The ground-level view

If you’ve noticed that what the people Salena Zito calls “our cultural narrative-makers” are reporting is quite often at odds with your own daily meatspace reality, particularly life as she is lived in small-town and rural America, well, it ain’t just your imagination. Since this is a relatively short piece and there’s no way to do it justice with some niggardly copy ‘n’ pastery, I’m just gonna repost the whole thing, with my apologies to Ms Zito and the good folks at American Greatness for the misappropriation. It’s an important story she’s telling, I think, and deserves to be brought before as wide an audience as possible.

Seeing America from the Ground
OTTAWA, Ohio—This is not a story about politics. Instead, it is a story about America and how sometimes, you can discover something new when you try to absorb the country’s character one mile at a time and when you take in a place on its own terms and not simply the terms of wherever you came from.

A couple of weeks ago, a native Long Islander who has called New York City his home for half a dozen years took his first trip to the Midwest for a news assignment to discuss what he found different about the way of life out here.

He flew to both Chicago and Detroit to learn about this foreign land.

The social media criticism of the resulting story was swift and brutal. The piece wasn’t any worse than the typical story flyover country folk read about themselves. But the oddest thing was that he tried to find the “Midwest” solely in the big cities of Chicago and Detroit. The true measure of the Midwest begins somewhere near the Pennsylvania state line.

Had he driven the 21 hours and 18 minutes it would take on the back roads between New York City and Chicago, he would have had one heck of a story to write about the country and the Midwest.

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, is a beautiful town surrounded by the mountains of Pisgah Ridge and is dotted with architectural styles that range from Federalist, Greek Revival, Romanesque Revival, and Queen Anne to Richardsonian Romanesque. How the former town of Mauch Chunk was renamed for the Native American sports legend is, in microcosm, the story of this town: the ingenuity of civic leaders who deeply care about preserving a place in a changing world.

Then, at the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, by some measures the official threshold of the Midwest, he would have found himself in Ashtabula, Ohio. There, he could have begun his education as to how the Great Lakes Midwest has struggled and adapted to the tides of progress and technology that have stripped it from its robust industrial past as a major port city and railroad hub.

Deep poverty, crime, and despair, associated with the collapsed inner-city neighborhoods of Chicago and Detroit, would have greeted him in a different form had he driven down Lincoln Highway and found himself in Ford Heights, Illinois. Once a blue-collar, middle-class black suburb, Ford Heights has died so hard, it has been consistently the poorest suburb in America since the beginning of this century.

It’s also one of the most dangerous places in the state. The violent crime rate is so high, it is unimaginable to not be a victim of crime if you live here.

I remember the first time I came through this town nearly a decade ago and found a makeshift altar on the side of an abandoned gas station lined with bottles of hard liquor, candles, a wilted red rose and the word “love” spelled out with decals. I wept for all of the loss that happened here. A visitor here, with his or her eyes open, learns quickly that deindustrialization is colorblind in sowing despair.

For the majority of my career as a journalist, I have had the opportunity to report on this country from the vantage point of taking the back roads to get from point A to point B for whatever assignment I was given.

I found early in my career in covering politics that parachuting into a city for an event or an interview or a rally or an election gave me little understanding of what was happening in the region. Yet if I made my way there, taking the back roads, I was able to see how things were changing—for better or worse.

When I stopped to talk to people, I learned early on that listening was much more important than talking and that my duty was not to report their stories from my perspective or experiences but instead from theirs.

The story of America isn’t exclusively the story that comes from the perspective of larger cities. Unfortunately, it often appears that way because those are the bases of our cultural narrative-makers: news organizations, institutions, academia, think tanks, major-league sports, and entertainment.

They are so disconnected from most places that it would astound them if they took the time to get on the road and ask them how they feel about the issues of the day. They don’t want their police departments defunded. They want their bridges and roads fixed and their water to be clean. They don’t want critical race theory jammed down their children’s throats. They are horrified at how political the military has become and are worried about the long-lasting impact of the crisis at the border.

They are good neighbors. They love God and aren’t ashamed to show it as much as they like pickles in their beer and ranch dressing on everything.

Whether you take a ride for half an hour, half a day, an entire week, or even a month, there is more good than not out here in this country, despite what you may read in the New York Times or the Washington Post; it cannot be seen or smelt or heard or felt with a mask on in an airplane. It can be experienced if you take the time.

As the saying goes, you can’t report on a country you’ve never been to yourself. Zito, bless her heart, has long been doing the job MFM “journalists” just won’t do. Kudos to her for that.

Back in my road-dog days, there was an outfit from Chicago called Three Blue Teardrops. They were briefly label-mates of ours; we played with ’em a bunch, stayed at their house a few times when we were playing Chi-town, and got to be very good friends with the guys. Hell, we even covered some of their songs, one of them being this ‘un:



Another 3BT tune we did:



According to 3BT’s singer/guitarist Dave Sisson, they were once being hollered at during a show to play that one, and Dave flatly refused to do it. When I asked him why he’d done that, since the song had always been one of their most reliable late-night house-bringer-downers, he told me he considered our version so good as to be the very last word on it, and that he now thought of “Long Hard Night” as a Belmont Playboys song. I was flabbergasted by that one.

Now, the reason I bring the Teardrops up at all is that when they were out on the road, they always went with what I considered an ingenius approach: routing and timing everything to allow for taking those side-roads and byways Zito talks about above, rather than the frantic, get-there-quick-as-you-can interstate dash much more common among harried, hungover road warriors. Whenever our paths would cross, Dave and his crew would wax rhapsodic about having visited the Cadillac Ranch in Texas, or seeing the World’s Biggest Ball of Twine, or what have you. They NEVER took the interstate. For the Teardrops, see, touring wasn’t only about doing shows, making money, selling CDs, or getting your music in front of as many disparate audiences as you could. It was also about enjoying the ride—about experiencing as much of Real America as they could squeeze in, between gigs.

That had never occurred to me before Dave told me about their way of doing things, and after he did I was kinda envious. For instance, the BPs drove within shouting distance of Gettysburg I don’t even know how many times…but never did we have enough time to make a stop and tour the battlefield, which every one of us in that van would LOVED to have done. Hell, my brother even drove up there on his own hook once to do the tour. But I’ve never been, and almost certainly never will now.

Three Blue Teardrops had it right, as does Zito. The true American story can’t be found on TeeWee, the internet, or the interstate highways. It’s out there still, but you gotta take the backroads to get there.

1

Pay heed or die

Some serious sagacity from one of contemporary America’s most perspicacious, sober, and capable writers: Claire Wolf.

Over the years, when people have asked me, “Is it time yet, Claire?” my response has always been something like this: It may be moral to ‘shoot the bastards’ who kill freedom, but this isn’t the time. It doesn’t make tactical or strategic sense. Violence now will only make things much, much worse.

That’s still my strong conviction. To any members of the Deep State trolling the ‘Net desperately searching for those elusive “domestic terrorists” they’re so determined to locate invent: I’m a useless target for you. I don’t advocate violence except in self-defense and I dread seeing anybody, especially freedomistas, start a shooting war.

My hope is, as always, that a bloated, overreaching government will ultimately undermine itself and fall non-violently, as the Soviet Union did. It already seems well on its way.

But lately I’ve been asking myself if perhaps I’m in denial about the depth and urgency — and the possibilities — of our situation.

—-

I’ve been reading the book Comrade X sent me, American Insurgents, American Patriots by T.H. Breen. It focuses on the way ordinary citizens drove the colonies toward revolution, ultimately forcing the more famous leaders to step up and lead.

A large part of it so far concerns the Intolerable Acts and public outrage over them.

Many histories of the Revolution, IIRC, trace a steady growth of resistance from the Stamp Act through the Townshend Acts through the Boston Massacre through the Boston Tea Party through the Intolerable Acts to Lexington and Concord and on to the Declaration of Independence. Maybe so, but Breen positions the Intolerable Acts as the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. What Britain accurately but inadequately called the Coercive Acts turned ordinary, respectable farmers, lawyers, craftsmen, and housewives from angry — but loyal! — British colonists into an outraged force of active, uncompromising, and sometimes ruthless American insurgents.

One thing that struck me as I read was that both sides labored under delusions in the months leading up to the passage of the Acts in the spring of 1774. After the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773, American colonists, especially in Massachusetts, held their breath. They knew punishment would come, but not what form it would take. Because most information about British politics arrived in the form of imported and re-posted newspaper articles, colonists believed the British people were sympathetic to their cause and therefore that punishment would be limited and probably focused only on the guilty.

That was their delusion. Or one of them. They also held a long-cherished a belief that they were the legal, intellectual, and moral equal of any Englishmen, and that their fellow Englishmen saw them in the same light as they saw themselves.

They didn’t realize how implacably — if ineptly — British power brokers were against them. They didn’t realize that much of the English public, and especially the elite, looked down on them as being barely steps above the “savages” they lived among. They were, in short, viewed as the “deplorables,” “bitter clingers,” and “neanderthals” of their day.

While colonists waited and held high hopes, the government of King George III and Lord North decided to crush Boston by closing its harbor and place all of proud, self-governing Massachusetts under the direct supervision of agents of the crown. Listening only to their own self-interested contacts, parliament, lords, and king concluded that a) the ignorant rabble of Boston could be easily starved into submission and that b) nobody outside of Boston would step up in defense.

British authorities assumed the citizens of rural Massachusetts would blame Boston troublemakers, not the British government, for any problems that befell them as a result of the Coercive Acts (which the short-sighted British never considered might be intolerable, because subjects would be forced at gunpoint to tolerate them). Furthermore, and fatally, they assumed residents of the other 12 forever-squabbling colonies would regard the whole mess as a local New England matter and wouldn’t defend their neighbors or, heaven forbid, any general principles of liberty.

Those were their delusions.

While the colonists quickly realized how wrongly they’d judged the British government, the British government never did quite get A Clue about how it had misjudged the colonists.

From the moment the Intolerable Acts were brought across the Atlantic, the colonists were roused into such radical action that British authority was virtually demolished outside of cities, at least in New England. From late spring 1774 to April 19, 1775, resistance was fierce, spreading, and increasingly organized. Yet even once the shooting war began on that fateful spring day, some British officials and loyalists were shocked, truly shocked, that mere colonists had the temerity to shoot at British soldiers. (I saw statements in evidence of this stunned cluelessness at Minuteman National Park during my visit.)

British authorities and functionaries had been warned. They had been subjected to years of mostly polite resistance, followed by a year of decidedly impolite resistance. Yet many simply couldn’t believe it when Americans not only stood their ground against the greatest army in the world, but crouched behind stone walls and emerged from boulder-strewn hillsides to wage a new kind of — unsporting! unfair! — warfare against their smug, conventional, and “superior” masters.

Both sides began in denial. One side rapidly shook off denial and acted accordingly. The other — hidebound in its conventionality, its authority, and its certainty of rightness — couldn’t get over its delusions.

—-

Ours is very unlike the situation of our colonial forebears. They knew each other. They were neighbors, fellow parishioners, fellow militiamen, fellow small-town residents, sharers of mutual interests. They hugely outnumbered their would-be rulers, who had to cross an ocean to impose their will. They shared pride in self-government, in self-sufficiency (yet also in their economic contributions to the British homeland), in their historic rights. They aimed to be beholden to nobody. They eschewed debt. They would have found government handouts repellent, if they thought of them at all.

Unlike moderns, the insurgent colonists had more spies operating within British ranks than the British ever managed to insert into their ranks. Before the shooting began, they faced a limited number of British government officials in their midst and were able to intimidate and unseat them with sheer force of numbers that seem incredible to us, looking back on the sizes of the towns and villages of the day. They knew who the ardent loyalists and traitors in their midst were and were able to keep an eye on them as crises heated up.

We have no such advantages. We have the disadvantages of being under an extreme authoritarian — now wannabe totalitarian — government that is not only thick in our midst, but which oppresses with overwhelming numbers, with bevvies of armed agents from random agencies, and with unthinkable surveillance and control capabilities. And this coercive monstrosity is abetted by a populace that it has largely custom-schooled, propagandized, and above all bought off with virtually limitless supplies of funny money. This is a populace highly disinclined to bite the hand that feeds.

Anybody who imagines they can rise up and “shoot the bastards” now and gain the widespread public support any insurgency needs to succeed is delusional.

Yet…sometimes the “wrong” time to rise up turns by fate into the exact right time to rise up. And its hard to tell when the wrong time is truly, disastrously wrong and simply brings more oppression and when the wrong time is ripe to become right.

Out of so many lessons from the history of our Founding that Real Americans would benefit from studying closely, Claire has just spelled out the most vital one of all. We ignore it, and the others, at our mortal peril.

(Via WRSA)

Let he who is without sin cast the first etc

Lest we forget, lest we forget.

Justus Angel and Mistress L. Horry were wealthy landowners in South Carolina’s Colleton District in the 1830s, in what is now Charleston County. The couple owned 84 slaves each for a total of 168, at a time when most of their peers owned a handful. Their slaves worked their plantation and made them rich. Angel and Horry also traded slaves for profit, showing no regard for dissolving slave families. They were no kinder or crueler to their slaves than anyone else. They were considered “slave magnates” because of the number of slaves they owned. They were referred to as the “economic elite.” They were also black.

Black people owned black people in all 13 original colonies and in every state that allowed slavery. Frequently, freed black people would go on to own more slaves than their white neighbors. In 1830, nearly a fourth of the free black slave masters in South Carolina owned 10 or more slaves, and several owned more than 30, far surpassing their white slave-owning neighbors.

Yes, black people, frequently former slaves themselves, owned slaves. While it can be said that many black people owned family members to protect them and keep them close, black slave owners also bought and sold slaves for profit. Renowned African-American historian and Duke University Professor, John Hope Franklin, wrote “The majority of Negro owners of slaves had some personal interest in their property. There were instances, however, in which free Negroes had a real economic interest in the institution of slavery and held slaves in order to improve their economic status.” Franklin also wrote that roughly 3,000  free black people in New Orleans alone owned slaves.

Sorry if I seem to be harping on this Civil War v1.0 history a bit extravagantly tonight, but I swear to you all that running across this article on PJM was pure coinkydink.

Anyways, after citing a few more examples we come to this:

Why don’t history teachers include this in their curriculum? You know why!

Why yes, I surely do. And then there’s this, just as a gentle reminder.

Today, 167 countries still have slavery, affecting about 46 million people. Although governments have taken steps and raised awareness about modern slavery, it is difficult to detect and recognize in many cases. It’s important to know the signs of slavery so that authorities and organizations can be alerted.

While over a hundred countries still have slavery, six countries have significantly high numbers:

  1. India (18.4 million)
  2. China (3.4 million)
  3. Pakistan (2.1 million)
  4. Bangladesh (1.5 million)
  5. Uzbekistan (1.2 million)
  6. North Korea (1.1 million)

India has the highest number of slaves in the world at 18.4 million slaves. This number is higher than the Netherlands’ population and is approximately 1.4% of India’s entire population. All forms of modern slavery exist in India, including forced child labor, forced marriage, commercial sexual exploitation, bonded labor, and forced recruitment into non-state armed groups.

China has the second-highest number of slaves at 3.4 million, which is less than a quarter of India’s. Other countries with significantly high slave populations are Russia, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Egypt, Myanmar, Iran, Turkey, and Sudan.

More information here, for those interested. Kinda odd, how the American Left doesn’t seem to have much interest in the present-day persistence of the Peculiar Institution, innit? Why, it’s almost as if their sole interest in the issue is as a cudgel to bash America with or something.

1

The bones of Bedford Forrest

Okay, that’s it. This is the final straw. Far as I’m concerned, it is now officially Clobberin’ Time.

The remains of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife Mary Ann Montgomery have been dug up as part of the lefts efforts to remove all markers and monuments to the historic cancelled. The bodies are now being held in an undisclosed location until they can be brought to their new resting place at the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ National Confederate Museum in Columbia, Tennessee.

The museum is roughly 200 miles from their previous grave in Memphis.

Contra Cassandra’s implication that the shitlibs were behind disturbing the eternal rest of one of the greatest cavalrymen in all history and his wife, I consider this to be a good thing. The Sons, may the good Lord bless and keep them, were the ones who did the dig, and vow that they’ll see to it no further bullshit from the ghoulish, history-revising, grave-robbing Left will be tolerated.

The former slave trader and with his wife have been entombed in the park for more than 100 years. Moving them is a complicated procedure that will take weeks to complete.

“The Forrest family felt that the remains of Forrest and his wife should be some place where he can be respected, protected, and visited without any danger, which is not the case here,” said Lee Millar with the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Amen to that, brother. Again: bless you and your fine, noble organization. More welcome news:

It’s been three years since the general’s statue was removed from the pedestal. Years of legal wrangling followed until both sides reached this settlement. Memphis Greenspace owns the park. Its leader is pleased with the outcome.

“And so we’re out here working together to get this job done,” said Memphis Greenspace President Van Turner. “And I think it sends a message that we’re much stronger when we work together and we unite for one common task.”

That unity was interrupted by a very vocal volunteer who unloaded expletives on Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer at the site.

She led the ‘Take ‘Em Down 901’ effort in 2017 to remove the statue. She spoke with reporters as the man belted out a loud rendition of “Dixie” behind her.

“We are not post-racial America,” said Sawyer. “We are not post-racial Memphis. This hatred and this racism is large and loud.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I repeat. Not that they’re listening, or care.

YouDid.jpg

Back over to GP for more of same:

The park where the Forrest’s were laid to rest was called Forrest Park until a name change in 2013. A statue of him in the park was removed in 2017, after Greenspace bought the park.

The Hill reports that in April, Atlanta’s school board unanimously voted to rename Forrest Hill Academy, named after the Confederate general, to the Hank Aaron New Beginnings Academy.

This is not the only grave the left is digging up.

The city of Richmond, Virginia is also planning to dig up the grave of Confederate General Ambrose Powell Hill.

AP Hill, of course, was another accomplished and respected officer of the Confederacy.

As for Forrest, I’ve posted in detail on the man Sherman once acknowledged as “the most remarkable man our civil war produced on either side” before—more than once, if memory serves—but without even checking I’m going to just assume that those archives were lost along with the rest of the nigh-upon twenty years’ worth of ’em after our little Rooskie incursion here. So although it’s probably a rerun, have yourself a little more info anyway on the man once both respected and feared (depending on what side you were on, natch) as The Wizard Of The Saddle that most people are completely in the dark about.

Easily the most controversial figure in the Civil War, probably the most controversial figure in American history, Nathan Bedford Forrest has always been the subject of fierce debate. Self-made millionaire who rose from poverty with much of his money made as a slaver trader; a semi-literate whose tactics and strategies as the most successful cavalry commander of the  Civil War are still studied at military academies around the world; a brilliant general celebrated by the South and condemned by the North as the perpetrator of a massacre at Fort Pillow; a man who killed in combat 31 Union soldiers in the War but who after the War constantly had former Union soldiers visit him to shake his hand; and  a racist who helped found the Ku Klux Klan after the War, but who also made a remarkable speech near the end of his life.

In 1875 Forrest was invited to address a meeting of the Independent Order of Pole Bearers, an early black civil rights organization in Memphis, at their Fourth of July barbecue on July 5.  Forrest was told by many whites that he should not accept, but Forrest went. Just before he spoke he was presented a bouquet of flowers by Miss Flora Lewis, a daughter of one of the members of the Pole Bearers. Here is Forrest’s speech.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I accept the flowers as a memento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the Southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God’s earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself. (Immense applause and laughter.) I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man, to depress none.

(Applause.)

I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going. I have not said anything about politics today. I don’t propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office. I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I’ll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand.” (Prolonged applause.)

After his brief speech, Forrest warmly thanked Lewis for the flowers and then unabashedly and unhesitatingly kissed her on the cheek, an incredibly bold move at a time when such a thing was unheard of either North or South, but entirely in character for the always-audacious Forrest. In fact, it was that very Devil-may-care audacity which was a huge component of what made him such a fiendishly brilliant cavalry officer.

At the start of the Civil War, Forrest enlisted as a private in the Tennessee Mounted Rifles. As more men joined the outfit, Forrest personally purchased guns, uniforms and supplies to equip the unit. He was soon promoted to lieutenant colonel and placed in charge of raising and training his own battalion. In February 1862, Forrest and his troops were cornered by Union general Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson, Kentucky. His command refused to surrender to Grant and Union forces charged in to take the fort. Forrest led 700 cavalrymen through the snow, past the Union lines, and escaped to Nashville where he coordinated evacuation efforts.

Two months later, in the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh, at Fallen Timbers, Forrest was commanding the rear guard of the withdrawing Confederate troops. In an attempt to hit the enemy one more time, Forrest drove deep the advancing Union line far ahead of his own men and found himself surrounded by Union troops. After he emptied his two revolvers, he drew his saber and began slashing at the oncoming enemy. One soldier stuck his rifle into Forrest’s side and fired, lifting Forrest off his saddle and lodging a mini ball near his spine. Forrest regained control of his horse, remounted and took off. As Union forces shot after him, he reached down and grabbed an unsuspecting Union soldier and brought him up on the back of his horse, then dumping the man to the ground once he was in the clear.

Beginning in December 1862 and well into 1863, Forrest and his cavalry harassed General Ulysses S. Grant’s forces as they prepared for an attack on Vicksburg. Cutting off communication lines and raiding stores of supplies, Forrest relied on guerrilla tactics and never fully engaged the enemy’s superior forces. As a result, General Grant was forced to revise his strategy. Eventually, after a six-month siege, Vicksburg fell, but Forrest continued to attack boldly and retreat swiftly, frustrating one Union commander after the other and further expanding his reputation.

There’s tons more yet to know about Bedford Forrest; love him or hate him, as is the case with so many other historical figures the story is a lot deeper and more complex than conventional wisdom tells. As our most colorful and intriguing icons fade deeper into the mists of time the tale of their lives, their exploits, and their personalities becomes ever more expurgated. This is NOT an accident.

With well-known Confederates like Forrest, the problem is not so much one of forgetfulness or a need for brevity as it is one of ill intent: the Left needs the honor of our Southern heroes to be stained and besmirched for purely utilitarian reasons, and so they have been. When a man as upright, humane, and scrupulously virtuous as the great Robert E Lee is routinely tarred as some kind of infernal demon, then the agenda is revealed, for all with eyes to see.

All of which just goes to make tonight’s Tune Damage selection an obvious one, I’d say.




As I said way back when all this cancel-culture horseshit began: letting them take down the Confederate flags and statues was a bad, bad mistake. We all should have known that would be only the beginning. And like they say, sooner or later, they WILL get around to something you care about. Our friend and esteemed colleague Nitzhakon knows why.

Donkey-Terminator-notice-j.jpg

S’truth. It is absolutely imperative that the Left not be allowed to take that first bite, because they’ll always come back for another, and another, and another until all is consumed. Real Americans have seen plenty enough demonstrations of that most essential truth by now. If we haven’t learned the lesson by now, well, that’s on us.

Update! Annnnd we have another. Because of course we do.

For more than one hundred years, a statue of General Thomas J. Jackson, known to the world as “Stonewall” Jackson, stood overlooking the grounds of the Main Post at the Virginia Military Institute, or VMI. Jackson taught at the school for the ten years before the Civil War broke out and he became a general in the Confederate Army. VMI graduate Moses Ezekiel, who fought as a cadet at the Battle of New Market, sculpted the statue. A Washington Post article from December 7th called the statue the “spiritual centerpiece” of the institute.

No longer. In the wake of the George Floyd murder, Black Lives Matter protests, and an explosive Washington Post article alleging racism at VMI, the institute’s Board of Visitors voted to remove the statue. Completely. They didn’t relocate it to a less-prominent place on the campus. They sent it completely off post. Stonewall’s statue ended up seventy miles away, in New Market, at a VMI-run museum that commemorates the cadet corps’ fight there against Union troops in 1864.

If VMI needed to atone for past racism, banishing Stonewall Jackson’s statue was an odd way to do it – and especially odd for a military school. Stonewall Jackson was one of America’s most accomplished battlefield generals. In the spring of 1862, Jackson commanded a Confederate force defending Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley against three separate Federal commands. Stonewall led his troops from battle to battle, marching over 350 miles in one month. He defeated all three of those Union commands, whose combined strength was three times that of his force. Jackson’s campaign prevented Lincoln from reinforcing Union troops menacing Richmond, the Confederate capital. Jackson then eluded his pursuers in the Valley, joined up with Robert E. Lee, and assisted Lee in defeating the Union army outside Richmond, which saved the city.

But, was Jackson an evil racist?

Doesn’t matter. Old Blue Light was a Confederate general, which now makes him merely a means to an end, another tool for the Left to use on their long march down the Shining Path.

It beggars belief that VMI (or the activists pressuring it) can’t (or won’t) devise a solution that acknowledges his shortcomings, but still honors a great general and a good person, on the campus of the school to which he dedicated much of his professional life. If, to be “inclusive” and “tolerant,” we must sandblast our past and sanitize our heritage, we risk becoming an emotionally and culturally brittle nation and a shallow people. Is this what “inclusion” has to look like? For all of us, across this country?

Good leaders lead by example, as Jackson did with his Sunday School. The Stonewall Jackson statue affair could have set a good example for others to follow, by showing how modern-day Americans can acknowledge the flaws of our heroes (and the times they lived in), but still commemorate their character and accomplishments.

No, no, a thousand times no. To hell with any pissypants “acknowledge their shortcomings” bending of the knee; I hereby declare myself all done with such weakness, if there ever had been any doubt about it before. From now on, best practice for all who oppose the Leftist Enemy can only be nothing short of open, unyielding hostility in rejection of EVERY ONE of their premises, contentions, accusations, and demands. Not one more inch of ground ceded; not one more gesture towards “compromise,” reconciliation, or comity offered.

NOT. ONE.

Either we destroy them, or we go down fighting to the very last ounce of strength. There is no Third Way—a cold, hard reality that has been made so compellingly clear that it can no longer be denied. So that’s it then; no more pretending that they’re acting in good faith, or that they’re at all amenable to reason or appeals to fairness and/or decency, or that they share so much as a single belief or ambition in common with Real Americans.

To bargain with them is folly; to shy from confrontation with them is disastrous; to submit to them is death. Treat them as what they actually are: The Enemy. No concessions. No surrender. Period, full stop, end of fucking story.

1

Truth hurts

Some questions are better left unasked.

The Turkish DNA Project, an online endeavor to track Turkish genetics, is enraged at the popular genealogy site Ancestry.com and has called for it to be boycotted for stating an inconvenient truth: many, and possibly most, modern Turks are the descendants of the Greeks who once formed the overwhelming majority of the population of the land that is now Turkey. In this as in so many other instances, the truth hurts, but that doesn’t make it any less the truth.

Greek City Times reported that the Turkish DNA Project tweeted: “AncestryDNA prioritizes to demonize the Turkish people and delegitimaze [sic] their presence in Turkey rather than giving information about the genetic structure of the relevant population.” The Turkish DNA Project called upon “all Turks to boycott this company: Ancestry.”

After Greek City Times called attention to the tweet, the Turkish DNA Project took it down, but it still has up a retweet calling for a boycott of Ancestry.com, as well as a tweet fulminating with incandescent rage against Greek City Times’ Athens Bureau chief Paul Antopoulos, whom it calls a “white supremacist.” Very original line of attack you got there, guys.

Greek City Times explained that the Turkish group was enraged “because Ancestry.com correctly highlighted that many Turkish citizens are indeed mostly unrelated to Turkic peoples from Central Asia and are rather native Anatolian people that have been Turkified….Ancestry.com highlighted that after the Ottoman conquest of Pontos in today’s Turkey’s southeastern Black Sea coast, the “Pontian Greeks adopted Turkish language and culture, and many converted to Islam in order to have greater opportunities in Turkish society. Ancestry.com also highlighted that another round of Turkification of Pontian Greeks occurred after the second Russo-Turkish War (1828-29).”

This is not at all surprising, and nowhere even close to a false claim. Throughout history, when Muslims have conquered an area, they relegate the non-Muslims to second-class status, denying them numerous rights and mandating that they pay a tax, the jizya, for the privilege of practicing their religions without being killed. There is one easy way for the subjugated dhimmis to escape this state of humiliation and degradation: they can convert to Islam.

(Turkish journalist Uzay) Bulut observed: “Why are Turkish nationalists so terrified of the truth? Because if they face it, the lies they’ve come up with will be shattered to the ground. Through these lies, hatred has grown which made them commit so many crimes against Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Jews and others. Then they will realize that by destroying those peoples, they’ve actually destroyed their own ancestors and cultural heritage. The truth will set us all free and bring much needed peace to the region.”

We can only hope.

I couldn’t begin to guess why, but I just can’t stop laughing at this story.

1

Everything old is new again, and again, and again…

For us Southrons, it’s always a good time for another discussion of Civil War history. Francis kicks things off.

The first Negro slaves arrived in North America long before the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. Slavery was an established and accepted practice virtually everywhere on Earth at that time. The great men who crafted the founding documents of the United States of America largely recognized the moral horror of it – yet they refrained from abolishing it in the new nation. Some felt they could not endanger the Revolution, or the eventual acceptance of the Constitution, by acting too swiftly to expunge it. Even so, anti-slavery sentiment was sufficiently strong in 1787 that the states where slavery was practiced accepted the provisions made for the curbing and gradual abolition of slavery twenty years after the Constitution’s ratification:

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person. [Article I, Section 9, first clause]

While the approach might not be to the taste of contemporary moralists, nevertheless it probably struck the Founders as the best they could do.

Now, the main thrust of Fran’s post isn’t CW v1.0, or slavery itself. But as a callow stripling I found Civil War history an entirely captivating topic, and I do to this day, so his glancing mention of it above got me to thinking. That inspired me to poke around what you might call the historical record’s dusty old manse a bit; there’s an almighty lot of good stuff to be found in those dim, musty rooms, so much of it that it’s quite easy to get lost in ’em. For example:

10 Surprising Facts About The Confederacy
I  made this list in order to clear up some misconceptions people had about the Confederacy. This is not a comprehensive list of facts about the Confederacy; I picked a few that I thought most people wouldn’t be familiar with. Overall, I intended for this to be a fun and informative list, and not to start a North versus South debate.

10 Battle Names
Union troops were primarily city and town dwellers. They named battles after natural objects near the scene of the conflict. Confederate troops were, chiefly, from the country and named battles after impressive artificial (man-made) objects near the scene of the conflict. The battle of “1st Manassas / Bull Run”: The Union army named the battle “Bull Run” after a little stream near the scene, called Bull Run, and the Confederate army named the battle “Manassas” because of the Manassas railroad station located nearby. There were at least 230 actions that were known to have more than one name. In “Ball’s Bluff / Leesburg”- The Union troops noted the steep 100-foot-high bank rising above the Potomac on the Virginia shore, and the Confederate army noted the nearby city of Leesburg, Virginia. “Pea Ridge / Elkhorn Tavern”: Elkhorn was a nearby tavern and Pea Ridge was the name of a crest of the Ozark’s Ridge.

Follows, more stuff your run-of-the-mill, woefully undereducated Amerikan probably neither knows nor cares a whit about, which we’ll just casually skip past. But here’s a couple of fun facts that even someone of above-average erudition might not have been aware of:

2 Equal Pay
The confederate Congress specified that black soldiers were to receive the same pay as the white soldiers. The Union army’s black soldiers were paid less than the white soldiers. A black soldier in the Union army would have been paid $10 a month with a $3 clothing fee taken out, leaving the soldier with $7 a month. White soldiers were paid $13 a month and were not forced to pay a clothing allowance, which is almost twice as much as the black soldiers. By contrast the Confederate army paid their privates of both races $11/month until 1864. Equal pay for both races in the federal army did not come into effect until June 1864. The Confederate Army also authorized a salary for black musicians in 1862.

1 Slavery
In 1864, the Confederate States began to abandon slavery. There are some indications that even without a war, the Confederacy would have ended slavery. Most historians believe that the Confederacy only started to abandon slavery once their defeat was imminent. If that were true then we are to believe that the CSA wanted independence more than they wanted to hold on to slavery. The CSA’s highest ranking generals, Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston were not slave holders and did not believe in slavery. And according to an 1860 census, only 31% of families owned slaves. 75% of families that owned slaves owned less than 10 and often worked beside them in the fields. The Confederate Constitution banned the overseas slave trade, and permitted Confederate states to abolish slavery within their borders if they wanted to do so. Slavery wasn’t abolished until 1868, 3 years after the war. Thus Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland and Delaware still had slaves.

Yes, the Civil War was fought to end slavery…in part. But by no means was slavery the sole issue. In fact, a good argument could be made that it wasn’t even the main one, although as the situation developed the Abolitionist cause grew in importance until it had finally become pretty much the whole point before the end. That gradual shift in opinion was in large measure due to Lincoln’s canny use of sympathy for the plight of the poor Nee-Grows as a means of firming up support among restive Yanks—especially in the northernmost portions of the Union—whose patience for an ever-more-costly and agonizing war was steadily dwindling as ever-more-horrific casualty lists kept on pouring in. All this has been the subject of quite a few discussions at this humble websty over lo, these many years.

Which leads us to more fun if seldom-acknowledged facts.

Most historical accounts portray Southern blacks as anxiously awaiting President Abraham Lincoln’s “liberty-dispensing troops” marching south in the War Between the States. But there’s more to the story; let’s look at it.

Black Confederate military units, both as freemen and slaves, fought federal troops. Louisiana free blacks gave their reason for fighting in a letter written to New Orleans’ Daily Delta: “The free colored population love their home, their property, their own slaves and recognize no other country than Louisiana, and are ready to shed their blood for her defense. They have no sympathy for Abolitionism; no love for the North, but they have plenty for Louisiana. They will fight for her in 1861 as they fought in 1814-15.” As to bravery, one black scolded the commanding general of the state militia, saying, “Pardon me, general, but the only cowardly blood we have got in our veins is the white blood.”

Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest had slaves and freemen serving in units under his command. After the war, Forrest said of the black men who served under him, “These boys stayed with me.. – and better Confederates did not live.” Articles in “Black Southerners in Gray,” edited by Richard Rollins, gives numerous accounts of blacks serving as fighting men or servants in every battle from Gettysburg to Vicksburg.

Professor Ed Smith, director of American Studies at American University, says Stonewall Jackson had 3,000 fully equipped black troops scattered throughout his corps at Antietam – the war’s bloodiest battle. Mr. Smith calculates that between 60,000 and 93,000 blacks served the Confederacy in some capacity. They fought for the same reason they fought in previous wars and wars afterward: “to position themselves. They had to prove they were patriots in the hope the future would be better…they hoped to be rewarded.”

Many knew Lincoln had little love for enslaved blacks and didn’t wage war against the South for their benefit. Lincoln made that plain, saying, “I will say, then, that I am not, nor have ever been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races…I am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.” The very words of his 1863 Emancipation Proclamation revealed his deceit and cunning; it freed those slaves held “within any State or designated part of a State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States.” It didn’t apply to slaves in West Virginia and areas and states not in rebellion. Like Gen. Ulysses Grant’s slaves, they had to wait for the 13th Amendment, Grant explained why he didn’t free his slaves earlier, saying, “Good help is so hard to come by these days.”

Interesting indeed, and somewhat puzzling also. Before anybody starts in shrieking here, I’d better say once more that NONE of this is to be construed as an argument in support of slavery. I won’t further belabor that point, because I see no reason to; it’s entirely obvious, and only a hysterical fool would say otherwise. Onwards.

No circumstances connected with the late war caused more surprise, perhaps, than the general conduct of the slave population of the South during the whole contest. This surprise was common to the people of both sections, for there were few persons at the North who did not expect, and at the South who did not fear, a servile insurrection as the Federal armies penetrated deeper into the Southern territory. The people of the South did not, of course, have any great opinion of the negros’ courage, but still they felt apprehensive about the women and children left at home, and fearful, too, in regard to neglected plantation work; and the fact of this apprehension is embodied in all the draft schemes and conscription laws of the Confederacy, which, both under the State government regimen, and later under the general conscription system, made specific provision for a certain line of exemptions, looking to the peace and good order of the plantations, and keeping the negroes at work. These exemptions included detailed officers and veterans, home guards, etc., and, even in the last and severest conscription law passed in the fall of 1864, one overseer was exempted “for each plantation containing over fifteen able-bodied male slaves.”

On the other hand, a slave insurrection was counted on at the North as one factor in the war. It was deprecated, of course; it was not invited, but it was still looked for, and the Emancipation Proclamation was calculated upon as a means of inciting the negroes to strike for their freedom. Those who will examine the periodicals of the period-the Atlantic Monthly, for instance; the Continental Monthly, etc.-will find them teeming with historical instances written up of slaves who had so risen. The Atlantic, in particular, in urging the Emancipation Proclamation, took occasion to give, as arguments for it, detailed accounts of the revolt of Spartacus, of the Maroons, of Nat. Turner’s outbreak, etc.; all showing the wish that was father to the thought. Butler speculated in this sort of business at Fortress Monroe and New Orleans, and Hunter tried it in South Carolina and Florida. Higginson’s regiment at Beaufort was intended to be a nucleus for the negro rising which was looked for on the Carolina coast.

The negroes, however, refused to disturb the Confederates with any fire in the rear. They behaved in the most exemplary manner everywhere. Where the Federal armies settled down they came in in large numbers, and established their camps upon the fringes of the army, playing the parts of “intelligent contrabands” to perfection. They told miraculous stories, and brought in no end of “grape-vine ” intelligence for the divertissement of the newspaper correspondents, and the gobemouches; but they were disgustingly apathetic on the subject of striking “blows for liberty.” They had no fight in them, in fact, and, when they came into camp, had no idea of any other freedom than freedom from work and free rations. The best of the negroes, where they could, stayed at home and worked along as usual, and there was no general enlistment of the negroes until the substitute brokers began to buy them up, and put them in the army by wholesale.

There can be no doubt that the negroes behaved very well, and that the Confederate people had a lively and very grateful appreciation of the fact. There is evidence enough and to spare of this. I have before me a curious pamphlet, “Marginalia; or, Gleanings from an Army Note-book,” by “Personne,” army correspondent of the Charleston Courier, published at Columbia, S. C., in 1864, which abounds with instances and recitals of the good conduct of the negroes. Thus, “Personne” relates the story of Daniel, a slave of Lieutenant Bellinger, who was shot to pieces trying to take his master’s sword to him, in the fort at Secessionville, during the assault on that post, and he says: “Such instances of genuine loyalty have their parallel nowhere so frequently as in the pages of Southern history, and gives a flat contradiction to all the partial and puritanical statements ever made by Mrs. Stowe and her tribe of worshiping abolitionists.” “The fidelity of our negroes,” this writer says, in another Place, “has been as much a subject of gratification to us as of surprise to the enemy. It has been thought that every slave would gladly avail himself of an opportunity to regain his freedom; but the prophets have been disappointed. General John B. Gordon, United States Senator from Georgia, who used to own several plantations and a great many slaves, in his testimony before the Ku-Klux Investigating Committee, in July, 1871, spoke in the strongest terms of the good conduct of the Southern negroes during and after the war. He said that “they have behaved so well since the war that the remark is not uncommon in Georgia, that no race, relieved from servitude under such circumstances as they were, would have behaved so well.”

This article, of which you should read the all, is particularly intriguing. Again: NOT as an argument in support of the “Peculiar Institution,” but for its depiction of the overall attitude and character of many Negro slaves in the Southern Confederacy. It restores a panel of history’s tapestry that the victors very carefully painted over after the war was won, something no history buff will find at all surprising or unusual.

Okay, that ought to be enough Civil War talk to get everybody riled up and yelling at everybody else in the comments, I reckon. Have at it, y’all.

1

All part of a Plan, and the Plan is working as intended

Working very damned well, in fact.

There are a lot of unprecedented things happening, but not all of them are shocking. For example, it probably shouldn’t surprise you that, once they got their hands on real power, the same lunatics who don’t believe in human biology immediately made a serious mess of our economy. It took them less than six months to do it. First, they acted like the U.S. dollar had no value. They spent money like they’d just printed it for the occasion, which, needless to say, they had. Predictably, we wound up with frightening levels of inflation, which for the record they still deny exists. But inflation does exist, as you well know if you live here. Corn prices, to name just one example of a staple commodity that’s now out of control, have risen by 50 percent just since January. But that wasn’t bad enough. The lunatics decided to make it worse. They paid millions of Americans more than they make at work, to stay home and do nothing. To justify doing this, they used the word “COVID” quite a bit, but it had nothing to do with the pandemic. They just wanted to break the system. And so they did. And the rest of us immediately wound up with a bewildering combination of rising unemployment in the middle of a severe labor shortage. So, at the very same time, we found ourselves with too many workers, and also too few workers. That doesn’t even make sense, but thanks to their policies, that’s now exactly what we have. And then, finally, in case 2021 didn’t remind you enough of a grimmer version of the 1970s, we now have serious gas shortages, in a country that just recently was energy independent. All along the east coast of the country today, people couldn’t fill up their cars. The footage looks like Venezuela.

What is this about? Well, you know. On some level — let’s be honest about it — the White House approves of this disaster.

Yes, some gas stations are closed tonight. But soon enough, the lunatics plan to close them all — every gas station in the entire United States, shuttered forever, to make way for some new, as-yet-undefined means of transportation that will magically replace the gasoline engines we’ve used for more than 100 years. This is a green revolution. So who cares about some old pipeline?

Remember that on his first day in office, Joe Biden shut down a pipeline, that’s the first thing he did. It was the massive Keystone XL. Biden didn’t wait for mysterious hackers to shut it down. He shut it down himself. And more than 11,000 people lost their jobs. And, by the way, gas prices went up. In case you haven’t noticed, gas prices have never gone down.  

Why? This is the result of policy decisions made by the new administration. This is the Green New Deal. We’ve got it already. And if you love gas shortages and electricity blackouts and $80 plywood, this is the program for you.

Typically, in the material world, where the laws of nature apply when the price of something jumps that quickly and that high, you’ve got a supply problem. Because it’s supply and demand. There isn’t enough of that thing to go around. Does that apply to lumber? Are there fewer spruce trees out there than there were a year ago? Are those trees growing more slowly than they once did? Have we seen a 280% in new houses being built? The answers: no, no and no. The answer, as you may have guessed, is that bad federal policies are distorting the price of everything in this country, from two by fours, to diesel fuel to corn dogs. None of this is an accident. Just as it wasn’t an accident when the power went out in Texas over the winter. It wasn’t a cold snap that did it, it was a federal policy that encouraged the state to rely on windmills that don’t actually work. So, it’s not a natural cycle. Somebody did this to us on purpose.

It’s “bad national policy” all right, but exclusively in the sense that it’s a policy that is bad for the nation. But there’s another sense to be taken into account: bad as it is, damaging as it is, it is also effective policy—because the bad things it’s doing, that damage, is the effect the policy was intended to produce.

Over time my reaction has evolved from amusement, to mild pique, to being outright annoyed when I see references to this or that putatively “failed” Democrat-Socialist policy, program, or initiative. The same blinkered narrative is applied to describe Marxism itself, which “fails every time it’s tried,” or so we’re endlessly told—as if the sole ambition of its advocates and administrators is to see to it that all are adequately fed, housed, and liberated from servitude and want. Bless their selfless, charitable hearts, Marxists just want to make sure that both the high and mighty and the downtrodden alike are fairly treated. That the State meets its obligation to ensure that avarice can never be wielded as a cudgel by one man in the bludgeoning of his brother. That all resources are equitably distributed.

Sorry, but…no. Whatever Karl Marx’s own notion might have been originally, Communism as we know it today is usually pretty danged good at achieving its true imperatives: untrammeled power and wealth for the ruthless few at the top of the heap, hopeless subjugation without mercy or surcease for the hapless serfs below.

The truth is that Communism, as well as the machinations of its Democrat-Socialist Party adherents, actually succeeds every time it’s tried. Understanding that is a matter of realizing what their ACTUAL goals and intentions are, and ignoring what they SAY they are—ie, “success” isn’t anything to do with uplifting, assisting, or liberating anybody, other than members of the Ruling Class kleptocracy—and then adjusting your own perceptions accordingly. Or, to adapt the famous words of another notorious latter-day Marxist, it all depends on what the meaning of “success” is. Once you’ve recalibrated your terms and definitions properly, it’s all perfectly obvious.

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.

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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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