take charge of the case. The legal authorities were invited to participate but declined, although they raised no resistance and handed over the prisoners. The committee impaneled a jury and appointed three judges and a clerk. Two “highly regarded” lawyers were appointed to represent the prisoners; Coleman acted as prosecutor. After hearing the case, the jury voted nine guilty and three for acquittal. The prisoners were turned back over to the authorities. The impetus for a vigilante organization was in place, however.

     Plainly, had San Francisco’s “authorities” been trustworthy and diligent, Coleman’s call for an alternative would not have resonated with the public. Compare this to today’s situation in America’s riot-torn cities...and in other places where agitators are permitted to harass private citizens dining, shopping, or going peaceably about their business.

     If the law is too mild, private vengeance comes in. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Compensation”

     While no institution – especially no “public” institution – is wholly trustworthy and perfectly diligent, America’s police forces, on net balance, are an asset to the maintenance of public order, and of justice as Americans generally understand it. Private citizens are rightfully outraged, both at the “orders from above” that have handcuffed the police in dealing with looters and rioters, and at attacks on the police such as occurred in Philadelphia. Both varieties of outrage testify to a developing urge among decent Americans to act as law enforcers, especially in those districts where the police are unable or unwilling to do so.

     If modern vigilance committees should arise, I have no doubt that our “public officials” will condemn them – “Private justice!” they will shriek — and issue orders to the police that they be suppressed. Whether the police will comply with such orders, given those selfsame “public officials’” unwillingness to allow them to enforce the laws that “protect” life and property, I cannot predict. But we may be sure of one thing at least: questions vital to the conception of justice itself will be raised and hotly discussed:

For whose benefit is there law?
Who owns it?

     With that, I yield the floor to my Gentle Readers.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

I’m Sure This Will Seem Completely Frivolous...

     ...especially with all the ultra-serious stuff going on, both here in America and around the world, but...

     Does anyone out there still observe International Talk Like A Pirate Day? This is the 25th anniversary of the founding thereof, don’t y’know.

     Well, me mateys? Be ye conformin’ to the day we be celebratin’, or be ye slackin’ off, like a lot o’ landlubbers?

     Make it a family thing! Arrr!

A Bid For Greatness By a Jethro Tull Exile

     Guitarist Mick Abrahams played on Jethro Tull’s first album, This Was. I have no idea why he left the group, but he went thence to form Blodwyn Pig, a more blues-oriented combo. Their first album, Ahead Rings Out, has some good stuff on it, but the following track is their bid for true greatness:

     The blues don’t get any bluer – or any better – than that.

The Democratic Delusion (UPDATED)

     There are probably very few persons alive and awake at this time who aren’t aware that Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed away. The emphasis this places on the importance of the presidential election cannot be overstated. In short, President Trump has the opportunity to replace a left-liberal justice with a right-conservative one. I doubt he’s going to let it pass him by, nor should he.

     But hearken to the most recent emission by the odious Senator Charles Schumer (D, NY):

     Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted his own statement that "[t]he American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.

     "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” Schumer added, using same phrase that McConnell employed denying federal judge Merrick Garland a confirmation hearing after the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

     Oh, really? I have but one question: Why?

     The Senate deferred action on the Garland nomination because at that time, the White House was in Democrat hands while the Senate was majority-Republican. It was an appropriate exercise of discretion in a split-control situation. The election of Hillary Clinton would have made it impossible to avoid a straight up-or-down Senate vote on Merrick Garland. The loss of the Senate majority to the Democrats would have had the same effect. But the election of Donald Trump and the GOP’s retention of the Senate majority would – and did – put the Garland nomination in a different light, one where the Senate could reasonably allow the incoming president to put forward a different nominee.

     Today, there is no split-control situation. The White House and the Senate are both Republican-dominated. It is reasonable for the president to submit a nominee to the Senate for its advice and consent. It is also reasonable for the Senate to act or not act on such a nomination in its own good time. What President Trump will do, and what Majority Leader McConnell will do, we shall soon see.

     But on a larger and more important point, Schumer’s nonsense about “the American people” deserving “a voice” in the selection of the nominee is contrary to the Constitutional design. Such a “voice” is expressed through their selections of Senators and President. With both those institutions in Republican hands, it is wholly within reason that the president should put forward the nominee of his choice, and leave what follows to the Senate.

     Schumer’s demand is a restatement of the democratic delusion: the notion that everything about the federal government “should” be decided by a majority vote of the citizenry. The Founding Fathers wanted buffers between the highest federal officials and the public to keep majority passions at bay, thus dampening the influence of the events of the moment and the machinations of demagogues. The Constitution explicitly – and quite justly – separated the Supreme Court from popular decision making, just as it originally separated the Senate and the presidency from them.

     Yes, the design has been tampered with: in my opinion, completely unwisely. But what remains still insulates the Supreme Court from “democratic” passions and the events of the moment. As we speak here of the body that rules on the Constitutionality of the laws proposed and passed by the elected legislators of these United States, that is exactly as it should be.

     In closing: Note that the Democrats have never had a problem with using the courts – or the Court – to rule against majority sentiment when that was the Democrats’ preference. On many occasions a Democrat-dominated Supreme Court has ruled in a fashion that contradicted the opinion that prevailed among American citizens. Miranda v. Arizona is one notable example; another is Kelo v. New London. Should the Left ever again acquire control of the Court, we may be sure that such decisions will again be issued in such circumstances.

     UPDATE: This has been making the rounds:

     Kinda hits home, doesn't it?

Friday, September 18, 2020

Culture, and How Monogamy Improves Society as a Whole

 I was reading Assistant Village Idiot, and he was writing about the Hajnal Line, the geographic line in Europe that separates those cultures that, generally, do NOT marry along kinship lines, AND have a high degree of monogamy. Those two factors are considered responsible for the extraordinary level of societal and economic success of that Western European peoples (the dreaded White People of current infamy).

Admission: I'm nearly 100% of that genetic heritage, myself - English, Irish, Scottish, Low Country and Germanic, and French, with a smidge of Scandanavian - at least, that's what both 23 & Me and Ancestry say.

So, I'm inclined to favor that cultural tradition.

Because of NOT marrying along kinship lines, the WestEuros tend to be less involved in the drama and togetherness of those types of relationships. That makes them well-suited to striking out into new territory, living in isolated communities, and life in the hills (all of which different groups of my ancestors did in different generations). We were early migrants to America, and traveled to the OH/PA/WV region (where most of us stayed for several hundred years).

In the later part of the 20th century, and continuing through the 21st, we've spread out more widely. I have cousins in 6 states, and, even in the states where many are located, we aren't bunched up.

So, what's the advantage of that?

Opportunity. The ability to pick up and move is critical in a marginal society. It means that you and your family aren't at the mercy of local conditions, or the largess of M'lord, to survive and thrive.

The other tradition is monogamy. It keeps a society from having incels and playboys, who do not form families. That leads to greater cooperation among men, a factor leading to a strong community and ability to fend off invaders. More stable families are more prosperous, raise healthier families (both physically and mentally/emotionally).

In short, both conditions are good for the society overall.

Now, the effect of a less densely populated community group - what many of those descended of these heritage lines prefer to live in - has other effects. For all that 'The Village' is promoted by the SJW types, it has a major drawback.

When women live in close quarters with other women, they compete within that womanly arena. They gossip and jockey for status. They compete sexually - which leads to unfaithfulness, and a crack in the monogamous culture. They often act to isolate some of the women who don't bow down to the leaders of the group, a tactic that women engage in that can lead to depression, anxiety, and even suicide in their victims (and, to some degree, in their victim's families, too).

Rather than being Queen of her own castle, in a more dense environment, women revert to non-Hajnal behaviors that are detrimental to the smooth functioning of their community.