Saturday, October 31, 2020

Happy Hallowe’en!

     The Fortress doesn’t get trick-or-treaters even under normal conditions – no sidewalks – but we enjoy the holiday even so. Part of the reason is that we eat the candy ourselves. Another part is the stirring performance of the underappreciated Cassandra Peterson:

     Finally, there are the...eerie events that seem to happen here at this time of year. If you remember this odd occurrence — for which no explanation has ever been offered me, by the way – powers beyond human ken have decided that it shall be reprised:

     Words cannot capture the sense of dread I experienced upon finding the tableau above. It seemed powers from dread R’lyeh had intruded into my very home, determined to impose their wills upon us despite the crucifixes, the holy water font, the many sacred images, and the shotguns in three different gauges.

     Bar your doors, Gentle Reader! The night is young, yet full of unholy promise...

You Need to See This - AND Share it With Everyone You Know

 The installation of the Trump Hollywood Sign.

There Are Days When Commentary Seems Superfluous...

     ...because the news speaks for itself:

     Gentle Reader, were I to pour the totality of my “future columns” links upon your weary eyes, you’d start wondering what country you woke up in this morning. However, the four linked above should suffice to indicate my frame of mind. It’s incredible that the Land of the Free should be in its current condition, but here we are. Worse, we have no one to blame but ourselves:

  • We elected Joe Biden to the post from which he could sell American foreign policy.
  • We failed to raise our children to respect law, public order, and property rights.
  • We failed to help our communities to protect property rights.
  • We kowtowed to far too many government meddlers.
  • And may God forgive us: for years we bought the New York Times for its crossword puzzles!

     I know, I know. I can hear you muttering that “It wasn’t me! I didn’t do any of that!” Well, what did you do to prevent it? I can only answer for myself: not enough.

     That’s it for the gloomy intro. Now on to the gloomy analysis.

     Let us ponder the rioting / looting phenomenon as a special case of the general problem the morally deficient face: how a prospective criminal arrives at the answer to the question “Can I get away with it?”

     When the value of “it” is “stealing this particular object,” all the following considerations play into the answer:

  • Will I be seen?
  • If I am seen, will those who see me make use of it?
  • Am I being recorded?
  • Will the police take an interest, and if so, how zealous will they be?
  • Will others know who might betray me at a later date?

     The answers to those questions are heavily influenced by other contextual factors. In the case of the looting that currently afflicts several cities, the most important of them appears to be the number of other persons striving to do what the prospective thief is contemplating. If the number of looters is large compared to the number of persons ready, willing, and able to prevent the theft and / or enforce the law afterward, all the other factors seem to fade to insignificance.

     As Rose Wilder Lane noted in the Discovery of Freedom, the security of your property depends, more than anything else, on how those around you feel about private property. If they respect it, it will be secure – and its security will derive in large measure from others’ willingness to act against those who would take it from you.

     The police might be involved, but in the usual case only “after the fact.”

     The looters are currently getting away with their looting because they heavily outnumber those who are ready, willing, and able to stop them. Moreover, they’re aware of that, and that it would not be the case in many other locales. So they’ve restricted their activities to those domains in which they can’t or won’t be impeded.

     This, too, is our fault. Private-citizen Americans were once as important to the enforcement of the law as the police, if not more so. That was especially the case concerning property crimes. But in our cities today, the Sergeant Schultz attitude is prevalent. Private citizens are massively disinclined to “get involved.” “It’s the police’s job,” they say.

     Why? It’s a separate study with several factors, including the use of the law to disarm urban residents. But the moral of the story is clear: should the ethic that defends private property weaken among the public, there will be more property crime, and it will go unpunished ever more often.

     As the AntiFa types have demonstrated, the same logic applies to assaults on persons. Which leads us to an overwhelming question:

Do you go about armed?

     As you can see, there are many reasons to indulge in more than a single drink, these nights.

One Great Song

     It’s likely that, if you remember the Youngbloods at all, you remember them for “Get Together,” the anthemish Sixties tune that everyone seemed to be humming, whistling or otherwise abusing back then. It evoked a lot of warm-fuzzies among the warm-fuzzy-head set...but musically, it was nothing special.

     Here’s the Youngbloods’ best piece, by my wholly idiosyncratic standards:

The time has come now for me to leave you
To stop my foolish hanging on
To yesterday's dream of tomorrow's true love
The shadow cast by children's new love
There is no time for tears or talking
There is no time for you
No time for you
Time has painted all my dreams blue
Pieces falling all around you
Around you around you around you

The doorstep of your heart is cluttered
With broken dreams and pieces of the
World we once lived in a world for dreamers
A world of warm words sparkling colors
That shone to keep us through days of wishing
And nights of coming true
Coming true

Time has painted all my dreams blue
Pieces falling all around you
Around you around you around you

The place is empty my eyes are red now
But hopelessness is not forgotten
Days of living and nights of dying
Streets of talking rooms of crying
Where is the end to all this sadness
Where is the end of you
The end of you

Time has painted all my dreams blue
Pieces falling all around you
Around you around you around you
Around you around you around you

– Jesse Colin Young –

     I’ll be back later with the usual crap.

Because Supreme Court justices betrayed their oath of office for 80 years.

Before things get bloody, let there be 50 new presidents after the Fed Gov is terminated. Let different opinions reign in different areas and let people vote with their feet to live in an area that suits them.

What’s going on right now is stupid. Why must there be one jerk in DC known as the president over 300+ million people? Why is there one Congress with 500+ [insufficiently strong expletive] that dictate to 300+ million people? Why are there 9 judges that dictate to 300+ million people? Why can’t we get things more local so we can better influence what’s considered reasonable?

Comment by RoatanBill on "The Disappearing America: Progressives Want a Revolution, Not Just Change." By Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review, 10/29/20.

Friday, October 30, 2020

American Catholics, Take Note!

     You will never read anything more timely than what follows. It’s an open letter from Archbishop Carlo Vigano, at one time the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, to President Donald J. Trump:

Sunday, October 25, 2020
Solemnity of Christ the King

Mr. President,

     Allow me to address you at this hour in which the fate of the whole world is being threatened by a global conspiracy against God and humanity. I write to you as an Archbishop, as a Successor of the Apostles, as the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America. I am writing to you in the midst of the silence of both civil and religious authorities. May you accept these words of mine as the "voice of one crying out in the desert" (Jn 1:23).

     As I said when I wrote my letter to you in June, this historical moment sees the forces of Evil aligned in a battle without quarter against the forces of Good; forces of Evil that appear powerful and organized as they oppose the children of Light, who are disoriented and disorganized, abandoned by their temporal and spiritual leaders.

     Daily we sense the attacks multiplying of those who want to destroy the very basis of society: the natural family, respect for human life, love of country, freedom of education and business. We see heads of nations and religious leaders pandering to this suicide of Western culture and its Christian soul, while the fundamental rights of citizens and believers are denied in the name of a health emergency that is revealing itself more and more fully as instrumental to the establishment of an inhuman faceless tyranny

     A global plan called the Great Reset is underway. Its architect is a global Ă©lite that wants to subdue all of humanity, imposing coercive measures with which to drastically limit individual freedoms and those of entire populations. In several nations this plan has already been approved and financed; in others it is still in an early stage. Behind the world leaders who are the accomplices and executors of this infernal project, there are unscrupulous characters who finance the World Economic Forum and Event 201, promoting their agenda.

     The purpose of the Great Reset is the imposition of a health dictatorship aiming at the imposition of liberticidal measures, hidden behind tempting promises of ensuring a universal income and cancelling individual debt. The price of these concessions from the International Monetary Fund will be the renunciation of private property and adherence to a program of vaccination against Covid-19 and Covid-21 promoted by Bill Gates with the collaboration of the main pharmaceutical groups. Beyond the enormous economic interests that motivate the promoters of the Great Reset, the imposition of the vaccination will be accompanied by the requirement of a health passport and a digital ID, with the consequent contact tracing of the population of the entire world. Those who do not accept these measures will be confined in detention camps or placed under house arrest, and all their assets will be confiscated.

     Mr. President, I imagine that you are already aware that in some countries the Great Reset will be activated between the end of this year and the first trimester of 2021. For this purpose, further lockdowns are planned, which will be officially justified by a supposed second and third wave of the pandemic. You are well aware of the means that have been deployed to sow panic and legitimize draconian limitations on individual liberties, artfully provoking a world-wide economic crisis. In the intentions of its architects, this crisis will serve to make the recourse of nations to the Great Reset irreversible, thereby giving the final blow to a world whose existence and very memory they want to completely cancel. But this world, Mr. President, includes people, affections, institutions, faith, culture, traditions, and ideals: people and values that do not act like automatons, who do not obey like machines, because they are endowed with a soul and a heart, because they are tied together by a spiritual bond that draws its strength from above, from that God that our adversaries want to challenge, just as Lucifer did at the beginning of time with his "non serviam."

     Many people -- as we well know -- are annoyed by this reference to the clash between Good and Evil and the use of "apocalyptic" overtones, which according to them exasperates spirits and sharpens divisions. It is not surprising that the enemy is angered at being discovered just when he believes he has reached the citadel he seeks to conquer undisturbed. What is surprising, however, is that there is no one to sound the alarm. The reaction of the deep state to those who denounce its plan is broken and incoherent, but understandable. Just when the complicity of the mainstream media had succeeded in making the transition to the New World Order almost painless and unnoticed, all sorts of deceptions, scandals and crimes are coming to light.

     Until a few months ago, it was easy to smear as "conspiracy theorists" those who denounced these terrible plans, which we now see being carried out down to the smallest detail. No one, up until last February, would ever have thought that, in all of our cities, citizens would be arrested simply for wanting to walk down the street, to breathe, to want to keep their business open, to want to go to church on Sunday. Yet now it is happening all over the world, even in picture-postcard Italy that many Americans consider to be a small enchanted country, with its ancient monuments, its churches, its charming cities, its characteristic villages. And while the politicians are barricaded inside their palaces promulgating decrees like Persian satraps, businesses are failing, shops are closing, and people are prevented from living, traveling, working, and praying. The disastrous psychological consequences of this operation are already being seen, beginning with the suicides of desperate entrepreneurs and of our children, segregated from friends and classmates, told to follow their classes while sitting at home alone in front of a computer.

     In Sacred Scripture, Saint Paul speaks to us of "the one who opposes" the manifestation of the mystery of iniquity, the kathèkon (2 Thess 2:6-7). In the religious sphere, this obstacle to evil is the Church, and in particular the papacy; in the political sphere, it is those who impede the establishment of the New World Order.

     As is now clear, the one who occupies the Chair of Peter has betrayed his role from the very beginning in order to defend and promote the globalist ideology, supporting the agenda of the deep church, who chose him from its ranks.

     Mr. President, you have clearly stated that you want to defend the nation -- One Nation under God, fundamental liberties, and non-negotiable values that are denied and fought against today. It is you, dear President, who are "the one who opposes" the deep state, the final assault of the children of darkness.

     For this reason, it is necessary that all people of good will be persuaded of the epochal importance of the imminent election: not so much for the sake of this or that political program, but because of the general inspiration of your action that best embodies -- in this particular historical context -- that world, our world, which they want to cancel by means of the lockdown. Your adversary is also our adversary: it is the Enemy of the human race, He who is "a murderer from the beginning" (Jn 8:44).

     Around you are gathered with faith and courage those who consider you the final garrison against the world dictatorship. The alternative is to vote for a person who is manipulated by the deep state, gravely compromised by scandals and corruption, who will do to the United States what Jorge Mario Bergoglio is doing to the Church, Prime Minister Conte to Italy, President Macron to France, Prime Minster Sanchez to Spain, and so on. The blackmailable nature of Joe Biden -- just like that of the prelates of the Vatican's "magic circle" -- will exposehim to be used unscrupulously, allowing illegitimate powers to interfere in both domestic politics as well as international balances. It is obvious that those who manipulate him already have someone worse than him ready, with whom they will replace him as soon as the opportunity arises.

     And yet, in the midst of this bleak picture, this apparently unstoppable advance of the "Invisible Enemy," an element of hope emerges. The adversary does not know how to love, and it does not understand that it is not enough to assure a universal income or to cancel mortgages in order to subjugate the masses and convince them to be branded like cattle. This people, which for too long has endured the abuses of a hateful and tyrannical power, is rediscovering that it has a soul; it is understanding that it is not willing to exchange its freedom for the homogenization and cancellation of its identity; it is beginning to understand the value of familial and social ties, of the bonds of faith and culture that unite honest people. This Great Reset is destined to fail because those who planned it do not understand that there are still people ready to take to the streets to defend their rights, to protect their loved ones, to give a future to their childrenand grandchildren. The leveling inhumanity of the globalist project will shatter miserably in the face of the firm and courageous opposition of the children of Light. The enemy has Satan on its side, He who only knows how to hate. But on our side,we have the Lord Almighty, the God of armies arrayed for battle, and the Most Holy Virgin, who will crush the headof the ancient Serpent. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rom 8:31).

     Mr. President, you are well aware that, in this crucial hour, the United States of America is considered the defending wall against which the war declared by the advocates of globalism has been unleashed. Place your trust in the Lord, strengthened by the words of the Apostle Paul: "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13). To be an instrument of Divine Providence is a great responsibility, for which you will certainly receive all the graces of state that you need, since they are being fervently implored for you by the many people who support you with their prayers.

     With this heavenly hope and the assurance of my prayer for you, for the First Lady, and for your collaborators, with all my heart I send you my blessing.

     God bless the United States of America!

+ Carlo Maria Vigano
Tit. Archbishop of Ulpiana
Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America

     We are at war: an undeclared war, to be sure, but then, in our time most serious wars are not declared. That doesn’t make them less serious.

     Vote on November 3. And pray.

This Makes the Whole Thing Tie Together - Why Now?

 From MOTUS A.D. - a reasonable explanation of the Biden win in the nomination, and what was REALLY the plan.

This Could be a Game-Changer

 Trump has made a point of saying that any extra CO2 in the air is best dealt with through the marketplace, not business-killing legislation or international agreements that make all changes the responsibility of the countries that DIDN'T cause the problems.

Well, a company has come up with an innovation that has the potential to BOTH reduce the CO2, AND get rid of the "Blood Diamonds" issue.

BTW, I found this on a site that provides links to world and national news AND identifies the source as Right, Left, or Neutral in slant. Check them out, would you? It's important to give some support to media that tries to stay non-partisan.

WHY Forcing ACB to Recuse Herself on Election Cases is WRONG

People have incredibly short memories - I know there are things that never made it into my long-term memory. Looking back at archived stories of past events that hit the headlines, I'm struck by, not only the details I've forgetten, but how much I misremembered of those events.

It's human. We tend to focus on events that have intense meaning for us personally. World events don't, generally, have that impact. Oh, sure, we'll remember where we were, and what we were doing at critical moments - Nixon's resignation, the attempted assasination of Ford or Reagan, or 9/11. But, the less-than world-shaking events have disappeared into the ether.

And, that's reasonable - we only have so much ready access to memories. Filling up those long-term storage cells with detritus would inhibit our recollection of really important things - important to us.

Recent brain studies have indicated that forgetting is the NORM for our brains; clearing out the 'trash memories' is a good thing, as it facilitates access to the important stuff.

So, I'm neither surprised, nor alarmed at the forgetfulness of the average person, when it comes to remembering that Justice Kagan did NOT follow the standard they want ACB to follow (note the bolded section):

Democrats were powerless to stop the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, but anti-Trumpers aren’t giving up their anti-ACB crusade. Some are already calling for her to be impeached if she doesn’t recuse herself from a likely election challenge out of Pennsylvania, according to a report from the Washington Times.

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court recently ruled that signatures on mail-in ballots do not have to match—which makes such votes highly susceptible to fraud. Republicans are looking to challenge this ruling in the high court.

Even during her confirmation hearings, Democrats argued that ACB should recuse herself from any election disputes that reach the court, claiming that her nomination by Trump has somehow compromised her ability to rule on such disputes.

Calls for Justice Barrett’s recusal on election disputes are, of course, absurd. Justice Elena Kagan has been casting votes in Supreme Court cases on Obamacare for years when, by law, she was disqualified from doing so and should have recused herself. As Ed Whelen noted at National Review four years ago, Kagan’s role in “advising how to defend against challenges to Obamacare” is a matter of public record.

Prior to serving on the Supreme Court, Justice Kagan was solicitor general for the Obama administration and played a major role in defending the constitutionality of Obamacare. In order to cover up the details of her involvement in Obamacare cases prior to her being on the court, the Obama administration simply refused to release documents pertaining to her role in those cases, citing attorney work-product protection, which, as Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute noted, was contradictory to Kagan’s claim that “she never acted as the administration’s lawyer” with regards to Obamacare cases.

We have to start saying, "No, we are NOT going to follow some rule that has never been enforced by OTHER Justices." I do hope that ACB has a spine - which, she seemed to have during her confirmation hearings - and refuses to unfairly recuse herself, as no OTHER Justice has had to.

BTW, I have no access to Facebook or Twitter today, so I'd appreciate it if those who have will Share this link. (I'm not cut off from social media by banning, I just am working at a site that does not provide the access).

Anger Swells

     “If you are to rule France, you must learn restraint. Keep cool in battle or in sports. Be angry, but in cold blood.” – Alexandre Dumas pere, The Man In The Iron Mask

     There’s ample justification for the conviction that in 2016, American voters were motivated, in large measure, by anger at the political Establishment and the status quo. Here we are, four years since that campaign and its momentous result, and the anger has not dissipated. Indeed, it seems to have swelled to an unprecedented height. Why?

     My thesis is that while the reason for voters’ anger is consistent with 2016, the focus – the specific people and institutions we’re furious at – has shifted somewhat. Our focus has broadened: we’ve found that we have room in our anger budgets to include the media along with the political Establishment.

     Allow me to tell you a personal story. It’s about someone I’ve met. I’ll call him Stu, because that’s his name.

     Stu is about my age, has lived in northern California for some time, and is loosely connected to my little family in a way upon which I shall refrain from expanding. I’ve met him exactly once. I think you’ll agree with me that once was more than enough.

     On the occasion of that meeting – which, for reasons beyond the scope of this tale, could not be averted – the C.S.O. tried her best to prepare me for the experience. She told me that Stu would have advice for me – about everything. He would overlook nothing: my occupation, our children, my home, my animals, my preferences in entertainment, and so forth. Moreover, he would strive to elicit my opinions about all those things so that he could find fault with my ways and offer his advice about them. She assured me that it would be a trying experience.

     I resolved not to cooperate with Stu. A good thing, too, because he lived up to his billing. After less than an hour in his company, I was nearer to homicide than I’d been since...well, than I’d been in quite a long and storied time. I have never been so glad to see the back of anyone’s neck.

     No, it wasn’t then that I learned to hate the word should. But my experience of Stu certainly contributed.

     Don’t you bristle when you’re made the target of a torrent of unsolicited, unwanted advice, Gentle Reader?

     When governments act, it’s with force: “the Rods and the Axe,” as we learned in Latin class. That’s the nature of governments. They have no other tools. Oh, they can offer their “advice” on various subjects, such as it is – i.e., usually wrong – but when they seek a particular outcome, their methods are compulsion, prohibition, and expropriation, with threats of forcibly imposed penalties for those who dare to dissent.

     But those outside government cannot (legally) compel, prohibit, or expropriate you. They’re limited to noncoercive methods to get what they want from you. In the case of the media, it’s via implied applications of “should” and “shouldn’t,” and the outright suppression of stories unfavorable to their “narrative.”

     The media’s “shoulds” and shouldn’ts” are seldom spoken aloud. Instead prominent media figures will attempt to imply them by assembling sequences of events that seem to militate toward particular conclusions. Sometimes those sequences can be shown to be deceits; the supposed relation of carbon dioxide emissions to global temperatures is a good example. At other times, the sequence is accurate but the implied causal connection to what follows is fallacious. And there are still other times when causation is omitted from the argument in favor of appeals to “compassion” or “social justice.”

     But always, behind the curtain, the “shoulds” and shouldn’ts” are at work, striving to make you conform to whatever pattern of behavior the media have decided would best suit their allegiances and interests. When the revolving door turns afresh, the same persons go from being anchors and newsreaders to policymakers and advisors. Then the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” are shelved in favor of “musts” and mustn’ts.”

     “First they nudge, then they shove, then they shoot.” – Glenn Beck

     Before the rise of the alternative media and the citizen journalism it makes possible, Americans would listen with moderate respect to the media’s “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts.” They were our information conduits. We had to trust them, for we had nothing else. Sometimes their failures were immediately and riotously apparent; at other times, we had to wait years to learn that we’d been misled. We were seldom offered anything resembling an explanation, much less an apology.

     But then came cable news, the World Wide Web, inexpensive sound and video recording, and the proliferation of outlets for evidence and views we’d neither seen nor heard before. Americans’ eyes were opened. We became angry. We expected the traditional media to offer explanations for its failures. We never received any.

     The traditional media could have salvaged some fraction of our regard had they merely admitted to their faults, apologized for past sins, and changed their ways. They preferred to “double down.” Traditional-media commentators went on the attack against their new-media competitors. The offerings of the new media were derided as “fake news.” We who found the new media informative and persuasive were castigated for it. Some trad-media figures called us dupes.

     And our anger swelled.

     At this time, with a presidential contest before us, our anger is at a height Americans haven’t experienced in more than a century. The superciliousness of the traditional media has been joined to an unabashed and incomprehensible favoritism. They’ve striven to protect and promote a candidate whose lies are so thick on the ground that we can’t walk between them. There are so many failings, deceits, and flaws to his name that his party would have been better advised not to run anyone at all. But we, who prefer a candidate whose record in office is four years of newly perfect success, are once again being derided – sometimes even condemned – for our preference.

     I don’t think our anger has reached its peak yet. Do you, Gentle Reader?

     (See also this fine piece from sundance at The Last Refuge.)

Weaponized inaction.

[NY mayor Dave] Dinkins was accused of only tacitly encouraging the rioters [in the 1991 Crown Heights crimefest]; today’s mayors do so explicitly. The “policy of restraint” regarding police protection cited by the [Rosenbaum] district court has been replaced by a policy of deliberate, calculated withholding of protection.[1]
Item: "Philly Police Were 'Ordered Not to Arrest Looters' by Deputy Police Commissioner Who Took A Knee For BLM."

Melvin. Concerned citizen.

It is bizarre to live in times when governments have unmistakably abandoned their responsibility to maintain order and obtusely chosen to embrace a notion of constitutional "peaceful assembly" that includes looting, arson, assault on other citizens and police, and murder. There is nothing about "peaceful assemblies" that exempts them from constitutional municipal restrictions on the time, place, and manner of assembly. However, municipal authorities have adopted a position of abject, cringing duplicitous "helplessness" at best and gleeful encouragement at worst. "What can we do?" Or, so help me, "Summer of love."

Either way it's a major contribution to a victory for the dregs of society . . . located at the bottom and the top of society. The agreeable, productive, law-abiding middle can just suck it up.

We'll see if this generates a blip on the old radar screen at TEOTWAWKI aitch cue. Or in what might laughingly be referred to as the "election results."

[1] "Jewish Problems, Jewish Solutions." By David Cole, Taki's Mag, 10/20/20.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Case Against The Bidens, Complete

     The absolutely essential work of weaving all the threads of the Biden corruption scandal together has been done for us by the indispensable James Agresti of the invaluable site Issues & Insights. The case as Agresti has compiled it is both irrefutable and utterly damning. It’s too good, too fact-laden and carefully prepared, to excerpt. Don’t miss it!

The Fix And How To Get In On It

     “A managed democracy is a wonderful thing, Manuel, for the managers...and its greatest strength is a free press when ‘free’ is defined as ‘responsible’ and the managers define what is ‘irresponsible.’” – Professor Bernardo de la Paz, in Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

     In his masterwork The American Tradition, Dr. Clarence Carson wrote:

     [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.

     Whereupon I commented:

     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.

     Action to suppress freedom of expression, Constitutionally forbidden to the federal government, has been “delegated” to Big Tech. This is not news. But consider afresh, please, how the suppression of important stories dovetails with the ongoing campaign to install a corrupt, senile puppet in the White House by any means necessary.

     If this isn’t clear evidence that the Republic is tottering, I can’t imagine what would qualify.

     In John Brunner’s early novel The Squares of the City, he depicted the attitude of the managers to their “managed democracy:”

     "Senor Hakluyt, you are a stranger in Aguazul. You will therefore be inclined to dispute the dogmatic assertion that this is the most governed country in the world."
     Again that air of throwing down a gauntlet in debate, again that cocking of the head to imply a challenge. I said, "All right—I dispute it. Demonstrate."
     "The demonstration is all about you. We make it our business, first, to know what people think; we make it our business, next, to direct that thinking. We are not ashamed of that, senor, incidentally. Shall we say that—just as specific factors influence the flow of traffic, and you understand the factors and can gauge their relative importance—we now understand many of the factors that shape and direct public opinion? What is a man, considered socially? He is a complex of reactions; he takes the line of least resistance. We govern not by barring socially unhealthy paths, but by opening most wide those paths which are desirable. That is why you are here."
     "Go on," I invited after a pause.
     He blinked at me. "Say rather what is your view. Why is it we have adopted this round-and-round policy of inviting an expensive expert to solve our problems subtly, instead of saying, 'Do this!' and seeing it done?"
     I hesitated, then counter-questioned. "Is this, then, the extension of an existing policy rather than a compromise between opposed personal interests?"
     He threw up his hands. "But naturally!" he exclaimed, as though surprised to find me so obtuse. "Oh, it is ostensibly that there is conflict between one faction and another—but we create factions in this country! Conformism is a slow death; anarchy is a rapid one. Between the two lies a control which"—he chuckled—"like a lady's corset in an advertisement, constricts and yet bestows a sense of freedom. We govern our country with a precision that would amaze you, I believe."

     This tool of “managed democracy” – specifically, the control of information and its dissemination – is half of The Fix. The other half is the control of elections: making sure “the right people” win and “the wrong people” are cast into the darkness. For as we saw in 2016, the control of information alone cannot guarantee such a result. To ensure victory only by “the right people,” the managers employ:

  1. Fictitious polls, including exit polls;
  2. Multiple voting and voting by noncitizens;
  3. Voter intimidation and control of polling places and hours;
  4. Deliberate loss of “unfriendly” votes and the manufacture of others.

     In combination, those tactics can ensure that the hoi polloi are kept ignorant of how they’ve been fettered, and incapable of throwing off their fetters by nonviolent means.

     Quite a lot of people would like to get in on The Fix. There’s obviously money in it. (Just ask Hunter Biden.) But it’s not a club that just anyone can join.

     To be a participant in The Fix, you must possess one of the following two qualifications:

  • Control of an information-dissemination chokepoint; or:
  • Leverage over persons in power, and the willingness to use it. (“It’s not who you know; it’s what you’ve got on ‘em.” – Lawrence Block)

     Note how nicely those qualifications fit the visible participants in today’s Fix. Note also how remorselessly they act against others who dare attempt to break their stranglehold. Andrew Torba could tell you all about that.

     The point of The Fix is, of course, the reservation of power to a select group, whose members share certain attitudes and interests. The most important of the attitudes is that If you’re in, you can do as you please. The only crime is acting against another member. The most important of the common interests is in maintaining the exclusivity of The Fix.

     Members of The Fix are expected to take part in the suppression and disparagement of non-members who dare to offer disapproved information to a general audience:

     Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explained with an eerie calm that The Post can regain access to its Twitter account anytime it wants — once it deletes a tweet with an image his company has decided violates its standards.

     Dorsey’s words echo the ­assurances offered writers in authoritarian states that they will be allowed to publish their other scribblings . . . just so long as they burn the manuscripts the censors find offensive in front of the censors.

     Such an insistence would once have resulted in screams of outrage and professions of solidarity by other journalists. But now we see reactions like this on Twitter, from New York Times opinion staffer Charlie Warzel:

     “The NY Post leaving a violating tweet up in order to stay locked out of an account in order to use it as a political cudgel is a classic tactic, but it’s usually one you see from individual MAGA influencers.”

     Thus did a key employee at the Times suggest it was perfectly reasonable for Twitter to demand that another newspaper send its wares down a memory hole.

     Failure to collaborate in such operations would indicate a lack of commitment to The Fix and the common interests of its membership. Can’t have that.

     Plainly, as power dispersed is power reduced, the number of The Fix’s members must be tightly controlled. Don’t bother to ask for an application.

     So there’s no way to “get in on it.” Either you’re already on the inside, or you must languish forever in the cold and the dark. Establishments are like that; their members prize their membership status because it’s shared by so few. They preen about being “among the elite,” “the best people of the nation,” but in truth their one true distinguishing feature is being one of the few who are in on The Fix.

     Andrew Torba has scored a remarkable success with Gab. He’s surmounted innumerable obstacles, many of which were deliberately placed in his path by The Fix. In time, Gab could rise in size and importance to eclipse Twitter. But he will never be invited into The Fix, for he does not share the existing members’ interests. Indeed, his presence among them would be massively disrupting. What’s this about free speech? Are you seriously proposing that we not control the information flow, Andrew?

     May God grant His protection to such mavericks. Only they who are willing to challenge The Fix on its own turf stand between us and the loss of all freedom of expression. And they who would applaud that loss are only one potentially stolen election away from their dream.

A Prophetic Novel

 I've been re-reading Kurt Schlichter's The People's Republic. I'm about 20% of the way through it, and I'm struck by how eerily familiar it seems:

  • Microaggressions used to cow opponents
  • Climate 'change' used to justify a meager existence
  • Hatred of actual military, but deification of People's Militias (which operate much like AntiFa - thuggish and brutal to the common man)
  • Privileges for the Elite - who are - mostly - White (with one of the main characters inventing an Hispanic heritage for Privilege Benefit)
  • Crazy behavior - not logical, just acting out - from many of the Oppressed (many of them truly oppressed by the repressive People's Republic)
  • Walls and Luxury for the Elite; slums and rationing for the People
What got me thinking about this was a description of a riot - random violence and looting, thugs taking advantage of the chaos, and police forces that do not hesitate to impose order by force - a LOT of force.

Now, I'm generally not inclined to complain about cops; most of those I've known are reasonable, patient, and not inclined to shoot without a reason.

We need to institute the concept of liability insurance for cops. Make them responsible for carrying a standard level of insurance; the cities that employ them may pick up the cost (or part) of a base policy, at a standard premium. If that cop has incidents, that will likely drive up the cost; multiple incidents will add to that cost, until it reaches a level that is not sustainable. DO NOT let the cities pick up the cost of increased premiums; that takes away the responsibility of the cop to act reasonably.

The cities might even pick up the extra cost for those cops working in particularly rough districts. But, generally, it should be on the cop to act in the least forceful manner that gets the job done. The insurance will have limits - as long as a standard base level is carried, the complaining party cannot ask for more money. The city is not responsible for any part of the judgement, unless a policy decision of that level of government was the reaon for it. If supervisors had ignored signs that the cop was trouble, they are the ones who could be sued (and, for which, they will carry their own liability insurance).

A Long Overdue Correction to a Failed Policy

 Trump has used Executive Power to re-classify many federal employees as essentially "at-will" - that is, he removed the "nearly-impossible-to-fire" classification from certain jobs. He did this be looking at the type of job they had - did they have the power to make policy? If they did, they fell into this category, and could be given their walking papers, without having to prove a case against them.

His action makes sense. If the employee can make policy on their own, that sets up a competing line of authority, that could not be removed when the Presidency changed hands. That's what makes the Deep State possible.

Here's an article that explains the change, but with THEIR spin on it. Expect to see links to it, or quotes from it over the next few weeks, as the media and the Deep State try to affect public opinion on this policy. If his action is upheld (and there is ample precedent for it, as supervisory and staff positions do fall into that category), it's the Game-Changer of All Time. Really. By itself, it has the potential to MAKE Trump's 2nd term a Blazing Success.

Eternal, arrogant, unreasoning, ungrateful, manipulative, minority grievance.

Scotland is 96% white. Comments on YouTube are choice, including this one:

Indigenous people of Scotland making up the majority in their country! Surprising!
I wonder why the government officials in Nigeria are black. Must be "racism".
H/t: ZeroHedge.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

“Outmoded,” “Inevitable,” And “Here To Stay”

     Imagine along with me, if you please.

     There is now a 5.5 to 3.5 conservative majority on the Supreme Court. (I refuse to count Chief Justice John “Oh, let’s call it a tax” Roberts as a conservative; he votes sensibly about half the time at most.) Some cases come before the Court that bear upon the soundness of prior Court decisions:

  1. Abortion “rights;”
  2. Same-sex marriage;
  3. Right to keep and bear arms;
  4. Legislative superiority to regulation;
  5. Preferential treatment by race and / or sex.

     Constitutionally faithful Justices would rule that:

  1. There is no Constitutional guarantee of a right to abort an unborn child;
  2. The Constitution does not grant the federal government authority over marriage;
  3. The right to keep and bear arms is explicitly protected by the Second Amendment;
  4. Regulators may not go beyond the bounds of the authority granted them by legislation;
  5. Preferential treatment violates the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

     Those decisions would flow directly from the plain text of the Constitution. If rendered as I have indicated, they would overturn three prior Supreme Court decisions and reinforce two others.

     The Left’s flacksters would find themselves arguing in two incompatible fashions. Concerning topics 1, 2, and 5, they’d scream about stare decisis and how “unfair” it would be for people accustomed to the associated “rights” to be deprived of them. But on topics 3 and 4, they’d bang a quite different drum: the constraints associated with those subjects are “outmoded,” their modification in favor of greatly expanded powers for the regulators in the alphabet agencies “inevitable.”

     The Left’s screaming would be equally loud in both directions. But whom would it persuade? The media, at least as presently constituted, would be on the Left’s side. But what would that amount to, in the currency of influence over the Court’s decisions? How would it affect the degree of respect shown to the Court by the other two branches of the federal government?

     The question is both immediate and imperative.

     The judicial branch of the federal government was once called “the least dangerous branch,” owing to its inability – by design – to enforce its decisions. Its power, if that word be appropriate in this context, arises entirely from the respect shown to it by the other branches. But that respect is not a guaranteed-never-to-elapse state of grace. Indeed, in at least one other case of historical import, the executive branch has ignored a Supreme Court decision:

     Worcester v. Georgia, 31 U.S. (6 Pet.) 515 (1832), was a landmark case in which the United States Supreme Court vacated the conviction of Samuel Worcester and held that the Georgia criminal statute that prohibited non-Native Americans from being present on Native American lands without a license from the state was unconstitutional.

     The opinion is most famous for its dicta, which laid out the relationship between tribes and the state and federal governments. It is considered to have built the foundations of the doctrine of tribal sovereignty in the United States....

     In a popular quotation that is believed to be apocryphal, President Andrew Jackson reportedly responded: "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!" This quotation first appeared twenty years after Jackson had died, in newspaper publisher Horace Greeley's 1865 history of the U.S. Civil War, The American Conflict. It was, however, reported in the press in March 1832 that Jackson was unlikely to aid in carrying out the court's decision if his assistance were to be requested. In an April 1832 letter to John Coffee, Jackson wrote that "the decision of the Supreme Court has fell still born, and they find that they cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate." In a letter in March 1832, Virginia politician David Campbell reported a private conversation in which Jackson had "sportively" suggested calling on the Massachusetts state militia to enforce the order if the Supreme Court requested he intervene, because Jackson believed Northern partisans had brought about the court's ruling.

     The Court did not ask federal marshals to carry out the decision.[9] Worcester thus imposed no obligations on Jackson; there was nothing for him to enforce.[10][11]

     Most tellingly, even though President Jackson and the executive authority of Georgia refused to enforce the Court’s decision, Worcester v. Georgia has become the foundation for legal relations between the Indian tribes and other governments in the United States. But that degree of ongoing deference to the probity and wisdom of the Court is not guaranteed. Indeed, a succession of inane (not to say insane) decisions by the Court could erode respect for it to nothingness.

     Certain decisions of recent vintage – e.g., the ones associated with topics 1 (Roe v. Wade), 2 (Obergefell v. Hodges), and 5 (Grutter v. Bollinger) in the opening segment – have already begun to erode it.

     The counterpoise of the judicial branch to the “political” branches has come into question in recent decades. It’s been debated whether it’s still possible to maintain a truly independent judiciary in these hyper-partisan times. The question is a good one, especially in light of the recent upsurge in the use of violence and threats thereof to intimidate courts into delivering verdicts favorable to an activist mob.

     Ironically, it’s also controversial for a judge or Justice to proclaim himself an originalist or a textualist. Those positions, once regarded as the only respectable stances for a trustworthy jurist, have been condemned – from the Left, of course – as contrary to all manner of contemporary “values.” Here’s an example, provided by a United States Senator:

     Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Monday lambasted Senate Republicans for their full-throated support of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a religious conservative and President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court who is expected to be confirmed by the end of the day.

     "Originalism is racist. Originalism is sexist. Originalism is homophobic," Markey tweeted Monday. "Originalism is just a fancy word for discrimination."

     Needless to say, the Dishonorable Senator Markey would prefer that the Constitution be treated as a “living document:” i.e., one with no fixed meaning. Such an attitude would transform the Supreme Court into yet another political body, subject to the ebb and flow of popular sentiment and the influence of activists. It would also eliminate the Constitution’s constraints on government...which, should the Left regain power, enable it to impose a never-ending, all-powerful tyranny upon these United States.

     I’ve cited this passage from Shadow of a Sword on several previous occasions, but I feel that I must do so again:

     “Miss Weatherly,” Sumner 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.”

     Is the desire to know what the law is “outmoded?” Is it “inevitable” that, should the Left ever again dominate the federal government, we will lose all hope of objective and unchanging law? Or have we already fallen into that terrifying abyss – and if so, are we “here to stay?”

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Excitement, The Hype, and The Refusal to Look at Reality

I was caught up in it, once.

It was in 1972. The Dissident Left of that time was riding high. "Everyone" knew that Richard Nixon was going DOWN!

There was no way "We" weren't going to win. You could feel the energy everywhere I went. The crowd sizes in the marches and protests were incredible. When you attended a protest, it was a thrilling, heart-pounding experience.

All the alternative newspapers said we were going to win. Heck, a lot of the mainstream news was betting on it.

On election day, I cast my vote, then went home to wait for the inevitable outcome. I remember staying up until around 2 am, waiting for the tide to turn.

When I finally woke, I was flabbergasted. There was NO way we hadn't swept the country - EVERYONE I knew voted for McGovern!

Well, that was then, and this is now. And, I understand the frenzied support, the excitement of the process, the dreams of the defeated. And, how crushing it all was.

I've come to see the Watergate hearings as that time's expression of, Hell, NO! This MUST have been some kind of plot against democracy! We will NOT accept a loss! It's amazing just how many of the people responsible for that Abuse of Congress are still hanging around, trying to drum up support for Watergate II (or maybe III, if you count the Impeachment Hearings/Coup).

I don't expect them to quit after the election. This is all part of the on-going effort to Bring Down America. But, a very large landslide would have the effect of peeling off support for the Left - eventually. The Diehards will go to their grave repeating their mantra of Orange Man Bad! Anyone Who Opposes Us is Fascist! ALL Our Guys Are Purehearted and Completely Unmotivated by Money!

But, they're going to lose popular support. They're going to lose the young, who've been hard-hit by the COVID-Economy, student debt, and family dissolution. They're going to lose out when they can no longer depend on imported slave labor to fuel their state's growth. They're going to lose out when taxpayers - both corpporate and individual - leave those states.

It takes time to stamp out a fire - and the Left has been fueled by the Fires they've built in people's frenzied minds. It will take a long time to bring them back to sanity.

The Pretenses Of The Self-Anointed

     Now and then, it becomes easy to discern the arrogance of those who deem themselves entitled to rule the rest of us. Indeed, on occasion they blast it at us at pain-threshold levels. This recent example should stand for several others:

     Hillary Clinton told a podcast host that the idea of Donald Trump having a second term as President makes her sick to her stomach....

     From The Sun:

     Clinton said she “can’t entertain the idea of him winning” again in 2020 after what she recently called the “emotional gut punch” of her defeat.

     “Well, because it makes me literally sick to my stomach to think that we’d have four more years of this abuse and destruction of our institutions, and damaging of our norms and our values, and lessening of our leadership, and the list goes on,” she told the podcast.

     “I don’t think he has any boundaries at all, Kara. I don’t think he has any conscience. He’s obviously not a moral, truthful man.”

     Mrs. Clinton’s notions of morality must be very weirdly shaped. She condemns President Trump, against whom not one accusation of illegal or immoral behavior has “stuck” despite the most determined efforts of his many attackers. But she sanctifies her own many deceits and venalities, to say nothing of those of her husband. A vessel capable of all that would be of great interest to topologists.

     If memory serves, it was G. K. Chesterton who said that “‘good manners’ always means ‘our manners.’” The same appears to be true of “good morals,” at least when it comes to the conduct of public personages. They’ll happily condemn their adversaries, given a chance. But their own behavior is not to be touched! They had perfectly good justifications for what they did, and if you’d only been privy to everything they knew at the time, you’d understand that without needing to be re-educated. Besides, their intentions were always the best...and don’t you dare to contradict them on that, either.

     It’s something to ponder, especially if you’re a Christian of any sort. My micro-post of earlier today has much relevance here.

     Catholics have a saying: one important enough to deserve large font:

Every saint has a past;
Every sinner has a future.

     We maintain that salvation is possible even to the foulest of sinners, right up to the moment of one’s death. God has a rather liberal standard for such things, as Jesus made plain in the Parable of the Prodigal Son:

     And he said: A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father: Father, give me the portion of substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his substance.
     And not many days after, the younger son, gathering all together, went abroad into a far country: and there wasted his substance, living riotously. And after he had spent all, there came a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want. And he went and cleaved to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his farm to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him. And returning to himself, he said: How many hired servants in my father's house abound with bread, and I here perish with hunger?
     I will arise, and will go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee: I am not worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And rising up he came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and running to him fell upon his neck, and kissed him.
     And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not now worthy to be called thy son.
     And the father said to his servants: Bring forth quickly the first robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make merry: Because this my son was dead, and is come to life again: was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
     Now his elder son was in the field, and when he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing: And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said to him: Thy brother is come, and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe.
     And he was angry, and would not go in. His father therefore coming out began to entreat him. And he answering, said to his father: Behold, for so many years do I serve thee, and I have never transgressed thy commandment, and yet thou hast never given me a kid to make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son is come, who hath devoured his substance with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
     But he said to him: Son, thou art always with me, and all I have is thine. But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found.

     [Luke 15:11-32]

     But for many, admitting to one’s misdeeds and asking forgiveness for them, while allowing that others’ conscience pangs are for those others to resolve, constitutes betrayal of the self. “The self” is what they worship; it must never be demeaned or disparaged. This is common among the self-anointed of our ruling “elite.”

     As a complement to that, the “elite” never allow that they might be mistaken about their adversaries. They allow not even the possibility of forgiveness to those they despise. For if forgiveness is possible, then an Authority Who stands above them maintains a standard that owes nothing to their self-worship...and that standard would apply to them, like it or not.

     The older I get, the more inclined I am to view even things that appear entirely secular through “the lens of faith:” the belief that there are absolute standards of right and wrong, established by a Supreme Being Who will hold us all to account at the conclusions of our lives. G. K. Chesterton, when asked why he had chosen to abandon his earlier Unitarianism and become a Catholic, told his interlocutor that his new faith made life “sensible and workable,” and that he found existence without it to be “senseless and unworkable.” While Chesterton was speaking specifically of Catholic teaching, the core beliefs of Catholicism are also maintained by most other Christian denominations; the differences among us are of far less importance.

     It’s through that lens – the belief that right and wrong are independent of our opinions, despite the impossibility of proving so in this life – that our “elites’” unsparing condemnation of all who disagree with them comes into the best focus. They see themselves as the only authorities of importance; they will have no other gods before them. As for their own venalities and scurrilities...well, what of them, commoner?

     Their pretense of superior wisdom and virtue is what unites the Hillary Clintons, the Chuck Schumers, the Nancy Pelosis, the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezes, and others of their ilk. These, who deem themselves alone fit to rule us, will never concede the legitimacy of President Donald J. Trump, for he is not one of them. From that flows all that follows.

Make This Go Viral

     Seen on Facebook:

“Some Christians say they can’t vote for Trump because of his past.
I say be thankful God doesn’t have that same standard for you.”

     Courtesy of Glenn Reynolds. Bravo, BlogFather! (Spread it around, Gentle Readers!)

Monday, October 26, 2020

THIS is What Grassroots Looks Like!

 From the Last Refuge.

Americans are great at improv. Not the comedy stuff, just regular life. If government makes it hard to do something, we figure out a work-around.

Don't like a Tea Tax? Dump a shipload, and boycott the product.

Don't like an Edict from On High? Ignore it, Defy it, Work out a way to handle your business without buckling under.

Graphic stolen from Victory Girls

Someone tells you what you SHOULD do, because they are the Expert/Ruler/Elite?

It's hard to explain to Americans just how ODD this seems to foreigners. They hear a command from officials, and they obey. Oh, they might grumble a bit, but they comply.

I credit/blame the 2nd Amendment. It's the one thing that differentiates us from most of the rest of the world. It gives us the strength to resist, knowing that the only way they can force our compliance is against armed resistance.

A few other countries haven't had issues with oppressive government overreach - Switzerland is one - and, it's no coincidence that the Swiss have a gun-owning heritage, as well as universal militia participation.

Doesn't work on social media, either.

I'm feeling optimistic today (it's early, and I'm a morning person). I'm feeling like we really could win this thing - BIGLY.

One BIG win, last Thursday, was an unforced error by Biden - he challenged Trump to put a video of him supporting fracking on his website.

Trump said, sure - and it was up, within minutes.

Can't you just see those Biden handlers? "You had just ONE job, Joe! You had just ONE job! Say as little as possible, and don't give Trump an opportunity to prove you a liar!"

And, Biden blew it. Bigly. There really is no coming back after that. And, I've noticed that the rabid Anti-Trump Trolls are largely GONE from social media.

UPDATE: The World has come to an end - I'm not kidding, it's OVER!

CNN has agreed with Trum/p. They've said he was correct about Biden and Fracking.

Definitely Theory 2.

Theory 1: Hunter Biden, an admitted drug abuser, took a damaged laptop full of incriminating evidence to a repair shop less than 5 miles from his father's house and forgot about it

Theory 2: Putin did it

"Relax, I didn't vote for the guy you hate" quoted in "Outrage After WaPo Says To 'Treat Biden Leaks As Foreign Intel Operation - Even If They Probably Aren't.'" By Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge, 10/25/20.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

For The Feast of Christ The King

     [Today is the Feast of Christ The King, which falls on the last Sunday before Advent. It’s a unique holy day for several reasons, and one that I find particularly personally significant. It first appeared at Eternity Road on January 6, 2008. I find that I cannot improve upon it, for which reason I've made a habit of reviving it each year on this special day. -- FWP]


     Let's talk about...Zoroastrianism!



     The ancient creed called Zoroastrianism predated the birth of Christ by about a millennium. Its founder, Zoroaster, laid down a small set of doctrines:

  • There is one universal and transcendental God, Ahura Mazda, the one uncreated creator and to whom all worship is ultimately directed.
  • Ahura Mazda's creation — evident as asha, truth and order — is the antithesis of chaos, evident as druj, falsehood and disorder. The resulting conflict involves the entire universe, including humanity, which has an active role to play in the conflict.
  • Active participation in life through good thoughts, good words and good deeds is necessary to ensure happiness and to keep the chaos at bay. This active participation is a central element in Zoroaster's concept of free will, and Zoroastrianism rejects all forms of monasticism.
  • Ahura Mazda will ultimately prevail, at which point the universe will undergo a cosmic renovation and time will end. In the final renovation, all of creation — even the souls of the dead that were initially banished to "darkness" — will be reunited in Ahura Mazda.
  • In Zoroastrian tradition, the malevolent is represented by Angra Mainyu, the "Destructive Principle", while the benevolent is represented through Ahura Mazda's Spenta Mainyu, the instrument or "Bounteous Principle" of the act of creation. It is through Spenta Mainyu that Ahura Mazda is immanent in humankind, and through which the Creator interacts with the world. According to Zoroastrian cosmology, in articulating the Ahuna Vairya formula, Ahura Mazda made His ultimate triumph evident to Angra Mainyu.
  • As expressions and aspects of Creation, Ahura Mazda emanated seven "sparks", the Amesha Spentas, "Bounteous Immortals" that are each the hypostasis and representative of one aspect of that Creation. These Amesha Spenta are in turn assisted by a league of lesser principles, the Yazatas, each "Worthy of Worship" and each again a hypostasis of a moral or physical aspect of creation.

     I find nothing objectionable in the above, except that only God, by whatever name He might be known, is worthy of worship; the most a lesser being is entitled to is veneration. But the word "worship" has had many meanings and subtleties over the years, so I'm inclined to let it pass. More important than Zoroastrianism's harmless mythos is its ethos, which Zoroaster himself encapsulated in a unique and memorable command:


Speak truth and shoot the arrow straight.

     Unlike the overwhelming majority of other pre-Christian creeds, Zoroastrianism was -- and is -- rational, humane, and life-loving rather than life-denying. It emphasized human free will, moral choice, and the need to defend truth and order against lies and chaos. These attributes made it the dominant religion of classical Persia and environs, though Zoroastrians' numbers are far reduced today.

     (No, I haven't converted to Zoroastrianism. You can all relax.)

     In the Western world, the Zoroastrians were the first practitioners of the pseudo-science we call astrology. They reposed a fair amount of confidence in it, for the creed had had its own prophets, beginning with Zoroaster himself, and among the prophecies were several tied to events foretold to happen in the night sky. The Zoroastrians therefore took great interest in the stars, and made careful records of occurrences therein, for comparison to the utterances of their prophets.

     One of those prophecies involved the birth of God in mortal flesh.

     The Magi of the Incarnation story were three esteemed nobles of Persia, wealthy in gold, wisdom, and the admiration of their societies. In contrast to the pattern prevalent among the nobilities of later times, these three, whose names have come down to us as Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, were deeply religious men whose involvement in the investigation of the Zoroastrian prophecies was sincere. When they spied the famous "star in the east" -- quite possibly a nova in Draco now known to have occurred at about that time -- they resolved to follow its trail, to find the divine infant and pay him homage.

     I shan't retell the whole of the story. It's accessible to anyone reading this site, in both secular and liturgical versions. The most salient aspect of the story is that these three exalted nobles -- kings, in the most common accounts -- of a faraway land came to pay homage and present tokens of vassalage to a newborn infant.

     Of course! What else would be appropriate, before a King of Kings?



     I will pause here to draw an important distinction: "King of Kings" is not the same as "Emperor." "Emperor" is a title appropriate only to a conqueror; that's more or less what it means. Atop that, an emperor is not necessarily concerned with justice, whereas a king, of whatever altitude, is obliged to make it the center of his life:

     The saber gleamed in the muted light. I'd spent a lot of time and effort sharpening and polishing it.

     It was a plain weapon, not one you'd expect to see in the hand of a king. There was only the barest tracing on the faintly curved blade. The guard bell was a plain steel basket, without ornamentation. The hilt was a seven inch length of oak, darkened with age but firm to the touch. There was only a hint of a pommel, a slight swell of the hilt at its very end.

     "What is this?"

     "A sword. Your sword."

     A hint of alarm compressed his eyes. "What do you expect me to do with it?"

     I shrugged. "Whatever you think appropriate. But a king should have a sword. By the way," I said, "it was first worn by Louis the Ninth of France when he was the Dauphin, though he set it aside for a useless jeweled monstrosity when he ascended the throne."

     Time braked to a stop as confusion spun his thoughts.

     "I don't know how to use it," he murmured.

     "Easily fixed. I do."

     "But why, Malcolm?"

     I stepped back, turned a little away from those pleading eyes.

     "Like it or not, you're a king. You don't know what that means yet. You haven't a sense for the scope of it. But you must learn. Your life, and the lives of many others, will turn on how well you learn it." I paused and gathered my forces. "What is a king, Louis?"

     He stood there with the sword dangling from his hand. "A ruler. A leader. A warlord."

     "More. All of that, but more. The sword is an ancient symbol for justice. Back when the function of nobility was better understood, a king never sat his throne without his sword to hand. If he was to treat with the envoy of another king, it would be at his side. If he was to dispense justice, it would be across his knees. Why do you suppose that was, Louis?"

     He stood silent for a few seconds.

     "Symbolic of the force at his command, I guess."

     I shook my head gently.

     "Not just symbolic. A true king, whose throne belonged to him by more than the right of inheritance, led his own troops and slew malefactors by his own hand. The sword was a reminder of the privilege of wielding force, but it was there to be used as well."

     His hands clenched and unclenched in time to his thoughts. I knew what they had to be.

     "The age of kings is far behind us, Malcolm."

     "It never ended. Men worthy of the role became too few to maintain the institution."

     "And I'm...worthy?"

     If he wasn't, then no worthy man had ever lived, but I couldn't tell him that.

     "There's a gulf running through the world, Louis. On one side are the commoners, the little men who bear tools, tend their gardens, and keep the world running. On the other are the nobles, who see far and dare much, and sometimes risk all they have, that the realm be preserved and the commoner continue undisturbed in his portion. There's no shortage of either, except for the highest of the nobles, the men of unbreakable will and moral vision, for whom justice is a commitment deeper than life itself."

     His face had begun to twitch. He'd heard all he could stand to hear, and perhaps more. I decided to cap the pressure.

     "Kings have refused their crowns many times, Louis. You might do as much, though it would sadden me to see it. But you could break that sword over your knee, change your name, and run ten thousand miles to hide where no one could know you, and it wouldn't lessen what you are and were born to be." I gestured at the sword. "Keep it near you."

     [From Chosen One.]

     Note further: a mortal king cannot and does not define justice; he dispenses justice, according to principles drawn from a higher authority. The King of Kings, from whom the privilege and obligation to mete justice flows, is the definer. In the matter of Law, all lesser kings are His vassals.

     The Magi conceded this explicitly with their gift of gold.



     The pre-Christian era knew few, if any, rulers who claimed their jurisdiction solely on basis of might. Nearly all were approved and anointed by a priesthood. In that anointment lay their claim to be dispensers of true justice, for God would not allow a mortal to mete justice that departs from His Law. Let's leave aside the divergence between theory and practice for the moment; it was the logical connection between Divine Law and human-modulated justice that mattered to the people of those times.

     But the King of Kings would need no clerical approval. Indeed, He would be the Priest of Priests: the Authority lesser priests would invoke in anointing lesser kings.

     The Magi conceded this explicitly with their gift of frankincense.



     We of the Twenty-First Century are largely unaware of the obligations which lay upon the kings of old. They were not, until the waning years of monarchy, sedentary creatures whose lives were a round of indulgences and propitiations. They were expected not merely to judge and pass sentence, but also to lead the armies of the realm when war was upon it. The king was expected to put himself at risk before any of his subjects. Among the reasons was this one: the loss of the king in battle was traditionally grounds for surrender, after which the enemy was forbidden by age-old custom to strike further blows.

     The king, in this conception, was both the leader of his legions and a sacrifice for the safety of his subjects, should the need arise. He was expected to embrace the role wholeheartedly, and to lead from the front in full recognition of the worst of the possibilities. Not to do so was an admission that he was unfit for his throne:

     "We have talked," he said, "about all the strategies known to man for dealing with an armed enemy. We have talked about every aspect of deadly conflict. Every moment of every discussion we've had to date has been backlit by the consciousness of objectives and costs: attaining the one and constraining the other. And one of the first things we talked about was the importance of insuring that you don't overpay for what you seek."

     She kept silent and listened.

     "What if you can't, Christine? What if your objective can't be bought at an acceptable price?"

     She pressed her lips together, then said, "You abandon it."

     He smirked. "It's hard even to say it, I know. But reality is sometimes insensitive to a general's desires. On those occasions, you must learn how to walk away. And that, my dear, is an art form of its own."

     He straightened up. "Combat occurs within an envelope of conditions. A general doesn't control all those conditions. If he did, he'd never have to fight. Sometimes, those conditions are so stiff that he's compelled to fight whether he thinks it wise, or not."

     "What conditions can do that to you?"

     His mouth quirked. "Yes, what conditions indeed?"

     Oops. Here we go again. "Weather could do it."


     "By cutting off your lines of retreat in the face of an invasion."

     "Good. Another."

     "Economics. Once the economy of your country's been militarized, it runs at a net loss, so you might be forced to fight from an inferior position because you're running out of resources."

     "Excellent. One more."

     She thought hard. "Superior generalship on the other side?"

     He clucked in disapproval. "Does the opponent ever want you to fight?"

     "No, sorry. Let me think."

     He waited.

     Conditions. Conditions you can't control. Conditions that...control you.

     "Politics. The political leadership won't accept retreat or surrender until you've been so badly mangled that it's obvious even to an idiot."

     The man Louis Redmond had named the greatest warrior in history began to shudder. It took him some time to quell.

     "It's the general's worst nightmare," he whispered. "Kings used to lead their own armies. They used to lead the cavalry's charge. For a king to send an army to war and remain behind to warm his throne was simply not done. Those that tried it lost their thrones, and some lost their heads -- to their own people. It was a useful check on political and military rashness.

     "It hasn't been that way for a long time. Today armies go into the field exclusively at the orders of politicians who remain at home. And politicians are bred to believe that reality is entirely plastic to their wills."

     [From On Broken Wings.]

     But the King of Kings, intrinsically above all other authorities, would obviously be aware of this obligation. More, His sacrifice of Himself must perforce be for the salvation of the whole of the world -- indeed, the whole of the universe and every sentient creature in it. Nothing less could possibly justify it.

     The Magi conceded this explicitly with their gift of myrrh.



     On the first Sunday after the New Year, Christians celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, called the Theophany by some eastern Christian sects, when the Magi prostrated themselves before the Christ Child and made their gifts of vassalage to him. A vassal is a noble sworn to fealty to a higher authority: a higher-ranking noble or a king. The obligations of the vassal are to enforce justice as promulgated by the vassal's liege, and to support and defend the liege's realm by force of arms as required. To the King of Kings, God made flesh in the miracle of the Incarnation, every temporal authority is properly a vassal, obliged to mete justice in accordance with the natural law and to defend the Liege's realm -- men of good will, wherever they may be -- against all enemies, whenever the need might arise. To do less is to be unworthy of a temporal throne, palace, official office, or seat in a be unworthy of Him.

     He took on the burdens of the flesh to confirm God's love for Man and to open the gates of salvation. He went to Calvary in testament to the authenticity of His Authority. The Magi knew, and in their pledge of fealty to Him, made plain that He had come not merely to succor Israel, but for the liberation of all Mankind.

     May God bless and keep you all.

Just a Few Assorted Links

 I'm restless and edgy. I'm generally hopeful about the election, but...

So, if you're feeling the same way, here's an old talk by Victor Davis Hanson, talking about the LAST presidential election. I'd not heard it before, and it did cheer me up quite a bit.

Now, a very hopeful comparison - the amount of money that Trump and Biden have collected.

Trump - $63 million

Biden - $177 million

Biden has grabbed nearly THREE times as much cash as Trump - and, yet, Biden is faltering, and, if the trend continues, may well have an historic loss to Trump.

Trump's numbers are up. He's looking healthy and energetic. He's taking this seriously, hitting the campaign trail, and getting crowds that, for all that people may not want/be permitted to gather together in different states, are impressive.

And, lastly, there is the "shy Trump voter". Those are the people who won't openly declare their choice. It's not a tiny number of voters. I think the Trump support is vastly being undercounted - at my house, we don't get pollsters calling. Like many people, we've cut the landline. So, many of the polls are overcounting the 50+ crowd. Those younger all have cell phones, and are not being asked how they will vote.

What's on the TV is crap (well, the quality, too, but I was referring to the election predictions). The talking heads are all Liberal Arts/Communications majors. They only hang around with other Elites, all of whom agree with their thinking. I'm going to make a cautious prediction, that we'll see another night like this:

Pray. But, also vote.