A Quick Morning Giggle

     Not long ago, I stumbled over the following bit of cartoon genius:

     ‘Fess up, now: isn’t that just too plausible to dismiss out of hand? I mean, one of my cats sits atop my router several hours per day. And the trucks and the boxes keep arriving. More than coincidence?

     But just a few minutes ago, the C.S.O. had an idea that could illuminate the whole conspiracy. (Yes, we both get up at this obscene hour.) She was musing over how Jeff Bezos is feeling in the wake of Elon Musk’s successful bid to buy Twitter, and spontaneously produced this gem:

CSO: Hey, why don’t we order some cardboard boxes from Amazon?
FWP: (momentarily dazzled by the brilliance of the conception) Do you think they’d come packed in cardboard boxes?
CSO: Full of those little plastic packages of sealed air!
FWP: Of course! Wouldn’t want them to get damaged in transit!

     My sweetie is a genius, I tell you. Makes a terrific meat loaf, too!

Because Today My Years Are Weighing Heavily Upon Me

     I hit the big Seven-Oh recently, and it’s had me…remembering:

Stood there boldly
Sweatin’ in the sun
Felt like a million
Felt like number one
The height of summer
I’d never felt that strong
Like a rock

I was 18
Didn’t have a care
Working for peanuts
Not a dime to spare
But I was lean and
Solid everywhere
Like a rock

My hands were steady
My eyes were clear and bright
My walk had purpose
My steps were quick and light
And I held firmly
To what I felt was right
Like a rock

Like a rock, I was strong as I could be
Like a rock, nothin’ ever got to me
Like a rock, I was something to see
Like a rock

And I stood arrow straight
Unencumbered by the weight
Of all these hustlers and their schemes
I stood proud, I stood tall
High above it all
I still believed in my dreams

20 years now
Where’d they go?
20 years
I don’t know
I sit and I wonder sometimes
Where they’ve gone

And sometimes late at night
Oh, when I’m bathed in the firelight
The moon comes callin’ a ghostly white
And I recall
I recall

Like a rock, standin’ arrow straight
Like a rock, chargin’ from the gate
Like a rock, carryin’ the weight
Like a rock

Oh, like a rock, the sun upon my skin
Like a rock, hard against the wind
Like a rock, I see myself again
Like a rock
Oh, like a rock
Oh, oh

[From the finest songwriter of his era, the great Bob Seger.]

Rejecting The Evidence…(UPDATED)

     …doesn’t make it dissolve into the mists and float away.

     We’ve had a rather substantial amount of evidence to the effect that organized pedophilia is rampant among the higher-ups in government, entertainment, and the media. Jeffrey Epstein was incarcerated for suspicion of it, and died while awaiting trial. Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of it and is serving a long prison sentence as we speak. Roman Polanski openly admitted to raping a fourteen year old girl. Harvey Weinstein may have been involved in it. Then there’s the “pizzagate” phenomenon, which though it was (unconvincingly) pooh-poohed by the media, remains unexplained.

     No decent person can understand any of it. But that doesn’t make it go away.

     Now Facebook – remember Facebook? With all the recent chatter about Twitter, it might have slipped out of mind – is running an advocacy ad for normalizing pedophilia:

     The man of normal inclinations doesn’t want to believe that such a thing is possible. Yet there it is – and a major social-media site that aggressively and humorlessly censors conservatives, pro-lifers, and a President of the United States seems to have no problem with it.

     What the Hell is going on here?

***

     The steady erosion of moral standards pertaining to sex and parasexual behavior is hardly news. It’s been going on for the whole of my life, if not longer. When did it start? Masters and Johnson? Alfred Kinsey? Sigmund Freud? Richard Freiherr von Kraft-Ebing? Leopold von Sacher-Masoch? Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade? Franz Anton Mesmer?

     Some of it may have been misguided but well-intentioned. Some of it was surely to rationalize access to forbidden pleasures. But some of it was aimed at our hearts and souls.

     Mankind has been under attack from the emergence of the faculty of reason. The “sexual front” has been where the Enemy has made the deepest inroads. That stands to reason; it’s our second strongest drive and the one where restraint is most difficult.

     When we cease resisting temptation, we start to rationalize. We rationalized our way around the prohibitions on adultery, sodomy, polyamory, prostitution, and sexual displays in public. It wasn’t even very hard. “Oh, that was before contraception / penicillin / antibacterial lubricants / the motel.” “Everyone else is doing it, so why miss out?” “We’re all consenting adults, so who’s being hurt?” Now we’re on to bestiality, and pedophilia, and preaching “gender fluidity” to kindergarteners. While those are a wee bit harder to fit under the “consenting adults / nobody’s being hurt” envelope, as the ad above indicates, there are people straining to do so…and there are people listening to them.

     I sense the approach of Hell.

***

     The essence of evil is simple to define, though it can be hard to comprehend. It consists in denying the humanity or agency of another person. He who treats another as a mere means to his own ends, rather than as a person who possesses rights, a standard of well-being, and independent judgment that deserves respect, is acting from evil.

     Sex can be utterly innocent. It can be a celebration of love or mutual admiration between consenting adults fully in possession of their faculties. But sex can also be fraudulent, exploitative, or both. He who uses sex or sexual allure as a way to get something from another, or who pretends love for another merely to gain access to the other’s body, has crossed the line. And that’s not even considering overt, forcible rape.

     There can be no exculpation for treating another person as a thing to be maneuvered or exploited. Whether the aim is “high-minded” or utterly tawdry, evil is at work. What, then, is there to say about this thrust toward the legitimization of the sexual exploitation of children?

     Something has slipped in the human psyche.

***

     Though I dislike the term for its connotations, I’m fundamentally an intellectual. My driving need is to understand. I can’t understand many recent developments. Recent developments in sex and parasexual behavior are prominent among them.

     “A man’s got to know his limitations,” said Harry Callahan. Perhaps this is one of mine. Or perhaps I’m just an old bluenose who thinks that of all the things in existence, the innocence of children and animals most obviously demands protection and respect. But then, obvious really means overlooked, doesn’t it?

     UPDATE: Several would-be commenters have blamed the problem on “the Jews.” I will not allow such comments to appear at Liberty’s Torch. If you’re an anti-Semite, you’re unwelcome here. Go find a mudhole where you’ll fit in better.

And, the Answer to This is:

Regionalize.

A fire in a Russian chemical plant has taken out a major global supplier for many important substances necessary for manufacturing and energy production.

This is getting to be common. Whether due to extreme weather, political instability, or enemy action (or carelessness, which Russia has a long history with), centralizing the manufacture or production of vital substances or materials is just stupid.

Yes, I said STUPID.

I understand the economics of central production, and the economics of scale. All things being equal, to have ONE point of supply does drive the cost down.

Until that central point is taken out of the picture. And, businesses are scrambling for viable replacements in quantities that they need.

Such chokepoints took out a lot of German industry and transportation, when the plant manufacturing 99% of ball bearings was vaporized. We’ve seen how the shipping ‘crisis’ (so labeled because this was a manufactured crisis – one made WORSE by the incompetence of Buttegieg – not a natural event) affected delivery of goods for the last 6 months or so.

What states need to be doing is setting up regional alliances with neighboring states. Working with them on SPECIFIC issues or problems. Making sure that goods will move, crime will be fought, and their CITIZENS will be given the services and protections they are paying for. Frankly, governors should be FAST moving towards a NON-USA National Guard – and, by that, I mean the governor of the state is the one in control of where, and when, the units will be sent. It will mean giving up that Federal money for equipment and materials, but it also means that they cannot be compelled to fight the wars that Jacka$$es in office want to lose (along with the units’ lives and a whole lot of equipment that the US taxpayer paid for).

Those reformed STATE Guards can do the same work within the state’s borders that they already do, plus states can have the option of calling up some of the reserves, if requested. There are enough states that already work within their region; this would just be an extension of that effort. Most of the State Guard programs have been re-structured (those that are not currently inactive) to focus their mission on emergency services and natural disasters.

It’s surprising how many states have had active guard units in the past; many of them could be re-activated fairly easily. Many of the duties have been handled by volunteers, whether firemen, health care workers, or amateur radio operators.

Additionally, these regional associations will want to work together to make sure that vital parts and supplies are available from more than one source – and, that there are multiple ways to move the cargo through the region, should one part of the infrastructure be taken out. The same with infrastructure – there should be redundant systems to keep the power on, communications active, travel possible, and businesses working.

The Touch-Off

     It doesn’t take much to get the Left shrieking as if it were being castrated without anesthesia. But you may be sure that the screams and howls will erupt at maximum volume whenever any executive or legislator dares to “infringe” upon their “academic freedom.”

     Consider this spate of lunacies from Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers:

     American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten warned that legislation similar to Florida’s recent parental rights bill may have dire consequences.

     “This notion – we’ve been very lucky in America, and we in some ways live in a bubble for a long time,” Weingarten said. “This is propaganda. This is misinformation. This is the way in which wars start. This is the way in which hatred starts.”…

     “Educators welcome parent involvement in schools because our kids do best when teachers, parents and caregivers work together,” said AFT president Randi Weingarten in a statement to Fox News earlier this week. “We have a lot to do to help kids recover and thrive this year after two years of an unprecedented pandemic. So rather than help us help our kids socially, academically and emotionally, these vocal minorities want to marginalize LGBTQ kids, censor teachers and ban books.”

     The above was Weingarten’s emission about Florida’s recent bill, signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis, that forbids lecturing children in grades K through 3 about “gender identity.”

     I have a question for Miss Weingarten: Do employers have a right to set standards for their employees’ performance of their jobs? As the state of Florida, along with local school boards, employs the teachers in its schools, would it not have that right?

     Don’t expect Miss Weingarten to answer that with a yes or a no. Clarity is not among her purposes. She’s a union boss – in essence, a politician. Her purposes are agitprop and fundraising. She is no more interested in the well-being of schoolchildren than she is in the Merovingian heresy. But challenging her on that score wouldn’t elicit clarity from her, either.

***

     The Gentle Readers of Liberty’s Torch are surely aware that American “public education” – yes, those are “sneer quotes” – no longer has any substantive connection to education as we older types understand it. Government-school “teachers” – they prefer to be called “educators,” which compounds the irony – no longer teach. They do a number of other things, some of them in a classroom setting, but the actual conveyance of knowledge to young minds has no place among them.

     The government-school “teacher’s” priority is imposing a particular mindset on those entrusted to his care. That mindset is prescribed by the political Left. It has no connection whatsoever with reality, much less with education.

     Florida’s attempt to restrict such indoctrination by forbidding it in state classrooms occupied by the youngest and most vulnerable children is a rearguard effort. It will almost certainly fail of its ostensible purpose, for a simple reason: it is de facto unenforceable. But then, laws that pertain to the Left’s bastions nearly always are unenforceable. You cannot expect your enemy to enforce your laws against himself.

     However, that law is a valuable stroke for another reason, which Weingarten’s spewings illuminate: It has laid bare the cleft between the “educators” and the parents of American children.

     Government-school teachers no longer regard themselves as employees with job descriptions and occupational standards to which they must adhere, but as wholly independent actors with unbounded latitude to say and do whatever they please to your children. They would never admit that under questioning, of course. In response to such inquiries, they would confuse the issue by ranting about “discrimination,” “prejudice,” “academic freedom,” and everything else under the Sun other than what they’ve been hired to do. Obfuscation, not candor, is the agenda.

     Consider the “educators’” resistance to standardized testing, the surest way to discover whether teachers are actually achieving the results we expect of them. The howls were audible nationwide. Expect us to do our jobs? Are you insane? they didn’t say. Rather, they ranted about all manner of irrelevancies. They also strained to throw doubt onto whether standardized tests for fundamental literacy and numeracy produce reliable results. And they have largely succeeded in averting the imposition of such tests upon them.

     It’s all of a piece. Stout resistance to objective measures of performance is characteristic of government employees of all kinds. Governments mostly let them get away with it. That’s as scathing a condemnation as I can come up with on only two cups of coffee.

     The foofaurauw over CRT and “gender identity” nostrums in the classroom has shone a bright light on this wound. If American parents don’t rise up over these things, they never will. But there are risings and risings. Merely to “demand change” in the government schools will produce only trivial and temporary gains. The entire government-run “education system” must be destroyed root and branch. It is not diseased; it is a disease, a cancer grown from a fundamental error in our premises. Only after it has been totally expunged can actual education resume.

Dr. Pippa Malmbren “says the quite part out loud.”

Please watch the video — “Globalists Spill the Beans at the World Government Summit – #Newworldnextweek – The Corbett Report” — from the beginning to at least the 3:27 mark.

Sounds like a done deal except for the part where your bank account evaporates.

Who are these swine and who decides this garbage for the rest of us who are supposedly “represented” by the people we elect? Un bleeping believable.

H/t: All Right Social Network.

Sorry!

     Apologies, Gentle Reader. I’ve been fighting a rearguard action against the destroyers of my lawn until just a few minutes ago. (See here for further commentary on this vital suburban chore.) At this point I’m wiped out, so no essay today. Tomorrow…if I recover by then from being bent double for six hours.

Bonhoeffer‘s Theory of Stupidity.

The Educracy’s Pincers Are Closing

     Only the day before yesterday, I wrote:

     The escalation in the cost of living, which includes rapidly rising levels of taxation, is making it ever more difficult for families with minor children to forgo public schooling. Just to maintain a decent suburban standard of living practically requires two incomes. There are exceptions; certain categories of professionals and business owners can afford for one spouse to eschew wage earning. But they are relatively few, and under pressures of other sorts as well.

     It calls to mind the great Terry Gilliam’s movie Brazil, in which literally everything and everyone has been corralled into a fully centralized totalitarian state. The use of services other than those provided by the State is forbidden. We’re not at that point yet. Nominally, parents are still free to choose their children’s form of schooling. But that latitude has been deeply eroded by the rising cost of living and Americans’ huge tax burdens.

     Those “indirect” methods of corralling our kids into the government’s schools have been highly effective. Still, they had a virtue of sorts: at least the alternatives of private schooling and homeschooling remain legal. But there are people and influences who seek to change that:

     As the debate over parental involvement in education continues, a new UN report suggests more regulation needs to be placed on those opting to homeschool their children.

     In the United Nations’ latest “Global education monitoring report” for “2021/2” titled “non-state actors in education: who chooses? who loses?” the global organization suggests that a stricter regulatory system needs to be implemented to ensure that there is uniformity in what children are taught, regardless of where or by whom they are educated.

     According to the UN report, the presence of “non-state actors” in education, which refers primarily to educators in the private schooling sector but also mentions parents involved in homeschooling, promotes “inequity” and “privilege,” and therefore the solution is for governments to consolidate “all” education into a “single system.”

     The UN claims that the rise in homeschooling rates is the result of “advocacy by a global conservative movement” and accuses homeschooling environments of “exacerbating gender imbalances” and negatively impacting the employment rates of “mothers but not fathers.”

     “Who Chooses? Who Loses?” Eh? It’s plain that the global state-run educracy, which has achieved nearly total dominance everywhere but these United States, feels threatened by American homeschoolers. Homeschooled kids are regularly better educated and better behaved than government-schooled kids. That’s bad enough – the educrats do hate being “shown up” – but worse, homeschooled kids aren’t being force-fed the approved attitudes toward the Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnibenevolent State! They seem able to assess evidence and draw conclusions on their own. They reject having the approved responses spoon-fed to them!

     Clearly, this must not be permitted to continue. Millions of rice bowls are wobbling as we speak!

     There are so many giveaways in the snippet above that the authors of the “report” should be embarrassed by their own transparency:

  • “Non-state actors.” (Hissss)
  • “Uniformity.” (Boooo!)
  • “Inequity.” (Growwwlll.)
  • “Privilege.” (SNARL!)
  • “Gender imbalances.” (ROAR!!)
  • And most sinister of all, the “global conservative movement.” (Thousands of simultaneous nuclear explosions!!!)

     UNESCO has always been a pernicious force, but this is a new stride “forward” for it. What will come of it? Unclear. But you can bet your bottom dollar that the American educracy will embrace this report with its full might, and will use it to promote increasingly demanding restrictions on who may homeschool his children, in what sort of environment, using what curricula, and with what degree of government supervision.     Be vigilant. The hour is late. Worse, the educrats have excelled at pushing their agendas through state and local legislatures without anyone being the wiser. We the Hoi Polloi seldom learn of their machinations until nothing can be done about them.

     If you have school-age children, keep them out of the government schools.

Perhaps It’s To Be Expected

     Persons who develop high expertise in a specialty purely hate to see that specialty abused. That’s certainly the case with me. During my wage-earning years (I refuse to call them my “working years;” I work more and harder today than I ever did when I was getting paid for it), I became an expert in simulation: its requirements, its limitations, and what it can and cannot do. It frosts my buns when I hear the apostles of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming cite a simulation as “proof” of their insane thesis.

     They do it for a couple of reasons. First, they have no evidentiary support for their thesis. Second, they know that the general public doesn’t know much about computers or simulations, and so can be deceived with a degree of safety. When you’re desperate to flog a wholly unsubstantiated notion to the general public, you must take care to make your lies difficult to reveal.

     But a simulation remains incapable of proving anything. All it can do is predict how a system will behave if and only if the assumptions and mechanisms built into the simulation are correct. If even one of those assumptions or mechanisms is incorrect, the simulation and its predictions will be worthless.

     Most of what I write here at Liberty’s Torch is pure opinion. The statements above are statements of hard fact. You can take ‘em to the bank.

     But the CAGW / “climate change” flacksters are determined to put their lies over on the American people. There’s a lot of money and power in the offing if they can pull it off. So they’ll continue to press their completely fallacious case. They’ll also continue to call anyone who disputes their claims “everything but white.”

     Which brings us to this article at The New American:

     A new report, released this month by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), states that empirical evidence shows that, despite the dire predictions of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there is “no evidence of a climate crisis.” Professor Ole Humlum of the University of Oslo laid out his case in his annual State of the Climate Report.

     Humlum is a professor emeritus of physical geology and hydrology, with a specific interest in geomorphology and climate variability. He believes that much of the “climate change” that we see is the result of poorly understood but very natural cycles.

     This is yet another confirmation of what we already know from thirty years of meteorological observations. But the warmistas and the politicians who stand to profit from their lies remain determined that Professor Humlum and others who concentrate their attention on the data shall not be permitted to speak and be heard:

     Much more predictably than the climate itself, climate alarmist heads exploded at the thought that anyone might actually believe that so-called climate change might be a natural consequence of natural Earth and solar cycles.

     When Steve Baker, a Tory MP in the United Kingdom, shared [Humlum’s] report as part of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group in parliament, NGOs in the U.K. attacked him for spreading “climate denialism.”

     “The mask has slipped. Promoting climate denial from GWPF is not scrutiny of policies but denying the basis for action. Dangerous and wrong,” said Joe Tetlow, a senior political adviser for the Green Alliance, a climate-alarmist think tank based in London.

     It should come as no surprise that the media have promoted the CAGW / “climate change” hypothesis completely uncritically. It wasn’t about “science;” it was about increasing their audiences. As I wrote many years ago:

     When the Main Stream Media’s drums began to pound out the CAGW march, we should have been especially skeptical, in the best sense of that word: unwilling to commit in the absence of extensive evidence and successful predictions confirmed by multiple disinterested reviewers. Journalists love a “crisis,” and the CAGW hypothesis provided them with one they could hardly resist. But journalism is not science, not even at its very best. It’s merely a service of variable quality, vended to an audience in the hope of making money. Its claims must always be assessed in that light, especially when it aligns itself with persons and institutions screaming for totalitarian power over every kind and degree of human action.

     I could say much more on this subject, but I’ll spare you. Let the following cartoon suffice to summarize my main contention:

     Once again, applause to Mike Miles. Now I’m off to (groan) labor over my lawn. But do have a nice day.

Some American Music

     Yes, I’m old. Yes, my tastes are “fossilized,” even “petrified.” But I know what I like – and I claim I have good reasons to prefer it to the modern crap, even if I decline to discuss them.

     Accordingly, have a terrific tune from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s classic album Uncle Charlie and His Dog Teddy:

Prodigal’s Return

He come a ridin’
     He come a ridin’
          He come a ridin’
               He come…

Four A.M., look who come a callin’
     Ridin’ down the road
Billy come back from a journey of folly
     Ridin’ down the road

He come ridin’ back home
Warming the hearts of his own
He come downtown Des Moines
And now he starts to putting me down
I don’t think he’s been rolling too long

Eighteen years of total revolution
     Ridin’ down the road
Say listen to me daddy Now I’ve got a solution
     Ridin’ down the road

Why not let me come in
I’m still your boy and your kin
Remember the prodigal sin
Said son we’re gonna give unto you
What mama thinks you got comin’ due

He come a ridin’ (Billy come a call come a call, call)
He come a ridin’ (He’s ridin’ down, down, down, yeah)

Eighteen years of total revolution
     Come ridin’ down the road
Say listen to me mama Now I’ve got a solution
     Ridin’ down the road

Why not let me come in
(HE SAID…) I’m still your boy and your kin
Remember the prodigal sin
Said son we’re gonna give unto you
What daddy thinks you got comin’ due (yeah)

He come a ridin’ (Billy come a call come a call, call)
     He come a ridin’ (He’s ridin’, ridin’ down the road)
          He come a ridin’ Ohhh

He come a ridin’ Ridin’, ridin’
     He come a ridin’ Ridin’, ridin’
          He come a ridin’ Ridin’, ridin’
               He come a ridin’ Ridin’, ridin’…

From The “No Comment Required” Files

     If this isn’t a mask-drop, what could possibly qualify?

     Former Obama era intelligence officials, those who helped construct, organize and assemble the public-private partnership between intelligence data networks and supported social media companies, have written a letter to congress warning that any effort to break up Big Tech (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google, Microsoft, etc.) would be catastrophic for the national security system they have created.

     [READ LETTER HERE]

     Citing the information control mechanisms they assembled, vis-a-vis the ability of social media networks to control and approve what is available for the public to read and review, the intelligence officials declare that any effort to break up the private side of the intel/tech partnership will only result in less ability of the intelligence apparatus to control public opinion.

     Read this old essay, and draw your own conclusions.

A Comment On Contemporary Journalism

     Some Gentle Readers might have seen this joke in an “earlier edition.”

***

     One fine day a young mother brought her toddler to the zoo. It wasn’t for educational purposes; she merely wanted her daughter’s attention on the animals so she could chat with her friends on her cellphone for most of the afternoon. And so this undoting Mom’s attention was firmly elsewhere when the little girl ambled up to the lion’s cage to gawk at the king of the jungle.

     The beast seemed to be “in repose.” He lay flat on the earth with his eyes closed, his head resting on his forepaws, his magnificent mane flattened against his neck. The little girl was fascinated by His Dozing Majesty and unwisely stuck a hand through the bars in an attempt to pet him.

     That proved to be unwise. The lion immediately awoke and charged toward the bars, grabbed the girl’s arm, and strained to pull the rest of her into his cage. Mom, her attention at last redirected toward her progeny, leaped to her feet and, not knowing what else she could do, screamed shrilly.

     Fortunately for her little girl, a young man standing nearby knew how to do something more constructive. He leaped toward the scene and punched the lion in the head with his full strength, stunning the beast and forcing it to release the girl’s arm. The man pulled the girl to safety and was checking her for injuries as applause sounded from those nearest the incident.

     As the shaken mother and daughter hurried away – Mom excitedly narrating the event to her telephonic friends – a bystander approached our hero and announced himself. “Excuse me, sir. I’m a reporter, and I’d like to write a story about your heroic deed. Would you mind sitting for a brief interview?” The young man smiled and assented, and the two took seats on a nearby bench.

     The reporter took out his notebook and pen. This conversation followed:

Reporter: “What’s your name, sir?”
Hero: “Adam Smith.”
Reporter: “Would you kindly tell me a little about yourself, Mr. Smith?”
Hero: “Well, certainly. What would you like to know?
Reporter: “For a start, what do you do for a living and what brought you here today?”
Hero: “Well, as it happens, I’m about to leave the Marine Corps after a ten-year enlistment. I was on my way to the local Republican Party headquarters to offer my services for the upcoming election season.”
Reporter: “Ah, I see. Thank you very much!”

     And with that the reporter closed and pocketed his notebook and walked away. And the next day, the front page story in the local daily was headlined:

US Marine Assaults African Immigrant
And Steals His Lunch

(<rimshot />)

Things That Shouldn’t Need To Be Said Dept.

     While this story is a few days old:

     Two inmates serving time in New Jersey’s only state prison for women became pregnant after they had sex with a transgender inmate, according to a report Wednesday.

     The unidentified jailbirds became pregnant at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility after engaging in “consensual sexual relationships with another incarcerated person,” the state Department of Corrections told NJ.com.

     …it is nevertheless relevant to the enveloping debate about transgenderism, to wit:

If you seriously wish to present as the opposite of your birth sex, you should try your best to stay out of jails and prisons.

     I have spoken. But do have a nice day.

Concerning Yesterday’s Emission

     Make that “mentally disturbed and / or utterly evil adults” and you’ve got the whole of the Left’s educational “project” in a sentence.

     Once again, applause to Mike Miles at 90 Miles from Tyranny.

I Thought We’d Hit Peak Insanity Already

     Ragin’ Dave provides evidence to the contrary:

     Families that may have turned to homeschooling as an alternative to hastily assembled remote learning plans have stuck with it — reasons include health concerns, disagreement with school policies and a desire to keep what has worked for their children.

     Maybe it’s because parents actually saw what a toxic dumpster fire the publik skool sistim really is. When your math is all about pimping for money and getting raped by mommy’s boyfriend, how much math is actually being taught?

     Dave continues:

     That’s an actual, honest to god assignment from Missouri, folks. That was created and sold to schools for your children to consume. Feeling ready to light a torch and grab a pitchfork yet?

     I have a stepdaughter who recently produced a son. The boy is two years old. I can’t imagine what sort of “public school system” we’ll have when he hits kindergarten age. I can only hope my stepdaughter has the sense to keep him out of it. However, the odds are not good: she’s a public-school teacher.

     We’re in trouble, folks.

***

     The escalation in the cost of living, which includes rapidly rising levels of taxation, is making it ever more difficult for families with minor children to forgo public schooling. Just to maintain a decent suburban standard of living practically requires two incomes. There are exceptions; certain categories of professionals and business owners can afford for one spouse to eschew wage earning. But they are relatively few, and under pressures of other sorts as well.

     It calls to mind the great Terry Gilliam’s movie Brazil, in which literally everything and everyone has been corralled into a fully centralized totalitarian state. The use of services other than those provided by the State is forbidden. We’re not at that point yet. Nominally, parents are still free to choose their children’s form of schooling. But that latitude has been deeply eroded by the rising cost of living and Americans’ huge tax burdens.

     Other indirect methods have been used to erode other aspects of individual freedom that Americans have taken for granted. Bodily autonomy. Security in one’s home. Privacy in banking. Traveling freely. Communicating with others without someone from the Omnipotent State listening in. The list could be extended as far as any Gentle Reader can imagine.

     As the GOP loves power and its fruits quite as much as the Democrats – indeed, they’re responsible for several of the incursions upon freedom I enumerated above – I can’t see a happy ending from here, no matter who prevails in November.

     Have a nice day.

Pearls of expression.

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

~ Woody Allen.

An Undiscussed Legal Rule

     We’ve talked about “the rule of law” here on several occasions. I’ve taken pains to point out implications of that principle that others – some deliberately – tend to miss. But there’s an aspect of it that I don’t think I’ve covered, though it could hardly be more significant.

     A law that cannot be enforced, as I’ve written on other occasions, weakens respect for the law in general. This is a badly neglected bit of wisdom. The law books of our nation are heavy with unenforceable laws. Many were passed by legislators who were fully aware that they could not be enforced – or worse, that their enforcement would require the enforcers to break even higher laws (e.g., provisions of the Constitution). Yet there they are. Seldom has any politician admitted those laws’ destructive character.

     But two questions arise here:

  1. What does it mean for “respect for the law in general” to diminish?
  2. What makes a law unenforceable?

     The first of those questions pertains to the effect called moral hazard. An unenforceable law, especially one attached to criminal penalties, creates an opportunity for persons to profit from their willingness to risk detection and capture. This is especially important in discussing laws that outlaw widely disapproved behavior, such as recreational drug use and prostitution. When a law makes it profitable to provide outlawed goods or services, that possibility immediately appears, as do persons willing to gamble on not being caught. Organized crime has grown fat on such opportunities.

     When the law-abiding see lawbreakers grow rich from their lawbreaking, the disincentives for the law-abiding:

  1. To remain within the law;
  2. To teach respect for the law to their progeny;

     …rises in proportion to the perceived advantages that accrue to the lawbreakers. While many succeed in resisting those pressures, significant numbers of persons do not. Some of those who succumb will be law enforcers, with all that implies. Their example will corrupt some fraction of their colleagues. Meanwhile, the merchants of the disapproved will continue to “rake it in.” Few will face the penalties the law has established.

     What ultimately suffers is the concept of the law as an organizing and civilizing mechanism, a necessary one that deserves respect and adherence.

     The second question has more than one answer. As I suggested above, a law whose enforcement requires the violation of higher laws, such as the protections for individuals’ rights enshrined in the Constitution, is unenforceable for that reason. It endangers the whole structure of law. But a law can appear to conform with those protections and still be unenforceable.

     The key is the detectability of offenses.

     What cannot be detected cannot be outlawed. That can include an offense alleged by others, for under the rules of evidence, testimony about something someone else has done does not preclude reasonable doubt. There could be many reasons for Smith to lie about what he has seen Jones do, or not do. Were such testimony to be accepted uncritically, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh would not have attained their seats on the Supreme Court.

     This goes to the heart of one of the most painful questions we in the Right face today: whether it is possible to outlaw abortion at all phases of gestation without incurring still worse consequences.

     Many pro-life campaigners would argue that outlawing abortion at all phases would be worth doing even if it were to prove unenforceable. It would “send a message.” But the consequences for respect for the law, plus the implications for the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship, would be grave. During the earliest weeks of pregnancy, only the woman is aware of the embryo inside her. Moreover, she can request services nominally pertinent to abortion for reasons other than pregnancy. The “D&C” – dilation and curettage – is performed not solely to abort an earliest-stage pregnancy but also to remedy certain menstrual problems.

     How is such an abortion to be detected? Wouldn’t it require a violation of the woman’s and doctor’s Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights? Would accusations and testimony by third parties be admissible in such cases? If so, what would happen to the presumption of innocence?

     Earliest-stage abortion isn’t the only case of this kind. Consider an allegation that Smith murdered Jones by “pissing him off:” angering him into a fatal heart attack. Consider an allegation that Jones trespassed upon Davis’s land without leaving any trace of his passage. Consider an allegation that Davis replaced Green’s heirloom with an identical copy, thus depriving Green of its collectible, historical, or sentimental value. There are others, but those will do for a start.

     Legislators prefer not to consider such questions. They tend to concentrate on maximizing the “mob appeal” of their proposals while deflecting questions about enforceability. But enough damage to respect for the law, and enough money and power have flowed to the willingly criminal, to make such considerations imperative. A legislator or candidate willing to confront questions about enforceability and answer them candidly is worthy of note.

Day Off

     We’re doing a little celebrating at the Fortress today, so I shan’t be posting one of my “traditional” (i.e., interminable) pieces. However, do have a look at this Deanna Fisher piece at Victory Girls. She cites a terrific example of a process that’s been in process for quite some time now, summarized in this tweet from the Dishonorable Pramila Jayapal (D, WA):

Student debt cancellation is racial justice.
Student debt cancellation is gender justice.
Student debt cancellation is economic justice.
— Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) April 16, 2022

     Do those sentiments attach to any notion of “justice” with which you’re familiar, Gentle Reader?

     It has been said, and truly, that “Debts are always paid: if not by the borrower, then by the lender.” There is no escaping payment. This is written into the laws of the universe. The sole question is upon whom the burden will fall. But that’s almost tangential to the larger point.

     Two bedrock concepts in American political thought underpin every other idea upon which our nation was based:

  1. Rights,
  2. Justice.

     Once those two concepts have been destroyed, so has America. The Left has been laboring diligently at their destruction for decades. I trust I need not write another dissertation about this. I’ve already done that several times.

     Beware, Gentle Reader. Never let anyone get away with using the word rights to mean anything but the rights to life, liberty, and honestly acquired property. Never let anyone get away with using the word justice to mean anything but the defense of individuals’ rights, whether formal or informal. (“Justice” with a preceding modifier is injustice. Full stop.)

     When you witness any misuse of either word, it’s enough to interject loudly, “You don’t understand rights (or justice).” Then walk away in an open show of contempt. There’s no point arguing with a Pramila Jayapal. They just scream “racist!” or some other pejorative, so why bother? Just walk away.

     Have a nice day.

A Promise Kept

     Many of the promises men make to one another are broken. We have learned, often painfully, that to trust is to gamble – that no man’s word, however solemnly given, is absolutely reliable.

     There was, however, one exception:

     And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. And his countenance was as lightning, and his raiment as snow. And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror, and became as dead men.
     And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid. And going quickly, tell ye his disciples that he is risen: and behold he will go before you into Galilee; there you shall see him. Lo, I have foretold it to you.
     And they went out quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy, running to tell his disciples.
     And behold Jesus met them, saying: All hail. But they came up and took hold of his feet, and adored him. Then Jesus said to them: Fear not. Go, tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, there they shall see me.

     Then just as now, what the worldly powers feared most was the promise. Jesus had foretold His Passion, which was frightening enough, but far worse, He had foretold His Resurrection. They who had contrived His execution, many of whom were already convinced that they had slain the Son of God, were in terror of His return – not because He might choose to exact retribution, but because of the potential wrath of His followers. So they “took steps:”

     Who when they were departed, behold some of the guards came into the city, and told the chief priests all things that had been done. And they being assembled together with the ancients, taking counsel, gave a great sum of money to the soldiers, Saying: Say you, His disciples came by night, and stole him away when we were asleep. And if the governor shall hear this, we will persuade him, and secure you.
     So they taking the money, did as they were taught: and this word was spread abroad among the Jews even unto this day.

     [Matthew 28:11-15]

     But there was no retribution, only joy that His promise had been kept:

     And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing them they adored: but some doubted.
     And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

     [Matthew 28:16-20]

     Happy Easter, everyone. Know the joy of the Resurrection. For He is risen, just as He said.

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