The Closing Of The Year

     Yes, I’m still sick. Pretty seriously sick, if you must know. But I wouldn’t feel right about letting 2023 go without a column. It won’t be a “round-up,” just a few thoughts that have congealed around a disastrous year: arguably the worst yet for America under the Usurper Regime.

     One of my favorite cynical aphorisms, whose origin I’ve lost, runs thus:

When all the errors are in the bank’s favor, you can be forgiven for thinking that there’s more at work than sloppy arithmetic.

     I don’t think any of the deleterious political decisions we’ve seen this past year – or in the years that preceded it, frankly – had the good of anyone other than the Usurpers and their favored clients in mind. Everything points to a design: a program intended to keep the Usurpers in power by acquiring as many boughten allies as it’s possible to purchase with legislation, regulation, and outright bribes. Note that their spokesmen tend to deflect questions to that effect. What honest man, whose intentions are good, does that?

     Supposedly, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been increasing. At least, we’re provided with government-approved figures to that effect. But are they trustworthy? Were they computed in “constant dollars,” or in the seriously degraded dollars of 2022? And what items were included, or omitted, to distort the picture?

     We’re edging ever closer to direct involvement in the Russia – Ukraine war. Failing regimes love war, as it gives them a rationale for suppressing dissent and commanding that we “form ranks” and “move together.” The Usurpers must realize that their grip on power is slipping. Nothing else is consistent with their furious attempts to prevent Donald Trump from running for the presidency in 2024. While there’s a question to be answered about state-level attempts to deny Trump ballot access, there’s also a group of plausible answers. I illustrated one in this novel:

     Roland Wriston set down the handset of his phone and looked back over each of his shoulders in turn. “Gentlemen, may I have a few minutes to myself, please?”
     The state troopers who’d flanked him for nearly three months departed the governor’s office without speaking. Wriston rose, closed the door gently so as not to attract the attention of his office staff, returned to his seat and lifted the handset again.
     “I take it this conversation is intended to remain private?”
     “Quite private, Governor. I assume you’ve been following your erstwhile lieutenant governor’s campaign for the presidency?”
     Wriston’s hands balled into fists. “I have.”
     “My guess would be that it hasn’t pleased you to see him get so much respectful attention. So much…adulation.”
     “I must admit,” Wriston said carefully, “that the trends have surprised me somewhat.”
     “Indeed. If I might place a personal inquiry, Governor, have you ever entertained the possibility of serving your country at the federal level?”
     “What? No, uh…” Wriston paused to regather his thoughts. “The national party hierarchy has never thought all that much of me, sir. I’d been given to understand that New York was my proper sphere.”
     “Opinions vary, Governor. The Secretary of Commerce will not be accompanying me into my second term. Declining health will be the reason. Given your success at placating and managing the major commercial interests of your state at a time of rising taxes and intensifying regulation, you appear to be a good fit for the post.”
     Wriston forced himself to remain still.
     “Governor? Still there?”
     “Yes, sir. Thank you for the compliment. Would I have to switch party registrations to qualify for the appointment?”
     “Not at all, Governor. It’s traditional for a cabinet to include at least one secretary from the, ah, loyal opposition. Always assuming the appointee can be counted on to be and remain loyal, of course.”
     “I, ah…that wouldn’t be a problem, sir.” Wriston struggled for calm. “For the present, is there any service the State of New York can render to your administration?”
     A deep chuckle came down the line.
     “Why, Governor Wriston, however did you guess?”

     Don’t imagine that it hasn’t occurred to secretaries of state nationwide.

     There is one moderately bright spot in all the gloom: Americans are pushing back hard to reclaim their right to keep and bear arms. Court decisions at the state and federal level have reasserted those rights. Unfortunately, the executive administrations of the most anti-gun states have adopted a tactic of disheartening efficacy: They’ve largely ignored pro-2A court opinions and have carried on with blatantly unConstitutional legislation and regulation. As the courts have no enforcement arm, this thumbing-of-the-nose tactic could enable the suppression of their residents’ rights to persist for a long time.

     That’s all I have for the present. Try to enjoy your New Year’s Eve celebration, whatever form it may take, and keep your spirits up. And as this is a Sunday as well as New Year’s Eve, may God bless and keep you all.


    • Butch DuCote on December 31, 2023 at 9:32 AM

    I pray for your good health Fran. Our bedrock institutions are failing at all levels. Your guiding light will never be more needed that in the year of our Lord 2024.

    • F. J. Dagg on December 31, 2023 at 12:54 PM

    Hey Fran, so sorry to hear of your illness. Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery and a Happy New Year.


    • Chris on December 31, 2023 at 11:48 PM

    Francis thank you for all of the wonderful work you do. I enjoy your writing and I hope and pray that you feel better. God bless and Happy New Year.

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