The Chinese Just Love Playing With Deadly Diseases

     A story I wasn’t happy – or surprised – to read:

     Chinese scientists have engineered a virus with parts of Ebola in a lab that killed a group of hamsters.
     A team of researchers at Hebei Medical University used a contagious disease of livestock and added a protein found in Ebola, which allows the virus to infect cells and spread throughout the human body.
     The group of hamsters that received the lethal injection ‘developed severe systemic diseases similar to those observed in human Ebola patients,’ including multi-organ failure,’ the study shared.
     One particularly horrific symptom saw the infected hamsters develop secretions in their eyes, which impaired their vision and scabbed over the surface of the eyeballs
     While the experiment may spark fears of another lab leak, the researchers say their goal was to find the right animal models that can safely mimic Ebola symptoms in a lab setting.

     “May” spark fears of another lab leak? Well, gee, it’s just Ebola, right? It’s just one of the two deadliest hemorrhagic diseases known to medicine, so why worry? Especially since the point of this “experiment” was to downgrade the safety protocols for working with Ebola:

     Ebola needs to be handled in Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) facilities which are special high security laboratories, while many are only BLS-2.
     To work around this in a lower security setting, scientists used a different virus called vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), which they engineered to carry part of the Ebola virus that’s called glycoprotein (GP) that plays a crucial role in helping the virus enter and infect cells of its host.

     Never imagine that this…experiment could be carried out without the approval of the Chinese government…nor without the knowledge and tacit acceptance of the United States government.

     I think I’ll just sit in the corner in fetal position and shiver for a while.

The Chronicle of The DC, 6May24: Compelled Wastefulness

That one was on a dam in India.

This one, on the plains in Nebraska, was destroyed by hail.

Only in Utopia (no place) there are no storms.

Pouring Cement Into The Wound

     The COVID-19 affair was arguably the worst thing to happen to the United States since the Civil War. The disease aside, the “remedy:”

  • Closure of schools;
  • Closure of businesses;
  • Closure of places of worship;
  • Nationwide lockdowns of healthy Americans;
  • Suppression of dissent from the official narrative;
  • Coerced administration of experimental, untested vaccines;

     …did enormous, entirely objective damage to the economy, the education of children, and the morale of the public. It very nearly destroyed the country. Yet even today, with the results as plain as 72-point type, the architects of this self-inflicted catastrophe – not one of whom has even lost his job – want to institutionalize it as a worldwide policy under United Nations control:

     The head of the World Health Organization on Friday urged countries to agree to an accord to help fight future pandemics as negotiations approach a deadline this month.
     The new pact and a series of updates to existing rules on dealing with pandemics are intended to shore up the world’s defenses against new pathogens after the COVID-19 pandemic killed millions of people.
     Countries are due to finalise negotiations on the accord on May 10, with a view to adopting it at the WHO’s annual meeting later this month, but sources involved say that big differences remain.
     “Give the people of the world, the people of your countries, the people you represent, a safer future,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a Geneva meeting.
     “So I have one simple request: please, get this done, for them,” he said. He encouraged countries who did not fully agree with the text to at least refrain from blocking consensus among WHO’s 194 member states.
     One of the main points of disagreement between wealthy countries and developing states is the vexed issue of sharing drugs and vaccines fairly to avoid a repeat of COVID-era failures.

     But what are these “new rules on dealing with pandemics” – ? As of a year ago, despite the compilation of a 208-page framework-agreement, they were still largely undefined. However, on one thing they were clear: the ultimate authority would rest in the hands of the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). National governments would cede their sovereignty in this regard.

     The great majority of the fatalities from COVID-19 were among the elderly and the already-morbid: the usual victims of a flu outbreak. Most of the others were victims of the “treatment” they received for that 99.7%-survivable disease. Reflect on that – and on the use of this engineered disease to justify a cession of U.S. sovereignty to a supra-national organization that seeks to invade our system of drug patents “for the greater good.”

     We are fortunate in this nation in many regards. The one uppermost in my thoughts just now is that treaties must be ratified by the Senate, by a two-thirds majority. Should the Democrats gain sufficient numbers in that body, American sovereignty (and much else) would be seriously imperiled. That makes the November elections appear highly consequential.

     Remember that “public health” has been used on several occasions as a justification under which to abridge the rights of Americans. There have even been attempts to use it as the rationale for extensive gun-control and gun-confiscation measures. Imagine what the U.N. could do with “worldwide public health” as a tool. Should the Director-General of WHO declare that the world is suffering a “violence pandemic” largely due to the prevalence of guns in unapproved hands, can you imagine what would follow?

     They who prowl the corridors of power are ever eager for new rationales under which they can extend their control over private citizens. “Pandemic response” is the most far-reaching such rationale yet to be devised.

     Stay tuned.

Want To Know Whose Side “Big Tech” Is On?

Google banned this pro-Trump ad:

‘Nuff said.

On This Day Of Days

     …which we wait for all year – we do, don’t we? – we commemorate World War II’s great Battle of the South Atlantic, in which Argentina’s innovative and deadly pocket battleship Mayo faced off against the intrepid Mexican cruiser Alas de Agua and went to a watery grave…wait, what? There was no such battle? Oh, then it must have been when the world-famous Mexican chef Sin Salsa announced that he had perfected tequila-flavored aioli…huh? Not that either? Well, something notable happened somewhere on May 5, long ago. Here at the Fortress of Crankitude, we eat enchiladas in celebration of whatever it was. I’m sure my Gentle Readers have comparable traditions.

     Anyway, as usual for a Sunday morning, the news is a bit dull, so I think I’ll talk about fiction and “the rules.”

***

     If you write fiction, as I’m certain at least one reader of Liberty’s Torch does now and then to his sorrow and regret, you’re continuously assailed by doubts. Some of those doubts are of your own conceptions. Those may come and go, but others of greater weight are about whether you’re following “the rules” adequately. “The rules” hang over all of us like a dark cloud, a harbinger of doom, or some other murky cliché.

     It wasn’t clear to me, when I set out on this journey, who made “the rules” and what invests them with authority. Indeed, “the rules” seemed to me a shifting collection of thou-shalts and thou shalt nots that reflected the prevailing tastes of the times in which they were promulgated. In the early Nineteenth Century, when Victor Hugo bestrode the world, it was apparently all right to festoon one’s tales with narrative intrusions about the place and time in which the tale was set. That practice lasted about as long as did Victor Hugo, though it had a brief resurgence when Leo Tolstoy came to town.

     The late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries brought us a hodge-podge of rules. From Mark Twain we got “If you catch an adjective, kill it!” Ernest Hemingway made that the core of his approach to narration. Funny that he shared the stage with America’s best-known over-writer, William Faulkner, isn’t it? But literary trends can be erratic, just as writers are. Oops! I’m not supposed to end a sentence with a cognate, am I?

     Genuinely popular fiction, mostly published in paperback, began to surge to the forefront after World War II. With it came the speculative genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and what we often call “magical realism.” Those writers felt free to “cock a snook” at “the rules,” including that pesky one about not using idioms unlikely to be familiar to one’s readers. They leaned on their imaginations rather than the characterological and stylistic strengths of the figures that preceded them. When I revisit some of their works, I often find myself wondering what they (or their publishers) thought of “the rules,” if they ever did at all. When the literati deigned to acknowledge their existence, they dismissed them as unworthy. Still, the new genres sold well, which surely provided some balm for the wounds to their egos.

     It’s unclear to me, despite the enormous amount I’ve forced myself to read on the subject, whether “the rules” have any real substance. There are some exhortations that strike me as constructive, for example the rule about taking care to maintain a consistent viewpoint within a given scene. But there are others, such as the one that forbids prologues, whose violation sometimes strikes me as compulsory. And by God, I’ll use adverbs as and when I please, and be damned to anyone who objects!

     You see, a writer of fiction really has only one rule whose observance is mandatory: he must entertain his reader. He must do what he can to achieve that. In pursuit of that goal, the breaking of any lesser rule might be justified. Yes, yes, including the rule about “show, don’t tell,” which should really be “show character, don’t tell it.”

     If there’s ever been a more entertaining writer than the late Roger Zelazny, I’m unacquainted with him. Zelazny himself often speculated about whether it’s possible to break some rule or other to advantage. In an essay in his collection Unicorn Variations, he wrote about his decision to do so in one of his novels, Isle of the Dead. He said quite frankly that his aim was to see if he could get away with it…and he did. His most famous rule-breakage, though, was surely in his award-winner Lord of Light, a can’t-put-it-down novel which is 98% flashback.

     I could go on about this, but I’ll spare you. The bottom line is clear: if you succeed in entertaining your readers, you may do as you please. As a present on this most auspicious day – ah! I have it! It’s the day Simón de Mayo routed the savage Persnicketians, ended for all time their lethal disdain and their incomprehensible metaphors, and earned for himself the title of El Lubricador – have an old short story I found while wandering through my archives a day or two ago.


Attitudes

     Kevin Conway noticed Hajj al-Siddiqui’s entrance to the Onteora Aviation Christmas party before anyone else, and was unable to look away from him thereafter. The Saudi, whose attendance no one had expected, scanned the throng, found Marwan Sayyat, OA’s only Muslim employee, standing alone along its edge, and moved unerringly toward him. Sayyat greeted the Saudi with something halfway between a curtsey and a bow. The two moved well away from the rest of the personnel, as if to preserve the privacy of their unit of two.
     “Kevin?”
     “Hm? Oh, sorry, Tanya. Something wrong?”
     “That’s what I was going to ask,” Tanya Taliaferro said. Her expression wasn’t exactly alarmed, but there was more in it than a casual inquiry into her boyfriend’s state of mind.
     He grinned down at her. “Oh, nothing.” His gaze moved immediately back to the two Muslims, who were conversing with unusual animation and a wealth of dramatic gestures. “I just didn’t expect our visitor to put in an appearance.”
     But I didn’t expect Marwan to be here, either. First time in eight years.
     “He was invited, wasn’t he?” Tanya sipped at her cola. “Mr. Forslund would hardly have neglected to do that.”
     “I imagine not. Still…”
     He was groping for another topic of conversation when Emil Deukmeijian came through the doors behind them with a hardshell guitar case and a gleam in his eye. The crowd parted to let him pass, and he headed straight for Louis Redmond, who was hunched over the buffet table searching for God alone knew what in a platter of vegetables and dip.
     Louis turned, saw his Tactical colleague approaching with the instrument, and threw his eyes to heaven in mock despair. Around them, coworkers familiar with their routine tittered at the byplay.
     “Don’t I ever get a break from this, Emil?”
     Deukmeijian thrust the guitar case at him and dragged a straight-backed chair to the front of the throng. “Shut up and earn your dinner.”
     The crowd laughed.
     Conway caught Tanya by the arm and pulled her toward the front of the gathering. “Come on. You don’t want to miss this.”
     “Miss what?”
     “Trust me.”
     Around Louis the clapping was building steadily. His expression of dismay slowly softened to a grin.
     “All right, all right.” Louis seated himself, pulled an old Guild acoustic guitar out of the case and settled it on his thighs. “I don’t know any modern songs, though.”
     Deukmeijian snorted. “No excuses, choir boy. Make ‘em sing!”
     Louis shook his head in resignation and began to tune.

* * *

     Tanya nudged Conway. “Whose guitar is that?”
     “His. He leaves it here, practices at lunch most days.”
     Her eyebrows rose, and she turned to watch with heightened interest. The crowd pressed forward around them.
     “Any requests?” Louis called out.
     A voice from the far end of the room shouted back “Something from after 1900!” The crowd laughed again.
     Louis shook his head. “You guys should know better. All right, here goes nothing.” He brushed his fingers lightly over the strings, a motion curiously like a caress, and began to play.
     It was a thing of angular elegance. It stepped in light circles of three and four, beckoning and retreating, one measure, two, and then Louis’s soft voice rose to match it.
     “Sally free and easy, that should be her name,
     “Sally free and easy, that should be her name,
     “Took a sailor’s loving, for a nursery game.”
     The young engineer’s face was wreathed in light, the strange glow Tanya sometimes perceived around him that it seemed no one else could see. She pressed further forward, pulling Conway with her.
     “Oh the heart that she gave me, was not made of stone,
     “Oh the heart that she gave me, was not made of stone,
     “It was sweet and hollow, like a honeycomb.”
     Louis lowered his head and cycled the melody through two simple variations, four measures. Conway’s heartstrings vibrated in sympathy.
     “Think I’ll wait till the sunset, see the ensign down,
     “Think I’ll wait till the sunset, see the ensign down,
     “Then I’ll take the tideway, to my burying ground.”
     He gave the melody a final contrapunctal spin and lowered his voice still further.
     “Sally free and easy, that should be her name,
     “Sally free and easy, that should be her name,
     “When my body’s landed… hope she dies of shame.”
     One bare cycle over the strings, and silence.
     The applause was sudden and vigorous. Louis bowed his head and waited for the approbations to die out.
     “Thank you.”
     Tanya nudged Kevin and whispered, “He didn’t do this last year.”
     Conway’s face clouded in recollection. “Events, love. There was other stuff to deal with, remember?”
     A pang went through her, and she nodded.
     “Is that new?” someone shouted.
     Louis shook his head. “Thirty years old at least. Written by an Englishman named Cyril Tawney. Ready for the old stuff?”
     The response was a wordless shout of assent.
     Louis nodded and began to pick again. This melody was more regular than the first. It sang of sunlight, a joyous romp over an open meadow, and an enveloping warmth.
     “Oh the summertime’s a comin’,
     “And the fields are sweetly growin’,
     “And the wild mountain thyme blooms around the purple heather,
     “Will you go, lassie, go?
     “For we’ll all go down together,
     “We’ll pull wild mountain thyme,
     “From around the purple heather,
     “If you’ll go, lassie, go.”
     The melody circled and rang in the great room.
     “I will build my love a bower,
     “By yon clear crystal fountain,
     “And around it I will sow,
     “All the flowers of the mountain,
     “Will you go, lassie, go?”
     Louis closed his eyes and let his fingers tease that timeless paean to youth and love from the strings in endless revolutions. He tipped back his head, his lips parted, and his sweet, soft baritone became a thing with wings.
     “If my true love will not go,
     “I shall surely find another,
     “Who’ll pull wild mountain thyme,
     “From around the purple heather,
     “Yes we’ll go, lassie, go,
     “And we’ll all go down together,
     “To pull wild mountain thyme,
     “From around the purple heather…
     “Will you go, lassie go?”
     A measure to relax, a measure to conclude, and it was done. The crowd erupted in mind-numbing applause, stomping and cheers.
     Tanya pulled Conway through the crowd, to the forward edge. Louis noticed. His eyes twinkled; he nodded minutely toward them and continued playing.
* * *

     “It is a blasphemy,” al-Siddiqui said.
     “The entire event is a blasphemy,” Sayyat replied. “The entire company is a blasphemy. Have you not seen? The sexes commingled, women in lascivious dress, haram food in the cafeteria, and no breaks for prayer! It has surely earned God’s wrath.”
     The Saudi turned away from the infidel performer and fixed an interrogative gaze on his companion. “Why, then, do you labor here? Why not at a company run by one of the Faithful?”
     Sayyat shook his head ruefully. “I tried, my brother. There are none in Onteora. Indeed, I could find none within two hundred miles.”
     “Then move! A servant of Allah must not take friends—or orders—from among the infidels!”
     Sayyat started to reply, caught himself, and returned his eyes to Louis Redmond.
     I must take care to keep him away from Fatima.
     His beloved was almost ready to return to the fold from which the infidels had seduced her. She could not and would not speak ill of Louis Redmond, nor of Emil Deukmeijian, whose affections she still craved. Yet she had spoken more than once of the fear and disorientation that had accompanied her apostasy from the Prophet’s Holy Way. Her sole hope of relief lay in her return to the One True Faith. But…not yet, may Allah make it so. Not quite yet. It was still too soon for Fatima Ozgal to learn of his plans for her. Any of them.
     “We must put a stop to this,” al-Siddiqui said, far too loudly. “No matter the cost.” Though a dozen feet separated them from the rest of the celebrants, dozens of heads turned toward them with stares of inquiry.
     “Brother, please!” Sayyat whispered. “We are two among many, and in no way prepared for anything but talk. There will be a better time.”
     “Allah wills it!”
     Onteora Aviation’s Administration Building cafeteria, though filled by more than seven hundred persons, immediately became silent. Sayyat turned to find that the two of them had become the focus of every eye in the huge room.
     “Excuse me,” said a soft baritone voice. “Don’t care for the music?”
     Louis Redmond stood before them, guitar in hand. His attention was fixed on al-Siddiqui.
     Al-Siddiqui’s face twisted into a mask of hatred. Sayyat stepped between them at once.
     “There is no need for this.”
     The little engineer shook his head. “I think there is, Marwan. Mr. al-Siddiqui—“
     “I am cousin to a king, infidel! A member of a royal house!”
     “Oh?” Louis’s eyebrows rose. “But we’re in America, not Saudi Arabia. Well, I suppose I should be polite to you anyway. Your people would insist that an American visitor there conform to local laws and customs, wouldn’t they?”
     Al-Siddiqui said nothing. His grimace remained in place.
     “I thought so,” Louis said. “Why are you here, surrounded by all these infidels and our revolting practices?”
     “I am the emissary of the defense minister of my country, and you will show me the proper respect!”
     “That’s exactly what I’m doing,” Louis said. “All the respect you deserve and quite a lot more. Please note that no one is keeping you from leaving. If you need help finding your way out, I’m sure Marwan will be happy to assist you.” He smiled, returned to his chair, and settled the guitar on his lap once more.
     “Apologies for the interruption, ladies and gentlemen. Anyway, I’d say it’s time for a few Christmas carols, wouldn’t you?”
     The crowd roared in approval.
     Louis nodded in acknowledgement and began to pick.
     “Oh come, all ye faithful,
     “Joyful and triumphant,
     “Oh come ye, oh come ye, to Bethlehem…”
     A thunder of voices joined with Louis’s in song. Al-Siddiqui snarled and started forward. Sayyat took hold of the Saudi’s arm and jerked him back.
* * *

     Tanya was incredulous. “Where does all that brass come from?”
     Conway grinned. “You know him. He’d face down an invading army with one slightly raised eyebrow and a sneer of contempt.” He chuckled. “I wouldn’t lay any bets on the outcome, either.”
     The party had recovered its spirits at full intensity. Louis swung from one traditional carol to another. The volume and gaiety of the crowd rose with each one. At the far edge of the gathering, al-Siddiqui and Sayyat had hunched toward one another and were conversing with apparent urgency. Now and then Sayyat glanced toward Louis, who was apparently unaware.
     “Kevin?”
     “Hm?” Conway turned to find the tall, husky figure of Emil Deukmeijian standing behind him.
     Deukmeijian indicated the two Muslims with his eyes. “I don’t like the way this is trending.”
     Conway shrugged. “Who does, Emil? Not much to be done about it at the moment. Marwan’s got as much right to be here as I do, and Anders Forslund invited al-Siddiqui here himself.”
     “All the same,” Deukmeijian said, “we should try to be ready, don’t you think?”
     “Ready for what?”
     “Anything.” Deukmeijian glanced again at the Muslims. “It’s an awfully nice party. Shouldn’t we try to make sure it stays that way?”
     Conway looked hard into the big software engineer’s eyes, smiled, and nodded. “Tanya, wait here, would you please? Emil and I will be back in a little while.”
* * *

     Sayyat stiffened as a large hand landed on his shoulder and squeezed. He straightened and tried to shake off the offending digits, but failed. He turned partway to find Kevin Conway smiling at him.
     “Merry Christmas, Marwan. The two of you looked a bit lonely, over here all by yourselves. Terrible thing to behold on Christmas Eve. So we decided to bring you a little seasonal cheer.” He presented Sayyat with a small cup of yellowish fluid.
     Emil Deukmeijian had Hajj al-Siddiqui in exactly the same grip. The Saudi’s face had mottled with outrage.
     “If the two of you would be so kind as to come with us,” Conway murmured, “I think we can show you a better time than you appear to be having here.”
     “We will stay where we are,” al-Siddiqui growled. His eyes darted toward Deukmeijian. “And you will remove your unclean hand from my person!”
     “Oh, I think not,” Emil drawled. “That young fellow with the guitar you were talking to a little earlier? Happens that we think a lot of him. So does everyone else in this room. We’d take it badly if you were to do anything that might get him upset. And he gets very upset at any criticism of his singing. So we thought we’d let you know about that beforehand.”
     Emil’s fingers closed powerfully on al-Siddiqui’s shoulder. The Saudi’s face went dead white, and he started to slump to the ground. Emil quickly caught him and held him up.
     “A bit too much Christmas cheer, Mr. al-Siddiqui? And so early in the evening, too. I thought your sort didn’t drink. Well, it takes all kinds. As long as you’re going to stay, we’ll just stay here with you and make sure everything remains copacetic until you’ve had enough. That okay by you, Kevin?”
     Conway smiled ferally. “Sounds like a plan to me.”
     Sayyat wilted.
* * *

     “What was that all about?” Tanya said as Conway returned to her side.
     He shrugged. “Call it a peacekeeping measure.”
     “You really thought—“
     “No, love. Emil did, though. I was just backing his play.” Conway looked toward the departing Muslims. Deukmeijian was herding them through the cafeteria doors.
     Mission accomplished. Good work, Emil.
     “They don’t play nice,” he said. “The Middle Eastern ones bring their attitudes with them wherever they go. They’re Allah’s chosen people, and the rest of us are infidel scum: too happy, too free, and too ignorant of our lowly status. So they feel they have the privilege of abusing us, even in our own country. It doesn’t take a lot for that attitude to come to the surface.”
     He looked toward the front of the gathering, where Louis was packing up his guitar to groans of disappointment from his audience. “They can just barely bear to deal with the rest of us as if we were actual human beings. But there isn’t a man among them worthy to tie Louis’s shoelaces, they know it as soon as they look at him, and it gets them in a really tender place. The ones who’ve been in this country for a while have enough sense to restrain themselves. Most of them, most of the time, though there’s no telling what they’ll do when enough of them get together. But the ones fresh off the tarmac from places where their kind reign unopposed?” He shook his head. “Emil had the right idea. If the Saudi had dared to try anything with Louis…”
     Tanya wrapped an arm around him and snugged herself into his side. Her expression had become solemn. “They don’t belong here, do they?”
     “No,” Conway said. “They don’t.”

==<O>==

     Copyright © 2010 Francis W. Porretto. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

This Is The Nation’s Top Economic Advisor

     And you won’t believe the crap he spouts, or how he stammers and misdirects:

     Time was, even a schoolchild knew what money is:

money n: a medium of exchange and a store of value.

     I was taught that before I could write a check. Note the and in the definition. Money must have both the indicated characteristics. Paper currency can be a medium of exchange, and land can be a store of value, but neither of them is money.

     In the clip above, Bernstein’s tongue tangles because he doesn’t want to be clear about how federal borrowing and the subsequent national indebtedness interplay. It’s vital to the power and status of the political Establishment that those who do understand it be as few as possible – and all of them corralled within the corridors of power.

     Time was, the national debt was owed to individuals and private companies (mostly private banks). But those days are far behind us. Today, the national debt is ever increasingly owed to the Federal Reserve Bank: the entity with the monopoly privilege of creating money out of nothing. In the simplest possible terms, it works like this:

  1. Congress passes an appropriations bill that overspends federal revenues.
  2. The Secretary of the Treasury applies to the Federal Reserve system for a loan.
  3. The Federal Reserve issues the loan to the Treasury: not as physical currency, but as a balance upon which the Treasury can draw. Simultaneously, the Fed creates one or more debt certificates: promises that the Treasury will repay the loan with interest, by some agreed-upon future time. The sum of those instruments equals the amount the Fed has loaned to the Treasury.
         Note that nothing in this sequence of events is at all physical. It’s all as virtual as can be: entries in various Federal Reserve and Treasury ledgers.
  4. The credit thus created enters the economy as it’s spent by the various departments of the federal government’s executive branch. In doing so, it dilutes the purchasing power of all the previously existing currency and credit in the national economy.
         The debt thus created is “serviced,” in financial language, by regular interest payments from the Treasury to the Federal Reserve. The principal amount is never reduced. When the debt’s due date arrives, it’s “refinanced” by another loan, possibly at a different interest rate.

     Under contemporary conditions – i.e., since the New Deal years – the principal-amount of the national debt is never reduced. Thus, there are repeating obligations on the Treasury to refinance it and to pay interest on it. Moreover, the total supply of currency and credit only increases, never decreases. Thus, the value of the dollar in purchasing real goods and services never increases; it can only decrease.

     Jared Bernstein is perfectly aware of all this. He’d never explain it to you in the simple, perfectly adequate manner above…but he will defend it to the death.

From The “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” Files

     Democrat politicians would like you to believe that they’re women’s best advocates and protectors. (Mind you, you mustn’t ask them Matt Walsh’s question “What is a woman?” That would upset them terribly.) They constantly prattle about “women’s rights,” as if one’s rights are in some way dependent on one’s sex. But then, we know what they’re really talking about, don’t we, Gentle Reader?

     Well, it seems that in the Democrats’ view, “women’s rights” don’t include the right guaranteed to all Americans by the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

    

     That’s an actual Democrat legislator who currently sits in the Minnesota state legislature. And yes, she’s just admitted, publicly, to being too stupid to learn how to operate a handgun. So perhaps she shouldn’t have one. But as an advocate for women’s rights…I’d imagine the leaders of her caucus, if they haven’t already taken her to the woodshed, will be doing so quite soon.

     I’d suggest spreading that clip around, especially to your left-leaning female friends and acquaintances. But I’m not quite done with this yet.

***

     A few questions of particular import:

  • Do you own a handgun?
  • Do you have it on your person when you leave your home?
  • Do you have it on your person when you’re in your home?
  • Where is it right now?
  • Do you think that’s where it should be at this time?

     I’ve been thinking about this in the light of two other considerations:

  • “Safe storage” laws and counsels;
  • The “when seconds count” mantra.

     The “safe storage” shibboleth, to which innumerable persons would automatically pledge their allegiance, is in direct contradiction to the “when seconds count” concept. After all, if we could predict when a need to defend oneself or a loved one would occur, there would be no value to the “when seconds count” notion. But we can’t, can we? Such moments can come upon us without much warning. When that happens, I wouldn’t want to need to descend to my basement, dial the combination of my gun safe, extract my handgun and a loaded magazine for it, combine them properly, then return upstairs and say to the threat, “Okay, Suddenly Appearing Threatening Person, I’m ready for you now.” Especially if I’m not at home at the time.

     A handgun is a defensive tool. If the need for self-defense can arise at any moment, should your handgun really be in a locked steel safe where it would take you a couple of minutes to fetch it and ready it for use? Would you expect to say to an intruder, “Just a second, I’ll be right back,” and have him assent?

     Now, many Americans live in districts that can legitimately be called “safe:” i.e., where in one’s day-to-day meanderings, a need for self-defense is highly unlikely to arise. But such districts are fewer than they once were. Ironically, the shrinkage of such safe areas can be directly, causally connected to the decline in Americans routinely going about their day armed and ready.

     Long Island, where I’ve made my home this past half-century, has both safe and unsafe areas, by my personal criteria. I would no more venture into one of the unsafe ones unarmed than I would pick my nose in church. But New York, “the Vampire State” whose residents’ Second Amendment rights have been deeply infringed in defiance of the Constitution, won’t have it. A Long Islander must go unarmed except when hunting or perforating targets at a state-approved shooting range. We’re not even allowed Tasers.

     At this time, New York Metro, which includes most of Long Island, is regarded as one of the least safe areas in the country. Yet decent people must go about unarmed, while predators do whatever they please. Make sense of that, if you can.

***

     Not long ago, a young nurse-practitioner-in-training asked me “Do you own any guns?” I was tempted to reprove her for it. I didn’t; her training officer was nearby and probably would have intervened, to everyone’s dissatisfaction. But even fully-fledged medical practitioners routinely ask that question of their patients. I think the AMA demands that they do so.

     This is the milieu. This is the state of our supposedly free country in this Year of Our Lord 2024. Being armed has been made akin to a disease, something medical practitioners must take into account when treating you for a cough or a blister. We wouldn’t want your KelTec P15 to interact negatively with the pill for your infection or the salve for your wound, would we?

     It’s more than a symptom. It’s a regression from our understanding of the prerequisites of safety and civility. It dismisses the central precept of all rights-based polities:

Man only possesses those rights
He can defend.

     But never fear, Gentle Reader. Officer Friendly will protect you. Didn’t he tell us so?

“We Don’t Need No Laugh Track!”

     We’ve got enough to laugh at right in front of us…and laugh we must, for the sake of our sanity.

***

1. Did you really need to ask, Megyn?

     Well, she did answer her own question:

     Megyn Kelly wants to know what many of us are thinking.
     As anti-Israel protests continue to rage across America’s college campuses, the former Fox News anchor questioned why so many of the protesters look like they need to focus on themselves rather than issues in the Middle East.
     “Why are they so unattractive? Why are the protesters so homely?” she asked.
     “I think attractive smart people are not drawn to this nonsense. They are living their lives, being successful.”

     Cause People are seldom persons whose personal lives are rich and fulfilling. Political involvement is a convenient ego-bolster for those whose lives are empty and valueless. And he whose life is empty and valueless is nearly always aware of it. Politics has been called “show business for ugly people” for a good reason.

     But few who are unattractive, and incapable of doing anything that others would value, possess the characteristics necessary for success in overt politics. First and foremost, they can’t lie convincingly. Nor do they possess more energy and endurance than would suffice for a day or two of a “sit-in.” Give our politicians this much: they do have to hustle to win high office. Their competition sees to that.

     So our homely, valueless, but unenergetic cohort must turn to another anodyne: the Cause. And the Cause must be something that would disturb the great majority. Otherwise, people would yawn and turn the page. Couple that to the prospect of camaraderie with one’s “comrades,” and the lure becomes obvious.

     Sadly, municipalities cannot “zone” against Causes.

***

2. Quis custodiet,et cetera?

     I’ve become convinced that no one employed by a government can be trusted:

     That was a prosecutor, Gentle Reader. An agent of the State who has the power to ruin lives by accusation alone. I know we’re not supposed to take a refusal to testify as evidence of guilt, but given the subject matter, the specific question involved, and Pomerantz’s unwillingness to answer, what else could we be looking at?

     A prosecutor who, when asked whether he ever violated the law in the course of his public duties, invokes the Fifth Amendment right not to testify against oneself should be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail. While that would be an “extra-judicial” remedy for untrustworthiness, it would also be a lot of fun.

***

3. Xenophobia Or Good Sense?

     Diagnose for yourself:

     President Joe Biden said Wednesday that U.S. ally Japan was struggling economically because of xenophobia, along with other countries with which the United States has more adversarial relations, including China and Russia.
     Speaking at a campaign fundraiser in Washington that marked the start of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Biden said the U.S. economy was growing in part “because we welcome immigrants.”
     “Think about it. Why is China stalling so bad economically?” he said. “Why is Japan having trouble? Why is India? Because they’re xenophobic. They don’t want immigrants.”

     Then why was Japan’s economy in the Seventies and Eighties the envy of the world, Joe? They didn’t admit immigrants then, either.

     Japan’s economic malaise has – as do most conspicuous political maladies – a number of contributing causes. Part of it is financial: the pyramiding of mountains of debt upon the value of urban Japanese real estate. Another part is sunk capital: Japan’s capital plant is difficult to modernize or repurpose. And a third is the rapidly aging Japanese population. But admitting immigrants in large numbers to the highly insular Japanese culture would not be a cure. It would be deadly, about like importing huge amounts of fentanyl…wait, don’t we do that here?

     Whoever’s scripting Biden’s speeches should be updating his resume.

***

4. Shouting Into The Wind.

     It’s highly distressing – on this I speak from experience – to express vital truths when no one is listening:

     As far as I know, Chip Roy is “one of the good ones.” What he said above is gospel truth, and vitally important to the American electorate. But it doesn’t matter. Even the GOP colleagues he lambasted in the above don’t think it matters. The proof: They’re not in the chamber.

     You’ll seldom see the camera that records an emission such as Rep. Roy’s pan out to display the rest of the House chamber. Congressvermin don’t listen to one another’s orations. That would take them away from the far more valuable hobnobbing with lobbyists and logrolling with their opposites across the aisle. That takes place in the lobby, not in the House chamber. But when a vote is called, they’ll flood in, vote, and then…go back to the lobby.

     Federal Republican legislators have two priorities:

  1. Get re-elected;
  2. Keep the swag coming in.

     Their sub rosa alliance with the Democrats provides them with both. As for the occasional maverick such as Chip Roy, he serves a useful function: the “conscience” of the caucus, to be trotted out when some portion of the electorate needs to hear some fire. But should he galvanize a following, he’d be purged.

     I sometimes wonder whether, were there no Chip Roys, would the public finally decide that it’s had enough and flush the Congressional toilet? Impossible to say, I know. But I can dream.

***

     That’s all for today, Gentle Reader. I have a host of chores before me, so stay warm, dry, and properly lubricated. Back tomorrow, I hope.

Light Reading

Not really. I’ve been reading about the Deep State, particularly the ‘Intelligence Community’. It has been some depressing and dark material.

Whoever wants to bring in some sunshine has a near-impossible task ahead of them. I like the idea from the linked article to employ Extreme Federalism. Federalism is a concept that is almost completely unknown among regular voters. The name always makes it seem like the complete opposite of what is meant by it.

At this point, although the balance on the Supreme Court is unsteady, the majority seem to be leaning towards neutrality or even a slight willingness to support the Federalism Model. That may snowball into a increase of the power of the states, at the expense of the overreaching hand of the Federal Government.

One can hope.

Realistically, improving the economy through growth of American companies, as well as drastically reducing the size of government, may be our best shot at digging out the dandelion-like entrenched Deep State. Dandelions are heavily on my mind at present; our part of northern Ohio has been a soggy mess for weeks, making it impossible to get the lawns trimmed. Until this week, most of the yards around me looked like jungles in the making.

As a result, the pernicious weeds had full run of the yard. I’ve spent a good portion of the last few weeks tending to long-overdue medical and dental appointments, running back and forth with my husband to see his ailing brother, and trying to manage some time to sort out paperwork that had been piling up.

But, the yard is mowed, and I have hopes of using my handy-dandy weed puller (see picture below, it’s a great little tool, and the long handle eliminates stooping or kneeling).

product gallery

Sink it into the middle of the weed, depress the plunger, and twist viciously to bring the blasted weeds out!

I love using it – can’t do it for a super long time, but I keep it handy on the porch for 15 minutes sessions – you can accomplish a lot in a short time.

I’ve been in a really good mood for the last several days. I managed to figure out what was wrong with my radio (wouldn’t turn on), bought the part, and it started right up. Just in time, too – I’ve started a CW class (Morse Code to the average person), and the radio has to be connected to the key in trainer mode to do my homework and classwork. I’m making nice progress, too. With some hard work, I could be contacting on CW by summer.

Other than that, I’ve been sorting, filing and throwing away paper. I’m setting aside some time each week to scan documents that are important. That’s because when life was chaotic this winter, I mislaid some tax stuff. My plan is to set aside important stuff to be scanned, then filed. Should the hard copy get mislaid, there will be an electronic backup.

My brother-in-law’s illness and hospitalization led us to a realization that we won’t likely live forever; therefore, we are going to – finally – get the paperwork done for power of attorney for health and finances, update our wills, make sure we write down instructions for ourselves and our kids, and commit to organizing access to our online accounts, including electronic and hard copy updates of our passwords. Also, get a safe deposit box and – for home – a fireproof safe for really essential stuff.

It’s a lot. I’ve gotten a tentative commitment from my husband to help with it, but, realistically, it’s probably going to be mostly my job. I’ll remind him about that the next time he complains about my lax approach to housework.

When The Answer Is Terrifying…

     …the question is unlikely to be faced squarely.

     Dystopic’s painfully brilliant piece of Monday has been much on my mind. He poses a question whose most plausible answer is the reverse of comforting. Indeed, it extinguishes comfort. It undermines hope for a better society. It invokes a “don’t think about it” pressure that’s difficult to resist.

     Such a question is the sort for which I operate this site: the kind others are unwilling to confront. The core of the thing is the vignette about C, K, and W. The question Dystopic poses arises here:

     C provides a very good lifestyle – probably top 5% in the country – to K. But now K is dialed in to the expectations of the world, the chattering of the other women, and it is a kind of happiness poison. W wants to divorce her husband, take his money, and land somebody she perceives as higher status. Will this destroy K’s relationship with C? It remains to be seen. I hope not – C is a great guy, and K was a wonderful woman before the influence of W came into the picture.

     At first, C, K, and W are faceless figures in a morality tale. We can pretend we don’t know them and never will. But a bit later:

     To my horror, I realized at some point in this tale that if K follows W’s path, she will become the voice whispering to my wife: he should give you more, he’s not good enough. Trade up for someone else. How much of my own fear of losing what I have is rooted in the thought that I could very well be next in the domino chain of status obsession?

     And the key question strikes home with piledriver force:

Is envy transmissible?

     Let that simmer for a moment while I fetch more coffee.

***

     There are several indications that the answer is yes: it is. Moreover, the art of inspiring envy has been deeply studied. It’s the Left’s meat and drink. Its masters apply it routinely and diligently to a variety of political, commercial, and social venues.

     Envy undergirds the great majority of the hostilities and resentments prevalent among us today. Race-hustling of the sort that’s poisoned our society would not be possible without envy as its driving force. The notion of “class struggle” is a collectivization of the envious impulse. Bertell Ollman plainly knew what he was doing when he embedded it in a board game: if you can get the “players” thinking not about what they can achieve for themselves, but what others have that they don’t, the rest will follow as the night the day.

     Envy negates gratitude, and therefore happiness.

     Viewed dispassionately, envy appears above all to be a psychosis. The sufferer is unable to grasp a key fact of reality: What others have has nothing to do with him. But if there’s an antipsychotic medication that will dispel it, I’m unaware of it.

     An antidote to envy has become one of the central needs of our time.

***

     In Anarchy, State, and Utopia, the late Robert Nozick addresses envy thus:

     The envious person, if he cannot (also) possess a thing (talent, and so on) that someone else has, prefers that the other person not have it either. The envious man prefers neither one having it, to the other’s having it and his not having it.

     He lays out these preferences in a footnote:

     With regard to you, another person, and having a kind of object or attribute, there are four possibilities:

He
You
1
Has it
Have it
2
Has it
Don’t Have it
3
Doesn’t Have it
Have it
4
Doesn’t Have it
Don’t Have it

     You are envious (with regard to that kind of object or attribute) if you prefer 4 to 2, while also preferring 3 to 4.

     Envy, therefore, is clearly a destructive impulse. The envious man would take from others even if he cannot benefit thereby. It’s the impulse toward a Harrison Bergeron variety of “equality.” As such, it provides power-mongers with a “rationale” for intrusions into the lives of others.

     Does “equality” arise from such intrusions? If Communist societies are relevant tests of the proposition, the answer is no, it does not. Rather, it elevates the nomenklatura ever farther above the proletariat. You’d think the moral would be obvious.

     Even so, envy is the dominant social force of our time. It’s been invited into every aspect of life. The political uses are obvious; the commercial uses are, perhaps, somewhat less so. The purely personal influences, such as those Dystopic sketched among C, K, and W, operate in concert with other atomizing forces to render us chilly in the midst of unimaginable warmth.

***

     Few rabble-rousers openly exhort their targets to envy. Neither is W, in Dystopic’s vignette, likely to acknowledge her envy of others who have what she lacks. Rather, the inciters of envy tell their targets what they deserve. And of course, what Smith “deserves” but lacks while Jones has and enjoys it is a stimulus for envy.

     Envy cannot be rendered impossible. Neither can it be assuaged, for there will always be inequality and irregularity in the world. But it can be caged. There are three limiters known to be effective:

  • Custom, as expressed through social disapproval and exclusion;
  • Religion that proclaims a Law of General Benevolence (cf. C. S. Lewis);
  • Laws that forbid the plundering of others and are rigorously enforced.

     I submit that those three limiters have been rendered inoperative in America today. Indeed, as Helmut Schoeck has written, the assuagement of envy – all the while being flogged to ever higher heights – seems today to be the ostensible aim of all social policy.

***

     When I first read Dystopic’s piece, I set my fingers to the keys and wrote about “the absolute treachery of more:

     There will always be others who have more than you have. Who are wealthier, handsomer, more accomplished, more admired, and so forth. You are not any of them. You might wish you were, but the facts are as they are. You lack whatever gift they possess which made their attainments possible.

     What do you propose to do about it? Whether your gift is for plumbing, or programming, or proctology, there’s an upper bound on what you can achieve. No matter how well you do what you do, you’re not going to become a billionaire, a world-famous celebrity, or the idol of millions.

     But what can you be?

     Strangely, that last sentence – an undisguised plea to think about oneself — is the one the envious almost never address. “Why don’t I have a mansion in Bedford? Why don’t I have a yacht and a Lamborghini? Why don’t I have a lover of Apollonian magnificence who’s utterly devoted to me?” The answer is distasteful – and the envious person knows it:

You haven’t earned those things.
You’re probably incapable of it.

     Once again, the answer, which is as obvious as a cow in church, keeps the question from being frankly addressed. As a rule, and in the absence of predation, each of us gets what he deserves. Each of us has what he has the wit to appreciate, maintain, and defend. And like it or not, we don’t all deserve the mansion, the Lambo, the yacht, and the demon lover.

     And with that, I yield the floor to my Gentle Readers.

The Return Of The “Outside Agitator”

     They were big back in the Sixties. At least, the reports of them seemed to be everywhere. But there followed a period of relative calm. University-based radicalism retreated from the public eye to a large degree. It found the classroom a homier venue.

     I needn’t provide you any links, Gentle Reader. You can find them for yourself. Make a point of perusing the photos. Note the similarity in costuming between so many of these “student protestors” and the vermin of AntiFa, BlackBloc, and HAMAS and Hezbollah. Keffiyehs are everywhere. So are black masks and black garb. Think there’s a message in there?

     Young adults – late teens through the early twenties – are the members of our species most easily whipped into a frenzy. For one thing, they have very active glands. For another, they believe themselves to be the saviors of Mankind, despite not knowing shit about anything. And a terrifying percentage of college instructors play to their vanities. Why? Unclear.

     I can’t imagine a better place than the university for an outside agitator to ply his Soros-funded trade. Thousands of ignorant, easily agitated kids with delusions of world-historical stature! If there’s an Athene Academy among them – intellectually speaking, not the genital stuff – I don’t know of it.

     Really, the universities would be much quieter places if the students would expend their energies fucking, the protests of bluenosed Americans notwithstanding. Maybe those condom and lubricant dispensers in dormitory bathrooms aren’t a bad thing after all. Now what can we do to get the kiddies to use them? Free Proactiv and teeth whiteners?

     I’ve been saying this for a while now: the universities are doomed. They should be walled off: no one allowed out. You want in? It’s a one-way deal, Bucko. Food and sanitary supplies are airdropped once a week. Enjoy your “liberation.”

     No, I’m not feeling poorly. I’m feeling prescient. For a good thirty years, the evidence of metastasized ideological cancer among the universities has been plainly visible. If it was ever possible to save them from themselves, that time has passed.

     Legislators: Defund the state systems.
     Donors: Pull the purse strings tight.
     Parents: Teach your children well – in particular, that if they’re really serious about learning, they’ll do more of it by spending four hours in the library five days per week than they would at any American “institution of higher education.” And that you’ll be damned rather than see a penny of your money go to any such pesthole.

     On this subject, there’s nothing more to say. Perhaps I’ll be back later with something cheerier.

At First I Wasn’t Willing To Believe This…

     …as the source, as we say, is no one’s prayer book. But I just found this YouTube video that confirms it:

     If you want the text in English, click the CC button, then the * button and select translation to English. The automated translation is actually pretty close to exact.

     For those who don’t view videos and don’t click links, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, a small community in Canada, attempted to institute a municipal ordinance that requires all persons, resident or transient, to carry a QR code with them, and to show it upon exiting the municipal limits. Persons who are:

  • Not residents, or:
  • Unable or unwilling to present the QR code

     …would be charged a “$30 tourist fee” upon exiting the city. In effect, the municipal council tried to claim ownership of the little city. (Probably “for the public good.”) However, a storm of criticism compelled the council to back down somewhat; for the present, all you’ll need to enter or exit Îles-de-la-Madeleine is to show a valid driver’s license. Why? Unclear.

     I guarantee that if this scheme of controlled-entry / controlled exit is maintained, a fee for exit – and possibly for entry as well – will be imposed within a few years; five at most. Why? To cover the cost of operating and maintaining the system, of course! Shortly thereafter, the fee will start to grow. Two decades thereafter, there will be no relationship between the fee and any municipal responsibility. Not that there’s any real relationship now.

     Remember all the foofaurauw over “15-minute cities?” You’re looking at exactly what their proponents intend to do…to you.

     O Canada! The true north, strong and free! I can’t see why further commentary is required, can you?

One More Reason to Stay on Top of your Local Politics

ONE person with both an agenda and no scruples managed to commit so many crimes and constitutional violations, that this report barely touches on them.

There is a reason that the Leftists/Power-Hungry Dems are so desperate to stop their challengers – they not only are horrified at the idea of losing power and access to taxpayer-provided cash, but they truly fear arrest for their CRIMES.

Now, realistically, unless a change in who controls public offices and money lights off a Bonfire of Justified Retribution, most of them will skate. They won’t even have fines levied or serve a day in jail, let alone prison. That probably makes sense – few on the non-Left want to Wave the Bloody Shirt.

But there needs to be a price for escaping their just punishment:

  • Loss of pension AND pension rights for those who hope to avoid prosecution. Give them back any money they PERSONALLY put into the fund. The public’s part must be taken from them, permanently, including spouse and children rights. It HAS to be such a massive penalty, lest our leniency tempt them in the future.
  • The only ones that might be allowed to resign without loss of pension are those who turn state’s evidence, and testify fully, either in court, or in a SWORN public hearing, to the crimes of their peers and bosses. If they are later found to have falsely, they retroactively lose any pension they have, or will, receive.
  • ALL who have participated in any way in the process lose all voting rights for all time. Even those who participated under duress. They may not hold office, nor work for a public agency at any level. They may not work for an organization receiving public funds, whether paid or volunteer; any such organization lose access to funds as long as that person works there.

Harsh?

Yes.

It’s the only way to teach those who went along that there is a cost for cooperating with evil.

The Status Nightmare

Sometimes I stare at the computer, listening to some meditative music, and wonder why things are so difficult, why it feels like every day is a Herculean battle against all odds, when the real story is just “I’m designing and building some UI for my boring corporate employer.” That’s something I’ve been doing for 25 years, and I can do it half asleep, half drunk, on a kind of autopilot reminiscent of Peter in Office Space just spacing out at his desk.

Truth is that the work isn’t hard. It’s annoying, stressful, time-consuming, full of anxiety and a sense of impending dread, but it isn’t hard. The truly difficult things in life are a step removed from the day-to-day drudgery of modern employment. It’s all wrapped around the status games, the politics of the mundane, the difficulty inherent in being a shitlord in the DEI-HR age.

How do I preserve what I’ve won in life? Holding on to a family, a wife, a job, a life – it all feels like Atlas with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Was it always like that and our generation is merely the first that could air complaints about it across the world? Or are things somehow different?

How do I create an impression of success in a world that harshly judges a man for even the smallest of perceived failures? How do I earn enough money to secure a lifestyle for my family while also accounting for some kind of retirement? How do I add some sort of value to this world, instead of endless corporate-government bullshit, even if it goes unrecognized? Forget fame, forget my name living for a thousand years or some gloriously LARPy and futile legacy. I’d just like to die knowing I did something, somewhere, that was moderately useful.

These aren’t new struggles. A man from 50 years ago or 500 years ago would recognize them and empathize with modern men also experiencing them. But the bar has risen since those days – at least it feels like the bar has risen. Maybe you disagree, maybe not. But if the general tone of Social Media is any indication, the feeling is probably not uncommon.

I look back at my father, who experienced a similar set of troubles, and I recall that the middle-class provider archetype was respected. Work hard, go through the drudgery of white- or blue-collar employment, provide for your family, and it was good enough. Not quite the quasi-mythical legend of the 80s Japanese Salaryman, but something real even so. Hustle, be smart with your money, and you have done something of value, something worthy of respect, emulation, and a feeling of accomplishment.

Many people complain that material living standards have fallen in our day, but I question that. Cars are nicer, faster, and more reliable. Houses are bigger, often constructed better, and contain more fancy upgrades than the 70s and 80s. People have more technological toys, eat out more often, and generally enjoy a mode of life that would have been enormously expensive 40 or 50 years ago. The wine aunt complaining she doesn’t make a living wage is the same person posting pictures from Cabo. The college liberal agitating for the luxury gay space Communist revolution does so from a nicer phone than mine.

Yet the perception of a decline is real, and perhaps it stems from the same place as my own anxiety. The bar has risen. You must accomplish more, earn more, and signal more in order to achieve the same respect and comfort of earlier generations. It’s not enough to be a regular guy anymore.

Fortunately, I’m no longer in the dating market. But what I hear from my single friends is frightening in many ways. Women setting 6-foot filters on their dating searches. $200k salary minimums. People thinking the Instagram lifestyle of exotic vacations and luxury cars is real and achievable for most, and then dinging potential partners for failing to meet it.

In my own world, the Karens of my community are ruthless creatures of status signaling, whispering of poverty and financial struggle because we don’t choose to buy BMWs. It matters little to me, but there are times I can see how the chattering disrespect bothers my wife, and that part gets to me. Our mode of life doesn’t max out on the conversion of cash and credit into status points, and there’s a social cost to pay for that.

So, the vagaries of the dating market can influence the happily married, too. Because like it or not, even married people are in a kind of suspended – but not ended – competition with the dating market in terms of status. Romance fantasies aside, this is just how the world works.

I suspect the status pressure of the modern world contributes to the feelings of dread, shames husbands and wives alike into wanting more, envying more. It’s like an endless search for authenticity and intense feelings that you could probably only achieve in high school with your first love and your first car. An authenticity and intensity buried in youthful ignorance. You didn’t know that you should want more, so it was easier to find excitement and satisfaction.

It’s a search that often winds up in the wrong places. Your BMW will not grant you this feeling. Neither will the fancy couch in the living room nobody uses, nor the likes on your Facebook pictures of that vacation to Barcelona. The plate of food at the fancy restaurant doesn’t give it, nor do the selfies from the box seats at the sportsball game. Status signaling is a strange addiction, like chasing a high you can never have. Buying more doesn’t get you closer to victory because there is no victory.

At least the cokehead got a good feeling from his drugs once upon a time. He’s chasing it for the rest of his life, but it did exist at some point or another.

A friend of mine, who I shall call C, has a wife who I will call K. K is a woman who, like many, thinks herself immune to the status pressures. She and C are well matched together and have two children, a nice home, and a good life. Her friend – I will call her W – is a status-obsessed woman who constantly complains about the inferiority of her own husband because he isn’t tall enough, is too timid, and doesn’t make enough money for her to enjoy the lifestyle she wants. Her rants influence K, who now tells my wife frequently about the failings of her own husband. C provides a very good lifestyle – probably top 5% in the country – to K. But now K is dialed in to the expectations of the world, the chattering of the other women, and it is a kind of happiness poison. W wants to divorce her husband, take his money, and land somebody she perceives as higher status. Will this destroy K’s relationship with C? It remains to be seen. I hope not – C is a great guy, and K was a wonderful woman before the influence of W came into the picture.

C no doubt feels the pressure on himself, now, to earn more, achieve more, and give K an even better life than he already does to defend against this perception. Humans have adapted to understand these kinds of social pressures very well, even if it’s not always conscious. Yet at a certain point, a person can’t do more, can’t earn more, can’t be more. And then what? To my horror, I realized at some point in this tale that if K follows W’s path, she will become the voice whispering to my wife: he should give you more, he’s not good enough. Trade up for someone else. How much of my own fear of losing what I have is rooted in the thought that I could very well be next in the domino chain of status obsession?

Fortunately, I think my wife is smart enough to drop a friendship that becomes poison like that before it happens. But even so, I’d be lying if I said that fear didn’t exist.

Pop culture has long understood the transactional nature of the trophy wife. But we are entering the world of the trophy husband/boyfriend becoming a more common trope, too. Trophy wives were at least given a reasonable standard, be hot/sexy/beautiful. That’s it. Simple enough, if not necessarily easy. For the man to be a proper trophy husband there are many more requirements on top of physical attractiveness. Wealth. Height. But most of all, social status and fame. The percentage of men who can be proper trophy husbands is probably much smaller than the percentage of women who can be trophy wives.

Still, there it is, the ideal of the current age: relationship authenticity replaced with the artificial status signal. My husband/wife is a trophy, which means I’m awesome. Look upon my status (not my works) and despair.

This was probably always the province of the highest elites in the land, to some degree. Political marriages were essentially status plays writ large. But we live in the age where this practice has come down the masses. Every relationship can be a thing of status convenience. There are parallel lives, the one in your head or your heart, and the one on your pictures and posts.

What even is status? Popularity seems to have something to do with it. But even the hated man can have status. Even the beauty every woman loves to trash talk can have status. Status is this thing that resists simple definition, but people generally know it when they see it. It’s not quite popularity, but somehow related.

Star Trek offers an interesting take on status. Supposedly in the far-off future, there is no need for money. Nobody has to work. Replicators can make everything, including other replicators. So, what else is there to do?

A joke circulated on the interwebs some time ago, and I don’t know its origin, but it said that the most unrealistic thing about Star Trek wasn’t the technobabble about tachyons and subspace fields. No. It was the idea that your coworkers were competent. Where are the idiots, the failures, the people who do nothing? Every workplace has them, right? Not the USS Enterprise.

In the world of Star Trek, Starfleet was some kind of elite institution that thrived on status. The Federation’s currency wasn’t gold or fiat money, it was status. Starfleet was presumably where many of the competent status seekers went to farm for status points. Is that why Captain Kirk was so popular with women? He was the Federation’s equivalent of Brad Pitt, rich in everything that meant anything in the society he was born to.

As the environment around us becomes more prosperous in a material sense, the importance of status grows. We move up the Hierarchy of Needs. Where once it was enough to reliably satisfy your physical needs to gain the respect of others… now perhaps you must do much more.

When you’re 16, even having a junker car moved you up the status ladder. Girls swooned over your Civic, the Jenna Jameson of automobiles. When you’re 46, having a brand-new Toyota with all the bells and whistles isn’t enough. It’s not a Lexus, pleb. It’s not a Porsche, peasant. It’s probably always been the case that expectations increase as you age. But what if that’s also true generationally?

People frequently rant about the Boomers, but every generation has had its various fuckups and successes. In some ways, we are victims of the success of the Boomers. They were the 16-year-olds. Gen X and Millennials were born in the later years of the modern West. The expectations are greater. My father could drive around in a piece of crap 15-year-old Dodge Dart that he had to wrench every other weekend, and he was middle class, and worth respecting. Today, lol. You are the poorest of the poor if you drive a 15-year-old car and must wrench it to keep it going.

Many causes in the world today are essentially status plays. Does anybody really know if electric cars are better for the environment? Solar panels? Windmills? I won’t claim that they aren’t. But neither do I necessarily believe claims that they are. The batteries of your electric car use lithium, the mining and disposal of which has all kinds of environmental drawbacks. Does anyone know if the manufacturing environment cost – all of it – is adequately repaid from solar and wind, from battery production? Maybe there are papers and studies that take into account second- or third-order effects and offer some kind of thought on the question.

But I doubt most of the people posting memes about environmental common sense, or even the people making environmental policy read any of them, or care. And, of course, no one wants to admit the status-damaging truth of saying “I don’t know.” You have to know. Your status depends on you “knowing” to some extent. Even if the knowing is just regurgitating what the TV or some Al Jazeera journalist said about it.

Loving the environment is a status signal like any other. And it doesn’t matter what is better, only what seems better to enough people. In 15th century villages, people probably had their own status games, but the connectedness of the modern world has allowed for status signals to normalize across the Earth.

Imagine asking a large sample size of people – and you somehow had a magic wand capable of making them tell the truth – “which would you rather have, true happiness or greater status than all the people you know?”

How many would choose status? And what fraction of people could reasonably say both – i.e. that happiness and status are the same thing? I doubt happiness alone would be very popular.

An old study from 1998 asked people if they would rather make $50k, and the folks they knew made $25k, or $100k, and the folks they knew made $200k. The difference between being better than your peers, or actually living better. Approximately half chose $50k. Status can outweigh even direct material prosperity. This goes a long way to explaining how many people feel that lifestyles have declined relative to older generations, despite so much evidence to the contrary. And it explains why so many are willing to drive themselves into the arms of crippling debt just to signal how much better they are than some theoretical other.

Lifestyle has declined in the sense of status becoming more and more difficult to obtain, and often fraught with risk. If you jump on the wrong social bandwagon too early, you could be canceled. If you jump too late, you are canceled, or you just receive little to no benefit. Today, saying you are for supporting Ukraine with money and arms is expected. You get no status points for saying that, though you could very easily lose them for saying otherwise.

Protesters holding signs or stopping cars on the freeway are competing for the status table scraps, mere leftovers. But if Taylor Swift or AOC says something early enough, the status will flow like the spice.

Communists like to complain about money concentrating in fewer hands and want to share the wealth. But in the modern West, wealth has already been shared, at least to the point of most people living well, materially. Poor Westerners live better than chieftains in much of the third world, and far better than their ancestors. But in terms of status? Ah, that has become rare indeed.

Communists, as it turns out, are focused on the wrong thing – some through ignorance and some through clarity and vision. They want to have a monopoly on status points; to convert your money into their status. The formula is easy enough: whip up the status envy, misapply it to the material, and then profit from the mistakes of the peasantry.

Look at that guy driving his Lambo, says the Communist. How dare he own that when people are suffering food insecurity – itself a near-meaningless term of the DEI-HR Newspeak dialect. Of course, it’s not the guy with the mint condition Countach in his garage whose wealth is ultimately redistributed. It’s yours. And whoever did the redistributing gains status at your expense. It was never about food, or housing, or paying the electric bill. These are levers designed to buy your compliance. The voters see an opportunity for the status crumbs from the elite table, the elite see an opportunity to gain at your expense. Everybody wins, unless you happen to work for a living.

Hey, weren’t Communists supposed to be for the workers? Workers in modern context are low status. The college protester, the OnlyFans star with her own Bentley, the welfare queen with the drug dealer baby daddy, the politician who can’t hold a hammer or pour a beer – these are high status in their respective domains. Not you.

We are well on our way to a twisted Star Trek future – luxury gay space Communism came early, without the space part and with a lot more gay. Captain Kirk is saving the poor cannibalistic masses of Haiti, while questioning xis gender identity, ensuring the USS Enterprise is powered by ethically sourced carbon credits and crewed by black lesbians.

There is no post-scarcity paradise for Man. There is just a boot of status envy crushing a human face, forever. Or at least until reality decides to intrude, and we all wake up from the status nightmare.

A Voice Of Sanity

     In publishing this transcript of a recent speech by Dutch activist Eva Vlaardingerbroek, Maura Dowling has done America and Europe a tremendous service. Please read it all.

     “Diversity” has never meant what its shouters claim it to mean. It means the elimination of the white race. Note that no majority-black country is being pressed to accept “diversity.” Only those nations that are predominantly white – particularly those that are majority European-descended – are being invaded in this fashion…while being browbeaten about accepting still more of it. A glance at what’s happening to Ireland alone should convince anyone with eyes to see.

     The white race is wholly responsible for modern civilization. The race-hustlers scream about “cultural appropriation” when a few whites adopt some version of a black or Asian cultural feature, but no one bothers to take notice of the wholesale “appropriation” by blacks and Asians of the scientific, technological, and cultural advances made possible by whites. No one ever asks why the perpetual welfare-client nations of the world never advanced even to a Nineteenth Century European level of technology unless and until it was imported there by white expatriates. No one dares to take notice that slavery, which has been eliminated throughout the First World, still thrives in the non-white nations of Africa and the Middle East.

     But we, the whites, are berated for slavery. We, the whites, are berated for “inequality.” We, the whites, are expected to give without limit to those others who are apparently either unwilling or unable to provide for themselves.

     It’s time, as Eva Vlaardingerbroek has told us, to stand and fight: not for the dominance of the world by the white race, but simply for the right to be left alone in our own lands. Unless we elect to do so – and to scorn the race-hustlers and grievance-peddlers demanding that we accept an endless onslaught of “diversity” – our future will be one of marginalization and eventual extermination. Vermin and savages will enjoy – “appropriate?” – what we leave behind…while it lasts. Our ghosts will have only the bitter satisfaction of watching them turn on one another when our legacy is exhausted.

Some Sixties Music

     Not many will recall the Sons of Champlin:

     Every now and then I need to spend a little time in the Sixties. No, not for the “Summer of Love” BS. (Dear God, what an unhygienic concept!) Just for the music. Oh, here’s a little more, from Procol Harum’s glorious second album, Shine On Brightly:

     Enjoy.

Educational Rent-Seeking

     Normally, the term rent-seeking applies to an attempt to profit without producing anything or offering a valued service. While the use of the term can be tendentious, when a nominally private enterprise rides the coat-tail of some governmental entity, thus compelling others to use its services willy-nilly, the evil is plainly recognizable. To make matters worse, the quality of the service involved is usually far below the standard available.

     As government-run schools have expanded beyond their original mandate, the scope they afford to rent-seekers has widened as well. A particularly ugly case, involving not just attempted rent-seeking but fraud, came to my attention a few days ago:

     Alicia McQueen, the mother of two young children in the Laurel County School District in Southeastern Kentucky, has gone viral after posting a TikTok video asking for legal advice. The video quickly attracted outrage, gathering over 7,000 comments in a matter of days.
     In her video, posted on March 18, McQueen explained that in her area of Kentucky, programs are offered for children who don’t have access to healthcare, especially dental work. Her children were sent home from school with a consent form indicating they would receive a free teeth cleaning as part of one of these programs.
     “They have a dentist come out in this big tour bus and they do the cleaning. And was like ok, whatever!” She then explained that she later received a piece of paper in the mail claiming that both of her children had “abnormalities” and she would need to consent for further treatment. McQueen said this took her by surprise, as the children’s family dentist told her that no such abnormalities existed.

     The children involved are 6 and 7 years old, respectively. They still have their “baby teeth,” and can be reasonably expected to have them for a few years more. So McQueen declined the surgeries the school’s dentist said her kids would require. But the story isn’t over:

     [J]ust a few days before [McQueen] decided to make her TikTok video, the school dentist called her and stated that even though she had not returned a signed consent form, that her children were scheduled for several surgeries on separate days.
     Despite her indicating that their family dentist had confirmed the children did not need any work done, the school’s dentist, who the school refused to name, told her the children would be required to undergo surgeries anyway.
     […]
     McQueen says that since she released her TikTok video, she has been contacted by parents across the country with similar stories, some of which are shocking.
     Some of the parents who have contacted McQueen says their children suffered tooth decay, tooth loss, infections, hospitalizations and even sexual assault while in the care of school dentists.

     At this point, the school is threatening McQueen with “investigation” – most likely involving Child Protective Services – if she should continue to resist the mandated surgeries.

     To me this looks like an attempt, by the school dentist using the coercive powers of the school district and its ability to invoke the powers of the Laurel County CPS, to force McQueen to consent to the unnecessary surgeries, with all the attendant risks to her kids. Needless to say, the dentist would be demand to be paid, whether out of McQueen’s insurance or her pocket. Indeed, the dentist has already billed McQueen’s insurance for anesthesias that have not yet been performed. Is there any possible interpretation of these demands, other than a fraud in progress engineered through the school district?

     Governmental evil doesn’t confine itself to big stuff such as war, taxation, and miscellaneous infringements on our rights. It penetrates the minutiae of our lives as well. But as I’ve said before, there are many people, some of them supposedly smart, who’ll tell you that “we must have government.”

     Draw your own conclusions. I believe I’ve made mine clear.

People today are too far removed from the realities of life

So there’s this kerfluffle over Kristi Noem killing a dog. As usual, the headline is designed to make a Republican look bad, and you have to read down into the story before you get to the real meat of the matter. “Kristi Noem kills dog after bad hunting trip!” That is a lie by omission. Yes, she killed the dog after the dog proved to be worthless at hunting birds. But a hunting dog that can’t or won’t hunt can still make a fine pet. No, what happened AFTER the hunting trip is why the dog had to be put down.

On the way home, the dog escaped her truck and attacked a local family’s chickens, “grabb[ing] one chicken at a time, crunching it to death with one bite, then dropping it to attack another,” Noem wrote.

When Noem tried to grab the dog, she wrote that it whipped around to bite her. Noem said she wrote the family a check for their chickens and helped them dispose of the carcasses “littering the scene of the crime.”

“I hated that dog,” she wrote, adding that Cricket was untrainable, dangerous and worthless as a hunting dog.“

At that moment,” Noem wrote, “I realized I had to put her down.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the correct answer. Not being able to hunt is one thing. Killing chickens is another thing all together, and when you live in a rural area you cannot have a chicken-killing dog. Period. Either Gov. Noem had to put the dog down, or one of her neighbors would be doing it far less peacefully when the dog went out to kill chickens again. If my neighbor’s dog came down and started killing our chickens, I would be waiting with a scoped rifle for the next time it left their property. That dog would simply disappear. This is the way is must be, if you want eggs and fresh chicken in a stewpot and being able to talk to your neighbors without them telling you about another bird your dog has killed. One of my neighbors further up the road had a Labrador that started killing his chickens. That Lab was disposed of. Those chickens provide eggs. The family sells the eggs to raise money. No chickens = no eggs = no money. The Lab had to go. Trust me, you can always get another dog. The shelters are full of them, sadly. But raising chickens costs quite a bit of money if you’re not getting any eggs or meat from them. It’s an investment. A chicken-killing dog is Bidenomics to that investment.

As for her killing a male goat that was chasing the children? This as well is perfectly normal and acceptable. Animals in the country exist to serve us, not the other way around. An aggressive goat can do a lot of damage to children. A goat being BBQed can fill their bellies.

The people freaking out about this are people who have never once been outside of their protective bubble. Sometimes real life demands hard choices. When I read the story, I just shrugged and went “Yeah. So?” I think it would do this country a world a good if many of those pampered bubble dwellers had to actually see where their food comes from, and perhaps harvest that food themselves. The first time I helped harvest and butcher an animal I became much more appreciative of the food on my plate, and the people who work to put it there. I think that lesson needs to be taught to an entire generation these days.

Unspeakable Or Unthinkable Part 2: An Amoral Calculus

     As my Gentle Readers might have expected, I received quite a lot of feedback on the previous piece. I wasn’t surprised by the tone of it. Disappointed, perhaps, but not surprised.

     The mass warfare of World War II, in which many thousands of noncombatants died, should have taught us something. The atomic bombings, in particular, were a critical moral message that nearly no one seems to have absorbed. The blindness men have exhibited toward that lesson is depressing…especially as it’s all too easy to adopt that blindness for oneself in a spirit of “This is the way things are and there’s nothing to be done about it.”

     I studied strategic planning – that’s the peculiar science of how to plan for the possible use of one’s armies and arsenal in a notional war – for more than twenty years. I kept at it until I was certain there was no way for a layman to understand it any more deeply nor more fully. I didn’t do so because I thought it unimportant. Neither did I do so because it was the supreme goal of my life to master that horrifying field. In a world hagridden by States, an increasing number of which possess weapons of mass destruction, understanding the criteria by which they maneuver against one another, whether diplomatically or militarily, is crucial to understanding States themselves: the core of the madness that afflicts suffering Mankind.

     It’s vital to understand one’s enemy. Our enemy is the State. (Kudos to the shade of Albert Jay Nock.) Weapons planning is the essence of the craft of Statesmanship.

     Statesmanship is the institutionalization of evil.

     Give that a moment before continuing on.

***

     The calculus of warfare demands certain things from those who conduct it. There is no morality in it; there are gains and losses, and nothing else. The balance sheet of war often confounds the layman with its callousness. Yet that is inherent in the enterprise, for those who order men to war have only the will to win as their guide.

     The progression of warfare from prehistory to the present has been one of steadily increasing scale and brutality. Time was, men fought with their fists, and perhaps with clubs. Later there came swords and spears, and then the first weapon that acts at a distance: the bow. More time passed; the discovery of explosive combustion and how to manage it brought us the musket and the cannon. Small arms became ever more accurate and capable, and that was far from the terminus of the progression.

     Soon the very first weapon of mass destruction arrived: the machine gun. Cannons grew steadily larger; their projectiles became more deadly, capable of slaughtering men in bunches far away. Over time, warfare, which had once been confined to land surfaces, reached the seas, and then the air.

     Armies grew ever larger, too. Time was, a war would involve only a few hundred or thousand men. The wars of the Twentieth Century compelled millions into combat.

     The German Empire introduced the first true area-of-effect weapon: poison gas. While the Germans eventually decided it wasn’t worth the trouble, the central idea persisted. Fire, more controllable by far than phosgene, became the tactical area-denial method of choice.

     What originated as a tactical device soon became a strategic ploy. Analysts discovered that a sufficiently concentrated bombing campaign could ignite a firestorm capable of devouring a whole city. Their test bed was the city of Dresden. The tactic proved even more devastating than they had expected.

     And then came The Bomb.

***

     Men who wield power over others don’t readily think of those others as their equals. As difficult as that is in peacetime (i.e., “A state of tension falling short of armed conflict” – Keith Laumer) it’s utterly impossible in wartime. Human bodies become tools to be hurled at the enemy. Weapon systems are evaluated on how efficiently they can destroy others’ lives and property. In general, bigger, faster, and cheaper are treated as synonyms for better.

     For a while after the arrival of The Bomb, even power-mongers were sufficiently horrified by its power to focus on how to arrange matters so as not to use it. A unique military leader, Dwight D. Eisenhower, became a notable political leader. He made it his central aim to preserve the peace, using The Bomb as its ultimate guarantor. Yet his intention was never to bomb anyone; rather the reverse.

     But more time passed, and the science of weaponry advanced further. Weapons of mass destruction ramified in ways their original developers could not have envisioned. Tactical nuclear weapons; artillery shells that contain small nukes; even a man-portable launching system for small nukes. Naval surface vessels were equipped with nuclear depth charges; submarines were developed that can launch ICBMs and IRBMs. (At one time there was a proposal for the development of nuclear land and sea mines, though I can’t say with assurance whether that went anywhere.)

     Each of these became a component in the arsenals of the Great Powers. That none of them have been used as yet is a mighty blessing. It’s odds-on that the first time one of them is used, all the others will be dispatched shortly afterward.

***

     Weapons science has advanced relentlessly in the direction governments, not private citizens, find congenial: the direction applicable to warfare between States. Private citizens have no use for weapons of mass destruction, Mike Nesmith’s notions notwithstanding. We prefer weapons we can use to defend ourselves and our loved ones without igniting a firestorm.

     But the men who “govern” the world cannot resist the lure of the really big gun. If it exists – if it’s even theoretically possible – they want one. Or many. Usually as many as they can squeeze funds from their subjects to pay for. The usual reasoning, which has proved resistant to refutation, revolves around “balance of power.”

     Today the Earth is partitioned into States. Antarctica and a handful of barren islands excepted, there’s no land surface not under the jurisdiction of some government. Over time, the dynamic of power has caused States to develop into ever more ruthless and rapacious entities. Warfare, the province of governments, has become a constant fact in the lives of Earth’s billions. No one anywhere can be certain that it will never come to his door.

     Some time ago, I wrote:

     The States of Earth exist in an anarchic relation to one another. Each has its own regional code of law, which might differ markedly from all the others. Despite several thrusts at the matter over the centuries, there is no “super-State” to enforce a uniform code of law over them all. More, they view one another as competitors in many different areas; their populations and institutions are often in sharp economic competition with one another. Thus, they are often at odds. They resolve important disputes among them through negotiation or warfare.

     That is what governments – States – do. They exist to wield power over private persons, and to contest for increases in power with other States. While they sometimes negotiate with one another, the shadow of warfare lies over every negotiation: the final “offer” that can only be answered by its like. Their calculus does not admit of the constraints of absolute morality.

     The rulers of Earth’s States have grown ever less concerned with anything but their own power and prestige. Nothing else can adequately explain the wars of the century behind us. Those rulers’ decisions are encompassed by the wholly amoral, win-or-lose calculus of warfare.

***

     How about a Bible quote? Everyone loves Bible quotes: some to laugh at their naivety, the rest of us to be humbled and exalted by them.

     Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
     But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
     And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
     And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

     [1 Samuel 8:4-18]

     Samuel understood. He grasped the logic of power better than his Hebrew brethren – and better, dare I say it, than the great pullulating majority of my countrymen.

***

     My point “should” be “obvious” by now, but then, I thought that to be the case when I wrote the previous essay:

  • For as long as we tolerate, or are forced to endure, the existence or States, there will be warfare; there are no Organians who can or will restrain them.
  • War and the possibility of war will overshadow every decision of any sort made by any ruler or ruling cadre.
  • The calculus of war is unconcerned with morality as men understand and respect it. It is entirely “practical” – from the point of view of the rulers.
  • Thus, in any situation where the use of a weapon of mass destruction – e.g., an atomic or nuclear weapon – appears to the rulers to be the most practical available course, they will use one.
  • Moreover, they will continue to develop such weapons, for “if he has one, I have to have one too.”

     President Harry Truman gave the order that resulted in the A-Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki because the calculus of war, worked out under the circumstances that prevailed at that time, made it the most “practical” way forward. Today, that decision appears to have been the best available. In that regard, Tucker Carlson was wrong. But in this regard – i.e., the position that the killing of innocents is morally wrong and cannot be redeemed by any “practical” consideration – he was correct, even if he failed to address such non-nuclear slaughters as Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Bataan, the Holocaust, et alii.

     And for as long as we demand – or must suffer – States over us, that antinomy will persist.

     May God forgive us.

Cicero Saw Clearly

Everything about this post is short. Something simple should not require a great deal of words.

The enemy outside the gates are far less to be feared.

That is the shortened version of Cicero’s famous observation. I have begun to see it as eventually universally true. Certainly in light of Fran’s latest screeds noting past evils arising from all forms of government.

Our enemy, the Progs, in truth the regressives — the ones aiming to supplant our constitutional republic with an oligarchic Neo-aristocracy — is on the verge of owning the super-power Americans built. The questions I have for Americans:

  • Does a significant number see as clearly as did Marcus Tullius Cicero yet?
  • Do they feel obligated to show gratitude to our forebears by responding as they did?
  • Do they have the courage, or at least the sense not to wait until there is nothing left to lose?

I cannot answer for them. Let me just say that I’ve faith that it is never too late. Not even for an ailing octogenarian like me. I love this country and what is has done to improve life in a very short span of time. I thank God that He had a role in its founding and success.

I hope Fran grants the concise version above a berth in Liberty’s Torch Life Is Short Codex. If for no other reason than our enemy intends to shorten the lives of any red-blooded Americans they can. Certainly the Death Cult knows them to be their greatest obstacle.

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