Considering Adding Communications to Your Skillset

Those who know me, realize that I’m a big proponent of amateur radio (commonly called Ham Radio). It’s a volunteer-organized, volunteer-run system, that is reachable with less than $100 investment in training and equipment, and is run in a non-hierarchal, ad hoc way. Which makes it the perfect fit for those who mistrust those who would take control of every means of communication.

Such an unofficial basis must drive the Nanny-Staters nuts. Some of them, “in charge” in California, have decided to step in to keep those “amateurs” from being involved with emergency actions.

BTW, that government-led effort to supplant the Hams? Already obsolete – and it only began in 2012.

So, once again, the non-government actors have proven that those ‘comprehensive solutions’ simply aren’t workable in the real world.

I can’t say that I agree completely with the above blogger’s take on the ARRL – I’ve found them to be sharp, helpful, and a great resource for a relative newb, such as myself. But, YMMV.

Now, that effort in CA started in 2019. I haven’t heard much about the plan since then. I suspect that the news did their usual efficient and responsible job of explaining the situation. If you’d like another take on the issues involved, see this link.

CA has unique problems, a lot of it due to the out-of-control fires that have been erupting over the last few years. One unmentioned issue of the “unofficial” repeater towers is that – if not carefully maintained – the tower might become a fire hazard. An improperly grounded tower is a hazard.

“But, I’m sure that the ham grounded it correctly.” Probably. But if not regularly inspected, things happen. Animals can damage it, thieves can target the copper or aluminum parts, leaving it a hazard-in-the-making, and the radio frequency emitted can be a danger to nearby people or animals. Lightning strikes the highest objects in an area, and, in some cases, that’s the tower. That doesn’t even take into account how dangerous it can be for those fighting forest fires, should a repeater be in the area.

So, it is somewhat reasonable that the Forest Service might want some input into which towers stay, and which go.

This is a case where responsible and mature advocates need to work with those government officials. Given budgetary concerns, government needs to realize they can’t do everything. Volunteers, properly trained, can augment the official efforts. Both ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) and Storm-Spotters (just what it sounds like, these are the on-the-ground volunteers that are responsible for many of the reports featured on the evening news) require a heavy investment of time to train and respond to emergencies.

There is a place for the trained professional. And, there is a role for the volunteer. They need to learn to work together.

What’s Next?

I feel as though I need to write this now. Many of my fellow bloggers are posting like they might need to be talked off the ledge, so to speak.

If you accept what they write, it’s all but over, and we never even fired a shot.

Not that I’m the shooting type. Well, I was taught to use a .22, many years ago, by my Daddy (all good Redneck girls are instructed in the proper use of firearms by their Dads, don’cha know?). But, it’s been years since I practiced, and, since an unfortunate wrist injury in my dominant hand, I’ve not tried to get back to it.

But, other than that very mild “insurrection” in January of this year, the Left has been flaunting their “victory” without a worry or serious effort to stop them.

So, no, armed revolution is very unlikely, for now.

Well, then, what CAN we do to stop the UN-American Sons (and Daughters) of Wayward Mothers and Absent Fathers?

Fran says, and I think rightly, that Voting Won’t Do It. So, maybe we stop. Not completely, we still need to show up at the local and possibly the state level (depending on your state’s resistance to the Leftist Juggernaught). So, yeah, vote for the local candidates – work for and contribute to them, as well. That is the level you might call the incubator level, and it allows you to help guide them in the way you want them to represent you.

But, our motto in the future should be NOT ONE MORE RINO! Don’t vote for them, don’t contribute to their campaigns, and make their endorsement or personal recommendations radioactive.

Merely speaking out won’t do it. Can’t argue with Fran there, if by speaking out is meant standing up in public and risking assassination. But, there are other ways to speak:

  • You can try listening to other people’s concerns, and asking clarifying questions.
  • You can chair the meeting, and help keep them on topic – and, off any public speech that is likely to get them arrested.
  • You can volunteer to write the meeting minutes – and THAT gives you a lot of control over the record, and the tone of the meeting.
  • You can create a podcast or video series that allows you to voice your concerns. You can be public about it, or anonymous.
  • You can write the script for others to voice. You can invite the guests, produce, or otherwise work in the background.
  • You can be the Tech Guy that keeps the information flowing.

Fran discusses why the American Revolution worked, and why it wouldn’t today.

Point One was that the British were an ocean away. It’s true that the Overlords aren’t that far away in distance, but they are MORE than an ocean away in support. Outside of the major cities and their nearby Elite bedroom communities, the Leftists have little support. Even in the major cities, the enclaves that house the Elite and the government workers are surrounded by angry, hostile, anarchistic minorities and their allies.

I’m not too impressed by the military and weaponry capabilities of the Left. There are MANY ex-military vets, angry about having been driven out of their service arms, and many of who have actually experienced combat. As the Afghan insurgents showed, high-tech is not always the answer. It doesn’t hurt to have the capabilities, but rebel forces can manage without them.

Drones can be designed and built in the garages of small towns (and, provide a nice tax-free income for fly-over residents). It doesn’t take much to hijack the enemy drones, assuming that you are willing to violate FCC and FAA regs – which I assume is not an issue.

A relatively small group of people can bring down a complex society with a few attacks on chokepoints. Hell, look at the damage the shipping situation has done to the economy. It’s hurting us a little, but it’s KILLING China, who HAS to move their stuff through those ports.

Brutal But More Likely Than Not

     Yes, I’m back. I needed a few days off, in part to get The Discovery Phase released, but in larger part to flush the static out of my head. Anyway, it’s hard to type with your fists. Puts a lot of stress on the keyboard, too.

     This morning, I encountered an unusually frank comment at PJ Media:

     Let’s be brutally honest…if the Republicans win, the Democrats and their street thugs are going to riot. They’re going to go violent. They planned on it if Biden hadn’t “won” in 2020 and they’ll absolutely do it in 2024…nationally. It will likely be worse than summer 2020, because they’ll be aiming for full insurrection. And the next Republican will likely have to face it down without the initial support of the DOJ, FBI, and military, because those organizations have been thoroughly corrupted by the Democrats. So if a Republican wins, they’re going to have to clean house in the leadership and ranks of those organizations and they’re going to have to get the replacements confirmed and up to speed fast, likely faster than any have been confirmed before. And if they fail, the country could very well collapse.

     I find the above highly plausible. The Democrats have already “tested their weapons:” the street riots, the media falsifications, the pusillanimity of local and state law enforcers, the grudging compliance of the Fortune 5000, and the enthusiastic compliance of the Deep State. They know that those things will serve them. They also know that the Republican Establishment will not support President Trump wholeheartedly, as they’re more akin to the Deep State in attitudes and preferences than to Donald Trump. So – assuming the GOP’s strategists and kingmakers can somehow prevent primary voters from voting their preferences – the next Republican presidential nominee will not be Donald Trump. As the Democrats have already demonstrated how to prevent primaries from thwarting the will of the elite, it remains only for the GOP’s leadership cadre to emulate their methods.

     Leave aside whether a second term for President Trump would be the best thing for the country. Politicians and political planners don’t think in those terms. As David Friedman told us in The Machinery of Freedom, political parties exist solely to put their candidates into office. They don’t have convictions of any kind; institutions never do. Nor are they immune to the dynamic that the late Jerry Pournelle expressed in his Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

     The perpetual control of the federal government is what the Democrats have been maneuvering toward since Woodrow Wilson. They’ve very nearly achieved it. The Deep State is on their side. Worse, they’ve almost broken the Republican Party to harness as a tame opposition, dedicated to the same sort of permanent Establishmentarian regime, that will remain docile as long as it gets a piece of the action. I submit recent Congressional Republicans’ acquiescence to the Democrats’ agenda as Exhibit One.

     Yes, this is a bleak forecast. It presages the ongoing decline of all things American, including (of course) every one of our individual rights. What, then, must we do?

     Don’t look at me for answers. I have none, except a mass popular revolt and the subsequent reinstitution of Constitutionally limited government. But no one’s anxious to take the musket down from the mantel. After all, a rebellion against the Usurpers and their handmaidens would be messy. You could break a nail.

     (See why I needed those few days off?)

     Voting won’t do it. Merely speaking out won’t do it. Passive resistance, if it were sufficiently complete and widespread, might do it, though the Usurpers have a number of countermeasures at their disposal. An armed rebellion would have the best chance…but there’s no longer any guarantee that the good guys would win.

     The American Revolution of 1775-1781 succeeded for several reasons, none of which apply today. First, the ruling authorities had to fight the rebels from far away, with all the logistical difficulties that entails. Second, the rebel forces were military innovators, though that’s seldom given much attention in the histories: they fought with makeshift but effective tactics against an army that was, to put it gently, too attached to historical practices. Third, the military technology of the time had not produced any mass-effect weaponry applicable to land warfare. Fourth, there were no lapdog media capable of assisting the rulers in their pacification efforts. Fifth – and this might be the capper – there was no centralized financial system the rulers could exploit to choke off the rebellion’s funds.

     It’s not looking good, Gentle Reader. Not at all.

     Perhaps I’ll be in a better mood tomorrow.

Taking On the Fact-Checkers

A journalist with a good reputation, and some deep pockets is suing Facebook, and their Fact-Checkers. FB choose to use a separate company from FB, apparently under the impression that the hands-length relationship with the Fact-Checkers would give them protection against any consequences.

That relationship is what lawyers call an Agency Relationship, and it doesn’t keep them from ALL or ANY liability for the actions of their agents. I have NO doubt that discovery will uncover the interwoven ties between FB and their agents. That will put them at jeopardy of liability for defamation of character, financial consequences for those actions, and even punitive damages, should, as I am fairly confident of, FB be determined to have tried to hide the evidence from the court, or even flat-out lied under oath.

In other words, bend over FB. You’re about to get a cavity search.

UPDATE – I’ve been trying to get some work done online, but the internet is incredibly slow right now. It’s likely my system, but it’s frustrating me no end. So, I’m going to get offline, and get some Real Life stuff done.

New Fiction


     Loren was good looking, well mannered, and highly intelligent. He was broadly competent in applied mathematics, the physical sciences, and computer technology. He could fix almost anything, and would do so happily. Yet for years he’d spent most of his days doing janitorial work at a state college. While at age forty-eight he had never known love, he was reasonably happy…but his past included a darkness over which he still brooded.

     Sylvie was a lawyer, and radiantly beautiful. Yet at age forty-two she’d been celibate for more than twenty years. After sixteen years at Weems, Farkas, interviewing prospective clients, drafting motions and memoranda, and filtering out those applicants the firm couldn’t profitably assist, she’d become the firm’s senior associate…but when she learned that the senior partners expected to use her as a party favor for their wealthiest clients, she became disheartened and angry.

     They met in a blue-collar bar on a Monday evening. Despite their professional, financial, and religious differences, they seemed perfect for one another…but their pasts and unforeseeable events would have their say.

     An Onteora County Romance. Only $3.99 at Amazon!

Presented Without Comment

     I hadn’t paid much attention to Jesse Watters before this. I will henceforward.

An historical insight for the ages.

Much of this reminds me of World War I, the “Great War.” Look up the causes. They are all amorphous. Nationalism. An assassination. Treaties. Diplomatic confusions. The Serbs. Meanwhile none of these reasons can actually account for 20 million dead, 21 million wounded, and wrecked economies and lives all over the world, to say nothing of the Great Depression and rise of Hitler that came as a result of this appalling disaster.

Despite investigations, countless books, public hearings, and public fury that lasted a decade or more after the Great War, there never was anyone who accepted responsibility.

So it might be for the lockdowns and mandates of 2020 and 2021.[1]

So it is with the long, slow slide into our present clown version of what the original American constitutional republic was all about. Penumbras emanate. Cities decay. Crime spreads. Schools don’t. Deficits happen. Debt soars. The currency evaporates. Jobs too. Riots happen. Thugs roam. Surveillance came. So did hostile and indigestible foreigners. Wars happen. Regimes change. Money flows. Votes appear.

[1] “Who Will Be Held Responsible for This Devastation?” By Jeffrey A. Tucker, Freedom First Network, 12/11/21.

Can we all agree on this one simple fact?

Moscow’s behavior has been more a reaction to aggressive moves that the United States and its Ukrainian client have already taken than it is evidence of offensive intent.

~ Ted Galen Carpenter quoted in “Joe Biden, Let’s Not Go To War.” By Sheldon Richman, ZeroHedge, 12/11/21.

A Busy, Busy Day

It’s my own fault. I’ve been putting off some tasks – household, financial, personal – for too long. Today is the day that I have set aside to play catch-up.

Starting with posting on my own personal blog more regularly. Today’s post is a mish-mash of random things. That’s the way my mind has been working – little concentration for extended essays, but jumping around at poorly connected topics.

When I finish my current cup of coffee, I’m off to shower and dress for the day. I’m going to build some “fun” time into the day, don’t you worry. But, my goal is to stop around dinner, look around, and see significant progress.

I’m trying to detach from the idea that I, and I almost alone, am responsible for seeing that this country survives. That’s pretty much what is behind the obsessive reading of the many atrocities of our occupied country’s temporary overlords. I’m acting like gathering more information is key to holding off the Final Battle.

Well, it’s not. There is a lot wrong at present; some of it affect me, some of it is just causing pain to others, not related (and, often, living in far distant places). I cannot take on the task of a superhero, ever-vigilant and hyper-aware of every danger to the public. I’m ONE person.

And that ONE person is going to work on things closer to home for now. If something particularly pernicious hits the headlines, I likely will read about it, and may even post about it somewhere. But, I’m no longer going to make it so much a focus that I miss my opportunity to live my own life in peace.

Intentionally Untitled

     “When it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck and acts like a duck, I call it a duck. Call it a bunch of roses. It still quacks.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Glory Road

     Some pieces need no titles. Others can’t abide them. As for the quote above, hang in there. You’ll get it.


     Human life under the veil of time exists in a hyper-ephemeral present: a moment so brief that it’s gone before you can finish pronouncing its name. Yet our attention invariably spreads into the past and the future. Indeed, it must be this way. We plan in hope of a future that’s better, or at least no worse, than what we have now. The past provides the information and wisdom we need to do that planning.

     The past is being taken from us. The future is being nullified.

     Sounds a bit bleak? I can’t disagree. But how else would you characterize the cumulative import of the following stories:

     Yes, there’s a bit of reading to do. If you find it too burdensome, you’ll have to take what you’re given…and here it is:

We are being shorn of the past and denied hope of a future. Our history is being erased under the rationale of political correctness and “anti-racism.” Our children – such as the pro-abortion crowd and the mandatory vaccine freaks allow to live – are being twisted by the very institutions we once trusted to educate them. The “news” is coming under government control. The Regime is planning for an endless state of emergency under a “public health” rationale. Individual rights and due process of law be damned: the Regime will enforce whatever measures it deems “in the public interest.”

     Do you need more evidence? There’s plenty. Just read a few news sites.


     George Orwell showed us the future our enemies intend for us:

     “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

     Innumerable commentators have pointed to such an endpoint. The suggestion has largely been shrugged aside as hyperbole. It is not. The shape of the future our enemies intend for us is now clear.

     For Orwell’s Party, the eternal emergency was war and the threat of infiltration by Oceania’s foes. For us, it’s the threat of disease. What matters isn’t the rationale, but the intentions and the methods.

     Why would they seek such a future? They want power. Power is their only love. They can only conceal their own evil from themselves by oppressing others. While they have their boots on our necks, they can forget how worthless and vile they are.

     Yes, it’s appalling. That doesn’t mean it’s untrue.

     Who needs telescreens? Your television already listens to you. So do your computer and your phone. Oh, you think you’ve turned them off, do you?


     There are still too many people who reject the evidence of their senses…just as The Party told Oceania’s people to reject it:

     He picked up the children’s history book and looked at the portrait of Big Brother which formed its frontispiece. The hypnotic eyes gazed into his own. It was as though some huge force were pressing down upon you — something that penetrated inside your skull, battering against your brain, frightening you out of your beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence of your senses. In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy….
     The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.

     Yet millions of our countrymen look at developments, including developments they know are irrational by any decent standard, and they tell themselves “They can’t mean it that way. They’re just…misguided.”

     They are not misguided. They mean business.

     And their business won’t end short of you.


     I have to stop here. It’s too much. I might not be back for a while. Hopefully, the other Co-Conspirators of Liberty’s Torch will weigh in with less depressing stuff. I need a respite.

     Be well.

“Legal” Theft

And the state in which I still own a house is one of the worst – South Carolina.

Now, there is much to love about SC. The people are generally friendly, they have strong family ties, the children are generally quite civil and polite, and the winter temps are a relief, after having lived in Cleveland, OH for many years. Just NOT having to scrape the ice and snow off your car in the winter is tremendous.

But, the state legislature is too complacent about the many abuses of Civil Forfeiture, which hits the Black population harder than it does the White population. Black people are more likely to not have access to a bank account, or other ways to put their money safely away. They are more likely to keep it in their car or on their person, making them more vulnerable to losing it in any encounter with the police.

 “Black men pay the price for this program. They represent 13 percent of the state’s population. Yet 65 percent of all citizens targeted for civil forfeiture in the state are black males.”

Those encounters don’t have to involve a crime – or, even, an arrest. Many people have had their cash taken without having any recourse, except to hire a lawyer (good luck with that if you’ve lost access to your money!).

So, for all the people I’ve heard saying how the Red states will provide safety and freedom, I can only say:

Look, the Red states – and, yes, many of them ARE in the South – are not uniformly supportive of the freedom and dignity of citizens. Local and state governments often do abuse their power to act against Americans. They don’t always respect Constitutional Rights, or even Human Rights.

That’s why I’m not concerned about leaving the Red for a state that is generally classified as Blue. I know that moving to a “freer” state is not a solution, by itself.

No, Americans need to learn that – no matter where you live or work – Freedom doesn’t come freely. You have to be prepared to push back against the bullies – even the government ones – that try to keep you from your Sovereign Rights.

Sure, you probably won’t want to stay in a place that is more abusive than not. And, I can’t honestly counsel people NOT to leave, should they be able to without a huge financial or personal penalty.

But, just walking away from an overbearing government is no more the answer than walking out on an abusive spouse. Even after you leave, you will likely have problems. If not with that person, you will often manage to find another abusive a$$hole who will push you around.

The cure is to develop a spine. Learn to tell them NO. And, when they push you, push back (metaphorically). Figure out how to clip their wings, whether by refusing to stick around, hiring a lawyer, going public about the abuse, disentangling yourself financially, or whatever it takes.

Watching Independence Day

That movie always makes me cry. I’m at the point when the President – a guy who, although a movie star, really ACTS like a President – is giving the speech that precedes the attack. He talks about how humanity will NOT go quietly, will NOT lie down and die. Very different from today’s “leaders”, who expect us to be sheep, lining up for shearing (or worse!).

I really don’t believe that The Left know just how many of us are out there. The old and tired, the young and untested, the veterans, the never-in-combat ones, even those who – technically – are not Americans – all of us who are determined not to give up our freedom without a hell of a fight.

And, likely, not even then.

They just cannot imagine it. Imagine someone willing to kill/die rather than live like a slave. Rather than give up the essence of what citizenship means. To be willing to die on their feet, rather than live on their knees.

That’s what we are.

Free men and women. Descended from others who risked it all to possess that freedom.

God help them if they continue to stand in our way.

Monopolies And What They Want

     I’ve got news for you, Gentle Reader: You are a monopoly.

     Surprised? It’s true, though: You are the one and only source for goods and services made by you. Because of the 13th Amendment, you have absolute control over the source of those goods and services. Assuming you’re not incarcerated for a felony crime, of course.

     Monopolies aren’t usually thought of in quite that fashion, of course. Our “naive” view of monopolies is based on a goods category: cars, computers, chimichangas, and so forth. Yet even that kind of monopoly is more common than many would suppose. Consider regional cable-television providers as an example.

     Every now and then some large organization will be targeted by the bien-pensants as a monopoly. The masters of that organization will struggle to come up with some countermeasure for the negative characterization. It’s not easy, given the connotations of the term. When we consider that in denotative terms a true monopoly – one with absolute control of access to some category of good – is exceedingly rare, it complicates matters still further.

     Some years ago, a regional movie-theater chain was forbidden to acquire the theaters of another, smaller chain by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC’s rationale was that the would-be acquirer already owned 10% of the theaters in its region! God forbid that such a monopoly should grow any more “dominant.” If this seems to you to put an unjustifiable strain on the notion of a monopoly, you’re not alone.

     Before I proceed further, allow me to reassure you that I’m no fan of giantism. In the usual case, a giant organization is massively inefficient and glacially torpid in the face of change. Most giant organizations got that way by failing to concentrate on their core specialty and haring off after other prizes. This is neither good for the organization nor good for those it purports to serve.

     That having been said, under a specified set of conditions, some sorts of enterprise must be huge to be viable. That will naturally limit the number of competitors in that economic sector. However, such an enterprise will be unusually vulnerable to changes in those enveloping conditions. For example, General Motors, which once sold over half the cars produced each year, was very slow to react to the technological advances that made much smaller, more lightly capitalized automakers viable. It cost GM quite a lot of market share.

     In brief: In an environment susceptible to significant social, economic, technological, and legal changes, the larger the monopoly or quasi-monopoly, the shorter its period of viability. Of course, those who captain such organizations dislike to face the music. When change threatens them, they man the barricades. Far too often, they seek assistance from the biggest, most threatening monopoly of all: government.


     Elon Musk, whom I’m beginning to like quite a lot, has ruffled some feathers:

     Musk — who serves as chief executive of both Tesla and SpaceX — made the remarks during The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, where he also slammed President Biden’s domestic agenda.

     “It does not make sense to take the job of capital allocation away from people who have demonstrated great skill in capital allocation, and give it to an entity that has demonstrated very poor skill in capital allocation, which is the government,” he commented.

     “Government is simply the biggest corporation, with the monopoly on violence.”

     Incontrovertibly true…but it won’t make him any friends in Washington D.C., nor in the Mahogany Rows and corporate boardrooms of other large companies. The big secret is that our grotesquely swollen government is a cancer that’s poised to eat the rest of the body politic. Without that cancer, which has obligingly created levels of taxation and regulation that promote giant corporations while disfavoring small ones and inhibiting startups, the American economy would look much different.

     I’ve already written about this. The analysis hasn’t changed over the twenty-six years since I penned that essay. We’re nearer to the collapse of the thing than we were, but nothing else has changed, except for the number of Americans whose livelihood depends on giant corporations.

     Giant corporations are like “the High” in 1984. Their aim is to remain “the High.” They’ll sacrifice quite a lot of other things to remain viable. Compare this to the behavior of politicians and bureaucrats. I trust I need say no more.

     Now the widely respected Elon Musk has used the word monopoly in characterizing government. Perhaps that will open a few eyes. At any rate, more Americans listen when he talks than when I do. Just an early-morning thought.

Patriotism, Or Racism and/or Xenophobia?

I do find it mystifying that love of your country is a GOOD thing, unless the Lover is not a PoC (Person of Color).

The thing is, EVERYONE is biased towards the values and culture of the country in which they grew up. We recall the sights and smells and sounds of our life in that country (in a Proustean way), and have a rush of emotion that supersedes any intellectual overlay. That love taps into the primitive parts of our brain, and is not easily dislodged.

When I remember the America of my childhood, it was rich in ethnic languages, non-WASPy faces, and smells of the cuisine of foreign lands.

For, I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, a time in which the refugees of the world eagerly rushed in. With them, they brought their cultural heritage, their food and clothing, and their stories of their beloved country of exile.

In time, their children became wholly American. Many of them spoke only a few dimly remembered words of the old language. They were eager to wear the clothing of America, dance and sing to its songs, and become enmeshed in its popular culture. By the time they became parents, little remained of the heritage of their ancestors.

And, such has been a common experience in our country. Many of the newly arrived settled in, initially in nationality-tight enclaves. As time went on, they moved out into the suburbs, where their children grew up surrounded by people who spoke and read English, who followed the American cultural norms, and who expected to be able to benefit from the American Dream in their own lives.

The kids became truly Americans. And, in the process, broke the connections with the ancestral heritage of their families.

Such a process was known as Assimilation. And, at that time, it was considered a Good Thing.

Those kids, having dipped into the American Dream, felt free to date and marry other Americans, regardless of their ethnicity. That included people who had grown up with different religions. And, those who didn’t share a skin color.

The thing such couples had in common was a common love for this country and its traditions.

New Topic:

Apparently, there is some credible talk about China having built containerized missiles, that they plan to ship in on regular shipping vessels (it is likely a violation of international law).

The scheme is really interesting; it’s quite flexible, as it can be transported via ship, truck, or rail. It also has the advantage of hiding in plain sight.

Now, is it a LIKELY scenario?

China may try it. They may even manage to get some of the container missiles inside the USA. Perhaps in high-value target locations.

But, without regular maintenance, such missiles are unlikely to be useful beyond a relatively short period.

They need to be checked and serviced. The software needs to be checked regularly. The hardware is vulnerable to local weather conditions. Ethnic Chinese going in and out of storage locations will be a red flag to observers.

But, the idea has some merit, I will acknowledge.

For us.

I’d suggest the military throw some good engineers at the problem of fabricating those delivery systems – hell, we have battalions of them available in the military – and put them to working out some designs that use off the shelf components, can be fitted into standard containers readily available, will be insulated and weather-proofed, and can be serviced – both remotely, more often, and in-person, less regularly. And, have mechanical backup, should the EMP disaster happen.

Store them outside of major cities/transportation hubs on the West Coast and near overseas air bases controlled by friendlies (Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan, et al). NOT in the boonies. The point of such missiles is to get them near the targets.

Crushing the Vaccine Dissidents

It’s happening, and not just in Australia.

In the USA, it’s happening via the schools, large corporations, and local efforts. The not-that-serious Omicron variant – what you and I would characterize as basically a cold – is being used as an excuse to remove civil rights from dissidents:

I would expect a push to get The Center for Medicare Services (CMS) to change their policy to forbid treatment for the unvaxxed seniors. So far, CMS has held firm (although allowing differential premiums for vaxxed/unvaxxed). If the Left – and, by that term, I specifically include those Dopey GOP-ey Almost-A-Leftist A$$holes, wins in the next election, it may fall to the states to save our freedom.

The Speculations Of Unbelievers

     Many persons who lack faith claim to be disturbed by those of us who have it. In some cases, this is because the unbeliever fails to understand the nature of a religious faith. In others, the unbeliever misunderstands or misconstrues an important characteristic of religious faith: inasmuch as it is unprovable by its nature, it is inseparable from doubt. Then there are those who simply like to mock us, but they’re best left to another essay.

     Certainty is an infinitely precious jewel, regardless of what it is we’d like to be certain about. When the subject is the supernatural, the existence of God, the nature of the Divine Plan, the properties of the afterlife, et cetera, certainty under the veil of Time is impossible. I could go into a long disquisition about this, but that, too, is best left to another essay. So for one who professes a faith to be struck now and then by doubts is entirely understandable. Sometimes, our responses to such doubts have an outward manifestation that puzzles those who don’t share our faith.

     Occasionally, doubt overwhelms faith. I know people who’ve suffered the loss of their faith. My phrasing is deliberate: having lost their faith caused them suffering that I could observe. In each case a shaft of doubt was responsible. They were unable to overcome the wound, and so lost something that had been a vital component of their metaphysical premises. It hurt them. In several cases it turned them bitter.

     Religious faith is not a baby’s blanket. It does not provide warmth and comfort at no cost. Indeed, the cost of a mature faith, to one of high intelligence, is considerable. And in this as in so many other areas of life, he who refuses to do the work will be denied the achievement.


     This is on my mind this morning for two reasons. The first is this essay, which I encountered at Mike Hendrix’s place. The second is what has often been called the Problem of Pain, or alternately the Problem of Evil. Many an unbeliever is thwarted by one or the other of these things. They ask “Why would a benevolent God create a universe in which His beloved people suffer?” or “If God is all good, then why does He tolerate evil?” Militant atheists hurl these questions at us like spears, secure in their conviction that they are insuperable…which they are not.

     The belief that Divine omnipotence makes a universe without pain or evil possible is at the core of the problem. Yes, a universe without pain or evil is possible. However it would lack the dimension of time, and the human attribute of free will.

     Our temporal universe possesses natural laws and the dimension of time. Time makes change possible. But natural laws – behavioral patterns built into all matter and energy – mean that change will sometimes be painful. Consider death as the most dramatic example.

     Free will is inherent in each man’s awareness of his individuality. Without it we would be automata without a moral-ethical nature. With it, evil – the choice to do harm to undeserving others – is possible. Combine free will with time, and the matter becomes clear.

     But these propositions are not provable in the mathematical sense. In a way they are as much elements of faith as is any statement about the supernatural. We can observe the world around us for as long as we like without seeing a disconfirming event. That doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t see one if we were to observe just a little longer. So while we may have a high degree of confidence in these concepts, we can never regard them as proven.

     This is both the case for faith and the case for doubt. For the reasons above, he who holds to a faith will occasionally be afflicted by doubt. The two conditions can never be separated permanently, death as a trivial exception.


     It is not unusual, for the reasons given above, for believers to strive to reassure themselves. Doubt is like that; if the proposition affected is important enough to the one stricken by doubt, he will strive to dispel it by one or another means. This is as observable in the sciences as it is in religious matters.

     The responses to a shaft of doubt are of many kinds. Some strike the more intelligent unbeliever as a manifestation of low intelligence: an “I can’t hear you / go away” reply to an objection that should be grappled with through reason and evidence. Sometimes that’s true, even if it’s unkind. But in many cases it’s merely an expression of the believer’s irritation at having to fend off arguments he’s heard and dismissed on quite enough occasions already.

     We are at the beginning of Advent, a time when Christians prepare themselves to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ in mortal flesh. It’s common for doubt to manifest at this time, in part because of the militancy of militant atheists during this season and because the season itself presents special challenges. There’s no reason to think you’ll be exempted from that aspect of the “Christmas rush.” But the plus side is considerable: Faith grows stronger for being tested and surviving. It’s a frequently overlooked blessing.

     May God bless and keep you all.


     (No, not “reparations.” Spelling matters at Liberty’s Torch. We’re carful about it. We proofread very carfully, both for spelling and to make sure we don’t any words out.)

     These days it seems like every noisy group in America wants “our own space.” That means different things to different people, of course, but the essence of it amounts to a kind of privatization campaign. These “our own space” types seek to create zones that you and I would have thought public – i.e., open to common traffic – in which only their sort are allowed and their preferences have the force of law.

     There’s a kind of logic to this. Private property has something of that characteristic. However, in serious matters a property owner can’t decree what’s lawful and what isn’t if the surrounding polity decides otherwise. Like it or not, it isn’t legal to kill your brother-in-law just because he tells offensive jokes at your dinner table and throws his cigarette butts on your lawn. (Horsewhipping him, though, is permitted in certain jurisdictions. Familiarize yourself with the local and state law codes before proceeding.)

     But the “our own space” types don’t follow the logic all the way. In the usual case, they demand absolute dominion over “our own space” but refuse to concede other groups that privilege within theirs. This is particularly the case in the matter of “black spaces.” Have a relevant vignette:

     About a year ago, I decided to build a library on my front lawn. By library, I mean one of those little free-standing library boxes that dot lawns in bedroom communities around the country — charming, birdhouse-like structures filled with books that invite neighbors and passers-by to take a book, or donate a book, or both.…

Then one morning, glancing out my front window, I saw a young white couple stopped at the library. Instantly, I was flooded with emotions — astonishment, and then resentment, and then astonishment at my resentment. It all converged into a silent scream in my head of, Get off my lawn!

The moment jolted me into realizing some things I’m not especially proud of. I had set out this library for all who lived here, and even for those who didn’t, in theory. I would not want to restrict anyone from looking at it or taking books, based on race or anything else. But while I had seen white newcomers to the neighborhood here and there, the truth was, I hadn’t set it out to appeal to white residents.…

What I resented was not this specific couple. It was their whiteness, and my feelings of helplessness at not knowing how to maintain the integrity of a Black space that I had created. I was seeing up close how fragile that space can be, how its meaning can be changed in my mind, even by people who have no conscious intention to change it. That library was on my lawn, but for that moment it became theirs. I built it and drove it into the ground because I love books and always have. But I suddenly felt that I could not own even this, something that was clearly and intimately mine.

     This…person exhibits a highly proprietary attitude over her “black space.” I have no doubt that were she challenged on it, she would defend her attitude with whatever vulgarities and aberrations of logic she could come up with. But imagine the uproar were a white woman to proclaim that her “little free library” is for whites only! Imagine the public outcry were a neighborhood to declare itself a “white space” and impose discouragements of some sort to through-passage by members of other races!

     Whites aren’t permitted proprietary spaces. The racialists’ playbook doesn’t allow such things. Their campaign to “chase down the last white person” would be fatally impeded by such spaces.

     So you see, the separations are one-way only. We’re not permitted to separate ourselves from them. No, we must accept their vulgarity, their disorder, their illegitimacy, their crime, and their mind-and-soul-destroying “culture” – at eardrum-shattering levels. The law, as it stands, is entirely on their side.

     There will come a reckoning. It could look like this, or it could be much bloodier. I’m no more able to see the exact shape of the future than anyone else, but pace Herbert Stein, the present state of affairs cannot continue indefinitely. Therefore, it will stop.

     That’s the racial status quo: a condition in which less than 13% of the American population – a fraction responsible for the greater part of the nation’s crime, disorder, government dependency, and other social pathologies – presumes to dictate how the rest must live. But there’s more than one noisy minority playing an absurdly demanding tune. Because the photo is somewhat blurry, here’s a transcription of its text:

     I couldn’t help but notice your Christmas lights display. During these unprecedented times we have all experienced challenges which casual words just don’t describe what we’re feeling. The idea of twinkling, colorful lights are a reminder of divisions that continue to run through our society, a reminder of systemic biases against our neighbors who don’t celebrate Christmas or who can’t afford to put up lights of their own.

     We must do the work of educating ourselves about the harmful impact an outward facing display like yours can have. I challenge you to respect the dignity of all people, while striving to learn from differences, ideas, and opinions of our neighbors. We must come together collectively and challenge these institutional inequities; St. Anthony is a community welcoming of all people and we must demand better for ourselves.

     Yes, Gentle Reader, it really says all that. A greater display of arrogance is difficult for me to imagine…yet the militant atheists are already out there, spreading their poisonous gospel in the attempt to inhibit even completely secular celebrations of Christmas, such as a string of outdoor lights.

     I won’t pretend it’s easy not to wish harm on such poison-spreaders, but it’s a Christian’s duty. All the same, the author of the above letter – apparently it’s unsigned and bears no return address – is encouraged to separate himself from the rest of us who love the cheer and good feeling of the Christmas season. He should move to a neighborhood of similarly minded others, where they can all wallow in misery as long as they like without disturbing the rest of us.

     What’s that you say? How do I know it’s a “he?” I don’t. But “he” is the generic singular pronoun: the one used when the referent’s sex is unknown or intended to be ignored. Anyone who’d like to take issue with my choice of pronouns is cordially invited to “go intercourse himself.” Yes, women too; modern appliances have made it inexpensive and convenient.

     But do have a nice day.

The Proof Is Here

     This whole pandemic nonsense was planned:

     The time to resist is now.

Running Scared Edition

     …or “running hard trying to scare you, Mr. and Mrs. America.”

     These days, the principal ammunition of the Left is fear. They fire barrages of it at virtually everything in sight. We’re repeatedly and stridently told to fear:

  • Racists;
  • Pro-lifers;
  • Fossil fuels;
  • Sincere Christians;
  • Large white families;
  • White identity defenders;
  • Guns (especially if they’re black);
  • Gun owners (except if they’re black);
  • Americans opposed to unisex bathrooms;
  • Americans opposed to “critical race theory;”
  • Every known variant of COVID-19 / The Kung Flu;
  • And above all else, that sinister phantasm, the “right wing.”

     I won’t speak for you, but I don’t have the time or energy for all that fear. Therefore, I tend to avoid those who promulgate it. It’s an inclusive solution, as it also spares me the attention of left-wing viragoes, scolds, and harridans. I find such…persons a constant source of vexation. They demand to know why I write about Christianity so much (because I love it), why I won’t accept the reality of “global warming” (because it’s a crock of shit), why I won’t wear a face mask (I like oxygen), why I refuse to accept The Jab (because it’s both ineffective and deleterious), and why I own so many guns (because of the Left and its mascots). Excluding them also excludes the miasma of fear they emit.

     Now, this is not an easy thing to do if you spend a lot of time on the World Wide Web. The Left has gone to great lengths to colonize all the most popular Web discussion fora. Once they’ve established a foothold there, they do their damnedest to make those fora utterly intolerant toward persons of non-Left views. The best known examples, of course, are Facebook and Twitter, but there are others of less notoriety as well. It appears that Robert Conquest’s Second Law of Politics applies to supposedly open discussion sites just as strongly as it does to other sorts of human associations.

     One consequence has been the emergence of “free speech” social media. There are a number of such sites at this time: Gab, USA.Life, MeWe, Minds, Parler, Our Freedom Book, GETTR, and others. One of the notable features common to all of them is the nearly complete absence of left-wingers from them. They don’t exclude left-liberals, progressives, socialists, communists, and what have you; persons of those views simply don’t go to them. Why?

     My thesis is that the Left can’t abide competition. If conservatives and libertarians are permitted to express themselves in Forum X, despite the Left’s attempts to shout them down, intimidate them away, or get them expelled, the Left feels disarmed – even denuded. That results in an environment in which the Left’s fear messages cannot take root.

     The result is a gaggle of sites that, because they are hospitable to persons of all convictions, virtually lack Leftist participation…whereupon the mouthpieces of the Left call them right-wing sites. Put enough of these together, add a few retailers, a video host, a cloud hub or two, and payment processors who’ll take your money regardless of your politics, and we have, in the words of Axios, a “right-wing echo chamber” or “right-wing ecology:”

     Conservatives are aggressively building their own apps, phones, cryptocurrencies and publishing houses in an attempt to circumvent what they see as an increasingly liberal internet and media ecosystem.
     Why it matters: Many of these efforts couldn’t exist without the backing of major corporate figures and billionaires who are eager to push back against things like “censorship” and “cancel culture.”…
     The bottom line: Conservative media has been a powerhouse for a long time, but this phase of its expansion isn’t just about more or louder conservative voices — it’s about building an entire conservative ecosystem.

     It is to laugh – sincerely, this time.

     The Left doesn’t like it that there are places they can’t expel us from. If we can find one another and converse like calm, civilized Americans instead of doom-shouting apocalyptics, we might stop being afraid. We might start thinking we’re not alone. So they’re trying the other arrow in their quiver: the fear arrow. They’re suggesting, none too subtly, that this emerging “right wing ecology” is in some way a threat. To whom? In what fashion? They leave that part out.

     The fears the Left promote are entirely negative. They conduce to atomization and despair. By contrast, their fear of us and our supposed “right-wing echo chamber” is a good thing. It gives rise to laughter and relaxation…and hope. May it spread wide and grow tall.


     One of my perennial quandaries, which rises afresh every time I complete a novel, is expressed in a simple question: “What is style?” Perhaps even more tellingly, I could ask: Where is style?” How does it manifest itself in a story? I’ve batted this around with other writers, other avid readers, and my Newfoundlands Bruno and Rufus. (Joy is still a little young for literary analysis.) There’s no agreement on the subject. The common thread among those who believe that style is objectively real and at least potentially separable from the rest of a storyteller’s work is approximately “I know it when I see it.”

     I’m still not sure I believe in style. I don’t have one, myself – at least, not consciously. As a reader, I have my preferences, but they resist being pinned down in a fashion that would permit their use by a private eye. As a writer…?

     Quite a lot of writers are obsessed with style, and with developing a personal style that will mark a story as “theirs.” Literary prize juries tend to be concerned with style above all other things. At least, that’s the impression I get from their awards. But das Ding an Sich remains elusive.

     There’s a website that specializes in analyzing your prose style and comparing it to that of other writers. I’ve used it many times out of my desire to know what my style is. But it’s given me endlessly varying results. At various times it’s told me that I write like:

  • Agatha Christie
  • Arthur C. Clarke
  • Stephen King
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Anne Rice
  • David Foster Wallace

     …and other writers of note. So it appears that style is a much a mystery to the analysis engine employed by that site as it is to me.

     Where is a writer’s style expressed – and can it really be separated from the stories he tells?


     The late, great Florence King once spent an interval writing – girls, hold on to your boyfriends – porn. She was trying to make ends meet, always a challenge for a young writer, and at that time of her life writing porn was a relatively easy way for a writer to make a few bucks. What she discovered was that porn’s own style is infectious: it creeps into everything one writes or says. Here’s a delightful bit of King’s whimsy: a description of the eating of a soft-boiled egg as a porn writer would do it, from her novel When Sisterhood Was In Flower::

     I took the glistening, virginally white oval out of the fiercely bubbling cauldron of hot, hot, hot water and cupped my hand around it, feeling its contours with sensations of shimmering delight. I reached for my long, sturdy, battering egg knife and tapped. The shell slipped off and I touched the tender, moist, protein-swollen membranes of the secret softness. The steamy slice of hot, ready, delectable egg burned my fingers but I thrust firmly with my rigid tool and inserted the erect, serrated blade. The lubricious, golden yellow, ambrosial nectar of the pulsating, quickening core gushed out into my egg cup, I centered my mouth over the slickened surface of the gently curving silver spoon and ate, ate, ate.

     I must admit that there’s a unique and discernable quality in that paragraph – but does it apply to all porn? My limited exposure to that, ah, literary form speaks otherwise.


     As a reader, I’ve always been principally concerned with a writer’s overall orientation toward the fundamentals of drama: truth, justice, fortitude, love, and the ultimately tragic nature of human existence. If I find that my values march with his, I’m likely to enjoy his tales. The inverse is also true. I do become irritated by ineptitude in technical things. Most writers make mistakes, and being a grammar Nazi, I’m sensitive to them. But I’m more likely to be forgiving of such things if I like the writer’s orientation as I’ve already captured it.

     That leaves me no better off as regards the question of style and whether it can be isolated from the rest of a story. I’m still on the hunt for its elements: those aspects of a writer’s prose that delineate his style apart from his choices of plot, theme, characterization, and setting.

     I know there are a few other writers among the Gentle Readers of Liberty’s Torch. So, if you have an opinion, let’s have it here. Readers, too! If I can make sense of your thesis, it might stimulate an extended discussion that would do us both good.

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