National Security, Or Job Security?

     If I remember correctly, Eric Adams got the Democrat Party nod for the mayoralty of New York City because he was once a cop. However, there are quite a lot of former NYC cops: more today than ever before, in fact. I have no idea what makes Adams special…unless it’s that he’s black. At any rate, he won the mayoralty on the strength of his having been a cop, among other things.

     But he has the Democrat problem of rampant insincerity:

     Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams pushed Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to relocate Hispanic migrants to the Upstate New York area on Sunday.

     After months of struggling with the influx of illegal migrants sent from Texas to NYC, Adams advocated for Hochul to move the migrants to the Upstate area.

     “Some of our cities are suffering. They’re losing populations,” Adams stated while addressing the border from El Paso, Texas, the New York Post reported.

     “But if this is done, is done effectively, and the dollars come in to support those who are helping migrants and asylum seekers to incentivize this help, we believe we can … help those cities that are struggling and at the same time, give people a good start in this country,” he continued, the outlet noted.

     Wait just a moleskin-gloved minute there, Colonel: Wasn’t it you who proudly declared the Big Apple “a sanctuary city?” The rest of the state hasn’t done so. If any other city in the Empire State has done so, I’m unaware of it. I’d be rather surprised; the other urban zones in New York have enough problems of their own.

     If Governor Hochul is about to compound the felonies of her administration by declaring the whole of New York to be “a sanctuary state,” a lot of New Yorkers are going to be more than a little peeved. Especially as dramatically heightened crime rates follow illegal aliens like a shadow. But Adams made his plea in awareness that it was NYC votes that made Hochul the governor. He’ll press that point if he must, for the city’s social support services are bowing under the load those illegals have put upon it.

     At this point it’s unclear which way Hochul will move. I wouldn’t be surprised if she were to try to bribe Rochester or Syracuse into accepting some of Adams’s illegals. But wait…What’s that Mr. Mayor? They’re not your illegals? They were sent to NYC by someone else? What does that matter? You spread your arms toward these migrants. It’s a bit late to say you didn’t really mean it.

     New York City dwellers probably hoped Adams would provide a respite from the lunacies of the eight De Blasio years. From here it looks as if those hopes will be disappointed. But anything’s better than a Republican mayor, right folks?

Dirty, Dirty Cities

in my recent travels, I had opportunities to compare the amenities and appearance of several of them.

First, I’m spoiled. I’ve lived in the South for some time. Even in poorer neighborhoods (other than a few dreadful places in otherwise lovely cities), the Southern culture does retain its cordial and polite charm. That’s true for White and Black citizens. People almost invariably hold doors for seniors and women, say please, thank you, and you’re welcome, and generally act with decent public behavior. I’ve been wished a Blessed Day on more occasions that I can recall.

We do have our homeless, but they generally don’t seem to be a major nuisance in public.

Not so Portland, OR.

There, you regularly see the markers of disorder, whether caused by homeless, or just delinquent individuals. Tents pitched on public sidewalks, people stumbling around impaired at all hours, massive amounts of tagging and graffiti (not generally an artistic endeavor, and everywhere, litter.

On public transit, people sit by themselves, ignoring other passengers. I’ve used city buses and trains for years in multiple cities, and have been accustomed to a more amiable willingness to chat with strangers.

Not in Portland. People on city buses and trains sit isolated, not making eye contact, and trying to avoid notice. That’s true for all ages and races. In other venues, they display the normal willingness to interact. It’s the public places that inhibit their lives. It’s the possibility of triggering the attention of a looney that keeps them frozen in place.

Portlanders are proud of their city. They talk of its beautiful scenery, the cultural offerings, and a generally healthy lifestyle. That they can do that while surrounded by bums in the street, and people yelling angrily at imaginary people, speaks volumes about their readiness to avoid talking about the pachyderm in the room. It’s like seeing a whole city filled with families of alcoholics. The one subject on everyone’s mind is a verboten one.

individually, the citizens went out of their way to assist me in getting around. They were gentle and charming and delightful.

But I left feeling as though I needed to turn back and offer assistance in seeking an escape to a safer place to live. For now, however, there is no sheltered housing for the employed and mentally healthy to go to to avoid abuse from their sick city.

“But It Was In A Good Cause!”

     Every now and then, the Left’s claim of immunity to the law due to its moral superiority is revealed in the light of day. We have a fresh example in connection with the infamous Hunter Biden laptop:

     Last summer, then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that House Republicans would demand answers from the 51 former intelligence agency officials who publicly disputed the Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation in a letter. The media widely cited that letter to discredit the laptop’s content before the 2020 election.

     Now that the House Republicans have regained the majority, at least one official is admitting that he knew the laptop was genuine.

     Douglas Wise, a former Defense Intelligence Agency deputy director, told The Australian he knew a “significant portion” of the recovered Hunter Biden laptop files “had to be real.”

     “All of us figured that a significant portion of that content had to be real to make any Russian disinformation credible,” Wise told the paper.

     HOWEVER:

     “I don’t regret signing it [i.e., the “Russian disinformation” letter] because the context is important,” he said. “Remember Giuliani had just been in Ukraine trying to dig up evidence on the Bidens and he met with a known Russian intelligence official. Russians or even ill-intended conservative elements could have planted stuff in there.”

     Words fail me. If there were a category of offense for which the prescribed penalty would be “Bury him in a mountain of cow dung,” this would be it.

This Requires Explanation…

     …though it comes as no surprise:

     The Justice Department considered having FBI agents monitor a search by President Biden’s lawyers for classified documents at his homes but decided against it, both to avoid complicating later stages of the investigation and because Mr. Biden’s attorneys had quickly turned over a first batch and were cooperating, according to people familiar with the matter.

     After Mr. Biden’s lawyers discovered documents marked as classified dating from his term as vice president at an office he used at a Washington-based think tank on Nov. 2, the Justice Department opened an inquiry into why and how they got there. Mr. Biden’s legal team prepared to search his other properties for any similar documents, and discussed with the Justice Department the prospect of having FBI agents present while Mr. Biden’s lawyers conducted the additional searches.

     Instead, the two sides agreed that Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys would inspect the homes, notify the Justice Department as soon as they identified any other potentially classified records, and arrange for law-enforcement authorities to take them.

     Under the laws that govern the handling of classified documents, for anyone with knowledge of them to permit access to them to anyone who lacks either:

  1. A security clearance of the appropriate level, or:
  2. The need to know what’s in those documents;

     …has committed a federal offense. Yet here the Justice Department – George Orwell must be getting mighty tired of all the calls from his office – has blithely agreed to it.

     Once again, “Laws for thee, but not for meee.” And at the Justice Department no less, which is charged with enforcing federal law.

     Questions arise immediately. How was this decision reached? What DoJ official “signed off” on it? Were his departmental superiors aware? Was he aware of the relevant laws and their requirements? If so, why did he casually set them aside? What documents, of what classification level, were involved? How long did uncleared persons have access to them – and what did they do with them while they had them?

     This farce is well beyond any possibility of being “accidental,” “coincidental,” or any other kind of “dental,” except perhaps for the grinding of teeth.

It’s Not News…

     …but at least someone else is willing to say it:

     One overriding principle of the new Democratic Party is asymmetry—or the notion that the Left’s moral superiority earns absolute exemption from the very methods they employ against their opponents.

     You would think that in a nation in which fairness is one of the most commonly heard evaluations of…well, of anything, this would be top-of-the-charts ranting and raving material. But there I go again, expecting people to be logical.

     I recall a David Frost interview with Richard Nixon, shortly after his resignation from office, in which Nixon tried to argue that for the president to do what he had done concerning the Watergate burglary was not a crime. The luminaries of the Left jumped on that with both feet. But their braying wasn’t in support of the old principle that “no one is above the law.” It was merely tactical. They’d bagged him, and they weren’t about to let the nation forget it.

     To the Left, nothing matters but power. Never forget it.

Home Again

I’ve been at our SC house after my trip for a little over 12 hours – most of it asleep, or at least dozing. I’m finally not hovering on the verge of collapse. My joints have subsided to just slightly achey. And I’m enjoying catching up on reading.

One of the things I’ve read deals with a subject I’ve had copious experience with. What amenities do we really need in our homes?

Every home purchase is a compromise between what we’d LIKE to have, and what we can afford. Most of our homes have been older, so needed to have updates – electrical, HVAC, roof, replacement windows, foundational (one time – that was enough). We’ve not attempted major jobs, like gutting a kitchen or bath.

My husband always wants more storage space. I respond by telling him to weed out junk.

We’ve both accepted that at least a bath and a half is on the ‘must have’ list. My list includes minimal stairs. His does not, as he has no major joint issues. His list does not include much yard space. I wistfully remember my grandmother’s garden, and the heavenly smell of it. We compromise on size. I focus on perennials, as that minimizes the bending and kneeling.

My sister is agonizing over her list, which also includes a one floor structure. She is less flexible than I, do is having a hard time getting her list fulfilled on budget.

As far as my trip, the conference went well. I managed to stay awake during meetings, and my presentation was well received. It was worth the inconvenience. And the dog managed to handle the stay in boarding without excess trauma.

Budget? What Budget?

     About three decades ago, a reporter for Reason magazine asked a sitting Congressman of conservative inclination, “Will Congress ever pass a budget that’s even one dollar less than the previous year?” The Congressman replied flatly “No.”

     Well, at least he was candid. And as the years since have demonstrated, he was a realist as well. But there have been times when a federal budget actually declined. Thomas Jefferson oversaw at least one such event. Warren Harding presided over another. So we know that it can be done.

     Perhaps not this year, though:

     It’s encouraging that many in Congress are focusing more on our unsustainable fiscal situation and want a plan to improve the nation’s fiscal outlook. When it comes to developing a budget blueprint, however, it is important to select an achievable fiscal goal rather than merely an aspirational one. Unfortunately, due to continued borrowing over the past several years, the desirable fiscal goal of budgetary balance has become much more difficult to reach, and it is highly unlikely it could be achieved in a decade or less, particularly if revenue, defense, and other parts of the budget are excluded from the solution. We recommend Congress adopt an aggressive but achievable fiscal goal in its budgets and any fiscal deals.
     In this analysis, we show that in order to achieve balance within a decade, all spending would need to be cut by roughly one-quarter and that the necessary cuts would grow to 85 percent if defense, veterans, Social Security, and Medicare spending were off the table. These cuts would be so large that it would require the equivalent of ending all nondefense appropriations and eliminating the entire Medicaid program just to get to balance.

     This is strong evidence that the federal bureaucracy – the largest and most visible component of the Deep State – has taken over the federal government in its entirety. Those millions of bureaucrats, and their fellow-travelers at the state level, vote more consistently than any other cohort of any specification. And doubt it not: they want federal spending to keep increasing, no matter where the money has to come from (Cf. “Money Laundering 101”) Only a continuous increase in federal spending will support their aspirations:

  • To salary increases;
  • To promotions and the acquisition of subordinates;
  • To security in both employment and retirement.

     A lengthy citation from Parkinson’s Law will illustrate this dynamic:

  1. Officials want to multiply subordinates, not rivals;
  2. Officials make work for each other.

     [W]e must picture a civil servant, called A, who finds himself overworked. Whether this overwork is real or imaginary is immaterial, but we should observe, in passing, that As sensation (or illusion) might easily result from his own decreasing energy: a normal symptom of middle age. For this real or imagined overwork there are, broadly speaking, three possible remedies. He may resign; he may ask to halve the work with a colleague called B; he may demand the assistance of two subordinates, to be called C and D. There is probably no instance 4 in history, however, of A choosing any but the third alternative. By resignation he would lose his pension rights. By having B appointed, on his own level in the hierarchy, he would merely bring in a rival for promotion to Ws vacancy when W (at long last) retires. So A would rather have C and D, junior men, below him. They will add to his consequence and, by dividing the work into two categories, as between C and D, he will have the merit of being the only man who comprehends them both. It is essential to realize at this point that C and D are, as it were, inseparable. To appoint C alone would have been impossible. Why? Because C, if by himself, would divide the work with A and so assume almost the equal status that has been refused in the first instance to B; a status the more emphasized if C is A’s only possible successor. Subordinates must thus number two or more, each being thus kept in order by fear of the other’s promotion. When C complains in turn of being overworked (as he certainly will) A will, with the concurrence of C, advise the appointment of two assistants to help C. But he can then avert internal friction only by advising the appointment of two more assistants to help D, whose position is much the same. With this recruitment of E, F, G, and H the promotion of A is now practically certain.

     Seven officials are now doing what one did before. This is where Factor 2 comes into operation. For these seven make so much work for each other that all are fully occupied and A is actually working harder than ever. An incoming document may well come before each of them in turn. Official E decides that it falls within the province of F, who places a draft reply before C, who amends it drastically before consulting D, who asks G to deal with it. But G goes 5 on leave at this point, handing the file over to H, who drafts a minute that is signed by D and returned to C, who revises his draft accordingly and lays the new version before A.

     What does A do? He would have every excuse for signing the thing unread, for he has many other matters on his mind. Knowing now that he is to succeed W next year, he has to decide whether C or D should succeed to his own office. He had to agree to G’s going on leave even if not yet strictly entitled to it. He is worried whether H should not have gone instead, for reasons of health. He has looked pale recently— partly but not solely because of his domestic troubles. Then there is the business of F’s special increment of salary for the period of the conference and E’s application for transfer to the Ministry of Pensions. A has heard that D is in love with a married typist and that G and F are no longer on speaking terms— no one seems to know why. So A might be tempted to sign C’s draft and have done with it. But A is a conscientious man. Beset as he is with problems created by his colleagues for themselves and for him— created by the mere fact of these officials’ existence— he is not the man to shirk his duty. He reads through the draft with care, deletes the fussy paragraphs added by C and H, and restores the thing back to the form preferred in the first instance by the able (if quarrelsome) F. He corrects the English— none of these young men can write grammatically— and finally produces the same reply he would have written if officials C to H had never been born. Far more people have taken far longer to produce the same result. No one has been idle. All have done their best. And it is late in the evening before A finally quits his office and begins the return journey to Ealing. The last of 6 the office lights are being turned off in the gathering dusk that marks the end of another day’s administrative toil. Among the last to leave, A reflects with bowed shoulders and a wry smile that late hours, like gray hairs, are among the penalties of success.

     Cyril Northcote Parkinson was a genius; moreover, he said what others could not or would not say. He deserves a memorial as massive and majestic as Nelson’s Plinth. More Americans should acquaint themselves with his observations and his reasoning.

Money Laundering 101

     Money is like matter and energy. That is, it obeys a law of continuity. Every dollar must come from somewhere and go to somewhere. Yea verily, even if the destination is an incinerator.

     He who attempts to “launder” ill-gotten gains must respect that law. He must prepare to be called to account – plan for the worst, hope for the best, right? – and to have a plausible explanation for where his income came from, and for where it is at present. The IRS is only one of the snoopy agencies that will take critical note of any discrepancies in his money flow.

     Which brings us to this bit of amusing news:

     On the Schedule E portion of his 2017 tax forms, Joe Biden reported $19,800 in “rents received,” and none in 2018, according to information reported on Sunday by Breitbart’s Wendell Husebø.

     But when filling out a background check, Hunter Biden claimed to pay a specific $49,910 rent each month to his dad from March 2017 to February 2018. This is the same home where classified documents were recently found stacked in the garage. Biden the Younger spent about a year — during part of his drugged-out times — renting (?) Biden the Elder’s Wilmington, Del., home following his divorce from Kathleen Biden.

     That extraordinary monthly rent is clearly an attempt to launder the notorious “10% for the Big Guy.” All by itself, it indicates a subnormal mentality (to say nothing of a subnormal morality) in Biden the Younger. The relatively ordinary residence that Hunter Biden rented from “Big Guy” Joe would not command a $50,000 monthly rent no matter where in the world one might situate it – but in Wilmington, Delaware? It’s impossible to hold back the laughter.

     But wait: there’s more! Compounding this lunatic attempt to provide a cover for the use of the Biden vice-presidency to solicit bribes, “Big Guy” Joe never reported the income as taxable! Whether he simply forgot about it or believed that his tax returns would never be closely examined, that’s a catastrophic error. Once the IRS notices an omission of that sort, it comes down on the hapless filer like One World Trade Center on 9/11.

     Was the return audited? Who knows? That it’s come to light as filed makes me wonder whether the Democrat kingmakers kept it back as a measure of control over the famously erratic “Big Guy.” A criminal organization always retains methods of control over those who occupy its top slots. Ask the Soviets.

     Yet another data point in support of my contention that the Democrats have become desperate to rid themselves of the Bidens and their ever-lengthening list of embarrassments to the party.

Charles Manson Might Have Called It Accurately

     You have to be fairly old, and have an unusually good memory for atrocities involving celebrities, to remember the details of the Manson Family murders. One that tends to slip recall is the prophecy Charles Manson laid upon his followers:

     Manson believed in what he called “Helter Skelter”, a term he took from the Beatles’ song of the same name to describe an impending apocalyptic race war. He believed the murders would help precipitate that war. From the beginning of his notoriety, a pop culture arose around him in which he ultimately became an emblem of insanity, violence and the macabre. After Manson was charged with the crimes of which he was later convicted, recordings of songs written and performed by him were released commercially. Various musicians have covered some of his songs.

     In the movie about the trial of the Manson Family members, one of the killers – the completely unrepentant Susan Atkins – characterized the “Helter Skelter” apocalypse as “everybody taking it out on everybody else.” (Cue the obligatory George Alec Effinger “All The Last Wars At Once” reference.) Perhaps we’re not quite there yet, but in hindsight Manson’s beginning to look like a genuine prophet.

     What’s that? You want evidence? Well…

     Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee, who represents one of the most racially gerrymandered districts in the entire country, has introduced legislation to Congress that would end free speech for white people in the United States, creating a new type of speech-based federal “hate crime” that only white people can be charged with.
     Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s “Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023” which, as the name suggests, would only be enforced against white people, makes it illegal for white people to question open-borders immigration, advocate for preserving America’s culture and traditional demographic make-up, or even criticize minorities.

     Yes, really.

     This is the sort of thing that fills me with an urge to clean and oil all my guns. It’s the sort of suggestion that “should” have resulted in Congressvermin Lee’s immediate expulsion from Congress at the very least. Yet it was introduced on the House floor as a serious piece of legislation.

     Add the swelling of anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, anti-Trumpism, and other sectarian hatreds. Add the simmering hatred ever present within contemporary feminism. Add the slow but steady emergence of the white identity movement, championed by groups such as Identity Europa. Beat until stiff, chill, and serve. I can’t get a pleasant answer; can you?

     The trends all point in one direction. There appears to be no countervailing influence. However, it’s important to note the varying inclination of these antipathy groups toward aggressive violence. One group stands out above the rest, as witness federal statistics on violent crimes aggregated according to the race of the perpetrator. It’s not the group whose freedom of speech is threatened by Congressvermin Lee’s proposed legislation.

     If matters progress as the trends suggest, I can see only one outcome.

Statist In A Cleft Stick Dept.

     Men of good will should celebrate every event that compels the evil-minded to show their true colors. This is nowhere more important than when an individual right is under threat. An episode of this kind occurred just yesterday in upstate New York:

     That’s all the specific information I have on this incident. The armed New Yorker, by carrying his handgun in a locale which Kathy Hochul’s “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” forbids (it serves alcoholic beverages), both broke that unconstitutional law and made it possible to end a threat to human life and well-being. That threat had already manifested with two serious injuries to innocent persons. That armed New Yorker is plainly the hero of the hour…but what will law enforcement do about him?

     To protect the innocent, that armed New Yorker broke Hochul’s tyrannical law. He defied the will of the ruler! Hochul is easily power-drunk enough to demand that he be prosecuted under the CCIA atrocity. But that’s a lose-lose situation:

  • If the hero is prosecuted, it flies in the face of public sentiment honoring what he did.
  • If the hero is not prosecuted, it constitutes rule by opinion rather than by the black-letter law.

     Both outcomes are highly undesirable for a ruling-class statist.

     I’m not so hairy-eyed as to suggest that we need more such innocents-endangering episodes to help the right to keep and bear arms along. Even so, I can’t help but grin at what this one is probably doing to Kathy Hochul. After stealing the governorship from Lee Zeldin and striving to strip away New Yorkers’ right to carry a vital tool of self-defense, in an age when it’s become clear that the police are no protection for the private citizen whatsoever, she’s getting exactly what she deserves.

     I hope she gets it “good and hard.” (H. L. Mencken)

Allies And Enemies Of Nature

     A dynamic is a tendency powered by natural needs and drives, and the incentives that pertain to them. Of course, there’s quite a bit of static thrown about concerning what’s natural and what isn’t. However, the people who claim that drives built into our bodies and minds are merely the consequences of our upbringing or figments of our “early socialization” have been on a losing streak ever since they first opened their mouths. Among other things, they tend not to reproduce.

     But let’s get back to dynamics. Example: human beings need to eat. That propels Man’s quest for food. However, food isn’t the only thing we need or want. We seek security, including a clean, vermin-proof place to store our as-yet-uneaten food. Therefore, we build or acquire pantries. But then we need the means to defend ourselves and our pantries, which propels a quest for weapons. This specialization dynamic allows us to become efficient at acquiring things we need or want other than food and pantries.

     But everything has a downside. Specialization is no exception:

     As they exited the tree-lined corridor from the commercial strip and turned onto the pathway to Morelon House, Althea halted her husband and turned to face him. “I can’t figure out what he’s planning, can you?”
     Martin gazed at her ruefully. “I’ve been thinking about that and nothing else, love. But I’m dead certain it’s nothing we’d enjoy.”
     “So what now?”
     He grimaced. “I don’t know. Postpone the trip, for sure. How to get our initial load up to Thule? Frankly, I don’t think we have much choice. Our clan had heavy-lift capacity at one point, didn’t it?”
     She nodded. “Yeah, but we sold the plane when Adam’s dad set up shop here. Charisse said she was happy to get rid of it. It made more sense to hire it out, so we wouldn’t have to maintain a plane and train pilots.”
     She glanced at the entrance to Morelon House. The old mansion looked as sturdy as ever. It presented an appearance of immutable strength to all who saw it. Yet it had begun to seem to her that the clan had undermined that strength in several ways, with several decisions. None of them had been fatal; indeed, when each was made, it had appeared to be the obvious choice. Yet in combination, they had rendered Clan Morelon massively dependent upon the wills and skills of a multitude of outsiders…persons who might not be as available or dependable as one would hope.
     —That’s the downside of the division of labor, Al.
     Yeah. I can see that, Grandpere. But how could we have avoided it?
     —By resisting all the temptations to specialize and to make use of specialists. By purchasing absolute self-sufficiency at the price of economic advantage. Which, incidentally, no clan or society known to history has ever managed to do.
     The incentives are too strong, aren’t they?
     —Judge for yourself, dear. Put yourself in Charisse’s place at the point when Jack Grenier moved into the area and started offering his services around. Would you have done as she did, knowing only what she did at the time?
     Probably. If there’s a lesson in this—
     —If there is, Al, no one has ever drawn it. The division of labor is the one and only path toward general prosperity. It can go to an incredible depth. A
frightening depth. And it is utterly reliant upon the character and good will of the specialists. Let one critical specialty be corrupted by political forces, or conceive of a grudge against some other group, or even decide that it can rape its customers without fear of reprisal, and the destruction spreads faster than anyone can act to check it.

     [From Freedom’s Scion]

     The notion that we can excise the downside of a dynamic, leaving it cost, risk, and trouble-free, is fatuous. Ralph Waldo Emerson told us so:

     The ingenuity of man has always been dedicated to the solution of one problem — how to detach the sensual sweet, the sensual bright, etc. from the moral sweet, the moral deep, the moral fair; that is, again, to cut clean off this upper surface so thin as to leave it bottomless; to get a one end, without an other end. The soul says, Eat; the body would feast. The soul says, The man and woman shall be one flesh and one soul; the body would join the flesh only. The soul says, Have dominion over all things to the ends of virtue; the body would have the power over things to its own ends.

     [From Compensation]

     And he has never been refuted.

***

     Among the uber-dynamics that shape human societies is this one: We prefer to be among our own kind. That statement has many possible interpretations, of course. It pertains to race, to sex, to intellect, to ethnic origin, to religious creed, to occupational and interest affiliations, and much more. Each of those things operates to “sort” us into groups. Each such group will possess some degree of internal cohesion. That an individual may be a member of several such groups simultaneously does not undercut the power of the dynamic.

     Among the follies of recent history, the attempts of bien-pensants to disperse such groups, or to force them to accommodate persons who are not naturally candidates for membership, are among the most foolish. They’re trying to oppose a dynamic with nothing but their political preferences. It hasn’t worked in the past and it has little chance of working in the future.

     One fascinating and ominous dynamic-versus-dynamic tableau is of particular importance to the United States at this time: the opposition of American social and cultural norms to the pressure outsiders seeking greater economic attainment have mounted against our borders. It’s not that America has never accommodated waves of immigrants before. From the end of the Civil War to about 1926, our national borders were open. We admitted huge numbers of immigrants, many of them from countries whose norms were not an exact fit to ours. However, those immigrants had a great deal in common with the original population wave that founded this country: a willingness to brave the unknown on their own merits and to conform to the norms of the host country. Those qualities weakened the ethnic-cohesion tendency sufficiently to permit assimilation.

     Let it suffice to say that the willingness of those earlier immigrants to assimilate is not shared by the torrent of invaders that have poured across our borders these past few decades. That hasn’t impeded the efforts of the pro-open-borders activists, who proclaim the moral right of anyone who wants to come here to do so. Of course, those activists have an agenda of quite another sort, but that’s a subject for another tirade.

     The course of history indicates that for two cultures to meld successfully, one culture’s norms must dominate, at least to a degree sufficient to ensure public peace and order. Today, that is not observably the case.

***

     The most pernicious of all dynamics is this one: There are men whose central drive is to exploit others for their personal benefit. Such men will eschew any other interest, no matter how imperative, to pursue that end. In our time, this has given rise to the phenomenon of the chaotist: he who promotes inter-group discord, sometimes to the point of mass public violence, to achieve his personal ends.

     Chaotists, like other affinities, tend to cluster together. They’re seldom seen “on the front lines” when chaos erupts. They hang back and rake in the gains that emerge: primarily in increased public prestige and material perquisites. Those gains are made possible by the understandable if regrettable tendency of others to appease the disorderly. Quoth Mark Steyn:

     If it were just terrorists bombing buildings and public transit, it would be easier; even the feeblest Eurowimp jurisdiction is obliged to act when the street is piled with corpses. But there’s an old technique well understood by the smarter bullies. If you want to break a man, don’t attack him head on, don’t brutalize him; pain and torture can awaken a stubborn resistance in all but the weakest. But just make him slightly uncomfortable, disrupt his life at the margin, and he’ll look for the easiest path to re-normalization. There are fellows rampaging through the streets because of some cartoons? Why, surely the most painless solution would be if we all agreed not to publish such cartoons.

     That tendency to prefer appeasement to open combat operates another dynamic. It’s reached a critical point in these United States: Virtually nothing a chaotic group says or does in public will trigger an oppositional response of size and violence sufficient to quell it and put an end to its power to disrupt our society. The “George Floyd” riots and similar events have brought us to the point that a militant minority can get away with virtually anything – and with a reasonable expectation of being rewarded for it.

     Whether chaotists could have reaped similar gains in the post-Civil-War years of unlimited immigration is unclear. Those waves of immigrants were far closer to the American populace in their most important convictions and attitudes: crudely speaking, the Christian-Enlightenment ethic. However, there were Communist agents active in the U.S. early in the Twentieth Century who aimed their labors principally at minority groups – immigrants among them. Their efforts were not entirely in vain, as the racial chaos that bedevils us testifies.

***

     Among the most important tactics of the chaotist is his ability to persuade his audience that, in brief, Emerson was wrong – that it is possible “to detach the sensual sweet, the sensual bright, etc. from the moral sweet, the moral deep, the moral fair.” He doesn’t say it quite that way, of course. Rather, he attributes the higher attainments of members of other groups to villainy: i.e., to discrimination. This tactic is effective on those who are less intelligent, observant, and experienced than average.

     I shan’t go into yet another diatribe about objectively measurable differences among the races and ethnicities as regards intelligence and aggression. You’ve read enough of that from me, I’m sure. What should have become obvious by now – damn, how I hate to use those words – is that social chaos is one of the results from denying those objective realities. Indeed, were it not for those differences, I can’t see a way for the chaos crews to get started.

     What will come of this seems plain: we will once again segregate along racial and ethnic lines. There will be white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and other districts. Intergroup socialization will be minimized; intermarriage will grow rare. This time around, it will be a wholly private movement that will operate “under the table,” as the law is unfriendly to the idea and likely to attempt countermeasures. Nevertheless, it will happen. Social peace is unachievable as long as disparate groups are forcibly mingled; the chaotists will see to that.

     Similarly, though its implications are more complex, we will see a return to approximate occupational segregation by sex. The attempts to force women into men’s occupations have produced a great deal of unhappiness among men, women, and employers. Most men are uncomfortable about having women as colleagues, owing to the sexual tensions that arise. Most women are equally disturbed by those tensions, but respond to them in a different manner. Employers who’ve had to placate Equal Employment Opportunity committees at the state and federal levels have seen workforce harmony disrupted and productivity reduced. But here as with race and ethnicity, the thing is grist for the chaotist’s mill.

***

     The major problem, of course, is the chaotists. In one sense they’re an unnatural breed, for the social discord the foment counters nearly everything decent persons want and seek. But their perversion is natural to them. That they’re few in number doesn’t alter that, nor does it diminish the power they can wield.

     But even were the chaotists zero in number, their extermination would not solve the problems that governments have brought about by attempting to force disparate groups that answer to different social norms to intermingle. Another group of troublemakers, professional politicians, must be expunged quite as completely as the chaotists. Their drive for power causes them to ally with others who seek to use strife for personal gain, for to the politician, the gain to be sought above all else is in power over others. This too is in his nature.

     On this earth that we occupy in the here and now, there’s no other way toward an acceptable degree of public peace. It’s that or wait for a convenient planetoid.

BRRRING!

     Good morning, Gentle Readers! Today is a very special day, for several reasons. For one thing, it’s Martin Luther King Jr, Day. On the third Monday of January each year, we commemorate the life and achievements of that famous icon of plagiarism and philandering that helped to make the Sixties a decade to be ashamed of. If you haven’t scheduled any plagiarism or philandering for today, there’s still time!

     Next up, there’s National Fig Newton Day. The Fig Newton, that incredible cookie-that’s-not-a-cookie, has graced American pantries since 1891. No longer simply about figs, Newtons have diversified into strawberries, apples, and peaches. Believe it or not, its original promotion to the consuming public was as a health food: a remedy for digestive problems. That never bothered me, but I suppose I’m not the typical consumer of Fig Newtons or their alternately-fruited brethren.

     And last but certainly not least, we have National Nothing Day. This wholly unique commemoration is dedicated to the American who’s worn out from all the celebrating and commemorating demanded of him on all the other days. Unfortunately, as with all truly momentous occasions, we do have our spoilsports. Gahan Wilson will tell you:

     But what of that? Get out there and enjoy your day!

Courtesy Of A Brave And Forthright Colleague

     …by the moniker of the Feral Irishman:

     Read and reflect. You may not have a lot more opportunities.

Necessities

     Not that the count was a drone. At last reports, he had been involved in some highly esoteric tampering with the Haertel equations—that description of the space-time continuum which, by swallowing up the Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction exactly as Einstein had swallowed Newton (that is, alive), had made interstellar flight possible. Ruiz-Sanchez did not understand a word of it, but, he reflected with amusement, it was doubtless perfectly simple once you understood it.
     Almost all knowledge, after all, fell into that category. It was either perfectly simple once you understood it, or else it fell apart into fiction. As a Jesuit—even here, fifty light-years from Rome—Ruiz-Sanchez knew something about knowledge that Lucien le Comte des Bois-d’Averoigne had forgotten, and that Cleaver would never learn: that all knowledge goes through both stages, the annunciation out of noise into fact, and the disintegration back into noise again. The process involved was the making of increasingly finer distinctions. The outcome was an endless series of theoretical catastrophes.
     The residuum was faith.

     [James Blish, A Case of Conscience]

     Christians speak easily of the “need to have faith.” Indeed, faith is one of the three theological virtues, the most important ones of all for any believer to maintain. And faith – I shan’t attempt to soften it – is necessary to anyone who seeks to live in accordance with the dictates of an unverifiable, unfalsifiable creed: i.e., a religion. Our ability to reason things out cannot be founded on vacuum. At the base of any skein of reasoning there must be a set of assumptions – premises – and these, being neither provable nor disprovable, must be accepted on faith.

     Yet even the most sincere, devout Christian will bump up against questions that try his ability to answer. There aren’t many Aquinases among us that can go lifelong in serene, unperturbed faith. Therefore it behooves us to talk to one another, and to offer perspectives on our individual journeys to faith that might be of use to others in coping with such questions.

     This is Christian inreach: the pooling of our observations and ponderings to create an ever-greater sense that our faith is reasonable. Inreach is a requirement of any coherent set of ideas or convictions. The whole of what we call science is an inreach process. It’s no less important to the Christian religion.

***

     Among the reasons I write fiction, this one is critical: I seek to show thoughtful Christians dealing with their faith, its dictates, and the questions it sometimes poses them. How we deal with such questions and the doubts they sometimes engender is a major part of our life adventure. I selected the word adventure for its etymology: “a journey to.” Every life is a journey. How successfully one navigates that journey depends on the soundness of his beliefs and his confidence in them.

     The Christmas season is now behind us, and the liturgical journey toward through Lent to the Passion and Resurrection lie ahead. When I was groping my way back toward faith, one of the questions that most beleaguered me was this one: Why was all of that necessary?

     Jesus is the Son of God and as fully divine as His Father. Surely He didn’t “need” to suffer horribly, die, and rise from the dead to redeem Mankind from its sins. Omnipotence, baby! God merely needs to say “Let it be so,” and it is so. He’s not constrained by the sort of laws that constrain us. After all, He wrote them!

     I demand intellectual consistency from the propositions I’m asked to believe. If I hadn’t wrestled successfully with that question, I could not have come back to faith. I think that’s true of millions of others who grasp how beautiful Christianity is, but who have a hard time accepting it lock, stock, and barrel.

     Fortunately, I managed. Perhaps my journey through it will be of some use to you.

***

     In In Vino, I wrote:

     “A simple old hymn,” Ray said as Lundin circled the table refilling glasses, “one of the oldest and simplest, goes like this.” He sang softly.
     “God is love,
     “And he who abides in love,
     “Abides in God,
     “And God in him.”

     “We’ve talked about God’s reason for creating the Universe, and how He must have done so to have something to love, other than Himself,” Ray said. “But there’s a minor misconception in there. Yes, God loves His Creation. But He would have been love itself even had He never essayed to create anything. It’s incorrect to imagine that God ‘needed’ us to express His love. He’s outside time, remember. Because we’re within time, we can’t really grasp what Divine existence is like. It certainly doesn’t have anything that resembles the human concept of ‘need.’”
     “Are you quite certain of that, Ray?” Monti said. The Piedmontese priest appeared vaguely troubled.
     “I am,” Ray said, “because our concept of ‘need’ is founded on our temporal nature—our innate tendency to look forward in time, and to say to ourselves, ‘What do I need to stay alive and healthy, and accomplish the things I’ve set out to do?’ A Being outside time, inherently eternal and without survival requirements, wouldn’t have such impulses. So human notions of ‘need’ would not apply to Him.”

     Need – the perception and acknowledgement of a necessity – arises from being mortals embedded in Time. We conceive of a need because we have an as-yet-unexplored future. We sense or foresee certain prerequisites to the goals we hope to achieve, and others to getting there at all. Were it not for Time and our mortal nature, the concept of need would not apply to us.

     Therefore, it doesn’t apply to God in any of His Three Persons.

     Poof! “Why was all of that necessary?” It wasn’t. God is unburdened by necessity in any sense. Christ’s acceptance of His Passion and Resurrection was a course chosen for a particular effect.

     Other questions arise here, of course. But an inreach piece must respect the limits of its readers’ time and patience. We all have lives to live and necessities to be met. Such things demand that we not spend every waking moment pondering lofty abstractions. Therefore, as I’ve said at other times and in other contexts: More anon.

     For now: May God bless and keep you all.

Crisis!

     Help, Gentle Reader! I’m in a crisis. Yes, a new one. It’s not categorically new — I’ve been here before — but it’s unprecedentedly intense.

     You see, I don’t know what to fear. The choices are too many. The fear-peddlers have overwhelmed my ability to apportion my fear energy. I’m starting to “thrash” in my efforts to fear whatever I’m supposed to fear this week.

     I’m supposed to fear the Chinese Lung Rot, the Kung Flu, the General Tsao’s Sickness or whatever it’s being called lately. It’s supposed to be bad, very bad indeed for an old fart like me. But I fear the vaccines too. Wouldn’t you, with all the recent revelations about blood clots as long as your arm and myocarditis in world-class athletes? Which should I fear more?

     I’m supposed to fear “global warming / climate change.” I’m told it’ll roast me if I don’t trade my Mercedes S550 for a Tesla this very instant. But I also fear heating oil shortages, to say nothing of exploding batteries and electric grid outages. In the Northeast, choosing among those fears is a toughie.

     I’m supposed to fear the emissions from my propane-fueled kitchen stove. Apparently gas-fueled stoves cause cancer in white rats asthma in young children. Never mind that I’ve entered my eighth decade on this mudball and my wife is close behind me. Should I really value my ability to produce a tasty meal over the pulmonary health of America’s children? What to do, what to do…

     I’m supposed to fear the Russians. I know the Cold War is long over, but they’ve invaded Ukraine! If they’re willing to do that, what won’t they do? And that nasty Vladimir Putin has the gall to love his country and put its interests ahead of those of other nations! How can a monster like that be allowed to rule a huge nation? Yeah, yeah, I know: Donald Trump. But still…

     I’m supposed to fear a federal default, too. Those evil Republicans are getting ready to freeze the federal debt ceiling. Washington won’t be able to spend our grandchildren’s money freely any longer! The Omnipotent State might have to economize. It might even have to write a budget and stick to it! How can life go on like that?

     And that’s not the end of things. Now the New York Times is telling me that I should fear Ron DeSantis! He doesn’t just belittle reporters; he actually ignores them! Great God in heaven, can the Republic function when a state governor blithely ignores the importunings of snotty journalists? I mean, yeah, they hate him with a red passion, but what about “the public’s right to know?”

     I’m paralyzed. I can’t decide. It’s just too much.

***

     It’s been a while, so let’s have a few quotes:

     No power is strong enough if it labors under the weight of fear. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

     Fear always springs from ignorance! – Ralph Waldo Emerson

     The basest of all things is to be afraid. – William Faulkner

     Fear is an acid which is pumped into one’s atmosphere. It causes mental, moral and spiritual asphyxiation, and sometimes death; death to all energy and growth. – Horace Fletcher

     We believe easily what we fear or what we desire. – La Fontaine

     “Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn to see fear’s path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” – Frank Herbert

     The stunning power of fear has long been appreciated by the power-mongers among us – and don’t kid yourself; they’re always among us. If you want to bend a man to your will, making him fear is one of the surest methods. As we are hagridden by a ruling class determined to subjugate us utterly and permanently, we are beset by more trumped-up reasons to fear than ever before in American history.

     They’ve chosen well. A fearful people can’t hang on to its rights. A fearful people wants protection – and protectors – above all else. A fearful people who can be induced to fear itself is best of all, for it can be harnessed into the service of the rulers as an enforcement auxiliary.

     Apparently, fear has an addictive property. Experiments conducted by the old Soviet KGB indicate that one who has been sufficiently conditioned to fear loses all ability to relax, to trust others, or even to trust himself. Genuinely pervasive fear destroys the connective tissue of a society, such that routine interactions and transactions become moments for unreasoning dread. That was very much to the advantage of the masters of the Soviet system.

     The lessons have not been lost on our native power-mongers. However, there’s one lesson with a silver lining: You can’t get everyone to fear the same thing at the same time. And today, one of the more active and vital communities of interest in these United States is the nationwide gun culture. American gun enthusiasts have begun to fear that a serious federal citizen-disarmament initiative is in the works. That’s a plausible thing to fear; the power-mongers fear American gun enthusiasts very much.

     What remnants of our historical freedom we retain are due entirely to our being the best armed people in human history. If there’s ever a serious revolt against the excesses of our 88,000-plus governments, our rulers will drown in their own blood. So naturally, they want to strip us of our weaponry…but the attempt is more likely than not to bring about exactly what they most fear.

     Hurrah! At last, a fear we can celebrate! More, please!

***

     In Shadow of a Sword, I wrote:

     “My mentor liked to say that success breeds failure. You tend to repeat your old, successful moves because they worked, while your enemy is developing a new one to clobber you with. I guess he had a point.”

     And it is so. However, the application to our current milieu is unclear. We need a countermeasure to the fear weapon being wielded against us. Do we already possess it, we heavily armed stump-toothed reactionary knuckle-draggers? Can we recapture our country merely by bellowing at the ruling class that “We are no longer afraid. It’s time for you to fear us” — ?

     It might just be so…and one of the things I don’t want to fear is that we’ll wait too long to try it.

Now We Know

That is, WHY the Mar-A-Lago raid was staged when it was.

It was because the Biden Protectors had just discovered that the Mindless One had allowed CSI documents to be left in his garage.

But, that was OK, because the garage was locked.

Funny, that didn’t stop the OUTRAGE over DJT’s possession of presidential records – THAT was considered a crime, worthy of Special Prosecutors and 24/7 media coverage and dark calls to “lock him up”.

For Biden?

Eh. No biggie.

And, TOTES Different. Or as I posted on Twitter #TotesDifferent

I’m trying to detach from Media Outrage and Manufactured ‘Importance’. I have enough going on in my own life to deal with others.

And, to be fair, much of what hits the headlines is not something that I can do much about. The game is rigged, the players are tools, and we can change the leadership, but the oppression goes on.

I’m working on simplifying my own life. We may have another offer on the house, so we’re in SC, de-cluttering in prep for an initial inspection.

I’m doing the last minute prep for my presentation on Radio and Physics in Portland on Monday. Pray for me – that’s a lot of travel (Sunday and Monday), and much of it through cold weather interim stops. Also, I need to figure out how to handle the COVID shot verification process, AND the identity verification process – both of which have been refused by the site. Honestly, if I didn’t want to make this presentation so badly, I’d bag it. I’m going to just have to take my DL, shot record, and my passport with me.

My husband has just been hired for a job teaching science (including 2 Physics classes), and that is generally good.

But, he will need to start the job in the midst of weeding out junk and packing up the SC house (he’s been procrastinating about the process for some time). So, that’s mostly going to fall on me.

In the midst of this, I have to:

  • Get my CEUs for insurance license renewal, switch state of residence
  • Switch driver’s license to OH
  • Get boxes packed with science stuff husband could use in his classes
    • Also, help him get his out of state license for teaching transferred to OH
    • And, to help him get a flight to OH
    • And, to help on any other thing he needs to get done to leave
  • Work on business stuff – enrolling new clients, gathering together info for 2022 taxes
  • Sort stuff into Donations, Junk, and Important – and, get sellable items into a staging area and publicize the event (much of this will be stuff for teachers in the classroom)

I’m already tired, looking at that list.

But, the important thing is – NONE of that will be significantly affected by over-focus on current events. What foibles FJB commits in public, what celebrities are doing, what antics the politicians and petty bureaucrats are involved in – not going to change my life.

Focus. De-stress. Concentrate on the things I have some control over.

Master Demonstration On How To Beat Social Engineering

My opinion of Professor Jordan Brent Peterson keeps rising. His mastery of impromptu speech, of finding the right words to describe what he is attempting convey on the fly, appears to me to be unparalleled in the world of today. His latest contribution to our battle to save civilization, published yesterday, is below. Normally I would convey why it has added meaning and utility for me and you before displaying it. However, I find it so powerful I think you should begin to watch it even if you don’t take it to the end. Once you’ve finished this essay I surely hope you will have been inspired to listen to it all.

As I commented a few days ago, I’ve been reluctant to publish my post on how social engineering (SE) works. Five months ago it had two shortcomings I didn’t know how to handle. I believe this video has greatly reduced one of them.

The first issue is unfamiliarity. The attempt to explain it may be too technical (at least for those who’ve never performed engineering analysis), and so will greatly put off too many readers. I needed to give them reason to keep reading — to just accept my opinion that my premise is sound — until they get to the points that can benefit them.

The second issue was far worse. in many ways what it reveals seemed too grim to me because I didn’t believe we really had a way to defeat the machine. I did not wish simply to increase your winds of woe that adding to the myriad atrocities, and analyzing what they do to us, might do. So that effort has languished in draft despite FWP’s encouragement to add some examples and just publish as it stood.

Mercifully, Dr. Peterson now has provided a superb example on how to beat it. But before I go back and publish (in a few days?) my description of how SE works, I felt you needed to see this example, both of SE in use (not that Peterson knows that’s what’s happened) and his courageous effort to defeat it. It is a method that I thought previously was only wishful thinking on my part.

There is an irony here. Jordan Peterson, the psychologist, is fighting the fostering of insanity. Maybe because insanity is often spoken of as only a legal term he didn’t describe it thusly. But I would define insanity as thinking and behaving in a manner that is nonsensical to living. Not having a death wish per se, but being unaware that that is the road one has taken. And in my opinion the Ontario College of Psychologists (OCP) are fostering insanity for political gain and they do not care how much of wider society they harm as they (members of the Left) seek greater power.

The various anonymous voices that the OCP have asserted that Professor Peterson has harmed them. Because of OCP’s power, the equivalent of an amplifier for those voices, no matter how unfounded are the charges, the OCP going forward, using them as a basis to attack Dr. Peterson, is what we have come to know as waging lawfare.

Dr. Peterson’s understands that those voices are being used as a ploy by the political Left (he does not use the word lawfare, but notes the legal bills that have mounted would be untenable to those lacking the funds he has amassed due to his fame over the last half dozen years), and that angers him as it surely angers readers of this blog,

That anger, contained over a long time, appears to have aged him. Indeed, he reports physical pain and weakness as well attributed to the need to keep the anger in check so he could think clearly.

I wish him well and support him to the extent that I will shortly publish how we can lend a hand. It will be easier for you than for him, but in the long run it will empower you as I never dreamed possible until I saw this video. I pray that I could come sufficiently close to Dr. Peterson’s skill in aligning all my thoughts to convey what I wish to say. I’m working on it harder than ever before. Because, as I hope you will learn, a clean and clear thought process is the source of power needed.

Be well and hopeful dear readers. You do not know yet how much power you have.

Those Stubborn Things

     Among the many campaigns being conducted all around us, I deem this one to be critical: the war against immutable facts.

     You don’t have to be an intellectual giant like Thomas Sowell, one of the most important public intellectuals of the century behind us, to understand that facts trump any and all theories, hypotheses, concepts, opinions, and offhand notions that don’t square with them. You just have to be honest. However, in our time the formation of public convictions, especially about politics and public policy, is largely in the hands of utterly dishonest persons.

     It hardly matters why they’re dishonest. Some are partisans. Some are paid shills. Others are partly irrational. Still others are quasi-solipsists. Yet others are just thieves. I’m sure that’s not a complete taxonomy. The results are what matter, especially in an era in which the dishonest dominate the mass media.

     I’ve saved ten links from today’s and yesterday’s news that bear directly on this subject:

     I was barely able to resist hysterical laughter as I cruised through all that material. Let it suffice to say that the Left, of which the Democrat Party is the political arm, is irrevocably hostile to facts. Facts undermine the Left’s agenda. Facts make the Democrats look like what they are: dishonest power-grubbing tools. And though their rhetorical methods vary, their essence is consistent: “Away with the facts, if they cross-cut our plans for totalitarian power!”

     Citing facts to a Leftist is like waving a red cape at a bull. You’re asking to be called everything but white. They demand that you eschew the study of verifiable facts in preference for their proclamations on “what we must do.” If you refuse…well, then you must be evil, for everyone knows that Leftists are morally superior to non-Leftists. Ask any Leftist.

     It’s ridiculous, tiresome, and ominous all at once.

***

     About half of forever ago, a man entirely without academic credentials – I believe he earned his living as a longshoreman – published a provocative book: a study of the convictions, attitudes, and methods that characterize mass movements. It caused a sensation, especially as he struck the jugular in every respect. Academic philosophers tried their damnedest to devalue his little book. They poured a great deal of scorn on it – and on him. Yet the years since his book’s appearance have verified his claims in all particulars.

     Here is the passage that come to mind this morning:

     The readiness for self-sacrifice is contingent on an imperviousness to the realities of life. He who is free to draw conclusions from his individual experience and observation is not usually hospitable to the idea of martyrdom. For self-sacrifice is an unreasonable act. It cannot be the end-product of a process of probing and deliberating.
     All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world.
     They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it. The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ. “So tenaciously should we cling to the world revealed by the Gospel, that were I to see all the Angels of Heaven coming down to me to tell me something different, not only would I not be tempted to doubt a single syllable, but I would shut my eyes and stop my ears, for they would not deserve to be either seen or heard.” To rely on the evidence of the senses and of reason is heresy and treason. It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible. What we know as blind faith is sustained by innumerable unbeliefs. The fanatical Japanese in Brazil refused to believe for years the evidence of Japan’s defeat.
     The fanatical Communist refuses to believe any unfavorable report or evidence about Russia, nor will he be disillusioned by seeing with his own eyes the cruel misery inside the Soviet promised land.
     It is the true believer’s ability to “shut his eyes and stop his ears” to facts that do not deserve to be either seen or heard which is the source of his unequaled fortitude and constancy. He cannot be frightened by danger nor disheartened by obstacles nor balked by contradictions because he denies their existence. Strength of faith, as Bergson pointed out, manifests itself not in moving mountains but in not seeing mountains to move.13 And it is the certitude of his infallible doctrine that renders the true believer impervious to the infallible doctrine that renders the true believer impervious to the uncertainties, surprises and the unpleasant realities of the world around him.
     Thus the effectiveness of a doctrine should not be judged by its profundity, sublimity or the validity of the truths it embodies, but by how thoroughly it insulates the individual from his self and the world as it is. What Pascal said of an effective religion is true of any effective doctrine: it must be “contrary to nature, to common sense and to pleasure.”

     [Eric Hoffer, The True Believer]

     The penetration exposed in that passage eclipses anything anyone else has ever said on the subject of mass movements. It gives the mass movement its true coloration: It’s an exhortation to self-sacrifice. It requires that the individual submerge himself in the movement – and that requires that he deem his own interests irrelevant whenever and wherever they conflict with the goals of the movement.

     If you doubt this, review the agendas of the mass movements of today, virtually all of which are Left-inspired and Left-directed. Which of them don’t demand that the adherent place his own interests – his prosperity, his comfort, his individuality itself – behind those of the movement? The ones that seem relatively inoffensive – for example, the various “save the XXXes” movements – nevertheless demand that human interests must be subordinated to the Cause. They may not be openly allied with the Death Cults, but the commonalities, once noticed, cannot be overlooked.

     To perpetrate their villainies on the world, the conductors of mass movements must conceal, obscure, or deny the facts. Facts are their mortal enemies. An individual in possession of the facts would turn away from any of the various mass movement in revulsion.

***

     Many years ago, I wrote:

     Truth is an evaluation: a judgment that some proposition corresponds to objective reality sufficiently for men to rely upon it. The weakening of the concept of truth cuts an opening through which baldly counterfactual propositions can be thrust into serious discourse. Smith might say that proposition X is disprovable, or that it contradicts common observations of the world; Jones counters that X suits him fine, for he has dismissed the disprovers as “partisan” and prefers his own observations to those of Smith. Unless the two agree on standards for relevant evidence, pertinent reasoning, and common verification — in other words, standards for what can be accepted as sufficiently true — their argument over X will never end.

     An interest group that has “put its back against the wall” as regards its central interest, and is unwilling to concede the battle regardless of the evidence and logic raised against its claims, will obfuscate, attack the motives of its opponents, and attempt to misdirect their attention with irrelevancies. When all of these have failed, its last-ditch defense is to attack the concept of truth. Once that has been undermined, the group can’t be defeated. It can stay on the ideological battlefield indefinitely, preserving the possibility of victory through attrition or fatigue among its opponents.

     Can there be truth without objectively verifiable facts? I can’t see it. Yet the Left, especially its mass media arm, has indeed “put its back to the wall.” It demands the privilege of dismissing facts when they clash with the Left’s prescribed agenda. What matters is the movement: its cohesion and unceasing advance.

     But facts, as John Adams and others have observed, are stubborn things. Once they’re known, they can no longer be denied. As Bertrand Russell has said, though a man may be kept ignorant, he cannot be made ignorant.

     Judge those around you, and the causes they espouse, according to their willingness to deal with the facts. What else need be said?

Tales From The Bearded Spock Universe

     There’s no point to writing satire any longer. As soon as a satirist produces a fresh item, our crazies decide to make it happen in real life:

     “The world is facing a looming existential threat caused by exploitative habits and intentional human negligence.”

     That is how Brandon Edwards-Schuth and Marco Cerqueira, a pair of graduate students at Washington State University, describe the pending global crisis as they see it in their recent Northwest Journal of Teacher Education article.

     Their solution to combat this dystopian future? “Plantifa.”

     Plantifa is situated “at the intersections of anti-fascism, eco-justice, decolonization, and arts-based curriculum theories,” the scholars write.

     “We feel that education rooted in a Plantifa curriculum can be one potential way for both teachers and communities to use a diversity of tactics to fight climate change and subvert power structures working against environmental justice,” the scholars state in their November 2022 paper.

     If adopted, the authors note, they envision Plantifa being carried out by communities, as well as incorporated into current classroom lesson plans, perhaps as a final class assignment.

     For that assignment, the scholars suggest students engage in the practice of guerrilla gardening, “a subversive and communal eco-justice approach to environmental degradation and inequity.”

     Unlike traditional gardening, which the duo describe as taking place in “designated flower beds or defined community gardens,” guerrilla gardening, they write, entails intentionally “gardening without borders,” for example on somebody else’s land.

     Anti-fascist guerrilla gardeners, they write, assist “nature in breaking trespassing laws, where it is really the insatiable consumption inherent under capitalism which has trespassed Earth.”

     “[V]acant lots, medians, and ‘derelict land’” are just some of the sites anti-fascist guerrilla gardeners may target, note the pair of scholars, as these are all “spaces of eco-potentiality.”…

     “We are nature,” they declare to the world. “We are the yarning tracing ways of common guerrilla gardeners. We are the planet. We are plants. As we plant seeds, we become the seeds. We all are Plantifa!”

     Yes, really. That is a real article that was printed in a real educational journal. Laugh if you please, but the authors of that article appear to mean it literally. They propose a curriculum for grammar schools and high schools based on this lunacy. No doubt high-achieving Plantifa scholars will be eligible for scholarships to special institutions where they can add guerilla hybridization and progressive culling to their skills.

     Really and for true, Gentle Reader: It’s time to ring every “institution of higher learning” in these United States with a thirty foot high, impermeable wall with one door in it: a door that can only be opened from the outside. Thereafter, while individuals will be permitted to enter, no one will be permitted to leave. All electronic communication from within the walls will be routed to the police. The compassionate will be invited to throw canned food and simple manual puzzles over the walls on alternate Tuesdays.

Perhaps It Was Inevitable

     After all, what the Left accuses the Right of doing is almost always what the Left has already done:

     Attorney General Merrick Garland has assigned the U.S. attorney in Chicago to review documents marked classified that were found at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, two sources with knowledge of the inquiry told CBS News. The roughly 10 documents are from President Biden’s vice-presidential office at the center, the sources said. CBS News has learned the FBI is also involved in the U.S. attorney’s inquiry.

     The material was identified by personal attorneys for Mr. Biden on Nov. 2, just before the midterm elections, Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president confirmed. The documents were discovered when Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys “were packing files housed in a locked closet to prepare to vacate office space at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C.,” Sauber said in a statement to CBS News. The documents were contained in a folder that was in a box with other unclassified papers, the sources said. The sources revealed neither what the documents contain nor their level of classification. A source familiar with the matter told CBS News the documents did not contain nuclear secrets.

     Is anyone surprised? Is your memory of Sandy Berger that faint?

     Questions remain, of course. How sensitive were those documents? Some of them were marked Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). That’s way up there. The SCI category is for material so sensitive that its disclosure would do the U.S. serious and irreparable harm.

     How did those documents make their way to the Penn Biden Center? Was it Joe Biden himself who conveyed them there? As it happened when he was only the Vice-President, that would indicate not one but two federal crimes. The Vice-President does not have authority to access, remove, or declassify SCI material. So he should never have had access to them in the first place, much less removed them to a private facility not authorized to possess them.

     Needless to say, the tu quoque and desensitization efforts are already underway:

     CNN reporter Jamie Gangel called the story a gift to Trump. “There’s a big political side to this,” she conceded. “This is, let’s assume for the moment, that it was accidental, a mistake. This is the kind of political unforced error that I can’t believe Donald Trump hasn’t posted about yet. He will be shortly. It is the definition of a political gift to Trump and the House Republicans.”

     So the true significance isn’t the felonious handling of SCI material by an unauthorized party who later became president? It’s what Donald Trump and the GOP will do with it? Fascinating. Additionally, CBS wants you to know that it’s not all that big a deal:

     “The Penn Biden Center case has parallels to the Justice Department’s pursuit of Donald Trump’s presidential records – but the scope and scale are materially different,” according to CBS.

     Bill Clinton’s defenders got him across the finish line by chanting that “it’s just about sex.” Will the Bidenites be able to protect their puppet man in a similar fashion? We shall see.

     I once had access to classified material. The protection of that material was treated so seriously that to leave a Confidential or Secret document unmonitored for as little as ten seconds was deemed a punishable offense. To write down the combination to the lock on a classified document storage unit was even more serious. People lost their jobs over it. Some were prosecuted.

     What will be done to the dementia sufferer who whiles away his days in the Oval Office? Indictment and trial? A slap on the wrist? A stern talking-to? Even a “Joe, you should have known better?” And what about Barack Hussein Obama, who had to have known about it all?

     I know which way I’m inclined to bet.

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