Roadmap to Hell

Myron Magnet, editor at the esteemed City Journal, provides a full synopsis of the numerous wrong turns it took to arrive at a supremely unpleasant destination.

To gauge how unbridgeable the gulf is that divides the American Left from the Right, rewind to February 19, 2009, when those who eventually elected Donald Trump first made their voices heard. As Washington jury-rigged fixes for the Great Financial Crisis, the CNBC broadcaster Rick Santelli shouted across the Chicago Mercantile Exchange floor, “How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?” The Merc traders roared their televised veto across the land.

Their cry was more visceral than a policy disagreement. The traders, self-made men, had worked hard for what they had and scorned having their taxes hiked to save homebuyers with imprudently high mortgages from foreclosure. “This is America!” Santelli urged, and what the new Obama administration was doing was un-American. Didn’t the Founding Fathers establish the federal government to guarantee one’s freedom to better one’s condition, and to protect the property one industriously earns—not to redistribute it?

That’s why Santelli added that he was planning a Chicago Tea Party, an update of Boston’s 1773 event. He and the traders felt the same outrage George Washington had felt about the Stamp Act and the tea tax: it was as lawless as Parliament picking his pocket. To the new-era Tea Partiers, taxation for redistribution, rather than for common purposes, is tyranny, not government by consent.

But, though the traders and Tea Partiers didn’t quite understand it, the federal government long ago had turned from the shield of individual liberty into a vast engine of redistribution. That transformation could occur because the Framers’ Constitution was body-snatched by the doctrine of the “living constitution,” which—as Woodrow Wilson first formulated it—saw the Supreme Court sitting as a permanent Constitutional Convention, making up laws as it went along, heedless of the 1787 scheme’s checks. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal used Wilson’s doctrine as a license to remake America’s economy and society. Once the Supreme Court buckled to fdr’s threat to pack it and started voting his way, the justices allowed an utterly foreign governmental structure to devour the Framers’ republic from within, until it broke out of the shell as something altogether different.

Not that FDR was entirely frank about his transformative enterprise. Where Wilson had dismissed the Framers as obsolete relics in a Darwinian age, Roosevelt claimed to extend their great work even as he undid it. In his second inaugural address of 1937, he hailed the 150th anniversary of the Constitutional Convention, which had “created a strong government with powers of united action sufficient then and now to solve problems utterly beyond individual or local solution”—a wildly false characterization. Chastened by America’s near-loss in the Revolution, the Framers sought to create a government strong enough to protect national and individual independence but not so strong that, given mankind’s inherent power-hunger, it could become what they called an “elective despotism.” So they limited that power to such clearly enumerated tasks as raising an army, a navy, and taxes; coining and borrowing money; and regulating foreign and interstate commerce. All other matters they emphatically left to “individual or local solution.”

They certainly didn’t mean to put the whole U.S. economy under federal regulation. But as FDR later admitted, when he took the oath to defend the Constitution just before delivering the 1937 address, he had wanted to shout, “Yes, but it’s the Constitution as I understand it.” The New Deal’s main thrust, after all, was precisely to take total control of the economy, under the ruse of federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

For one who projected such jaunty optimism, FDR had a surprisingly gloomy view of America’s future. The nation’s great days of discovery and invention, when government needed only to keep out of the way, were behind it, he thought. Now, Depression-stunned America had produced more than its purportedly underpaid workers could afford to consume, as FDR inaccurately saw it. America’s task now, he said, “is the soberer, less dramatic business of administering resources and plants already in hand,…of distributing wealth and products more equitably, of adapting existing economic organizations to the service of the people. The day of enlightened administration has come.” The bureaucrat would take over from the business titan.

As the crux of this truly magnificent piece, Magnet proposes three stages of what he calls “America’s mutation into a redistributionist welfare state,” moving next to Stage Two: the comprehensively destructive reign of one Lyndon Baines Johnson, one of the most unethical, sleazy, and generally repellent ProPols ever to besmirch American politics. This section includes a paragraph that, hard as I’m trying not to excerpt excessively here, I can’t refrain from posting:

Do you wonder why a plague of human-resources busybodies has scourged the land, or why so many institutions have become bureaucracies staffed by apparatchiks, whereas until recently doctors still ran hospitals, professors ran universities, and entrepreneurs without MBAs ran many businesses? A New Deal and a Great Society have left us, as Tocqueville predicted such centralized power would, with “a fine mesh of uniform, minute, and complex rules” that “inhibits, represses, saps, stultifies, and in the end reduces each nation to nothing but a timid and industrious flock of animals, with the government as its shepherd.” More power to the Tea Partiers, then, for recalling the spirit of ’76.

Brilliant man, that Tocqueville. The LBJ chapter closes with a grim summation:

While the Sixties’ War on Poverty failed, its Culture War succeeded. Today, the bosses of America’s institutions are cultural-revolution veterans or their acolytes, and, as their own students and children survey the arid acres of housing projects, where generations of lives have improved not one whit as LBJ’s dream turned to ashes, and the dumbed-down campuses where affirmative action kids still struggle and complain, they are reviving all the mistaken 1960s notions and launching a renewed assault on America’s culture that marks the third stage of the dismantling of the Founders’ republic. As they don’t know that the original cultural revolution wreaked much of the inner-city damage that they deplore, they can’t foresee the further harm they will inflict on black Americans and the entire nation as well. Watching the goofily optimistic worldview of long ago now ossify into a party line that resembles Mao’s cultural revolution or Nineteen Eighty-Four‘s Ministry of Truth is almost enough to make one believe that a malign god, with a vicious, Nietzschean heart, mockingly presides over history.

Hard not to, really. Myself, I always kinda liked the trouble-making Nordic Trickster God, Loki—”deity of mayhem and mischief,” as this site has it, who wasn’t really so much “malign” as he was rebellious and unpredictable. Anyhoo.

From there, it’s on to today’s preposterous, brain-dead Cultural Revolution, before coming full-circle back around to the Founders.

The Founding Fathers stressed that their republic rested not only on the Constitution’s political arrangements but also on the hearts and minds of the citizens, where the love of liberty and the truths of the Declaration of Independence are inscribed. Should Americans lose these habits of the heart, then the power-hungry men who cluster around politics like flies might impose the elective despotism the Founders feared. That’s why they cared so passionately about civic education: they had created something unique in history, and they wanted posterity to understand the high worth of that inheritance, to preserve and improve it. They believed that assent to the Founding’s culture of liberty, to its core truths of equality before the law and equality of rights, would be enough to forge a unified nation out of what was already an ethnically diverse people.

They weren’t naive about propaganda or its power. By George Washington’s presidency, America had a gutter press as partisan as The New York Times or The Washington Post. But the Founders didn’t foresee an all-out falsification of the fact of American exceptionalism such as now rages, and I think the success of the cultural subversion would have surprised them, like the octogenarian Jefferson, who had to remonstrate with the misbehaving students at his beloved University of Virginia, of which he was the founder and rector. He stepped onto the stage, opened his mouth to voice his disappointment with these unruly inheritors of republican liberty, and burst into tears.

Can anybody blame him? Although he’d have probably gotten much better results if, rather than letting his ill-mannered students get under his skin, he’d just whipped out a gat and shot the rotten bastards instead.

As I already told ya, this article is a real masterpiece, one for the ages. It’s long, deep, and superbly written and conceived. If you only read one thing I link to this whole week, it oughta be this.

When Constitutional government veered off into Tyranny Gulch

With Progressivists at the wheel, natch.

The deep significance of H.R. 1 is that we no longer live in the Founders’ republic. 

In a recent column at American Greatness, Glenn Ellmers describes how H.R. 1 would have fared in the American republic we once had (italics in original):

Instead of the unseemly groveling from the states, objecting to H.R.1, state legislatures could be instructing the Senate to reject this absurd legislation.

The state legislatures certainly would have instructed the Senate to reject H.R. 1, and they could have done so because in the original Constitution, senators were chosen by, and were answerable to, the state legislatures.

The wisdom of the Framers is nowhere more evident than in this feature of their constitutional design. It was the central pillar of the Framers’ vision for how we would rule ourselves by means of a government by, for, and of the people. As I wrote in my book about the founding entitled Common Sense Nation:

The Senate had been a barrier to the passage of federal laws infringing on the powers reserved to state governments, but the Senate has abandoned that responsibility under the incentives of the new system of election. Because the states no longer have a powerful standing body representing their interests within the federal government, the power of the federal government has rapidly grown at the expense of the states.

Consequently, the power of the federal government has also rapidly grown at the expense of individual liberty.

The Framers’ purpose was a regime of liberty that would endure. Their challenge was to find a way to prevent the central government from doing what central governments do: take on more and more power, crush liberty, and rule for the benefit of the rulers. Their brilliant solution was federalism. Lord Acton, the great historian of liberty, admired their innovation:

Federalism: It is coordination instead of subordination; association instead of hierarchical order; independent forces curbing each other; balance, therefore, liberty.

The direct election of U.S. senators undermined this critically important protection of your liberty and mine. The result has been the erosion of the liberty that was the Founders’ precious gift to each one of us.

Which was the whole idea. We laugh at Progressivists for their stupidity, and that’s fair enough; they are stupid. But, as I so frequently warned about Bath House Barry back in the day, stupidity in no way implies one can’t be cunning. Alhough the two aren’t synonymous, they can still be more mutually reinforcing than mutually exclusive. Thus:

The ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913 changed everything. It provided for the direct election of senators. By means of it, the Progressives overthrew the American republic in that year. Although it is painful to admit, we must acknowledge that the American Progressives took the lead in making the 20th century the horrendous catastrophe for liberty it was. They got out ahead of both the Bolsheviks in Russia (1917) and the National Fascist Party in Italy (1922). Not only did the Progressives get going first, they have outlasted the Bolsheviks and the fascists. The USSR, Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and Tojo’s Japan are long gone, but Progressivism in America is going from strength to strength, today promising to transform America fundamentally with H.R. 1 and open borders, by abolishing the Electoral College and the 2nd Amendment, and by turning the Supreme Court into a kind of left-wing super-Legislature beyond the reach of the voters.

The Progressives have outdone the communists and the fascists by being by far the cleverest of the three. They presented the 17th Amendment to the American people in the guise of a “reform.” The Progressives knew what they were doing. 

Distasteful as it to admit it, they did at that. And still do, apparently, seeing as how they managed to oust Trump and are now firmly and fully in charge, with no respite from their all-encompassing despotism in sight.

Forever nullifying the very concept of States’ Rights via the bone-simple expedient of revoking representation of their interests in Congress, in direct contravention of the Founders’ intentions—downgrading the more or less independent status of the states as the “laboratories of democracy” to make them abject vassals of a constantly-expanding federal Leviathan—thereby converting the “several states” in one fell swoop into no more than officially-licensed subdivisions of FederalGovCo™, dependent on the financial largesse of Mordor On The Potomac and cringingly subservient to their Dark Lord, may very well have been Progressivism’s most cunning stunt ever.

Breath: not holding it

T’is a consummation devoutly to be wished all the same.

  1. What if the Arizona audit shows massive voter fraud and changes the outcome of their state’s election for President and Senate?
  2. What if Donald Trump declares a government in exile in Florida based on this finding?
  3. What if Governor DeSantis recognizes and protects this alternate government?
  4. What if other state governors recognize the Trump government or withdraw their consent to the Biden administration until all state audits in question are completed?

It certainly would be a good day in the neighborhood if the federal government was marginalized until a resolution is made for our future.

I can only hope that these traitors will all receive a fair trial and then publicly be hanged until dead.

Alas, hope is the only thing we can do. In the unlikely event that any of them DO have righteous justice visited upon ’em, it will have to be the street variety, and it won’t be a court that levies it. That’s all up to We The People now.

Here’s how it is: every sensible, honest person ALREADY KNOWS that there was indeed “massive voter fraud” committed, of numerous varieties. The only ones who deny or dismiss that simple fact are either A) laboring mightily to ensure that it stays suppressed, in hopes of shoring up the faith of the foolish few in a nonviable system; B) proselytizing in support of said fraud; C) active participants in said fraud; or D) working to advance the Leftist/Deep State agenda in some other fashion.

Beyond that, though, I just gotta ask: what, exactly, does anybody expect to take place even if the audits establish beyond all argument that the 2020 election was in fact fraudulent? Think the Harris/Biden Occupation Government will just humbly step aside to allow for the installation of the legitimate President? Will Kamalassar Harris or Confusticated Grampy Joe express contrition and shame, offering their most sincere apologies for their crimes? Will the Democrat-Socialist Party be sanctioned, banned, or officially disbanded? Will any of their co-conspirations be brought to trial on charges of treason?

Of course not; as pleasant a daydream as it might be, it will never amount to anything more than just that. In the deathless words of King Arthur:



Audits, investigations, and the like are all just mental masturbation at this point: satisfying, in a shallow, momentary way, but ultimately pointless. The FUSA’s dismal fate was sealed when Pence declined to meet the Constitutionally-mandated responsibilities of his office and do his sworn duty, which was abundantly clear—a despicable act by which the long-tottering moral foundation of the US federal government was rubbled, its illegitimacy indelibly proclaimed. January 6th ought forever to be remembered as (to borrow FDR’s famous phrase) “a day which will live in infamy,” but not for the reasons Real Americans have been beaten over the head with relentlessly ever since. Which, come to think of it, is a whole ‘nother fraud in itself.

How it happened

Wherein a most intriguing case is made in support of a somewhat unusual proposition: the origins of our national woes, pretty much all of them, are directly traceable to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

For over fifty years, it has been a recurring promise of conservative candidates running for election that they will stand up for our constitutional rights and support the appointment of judges and Supreme Court justices who will uphold the Constitution.

Yet time after time, the left seems to win both ideological and legal battles on monumental issues such as abortion, marriage, gun control, immigration, racial preferences for minorities, and the ever-expanding size and scope of government — no matter what the text of the Constitution actually says.

In The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties, (2020; ISBN 978-1-5011-0689-7) author Christopher Caldwell advances the thesis that the Constitution of 1788 has been effectively nullified by our elites and supplanted with a “new constitution” that originated in, and reflects the values of, the “Civil Rights Era” of the 1960s. Though the civil rights movement began as a reformist movement within the old order, it evolved into a “revolution” that has nearly triumphed over the polity created in the 18th century:

The changes of the 1960s, with civil rights at their core, were not just a major new element in the Constitution. They were a rival constitution, with which the original one was frequently incompatible[.]…Much of what we have called “polarization” or “incivility” in recent years is something more grave — it is the disagreement over which of the two constitutions shall prevail: the de jure constitution of 1788…with centuries of American culture behind it…or the de facto constitution of 1964, which lacks this traditional kind of legitimacy but commands the near-unanimous endorsement of judicial elites and civic educators and the passionate allegiance of those who received it as liberation.

Caldwell argues that the new “de facto constitution” has been used to supersede the Bill of Rights and the black-letter law of the traditional Constitution.  Forced busing and forced integration violated the First Amendment right to freedom of association, as did affirmative action for blacks and women. Racial and sex-based preferences offend the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. These policies were enacted despite opposition from most Americans. Speech codes and political correctness designed to cater to the sensitivities of minorities infringe on the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The “right” to an abortion, which existed nowhere in the traditional Constitution and was opposed by a majority of the people (with limited exceptions), was essentially created by the Supreme Court.

Lest anybody be inclined to assume that Demonrat-appointed Justices and Presidents are entirely to blame, or nearly so, that erroneous notion is handily dispensed with. After the infuriating way in which Trump’s eagerly-anticipated USSC picks have performed so far, that comes as no big shock. Caldwell even goes so far as to rip Saint Ronald of Reagan a new ‘un for his own not-insignificant contribution to the national trainwreck. Then, from there:

If Caldwell’s thesis can be criticized, it is for understating his case — things have proven to be worse than he described.

In hindsight, the Trump presidency exposed the fact that the elites and the Deep State are now completely untethered by the original Constitution of limited and enumerated powers and by the Bill of Rights. They have demonstrated that they are willing to use the FBI to surveil presidential candidate and to fabricate a false narrative for the purposes of impeaching him. They have demonstrated that they will side with illegal aliens over American citizens, and that they will freely let black BLM and communist Antifa agitators run riot in the streets while ruthlessly prosecuting and suppressing as “domestic terrorists” patriotic and nationalist groups who caused a ruckus at the Capitol. They have demonstrated that they are willing to turn a blind eye to vicious and violent attacks by blacks against whites, but drop the hammer of “hate crimes” on any “deplorable” white who has the slightest dispute with a black, or on any cop making a traffic stop of a black criminal. They have demonstrated that they will continue to expand so-called “civil rights” to include all manner of insanity and freakishness, such as “transgenderism.”

Caldwell does not propose a solution to this situation. But recognizing the problem is a necessary first step in finding one. “Civil rights” has been used as an effective battering ram against conservatism and against the Constitution of the 1780s; conservatives can no longer allow themselves to be browbeaten by “civil rights” activists. The rigged election of 2020 and the double-impeachment of Trump should have awakened conservatives to the fact that merely voting Republican and asserting your “constitutional rights” is no longer enough. But it may be too late.

In 2014, Gov. Cuomo sneered that conservatives have no place in the state of New York. Increasingly, our elites have adopted the attitude that conservatives have no place anywhere in the country, and they are willing to act on it.

They’ll do precisely that, unless/until enough Real Americans nut up and demonstrate a willingness to act on a few things their own selves…in a way that won’t soon be forgotten, is impossible to ignore or minimize, and will leave a smarting, stinging welt.

Inconvenient truths, convenient lies

If there’s any one aspect of the overblown reaction to the January 6th doin’s that I find most sick-making of all, it’s the way putative conservatives just blandly swallowed whole the Deep Statists’ intentionally manipulative mischaracterization of the protest as “deadly riots,” “insurrection,” “coup attempt,” et al. America’s Sweetheart Julie Kelly is way too smart to be fooled by it.

January 6 Is the New Russiagate Lie
It’s impossible to count how many impressions of “five people killed” pollute government documents, news websites, social media, and the brains of tens of millions of Americans. The line is a permanent chapter in the folklore of January 6—and it’s untrue. Just like the notion the protest was an “armed insurrection” and the people involved are guilty of “sedition,” the January 6 body count is one more myth.

There will be no retractions, however, and no apologies. Last weekend, following the killing of a Capitol police officer by a Nation of Islam follower, news and opinion sites reupped the lie about Sicknick, some even laughably sticking to the completely debunked fire extinguisher attack.

The public can expect the same here. Everyone invested in the original version will ignore the evidence and keep repeating the lie that five people died at the hands of bloodthirsty Trump loyalists. Facts simply do not matter.

In some ways, the crusade to criminalize January 6 is far worse than Russiagate. Regular Americans exercising their First Amendment rights are being treated as political prisoners, held hostage by their own government, denied due process. Hyperpartisan Biden appointees in charge of the most potent government tools are aiming those weapons at the Right as a whole, threatening to create no-fly lists and warning Americans half their countrymen are wannabe domestic terrorists.

Team Mueller undoubtedly marvels at what the Biden Justice Department is getting away with.

Jules goes on to note one last point of comparison betwixt January 6th and the Russiagate swindle, which is perhaps the most nefarious of them all.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda

You’ve all seen the hysteria, the hyperbole, the agenda-driven misrepresentation. Now have a gander at what might have been.

The FBI isn’t alone in claiming the January 6 Capitol protest was the worst thing to happen to America since 9/11. A substantial share of nominally Republican politicians has joined that chorus. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) went so far as to say that Donald Trump will have “a place in history” for the Capitol riot: “They could have blown the building up. They could have killed us all.”

If only.

When Graham says this, he knows perfectly well that he is lying. Trump asked the hundreds of thousands of Americans who came to show their support to walk with him peacefully to the Capitol. He made “peaceful” explicit. Nonetheless, every corrupt politician and newscaster in America has been able to find the violent subtext buried somewhere in Trump’s speech.

Well, try this on for size: Suppose if, instead of saying “let’s walk to the Capitol peacefully,” Trump instead had said what everyone accuses him of saying. Suppose he’d said, “The election is being stolen from us and I’m not giving up power.” (Remember how the Left fantasized Trump would have to be removed from the Oval Office by force?) Suppose Trump continued: “I am calling on my supporters to defend my presidency with violence. Come to Washington. Bring your guns! Bring every weapon you can lay your hands on. Don’t let anyone stop you. No justice, no peace!”

If only.

What do you suppose would have happened then? Do you think that the only person to be shot that day would have been an unarmed protester? If Trump had one ounce of the autocratic, dictatorial tendencies the press accuse him of having, he need only have asked his supporters to defend him with force. They would have.

It’s hard to say what would have followed, but it would not have been pretty. If Trump had actually encouraged violence, the “Capitol Riot” would have been a bona fide riot. We wouldn’t be able to count the death toll on a single hand. It would take hundreds, or thousands, of hands. If Americans had come to Washington actually seeking to “kill them all,” as Graham so despicably insists, you can bet that they would have succeeded in killing at least some.

By some estimates, 1.5 million Americans showed up on January 6 to protest the theft of their right to vote. They were angry as hell, but overwhelmingly peaceful. Even with the FBI in maximum repression mode, there has been a grand total of 127 arrests. No one burned cars or besieged police stations. What, in contrast, would a million-and-a-half Antifa have done to Washington, D.C.?

Hundreds of thousands or even millions of Americans would have answered a call to arms from President Trump. That he never made such a call is patently obvious, most of all to the liars and blackguards who make these accusations. They feel safe to say whatever they want because they know that Trump is a vastly better man than they: Trump believes honestly (and in my view correctly) that he won reelection. He believes the most powerful office in the world was stolen from him. Yet he loves America far too much to bring it to violence on his account. His accusers know this, or else they wouldn’t dare utter a peep—because it would actually be dangerous for them.

How ironic, then, that Trump’s sincere patriotism and reluctance to thwart the coup against him by any means required should result in the permanent loss of the very nation he so cherished. Now, all anyone can do is watch as the dismal drama plays out to its unhappy ending, with all the horror and grief that will inevitably ensue after the curtain falls. We’ll never really know all the reasons for it, but whatever they were, Trump’s failure to “cross the Rubicon” didn’t come without its own cost, and it was steep.

Another point worth mentioning: Whereas Trump loves an America that has ceased to exist, Leftards have always reserved their allegiance for a muzzy dream of some future “America” that bears absolutely no resemblance to the one conceived, created, and bequeathed to us by our Founders.

Better days

I’ve posted on this before, but…in NYC? SRSLY?!?

This month, more than 100,000 city public school kids walked out to protest gun violence — but last century some students attended class armed with their rifles and practiced shooting on school grounds.

Many of the city’s public high schools had shooting clubs and a few even had gun ranges on their premises, according to accounts from the Department of Education and others.

There were at least three shooting ranges in public schools, the DOE said, including Curtis HS on Staten Island and Erasmus Hall HS in Brooklyn.

Another inside Far Rockaway HS in Queens, which closed in 2011, is shown in a black-and-white archival photo from May 1929 displaying a compartmentalized gun range with at least five windows to shoot from and cranks for students to pull the targets back and forth.

“To accommodate the kids, they even made them these little pull-out benches they can kneel on to shoot from that position or even lie down to shoot,” said Darren Leung, owner of Westside Rifle & Pistol Range in Chelsea, describing the equipment seen in the 89-year-old photo. “What an excellent design.”

“Even in New York City, virtually every public high school had a shooting club up until 1969,” gun-rights advocate and academic John Lott Jr. wrote in his 2003 book, “The Bias Against Guns.”

In an incredibly bizarre twist also noted by Glenn, this was also an era when school shootings were unheard of. Why, one could almost be forgiven for concluding that the modern-day phenomenon of government-school mass murders might possibly be attributable to some cause other than guns!!!

I know, I know, that’s just crazy talk there.

Ulterior motive

See, I KNEW there had to be another reason.

Texas Removes Mask Mandate To Scare All The Californians Away
AUSTIN, TX—Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has just lifted the mask mandate and is allowing business to return to 100% capacity. The Governor explains that in these trying times, extreme measures must be taken to stop the spread of Californians into Texas and to scare them off from ever wanting to return. 

“The last thing we need is a bunch of sissies from California moving to our beautiful state of Texas and screwing everything up and turning the state blue!” said Governor Abbott during a Lubbock Chamber of Commerce event. “Too many Californians have entered our state. Too many ridiculous liberal ideas have already been proposed. This must end. It’s time to open Texas 100%.”

Governor Abbott continued, “We believe that by removing the mask requirement that all of the Californians will flee in terror, restoring our state to its former glory. As soon as they see the joy and hear the laughter of our citizens returning to normal life, they’ll be sure to pack up and leave at once.”

A wonderful idea, I think. Lord knows SOMETHING needs to be done, before it’s too late. Austin is already lost, and I have my doubts about Houston.

MORNING IN AMERICA!!!

With the long-overdue ascension of a competent, sure-handed patriot as our President, the USA has its feet firmly back on the path to greatness.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris delivered remarks at the Lincoln Memorial to honor American COVID-19 victims Tuesday, the same day the national death toll surpassed 400,000.

“To heal, we must remember,” Biden said, with the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool behind him. “It’s hard sometimes to remember. But that’s how we heal.”

It was Biden’s first stop in Washington after arriving earlier in the day ahead of his inauguration on Jan. 20.

Organizers placed lights around the perimeter of the pool, a first-time measure, according to the transition team, to memorialize the victims.

“Between sundown and dusk, let us shine the lights in the darkness along the sacred pool of reflection and remember all whom we lost,” Biden said.

President Biden, inarguably already the greatest President this country has ever been fortunate enough to have in office, healed the wounds of a grieving nation with this incredible memorial. Which was in no way calculated or emotionally manipulative, not even slightly.

As it happens, I was picking up an order at an African restaurant on North Tryon Street and caught the Fox News coverage of the momentous event, live, during my interminable wait. As accurately and fairly reported by the Fox journalists—bona fide giants of their noble profession that they are, all of them—it was an incredibly moving tribute indeed. Certainly every American heart was profoundly touched by our beloved new President’s eloquent and heartfelt remarks. The souls of hundreds of millions of Americans wantonly murdered by the previous Oval Office despot’s botch-job of a response to this devastating plague would no doubt have soared in response, “freed at last” by President Biden’s (PBUH) stirring words.

If there was any such thing as a “soul.” Which there isn’t. What silly, superstitious nonsense. C’MON, MAN!!!

We can all look forward to many, many more beautiful moments like this, as our new President takes swift and decisive action to sweep away the damage intentionally done by his warped, genocidal, illegitimate predecessor, whose filthy name must never befoul American mouths again. Ever.

President Biden, thankfully, has arrived not a moment too soon. A new, better tone has been established, unity and civility restored. A proven leader of men—an original thinker whose deft touch has indelibly marked American life over his too-brief five decades of public service—now stands at the helm, to steer America to more glorious heights. Every patriotic American should be grateful for this greatheart’s selfless acceptance of the burden of leadership. We shan’t see his like again.

Signs, portents, and tripwires

The point at which enough becomes enough.

WHAT would be the tripwire resulting in open rebellion? Examining the Bill of Rights, and considering EXISTING laws only, and not failed attempts, you will find that every clause has been violated to one de­gree or another. Documenting those violations would fill volumes; and it is im­portant to remember that only government can violate the exercise of unalienable individual rights and claim immunity from retribution. We omit martial law or public suspension of the Constitution as a tripwire. The overnight installation of dictatorship obviously would qualify as “the tripwire,” but is not likely to occur. What has occurred, what is occurring, is the implementation of every aspect of such dictatorship without an overt declaration. The Constitution is being killed by attrition. The Communist Manifesto is being installed by accretion. Any sug­gestion that martial law is the tripwire leads us to the question: what aspect of martial law justifies the first shot?

There’s no real reason we should take for granted that the “first shot” will be fired according to a rational, careful thought process or philosophical analysis beforehand. It’s just as likely—maybe more likely, if history is any guide—that the fateful trigger-pull occurs as a result of accident, miscalculation, individual mental disorder, plain old dumb luck, or some random combination of those and/or others. It may even take place without anyone recognizing it for what it really was until much later.

Seen in the rear-view mirror, from a distance made safe and comfortable by the passage of time, history can look one hell of a lot different than it does when it’s exploding in your face and wreaking bloody havoc in real time. History is a matter for relaxed contemplation and study—interesting, but not threatening. Before its moderating evolution, though, History exists as Current Events, which can involve life and death decisions; tragic upheaval; and unpredictable, shattering consequences.

The author cites Rand’s “four essential characteristics” defining tyranny, using them to propel the discussion further along:

She identified them quite correctly, but together they are just another composite from which we must choose precipitating causes. These characteristics are: one-party rule, executions with­out trial for political offenses, expropriation or nationalization of private proper­ty, and “above all,” censorship.

With regard to the first characteristic of tyranny, what is the real difference between the Fabian socialist Republican Party and the overtly socialist Democrat party? Nothing but time. Regarding the second we have the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team and the ATF’s enforcement branch. In action they simply avoid the embarrassment of a trial. Regarding the third we have asset forfeiture “laws,” the IRS, the EPA, the FCC, the FDA, the Federal Reserve, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and a myriad of other executive branch agencies, departments and commissions whose sole function is to regulate business and the economy. Regulating business for the “public good” (fascism) is no different in principle than outright nationalization (Communism.)

However, the fourth characteristic of tyranny, censorship, is the obvious primary tripwire. When ideology and the reporting of facts and how-to instructions are forbidden, there is nothing remaining but to fight. Freedom of speech and persuasion— the freedom to attempt to rationally convince willing listeners— is so fundamental an individual right that without it no other rights, not even the existence of rights, can be enforced, claimed, debated or even queried. Does this censorship include the regulation of the “public” airwaves by the FCC, as in the censorship which prohibits tobacco companies from advertising— in their own defense— on the same medium which is commanded by government decree to carry “public service” propaganda against them? Does it include federal compulsion of broadcasters to air politically correct liberal twaddle for “The Children?” Does it include the Orwellian “Communications Decency Act”? Does it include any irrationalist “sexual harassment” or tribalist “hate speech” laws which prohibit certain spoken words among co-workers? The answer: unequivocally yes.

Although the above do not pertain to ideological or political speech, yet they are censorship and tactically they are designed to intimidate people into the acceptance of de facto censorship. We say that any abrogation of free speech, and any form of censorship, which cannot be rectified by the soap box, the ballot box, or the jury box, must be rectified by the cartridge box— or lost forever.

Americans have been stumbling over tripwires justifying overt resistance for well over 130 years. On one hand, we submit that gun confiscation is a secondary tripwire only. It is second to censorship because if speech is illegal we cannot even discuss the repeal of gun control, or of any other population controls. If only guns are illegal we may still convince people to repeal those laws. On the other hand, gun confiscation may be a sufficient tripwire because the primary one, censorship, can be fully implemented only after the citizenry is completely disarmed.

The Constitution contains many provisions allowing the violation of our natural rights as free men by immoral and unethical men in government. The true heroes of the ratification debates were the Antifederalists, who secured Federalist guarantees that the Bill of Rights would amend the Constitution. To their undying credit, the Federalists lived up to their promise. Nevertheless, only after constitutional limitations on government have been restored in their original form can we consider amending the Constitution to redress its very few remaining defects (for example; the absence of a separation of state and economy clause.) Laws that make nugatory the means of resisting tyranny and despotism determine the tripwire. The creeping legislative erosion of the 2nd Amendment is not the only tripwire that justifies resistance. We submit that any gun control is a secondary tripwire. Not only because it can be effortlessly evaded, but also because it strengthens our cause. It is second only to censorship. If speech is illegal we can discuss neither repeal of gun control, or the repeal of any other unconstitutional “law.”

Censorship is not a tripwire, it is THE tripwire. Thus by default, censorship morally justifies rebellion.

Under censorship, no other rights, including the right to be free from censorship, can be advocated, discussed or queried. It is incorrect to say that after censorship comes utter subjugation. Censorship is utter subjugation. There is no greater usurpation of liberty while remaining alive. After censorship come the death camps, and they are not a prerequisite to complete subjugation, they are merely a symptom of it. Censorship qua censorship is sufficient in itself to justify open rebellion against any government that legislates, enforces or upholds it. However, that is not the half of it. Censorship is alone in being the only violation of individual rights that does not require actual enforcement, or challenges in court, before rebellion is justified. When the government forbids you to speak or write, or use your own or a supporter’s property to address willing listeners or readers, that government has openly and forcibly decreed that the art of peaceful persuasion is dead and will not be tolerated. Upon that very instant, all peaceable avenues of redress have been closed and the only possible method of regaining individual liberty is force. Whenever we give up that force we are not only ruined, we deserve to be ruined.

A most intriguing take, contradicting the widespread belief that a national gun-confiscation attempt will be the spark that finally ignites the powder-keg. He unwinds the skein from there, producing a meticulously-crafted, honest analysis of which you will definitely want to read the all.

Annus horribilis: that was the year that was

Look back in anger.

This year has been strange in many ways, but one bit of weirdness that has gone unnoticed is the paucity of predictions for the coming year. For as long as anyone reading this has been alive, this time of year has featured both year in review content and predictions content. This year both have been limited. Maybe the awfulness of 2020 is keeping people from thinking much about it. The wild unpredictability we have seen has probably made forecasters squeamish about predicting anything.

Y’know, now that ZMan brings it up I’ve noticed the same myself, although I didn’t really think too much about it. He sizes up a few his own predictions from last year:

The Light of Lagos was pretty much a dud last year. The omens got some of the Democrat primary right, but not enough to claim a victory. Biden did struggle and Warren flamed out early. Buttigieg did better in Iowa than most expected, but Sanders was the story until the party rigged the system to install Biden. No one predicted Biden would win the nomination and no one ever imagined that buffoon as president, so the omens can be forgiven for missing that one.

The impeachment fiasco played out as predicted, but that was easy money, so no victory lap there either. The real shocker is in how the whole thing was thrown down the memory hole so quickly. No one talks about it. It’s like how someone gets crazy drunk at a party and makes a fool of himself. The next day there is some ribbing from friends, but then it is forgotten. The Democrats danced around with a lampshade on their heads and after it was over, everyone forgot about it.

Now, the big hit was the Barr stuff. It is amazing how so many people thought something would happen with that charade for so long. When Trump brought Barr in it seemed like something would happen, but it quickly became clear that it was just another coverup. Barr was brought in to make sure the truth of the FBI corruption never saw the light of day. You have to wonder if Trump was too stupid to see what was happening or that he signed off on it, despite his tweets.

Of course, the big miss was the Covid panic and how it has been used to turn much of America into a penal colony. No one predicted it, because such a thing seemed implausible just a year ago. It really is shocking to think about how much has changed in just 12 months. This time last year people were planning vacations, walking around with no curfew, having people over to their homes. If someone had predicted this, they would have been dismissed as a crazy person.

Yup. Those loony “conspiracy theories” don’t look quite so loony when they’ve become mundane reality, just how we all live now, do they? All in all, the situation brings to mind Hemingway’s famous response when asked how he went bankrupt: Gradually, then all at once.

That’s the way these things usually go, although it may feel otherwise sometimes. The subtext here, like it or not, is our slow national devolution into tyranny. As with Carl Sandburg’s fog, tyranny creeps in on little cat feet, quiet and little-noticed. At the end-stage of its establishment, its confusticated victims are left wondering what the hell hit ’em. The difference is that tyranny never just “sits…on silent haunches, and then moves on.” It lingers, constantly expanding: strangling, draining, devouring all within its grasp.

The only rights tyranny acknowledges are exclusively its own, and without limit. All claims made by its subjects asserting rights of their own are of no interest or import, spurious impositions unworthy of serious discussion. Tyranny will be moved not a whit by appeals to reason, justice, or mercy. It doesn’t repent, relent, reconsider, or admit error. Nor does it ever just go away on its own, peaceably, which would amount to a tacit admission of error. To be rid of it, tyranny must be driven off by force, which takes quite a bit of doing. It’s an arduous process, by no means quick, convenient, or painless. But it’s the only option.

Should the effort to overthrow tyranny and restore liberty prove successful, it will by no means be irreversible; the very idea that victory even could be permanent must be vigorously shunned. Such complacency is extremely dangerous, and is the surest way to hasten tyranny’s return. Against tyranny, vigilance must be rigorously maintained; disregard is precursor to defeat.

A cultural Revolution

“Taxation without representation” wasn’t the half of it.

The taxation-without-representation argument endures, of course, because it is useful for the regime and its backers. Advocates for the political status quo insist there is no need for anything like the Boston Tea Party today because modern Americans enjoy representation in Congress. We are told that taxation and the regulatory state are all necessarily moral and legitimate because the voters are “represented.” Even conservatives, who often claim to be for “small government,” often oppose radical opposition to the regime—such as secession—on the grounds that political resistance movements are only acceptable when there is no political “representation.” The implication is that since the United States holds elections every now and then, no political action outside of voting—and maybe a little sign waving—is allowed.

It’s unlikely the Sons of Liberty would have bought this argument. The small number of millionaires who meet in Washington, DC, nowadays are hardly “representative” of the American public back home. The 1770s equivalent would have consisted of throwing the Americans a few bones in the form of a handful of votes in Parliament, with seats to be reliably held by a few wealthy colonists, far beyond the reach or influence of the average member of the Sons of Liberty.

By the late 1770s, the fervor behind the revolution had already gone far beyond mere complaints about taxation. This was just one issue among many. Rather, the revolution quickly became a culture war in which self-styled “Americans” were taking up arms against a foreign, immoral, and corrupt oppressor. Mere offers of “representation” were hardly sufficient at this point, and it’s unlikely any such offers were going to be enough after the events of 1775, when the British finally marched into Massachusetts and opened fire on American militiamen. After that, the war had become, to use Rothbard’s term, a “war of national liberation.”

This ideological and psychological divide perhaps explains the ferocity with which the American revolutionaries resisted British rule. 

This sort of thing cannot be explained by mere disagreement over taxation. Acts of violence like these represent a meaningful cultural and national divide.

For now, the cultural divide in the United States today has yet to reach the proportions experienced during the revolution—or, for that matter, during the 1850s in the lead-up to the American Civil War.

Oh? That looks to me like a nigh-impossible argument to make. He probably knows that, though, because he doesn’t try to make it. He’s dead-on with this next, though:

But if hostilities reach this point, there will be little use in discussions over the size of the tax burden, mask mandates, or the nuances of abortion policy. The disdain felt by each side for the other side will be far beyond mere compromises over arcane matters of policy. 

And just as discussions over “taxation without representation” miss the real currents underlying the American rebellion, any view of the current crisis that ignores the ongoing culture war will fail to identify the causes.

Yet, the culture war has also likely progressed to the point where national unity is unlikely to be salvaged even by charismatic leaders and efforts at compromise. When it comes to culture, there is little room for compromise.

Agreed. Then we swerve right back into the ditch.

It is increasingly apparent that the only peaceful solution lies in some form of radical decentralization, amounting to either secession or self-rule at the local level with only foreign policy as “national” policy. Had the British offered these terms in 1770, bloodshed would have likely been avoided.

Americans must pursue similar solutions now before it is too late. 

Seriously? Secession—a complete non-starter, a pipe dream, a fool’s fantasy the central government will never, ever allow to become reality—or “self-rule at the local level”—ie, the restoration of Constitutionally-correct limited government and state’s rights, which the current bloated government, sloppy drunk with its illegimitate power and stolen wealth? Another issue that, as we have been regularly reminded for generations, was settled for all time by the first Civil War?

It’s amusing, in a morbid kind of way, how so many intelligent, historically-knowledgeable souls are perfectly willing to grapple with these controversies right down to the minutest detail, yet scrupulously resist facing down the one shared aspect that is the most relevant and indispensable of all, ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the room furiously pounding its chest at them: war.

They Live Lie

John updates Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave for the modern era, putting the cherry on top with some truly painful puns and a canny reference to John Carpenter’s classic film They Live.

The bad news is, to one extent or another, we’re all prisoners of the cave.  We see misperceptions in our daily life, either of our own construct or as constructed for us.

Who would construct misperceptions for us?

Lots of people.  Here are a few examples:

  • Harry Truman, on August 6, 1945, said: “Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base.”  Well, sure.  It was a militarily important city.  And farms were militarily important because they made food that people might eat.  And schools were militarily important because they educated children that could fight us.  But that would be like saying, “San Francisco, an important American Army base.”  (Note:  I’m not saying I disagree with the decision, just that Truman’s statement was shady as a Netflix® show about dancing children.)
  • Operation Northwoods: Essentially a plan from the Pentagon for our military to stage terrorist attacks in the United States while pretending to be Cubans as a justification to attack Cuba. Really. Here’s the Wikipedia® on that (LINK). Not Alex Jones.  Wikipedia™.
  • The CIA performed illegal mind control experiments on American and Canadian civilians. Here’s the Wikipedia (LINK). Most of the documents were burned, so there’s no telling how many people were impacted. When I first heard of this, my response was that it was impossible. Nope. They did it.
  • Let’s pull the media in, too. The New York Times® “reporter” Walter Duranty wrote stories that there was no mass starvation in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s, despite knowing that millions were being starved to death on purpose. Duranty got a Pulitzer Prize™ for his lies – a prize that has never been rescinded. I wrote about that starvation here (In The World Murder Olympics, Communists Take Gold And Silver Medals).

I could do dozens more where the government, academia, industry, or unions lied and most people believed them. I’ve written about those again and again – the 1960’s Harvard Sugar Study, anyone (High Carbs, Harvard, Insurance, And Avoiding Doctors)? If it was just statements from politicians that were lies that most of us believed? I don’t have enough electrons on my computer to store all of those.

Essentially, unless I get up and go outside of the cave I’m in, I’m sitting and watching those shadows on the wall. But when I do get up and go outside of that cave, I learn amazing things – all those things that are glossed over in history classes, and generally not easy to find, though they’re (for today) clearly documented on even Left-leaning sites like Wikipedia®.

Fifteen year old me wanted to believe in the government, wanted to believe that the press wasn’t hopelessly corrupt. Me in 2020 has seen too much.

If you haven’t seen the movie They Live, there is a scene where the protagonist tries to help his friend stop staring at the shadows on the wall of the cave. In the movie, there are sunglasses you can wear to see a different reality. The clip below from the movie, with Rowdy Roddy Piper playing the protagonist, and Keith David playing his reluctant friend who really, really doesn’t want to put on the glasses (some NSFW dialog):

Since I always just loved the flick—and Rowdy Roddy, and what the heck, Keith David too—I’m more than happy to endorse Wilder’s example by using the sincerest form of flattery.




Possibly the longest fistfight sequence in all of moviedom, but for me it never gets old. Back to John for the payoff.

Leaving the cave is scary, and it’s difficult. And I absolutely don’t promise that understanding reality a little bit better will make you happy – it’s very likely to have the opposite effect. But it will bring you one step closer to the truth.

Maybe you and I can finally figure out what those shadows really are.

Let’s go see what’s outside.

By all means, let’s. Admittedly, there’s plenty of the real, the bad, and the scary out there, sort of offsetting the beauty and grace. But in the end, the truth is the only thing that can set us free. And by now we all ought to have learned that the chances of ever getting even the smallest morsel of truth from Ruling Class reprobates who have for so long fed us nothing but falsehood hovers somewhere betwixt None whatsoever and You can’t be serious.

It’s a wonderful…

WAR MOVIE?!?

I have watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” every Christmas I can remember, but the holiday classic film took on a whole new meaning for me this year.

I knew that the film had been released in 1946, just after both actor Jimmy Stewart and director Frank Capra had returned from war, but I only learned recently the impact that the war had on the finished product.

The movie was Capra’s idea, and he knew from the start that he wanted Stewart to play the iconic role of George Bailey. But Stewart, an Army Air Corps squadron commander who was grounded by PTSD after 20 combat missions over Europe in a B-24, wanted to do a comedy.

Stewart told reporters when he returned to Hollywood that the world had seen enough death and misery, and when Capra approached him with the story of a family man nearly driven to suicide, he balked and left the meeting.

But Stewart, who at the time was sharing an apartment with fellow veteran Henry Fonda, wasn’t getting any other offers. He eventually agreed to take the role.

Army veteran Alex Plitsas told the Daily Caller that it was only after returning from Iraq that he truly understood Stewart’s performance in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

“I was able to understand the movie and [Stewart’s] performance in particular much better after coming home from Iraq. It’s as much of a war film as ‘Die Hard’ is a Christmas movie,” Plitsas said, adding, “Jimmy Stewart’s performance in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ during the throes of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) is recognizable to many veterans. PTS was referred to as “shell shock” back then and wasn’t really spoken about nor was there good treatment available. Stewart appeared to use acting as therapy to get through it, and it’s visible in his performance.”

Intriguing stuff for sure. I thought I knew just about all there was to know about IAWL, but I didn’t know this.

(Via Ed Driscoll)

Update! Don’t believe I’ve ever embedded anything from another of my all-time Christmas faves here, so this seems like a fine time to do it.



BE ADVISED: Only the 1947 original version, in black and white, is acceptable. Do NOT allow yourself to be taken in by any sorry-assed remakes or washed-out “colorized” atrocities. Edmund Gwenn. Maureen O’Hara. John Payne. Natalie Wood. Black. And. White. The genuine item. Nothing else will do.

You have been warned.

Pinochet’s legacy

He was effective. His reversal of the disastrous policies implemented by his socialist predecessor made his country a far better place to live. One of his very first moves after taking over was to dismantle and ban all Marxist political parties, just as every nation which aspires to freedom and prosperity must do sooner or later. No wonder the American Left hates Augusto Pinochet so bitterly, and has slandered him ever since as one of history’s greatest monsters.

Chile was appeared to be hurtling toward a bitter, emotionally charged civil war. So, in September of 1973, to prevent a violent upheaval with the potential to kill hundreds of thousands of Chileans, the military stepped in.

The coup was not the act of an individual power-mad opportunist, as Pinochet is sometimes depicted. The heads of all three branches of the military, plus the caribineros (national police), participated in the takeover. The junta had shown considerable restraint, holding back for roughly a year in the hope that a constitutional solution could be found. Pinochet, as head of the most powerful branch, the army, emerged as the ultimate authority.

Among the junta’s initial acts was the elimination of Marxist political parties. To restore the market economy, they relied on the advice of a group of economists from Catholic University in Santiago who had studied at the University of Chicago where free market guru Milton Friedman dominated the economics department.

Even so, the economy did not immediately spring back. It took several years to get inflation down to its historical (but still very high) levels. Income also did not rise immediately, since Pinochet had to institute austerity measures first. Allende had created artificially low unemployment rates through government featherbedding; among other measures, the junta had to eliminate many unnecessary government jobs to allow market forces to operate.

But eventually, in the mid-1980s, the Chilean economy took off. Today, Chile is the most prosperous country in Latin America, with a per capita income of $15,111 in 2018 (it was only fifth-best in 1970). Inflation for 2018 was a paltry 2.56 percent. Chile ranks 15th worldwide in the Heritage Foundation’s 2020 “Index of Economic Freedom”; the next closest country in Latin America is Colombia in 45th place. It also ranked first in Latin America in the Cato Institute’s “Human Freedom Index,” last published in 2017. And it is just edged out by Costa Rica for having Latin America’s longest life span: 79.57 years to 79.52 years.

Those statistics — not the numbers but the human flourishing they represent — are Pinochet’s real legacy. Would most Venezuelans today — who live in a failing totalitarian state with a popularly elected Marxist government — prefer that a military junta had wrested control from Hugo Chavez and eliminated a few thousand of the most hardcore Marxists? They would likely jump at the opportunity. Pinochet took over an equally nightmarish state that was racing toward either bloody civil war or totalitarian communism (or both), made hard decisions to correct the problems, nurtured the government for 17 years, and voluntarily relinquished power in 1990 when the nation’s practices and institutions were strengthened so that it could flourish democratically.

For that, the international left has damned him for all time.

The Chilean coup of 1973 offers hard lessons that many will not accept because these lessons do not appeal to superficial norms of fairness and tolerance. For one, electoral politics do not always equate to human flourishing but can instead bring repression. For another, a nation must deal harshly with those who would deny liberty to the rest.

Precisely so. America That Was’s failure to do so was the costliest of errors, with the bill now due and payable. It would have been A-okay with me if Trump had taken a page or three out of Pinochet’s book, especially the chapter on the proper treatment of malignant Commies. Instead, we got our own coup, which won’t have nearly as congenial an outcome as Chile’s.

The Troubles

Or, as some of the fresh-off-the-boat Irish lads I used to run around with back in my NYC days always pronounced it, The Thrubbles.

The descent of a once-peaceful republic into blood and chaos happened quickly. It took place over a year or two, after police stepped aside while mobs set up barricades, torched homes, and eventually started shooting their political enemies.

Other lessons from the Troubles:

  • Snipers were most effective early on. The British forces adapted by switching to sniper-proof guard towers, armored vehicles, and helicopters. Soldiers were issued body armor and helmets. The British forces also employed counter-snipers.
  • Snipers were responsible for about 220 deaths and about 1,100 non-fatal casualties. But those represented only 11 percent of all British police and military casualties claimed by the IRA. The rest came from improvised explosive devices, car bombs, drive-by shootings, and close-in assassinations.
  • The IRA pioneered conducting a sniper attack from inside a vehicle. One team used a Barrett .50 caliber rifle inside a Mazda 626 hatchback. The shooter would lie prone and fire through a one-foot shooting port in the rear of the vehicle. After the shot, a metal shield would be moved into place as armor.
  • The British Military Reconnaissance Force, attached to 39th Infantry Brigade, ran a laundry business. The Four-Square Laundry was a front organization that existed to conduct reconnaissance and run forensic tests on clothing belonging to suspected IRA members. The IRA learned about it and wiped it out in a daylight attack by three gunmen with a Thompson sub-machine gun, an M1 carbine, and a .45 semi-automatic handgun.
  • The IRA used honeytraps. In one example two young women, who appeared to be between 18 and 22 years old, frequented the lounge bar of the Woodlands Hotel. They lured British soldiers to a nearby apartment, and excused themselves briefly. Two IRA gunmen burst in and assassinated the soldiers.
  • Protestant newspapers served as anti-Catholic propaganda outlets. In 1971, one published a letter referring to Catholics as “animals crawling into Ulster.” It said: “You’ve got to fight fire with fire, and personally I don’t think they’ve enough fire to make the animals sweat.” Loyalist News said Catholics wanted to “enslave the people” and recommended Protestants “organize themselves immediately.”


Unlike our peaceful republic, Northern Ireland was plagued by a left-wing paramilitary organization that targeted peaceful Irish families. Politicians dialed up the rhetoric by blaming Catholic deplorables for anti-government sentiments, and media organizations worked to dehumanize their opponents. Normal Americans must be shaking their heads at how Northern Ireland’s justice system allowed barricades to go up in cities.

We are more fortunate. That could never happen here.

Yeah, lucky us.

Speaking of my old NYC Irish chums, and apropos of nothing whatsoever, I hope I’m not speaking out of turn when I mention a guy I knew fairly well back then. He was the owner of a once-famous, long-gone-and-much-lamented concert hall on 19th Street, both bearing names I’ll refrain from mentioning. We played the place ourselves regularly back in the day, along with a whole slew of other touring acts of every genre. I couldn’t even begin to recount how many unforgettable shows I saw in that joint.

As it happens, said to-remain-nameless owner—being well-connected with some IRA sorts who would pop in to visit on the occasional fundraising and/or gun-procuring jaunt Stateside—troubled himself to introduce me to a couple of these gents at barside, God only knows why. There was also a fair Colleen working for him as a waitress that I was enjoying something of a dalliance with concurrently. Anyhoo.

Understand me well: I have spent a goodly portion of my life happily cheek-by-jowl with some truly scary people. Hells Angels in NYC; Outlaws in Chicago; miscellaneous and sundry reprobates from squarely within the Mad, Bad, and Dangerous To Know demographic. All of them I have bent an elbow with, played music for, and just generally enjoyed the company of, without the slightest anxiety or concern. Well, for the most part.

And I gotta tell ya: scary they may have been, but NONE of those guys froze the marrow like those IRA guys did. Merely being in the same room with them inspired one to start checking six on a frequent basis.

I was there once with a close friend of mine, now deceased, who was nothing short of a badass his own self. We were at 19th St to see a show. As we passed by on the way to our table one of those IRA dudes made an off-color crack regarding my friend’s girlfriend. We sat the female down, whereupon Chris requested my accompaniment as backup for his intended confrontation of the offending blaggard. We walked back towards the guy prefatory to Chris speaking his piece; the guy was perched on a barstool, Guiness in hand, just as cool as some cucumbers as we approached all stiff-legged, jaws clenched and shoulders squared.

The IRA guy said NOTHING. Not a single syllable did he utter. But his eyes—which never for a moment wavered from their absolute lock on the two large and obviously angry guys approaching—his eyes had Death in them. Chris, who I had never, ever seen back down or knuckle under to a living soul, not once…backed the fuck on down.

Me? I was damned glad he did.

That IRA guy would have made mincemeat of the both of us and never broke a sweat or missed a moment’s sleep over it afterwards. Doubtless he would have sat down and enjoyed himself a nice rare steak after cutting our throats in the most casual fashion. I ain’t kidding in the least, y’all. That’s how just plain scary this guy was. It just rolled off of him in waves, intimidating one of the biggest, toughest, most fearless guys I ever knew into turning himself around and slinking off with nothing more than a steely-eyed glare. I never saw the beat of it, before or since, and I hope I never do again.

Being of Irish descent myself, I always longed to pay a visit to the Emerald Isle someday. After that near-miss brush with heartless Fate, though, the ambition lost a lot of its urgency, I do admit it.

Nazis, in their own words

There’s more to the article I’m excerpting here, but I’m just gonna go with the Goebbels quotes used therein.

We are not a charitable institution but a Party of revolutionary socialists.

We are a workers’ party because we see in the coming battle between finance and labor the beginning and the end of the structure of the twentieth century. We are on the side of labor and against finance…The value of labor under socialism will be determined by its value to the state, to the whole community. Labor means creating value, not haggling over things.

The money pigs of capitalist democracy… Money has made slaves of us…Money is the curse of mankind. It smothers the seed of everything great and good. Every penny is sticky with sweat and blood.

Odd, but contra Biden’s absurd and feeble attempt to smear Trump, all that sounds a lot more like Biden to me. In fact, the Democrat-Socialists could just insert Goebbels’ raving into the Party platform and nobody would even notice. And in case anybody is still buying the strategic Lefty switcheroo claiming Naziism is exclusively a Rightist joint and had nothing whatever to do with socialism:

Lenin is the greatest man, second only to Hitler, and that the difference between Communism and the Hitler faith is very slight.

Very slight? Except for the German nationalism, it’s undiscernable, a distinction without a difference. This next quote truly tells the tale.

We are socialists because we see the social question as a matter of necessity and justice for the very existence of a state for our people, not a question of cheap pity or insulting sentimentality. The worker has a claim to a living standard that corresponds to what he produces. We have no intention of begging for that right. Incorporating him in the state organism is not only a critical matter for him, but for the whole nation. The question is larger than the eight-hour day. It is a matter of forming a new state consciousness that includes every productive citizen. Since the political powers of the day are neither willing nor able to create such a situation, socialism must be fought for. It is a fighting slogan both inwardly and outwardly.

Gee, none of THAT stuff sounds at all familiar, now does it?

Good reads

Since I first read Bill’s fantastic Lightning Falls, I’ve gotten into PAW (Post-Apocalypse World, for the uninitiated) fiction in a big way, thanks to the indispensable Kindle Unlimited virtual lending library. There’s some great, entertaining stuff to be found in the genre, although some books on the topic read like little more than overlong shopping and honey-do lists for survivalists and preppers. Useful for some in a purely practical sense, maybe, but not exactly what I’m looking for in a work of fiction.

NC Reed’s Fire From The Sky series—now up to volume nine or ten, I believe, every one of which I’ve read—is particularly gripping stuff, as is everything else he’s written…all of which I’ve also read and loved.

Reed is an extremely skillful writer, especially so when it comes to creating believable, very human characters and exploring the relationships between them. He’s a Tennessee boy, as are the characters in the Sanders saga, and his dialogue is as real as hot cornbread in a cast-iron skillet. Southern dialect is actually a surprisingly difficult thing to pull off convincingly; many otherwise fine authors have tried and failed embarrassingly at it. Reed’s only real problem is by no means an unusual one these days, one that isn’t really his fault either: the editing is a little, ummm, off here and there. It’s by no means horrible or frequent enough to set your molars a-grinding in fury over it, mind, but it can be a mite distracting occasionally. That minor quibble aside, though, I can’t recommend Reed’s stuff highly enough.

Matt Bracken’s Enemies Foreign And Domestic trilogy, which I’ve mentioned enthusiastically here before, certainly deserves another mention. If you aren’t familiar with his excellent work, well, you need to fix that. Fran Porretto’s brilliant Spooner Federation Saga books are worthy of mention too, although they don’t fit so neatly into the PAW pirgeonhole as the others.

The past few days I’ve found myself totally engrossed in what’s looking like a real masterpiece of the PAW genre: Dogsoldiers, by a fella yclept James Tarr. Tarr, it turns out, also co-authored Carnivore, a good Gulf War memoir by Bradley IFV commander Dillard Johnson. I was sent a copy of Carnivore for review purposes when it first came out, although I can’t recall now if I ever did get around to posting a review here or not.

Dogsoldiers is some damned tasty stuff, a truly outstanding book. The tale is set in near-future Detroit, centering on a pivotal battle in the decade-long civil war waged by a slowly-weakening US federal tyranny against the ragtag, mostly disorganized, and chronically underequipped resistance of freedom fighters referred to in the title. Tarr’s writing is top-notch; the story isn’t marred by any of the uneven or downright sloppy editing that frequently blunts the impact of ebooks for some reason.

In fact, the reason I brought all this up in the first damned place is because the book struck me as plenty good enough to post some excerpts from it here. Our first passage has one of the Good Guy characters—Early, a grizzled, hardcore veteran originally from JawJa—enlightening a shavetail Dogsoldier volunteer, Jason, on some of the harsher realities of life during CW 2.0:

“Early?”

“Yeah?”

“Why don’t we take prisoners? Why were Weasel and George killing their wounded?”

Early looked and saw the teenager was seriously bothered. “Well, there’s two answers to that. First one is…where would we take them? It’s not like we’ve got a base. Or vehicles to transport them. We wander around, causing trouble, living in empty houses and borrowed basements, and then when the cold rolls in either do more of the same or we hol’ up with friends or relatives or in our own houses, far away from the trouble.”

“We could let them live, let the Army treat their injuries.”

Early nodded. “And that’s the other part of it. At the start of the war we let them be, tried to do the civilized thing. Let the Tabs recover their wounded. Not now. Not after ten years. Because they just keep coming back, like the tide. At this point we’ve all realized we’re in a war of attrition—that means neither side is going to surrender, the war only ends when one side has been ground down so much they’ve got no one left who can fight. They’ve had their chance. Any Tabs still fighting are either too mean or too stupid to know they’re on the side of evil.”

“And after the war? In any other war, you capture POWs, at the end of the war you send ‘em home. Which is somewhere else, a whole ‘nother country. Over there somewhere.” He waved his hand vaguely. “After World War II the Germans were sent back to Germany, where they could be Germans, and be nowhere near us. That’s not what this war is. The Tabs live here; win or lose, they’re not going anywhere. Even if they’re not fightin’, and we’re all peaceable and neighborly, they’ll still believe the same things that caused the war in the first place—socialism, communism, vegan grocery bags, twenty-seven genders, guns are evil, America has never been great, never hit back, government should be in charge of everything, all of it. That’s not peace or victory, that’s just a temporary ceasefire. Their beliefs aren’t just evil, they’re a poison, a cancer, a rot. Winning doesn’t just mean the war stops, we want to have a healthy country after all this.”

“It ain’t pretty, son. It ain’t even nice. Maybe it’s our own brand of evil. You don’ like it? Good. That means you’ve got a soul. But it’s the only way we not just win the war, but win the peace afterward.”

Naaah, THAT doesn’t sound like it has any contemporary relevance at all, does it? Pure escapist fiction, no practical reality to be found there, nossir. But this next excerpt cuts even closer to the bone that that, if you can believe it. It’s gonna be a long ‘un, so I’ll tuck it down below the fold and out of the way.

Continue reading “Good reads”

In the groove

So I’ve been jamming out in the car recently to a mix CD of some late 60s-early 70s classics I burned a while back—songs I loved as a kid, but had been sorta neglecting of late. And suddenly the responsibility—nay, the solemn, sacred duty—to share some of this good stuff with y’all weighed heavily upon me.



The above, of course, would be the legendary Buddy Miles, just doin’ his legendary Buddy Miles thang. In the unlikely event you don’t know of him, please allow Wikipedia to hip ya some.

George Allen “Buddy” Miles Jr. (September 5, 1947 – February 26, 2008), was an American rock drummer, vocalist, composer, and producer. He was a founding member of the Electric Flag (1967), a member of Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys (1969–1970), founder and leader of the Buddy Miles Express and later, the Buddy Miles Band. Miles also played and recorded with Carlos Santana and others. Additionally, he sang lead vocals on the critically and commercially acclaimed “California Raisins” claymation TV commercials and recorded two California Raisins R&B albums.

Yes, THOSE California Raisins. Of course, most people who DO know of Buddy will surely know of his stint as drummer for Hendrix’ Band Of Gypsies. Yes, THAT Band Of Gypsies. But then, who from that wondrous, magical era DIDN’T Buddy play with, anyway? That would probably make for a shorter list, one a hell of a lot less burdensome to tot up.

Miles played with a variety of rhythm and blues and soul acts as a teenager, including Ruby & the Romantics, the Delfonics, and Wilson Pickett. In 1964, at the age of 16, Miles met Jimi Hendrix at a show in Montreal, where both were performing as sidemen for other artists.

In 1967, Miles joined Hendrix in a jam session at the Malibu home of Stephen Stills. They also went on to play together again in 1968 in both Los Angeles and New York. In the same year, Miles moved to Chicago where he teamed with guitarist Mike Bloomfield and vocalist Nick Gravenites to form the Electric Flag, a blues/soul/rock band. In addition to playing drums, Miles sometimes sang lead vocals for the band, which made its live debut at the Monterey Pop Festival in mid-1967.

In early 1968, the band released A Long Time Comin’, its first album for Columbia. The Electric Flag’s second album, An American Music Band, followed late the same year. Shortly after that release, though, the group disbanded. In the same year, Hendrix used several guest artists, including Miles, during the recording of the album, Electric Ladyland. Miles played drums on one long jam that was eventually split into two album cuts, “Rainy Day, Dream Away” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming”, with a different song, “1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)”, edited in between.

At age 21, after the breakup of the Electric Flag, Miles put together a new band with Jim McCarty, who later became the guitarist for Cactus. This new group performed and recorded as the Buddy Miles Express. In 1969, Hendrix wrote a short poem as a liner note for Expressway To Your Skull, the first studio album recorded by the Buddy Miles Express. Hendrix went on to produce four of the tracks on the group’s follow-up album, Electric Church. The title of the latter LP was taken from Hendrix’s poem on the first.

In 1969 he appeared on British jazz guitarist John McLaughlin’s album Devotion.

Exressway To Your Skull might just be the greatest album title in all of history, I’m thinking.

And while we’re groovin’ to the classics here and all, allow me to bring forth another true great: Lee Michaels. Yes, THAT Lee Michaels.



Michaels, who I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned here before at least once, is another fascinating study. A generally-acknowledged keyboard virtuoso, he did most of his live shows accompanied only by a drummer—covering that complex, fluid bass line his own self via the pedals on the Hammond B3 he ran like a boss. This, whilst also ravaging the keyboards, and crooning his little heart out to boot.

For me, it’s that distinctive, passionate singing voice of his that really sets the hook in deep. Occasionally raspy and whiskey-raw, then a croon smooth as smoothest velvet; a banshee’s wail with a desperate, out-of-breath sob hot on its heels. He gulps and gasps along just behind the beat, like every good bluesman should.

The real bones and sinew of the singer’s art, though, is phrasing. Proper phrasing can cover a multitude of other sins, while clumsy phrasing can rubbish an otherwise skilled performance entirely. Michaels’ phrasing may sound somewhat haphazard, even confused and/or anarchic, to the uninitiated. But it’s actually note-perfect, rivaling that of even Sinatra in the way he makes the attentive listener WAAAAIIIIIT until he’s about to fall over anticipating that next crucial syllable.

The above tune has an interesting little history of its own (bold mine):

Lee Eugene Michaels (born Michael Olsen, November 24, 1945) is an American rock musician who sings and accompanies himself on organ, piano, or guitar. He is best known for his powerful soulful voice and his energetic virtuosity on the Hammond organ, peaking in 1971 with his Top 10 pop hit single, “Do You Know What I Mean”.

Michaels began his career with The Sentinals, a San Luis Obispo, California-based surf group that included drummer Johny Barbata (later of The Turtles, Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship). Michaels joined Barbata in the Joel Scott Hill Trio, a group led by guitarist Joel Scott Hill. Michaels later moved to San Francisco, where he joined an early version of The Family Tree, a band led by Bob Segarini. In 1967, he signed a contract with A&M Records, releasing his debut album, Carnival of Life, later that year with David Potter on drums. As a session musician, he played with Jimi Hendrix, among others.

Michaels’ choice of the Hammond organ as his primary instrument was unusual for the time, as was his bare-bones stage and studio accompaniment: usually just a single drummer, most often a musician known as “Frosty,” real name Bartholomew Eugene Smith-Frost, who was a member of Sweathog, and whose bare handed technique was an inspiration for John Bonham, or with Joel Larson of The Grass Roots. This unorthodox approach attracted a following in San Francisco, and some critical notice. (Sounds Magazine, for one, reported of Michaels that he had been called “the ultimate power organist.”) But Michaels did not achieve real commercial success until the release of his fifth album.

That album, titled 5th and released in 1971, produced a surprise US Top 10 hit (#6 in the fall of 1971), “Do You Know What I Mean.” It was an autobiographical homage to the loss of a girlfriend. Michaels’s Top 40 follow-up, a cover version of the Motown standard, “Can I Get a Witness,” peaked at #39 on Christmas Day of 1971, eight years to the week after Marvin Gaye’s version peaked at #22Billboard ranked “Do You Know What I Mean” as the No. 19 song for 1971. Michaels recorded two more albums for A&M before signing a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1973. But his Columbia recordings failed to generate much interest, and Michaels had gone into semi-retirement from the music industry by the end of the decade.

“Do You Know What I Mean” always brings the salt tang of an ocean breeze to mind for me, and there’s a good reason for it. See, back in the day when Myrtle Beach was still a place worth visiting, they had the late, lamented Myrtle Beach Pavilion (now unforgiveably torn down for no good reason at all, damn their eyes) on the beach side of Ocean Blvd, with the Pavilion Amusement Park directly across the street from it. We vacay’ed at MYB every year without fail, whiling away a goodish chunk of my misspent youth in the Pavilion and its Amusement Park both.

And ‘long about 71 or 72, the Amusement Park installed a great ride yclept the Himalaya, which my brother, my cousin, and I loved all to pieces. We’d ride that thing over and over again, round and round and up and down, until we were literally nauseous from it. And one of the things that attracted the Younger Generation to it was the fact that, unlike many of the other, older rides, they played that summer’s rock and roll hits loud as thunder over the installed speakers, to our endless delight.

There are two songs I heard on the Himalaya that really rang my bell but good, and never did forget. One of them was, of course, “Do You Know What I Mean” by Lee Michaels. The other, funnily enough, was a ditty whose origins I strived long and hard to unearth, only years later finding out that it had been Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Sweet Hitch Hiker.”



Now in my defense, I was exclusively a hard-rock kid back then. I was all about Iron Butterfly, D-Purp, Black Sabbath, and such-like in those days, see, and didn’t really give too much of a rip one way or the other about CCR; they weren’t on my radar until much later, I confess. But I did love me some “Sweet Hitch Hiker.” It hit me right in the sweet spot, for whatever reason.

And I had not the vaguest clue who it might be performing it on vinyl. Nor, it seemed, could I find out, not for love nor money.

What’s most curious about the whole saga is that I went around asking absolutely everybody I came into contact with that summer—grown-ups, young ‘uns like me, teenagers, teachers, the mailman, everybody—if they had any idea whose damned song that was…and not ONE of them knew either. Or if they did, they weren’t saying. Hell, I even called the local radio station (Big WAYS, 610 AM on your dial) and asked about it, all to no avail. The vexing conundrum was finally resolved when I stumbled across the song in the track listing on back of the album cover, tucked into the stacks o’ wax for sale down at my uncle Gene’s drug store in Mt Holly a cpl-three years later.

Ahh, them were the days for sure.

Let’s follow the science a bit further

I hereby demand MY reparations check.

Welcome to 2020. The New York Times wins a Pulitzer Prize for its “1619 Project,” which depicts slavery as a distinctly American phenomenon and as the very foundation of American civilization. For several weeks, a half-dozen all but unreadable books seeking redefine the concept of racism hover at or near the top of the bestseller lists. Meanwhile, the cities of America become battlegrounds in a race war waged by young people, many of whom think that America invented the institution of slavery.

This is but one of many historical facts about which they’re wrong. The truth is that fewer than 4 percent of the slaves who were transported across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa ended up in the territory of what is now the United States. More slaves were shipped to the small island of Barbados than to the vast areas that started out as British North America and then became the United States.
 
The same applies to Trinidad and the Windward Islands (Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Dominica, and Martinique). Ditto the Guianas (now Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana). Ditto the Spanish-speaking mainland of Latin American. Over 8 percent of transatlantic African slaves—twice the number sold between Maine and Georgia—were sold in St. Domingue, a French colony in what is now Haiti. Over 8 percent of slaves also ended up in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. The largest numbers of all are for Jamaica (over 11 percent) and Brazil (over 30 percent).

In recent years, as schools and universities increasingly focus on racial issues, young Americans’ heads are filled with heaps of information—much of it from books like A People’s History of the United States—about the American legacy of racism and, in particular, the history of slavery and Jim Crow. But virtually none of them know that the slaves who were shipped to the present-day United States were a small fraction of the victims of the African slave trade.

Ignorance also surrounds another aspect of slave history. The other day I posted on Facebook a quotation from Thomas Sowell. “More whites were brought as slaves to North Africa than blacks brought as slaves to the United States or to the 13 colonies from which it was formed. White slaves were still being bought and sold in the Ottoman Empire, decades after blacks were freed in the United States.”

Facebook users responded in disbelief. “This can’t possibly be true! What’s he talking about?” commented one, whose Facebook page identified him as a “senior research fellow.” Another, a filmmaker, wrote: “Seems dubious.”

In fact, the white slave trade was a terrifying reality for generations of Westerners from the 1400s to the 1800s. Several sovereign North African entities—the Sultanate of Morocco, and the independent Ottoman provinces of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli—were all active in the capture and sale of European and American slaves. Some whites were taken from ships on the high seas in acts of piracy; others were captured during coastal raids on the European mainland and Newfoundland. 

As usual, it’s not that liberals don’t know anything; it’s that so much of what they think they know isn’t so. You’re bound to love this next bit:

During the later phase of the white slave trade, European powers paid large sums to the North African powers to protect their citizens from enslavement. After the United States declared its independence, it refused to make such payments, which resulted in the taking of American seamen by Arab pirates. In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met in London with the ambassador from Tripoli to discuss the matter. When they asked why Tripolitanians would “make war upon nations who had done them no injury,” the ambassador replied “that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it? Guess some things really never DO change. Read all of it.

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Notable Quotes

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." — Daniel Webster

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” – Frank Zappa

“The right of a nation to kill a tyrant in case of necessity can no more be doubted than to hang a robber, or kill a flea.” - John Adams

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." - GK Chesterton

"I predict that the Bush administration will be seen by freedom-wishing Americans a generation or two hence as the hinge on the cell door locking up our freedom. When my children are my age, they will not be free in any recognizably traditional American meaning of the word. I’d tell them to emigrate, but there’s nowhere left to go. I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free." - Donald Surber

"The only way to live free is to live unobserved." - Etienne de la Boiete

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid." — Dwight D. Eisenhower

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil." - Skeptic

"There is no better way to stamp your power on people than through the dead hand of bureaucracy. You cannot reason with paperwork." - David Black, from Turn Left For Gibraltar

"The limits of tyranny are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." - Frederick Douglass

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine." - Joseph Goebbels

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” - Ronald Reagan

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it." - NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in." - Bill Whittle

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