GIVE TIL IT HURTS!

So how is Biden’s War On Russia working out so far?

Not too good.

The point of the war, you recall, is “to weaken Russia” (so said DoD Sec’y Lloyd Austin), even to bust it up into little geographic tatters to our country’s advantage — that is, to retain America’s dominance in global affairs, and especially the supremacy of the US dollar in global trade settlements.

The result of the war so far has been the opposite of that objective. US sanctions made Russia stronger by shifting its oil exports to more reliable Asian customers. Kicking Russia out of the SWIFT global payments system prompted the BRIC countries to build their own alternative trade settlement system. Cutting off Russia from trade with Western Civ has stimulated the process of import replacement (i.e., Russia making more of the stuff it used to buy from Europe). Confiscating Russia’s off-shore dollar assets has alerted the rest of the world to dump their dollar assets (especially US Treasury bonds) before they, too, get mugged. Nice going, Victoria Nuland, Tony Blinken, and the rest of the gang at the Foggy Bottom genius factory.

All of which raises the question: who is liable to bust up into tatters first, the USA or Russia? I commend to you Dmitry Orlov’s seminal work, Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects, Revised & Updated. For anyone out there not paying attention the past thirty-odd years, Russia, incorporated as the Soviet Union, collapsed in 1991. The USSR was a bold experiment based on the peculiar and novel ill-effects of industrialism, especially gross economic inequality. Alas, the putative remedy for that, advanced by Karl Marx, was a despotic system of pretending that individual humans had no personal aspirations of their own.

The Soviet / Marxist business model was eventually reduced to the comic aphorism: We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. It failed and the USSR gurgled down history’s drain. Russia reemerged from the dust, minus many of its Eurasian outlands. Remarkably little blood was shed in the process. Mr. Orlov’s book points to some very interesting set-ups that softened the landing. There was no private property in the USSR, so when it collapsed, nobody was evicted or foreclosed from where they lived. Very few people had cars in the USSR, so the city centers were still intact and people could get around on buses, trams, and trains. The food system had been botched for decades by low-incentive collectivism, but the Russian people were used to planting family gardens — even city dwellers, who had plots out-of-town — and it tided them over during the years of hardship before the country managed to reorganize.

Compare that to America’s prospects. In an economic crisis, Americans will have their homes foreclosed out from under them, or will be subject to eviction from rentals. The USA has been tragically built-out on a suburban sprawl template that will be useless without cars and with little public transport. Cars, of course, are subject to repossession for non-payment of contracted loans. The American food system is based on manufactured microwavable cheese snacks, chicken nuggets, and frozen pizzas produced by giant companies. These items can’t be grown in home gardens. Many Americans don’t know the first thing about growing their own food, or what to do with it after it’s harvested.

There’s another difference between the fall of the USSR and the collapse underway in the USA. Underneath all the economic perversities of Soviet life, Russia still had a national identity and a coherent culture. The USA has tossed its national identity on the garbage barge of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” which is actually just a hustle aimed at extracting what remains from the diminishing stock of productive activity showering the plunder on a mob of “intersectional” complainers — e.g., the City of San Francisco’s preposterous new plan to award $5-million “reparation” payments to African-American denizens of the city, where slavery never existed.

As for culture, consider that the two biggest cultural producers in this land are the pornography and video game industries. The drug business might be a close third, but most of that action is off-the-books, so it’s hard to tell. So much for the so-called “arts.” Our political culture verges on totally degenerate, but that is too self-evident to belabor, and the generalized management failures of our polity are a big part of what’s bringing us down — most particularly the failure to hold anyone in power accountable for their blunders and turpitudes.

As for the “which will fall first” question, with America now entirely in the inept hands of its own homegrown Marxists and their pretend “opposition,” well, the answer ought to be obvious. Russia already went through that cataclysmic teachable moment once; soon, it will be our turn.

And yes, Kunstler’s reversion to his by now Standard-Form surfeit of unfounded optimism concerning “investigations” and such tripe in the final ‘graph remains in full rose-tinted effect. Y’know, just in case any of you were wondering about that.

In praise of Pat Buchanan

As Barry Goldwater’s ill-fated 1964 campaign’s slogan had it: In your heart, you know he’s right.

America First: A Tribute to Pat Buchanan

Last Friday, Buchanan announced he is retiring the political column he has written since the days of Barry Goldwater. It is the final end of a public political career that has spanned a half century of decline in the country Buchanan loved so much and fought so hard to save. And if Buchanan can’t boast that he actually did save the country, he at least has the satisfaction of seeing ideas that once made him an outcast from his own party rise to become the dominant worldview within it. Without Buchanan, there would be no Trump. For that matter, without Buchanan, there would be no Revolver.

Of all the people who might be deemed a forerunner of Donald Trump and his political revolution, Pat Buchanan has by far the most worthy claim.

Consider this article from 2015, published just as Trump’s presidential campaign was taking off:

Mr. Trump revels in controversy. But as he assails illegal immigration as an “invasion” and refers to Mexicans en masse as “Jose,” his critics are accusing him of taking controversy a step too far. They say Mr. Trump is speaking in code, using xenophobic images like those or anti-Semitic references to excite bigots without alienating mainstream voters.

[Trump frequently offers] direct and sometimes harsh mockery of foreigners, using his derision to cultivate support for his immigration and trade policies. “I’ll build that security fence, and we’ll close it, and we’ll say, ‘Listen Jose, you’re not coming in this time!’ ” he shouted to applause from an almost entirely white audience at a rally in Waterloo, Iowa three weeks ago.

Okay, you probably already guessed the twist: That’s not Trump at all, but a write-up of Buchanan’s presidential campaign twenty-six years ago. All that’s missing is the promise to make Mexico pay for the fence. Buchanan didn’t just share Trump’s views, but his talent for colorful language that drove the regime berserk; a quarter-century before “Crooked Hillary,” China’s Deng Xiaoping was a “chain-smoking Communist dwarf.”

Donald Trump won the presidency by appealing to the Silent Majority, but Buchanan is the one who literally coined the term working as a speechwriter for Richard Nixon. And throughout his career, Buchanan tried his best to speak for that quiet mass of beleaguered American humanity.

Put up a fence, send illegals home, America-first trade policy, an end to foreign interventionism, no more wokeness: It was all there, 20 years ahead of Trump. But tragically, the message went unheeded. Buchanan was the intellectual son of accountant, not a billionaire real estate tycoon with three decades’ experience as a TV star. Buchanan had the ideas, but Trump had the money, the star power, the meme magic. Buchanan’s 1992 campaign was the last credible primary challenge to an incumbent president, but nothing more. His 1996 campaign might have worked against a more divided field, but against an establishment firmly united around Bob Dole, Buchanan won just four states and 20% of the primary vote.

But Buchanan never deviated or retooled his message just for the sake of popularity. Instead, he willingly endured more than a decade as the Republican Party’s Cassandra.

In the end, all of Buchanan’s warnings came true: Middle America became a hollowed-out, deindustrialized area wracked with blight and drug overdoses. America’s foreign adventures wasted trillions and achieved nothing. The tidal wave of foreign immigration resulted not in rainbow-like harmony but endless struggles between different identity groups. And all of this culminated in crushing defeat for the Bush-era Republican party that embraced all of these trends. It would only return to the White House in 2016 behind a candidate who finally did what Buchanan had begged the party to do a quarter-century before: Actually reach out to middle America and seek the support of America’s Silent Majority.

“My friends, these people are our people,” Buchanan said in 1992. “They don’t read Adam Smith or Edmund Burke, but they come from the same schoolyards and the same playgrounds and towns as we come from. They share our beliefs and convictions, our hopes and our dreams. They are the conservatives of the heart. They are our people. And we need to reconnect with them. We need to let them know we know how bad they’re hurting. They don’t expect miracles of us, but they need to know we care.”

Sadly, it took twenty-four years for the GOP to field a candidate who did.

Yep—dragged kicking and screaming every step of the way, and to this day they struggle desperately to smite him, and make damned sure he stays smote for the duration. Just as any debased, corrupted system or organization always will do, to any nonconformist, visionary outlaw who dares stand athwart them and their nefarious ambitions.

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Unworthy world order

If the over-optimistically misnomered “free world” is no longer anything like free, what about it could possibly be worth striving to save?

Why Preserve a ‘World Order’ Without Freedom?

It has become fashionable now for lawmakers to demand accountability for the social media site TikTok because it is finally being correctly acknowledged as both an intelligence-gathering net and propaganda fire hose for the Chinese Communist Party. The irony, though, is that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google Search provide the U.S. government with identical tools. The D.C. Deep State does not mind if Americans are spied on and psychologically manipulated by government actors; on the contrary, it seeks a total monopoly on such influence operations.

To enjoy personal liberty free from the arbitrary intrusions of government nosy-bodies, you have to get pretty far away from the shadow of State authority. Even then, because the national security surveillance structure is pervasive, an isolated campfire in a remote wood is still most likely being caught by somebody’s overhead satellite for some unknown reason. If you are unable to escape from the watchful eyes of the government’s complex monitoring system, then the inner mind becomes the last refuge for any freethinker — so long as those personal thoughts are not communicated out loud.

So freedom is chased farther and farther away from hubs of government tracking, farther and farther into the recesses of one’s mind, until it can be exercised only in the silence of one’s imagination. Make no mistake: the imposition of “silence” is intentional. Governments understand that the best way to prevent the spread of ideas that might threaten their grip on power is to prevent those ideas from ever being spoken out loud. To silence dissent is to squash opposition. To criminalize thought is to enslave the mind. That’s the “freedom” enjoyed by a prisoner, not a living, breathing citizen of any “free world.” If you have been corralled into a mental prison against your will, though, then the best question to ask is this: what would you be willing to do to escape?

Cameras, computers, artificial intelligence — there’s just no way out! Do you know that every generation of humans confronted with new technological weapons has said the same thing?Their cannon are too powerful! Their ships are too many! It is futile to resist! Yet people do resist, and over time, they realize that it is ultimately not the technology that threatens their freedom, but rather the governments that would choose to use that technology without respect for human rights or natural liberties.

Precisely, indubitably so. Over the course of my life, I’ve heard the exact same bitching and moaning over the advent of color TV, then cable TV, then VCRs, then the Innarnuts, then cell phones, then smart phones and tablets, etc etc ad infinitum ad nauseam. No, no, and oh hell no. No grumpy comment-section Neo-Luddite screaming “we must get rid of (insert name of new tech here), we must get rid of (insert other new tech here)!” is at any real hazard of being enslaved by said new-tech devices. Not as long as they retain the intestinal fortitude to simply put the blasted thing down, they ain’t.

Bottom-line summation: it’s the government, stupid.

To create and sustain a “free world,” citizens actually have to be willing to stand up to their governments and say, “No, you cannot do that; you do not have that power; now go away.” Usually, governments (which exist purely because they assert a monopoly over the legitimate use of force) then load their cannon and surround rebellious ports with an overwhelming number of ships as a demonstration of how their “legitimate” force somehow justifies the theft of others’ freedoms. For the citizenry on the receiving end of such violence, this translates to nothing more than “might makes right.”

What they learn in the process is that government power untethered from principle is neither righteous nor worth preserving. The harsher and more unjust governments become toward their citizens, the more likely movements for freedom take hold. When scrappy underdogs prevail over unbeatable foes and “turn the world upside-down,” they do so with tremendous help from their tormentors’ hubris.

Lindsey Graham is right about this much: the world order is at stake. Freedom around the world is under attack from those governments sworn to protect it, and their betrayal imperils peace. I saw a headline recently that blared, “Rogue Hog Turns Tables, Kills Butcher.” Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the news had nothing to do with politics. Although, given that the homicidal hog had been repeatedly shocked with a stun gun and kept in a tiny enclosure on his way to becoming BBQ, his story could be a prudent allegory after all.

Freedom ain’t free; never has been, never will be. It is not a gift from some benevolent and wise government; no government in history has been willing to even pay lip service for very long, as ours no longer bothers about doing, to “preserving” and/or “defending” it as it grows ever larger and more intrusive. The priceless jewel of freedom can only be seized and then scrupulously maintained, nearly always by force of arms wielded by strong, determined lovers of individual liberty resolutely unwilling to ever take “no” for an answer.

“Violence is not the answer”? The hell you say. It’s the ONLY answer, once a certain line in the sand has been stepped over. Unfortunately for us all, in Amerika v2.0 that grim threshold was crossed long ago.

This essay is depressing as all hell, but it’s also one of the estimable JB Shurk’s very best yet, of which you’ll surely want to read the all.

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Blinded by reality

Yet again, I say: TINVOWOOT.

We are approaching eight years since Trump descended the golden escalator of Trump Tower; in many ways the decline has accelerated. The Republican establishment, however, does not seem to have learned much in the intervening years, and still has very little to offer. This was most clearly on display during the midterm elections when, despite the smug predictions of an inevitable “red wave,” some were keen on the idea that some hollow “Commitment to America” would motivate voters to overwhelm the polls.

To the surprise of no one who has not been in the establishment or a coma, it failed. Perhaps for good reason, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blithely informed us following the GOP’s embarrassing midterm performance that providing military aid for the Ukraine should be our top priority, and a dozen more of our Grand Old Party elected officials voted in favor of codifying the redefinition of marriage.

Our elites ruthlessly trample upon the very foundations of America; they seek to destroy the good, deny beauty, and ultimately lead souls on the path to destruction. This unsustainable ideology has produced nothing but depression, confusion, and harm.

Yet, in a civilization at its breaking point, where one is reprimanded for espousing basic truths, this major party has nothing positive to offer. Have they been so deflated by the lies from our enemies’ tongues, that the absolute best we can look forward to is forbidding scandalizing sexual education policies until third grade? Once the child hits the age of 9, all bets are off?

A soft-spoken, low-energy politician with a “serious strategy,” simply clinging onto the toothless abstractions of freedom and individualism is insufficient. The summation of the Right’s worldview—should it provide a muscular alternative to the current course of decline—cannot simply be: but we’re not them!

As Peter Thiel reminded us at the 2022 National Conservatism conference, even Florida in 2022 fails to provide the foundation for a long-term alternative model to the one offered by California.

America needs a proven leader, and a visionary to capture the intangible—someone who will not merely motivate the masses to get to the polls but who can craft a meaningful vision in which Americans can place their hope. It needs a vision for American excellence: a sovereign nation under God that embraces Truth, not rejects it.

Any such person is doomed from the git-go by those very qualities, and has no more chance of becoming President in our entirely rigged system than I do. “But we’re not them”? Au contraire, mon frere: you absolutely, positively ARE them, which is the root of the whole problem.

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Theater of government

Protecting the bureacRats is an old, old tradition in Mordor On The Potomac, going all the way back to Andrew Jackson’s day.

Republicans Are Failing Unless They Are Disrupting, Discrediting, And Destroying The Bureaucracy
For well over a century, we’ve all been told the progressives’ folk tale about the Jacksonian revolution: that he didn’t really get rid of any of the bureaucracy, but what he did do was he brought in a rabble, and created the spoils system. In this telling, the nation is essentially held captive by the crooks, by the cronies, until the heroes arrive: when the progressives ransom democracy for the passage of this little statute called the Pendleton Act.

The Pendleton Act (and all of its progeny that follow up through Jimmy Carter’s 1978 civil service reform), had essentially one goal, which was to insulate the civil bureaucracy from political accountability — to “protect” civil servants. Now, I think in fairness we would all agree that Jackson’s idea did fail. He had a novel concept: what he called a rotation in office, essentially term limits for civil bureaucrats.

We’ve never really come back to that concept. We want to terminate the actual democratically accountable leaders of the nation and leave the permanent Mandarin class (which some folks in this room belong to here in Washington) as an occupying army. The idea was good, and Jackson would say, “I don’t want the civil bureaucracy to remain a species of property for these people.”

But even by the numbers, Jackson only took out about 10 percent of the then-existent civil service, which by even the modest standards of 19th-century America, 10 percent was insufficiently small.

Priority No. 1: Take Out the Bureaucracy
The last thing I’ll just say really quick is for those of you who actually advise members of Congress or senators. There was a recent celebration at the institution which is still called publicly the University of California at Berkeley (which is not really much of a university anymore). Professors Lee Raiford and Ula Taylor gave a presentation on Berkeley’s purchase of a whole tranche of documents from J. Edgar Hoover’s tenure as director of the FBI. The documents are largely focused on the counterintelligence program, which was known as “cointelpro.”

The presentation from the professors in why Berkeley was interested in this tranche of documents was that it supposedly was confirmation of the systemic racism of the FBI from its inception through the duration of Director Hoover’s tenure. For my purposes, I think what’s fascinating is how they highlighted this line from an internal memo that Hoover authored to field agents where he said, “The obligation you have is to disrupt, discredit, and destroy the Black Panther movement.”

The advice I would give any of you who are advising members of Congress when you go to stage what are otherwise meaningless Kabuki-theater hearings [is this]. When you want to exercise oversight by asking the bureaucracy to provide the information that will then allow you to exercise your oversight authorities — unpack that one: The very people you’re supposed to be controlling are the ones you’re dependent upon for information — when all that’s happening, the mantra that you should have in mind is: We are failing unless we are disrupting, discrediting, and destroying these people.

Precisely, indubitably so. Unless and until that happens, it’s all just posturing, preening, and pissing into the wind.

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Germans gotta German

Some Master Races never change.

German court orders Holocaust survivor to be sent to psychiatric institution for forced COVID shots

STUTTGART, Germany (LifeSiteNews) – German authorities want to put a famous Jewish composer and Holocaust survivor into a psychiatric clinic and force her to take the COVID injection.

Inna Zhvanetskaya, who lives in Stuttgart, Germany, was supposed to be taken to a psychiatric institution and forcefully injected with the COVID jabs on January 11, according to the news outlet Report24, which has been in personal contact with Zhvanetskaya.

However, according to several reports, she has been transferred to a safe place by friendly activists who wanted to prevent her arrest.

The 85-year-old Zhvanetskaya sent a video message to Report24 saying that “music is my life, and if they take away music from me then they take my life.”

Report24 also received a copy of the court order, which authorizes her forceful transfer to a psychiatric institution and for her to be forcefully injected with the COVID-19 shots “for her own good.”

The court order was officially appointed by her professional guardian, which seems somewhat contradictory given that the German national federation of professional guardians is strictly against forced vaccinations of patients against their wishes, according to statements made on their website.

“I talked to her on the phone for an hour,” Orel said, according to a report by TKP. “She is vulnerable, frightened, and has lived in this state for about two years, as her legal guardian has apparently tried to institutionalize her several times.”

It surely is–just EXACTLY like, I’m afraid. Which is nothing short of horrifying.

Professor Martin Haditsch, who was one of Austria’s most famous critics of the COVID-related government measures, said that the forced vaccination represents a violation of the Nuremberg Code, which forbids medical experiments on humans since the COVID injections were not properly tested before being introduced to the market.

Ironic, isn’t it? After all, Germany was the whole reason the Nuremberg Code came into being in the first goddamned place. Don’t make us come back over there again, assholes.

(Via GP)

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You funny

Hope springs eternal, no matter how vain it be.

As Conservatives Shift From Opposing McCarthy to Holding His Feet to the Fire, Here are Five Promises He Needs to Keep
For America First patriots who opposed Kevin McCarthy’s ascension to Speaker of the House, Friday night was a loss. But to get there on the 15th vote, McCarthy had to make a lot of promises and concessions to the Freedom Caucus. Will he honor those commitments?

BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. For the love of God, man, stop it, you’re killing me here.

Our role as patriots is to make certain he does and to call him out when he doesn’t. Unfortunately, the GOP failed miserably to stop the midterm steal in the Senate, so getting any legislation to Joe Biden’s desk will be very hard. Then, there’s the veto that the GOP cannot overcome. But they can still hold hearings. They can still use the power of the purse. McCarthy has moves that he and the GOP caucus can make.

To that end, here are five of the promises he made that need to be fulfilled.

Meh, didn’t read ’em. Not even slightly interested, plus I have many other more productive uses for my time, such as clipping my toenails or something.

6

Keep your eyes on the ball

Don’t be fooled, distracted, or deceived by all the smoke and mirrors.

Speakership Battle Is Just More Bread and Circuses

This entire hullabaloo is about who will be the manager of a whole lot of static nothingness. Whoever is chosen will have the tiniest of margins with which to govern and a caucus far more divided and less obedient than the one Nancy Pelosi controlled. And whoever that manager is will be dealing with a Democrat-controlled Senate and a self-serving statist lapdog Republican Minority Leader and whatever we have in the White House. So, nothing of substance will happen beyond possible hearings and investigations—but even those will be of limited value.

Republicans can run investigations into Hunter Biden, maybe try to bring the corruptocrat-in-chief into the crosshairs, but that means very little because it was the FBI pulling all the strings and covertly engineering an election outcome for the third straight cycle. We have a deeply corrupted FBI manipulating our elections in myriad ways. Consider that sentence. It should knock Americans over. It has been shown to be undeniably true now with the release of the Twitter Files. But who is pushing to do what actually needs to be done: a ruthless offense?

The real problem begins to feel unplumbable. The permanent state remains unscathed and more powerful than ever. The original creator of the permanent state is Congress—yes, the folks who could begin to tackle the problem are the same ones who created the problem. Through legislation over decades that has ceded irresponsibly high levels of discretion to federal agencies in the executive branch, Congress has skated on making tough decisions itself—beneficial for their individual re-elections—and delegated those decisions (and therefore all that power) to unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats.

The entire system of unaccountable bureaucratic mini-tyrants is working about as one might expect. For pity’s sake, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2012 with a lousy memo. It took 10 years for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to determine it was unconstitutional while allowing all those who had taken advantage of it to remain legal. Congress created Homeland Security and ceded incredible powers to it. This dynamic is repeated thousands of times in the federal government at all levels.

So all of the endless drivel about a “dysfunctional” House is nonsense. It was well-functioning Houses that put us under the thumb of powerful, untouchable, invisible federal authoritarians. Oh, that we might have had dysfunctional Houses back then!

Yeah, well, as CA always says, Real Americans didn’t lose their freedom; it was stolen from them, by people who have names, faces, and addresses. May the slippery, slimery sneak-thieves all be reminded of that ineluctable fact, and that right soon.

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Fix: IN

Those 20 heroes I sang the praises of yesterday? Meh, not so much.

THE DAM BREAKS IN THE HOUSE

Update: On the thirteenth ballot, McCarthy again failed to secure enough votes for a win. He picked up one additional vote this time around, Rep. Andy Harris (Md.). The rest of the holdouts voted for Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio): McCarthy 214, Jeffries 212, Jordan 6. The House is adjourned until 10 p.m. tonight.

Original story:

On the twelfth vote for speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, several of the twenty holdouts switched their votes to Kevin McCarthy’s column.

The House erupted in cheers each time a holdout voted for McCarthy, signaling their relief that the end of the protracted battle for the top position in the House may be in sight. The final tally was McCarthy 213, Hakeem Jeffries 211, and others 7, coming on the heels of tense negotiations over the last several days as a group of conservatives pressed McCarthy for changes to House rules and key leadership roles. The magic number for McCarthy had been 218 votes, but due to three absences in the House, it was lowered to 217, leaving the California Republican just four votes shy of a win. McCarthy has indicated that he wants to proceed with another vote rather than adjourn for the weekend, suggesting he believes he has the votes needed to bring the election to a conclusion.

It was reported early Friday that the dam had begun to burst, and key holdouts indeed switched their votes to McCarthy early in the afternoon.

But hey, looky at this mess of pottage the Devil gave me in exchange for my soul!

I repeat: there’s only way out of this for us now. Yes, it will of necessity mean bloodshed.

Sick-making update! Ask a silly question.

WHAT COUNTRY IS THIS???!!! Mother of Murdered American Patriot Ashli Babbitt ARRESTED by DC Goon Squad on 2-Year Anniversary of the January 6 Mostly Peaceful Protest…

Why, Amerika v2.0, of course.

Micki Witthoeft was part of a group of protesters walking westbound on Independence Avenue between the Capitol and House office buildings. A trailing police officer in a marked car tried to order the protesters to move to the sidewalk away from the Capitol. The protesters ignored the warning and continued marching, with Witthoeft on the outside in the middle of a traffic lane.

Capitol Police set up a roadblock and ordered the protesters to cross the street to the sidewalk or be arrested. After an officer shoulder checked Witthoeft where she tried to move past him, Witthoeft turned her back to the officers and offered to be arrested. She was immediately cuffed and taken into custody.

She can only thank her lucky stars that the Capitol Pig goon-squad didn’t just gun her down in cold blood like they did her poor daughter. Because you know good and well they were just itching to, the soulless rat-bastards.

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Hope springs eternal

However manifestly forlorn it may be.

The exhausting toils of the holidays are behind us; the mischief that could be done by the lame ducks in Congress has been done ($1.7 trillion Omnibus Spending Bill); and the time has come for the citizens of this land to get some answers about the escalating trips laid on them by their own government. The House of Representatives is in new hands. You’ll know in pretty short order whether they are capable, trustworthy hands, or just a blur of fast fingers running another three-card-monte table.

The most pressing questions abide around justice, and the gavel of the Judiciary Committee passes from the barely-alive Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) to the very animated Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). He needs to ask FBI Director Chris Wray how it came to be that the Bureau sat in possession of the Hunter Biden laptop during the impeachment of January 2020 and did not offer up to the defense the exculpatory evidence it abundantly contained in the way of business deal memos between the Biden family and officials in several foreign lands, Ukraine in particular. After all, the impeachment hinged on a telephone inquiry Mr. Trump made about just those matters. Was there a good reason for that phone call, or not? Obviously, there was, and Mr. Wray’s conduct looks like obstruction of justice in the highest degree.

Rep. James Comer (R-KY) comes in as chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. He announced months ago that he would hold hearings on interesting issues such Hunter Biden’s taxes and exactly who has paid to support his new career as an “artist.”

We’ve got national security concerns with respect to Hunter Biden. We want to know if you remember who bought that expensive artwork when he was an artist for about three days and sold the artwork for half a million dollars. We want to know why the Russian oligarchs who paid Hunter Biden money were mysteriously left off the sanctions list when Joe Biden started putting sanctions on Russians and Russian oligarchs. We’ve got a lot of questions about shady business dealings that Hunter had and whether or not they impacted the Biden administration.

Next Mr. Wray has to answer for the FBI’s infiltration of social media. How did the top lawyer at the FBI, Jim Baker, come to be employed as the right-hand to Twitter’s chief censor, Vijaya Gadde? How did all those former FBI agents land at the company along with Jim Baker, and what did Mr. Wray have to do with the FBI demands to censor news and persons on matters of critical national importance such as vaccine safety and election fraud? How did more than a hundred former federal agents land on Facebook, Google, and other platforms? How did Mr. Wray decide to shut down the avenues of the First Amendment to the Constitution?

Next up: Attorney General Merrick Garland. On what grounds are pre-trial January 6 Riot suspects being held in the decrepit DC federal lockup without bail on rinky-dink charges two years after the event? How does that square with American due process of law? What did he know about the existence of the Hunter Biden laptop and the evidence it contained? What is he doing about it? How did Mr. Garland happen to target for prosecution parents protesting school board policies on race and sexual matters? Of course, Mr. Garland is going to evade answering by using the ploy that all these questions “pertains to ongoing investigations.” Mr. Jordan had better hire a gutsy chief counsel with some brains to penetrate that bodyguard of lies.

If the Special Subcommittee on the January 6 Riot is disbanded, turn the matter over to the Andy Biggs’ Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Let’s hear from Nancy Pelosi’s staff as to why her office (of the Speaker) turned down offers from the Trump White House for national guard protection that day. Let’s also hear from the then-chief of the Capitol Police, Steven Sund, who resigned from that job two days later — in consternation or disgrace? Bring back Mr. Wray and Mr. Garland. How many federal agents were circulating in the crowd the night before and on the day of the January 6 riot? Why was one Ray Epps never indicted for his much-recorded incitements to enter the Capitol? Who opened the magnetically-locked doors from the inside of the building? Stuff like that. What was the decision process for not charging officer Michael Byrd in the shooting death of Ashli Babbitt?

I hope it’s not too impertinent to suppose that the January 6 Riot was engineered by our government to embarrass and punish its political opponents — taking advantage of the First Amendment “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” which was what that crowd had come to do in Washington DC that day. Interesting how a little tweaking here and there turned that into a convenient fiasco. Entrapment, anyone? And how government control and interference over social media and corporate news reinforced the narrative that the stage-managed riot was “an insurrection” — one of many actual “big lies” of our time nurtured by our government against its citizens.

A few other inquiries in this new Congress that need to commence ASAP: Can we hear from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as to how come the US-Mexican Border is absolutely wide open; why his employees are transporting illegal aliens all around the USA; why he is running a program in Mexico to give Venezuelans and other select alien nationals “advanced authorization” and “two years parole,” then sneaking them into the USA through regular ports-of-entry?

Hey, I have an idea: maybe Miss Lindsey “Talk-talk” Graham can empanel another of his vaunted Blue Ribbon Commissions™ to “get to the bottom” of this extensive litany of corruption, malfeasance, and dysfunction again!

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RuiNation

Anybody who has ever worked for a medium-to-large-sized corporation in America has experienced this same sort of thing. Even working for a small, strictly-local B-drayage hauler in the air-freight business for many years, I most certainly have.

What happened to Southwest Airlines?

I’ve been a pilot for Southwest Airlines for over 35 years. I’ve given my heart and soul to Southwest Airlines during those years. And quite honestly Southwest Airlines has given its heart and soul to me and my family.

Many of you have asked what caused this epic meltdown. Unfortunately, the frontline employees have been watching this meltdown coming like a slow-motion train wreck for sometime. And we’ve been begging our leadership to make much needed changes in order to avoid it. What happened yesterday started two decades ago.

Herb Kelleher was the brilliant CEO of SWA until 2004. He was a very operationally oriented leader. Herb spent lots of time on the front line. He always had his pulse on the day-to-day operation and the people who ran it. That philosophy flowed down through the ranks of leadership to the front-line managers. We were a tight operation from top to bottom. We had tools, leadership and employee buy-in. Everything that was needed to run a first-class operation. When Herb retired in 2004 Gary Kelly became the new CEO.

Gary was an accountant by education and his style leading Southwest Airlines became more focused on finances and less on operations. He did not spend much time on the front lines. He didn’t engage front line employees much. When the CEO doesn’t get out in the trenches then neither do the lower levels of leadership.

Gary named another accountant to be Chief Operating Officer (the person responsible for day-to-day operations). The new COO had little or no operational background. This trickled down through the lower levels of leadership, as well.

They all disengaged the operation, disengaged the employees and focused more on Return on Investment, stock buybacks and Wall Street. This approach worked for Gary’s first 8 years because we were still riding the strong wave that Herb had built.

But as time went on the operation began to deteriorate. There was little investment in upgrading technology (after all, how do you measure the return on investing in infrastructure?) or the tools we needed to operate efficiently and consistently. As the frontline employees began to see the deterioration in our operation we began to warn our leadership. We educated them, we informed them and we made suggestions to them. But to no avail. The focus was on finances not operations. As we saw more and more deterioration in our operation our asks turned to pleas. Our pleas turned to dire warnings. But they went unheeded. After all, the stock price was up so what could be wrong?

We were a motivated, willing and proud employee group wanting to serve our customers and uphold the tradition of our beloved airline, the airline we built and the airline that the traveling public grew to cheer for and luv. But we were watching in frustration and disbelief as our once amazing airline was becoming a house of cards.

A half dozen small scale meltdowns occurred during the mid to late 2010’s. With each mini meltdown Leadership continued to ignore the pleas and warnings of the employees in the trenches. We were still operating with 1990’s technology. We didn’t have the tools we needed on the line to operate the sophisticated and large airline we had become. We could see that the wheels were about ready to fall off the bus. But no one in leadership would heed our pleas.
When COVID happened SWA scaled back considerably (as did all of the airlines) for about two years. This helped conceal the serious problems in technology, infrastructure and staffing that were occurring and being ignored. But as we ramped back up the lack of attention to the operation was waiting to show its ugly head.

Gary Kelly retired as CEO in early 2022. Bob Jordan was named CEO. He was a more operationally oriented leader. He replaced our Chief Operating Officer with a very smart man and they announced their priority would be to upgrade our airline’s technology and provide the frontline employees the operational tools we needed to care for our customers and employees. Finally, someone acknowledged the elephant in the room.

But two decades of neglect takes several years to overcome. And, unfortunately to our horror, our house of cards came tumbling down this week as a routine winter storm broke our 1990’s operating system.

The frontline employees were ready and on station. We were properly staffed. We were at the airports. Hell, we were ON the airplanes. But our antiquated software systems failed coupled with a decades old system of having to manage 20,000 frontline employees by phone calls. No automation had been developed to run this sophisticated machine.

We had a routine winter storm across the Midwest last Thursday. A larger than normal number flights were cancelled as a result. But what should have been one minor inconvenient day of travel turned into this nightmare. After all, American, United, Delta and the other airlines operated with only minor flight disruptions.

The two decades of neglect by SWA leadership caused the airline to lose track of all its crews. ALL of us. We were there. With our customers. At the jet. Ready to go. But there was no way to assign us. To confirm us. To release us to fly the flight. And we watched as our customers got stranded without their luggage missing their Christmas holiday.

I believe that our new CEO Bob Jordan inherited a MESS. This meltdown was not his failure but the failure of those before him. I believe he has the right priorities. But it will take time to right this ship. A few years at a minimum. Old leaders need to be replaced. Operationally oriented managers need to be brought in. I hope and pray Bob can execute on his promises to fix our once proud airline. Time will tell.

It’s been a punch in the gut for us frontline employees. We care for the traveling public. We have spent our entire careers serving you. Safely. Efficiently. With luv and pride. We are horrified. We are sorry. We are sorry for the chaos, inconvenience and frustration our airline caused you. We are angry. We are embarrassed. We are sad. Like you, the traveling public, we have been let down by our own leaders.

Herb once said the biggest threat to Southwest Airlines will come from within. Not from other airlines. What a visionary he was. I miss Herb now more than ever.

Whether they know of him specifically or not, many people do. Or almost certainly will, as time grinds on.

The American economic juggernaut was built on the idea that people would start at the bottom of any given enterprise and work their way up based on experience, talent, and knowledge of the business from soup to nuts. Alas for us all, the advent of the MBA replaced that excellent system with nebbish dweebs coming in from outside to “manage” the business without ever having set Foot One on a loading dock, factory floor, or assembly line in their entire lives, which has all but done away with any concept of making it on merit. Those overcredentialed-but-undereducated, shiny-loafered, smug college-boy types have been nothing but sand in the gears of what was once the mightiest wealth-producing engine in all of history.

1

Raise a glass!

I’ll drink to that.

Most of today’s regulatory framework for alcohol traces back to the immediate post-Prohibition years. The basic assumption was that alcohol consumption is bad but unavoidable. The goal, then, was to regulate in ways that led people to drink less, via high taxes and inconveniences, without returning to the bootleggers and speakeasies of the disastrous Prohibition era.

Though things have lightened up a bit since then, that’s still the basic philosophy today. Alcohol discussions tend to turn on things like liver damage, impaired driving, violence and so on.

These negative consequences are real. But as Slingerland makes clear, they aren’t the whole story. There are a lot of less-heralded positives.

Given the downsides, alcohol consumption must also offer some advantages, Slingerland reasons, else it would have died out. But it hasn’t. In fact it’s hard to find successful civilizations that don’t use alcohol — and those few that qualify tend to replace it with other intoxicants that have similar effects.

Drinking doesn’t just make us feel good,

Until the hangover sets in.

it also makes us get along better,

Until the brawl breaks out.

cooperate more effectively

Until the obstreperousness spills forth.

and think more expansively.

Until the blackout occurs.

Of course, drinking isn’t all upside, but that isn’t the point. The point is that it’s not all downside, either — yet we regulate it, essentially, as if it were. We need a more balanced approach.

Said a mouthful there, Glenn.

And it isn’t just alcohol. As our culture has veered in an increasingly bossy and punitive direction, the tolerance for any sort of downside is vanishing. The “playground movement” at the beginning of the last century argued “better a broken arm than a broken spirit.” Today’s society takes a different approach.

Indubitably so…and there’s a reason for that, too. In present-day Amerika v2.0, broken spirits are the goal, the real point of the whole exercise. Why? The better to oppress you with, my dear. Docile slaves are much easier to lord over than resentful, belligerent ones, you see. The bottom-line problem propping all this foolishness up? The deep-seated Progressivist aversion to any and all risk.

During the pandemic, we saw a degree of safety-ism that discounted the value of humans getting together in the face of tiny or even notional risks, leading to absurdities like ocean paddle-boarders being arrested for paddling maskless. There’s much more value in the activity than risk in being unmasked at sea.

The list of cases where killjoys focus excessively on the negative is huge, and anyone reading this can think of many examples. But what do we do about it?

Ain’t but the one thing: start killing the killjoys. It really is the only way to be rid of them for any meaningful length of time, although even that isn’t permanent.

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3

Romney rubs it in

A pluperfect example of GOPe “thinking.”

Mitt Romney Tries to Explain the Omnibus Vote, and It’ll Leave You Punching Walls

Far better to punch Romney, if you ask me. Certainly more productive, and easier on the hands too.

On Thursday, 18 Republican senators joined hands with Democrats to pass yet another massive Omnibus spending bill. This time, it cost US taxpayers $1.7 trillion, setting spending baselines that will now be used for the next two years via continuing resolutions. All of this happened mere weeks before the GOP was set to take over the House of Representatives, meaning that the power of the purse that was just won has been conceded without anything resembling a fight.

Luckily, we have Sen. Mitt Romney around to explain that this wasn’t actually a betrayal of what was promised during the last election. In fact, you are just too stupid to realize that this is actually a good thing.

Romney begins by saying that he’s “convinced that this will cost less money than if we kick the can down the road until next year.”

So let’s just kick the can down the road this year instead. Hey, makes perfect sense, I guess, for certain values of the word “sense.”

He then cites the fact that the House GOP hasn’t selected a speaker yet to bolster his argument, saying that he’s “not sure they’re going to be able to take on the budget for this as well as the next year.”

In other words, you absolute rubes who voted for Republicans during the last mid-terms can’t be trusted to have your votes actually mean anything. Instead, you must be protected from yourself by having GOP Senators nuke the power of the purse before Republicans even take control. And you should be thankful that Romney and the rest did that for you.

The Utah senator then goes on to point out that even if House Republicans put together a budget, Democrats wouldn’t vote for it. Well, yes Mitt, we know. We are all well aware that Democrats actually keep their promises and hold the line. Why can’t the GOP do the same thing? Why can’t they lead and dictate instead of constantly reacting and bending the knee?

Oh, they can, right enough. Trouble is, they don’t want to. They know their prescribed role in this putrid little charade, and are content to stick with it.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, Romney then does what establishment Republicans always do, which is to suggest that military spending justifies all manner of domestic insanity. That’d be the same military currently instituting a preferred pronouns policy and that hasn’t won a war since the early ’90s. To end the video, he then lists out all the pork he’s bringing home to Utah.

To sum it up, the Republican Party deserves to lose, and parties that deserve to lose rarely win. There is no point in winning elections if the results are the same. The GOP had a chance to stand up here and at least demand the inclusion of funds to secure the border, and they couldn’t even get that done. And in the midst of being fed that turd sandwich, we are told it’s actually smoked brisket.

Heh. Brings to mind a bona fide classic from years ago, which featured now-irrelevant Milquetoast Conservative and bland Vichy GOPe shill Hugh Hewitt smacking his lips in gustatory delight and declaring, “My, this shit sandwich sure is tasty!” Can’t recall now who posted it originally—the Onion, maybe, back when they were still worth reading, which sorta tells you how long ago this was—nor which issue Hewitt had folded like a cheap accordion on, even. Trust me, though, it was a good ‘un.

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1
1

WHOSE party?

Not yours, not mine, not ours. THEIRS.

At their convention in 1900, the Republicans renominated William McKinley for president. They also had a problem on their hands: a boisterous trouble-maker with an exceptional ability to inspire crowds. His name was Teddy Roosevelt, a man more than one contemporary would describe as “the most remarkable man I ever met.” But the Republican Party had never liked Roosevelt, principally because he was impossible to control. He had a penchant for saying exactly what he thought and doing exactly what he wanted, no matter whether it was in line with the approved party platform.

In 1900, Roosevelt had been making a huge nuisance of himself as governor of New York, a position of massive importance in which, as he grew more and more popular, he became harder and harder to control. The Republicans, led by Thomas C. Platt (“Boss Platt”), wanted him out—out of New York, and out of power, period. So they hatched the perfect plan, nominating him for vice president, where he couldn’t do anything.

Roosevelt took the bait. The temptation of being a top man in Washington, D.C., was too great for him to resist, even though he knew he’d have no real power. And when McKinley won the election, the political bosses were doubly delighted: They had the White House, and they had managed to move TR from the vital role of New York governor to the totally impotent role of vice president.

The vice presidency at the turn of the century was a political graveyard, where politicians were sent to be gently eased out of power forever. We had not yet arrived at the modern tradition of having vice presidents generally rise to the presidency, or at least to the nomination. A vice president wasn’t even guaranteed to be nominated as the running mate for the second term of the president he had served. (McKinley’s first vice president was Garret Hobart, although he had a particularly good reason for not getting a second term—he died in office of a heart attack.)

Teddy Roosevelt’s political career was considered over when he went to Washington as vice president after the Republican victory of 1900. And it would have stayed that way if not for a freak twist of fate: In September 1901, McKinley became the third American president to be assassinated. Roosevelt was elevated from obscurity to the office he most desired and was best-suited to fill. The political bosses realized they had made a mistake, but it was too late: Their mistake haunted them through three presidential terms (two of TR’s and one of Taft’s). And then, after Taft’s first term, things got really bad.

TR wanted to be president again. He thought Taft was doing a mediocre job. And he argued (with a certain logic) that he’d never really had the two terms to which an American president was traditionally entitled because he’d only been elected president once—his first term, remember, had merely been the completion of McKinley’s.

But the Republican Party hated TR even more by 1912, even if the voters adored him. So they renominated Taft against the popular consensus. In response, TR founded a third party, the infamous “Bull Moose” party. This split the Republican vote, though in the process, TR got more votes than Taft, the only time in history that one of the two main parties finished in third place. This handed the presidency to Woodrow Wilson, one of the most destructive men of the 20th century (and the first academic to be elected president). Wilson never would have stood a chance had the Republican nomination gone to TR—he was elected with a mere 41 percent of the vote, an historic low.

But from the Republican perspective, it was better to lose the presidential race and have a Democrat in power with whom they could work—one who could play the game and be part of the machine—than it was to have someone who couldn’t be controlled. They never again made the mistake of nominating a man who wasn’t under their thumb. At least, not until 2016.

So remember: The GOP isn’t really our party. It never was. That is the central truth that the Trump phenomenon has exposed—or exposed anew. It’s a political machine, just like the Democratic Party, and it wants to run itself, not be run by “ordinary” people like you and me. Trump’s nomination the first time around, from the GOP’s perspective, was a huge mistake, just as TR’s had been. And they have no intention of repeating that kind of mistake.

Keep the story of the 1900 Republican Convention in mind, too, when you think of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis: He’s a huge success in Florida, and is the only governor standing up to the federal government in any meaningful way. What could be better than to seduce him away from that role with the promise of the presidency? Kill two birds with one stone, and kill America, too, while you’re at it.

Trump was a huge mistake: He was the biggest mistake machine politicians had made in over a century. The success of Trump’s presidency dealt establishment politicians a heavy blow. A second Trump term might kill them, and they know it.

Nah, not a chance. They’ll kill HIM long before they ever let that happen, count on it. Don’t dare kid yourself that they wouldn’t, or couldn’t, or don’t dare to. As I keep saying, that leaves us with just the one option, and we all already know full well what that option is.

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Church militant

We need more hardass clergymen like Dagger John Hughes, and fewer of the namby-pamby, weak-as-water shitlib sobsisters mainstream Christianity is currently burdened with.

We are not the first generation of New Yorkers puzzled by what to do about the underclass. A hundred years ago and more, Manhattan’s tens of thousands of Irish seemed a lost community, mired in poverty and ignorance, destroying themselves through drink, idleness, violence, criminality, and illegitimacy. What made the Irish such miscreants? Their neighbors weren’t sure: perhaps because they were an inferior race, many suggested; you could see it in the shape of their heads, writers and cartoonists often emphasized. In any event, they were surely incorrigible.

But within a generation, New York’s Irish flooded into the American mainstream. The sons of criminals were now the policemen; the daughters of illiterates had become the city’s schoolteachers; those who’d been the outcasts of society now ran its political machinery. No job training program or welfare system brought about so sweeping a change. What accomplished it, instead, was a moral transformation, a revolution in values. And just as John Wesley, the founder of Methodism in the late eighteenth century, had sparked a change in the culture of the English working class that made it unusually industrious and virtuous, so too a clergyman was the catalyst for the cultural change that liberated New York’s Irish from their underclass behavior. He was John Joseph Hughes, an Irish immigrant gardener who became the first Catholic archbishop of New York. How he accomplished his task can teach us volumes about the solution to our own end-of-the-millennium social problems.

John Hughes’s personal history embodied all the virtues he tried so successfully to inculcate in his flock. They were very much the energetic rather than the contemplative virtues: as a newspaper reporter of the time remarked of him, he was “more a Roman gladiator than a devout follower of the meek founder of Christianity.” He was born on June 24, 1797, in Annaloghan, County Tyrone, the son of a poor farmer. As a Catholic in English-ruled Ireland, he was, he said, truly a second-class citizen from the day he was baptized, barred from ever owning a house worth more than five pounds or holding a commission in the army or navy. Catholics could neither run schools nor give their children a Catholic education. Priests had to be licensed by the government, which allowed only a few in the country. Any Catholic son could seize his father’s property by becoming a Protestant.

When Hughes was 15, an event he was never to forget crystallized for him the injustice of English domination. His younger sister, Mary, died. English law barred the local Catholic priest from entering the cemetery gates to preside at her burial; the best he could do was to scoop up a handful of dirt, bless it, and hand it to Hughes to sprinkle on the grave. From early on, Hughes said, he had dreamed of “a country in which no stigma of inferiority would be impressed on my brow, simply because I professed one creed or another.”

Fleeing poverty and persecution, Hughes’s father brought the family to America in 1817. The 20-year-old Hughes went to work as a gardener and stonemason at Mount St. Mary’s college and seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Working there rekindled in him a childhood dream of becoming a priest, and he asked the head of the seminary, John Dubois, if he could enroll as a student. Dubois, a French priest who had fled Paris during the French Revolution armed with a letter of recommendation from Lafayette, turned him down, unable to see past his lack of education to the qualities of mind and character that lay within. This was no ordinary gardener, Dubois should have recognized; indeed, as he went back to his gardening chores, Hughes wrote a bitter poem on the shamefulness of slavery and its betrayal of America’s promise of freedom. Not one to forget a slight, Hughes harshly froze Dubois out of his life when he became prominent and powerful. Indeed, in later years, Hughes won the nickname of “Dagger John,” a reference not only to the shape of the cross that accompanied his printed signature but also to his being a man not to be trifled with or double-crossed.

And that he most certainly was, with big ol’ bells on. As I recall, Mike Walsh has written an essay or two about Dagger John, extolling his uncompromising, stout refusal to bend the knee to any earthly prince or potentate and meekly accept his fate as a second-class citizen because of his professed faith.

It’s easy to forget these days, perhaps, but even as recently as 1960 there were a great many Americans who questioned JFK’s fitness for the office of President purely because he was Catholic. They were strongly suspicious of the risk of what they called “popery” and “dual loyalty”—that, as a Roman Catholic, Kennedy’s primary fidelity would necessarily lie not with the US but with the Vatican. If that sounds eerily reminiscent of the accusations hurled at a certain ethnic group today, well, that ain’t no coincidence.

Read on for lots more about the life and times of a truly fascinating man; it’s good stuff, for sure.

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