Tuesday Terpsichore

     A brief assortment today, as I have a lot of chores to address and must head out to them pretty much at once. Be comforted; at least I’m not regaling you with all the details.


1. Uvalde, Texas.

     The atrocity of May 24, which resulted in so many dead children, has resonated across the land – not because America has never before suffered a similar event, but because for the second time in such circumstances, a large number of police arrived at the scene while the murderer was still taking lives…and did nothing. According to reports, the situation commander even tried to prevent the Border Patrol cop who killed the murderer from entering the school building. This has prompted enough outrage from decent Americans that we might think it reasonable to expect corrective action in the immediate future.

     Don’t bet the rent money on it. Natalie Argyle presents the case:

     …American society has spent the last 2 years of COVID willing to sacrifice children in the name of the supposed “greater good.” Protecting teachers from a 99%+ survivable virus at the expense of the educational, psychological, social, and physical fitness of children. Forcing unnecessary experimental vaccines on children who have almost 0% chance of dying from the virus. Masking healthy children for hours a day, every day, despite the science showing it to be unnecessary and ineffective. For 2 years, adults have been willing to sacrifice their children’s wellbeing in order to provide security for adults, when in times past, adults would give up everything to provide security for children instead. And apparently Uvalde maintained this new children-last precedent.

     In addition to this tragic reality about our current society, where adults are no longer willing to sacrifice for the good of children, I wonder if the abysmal police response was impacted by 2 years of concerted efforts to vilify the police. Were those officers hesitant to put themselves in danger and risk being called a racist when the public found out they shot a person with brown skin?

     I added the emphasis.

     It’s a devastating point, one that’s fully supported by the evidence of the years immediately behind us. The Left has made capital out of the deaths of demonstrably villainous black thugs at the hands of white policemen. They have nothing to say about the enormous rate of black-on-black homicides, which gives their game away in toto. A cop who wants to keep drawing his salary must be conscious of the legal as well as the ballistic hazards to him in any such encounter.

     In a country that allows unwilling mothers-to-be to kill their children right at the moment of birth – often at the behest of their fathers, at that – how plausible is it that a white situation commander would unhesitatingly send his men into the breach, armed and ready to kill, when there’s a chance that the perpetrator has a drop of melanin in him?


2. Developments In Weights And Measures.

     I was tickled by Silicon Graybeard’s entry of a couple of days back:

     From Accuweather:


I’m so out of touch that I’ve never even seen anything measured in numbers of giraffes. What does “the size of 350 giraffes” size mean? If you had 350 giraffes milling around in a field, feeding, fighting, fleeing and doing whatever else giraffes do, 350 would only be the height of the tallest one and the width or length of 250 giraffes would depend on how close to each other they stand. Unless you had them stand on each other’s backs, which would work until the ones on the bottoms started collapsing from broken limbs. It would work better if you had them stand shoulder to shoulder, then the width of 350 giraffes would depend on how wide they are. To use the term from electronics, is that 350 giraffes in series [or] parallel?

     It got me laughing, but also thinking. You know, only one First World country uses a standard of units that’s “off the [currently] beaten track:” the most advanced nation in history, the United States. While other nations have happily gone metric, we cling to the old British Imperial system out of colonial perversity (and an appreciation for what works in day-to-day life). But really, if we want to be known as innovators, why not develop a completely zoological system of units with which to confound the world?

  • Height: The giraffe.
  • Mass: The elephant (Indian variety).
  • Time: The wink of a cat’s eye (“She can make a cherry pie / Quick as a cat can wink her eye”).

     Now, many would object that those units are unsuitable for fine measurement. But why be constipated about it? Noah got along very well with nothing but the cubit, didn’t he? Besides, there’s always room for additional units to deal with items of different scales. How about the flea for really light masses, or the dachshund for short things? Of course, determining the scale factors might occasion a bit of controversy, but never fear: science shall march ever on!


3. Power-Mongers Gonna Power-Mong.

     The desire to believe in the goodness and “regular-guyness” of our politicians, especially our presidents, can easily lead us astray:

     The George W. Bush Presidential Library turned over 500 out of 6,000 pages of the documents, known as “presidential emergency action documents” (PEADs), which “shed troub­ling new light on the powers that modern pres­id­ents claim they possess in moments of crisis,” according to the Brennan Center, which obtained the records through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

PEADs were created during the cold war, when the chance of a Soviet nuclear strike was at its peak. Early drafts reportedly rested on broad interpretations of executive powers. According to official reports from the 1960s, various PEADs authorized the president to enact measures such as suspending habeas corpus, to detain “dangerous persons” within the country, to censor news media, and to prevent international travel.

In light if 9/11, one Bush administration official viewed updating the PEADs an “urgent and compel­ling secur­ity effort, espe­cially in light of ongo­ing threats.”

     I wanted to believe that George W. Bush – “Dubya;” Bush II; Bush the Younger; whatever you like – was a break from the typical power-seeker that’s occupied the White House so often. I wanted to believe that he saw himself as a public servant rather than the public’s master. But if he gave his assent to orders such as the ones described in the article, it casts a shadow over his image, at least for me.

     You might ask why, given that those orders pertain to “emergency” conditions. I would reply: Who defines what constitutes as an emergency, when it begins, or when it ends? Robert Higgs and others have warned us about this dynamic in power-seeking. Besides, such “emergency powers” have exhibited the ability to migrate into non-emergency conditions.

     Think for a moment about the routine use of “emergency powers” to disarm private citizens after a natural disaster, or to fix the prices of goods. Such measures have made things worse wherever and whenever they’ve been applied. Then think about the ever-expanding definition of an “emergency”…and think COVID-19, monkeypox, and whatever new bacillus or virus might be around the corner. Does an 8.5% annual inflation rate constitute an “emergency?” What about the disappearance of baby formula? Who would decide – and who would decide when the “emergency” has ended?

     Got the idea?


4. “Christofascism.”

     I suppose this had to be expected:

     Aren’t you excited? The far-left has been hard at work trying to come up with a new way to demonize conservatives and anyone else who disagrees with their politics. Perhaps terms like “racist,” “homophobic,” and “sexist” have become too hackneyed even for progressives. Now, they just might be ready to introduce a new favorite smear, the way Steve Jobs used to present Apple’s latest iPhone.

     So what’s the new word, you ask?

     Here’s your answer: Christofascist.

     That’s right, folks. If you’re reading this, you’re likely a conservative/libertarian type, so this article is to let you know that to progressives, you are a Christofascist seeking to assert your religious morals on the rest of the nation — whether they like it or not.

     Leftists have begun using this word far more often lately. It started near the beginning of May. Now, progressives on social media are throwing around the word like candy spilling from a beaten pinata.

     The whole piece is worth reading, as it provides an example of the pattern the Left follows in developing a rhetorical tactic. For my part, the most significant thing is the focus on the leaked draft of Samuel Alito’s opinion that would / will overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. They can’t call us fascists (of whatever derivation) for wanting to lower taxes, reduce regulations, or liberalize gun laws; those are too plainly measures in support of individual freedom. But thou shalt not mess with the right to kill a child, right up to the moment of birth! He who dares to do so threatens the Left’s highest sacrament.

     Yes, it’s evil and moronic. Yes, it ignores history, both of Christianity and of the treatment of abortion. But that’s what you get from the Left. Their strategists and tacticians aren’t concerned with anything but rallying the troops – and apparently they believe that the abortion issue is their best hope for galvanizing their moribund movement.

     This points to a promising avenue for attack – not for them but for us. It reveals their hatred of the great majority of Americans. And hatred of that sort is a blowtorch that can be turned against its wielder.


     That’s all for today, Gentle Reader. It’s time for me to confront…stuff. Back tomorrow, I hope. Enjoy your Tuesday.


    • David Davies on May 31, 2022 at 9:37 AM

    In engineering measurements there is the ‘rch ’….. the smallest thing possible adjustment.

  1. Applause!
    A truly fascinating and enlightening list of “things to raise your eyebrows about”. Yes, I am sadly coming to realize that we have already reached dictatorship – slowly, and with apologetic references to necessity, by ‘nice guys just looking out for us’.
    Wouldn’t want the terrorists to win, would you?

    • bowman on May 31, 2022 at 10:08 PM

    The PEADs are only following the example of the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln.  I do not believe GWB with Cheney & Co. whispering in his ear would have quibbled over fine details.

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