Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

The Question

One of our oldest and dearest blog-buddies asks a silly question:

GRANDSTANDING: Transportation Committee Dem Wants Hearing on United Airlines Incident.

Must every problem or pain find its solution or palliative in Washington?

Well, of course it must. We are a post-Constitutional Progressivist nation, and the lamentable condition of always looking to an all-powerful central government for solutions to our woes—real, contrived, or insignificant—is the ultimate intention and desired end-state of Progressivism. It always was.

I know I said Stephen’s question was silly, but in truth it’s anything but. It’s penetrating and insightful; it’s the only question that really matters, when you get right down to it. We should have been asking it all along, and we’d be a damned sight better off if we had been. It’s the question that inspired the founding of this nation, and ought to be always in the forefront of our thoughts.

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They lie

Who they are. What they do.

Early arguments for smoking bans at least paid lip service to the idea that restrictions were necessary to protect unwilling bystanders’ health. But as bans have grown ever more intrusive even as the case for expanding them has withered, that justification has been revealed as a polite fiction by which nonsmokers shunted smokers to the fringes of society. It was never just about saving lives.

Of course it wasn’t. It was about what it’s always about with the Nanny Statists: power, and control.

There were good reasons from the beginning to doubt that smoking bans could really deliver the promised results, but anti-smoking advocacy groups eagerly embraced alarmism to shape public perception.

Of course they did. Lies and propaganda, in the service of…power. And control.

Today’s tobacco control movement is guided by ideology as much as it is by science, prone to hyping politically convenient studies regardless of their merit and ostracizing detractors.

Of course it is. When has it ever not been, with smoking and many other issues, going back to the original Progressivist project (besides eugenics): Prohibition? The key word in the above sentence: control. THAT is their ideology. Always has been. Always will be.

This has important implications for journalism. As health journalists take on topics such as outdoor smoking bans, discrimination against smokers in employment or adoption, and the ever-evolving regulation of e-cigarettes, they should consider that however well-intentioned the aims of the tobacco control movement are, its willingness to sacrifice the means of good science to the end of restricting behavior calls for skeptical scrutiny.

It calls for a good bit more than just that, up to and including stomping their meddlesome, busybody asses flat should they refuse to mind their own business and leave ostensibly free people alone.

While science can inform, though not fully determine, the boundaries of where people are allowed to smoke, the debunking of the previous decade’s heart miracles should provide some grounds for humility.

Humility? From Progressivist would-be dictators? That’ll be the day.

It may be neither feasible nor desirable to set back the clock and permit smoking everywhere, but laws in a liberal society can accommodate the rights and preferences of smokers and business owners far better than they do now.

So relax those outdoor bans. Let people vape. Allow there to be at least some venues in which consenting adults can gather to light up indoors. Respect for self-ownership demands it. After years of closing doors on smokers, it is time to open a few back up.

You said a mouthful there, bub. I have to admit, though, that this is a far more reasonable article than I would have ever expected to see in Slate. Hats off to ’em for it.

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Anatomy of a soft coup

Anybody still doubt we’re in a (so far) bloodless civil war against the nefarious forces of the Deep State?

As previously stated numerous times, The Washington Post is the official leak-outlet for the political arm of the CIA. And the most politicized of all agents ever inside the CIA was John Brennan – a black hat extraordinaire.

So, swamp reviewers can begin to see how this Rubber Tire was constructed.

The political agents within the “intelligence community”, ie. the Big Black Hats, took the position that General Michael Flynn must have lied to Vice President Pence because their interpretation of the phone call they intercepted was that Flynn did give some form (context and actual communication unknown) of forward assurance to the Russian emissary that a Trump administration would not approach the Russian Sanction issue (which, we should remember, is based on a non-existent vast Russian election hacking conspiracy) the same way as the Obama administration.

Well, y’know, after the election he’ll have a lot more flexibility, see.

Regardless of whether VP Pence or POTUS Trump accept that Flynn misled, so long as intel quackers have plausible deniability to sell their belief he did there will always be an ongoing issue.

Actually, there will be an “ongoing issue” as long as there’s a single Obama appointee or hireling remaining within the Deep State mechanism of the intelligence community and State Department.

As long as there remains even one individual with ties to the Obama/Clinton hard Left subversion machine, that individual will most certainly be working diligently to undermine the results of the last election, subvert the Constitution, oppose American national interests abroad, weaken American strength and security at home, and thwart American representative democracy. It’s who they are; it’s what they do. And it’s going to take a lot more than one man, or one election, to root them out and rid ourselves of them at last. It remains my sad conclusion that it’s going to take bloodshed—and more than just a little of that, too.

Deep State is deep update! And it’s embedded in more than just the State, too:

The level of coordination is astonishing. Google and Disney team up to erase the guy and then the mainstream press is out reporting within minutes that he was eliminated due to heresy. It could be a coincidence that all of the big media players were on this at the same time, but it could also suggest a high degree of cooperation. The people in charge are pulling out all the stops to crack down on dissidents. They consider the threat posed by errant comedians on YouTube so serious, any means necessary will be used to end it.

What’s important here is not that some comedian lost his livelihood. That’s part of the message being sent. The more important part is the coordination. The tech giants made it clear in the election that they were working together to defeat Trump. These are people who colluded to suppress wages and violate the nation’s labor laws so they have a history of this. Now we are seeing social media coordinating with the legacy media to send a clear signal that they are cracking down on dissidents.

Crackdowns on dissent are always in response to crisis. Whether it is perceived or real is the big question. A heavy handed response can turn a manageable situation into a full blown crisis. On the other hand, passive responses to challenges can lead to rebellion. The people in charge believe the lesson of the last election is to crack down hard, using every means necessary, to quell any challenge to their authority. That is the reason the intelligence agencies are now working with the media to undermine the President.

How this will play out is unknown.

True. But I think I can make a pretty good guess.

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Deep State is deep

TINVOWOOT, I’m afraid.

We have reached a point where it is heads they win, tails we lose. The game has been rigged to make reforming the system within the rules an impossibility. When a majority of the people favor a policy that the managerial class opposes, the policy gets hamstrung by the rules of the game. All of a sudden, the process is sacred. When the managerial class wants something for their masters, they change the rules so it either flies through or simply happens without anyone noticing. The process is not all that important.

All the blather about America being a nation of laws is just cover for the fact that ours is a lawless nation ruled by lawless men. An obvious example is the Ninth Circuit judges, who have fabricated a legal justification for throwing sand in the gears of a wildly popular executive order issued by President Trump. These are not men enforcing the law or respecting the laws. These are men who hold the law in contempt. All that matters to them is obedience to the weird secular cult we have come to call Progressivism.

If what it takes to break the stranglehold this cult has on society is a dictator willing to toss a few judges from a helicopter, then sign me up for dictatorship. I’d much prefer to live in a society where me and my neighbors meet once a month to govern ourselves and our community, but that’s not on offer. What is on offer now is the post-modern theocracy that uses the corrupted and degraded tools of 18th century liberalism to maintain its grip on society. Squads of government men rounding these people up in the middle of the night sounds pretty good right now.

The only way to break the totalitarian stranglehold may be with an authoritarian willing to bust down doors and crack some heads. Authoritarianism is only concerned with political power and as long as that is not contested it gives society a certain degree of liberty. You can still have judges falling out of helicopters as we saw with Pinochet, but the people can still go about their lives, free from the hectoring of secular fanatics living off the tax payers. Trump ordering the execution of the 9th Circuit is not ideal, but it beats the hell out of being ruled by angry lunatics from San Francisco.

America is headed for a bad end unless things change quickly and radically. The suicide cult that has control of our society is not going to stop until we’re all dead. At some point, you have to use every means necessary to prevent a catastrophe. If that means Lindsay Graham winds up in pit covered in lime, so be it.

Yeah, I find myself not terribly bothered by that prospect either. In fact, I admit I’d be fine with that whether it would do any good for the nation or not. Either way, it’s certain that Trump has his work cut out for him:

By the 1970s, disillusionment with what became derisively known as “big government” fed a series of campaigns and commissions to curtail the regulatory powers of the federal government. The popular energy behind them even helped deliver Ronald Reagan to the White House in 1980. If there was ever a moment where the stars aligned to help put an end to big government and runaway regulation, this was most certainly it.

So how did Reagan do?

Not so good, as we all know by now. The DC swamp is going to take a lot of draining, if it can even be done at all; it’s by no means a given that it can, so entrenched are the parasites and so tenaciously will they dig in to prevent it from happening. But I can’t think of a guy better equipped than Trump to do it; if it can be done short of pitchforks, torches, and lots and lots of rope, he’d have to be the man. No way in the world would any professional politician be able to manage it.

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How Progressivism got itself Trumped

Progress. In precisely the wrong direction.

It’s not just about the showerhead. The water pressure in our homes and apartments has been gradually getting worse for two decades, thanks to EPA mandates on state and local governments. This has meant that even with a good showerhead, the shower is not as good as it might be. It also means that less water is running through our pipes, causing lines to clog and homes to stink just slightly like the sewer. This problem is much more difficult to fix, especially because plumbers are forbidden by law from hacking your water pressure.

As for the heat of the water, the obsession over “safety” has led to regulations that the top temperature is preset on most water heaters, at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is only slightly hotter than the ideal temperature for growing yeast. Most are shipped at 110 degrees in order to stay safe with regulators. This is not going to get anything really clean; just the opposite. Water temperatures need to be 140 degrees to clean things. (Looking at the industry standard, 120 is the lowest-possible setting for cleaning but 170 degrees gives you the sure thing.)

The combination of poor pressure and lukewarm temperatures profoundly affects how well your dishwasher and washing machine work. Plus, these two machines have been severely regulated in how much energy they can consume and how much water they can use. Top-loading washing machines are a thing of the past, while dishwashers that grind up food and send it away are a relic. We are lucky now to pull out a glass without soap scum on it. As for clothing, what you are wearing is not clean by your grandmother’s standards.

But wait: what about the need to conserve water? Well, the Department of the Interiorsays that domestic water use, which includes even the water you use on your lawn and flower beds, constitutes a mere 2% of the total, so this unrelenting misery spread by government regulations makes hardly a dent in the whole.

In any case, what is the point of some vague sense of “conserving” when the whole purpose of modern appliances and indoor plumbing is to improve our lives and sanitation? (Free societies have a method for knowing how much of something to use or not use; it is called the signaling system of prices.)

But I haven’t even mentioned what might be the biggest factor in why our clothes aren’t clean and our dishes are dirty. The government forced soap manufacturers to remove from soap the thing that makes them work for these purposes: phosphates. Phosphates, used in soap from the middle ages until the 1980s, break down the soap after it has done its work and allow the water to wash it away along with the dirt and oil it scrubbed out of the clothes.

Now, soaps lack this crucial ingredient. In order to add it back in, you have to go to the paint section of the hardware store and buy it in a box (TSP, the real stuff, not the artificial kind). Add a quarter cup to your wash. You would be amazed at the difference it makes. Things actually get more-or-less clean.

So let’s put it all together: lukewarm water, low water pressure, low-energy appliances, water-conserving technologies, flow stoppers in showers, low-flow toilets, plus no phosphates in detergent. You have here a perfect recipe for a non-working home and a more miserable life, all courtesy of government regulations.

Add in that the government requires you to run pisswater gasoline in your car that not only destroys engines but also is more damaging to the environment than the old non-ethanol type (hey, remember when putting sugar in someone’s tank was a pretty heinous prank that you’d only ever do to someone you really, REALLY wanted to screw over? Now it’s mandated by the never-to-be-sufficiently-damned government; I’ll let you decide whether to consider that a prank), and what you have is a government NOT of, by and for the people, but an actual, literal adversary that must be dodged, evaded, or worked around every day of every American’s life just to get by.

No wonder they want to neuter or destroy the Second Amendment too.

And I gotta say this, too: the one real misstep Trump made in the campaign for the GOP nomination as far as I was concerned—leaving out the thousand or so phony ones the hapless media and NeverTrumpTards ginned up—was when he gave a truly pandering speech in Iowa extolling the nonexistent virtues of ethanol. It was the one moment of the whole campaign that I was actually proud of Ted Cruz, who gave a speech around the same time telling those corrupt corn farmers loving them some government mandates and subsidies that he hoped to do away with the ethanol requirement.

Cruz was right, and Trump was wrong, and there’s just no other way to parse it. President Trump is going to have a lot bigger and more pressing things on his plate than this, of course. But it is part and parcel of why a majority of the American people believe that DC is indeed a swamp in dire need of draining. Here’s hoping Trump will correct his position on it, and get around to rectifying this crime against the American people sooner or later.

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The whole mess

Nutshelled.

Look, I think it’s stupid to want to live in a breadbox, but if someone else decides that that’s what’s best for them, why should Seattle be able to tell them they can’t? Why should New York be able to keep me from renting out my home when I’m not using it? Obviously, they shouldn’t be able to, and regardless of what specious reasons given, the real objective is control. It’s about people like Marthe Kent up top who simply get off on running ruining other people’s lives, or it’s about people leveraging the power of government to enrich themselves, as in the New York story.

In either case, the problem isn’t the people involved. People are people, and they will always try to accrue power and riches to themselves. The problem is a government that is so entwined with everyone’s life that it can be used as a mechanism to accomplish this.

Very simple example. Widget company A makes blue widgets, company B makes yellow ones. Instead of taking it to the market to let consumers decide which color widget they prefer, widget company A lobbies the government to mandate that all widgets be blue. By doing so they either put company B out of business, or they gain a competitive advantage because B isn’t set up to make blue. The problem isn’t that company A sought profit, it’s that because government has involved itself in the widget trade, the easiest way for them to profit is to use the cudgel of government against its competitor, rather than by making a better or cheaper widget and letting the market decide. What needs to be removed from the equation is government. Without that lever of government power, the only way for people who want money or power to get it is by appealing to the population at large. The Founding Fathers knew this. Too bad they were all cis-normative slave holding white men.

Yeah, it pretty much negates absolutely everything else they ever said or thought, doesn’t it? Be sure to read that first quote he refers to. It’s pretty chilling, and as perfect an encapsulation of the mindset of the people who now run our lives for us as I’ve seen yet. Dave nailed it down clean and tight with this one. TINVOWOOT, people.

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A republic, if you can keep it

And we couldn’t.

Haunting this year’s presidential contest is the sense that the U.S. government no longer belongs to the people and no longer represents them. And this uneasy feeling is not misplaced. It reflects the real state of affairs.

We have lost the government we learned about in civics class, with its democratic election of representatives to do the voters’ will in framing laws, which the president vows to execute faithfully, unless the Supreme Court rules them unconstitutional. That small government of limited powers that the Founders designed, hedged with checks and balances, hasn’t operated for a century. All its parts still have their old names and appear to be carrying out their old functions. But in fact, a new kind of government has grown up inside the old structure, like those parasites hatched in another organism that grow by eating up their host from within, until the adult creature bursts out of the host’s carcass. This transformation is not an evolution but a usurpation.

What has now largely displaced the Founders’ government is what’s called the Administrative State—a transformation premeditated by its main architect, Woodrow Wilson. The thin-skinned, self-righteous college-professor president, who thought himself enlightened far beyond the citizenry, dismissed the Declaration of Independence’s inalienable rights as so much outmoded “nonsense,” and he rejected the Founders’ clunky constitutional machinery as obsolete. (See “It’s Not Your Founding Fathers’ Republic Any More,” Summer 2014.) What a modern country needed, he said, was a “living constitution” that would keep pace with the fast-changing times by continual, Darwinian adaptation, as he called it, effected by federal courts acting as a permanent constitutional convention.

Modernity, Wilson thought, demanded efficient government by independent, nonpartisan, benevolent, hyper-educated experts, applying the latest scientific, economic, and sociological knowledge to industrial capitalism’s unprecedented problems, too complex for self-governing free citizens to solve. Accordingly, he got Congress to create executive-branch administrative agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission, to do the job. During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt proliferated such agencies, from the National Labor Relations Board and the Federal Housing Administration to the Federal Communications Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, to put the New Deal into effect. Before they could do so, though, FDR had to scare the Supreme Court into stretching the Constitution’s Commerce Clause beyond recognition, putting the federal government in charge of all economic activity, not just interstate transactions. He also had to pressure the justices to allow Congress to delegate legislative power—which is, in effect, what the lawmakers did by setting up agencies with the power to make binding rules. The Constitution, of course, vests all legislative power in Congress, empowering it to make laws, not to make legislators.

But the Administrative State’s constitutional transgressions cut deeper still. If Congress can’t delegate its legislative powers, it certainly can’t delegate judicial powers, which the Constitution gives exclusively to the judiciary. Nevertheless, after these administrative agencies make rules like a legislature, they then exercise judicial authority like a court by prosecuting violations of their edicts and inflicting real criminal penalties, such as fines and cease-and-desist orders. As they perform all these functions, they also violate the principle of the separation of powers, which lies at the heart of our constitutional theory (senselessly curbing efficiency, Wilson thought), as well as the due process of law, for they trample the citizen’s Fifth Amendment right not to lose his property unless indicted by a grand jury and tried by a jury of his peers, and they search a citizen or a company’s private papers or premises, without bothering to get judge-issued subpoenas or search warrants based on probable cause, flouting the Fourth Amendment. They can issue waivers to their rules, so that the law is not the same for all citizens and companies but is instead an instrument of arbitrary power. FDR himself ruefully remarked that he had expanded a fourth branch of government that lacked constitutional legitimacy. Not only does it reincarnate the arbitrary power of the Stuarts’ tyrannical Star Chamber, but also it doesn’t even meet the minimal conditions of liberty that Magna Carta set forth 801 years ago.

Adding insult to injury, Wilson, his allies, and their current followers call themselves “progressives,” a fatuous boast implying that they are the embodiments and chosen instruments of the spirit of an ever-improving, irresistible future. In tune with the German idealist philosophy that Wilson and his circle studied, they claim to be marching toward an as-yet-unrealized goal of human perfection. But that perfection, the German philosophers believed, would look something like Prussia’s enlightened despotism. For Americans to think that it is progress to move from the Founders’ revolutionary achievement—a nation of free citizens, endowed with natural rights, living under laws that they themselves have made, pursuing their own vision of happiness in their own way and free to develop as fully as they can whatever talent or genius lies within them—to a regime in which individuals derive such rights as they have from a government superior to them is contemptible. How is a return to subjection an advance on freedom? No lover of liberty should ever call such left-wing statism “progressive.” In historical terms, this elevation of state power over individual freedom is not even “liberal” but quite the reverse.

Depressing as it is, you don’t want to miss a single word of it. And as long as that excerpt might seem, it barely scratches the surface; Magnet covers pretty much all the bases here, and his conclusion sparks what might be the most depressing thought of all:

As the Founders often cautioned, a self-governing republic doesn’t have a governing class. Part of America’s current predicament is that it now has such a class, and the American people are very angry about it.

Umm, well…not quite. If statistics are to be believed, something less than half of them are. The rest love it, and want more of it yet. The one thing we can be certain of is that, want more of it or not, they’re going to get it.

(Via Ed)

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There you go again

They will never, ever stop. And each and every event—whether disaster, tragedy, or atrocity—will always be fodder for their political machinations, fed into the liberal-fascist machine like fuel.

President Barack Obama is harnessing the increasing attacks on police — and the periodic shootings of people by stressed cops — to push his agenda to federalize state and local police forces.

“I want to start moving on constructive actions that are actually going to make a difference,” he said during his evening press conference in Poland when he was asked about the Dallas attack.

Those actions, he said, would be based on the recommendations of the panel that he picked after the 2014 street riots in Ferguson, Missouri. The panel offered “practical concrete solutions that can reduce — if not eliminate — the problems of racial bias,” Obama said. 

News flash, Progressivist manipulator: you will never, ever eliminate the “problems of racial bias.” Not ever, no matter how many misguided and ineffectual laws you pass, federal bureaucracies you create, or storm troopers you unleash on us. It’s one of the more immutable parts of human nature, and it isn’t going away no matter how strongly you believe in an overall superiority which grants you some sort of Divine Mandate to tinker with it.

The report urges the federal government to federalize police training and practices, via the use of federal lawsuits, grants and threats to cut federal aid.

Or, in other words, all of the usual from the liberal-fascist playbook: federal threats, bribery, and blackmail. The origins of the Constitution’s withering and eventual death are to be found not in some sudden catastrophic event, but in the formerly sovereign States’ insidiously slow-growing dependence on mass infusions of Leviathan cash. Ironic, isn’t it, that the origins of that go back to the South’s defeat in the Civil War and the resulting end of the entire concept of States’ Rights—one of the bedrock ideas the Founders had for establishing a national government in the first place.

The federal gummint didn’t conquer or subjugate us all into our current status of federal chattel, not directly. It didn’t have to. It hooked us on the toxic nectar from the federal sugar-tit instead. It didn’t force us to our knees; it asked us, with the implicit threat left unstated, and we willingly knelt.

Say what you will about the hideous nature of what John C Calhoun (among others) dubbed the “Peculiar Institution”; hell, I’ll happily and wholeheartedly agree with you. I won’t even argue that Lincoln wasn’t a national savior of a sort and a great man, nor will I make the usual Unreconstructed Southerner’s argument that slavery wasn’t the prime cause of the war to start with. But there was some pretty dark stuff to come oozing out of the winning side in that conflict too, and we’re only just beginning to see the poison in it. Guess that’s just the nature of deep wounds, both personal and national.

(Via Bill)

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Free trade

Isn’t.

What was the bait and switch? This. Lure intellectuals and then politicians into a lobster trap of one-world government by means of the promise of greater wealth through free trade. Create free trade alliances that are in fact not free trade but rather trade managed by international bureaucrats. This is a combination of low tariffs and detailed regulations of production and distribution. Economic regulation favors large multinational firms that can afford lots of expensive lawyers. This regulatory system creates economic barriers against newer, more innovative, but under-capitalized competitors. In short, use the bait of greater national wealth to persuade national leaders into agreeing to a treaty-based international government that requires member nations to surrender much of national sovereignty. The final stage is the creation on centralized regional governments that absorb national governments into an immense international bureaucratic system that regulates most areas of life.

The arguments favoring free trade go back to David Hume in 1752, and later to his friend Adam Smith, whose Wealth of Nations (1776) presented a comprehensive case. Liberty is more productive than statist bureaucracy.

Free trade simply means that two people can legally agree to an exchange if they choose to. Simple. The idea of voluntary exchange is hated by those producers who cannot compete effectively, but the case is both logical and moral.

The reason why the Rockefeller Foundation paid F. A. Hayek, Wilhelm Röpke, and Ludwig von Mises to write books on international trade was to provide the economic bait.

Raymond Fosdick went on John D. Rockefeller, Sr.’s payroll no later than 1913. He went on Junior’s payroll no later than 1916. He had met Fosdick in 1910. Fosdick was one of Woodrow Wilson’s protégés at Princeton. A brief summary of his career is here. It does not cover his time at the Versailles Peace Conference, where he and Jean Monnet worked together in 1919 to create the League of Nations. It does not mention Monnet. It also does not cover his time as Junior’s personal lawyer and advisor, 1920-1936. His brother Harry was on the board of the Foundation from 1917 on.

Another Wilson protégé was John Foster Dulles. He was the grandson of John Foster, Secretary of State under Harrison, known as “the fixer.” He was also the nephew of Robert Lansing, Wilson’s Secretary of State, who helped take the government into World War I. He was Secretary of State under Eisenhower. He was the defense attorney for Harry Emerson Fosdick in Fosdick’s 1924 trial for heresy in the northern Presbyterian Church. He had been one of America’s richest lawyers in the 1930’s. He was a committed globalist. He was a deal-maker between American firms and the Hitler government until a revolt in his own firm got him to stop. He was an early promoter of the World Council of Churches, founded in 1948. He also presented a program in the 1930’s for creating an international government funded by a low tax on international trade that would be created for the sake of huge firms — his clients. They would be exempted from national tariffs.

These men were globalists. They proclaimed the doctrine of free trade, but always with this proviso: free trade was the bait for creating an international government with managed trade.

Worth pondering the next time you hear Krauthammer or George Will or some other de facto Hillary supporter pounding on Trump over his lack of commitment to a “free trade” ideal which has never been even close to existing in the first place.

Via Vox, who adds:

My belief is Gary North is gradually stumbling his way towards the truth, which is that there is no bait-and-switch, the globalists genuinely believe in free trade because free trade destroys nations and national sovereignty. After all, no less a personage than Karl Marx supported it for precisely that reason; he considered it a weapon in the arsenal of international socialism.

Free trade has been a bedrock Republican shibboleth for about as long as I can remember. Might be about time we reconsidered that one, too.

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The “fuck you” government

They’ll never, ever stop. They’ll have to BE stopped.

The Environmental Protection Agency wants to increase the amount of renewable fuel in the nation’s gasoline supply by about 700 million gallons in 2017.

The agency proposed adding 18.8 billion gallons of renewable fuel to gasoline in 2017 in the newest Renewable Fuel Standard announced Wednesday afternoon. That would cause renewable fuel to make up 10.44 percent of the nation’s gasoline supply in 2017, the EPA said.

The proposed standard could push past the blend wall, which oil companies characterize as the point at which a car’s engine can be harmed by having too much ethanol in gasoline. About two-thirds of the vehicles on the road are covered for the damage in their warranties, according to biofuel groups.

And that other third? Hey, fuck you. Not to mention the damage this piss-water swill does to small engines—mowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers, generators, etc—which is even more severe than the way it gums up your car*. But again, the typical government response: fuck you, do what we say. It’s for your own good. Trust us on that.

The EPA has announced previously that it anticipates lower gasoline prices will drive up demand, which would dilute the percentage of ethanol in gasoline. Congress requires the EPA to regulate the volume of renewable fuels in the nation’s gasoline supply rather than requiring it to be a certain percentage.

As is specifically required in that irrelevant and useless dead letter, the US Constitution. I mean, I haven’t seen it myself, but it’s bound to be in there somewhere.

The first public hearing on the proposal is set for June 9 in Kansas City. Public input and comment is open until July 11.

And won’t make one thin dime’s worth of difference. Fuck you, do what we say. But hey, at least they’re keeping up the thin pretense, right? They do respect their prostrate subjects that much, I guess.

Frank Macchiarola, director of the downstream group at the American Petroleum Institute, said the EPA was not protecting consumers.

“Consumers’ interest should come ahead of ethanol interests,” Macchiarola said. “EPA is pushing consumers to use high ethanol blends they don’t want and that are not compatible with most cars on the road today. The administration is potentially putting the safety of American consumers, their vehicles and our economy at risk.”

So? Fuck you, do what we say.

There are now two operative phrases that underly nearly everything this government does: fuck you, do what we say, and fuck you, pay me. But the truly important part of it is: fuck you. Now run all that codswallop about the “land of the free, home of the brave” again for me, whydon’tcha.

It occurs to me that rather than being the celebration of a hazy, distant fantasy that it is now, it would be far more appropriate and meaningful if the Fourth of July became something more like a national day of mourning, with flags at half staff, black armbands, symbolic burials, somber eulogies, and the whole funereal megillah.

Yeah, yeah, I know, buzzkill. But the bumper-sticker truth remains: the Founders would have been shooting by now. And the EPA and its fascist edicts are but one of many reasons why.

*This is a good article by a small-engine specialist that explains the damage ethanol does to these things, with pictures to demonstrate it.

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The times, they have a-changed

War is the health of the State.

Until August 1914 a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. He could live where he liked and as he liked. He had no official number or identity card. He could travel abroad or leave his country for ever without a passport or any sort of official permission. He could exchange his money for any other currency without restriction or limit. He could buy goods from any country in the world on the same terms as he bought goods at home. For that matter, a foreigner could spend his life in this country without permit and without informing the police. Unlike the countries of the European continent, the state did not require its citizens to perform military service. An Englishman could enlist, if he chose, in the regular army, the navy, or the territorials. He could also ignore, if he chose, the demands of national defence. Substantial householders were occasionally called on for jury service. Otherwise, only those helped the state who wished to do so. The Englishman paid taxes on a modest scale: nearly £200 million in 1913-14, or rather less than 8 per cent. of the national income. The state intervened to prevent the citizen from eating adulterated food or contracting certain infectious diseases. It imposed safety rules in factories, and prevented women, and adult males in some industries, from working excessive hours. The state saw to it that children received education up to the age of 13. Since 1 January 1909, it provided a meagre pension for the needy over the age of 70. Since 1911, it helped to insure certain classes of workers against sickness and unemployment. This tendency towards more state action was increasing. Expenditure on the social services had roughly doubled since the Liberals took office in 1905. Still, broadly speaking, the state acted only to help those who could not help themselves. It left the adult citizen alone.

All this was changed by the impact of the Great War. The mass of the people became, for the first time, active citizens. Their lives were shaped by orders from above; they were required to serve the state instead of pursuing exclusively their own affairs. Five million men entered the armed forces, many of them (though a minority) under compulsion. The Englishman’s food was limited, and its quality changed, by government order. His freedom of movement was restricted; his conditions of work prescribed. Some industries were reduced or closed, others artificially fostered. The publication of news was fettered. Street lights were dimmed. The sacred freedom of drinking was tampered with: licensed hours were cut down, and the beer watered by order. The very time on the clocks was changed. From 1916 onwards, every Englishman got up an hour earlier in summer than he would otherwise have done, thanks to an act of parliament. The state established a hold over its citizens which, though relaxed in peacetime, was never to be removed and which the second World war was again to increase. The history of the English state and of the English people merged for the first time.

Funny how so many “temporary” wartime measures turn out to be anything but. But the truth is that power glommed by the government, and liberty stolen from the people, are two of the most permanent things in existence.

(Via Jay Nordlinger)

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Governance versus government

A fearful master.

Cooperation, such as pooling money and labor, mutual defense, and protection of the weak, is good. The moment you add theft and aggression — the defining characteristics of government — all the good is gone.

Force and taxation changes governance into government. It poisons everything it touches. It turns restrooms into battlegrounds of “must” and “must not,” where everything not prohibited is mandatory. It eliminates private property and self ownership. It turns personal choices into crimes.

Statists are those who believe governing others is a legitimate activity. To this end they try to confuse you. They know you recognize governance can be good and necessary, so they substitute the degraded form, government, and hope you don’t notice their sleight of hand.

Governance includes self control, but self control is never externally imposed. It doesn’t enslave. Government, in the form of the state, is always evil. Always harmful. Always a net negative to society.

I think he just might be onto something here.

(Via WRSA)

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Re-learning another old lesson

The revolution will not be centralized.

Centralization, command, and control—the tendencies that defined the twentieth centuries—are in their death throes, done in by their failures and the residual progress they’ve failed to kill. The signs are everywhere. If war is the health of the state, then states are sickly indeed. The most militaristic government on the planet, that of the United States, has not cleanly won a war since 1945, unless one wants to call Grenada a war. What has stymied the US has not been superior military force—the US has the world’s biggest arsenal and most technologically advanced military—but the force that is stymying centralization at every turn: decentralization.

Multimillion-dollar aircraft, tanks, and aircraft carriers can be destroyed by missiles fired from a variety of platforms, their cost a trivial fraction of that which they destroy. Small, diffuse terrorist cells inflict mayhem, destruction and death, especially when they have members willing to die for their cause. The major military powers upgrade their counterinsurgency and counterterrorism efforts and buy ever larger, more costly, and complex weaponry and systems. Both approaches have been self-evident failures, the former a losing game of whack-a-mole, the latter leading only to chaos, political instability, blowback, and the spread of terrorism and refugees, but no discernible victories. Large, complicated, cumbersome, and expensive keeps losing to small, simple, nimble, and cheap.

The most important election this year is the British referendum June 23 on EU membership. The EU has followed the US’s disastrous policies in the Middle East and Northern Africa and has been unable to deal with the refugee and terrorist blowback from those policies. It has no strategy for resolving the issues stemming from the debt of its de facto bankrupt members, other than have the ECB buy it. Growth has been smothered by taxes, regulations, cronyism, and monetary idiocy. European youth have the “opportunity” to pay some of the world’s highest tax rates to fund the world’s most generous welfare state benefits. Those looking for other opportunities—private sector jobs, leaving home, starting families, building wealth—must look elsewhere.

Why would Great Britain want to plight its troth with this gang of incompetents? Why would anyone think it can’t do better by going it alone? These are questions the political establishments in Europe, Great Britain, and the US would rather not have asked, much less have to answer. The animating impulse behind the Brexit movement is one no political power can acknowledge—the desire for more freedom from that political power. Does life become more or less free for the British if they subject themselves to cabbage regulations of 26,911 words? Individuals generally have more of a say in a smaller, closer governmental unit than a larger, more remote one. For anyone living in Great Britain, both literally and figuratively it’s a shorter trip to London than it is to Brussels.

At least the British have a chance to decide this question by a peaceful political process. In the US, smaller political subdivisions have no way to opt out, and this type of restriction characterizes political arrangements in much of the rest of world, leaving violence as the only way to sunder them. In that respect, the non-secession stricture needs urgent reconsideration. Centralization is collapsing under its own weight, discouraging its many proponents not at all. A decentralizing reversal will not be sufficient to restore freedom, but it will be necessary. Almost certainly that reversal will be accompanied by chaotic violence, as current arrangements leave no other choice.

The Brexit vote is more important than the US presidential election because whoever wins in November will be chained to the failing US government, while the British have an opportunity to shed some of their chains. Regardless of who wins in the US, the government will not relinquish its resources, power, or corruption.

The Founders knew that smaller, diffuse, and local simply works better than bigger, centralized, and more remote. It is more flexible, just, humane, and responsive to the people governed than our bloated, top-down, one-size-fits-none Leviathan. It’s why they set this country up the way they did. They were correct in their assertion. We abandoned it to our own great harm and loss, and will have to fight, bleed, and die merely to re-establish what they long ago fought, bled, and died to give us…assuming enough of us are left who actually want that in the first place, an assumption that is very far from certain.

(Via WRSA)

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WHO’S the authoritarian again, now?

Three guesses.

What are the authoritarian supporters of Trump accused of wanting? The Taub piece says policies such as “prioritizing military force over diplomacy against countries that threaten the United States; amending the Constitution to bar citizenship for children of illegal immigrants; imposing extra airport checks on passengers who appear to be of Middle Eastern descent; and requiring all citizens to carry a national ID card to show a police officer on request.”

Not everyone will agree on the desirability of those four proposals, but it’s not clear how approving of them is evidence of authoritarianism. Reasonable people may differ on the question of birthright citizenship, but the better argument is that the Fourteenth Amendment does not confer U.S. citizenship on the children of illegal aliens. For a short debate on the issue, see here.

Even if all the policies cited were evidence of authoritarianism, they are hardly more authoritarian than the 82,000-page Federal Register, which imposes a burden on the American people of $1.8 trillion a year, according to Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Or President Obama’s mandate that everyone must buy health insurance. Or that Roman Catholic nuns must have health insurance that covers contraceptives and abortifacients. Or that disoriented boys who see themselves as girls must be allowed to shower with girls. And what about former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s war on sodas and other sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces?

Progressivism — the proper name for the governing philosophy of those people who used to be called “liberals” — is inherently authoritarian, and its primary products are lamentation, and mourning, and woe.

Not to mention poverty, failure, and stagnation; a permanent-adolescent class of perpetual Wards O’ The State; a cowed populace which fears worse than cancer the prospect of taking even the smallest risk; and–sitting atop them all suffocating creativity, independence, and the American spirit– a bloated, unresponsive, and, yes, authoritarian central government.

All of which are in actuality features, not bugs. Small wonder, then, that both Uniparty wings–Republicrat and Demican–hate and fear him so intensely.

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Too late, too late

He’s right, as far as it goes.

It is sad to see so many people, including those on the Left or in the Democratic Party, criticize the idea of a Trump presidency without ever uttering the phrase: “No man or woman should have so much political power over others.” I agree with many of the moral criticisms of Trump as a leader, but don’t let them distract you from this broader truth.

Fair enough, I guess. But that ship sailed way back around the time of FDR, and it was a one-way trip. Expecting Progressivists to worry about such is particularly absurd, since their entire philosophy is based on “experts” having total and unchecked power over everybody and everything.

(Via Insty)

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Atrocity

I’ve been putting off writing about this one because, especially as the parent of a 6 year old myself, the thought that an absolutely horrific injustice like this can and does happen in what was once America is too sickening and infuriating to contemplate for very long.

On Monday, agents from L.A. County’s Department of Children and Family Services removed 6-year-old Lexi from her family of four years because she’s 1.6% American Indian. Foster-care parents the Pages were told of the decision on Friday night and before they could contest it, authorities ripped the child from her home and gave her to a family in Utah. The video footage of this is hard to watch. Her siblings Maddie, Zoey, and Caleb are hysterical and so is Lexi. I can’t look at it without bawling like an infant. I was reminded of a similar tearjerker in Ann Coulter’s book Guiltywhere she describes adopted 3-year-old Danny crying, “Please, Mommy, I’ll be good. Don’t make me leave. I’ll be good,” to his adoptive mother as the state drags the boy back to his biological mother (a single mom who had changed her mind). Lexi had similar pleas.

I spoke to the Page’s attorney Lori Alvino McGill, who told me the Pages had already won two appeals against the Utah family. It’s all very complicated with the appeals court ruling for the Pages each time and the family court ruling against them. When Lexi arrived at the Pages’ she had a black eye. She came from a Hispanic single mother with no Indian heritage and her father has been in and out of jail for a long time. The various foster-care families she had just come from weren’t much better (it’s there she got the injury). When she arrived at the Pages everything went smoothly, and when the “biological” family in Utah tried to take her, the court told them to get lost, twice. The Pages assumed they were in the clear and were living happily ever after when their world collapsed.

Not only is the law itself ridiculous, the reasons for invoking it in this case are completely insane. She’s 1.6% Choctaw. This means, as her uncle Matt pointed out, “1 of Lexi’s 64 Great Great Great Great Grandparents was Choctaw. 63 of them were not.” Remember how outraged we were when Elizabeth Warren used her alleged 1/32nd Native American status to take advantage of affirmative-action laws? She’s about twice as Indian as Lexi. Warren was pretending to be Cherokee and they’re very liberal with tribe membership because they don’t have any money. My wife’s tribe, the Ho-Chunks, owns a casino and has rights to a land claim settlement, so being a member means regular paychecks. With stakes this high, they cut off membership at anything under 25% and I’ve come to believe that’s a reasonable number. Few would agree 1.6% is also relevant.

The Choctaw tribe is on the defense, issuing a statement that insisted, “The purpose of foster care is to provide temporary care for children while families get services and support to reunite with their children.” Okay, but when a child has been with a loving family from 2 to 6 years of age, all bets are off. The state claims that the foster family knew this was coming, but all they knew was that someone else wanted to take their daughter away. The Pages allowed for visits and Skype calls from the other family, but they were required to do so by law. Twice the court decided the pros of moving Lexi to someone fractionally more Indian don’t even come close to the cons of tearing a little girl from her family.

Even if she was returned tomorrow, we just taught her that you can be stolen from your family at any time. This is a wound that will likely never heal.

Well, on the other hand, in a horrid liberal-fascist tyranny like the one we live in now, that’s probably a useful lesson to learn–for all of us. Read all of it–if you can bear to, without feeling a near-irresistible urge to grab a rifle and a few magazines and go a-huntin’.

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Been there, done that

Kasparov follows up.

I often talk about the need to restore a vision of America as a positive force in the world, a force for liberty and peace. The essential complement to this is having big positive dreams at home as well, of restoring America’s belief in ambition and risk, of innovation and exploration, of free markets and free people. America transformed the 20th century in its image with its unparalleled success. American technology created the modern world while American culture infused it and American values inspired it.

In recent decades that storyline has flipped. The tireless work ethic and spirit of risk-taking and sacrifice have slowly eroded. This complacency was accelerated by the end of the Cold War and it has proved very difficult to overcome in the absence of an existential enemy to compete with. The booming innovation engine of job creation has fallen behind the accelerating pace of technology that replaces workers. The result has been slower growth, stagnant wages, and the steady shift of wealth from labor to capital. In such situations many people turn to the government for help and the siren song of socialism grows louder.

The historical record is clear. It’s capitalism that brought billions of people out of poverty in the 20th century. It’s socialism that enslaved them and impoverished them. Of course Senator Sanders does not want to turn America into a totalitarian state like the one I grew up in. But it’s a valuable example of the inevitable failure of a state-run economy and distribution system. (Check in on Venezuela for a more recent example.) Once you give power to the government it is nearly impossible to get it back, and it will be used in ways you cannot expect.

The USSR collapsed because it couldn’t compete over time, despite its massive resources and devout ideology. The Soviets put a man in space before America but couldn’t keep up the pace against an innovating, free-market competitor. My Facebook post went around the world on technology created in America. The networks, the satellites, the software, nearly every ingredient in every mobile device and desktop computer, was invented in the USA. It is not a coincidence that the most capitalist country in the world created all these things. Innovation requires freedom of thought, freedom of capital, and people who believe in changing the world.

Yes, the free market can be cruel and it is by definition unequal. It has winners and losers. It also sparks the spirit of creativity that humanity desperately needs to flourish in our ever-increasing billions. Failure is an essential part of innovation and the free market. Of every 10 new companies, perhaps nine will fail in brutal Darwinian competition. A centrally-planned economy cannot imitate this engine of creative destruction because you cannot plan for failure. You cannot predestine which two college dropouts in a garage will produce the next Apple.

Just read all of it. He ain’t right on everything (“I respect and even like Bernie Sanders”? My God, man, why?!?). But he’s damned sure right on quite a lot. I especially like this bit:

To give credit, Senator Sanders supports breaking up the giant banking institutions that dominate American finance and politics in a way that would evoke jealousy from John Pierpont Morgan himself. However, Sanders’s socialist policies would replace banks that are too big to fail with a government that is too big to succeed.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

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Anybody surprised?

If so, may I ask what the hell planet you’ve been living on all these years?

The setup:

Apparently the FBI is in fact asking Apple for the sort of assistance least injurious to its security system: Gabe says they’d let Apple retain the phone in its security-crippled state, while the FBI attempted the brute-force manner of cracking the security code (which shouldn’t take all that long — 10,000 or even 100,000 variations in a possible touchpad security code could take days to break for a computer).

That way, the key is never not in Apple’s sole possession. I suppose the FBI could try to hack the key as they perform this operation, but I also suppose Apple could have people on staff watching for just that, and ready to stop them. And then go to the court saying, accurately, the FBI has violated its own conditions.

It’s a good post. If these things are true, Apple’s position is weaker than it seemed to me.

All well and good, I guess, except that part where you forgot the First Rule Of Government: give ’em an inch, and they’ll take a mile. In other words, in a sort of inversion of the First Rule Of Bargaining (wherein your initial proposal is way more than you actually expect to get in the end), the first thing the government demands is not by any means what they really want, or expect to get; they’re going to wind up with absolutely everything they can glom onto before it’s all said and done. Thus:

The Justice Department is pursuing court orders to make Apple Inc. help investigators extract data from iPhones in about a dozen undisclosed cases around the country, in disputes similar to the current battle over a terrorist’s locked phone, according to a newly-unsealed court document.

The other phones are evidence in cases where prosecutors have sought, as in the San Bernardino, Calif., terror case, to use an 18th-century law called the All Writs Act to compel the company to help them bypass the passcode security feature of phones that may hold evidence, according to a letter from Apple which was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday.

The letter, written last week from an Apple lawyer to a federal judge, lists the locations of those phone cases: Four in Illinois, three in New York, two in California, two in Ohio, and one in Massachusetts.

The letter doesn’t describe the specific types of criminal investigations related to those phones, but people familiar with them said they don’t involve terrorism cases.

Yesterday: just one phone, and it’s TERRORISM, you guys! Today: just twelve phones, but that’s ABSOLUTELY ALL, we promise! And the check is in the mail, and that gooey, slimy stuff on your chin is DEFINITELY not semen, and we didn’t do it, and it never happened, and it was three other guys anyway. Tomorrow: THE WORLD.

Suckers. Hats off to Apple for resisting these sneaks and snoops. And I don’t really much care what Apple’s motives might be in doing so, nor how much FederalGovCo and its handwringing neocon cheering section may weep and wail over the prospect of “damaging” or “hindering” their ability to prosecute the phony War On Something Or Other by refusing to give these dimestore dictators a free pass to spy on anybody and everybody via their phones. Those of you offended by Apple’s insolence and insubordination can get back to me when you’re ready to name the real enemy in your phony “war” and start doing something effective about them, rather than simply using Muslim terrorism as an excuse to expand the Superstate and hogtie us even worse than we are now.

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The good guys

Or, y’know…not.

It is possible that what is really at play here is an emotional response to protest culture. Seeing the Black Lives Matters miscreants and Baltimore rioters on one side of the line, conservatives instinctively want to be on the other side of the line. The same thing happened with the Iraq-war protests: When the dirty hippies take to the barricades, conservatives are drawn to the other side. That led to some bad thinking and poor decision-making about Iraq. Are we making the same mistake with regard to police misconduct and allegations of police misconduct?

Let him with eyes see.

…This happens like clockwork. Today, it is the Los Angeles sheriff. Before that, it was the Los Angeles Police Department, whose anti-gang task force became a rolling crime wave of its own, with 70 officers eventually implicated in unlawful shootings, bank robbery, drug dealing, theft, planting false evidence, framing suspects, destroying evidence of their wrongdoing and the usual perjury, perjury, and perjury. Then came Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, NYPD detectives convicted in 2006 on a raft of charges — racketeering, extortion, drug-dealing, murder and conspiracy to commit murder, running an illegal gambling ring, obstruction of justice — as part of a 20-year crime spree that ranged from New York to Las Vegas. They were armed with NYPD badges and weapons. Most of their crimes were committed in connection with the Gambino crime family, to which Eppolito was related through his father.

It isn’t always that dramatic: In Fairview, Tenn., a new police detective was just fired after responding to a prostitution ad. An NYPD officer was awarded $15 million in damages for being kidnapped and beaten inside his own home by other NYPD officers with a score to settle. Honolulu announced that in 2015 it fired a record number of officers for misconduct. A cop in Memphis is being charged with “official oppression” — though not rape — for using his position to pressure a woman into performing a sex act on him while he was on duty. Pittsburgh’s DA is refiling criminal charges against a police officer for assaulting a man while moonlighting as a security officer. A New Orleans police officer saw his 17-year sentence reduced for his conviction in burning the body of a man improperly shot by another New Orleans police officer. Elsewhere in Louisiana, authorities have settled upon “suicide” as the explanation for the death of a man in police custody who somehow managed to shoot himself in the chest while his hands were handcuffed behind his back in the back of a police cruiser.

These things will happen, you say. And that’s true: But all these things happened last Friday.

It isn’t a few scattered misdeeds when it’s the NYPD, the LAPD, the Baltimore PD, the Los Angeles sheriff’s department, and more. That’s not a few bad apples — that’s the orchard. And it needs pruning.

Read all of it. I am by no means a reflexive cop-basher; over the years, I’ve had friends and family who were cops, and a good chunk of our customer base at the shop is cops, both retired and active-duty. They’re good folks, all of them. But I also have to say this: with the increasing militarization of police forces all over the country, the fundamental, traditional role of the police in this country is being obscured if not outright lost, and it seems there are far too many people being drawn to police work these days for precisely the wrong reasons.

Crooked, abusive cops who amount to little more than thugs with badges we will always have with us. But in a police state, we’re going to have a lot more of them percentage-wise. The right guys will sicken of the job and walk away; the wrong ‘uns will indulge their worst instincts to whatever extent they think they can get away with. The problem isn’t with the police per se; the problem is with the police state. It brings out the worst in all of us; as Steyn always says, the bigger the government, the smaller the people. Only a fool would expect that the cops would be somehow exempt from that. If we’re going to talk about pruning orchards, we ought to acknowledge that it ain’t just the police force that’s going to need it.

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Capitalism: the worst system in the world

Except for all the others.

Back in 1995, now-Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said, “I personally happen not to be a great believer in the free enterprise system for many reasons.”

And having watched Sanders during this primary season, it doesn’t appear to me that the self-described democratic socialist has much changed his opinion of capitalism. Which is both amazing and appalling. The single greatest story of human achievement of the past 2,000 years is the dramatic rise in living standards of the past 200 years. It’s an astounding ascent — see above chart — driven by innovative, entrepreneurial capitalism. Free enterprise. Economic freedom.

Yep–or what’s left of it, anyway. Which, in itself (as I’ve said several times before here), is a strong statement of the resilience and enduring strength of capitalism too. That it can still manage to create some level of prosperity for the majority of people, even after sixty years of being badly hobbled by the creeping Superstate of so-called “democratic socialism” speaks volumes. Ed puts it best:

And to turn a Bernie-esque argument on its head, look at how much it’s accomplished while having to drag the parasite of socialism alongside it for well over a century. Imagine what it could to do if it was really unleashed.

The awful irony is that socialist idiots have crafted a pretty handy free pass for themselves: they get to blame all of socialism’s myriad, predictable, and inevitable failures on capitalism–mostly because of the government schools’ failure to properly educate, preferring rather to indoctrinate. Final irony: guess who that little malfeasance can be chalked up to.

Well, no, I take it back; the final irony is the sight of muttonheaded college kids blasting out adoring pro-Bernie messages vilifying capitalism and free markets and extolling socialism…on their smartphones. Which wouldn’t even exist without…well, you know.

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The root of all evil

And of all our troubles, too.

In December, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education released a “Draft Policy Statement on Family Engagement From the Early Years to the Early Grades.” It all sounds nice enough, until you start reading and you realize that the U.S. government thinks it’s your dad.

“It is the position of the Departments,” the draft reads, “that all early childhood programs and schools recognize families as equal partners in improving children’s development, learning and wellness across all settings, and over the course of their children’s developmental and educational experiences.” Equal partners? How generous of them! Later in the document, we learn that government schools—you know, those lofty paragons of excellence and common sense—should “offer families leadership training” and “parenting interventions,” “encourage family networks,” and, perhaps more ominously, track “family engagement data.”

What kind of “family engagement data”? I’m glad you asked. The draft suggests, among other things, “a valid and reliable assessment of the teacher/provider-family relationships,” the “number of home visits made by teachers,” and that time you forgot to bring in gluten-free cupcakes for the Winter Solstice Holiday. (They don’t really mention that last one, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.) This draft, as a reminder, was brought to you by the good folks in Washington, D.C., where the local public school system spends an average of $17,953 per pupil to get a mere 12 percent of their students proficient in geometry.

No one should be surprised to see the government encroaching on the family sphere. Nature abhors a vacuum, and in America, the traditional family appears on the brink of collapse.

Oh, there’s more to it than just that, and the encroachment is no more an accident or coincidence than the collapse of the family is. There’s an agenda at work here, and only a fool would be so blind as to fail to see it when it’s continually slapping us upside the head like it is.

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“Bring back Officer Friendly! Robocop sucks”

Life in the American Police State. Or, “Your papers, comrade.”

Let me say up front that I know this will be unpopular. But I can’t help the uneasiness that I feel toward law enforcement lately…and I have some good reasons. Gone are the days of Officer Friendly, the neighborhood cop who knows everyone and is looking out for the community’s best interest. It seems that lately, police officers end up terrorizing those they are supposed to be serving and protecting. Clearly, not all police are acting this way, but it sure seems the police state is ramping up. I have a high respect for police officers who respect the law. The rest of them, though…they scare me.

That’s the whole idea, and their whole purpose.

It pains me to have to alert my children to the dangers we face from police. I was raised to respect them—and I do respect the good ones. But what is happening in my hometown of Chicago and all across this nation should worry everyone. “To Serve and Protect” is too often “To Harass and Punish.” Police need to submit to the authority of the Constitution again. I am going to encourage my children to recognize when their rights are being violated and to politely refuse to play.

I feel the same way about it myself. But you ought to make sure your kid also knows, for his own protection and in the interest of being fully informed and aware, that if he “refuses to play” he’s most likely going to get arrested at the very least, with a good old group ass-beating to follow–either at the precinct house or right there in the street in front of God and everybody–and it won’t matter in the least how politely he asserts his nonexistent “rights.”

As far as the authorities are concerned, he has one right, and one right only: the “right” to do exactly as he’s told, with no back-sass and no assertion of chimerical “rights” whatsoever. Best tack to take: make sure your kid knows that NO American authority figure is to be trusted–ever–and the proper rule of thumb is to keep as much distance, physical and otherwise, between them and himself as is humanly possible.

The sad, bitter truth is this: in liberal-fascist Amerika v2.0, he has no rights at all that the cops are bound to respect; there will be no repercussions against the cops for running roughshod over them; and above all, the Constitution is as dead, irrelevant, and forgotten as that old “to protect and serve” slogan is. It has no authority worthy of the name; the authorities have glommed it all, and the rest of us can go suck it. And if you think any amount at all of “concern” or “worry” is going to suffice to change that, you’re kidding yourself.

All too real update! Imagine.

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The peasants are revolting!

I have a slight problem with this.

The BLM, and in particular its regional office in Oregon, has engaged in a long pattern of attempting to squeeze private landowners off their property and gobbling up real estate adjacent to federal holdings. In the case of the Malheur bird preserve, this has included abusing water management in order to flood private lands and make them useless, so the owners in desperation agree to sell. But the Hammond family have been a holdout among local ranchers, to such an extent that their property is surrounded by federal lands and they have dealt with the BLM blockading roads leading in and out of their ranch.

In that environment, it’s sadly less than surprising that the BLM and the federal government threw the book at the Hammonds over a pair of fire-related incidents in 2001 and 2006 and found a way to put them in prison. Hammond père and fils were actually convicted under a significantly inappropriate federal anti-terrorism statute carrying a five-year minimum sentence, and the trial judge was so offended by the idea of five years for what they actually did that he refused to impose it — giving Dwight a three-month sentence and Steven a year.

The judge, Michael Hogan, was so lenient likely out of a sense of shame that he allowed the prosecution to go forward in the first place. For the “terrorism” in question was a pair of incidents where the Hammonds started fires on their own land only to have those fires cross into the bird preserve and touch small amounts of federal grassland. In both cases the fires were put out by the Hammonds themselves; the 2006 fire was actually lit as a back-burn intended to protect Hammond property and their ranch-house from a wildfire started by lightning strikes, and it was successful in doing so.

Hogan also ran a fairly kangaroo-court style proceeding, giving the prosecutors six days to present their case and the defense just one. A jury confused and exhausted by the trial acquitted the defendants on most of the 19 charges. The judge brokered a plea agreement in the case, in which the Hammonds agreed not to appeal the case and also — this is key — to agree to a right of first refusal for the BLM to buy their property.

Dwight and Steven Hammond served the sentences Hogan imposed, and went home to the ranch in an effort to keep it alive.

And meanwhile, Oregon’s horrifically unqualified U.S. Attorney at the time, a leftist moonbat named Amanda Marshall — raised in a commune and reared on Grateful Dead concerts and socialism and plucked for the job out of a child advocacy sinecure in Oregon’s state bureaucracy in a pristine example of runaway affirmative action by the Obama administration — refused to accept the sentences or the plea agreement. The Department of Justice actually appealed the case and managed to get a ruling from the 9thCircuit Court of Appeals imposing the mandatory five-year sentence. And in stupidity typical of the 9th Circus, the court reasoned that violating the spirit of the principle of double jeopardy (not to mention the plea agreement) was justified in this case, as Jacob Sullum notes, because other more absurd results based on mandatory minimum sentences were not overturned.

The Hammonds reported Monday to serve out their newly increased sentences, when they shouldn’t have served a day. Their case should create maximum blowback against the shocking abuse and affront to the senses this tyrannical federal government commits on a constant basis, and the taxpayer-funded troglodytes responsible up and down the chain ought to be named, shamed, and hounded off the public teat.

But what the Bundy brigade is doing isn’t going to work. They’re just provocative enough to fire up the Left and create demands for their blood, but not enough to actually create the credible threat of making it impossible for Obama’s government to govern. As such, what effect they do produce is likely negative consequences to themselves — perhaps dire ones.

And martyrs to the cause of limited government are not what that cause needs. What it needs is the ability to, Saul Alinsky-style, make it impossible for the federal government to carry out the abuses it conjures through nonviolent but highly provocative organized action capturing the public’s imagination and properly casting the Federal conjurers as villains.

If that means giving the Bundys, or somebody just as committed but significantly more capable, a copy of Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals, great.

Okay, McKay did an excellent job with this article and all, up to that point. Yes, this despicable tyranny is unfit to govern a free nation; it should be resisted at every possible turn and ultimately hamstrung, if not brought down outright and replaced with a government based on and limited by the US Constitution. It would be far preferable if these things were brought to pass by non-violent means.

None of these things are even remotely likely to happen.

That said, though–what? Is McKay seriously, literally suggesting that the answer to the Hammonds’ problem is to give them a copy of Rules For Radicals? Really? How exactly does that work? Will that remove even one of the BLM roadblocks? Will it give the swarms of federal bureaucrats and lawyers sent hither a second’s pause as they go about their sworn business of harassing the people and eating out their substance? Is it supposed to make their bosses, both “elected” and unelected, stop and think about what the Constitution really means, and dedicate themselves to its restoration?

Alinsky, along with his kindred spirit Gramsci, were undeniably true men of diabolical genius. Their prescriptions for destroying Constitutional governance and replacing it with a Marxist tyranny have been successful probably beyond their own nefarious dreams. But it took decades to do it, and the Hammonds–and many others suffering under the yoke of American tyranny–don’t have decades. The Hammonds are going to jail now, for the heretofore unimaginable crime of managing their property as they see fit, without doing harm of any kind to a living soul.

If they’re to be reprieved, it won’t be by sitting in jail poring over a book, with an anxious eye always kept towards avoiding giving offense to Leftists. It will be accomplished by bold men with guns defying illegitimate federal authority, rendering it ineffective by daring it to suppress them by force right out in the open, so that people can no longer deny the true nature and identity of the enemy.

Learning the stratagems of that enemy is always a good thing; understanding their goals and how they aim to achieve them is a useful aid in defeating them, sure. But unless we’re to sit back and essentially do nothing while they pick us off one by one, winnowing any potential resistance a bite at a time and keeping the numbers of that resistance down to a manageable level, the time for that is long past. We are now well into the Burning Times, and the matches were all struck long ago.

Yes, a fair argument can still be made for holding back, marshaling our forces and educating a benighted populace as to the nature of the struggle, and of the necessity for it. But I doubt very much if people like the Hammonds–already eye to eye with the Beast, its talons already digging into their throats–are much interested in making it now.

We should concern ourselves with what liberal-fascists think of our actions in the struggle against their usurpation of our God-given rights no more than we should the Moslems. To hell with them. It’s war, or very nearly so; just about the only thing missing so far is artillery, and once the Waco/Ruby Ridge line has been crossed again (as the Left is already bloodthirstily urging in this case, while still advocating for giving violent jihad a free pass) the step to artillery becomes very short indeed–a matter of when, not if. And if you think this government would hesitate to take it, you’re dreaming. They haven’t spent years giving tanks to all those small-town cop shops for nothing, you know.

To hell with them. More power to the Hammonds and the Bundys. I wish them every success, and I hope they can do their bit to stop despotism without any of their own blood being shed in the process. They’re on the front line in the fight against tyranny–not later, not someday, right the fuck now–and they should be applauded and supported by all true Americans, not scorned and denounced from the (ahem) rear echelons.

(Via Ed)

Update!We don’t trust them, and you shouldn’t either.” Another via WRSA that you definitely need to read, especially if you think the Obama junta “wouldn’t dare” do anything you can think of to preserve and expand its dictatorship. Note, too, that Oathkeepers is NOT in favor of the Bundys’ actions here, and given that their reasons for that (including that the Hammonds are NOT supportive of the Bundys’ actions here either) seem to be good ones, I may have to rethink the gist of this whole post myself.

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