Further Thoughts On The Assassination Attempt And Its Sequels

     It could not have been otherwise: the news coverage yesterday, whether “mainstream” or “alternative,” was all about the attempted assassination of Donald Trump. So was the commentary, of course; how could commentators talk about anything else? And now, in the aftermath of this “hinge event,” there will be other consequences and developments that will occupy the print and pixels for a few days longer. Nothing else will be allowed to matter.

     And that is as it should be.

     It’s been said many times – I’ve certainly said it often enough – that the point of elections is to replace bullets with ballots. But what happens when the bullets fly anyway, even with a scheduled election nearing day by day? Is it possible to combine electoral campaigning with flying-lead warfare and still have anything like an orderly society? It doesn’t seem so to me.

     We’ve heard enough talk about how the nation is teetering. Again, some of it has been from me. Today it all seems like mere preliminary. The action has just arrived, and there’s nothing nice about it.

     Images and metaphors abound. “The masks have dropped.” “The gloves are off.” “Time to get down and dirty.” The Vegetable-in-Chief used a particularly striking one just before the shooting: “It’s time to put a bull’s-eye on Trump.” Before this, we could hope that it would remain no more than rhetoric; today, I’m no longer certain that it will… or should.

     Andrew Torba, who founded and operates Gab.com, has called feelingly for us in the Right to remain peaceful. Other voices have not been so temperate:

     Retreating from these people is NOT the answer. It’s what the general population of not yet insane people have been doing for seven decades in a row. Enough. Fuck retreating. Make THEM retreat, and get back into whatever closet or rock they crawled out of. Be in their face. Stop tolerating their nonsense.

     And of course, we have Leftist opinion-mongers claiming that it’s Trump’s fault that someone took a shot at him, and beyond them multiple reports of hysterics on the Left because the shooter missed his target.

     Good and responsible people are withdrawing from the public discourse. Who will remain engaged? The less good; the less responsible. The less restrained. What will follow? The followers of Charles Manson called it “Helter Skelter,” after the Beatles’ tune. George Alec Effinger called it “All the Last Wars At Once.” To quote Tucker Carlson in an underappreciated moment: graph it out, man.

     This will not end well.

     I think that will be all from me today. I feel a need to pray… and after that, to clean and oil the guns. Perhaps you should do likewise, though I’m no one’s idea of a lifestyle coach. Speaking of which, have you been to the range lately? I haven’t, and I have a new rifle to sight in.

     Have a nice day.

The Insanity Is Not Yet Complete

     The following is from the New York Post:

     Local police encountered attempted-assassin Thomas Crooks just moments before he tried to kill former president Donald Trump — but failed to stop the gunman despite the clear threat, according to a report.
     After rallygoers spotted Crooks on the roof of a manufacturing plant just 130 yards from the stage where Trump was speaking just after 6 p.m. Tuesday, police were notified and one officer climbed a ladder to investigate, law enforcement officials said on the condition of anonymity.
     There the officer encountered Crooks, who pointed his AR-style rifle at them.
     The officer then backed down the ladder, and Crooks immediately took aim and loosed eight shots at the former president – grazing him in the ear, killing one bystander in the rally crowd, and gravely wounding two others.

     If this is accurately reported, a local policeman had the ability to forestall the attack of President Trump – and did nothing. Did he communicate with anyone? With the Secret Service, perhaps? Or did he keep the encounter to himself?

     I’m having trouble believing this. Did I wake up in the “bearded Spock” universe?

The Elevators Of The “Rhetorical Temperature”

     Conveniently collected for your edification:

     Spread it around, Gentle Readers.

On Sacrifice And Self (UPDATED)

     Happy Bastille Day, to those Gentle Readers who celebrate such things. It wasn’t a genuinely great occasion, mind you, but it deserves recognition as the heralding event to the more significant French Revolution. Then again, that wasn’t exactly something to celebrate, either, was it?

     Gentle Readers with some knowledge of the philosophy of Ayn Rand are aware that she harshly condemned the whole concept of sacrifice. Rand’s attitude toward the kind of acts we typically call sacrifices was unbalanced in the extreme. She tended to see all such things as diminutions of the ego, and condemned them as such.

     Given the tenor of the age in which she wrote, Rand’s attitude is understandable. Her principal adversary was the Marxian gospel that subordinates the individual to the collective. She opposed that stridently, and with justice. However, her philosophical championing of the individual, with which I’m in accord, is inapplicable to the greater part of sacrificial behavior among free persons.

     Sacrificial (alternately, altruistic) behavior, when it’s not the consequence of a coercive influence, is actually an enlargement of self, even a celebration. In the absence of coercion, the actions of the giver proceed from his own motives. Assuming that his judgment is reasonably accurate, he is extending himself emotionally to embrace the well-being of another. Even when his judgment is inaccurate – e.g., when the person he seeks to help cannot, should not, or must not be helped – his motives are nevertheless good ones: the desire to use his own resources to increase happiness or reduce misery. Hopefully, he will learn from the mistakes he makes in this regard without losing his spirit of benevolence.

     The greatest act of sacrifice on record is, of course, that of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, who accepted excruciating suffering and death to open the gates of eternal life and bliss in the nearness of God. He gave his mortal body and all the suffering it could experience for the salvation of the world: everyone who has ever lived and who ever will. No one can beat that. There’s no record of anyone having tried.

     Would anyone dare to argue that Christ somehow diminished himself by that sacrifice?

     Let’s take the point as having been established and turn to the consideration of a somewhat more recent event.

     Yesterday evening in Butler Pennsylvania, President Donald Trump held a campaign rally. It wasn’t his first such, of course. We can hope that it won’t be his last. What made it unusually notable was the attempt on his life. It missed its mark mainly because of his fortuitous turn of his head as the bullet intended to kill him flew past him. Had he not turned at that moment, the bullet would have found the center of his head, all but certainly ending his life.

     Those are the raw facts of that moment. However, there are other facts of great significance which must be added to our contemplation of the event:

  • Donald Trump is a billionaire who earned his fortune in the real-estate market.
  • He is 78 years old, and could justifiably rest on his laurels for the rest of his life.
  • He’s been the target of more vilification than any public figure since Lincoln.
  • He’s been attacked through the courts.
  • His political adversaries in Congress want to strip away his Secret Service protections.
  • His family, friends, and political allies have also been attacked in various ways.
  • After having been grazed by an assassin’s bullet, he stood and shouted to his admirers to “Fight!”

     A commentator whose name I’ve misplaced said that a man of his age and attainments should be touring golf courses, or on a yacht cruising the world in comfort and leisure. Yet Trump soldiers on, determined to win back the office that was stolen from him. For whose benefit are his exertions, his determination, his dedication, and his courage? His? Melania’s? Barron’s?

     No, Gentle Reader. They’re for us.

     It’s not the sacrifice of Christ. Neither will it – we hope – eventuate in his murder. But it’s a very big deal all the same. The biggest of our time.

     Quoth Sundance of The Last Refuge:

     Dear God, we come before You to seek Your protection. Strengthen President Donald John Trump with the power of Your righteous might. Dress him in Your armor so that he can stand firm against the schemes of the evil that seeks his downfall. We know his struggle, like ours, is not simply against flesh and blood; but against evil manifest, against the powers that corrupt man, against the world forces of those who succumb to darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness and malevolence.
     You are President Trump’s keeper, O Lord. You are the shade on his right hand. Protect him from all forms of evil and keep his soul safe. We beg Your might to guard his voice, his going out, his coming in and his steadfast determination to protect his flock.
     Lord God, we thank You for Your outcome today, and humbly ask for Your angels to continue standing guard in his path. We plead for Your perfect wing to continue forming the perfect shield. From this moment and forever until the end of our capacity, we pray for Your protection. In Jesus’ name.
     Amen.

     I could not have put it better.

     May God bless and keep us all.

     UPDATE: The image below is mere conjecture…but who really knows?

The Assassination Attempt

     You know all about it by now. The coverage will be wall-to-wall for days. It will probably dominate at least the opening day of the GOP convention. Public figures are either outraged or pretending to be outraged wherever there are cameras to see it. And that will be the sum and substance of it all.

     I have yet to read one account of the event that doesn’t say that “the shooter’s motive was unclear.” Glory be to God! He wanted to kill Donald Trump. What other motive could there be for shooting at him?

     There’ll be a lot of posturing over this. What there won’t be is clarity about the state the country has descended into: an asymmetrical willingness to use violence to gain political ends. For the few who are willing to address that aspect of our time, there won’t be much clarity about how it came to be, for a single reason:

     The shooter was a registered Republican.

     At the time of his death, shooter Thomas Crooks was 20 years old. He probably understood as much about politics and public policy as Joe Biden understands about differential geometry. But the media will play up that Republican registration as “proof” that his assassination attempt on the most popular public figure in America “had nothing to do with the Democrats.” Remember that you read it here first – and while we’re on this rather morbid subject, what sort of investigation into events preceding the assassination attempt will there be? Contacts between Leftist operatives and Crooks? Transfers to his bank account? Threats against his family? Psychotropic drugs found in his blood? And when will the results be made public?

     Perhaps I’ll be back later. I’m not sure. I may have reached my limit.

Media Duplicity

     Beware claims from major media spokesmen that “We didn’t know!” about Joe Biden’s dementia. Also beware claims that they didn’t know that he’s the most corrupt political figure since Caligula. They’re not in the business of reporting things that reflect badly on Democrats.

     Remember this exchange from the 2016 campaign, between Mike Cernovich and 60 Minutes host Scott Pelley, over Hillary Clinton’s health:

     Cernovich: She had a seizure and froze up walking into her motorcade that day.
     Pelley: Well, she had pneumonia. I mean—
     Cernovich: How do you know? Who told you that?
     Pelley: Well, the campaign told us that.
     Cernovich: Why would you trust the campaign?
     Pelley: The point is you didn’t talk to anybody who’d ever examined Hillary Clinton.
     Cernovich: I don’t take anything Hillary Clinton is gonna say at all as true. I’m not gonna take her on her word. The media says we’re not gonna take Donald Trump on his word. And that’s why we are in these different universes.

     The Washington Post took pains to pour gallons of sarcasm over Cernovich’s allegation. Yet there was substantial evidence that Clinton was suffering some kind of neurological disorder. The Post, like the rest of the major media, carefully declined to notice. Its masters didn’t like it that a commentator who rose to prominence over the Web dared to do so. It disturbed the tableau they wanted to draw.

     The media have been boughten allies of the Democrat Party for decades. If a Democrat says it, then by the media’s standards it’s gospel truth…even if they know it’s a lie.

     As my Co-Conspirator Ragin’ Dave said recently, with regard to Joe Biden’s dementia, “The media aren’t upset because they saw how far gone Joe is. They’re upset because you saw it.” They’ve known for a long time now.

Cue Napoleon’s Maxim

     The mess called California has had several architects, but none more prominent nor proud than Gavin Newsom. Yet Democrats are pondering whether he should replace Joe Biden as their 2024 presidential nominee. Let’s not interrupt them as they do so.

     Twenty years ago, California had passed a law, the Defense of Marriage Act, that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Shocking, eh? I know; those were dark times. </sarcasm> Nevertheless, it was so. But Newsom, who was mayor of San Francisco at the time, decided that the law didn’t apply to him. He had an exchange with Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave over it on Larry King’s show:

     When Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, the Colorado Republican sponsoring a federal marriage amendment, bluntly confronted Newsom with his criminal behavior (“I’m going through the deliberative legislative process, Mr. Mayor. You’re defying the law.”), he pursed his lips and snorted: “I’m hardly defying the law.” Hardly? Fact: In 2000, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 22, the state’s Defense of Marriage Act. Despite Newsom’s issuance of 3,500 marriage licenses to homosexual couples, Prop. 22 remains the law today.

     Musgrave didn’t back down: “You’re making a mockery of the law.” Newsom wheedled in response: “I think you’re making a mockery of this country and our values of diversity, and bringing people together and uniting people.”

     Perhaps Newsom would be an appropriate replacement for Biden after all. Neither feels that the law should tie his hands. But then, Democrats are like that, aren’t they?

Peripheral Indicators

     Sometimes, you can divine more about what’s coming by watching the edges of the news than by focusing relentlessly on the core. Here’s an edge to ponder: Fletcher Knebel’s 1969 political thriller Night of Camp David, which concerns a president who has descended into paranoid / megalomaniac delusions, is experiencing resurgent sales. Used copies are selling on eBay faster than they can be listed there. While they haven’t been confirmed, there are reports that Cabinet secretaries and prominent members of Congress are the ones who’ve been buying them. A photographer with a telephoto lens claims to have sighted Vice President Kamala Harris hurriedly stuffing a paperback into her purse, too quickly for him to snap the shot. Does that suggest anything to you, Gentle Reader? 🤔

On the road again

I get back from a funeral, and now I am driving to a wedding. I should be back after the weekend.

I don’t know whether to apologize for being gone, or for returning.

“You Know You’re Over The Target”

     …when the flak is heaviest. This has special application to the public statements of popular figures who dare to go against the Official Line. In our time, Official Lines are everywhere. One differs with them at one’s personal peril. No Official Line is more heavily defended than this one: “Women, You Can Have It All.”

     The most recent public dissenter from that dictum is, of course, Kansas City Chiefs star placekicker Harrison Butker.

     Butker’s graduation speech at Benedictine College last Pentecost has become an event of legend. He shocked the world with a few minutes’ remarks at a small Catholic college, by expressing traditional Catholic sentiments. So far from the Official Line were Butker’s statements that the Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, a (nominally) Catholic order of nuns that operates the college, condemned Butker’s speech as “divisive.” Kansas City’s own media, which one might expect to defend a superstar that plays for the home team, urged the Chiefs to fire Butker over his speech.

     And of course, once the Sturm und Drang gets started, it can be a long time before it stops. Feminist viragoes from every corner of the nation denounced Butker. Some of them have expressed sentiments so violent that it’s hard to believe they aren’t legally actionable. But apparently it’s okay to attack a man for being openly Catholic, expressing Catholic opinions, and exhorting the graduates of a Catholic college to live Catholic lives.

     The denunciations aren’t over yet:

     Serena Williams did not hide her feelings about controversial Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker.
     While she and her sister, Venus Williams, and “Abbott Elementary” actress Quinta Brunson were on stage at the 2024 ESPY Awards, Venus implored sports fans to enjoy women’s sports “like you would any other sports because they are sports.”
     Serena appeared to be laughing as her sister was reading off the teleprompter and then delivered a direct message at Butker, who was in the Dolby Theater audience for the awards show.
     “Except you, Harrison Butker, we don’t need you,” Serena said looking right into the camera and eliciting laughter and applause from the crowd.

     The Williams sisters have never epitomized courtesy or “class,” but the above is a new low. Well, perhaps we shouldn’t have expected any better from them.

     (For a turd to top off the landfill, Serena Williams also disparaged Caitlin Clark. That’s entirely consistent with her other graceless behavior. And they say Negroes can’t be racist!)

     Clearly, these defenders of the Official Line will receive plaudits for their “bravery” – from other adherents to the Line, of course. Butker? Who’ll defend him? Who’ll bother to step forward and say, boldly, that his prescriptions were good ones – that hewing to the feminist “you can have it all” gospel has made more women miserable than all the neglectful and tightfisted husbands who’ve ever lived? Not even the order of supposedly Catholic nuns whose graduation ceremony he graced.

     It’s all of a piece, of course. It’s a critical component in The Game Plan. And it will continue in this vein until reality defeats it in an incontrovertible way: by eliminating its proponents and their progeny from the public discourse by overwhelming revulsion at the misery their exhortations have encouraged. But we have a way to go yet. Good men, and women whose eyes have opened, must continue to speak up.

An Inevitable Schism

     Doctrines, regardless of the subject matter, are usually inflexible. Sometimes that’s not a virtue.

     Today in the Wall Street Journal, there’s an article about the divergence on economic policy between two wings of the Republican Party:

     There are, of course, widely aired disagreements over abortion and the war in Ukraine. But a potentially more consequential division has opened over economics. On one side is a pro-business libertarian wing that backs low taxes, free trade and international openness. On the other is a growing contingent of conservatives skeptical of big business, ambivalent about tax cuts and vocally supportive of tariffs.
     While both wings back Trump, who straddles this divide, they have different priorities should Trump win this fall’s election and Republicans retake control of Congress. Which side prevails has huge implications for the economy and business.
     The new Republican thinking was evident this week at the annual meeting of “national conservatism,” one of many labels attached to the new movement (along with the “new right,” “populist right” and “conservative economics”). Speakers interspersed attacks on the “Marxist” and “radical” left with condemnation of the “corporatist right,” “free marketism” and “globalism.”

     One side is dogmatically free trade: i.e., its adherents oppose any degree of government intrusion upon commerce, including international trade, regardless of the rationale. That’s the long-standing libertarian position. But there are others in the GOP who are exceedingly distrustful of mega-corporations, especially those that operate internationally. They see such entities as too willing to enlist government regulators for their advantage.

     The tariffs that President Trump imposed to compensate for other countries’ subsidies and subventions to their domestic industries are a central issue between them. Doctrinaire libertarians will have nothing to do with such. The more conservative-minded see such tariffs as right and necessary. Both sides have good points to make.

     Tariffs, like any other kind of tax, tend to become permanent. Not only does the government get accustomed to the revenue; businesses favored by tariff laws become addicted to them as well. Thus, over time their defenders outmaneuver the larger mass of consumers who have less focused concerns.

     But the era of exploding international trade and mobility has tempted governments around the world to provide all manner of supports, including outright subsidies, to their “important” domestic industries. In effect, part of the purchase price for those industries’ goods is paid by their governments, with savings for the consumer. That disadvantages American companies in competition with them, especially when we consider other disparities such as the looser regulatory environments in many other countries. It’s a great part of why so many American producers relocated their shops to other lands.

     In theory the problem is soluble, by the use of “sunset laws,” international agreements, and tax and regulatory provisions that discourage going “offshore.” But theory is heavily counterbalanced in practice by the powerful incentives that make accepting favors from the State both habit-forming and hazardous.

     It doesn’t pay to be dogmatic about such things. Neither the absolute-free-trade libertarians nor the neomercantilist conservatives can claim to be absolutely right. The unavoidable questions pertinent to that old shibboleth, “national security,” muddy the water still further.

     There are arguments on both sides, as I’ve said. But these days, even among people who agree on nearly everything, polite, restrained argument that honors facts and human experience is a rare thing. It’s always possible to accuse your interlocutor of having a hidden agenda. How could he prove that he doesn’t have one?

     Fortunately, advocates of both attitudes support Donald Trump. They’ll argue against one another after he’s elected, but for now returning him to the White House must take priority. It will make the maneuverings within the early days of a second Trump Administration something to watch closely.

Saying it out loud

Quoted from The Morning Briefing at PJ Media, so you don’t have to get yourself dirty by clicking on a Politico link.

“Elected officials, union leaders, and political consultants are panicking over polls showing a steady erosion of Biden’s support in a state he won by 23 points four years ago,” reports Politico. “They’re so worried they’ve been trying to convince the Biden team to pour resources into New York to shore up his campaign and boost Democrats running in a half-dozen swing districts that could determine control of the House.”

Elected officials, UNION LEADERS, and political consultants, you say?

When people ask me why I’m so anti-union, this is why I respond with more than a little vehemence. The unions of today are nothing more than foot soldiers and fundraisers for the DNC. The AFL-CIO is the mob, only they’re running a protection racket for Democrats. Oh, they still have their private jets and private golf clubs in Michigan and all the perks of robbing millions thousands of American workers of their hard earned cash so they can spend it on political allies. Does anyone else remember Dick Trumka endorsing Drooling Joe in 2020, and using the AFL-CIO to spend a lot of money getting Drooling Joe elected? I remember. And what happened on Day One of Drooling Joe’s instalment? He canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline, which wiped out 50,000 various jobs in the MidWest, most especially good paying union jobs.

Even Dick Trumka, who is now burning in hell for all of eternity as his reward for doing Satan’s work on earth, later admitted (before his death) that endorsing Drooling Joe was a mistake. Oopsie, too late.

Under the oh-so-steady hand of the unions here in America, manufacturing has declined to extinction levels. If WWIII happened today, we couldn’t build enough vehicles or weapons to supply what we need. And that happened not only on the union’s watch, but with the union’s endorsement. The money raised by the unions went to politicians who shipped our jobs overseas, and then let in millions of illegal aliens to take the jobs that were left in the States.

I’d rather be homeless and unemployed than take a job where the union takes my money, gives it to Democrats, then pisses on my back and tells me its raining. I refuse to pay any more for my own destruction, as the FedGov is quite capable of taking even more of my money and using it to turn the former USA into another third-world shithole.

I’m not even beginning to discuss the teacher’s unions, who seemingly exist to keep pedophile predator teachers from ever seeing the inside of a jail cell. They certainly don’t exist to improve the quality of education in this country.

Sides

     ‘Hoom, hm, I have not troubled about the Great Wars,’ said Treebeard; ‘they mostly concern Elves and Men. That is the business of Wizards: Wizards are always troubled about the future. I do not like worrying about the future. I am not altogether on anybody’s side, because nobody is altogether on my side, if you understand me.’ – You know where.

     Treebeard was quite candid about his “alignment.” Even the Elves had let him down somewhat. Thus he and the Ents found themselves to be alone in their chief interest: protecting the forests of Middle Earth. No one who fails to share your chief interest in its full intensity is entirely “on your side.”

     So it has always been and will always be.

     Several other commentators have recently opined that the media are unhappy with the Biden Administration because it deceived them about the gravity of Biden’s condition, which the June 27 “debate” made undeniable. If media spokesmen were saying that, it would be self-protective bullshit. The demonstration is above.

     The media’s highest interest, which will never change, is preserving their audience. That, after all, is the source of both their revenues and their influence over the public. Without those things, the media will fail. And yes: the media are failing now – but not because the Bidens have deceived them these past three years. They’ve known perfectly well that Biden is afflicted with dementia. It’s their business to know such things, and you may rest assured that they’ve known it since the 2020 campaign.

     What has the media upset is that their partisan duplicity has been revealed. The “debate” made plain to the general public that Biden’s brain is deteriorating. Some of us knew it, but that portion of the public that still trusted the major media preferred to believe that he was okay, functioning adequately as the president. The media, after all, told them so repeatedly, in terms of blithe assurance.

     Toto pulled back the curtain on June 27. (No, not that Toto.) The subsequent media backing and filling is entirely self-protective. Hardly any of the talking heads and “journalists” they promote were under any illusions that Biden was mentally sound. They didn’t believe the BS coming from the White House; they merely chose to promulgate it. It was in their partisan interest.

     Partisan interests are trumped by survival interests. Abraham Maslow would tell you.

     It’s worth our time to watch and study the techniques with which media figures attempt to deflect or dismiss the certainty that they knew all along. They’re a good indicator of a deceitful individual or institution. Unfortunately, there are a lot of those in the United States in this Year of Our Lord 2024. Just don’t let them deceive you about whose side they’re on. It’s their own and no one else’s.

Have You Finalized Your Vacation Plans?

     Because if not:

     Scientists have identified an exoplanet that may possess an Earth-like atmosphere and the potential to support life, and in space terms it’s really not that far away.

     But how are the accommodations and the nightlife?

     Located just 48 light-years from Earth, LHS 1140 b orbits within its red dwarf star’s habitable zone, meaning it receives enough radiation to allow for liquid water, according to data from the James Webb Space Telescope.

     Red dwarves don’t put out a lot of ultraviolet radiation, by the standards of our solar system. Not nearly enough to get a decent tan. Still…

     LHS 1140 b, first discovered in 2017, is more than six times the mass of Earth and has already piqued scientists’ interest due to its proximity to our solar system. The latest observations suggest that the exoplanet might support a thick atmosphere, making it one of the best candidates for further study.

     The possibility of an oxidizing atmosphere is genuinely exciting, as without one, life as we know it could not exist. But wait: there’s more!

     Researchers suggest that between ten to 20 percent of the planet’s mass may be composed of water, indicating the presence of a sub-surface ocean or a massive ice layer.
     “If that were the case, the exoplanet would sport a 2,485-mile-wide ocean on its surface, measuring a balmy 68 degrees Fahrenheit,” noted the researchers.

     Plenty of beachfront property! Investors, get your liquid funds ready before Sandals and Club Med get it all!

     Yes, I’m funnin’ you, of course. All that to the side, LHS 1140 b is a genuinely exciting possibility – and not because we hope to go there. The detection of exoplanets is far advanced, but no one has yet detected an exoplanet with a lot of water and an Earthlike atmosphere. This might be the first, which would inevitably lead to the question “Is there life there?” To this point, we have detected no life anywhere but Earth.

     I think it would be nice to have neighbors, even if some might disagree.

Insanity Or Deliberate Political Malfeasance?

     You really have to wonder:

     After securing the majority of seats in Sunday’s election, the newly formed left-wing government in France has revealed plans to impose a ninety percent tax on its “wealthier” citizens.
     The left-wing coalition known as the New Popular Front (NPF) shocked French politics this past weekend when it defeated both Emmanuel Macron’s Ensemble party and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally.
     Though the NPF secured the most seats (182), it was unable to secure a majority and will now soon face Macron.
     The leaders of the NPF convened on Monday to decide who would be the nominee for head of their proposed new administration.
     “We are preparing to govern, to apply the programmed which is ours,” said Manuel Bompard, coordinator of the France Unbowed party.
     According to this plan, the retirement age will be lowered from 64-years-old to 60-years-old, and an annual income tax rate of 90% will apply to those earning over €400,000. €400,000 equates to approximately $432,736 U.S. dollars, according to Google’s money converter tool.
     In addition, the NPF has pledged to spend a minimum of €150 billion over the next three years and has called for a minimum raise of 14%.

     If a Third World country were to institute such policies, I’d shrug: “Well, that’s why it’s a Third World country. Let ‘em wallow in their own sewage.” But France? Don’t they remember what happened to Britain when its politicians did likewise? It wasn’t that long ago, in historical terms. If not, shouldn’t they remember their own history – the Terror, for instance?

     Giving your high earners – who are usually your high producers — that powerful an incentive to emigrate can destroy a national economy. Add the obvious desire to spend the national government into bankruptcy, which would precipitate the kind of government borrowing and inflation that are destroying the economy of the United States. But my Gentle Readers already know all that, so why doesn’t the French Left?

     Well, perhaps they do. Perhaps that’s their objective. Now all we need is an explanation for why destroying the French economy would somehow benefit the NPF. They couldn’t possibly have an allegiance to something outside France, such that the destruction of France is an end deliberately sought, could they? Something like a transnational alliance of shadowy powers that seek to abolish nations, national allegiances, borders, and all trace of the values that allowed the West to rise to its current estate?

     Who could such powers be, I wonder?

When they tell you who they are, believe them.

There’s a post up on Twitter/X/Twix from Libs of TicToc, detailing how LGBTOSTFU people in California are railing against a bill that would make it a felony to purchase children for sex. These people claim the bill will effect LGBTOSTFU people more.

Let me restate that, because I had to read it a couple of times just to make sure my old peepers were working properly.

California Senate Bill 1414 aims to combat human trafficking by making the purchase of sex with a minor a felony. Why it’s not already a felony I have no idea, but it’s California. Even several decades ago, outside of Hollywood, when you got arrested for having sex with kids you didn’t last too long once you get GenPop, but maybe things have changed that much and so now they have to codify it.

So. SB 1414. Paying a minor for sex is bad, m’kay? Buying a kid for sex is bad. You can’t do that. It’s not good. And the LGBTOSTFU crowd begins the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth because this bill is going to disproportionately effect them. I’m sorry, what?

Is that a Freudian slip, or is this part of what the Diabolical Narcissists do when they rub your nose in their actions? Because, and maybe I’m just being silly, I just heard the LGBTOSTFU crowd admit that they like to have sex with kids. That they seek it out. That they have no problem with the sexual trafficking of children. That they admit that they are a significant portion of the people who have sex with children, so much so that any laws against having sex with kids will hit them harder than any other part of the population.

Should I call them liars, or should I accept what they say as the truth?

What sets gay culture apart from straight culture is the belief that early sex is good and beneficial, and the sure knowledge (don’t think for a second that they DON’T know) that the only way to produce another homosexual is to provide a boy with sexual experiences BEFORE he can be “ruined” by attraction to a girl. – Moira Greyland, The Last Closet

Turning Heads

     Apparently, women’s basketball sensation Caitlin Clark isn’t done breaking records yet:

     Caitlin Clark is currently leading the WNBA in total points from scoring and assists. Similar to the NFL’s all-purpose yards measurement, Clark now has to be considered a candidate for MVP and Rookie of the Year (ROY).
     Clark on Saturday became the first rookie in WNBA history to have a triple double (10 or more points, rebounds and assists in the same game). She also is the fastest player in WNBA history to reach 350+ points and 150+ assists in a season.
     Clark continues breaking records after breaking numerous records in college at Iowa where she was named the best player in college two years in a row. Clark is a basketball record-breaking machine.
     Clark received more votes than any woman in WNBA history for the All-Star game, achieving more than 700,000 votes. Last year’s winner had 90,000 votes. Clark sells out arenas wherever she goes. The league, which never made a profit in nearly 30 years, is also adding viewership records whenever Clark is on TV. She is a phenom and revenues are increasing.

     Believe it or not, there are… persons putting Clark’s superb performance to “white supremacy.” But you had to expect that. The women of the WNBA feel overshadowed by her – they are, frankly – and that makes them angry.

     But how does Clark’s debut differ from any other exploding superstar? Didn’t Magic Johnson have the same effect on basketball? Didn’t Michael Jordan? Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal?

     No, the problem here isn’t Clark’s talent. It’s that she’s a white heterosexual Christian, and that people are coming to WNBA games to see her specifically. She’s the one putting fans in the seats and money in the WNBA’s till. The other women of the WNBA wouldn’t be trying so hard to hurt her, otherwise. Neither would the Indiana Fever’s marginal incompetent of a head coach, Christie Sides, be straining to keep Clark from not just breaking records, but smashing them to flinders.

     In that regard, Caitlin Clark is quite distinct from Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, et alii. An entire professional sports league owes its unprecedented popularity – and its newfound profitability – to her. The breakout stars of men’s basketball can’t say anything close to that.

     Caitlin Clark isn’t conclusive proof that American basketball fans are hungry for more white stars. But the reactions of black stars and commentators, many of them persons of dubious character and shameful antecedents, tell a tale of entitlement and resentment that cannot be effaced. By their lights, the pro sports leagues belong to them.

     A few years back, retired baseball star Joe Morgan, who had achieved greatly when he played for the Cincinnati Reds, made an unpleasant name for himself with an on-air comment he made as a sports broadcaster. In short, he accused Major League Baseball of racism. He claimed that blacks are under-represented in the major leagues, which he attributed to racial biases. His co-broadcaster, whose name I’ve forgotten, made no attempt to rein him in.

     Black players in major league baseball: 12%
     Black percentage of the U.S. population: 13%

     Sound like a tempest in a teapot to you, Gentle Reader? But that’s the entitlement syndrome of the Negro in America for you. “What’s ours is ours, and you honkies better not say otherwise!” That, plus the high percentage of black sports figures who are felons or the fathers of bastards by multiple women, plus the penetration of the pro leagues by “woke” and other anti-American themes, freed me of all interest in professional sports.

     But that’s “hate speech,” and I’m a “racist” for saying it out loud. Go figure.

Plainly Stated

     And by one of today’s most eloquent commentators and thinkers, at that:

     If someone wished to destroy America, could he do anything more catastrophic than what we currently see and hear each day? What would an existential enemy do that we have not already done to ourselves?

     Fair use restricts me from inserting the entire essay here. Please read it all. (It was originally a series of “tweets,” but it would still feel wrong to swipe it whole.) Dr. Hanson summarizes the campaign against America better than I’ve seen it before this. No important facet of the attack is omitted.

     But let us ask two questions.

     The first, necessarily, is Cui bono? Who benefits from the steady reduction of the United States of America, once called the “indispensable nation,” to an emasculated laughingstock? The answers come readily, and as the Gentle Readers of Liberty’s Torch are a bright bunch, I need not supply you with them.

     The second question, however, is of greater moment, as painful as it is to face it: Why have we done nothing to resist it? We’ve enjoyed a right denied to 99% of Mankind throughout its history: the right to keep and bear arms. Every one of the Founders who spoke on this subject made it plain that resistance to tyranny was the central point of that guarantee. Yet we’ve done practically none of that. Are we waiting for the tyrants to take our guns away from us?

     Among Internet acronyms, this one is currently paramount:

TINVOWOOT

     Stalin could tell you why. No doubt he’s looking on amusedly as we persist in trying.

     You can vote your way into socialism, but you have to shoot your way out. – Originator unknown

The Multiparty Model Versus The American Model

     Events in Britain and France these past few days have emphasized one of the critical differences between the European, “parliamentary” scheme for forming a government and that which prevails in the United States. In Britain and France, the aggregated Left may rise to power over the parties of the Right, despite the Rightist parties actually having earned more votes. The Leftist parties won fewer votes than the Rightists, but in aggregate they won more seats in their nations’ parliaments. By negotiation and coalition-building, they may succeed in outflanking their conservative adversaries. The executive administrations of those nations will be determined by which coalition has the greatest number of seats. In consequence, the administration is always ideologically compatible with the largest coalition in Parliament.

     That makes possible rapid changes in the law, with little regard for previous law or customs. It also makes possible equally rapid reversals of the law. The destabilizing effect upon the lives and enterprises of private citizens can be quite serious.

     America is nominally a multiparty republic, yet it’s rare that anyone not affiliated with one of the major parties ever wins an election even at the state or local level. It has happened, but it’s uncommon. Moreover, such non-major-party officials are put under heavy pressure to “caucus” with one of the major parties… and, of course, to vote in concert with their selection. Note the behavior of the so-called “independents” in our Congress. Thus, the dominance of the major parties continues.

     Which system is the better one? The answer depends too much on opinion and preference. The American system, buttressed by a Constitution and the federal division of powers between Washington and the states, tends toward better protection of individuals’ rights, but it also suppresses the influence of minority opinions. The European system, whether or not backed by a written constitution, tends toward swifter government action, but also less respect for rights and more behind-the-scenes purchasing of support.

     It’s worth some reflection, especially as politicians and activists loudly and perennially exhort Americans to look to Europe as a model for “better” government. My own preferences are already on record.

Evidence Of Spine

     I’m always heartened to learn of some indication that Americans are rediscovering their courage, in these times when so much has been done to make us furtive and timorous. This one from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho cheered me in two ways:

     Christians in Idaho who had been banned from carrying religious symbols during their 4th of July parade came out in force on Thursday proudly toting crosses.
     Those who attended the Independence Day parade in Coeur d’Alene in the deep red state could be seen proudly waving crosses alongside the star spangled banner.
     As some carried crosses alongside Old Glory, others wore t-shirts with the symbol of the cross emblazoned across it.
     The move by locals came after the Coeur d’Alene Regional Chamber reversed a policy which had banned the use of religious symbols in the July 4 parade.
     New regulations that had been implemented had banned ‘symbols associated with specific political movements, religions or ideologies’, branding them unacceptable.

     Apparently, the Chamber of Commerce, which asserted authority over the Independence Day parade, reversed itself just before the residents of Coeur d’Alene held it up before the world as a toothless would-be tyrant.

     This event can be approached from several directions:

  • What was the CoC’s problem with religious symbols?
  • Would it have tried to ban the black flag of Islam?
  • The “movements and ideologies” provision would ban “Black Lives Matter” and “Pride” flags too, wouldn’t it?
  • Did the CoC expect that the town cops would enforce any such bans? Did any cop try to do so?
  • Did it occur to anyone on the CoC that Independence Day is about a specific political ideology: the one the United States is founded on?

     I know a few people in northern Idaho. They’re patriots, Christians, proud to be both, and proud to say so. They understand the essential connections between Christianity, freedom, and the history of our nation. So they reared up on their hind legs and told the CoC to get stuffed. And the CoC, like petty tyrants everywhere in space, time, and circumstance, folded and shut up about it.

     I entreat you to spread this around, Gentle Reader. With luck, it will inspire emulation. But with that, allow me a few words about freedom of religion, and why that underdefined right has caused America, Britain, and much of Europe so much trouble in recent decades.

***

     When Fisher Ames composed the final version of the First Amendment to the Constitution, the peoples of the thirteen freshly liberated colonies were nearly all Christians from Christian nations. There was a relatively young Unitarian movement, particularly in the lower New England region, and (of course) there were a few Jews and a few “free thinkers” (i.e., atheists). “Religion,” Ames might have thought, would be essentially synonymous with Christianity in its several denominations. Anyone who might choose to disbelieve in Christianity’s preachments could nevertheless be expected to conform to its ethic, at least in public. Ames and the other Founders were anxious to avert “establishments of religion,” wherein a dominant denomination could compel those who follow another to be regulated and taxed for the dominant one’s benefit. Americans had had enough of that sort of crap in Europe and could not be expected to tolerate it in their New World homes.

     However, the passage of time brought new “religions” to the United States, including that most destructive of ideologies, Islam. Other faiths such as Buddhism which conform to C. S. Lewis’s “Law of General Benevolence” – in effect, Christ’s command to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you – would prove no problem. But Islam and the rise of an increasingly aggressive atheism would trouble the body politic, entirely because of the First Amendment’s wording.

     An aggressive creed, whose aim is to impose itself on others by force, is plainly incompatible with a regime of freedom. Yet under the First Amendment, all “religion” is protected from government interference. The crisis arises entirely from that overbroad wording. The consequences are in plain view: Muslims demanding special privileges and asserting themselves over non-Muslims; and aggressive atheists demanding that all traces of Christian teaching and adherence be purged from the public square and public life.

     Shockingly, Christians in our Christian-majority country have sat still for it. So have the nations of Europe, the continent once known as Christendom. But events such as the one in Coeur d’Alene suggest that that might not be the case for much longer.

***

     The time has come to admit that we can’t all “just get along.” When Smith is willing to tolerate Jones, but Jones is determined to rule over Smith, “just getting along” is impossible ab initio. The Jews of Israel have had that demonstrated to them repeatedly by their “neighbors.” Note the proliferation of “demonstrations” – attempts to intimidate American Jews and others who support Israel – that have swept over our urban zones since HAMAS’s October 7 attack on Israel from Gaza. It’s a demonstration of Islam’s core agenda, which includes wiping out every other creed on Earth.

     By comparison, the aggressive atheists who’ve striven to remove every iota of Christian teaching from any and every public institution probably don’t seem as threatening. But stripping Christian precepts and symbols from our public life must necessarily require excluding Christians from it as well. As Islam is at war with every other faith, and Christianity is its principal adversary, Christians must recognize that war and our admittedly reluctant participation in it. To quote celebrated military SF writer Tom Kratman, “Never go to a religious war without your religion” – and there is no conceivable argument that a war between religions is “not a religious war.”

     Christians can tolerate, accommodate, and befriend adherents to other Benevolent faiths: Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Unitarianism, and so forth. But to prevail in the worldwide religious war, we must recover our religion, nourish our faith in it and its precepts, and learn to be passionate about it once more. The alternative is subjugation: whether by the voracious, rapacious adherents of the aggressive creed called Islam, or by the godless who want no God, and no eternal principles of right and wrong, to shield us from them.

     And so I declare myself a Christian nationalist. There, I’ve said it. Your choices are your own affair.

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