Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday

When Black Friday comes
I'll stand down by the door
And catch the grey men when they
Dive from the fourteenth floor
When Black Friday comes
I'll collect everything I'm owed
And before my friends find out
I'll be on the road
When Black Friday falls you know it's got to be
Don't let it fall on me

When Black Friday comes
I'll fly down to Muswellbrook
Gonna strike all the big red words
From my little black book
Gonna do just what I please
Gonna wear no socks and shoes
With nothing to do but feed
All the kangaroos
When Black Friday comes I'll be on that hill
You know I will

When Black Friday comes
I'm gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it 'til
I satisfy my soul
Gonna let the world pass by me
The Archbishop's gonna sanctify me
And if he don't come across
I'm gonna let it roll
When Black Friday comes
I'm gonna stake my claim
I'll guess I'll change my name

[Becker & Fagan]

[“If Katy told you that, she lied.” -- Charles Hill]

Now, I don’t mean to tell you that you should adopt the above as your actual agenda, but it strikes me as preferable to what quite a lot of Americans will be doing today...those that aren’t doing it already, that is.

The annual Black Friday shopping frenzy wreaks enormous havoc on the body politic. The distortions to our fragile economy alone are in the quintillions of say nothing of the congestion on major shopping roads, the damage to male-female relations, or the deleterious effects on our military, our police, our firemen, our paramedics, our hospitals and schools, our culinary institutes, our major fashion houses, our women’s shoe designers – no, Duyen, I wasn’t about to forget them – and the producers of the Real Housewives oeuvre. Why, if the Communists were really still in business, Black Friday would strike them as a perfect tactic to wield against us running dog lackeys of the International Banking Conspiracy.

(Say, you don’t think...naah, can’t be. Forget I said anything.)

The psychologists claim to be baffled that even now that the online retailers have gotten into the act, massive floods of Americans queue up for this annual spectacle. But then, most psychologists have the actual reasoning power of an overripe Durian. After all, which is the greatest of the Black Friday pleasures? The combat! Jostling, body-checking, and goods-wrestling with other shoppers, right? It can’t be the wares themselves; they’ve been available all year. Nor are the sale prices all that dramatic, with rare exceptions (e.g., Precious Moments figurines, Franklin Mint commemorative sets, Buicks). As for the recent adaptation of “tailgating” practices to the Thursday-night lines in front of the stores, haven’t you eaten enough already? Thanksgiving dinner was just a few hours ago, for Pete’s sake!

Only one conclusion is possible: Black Friday is the American equivalent of the British / South American soccer riot.

Every nation has its safety valve: the event, whether scheduled or spontaneous, that allows people to forsake the constraints of civilization for a spell and “let it all out.” Black Friday is the American version. The Ferguson riots just began a little early. Charles Manson would have gotten clean away with his little murder spree had he had the good sense to hold it on Black Friday, but he just isn’t that bright. (Granted, the Postal Service’s version runs 365 days a year, but that’s a special case.)

Be grateful for Black Friday, people. America has the largest, most powerful military establishment in the world. Think about it: were there no Black Friday, how many more invasions and bombings would our poor tired servicemen be commanded to undertake, just so the politicos could “get it out of their system?” (Yes, Virginia: politicians do live vicariously through others, absolutely and entirely. The last nationally prominent politician who had an actual personal life was Grover Cleveland, and look where it got him.)

But gratitude is not participation, nor need one lead to the other. You in particular, Gentle Reader, should leave the driving – and the carnage – to others. Stay home. There’s nothing out there that justifies the risk of life, limb, and solvency. There are few enough of you already, and anyway, look at all the neat stuff Amazon is discounting! Why, the Instant Deals alone...but I digress. (You don’t really need a second piano, Fran, now do you?)

(FLASH! Only minutes ago Jennifer Lawrence was seen walking down Rodeo Drive in full combat apparel, with a recurve bow, a full quiver, and an arrow nocked and ready. Most recently, she was reported to have Josh Hutcherson in her sights. The body count is already climbing toward five figures. Verbum sat sapienti.)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

When Others Have Already Said It Ably...

...I feel no need and little incentive to repeat it in my own terms.

First up, the inimitable Fred Reed:

Two questions, methinks, arise from Ferguson's latest outburst. The first, political, is "Why does the country tolerate it?" The second, more anthropologically interesting, is "Why the eerie incapacity of underclass blacks to understand evidence, or law, or much of anything?" Of the countless explanations given for the poor performance and poor behavior of blacks in the US, one of them dares not speak its name: Low intelligence.

Yet it fits all the evidence. It explains why Africa never built cities, why it did not invent writing, why there was no African Fifth-Century Athens. It explains why Rhodesia, prosperous and an exporter of food when run by whites, fell immediately into hunger and barbarism when whites left. It explains the dysfunction of black societies from Africa to Haiti to Detroit. It explains why blacks invariably score far below whites and Asians on tests of IQ, on the SATs, GREs, on entrance and promotion exams for fire and police departments.

It explains the need for affirmative action and for departments of Black Studies in universities when black students can’t handle real courses. It explains why the gap in academic achievement never closes. It explains the criminality, the violence, the poor impulse control, the dependency on welfare, the unemployment, and the inability to integrate themselves into a high-tech society. It explains the constant scandals involving teachers in black schools giving students the answers on standardized tests.

Further, it explains why none of the programs intended to raise performance of blacks in the schools ever work. Head Start didn’t work. Integrated schools didn’t work, nor segregated schools, nor black schools with white teachers nor black schools with black teachers. Expensive laboratories and free computers didn't work. Schools run entirely by blacks with very high per-student expenditure (Washington, DC for example) didn’t work. There is no indication that anything at all will ever work. Low intelligence is the obvious explanation. There is precious little counterevidence.

Second, consider this from Sara Noble:

Time Magazine published an article by freelance writer Darlena Cunha. It provides a good trip through the liberal thought apparatus. It’s a frightening trip.

Cunha wrote an article about the Ferguson riots titled “Ferguson: In Defense of Rioting”. The violent protests that destroyed 25 businesses and put many in danger are, according to her, “part of the American experience.” Only the “mainstream” can enjoy the “luxury” of “peaceful protesting,” she says.

It’s a perfect example of how these new liberals think. They’re not your grandfather’s liberal.

Without considering the facts or the evidence, she said the “anger” in Ferguson was “inevitable” because a “police officer” shot “a young, unarmed black man in the streets.” She wrote “inevitable” as if the rioting is to be expected and she wrote “in the streets” as if Michael Brown was dragged into a gutter.

“Riots”, she states, “are a necessary part of the evolution of society.” People aren’t living in a “universal utopia” and they don’t have “basic human rights”.

Third, ponder this, from Lee Cary via Doug Ross:

On the morning after the Grand Jury No True Bill decision was announcement, it was clear that the policing authorities followed a planned, minimum-response strategy. They offered little resistance to looting and property destruction, perhaps in order to avoid bloodshed and media scrutiny.

The outcome: On the morning after, there were few, if any, reports of serious injuries. No media videos went viral showing police physically subduing looters. No ambulances were filmed loading bleeding rioters or police. Just the burned and broken evidence of an orgy of looting and property destruction....

When the welfare state begins to dial-down, and the value of EBT cards atrophy, some of those neighborhoods will burn at the hands of their own thug-teens. And policing authorizes will either be unwilling, or unable, to confront the lawlessness....

Meanwhile, the well-established, well-funded, social-activist organizations, many that have been active in Ferguson for months, hope to use Ferguson as a catapult to a sustained, new, civil rights movement. They are professional, crisis ambulance-chasers. The Ferguson looters are their cannon fodder. Wilding is a just one means to their social-transformation end.

Fourth and last, the great Thomas Sowell:

One of the reasons for being glad to be as old as I am is that I may be spared living to see a race war in America. Race wars are often wars in which nobody wins and everybody ends up much worse off than they were before.

Initial skirmishes in that race war have already begun and have in fact been going on for some years. But public officials pretend that it is not happening, and the mainstream media seldom publish it at all, except in ways that conceal what is really taking place.

What’s that? You didn’t come here to read a collage of quotes from other writers? You’re here for my peerless ranting? But Gentle Reader, haven’t we been here enough times already?

It’s on.

(Cross-posted at League of Outlaw Bloggers.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Sickness At The Heart Of Contemporary Conservatism

With all the lambasting I do of the Left, I sometimes forget to be “fair and balanced.” Mind you, that’s not to imply that the Right is equally sinful, or in the same ways. But self-nominated conservatives are far from stainless representatives of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.

Have a gander at the following clinker, emitted by Kevin Williamson in the middle of a column in which it’s entirely gratuitous:

The Libertarian party should hold its convention at the Boot Track Café in Loving County, Texas, the least populated place in the United States; the café is closed at the moment, but I am sure that they would open it up to give the Libertarian party a place where its members — both of them — can be lonely together.

Oh, how clever. And how utterly irrelevant, mean-spirited, and small-souled. Do you suppose Mr. Williamson is aware that the most popular Republican now in federal office is libertarian Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky? But that might require that he confront data that doesn’t conform to his prejudices.

I’m getting rather sick of this garbage. I hear a lot of it from so-called conservatives, most of whom can’t even articulate what conservative means. Yes, the LP is small, far smaller than either major party. But do you suppose Mr. Williamson will be happy to be reminded of his cited statement the next time a Republican candidate loses by a small margin? Do you suppose, mindful of the LP’s trivial size, that he’ll refrain from castigating the Libertarian candidate for “stealing” votes from his partisan preference?

I left the LP because the persons rising to the leadership of the Party struck me as uncongenial and impossible to work with. But the core libertarian principle –i.e., that individuals have inalienable rights that no one may legitimately invade or infringe – remains a staple of my convictions. Within its sphere of application, it is unchallengeable...and never explicitly challenged, except by those who proclaim that “only might makes right.”

American political conservatism has been trending ever more strongly toward libertarian positions. This is a notable development, inasmuch as the heart of the conservative world view is a firm attachment to existing institutions and methods, many of which imply the exact reverse of inviolable individual rights. Yet there is important explanatory material here, for a political family’s most threatening competition comes from those whose principles and positions are closest to its own.

(No Democrat who loses his bid for office has ever blamed it on the Libertarian candidate. Food for thought.)

But if you want a really revealing look at the sickness at the heart of conservatism, consider how little conservatives really understand about the Rule of Law. John Hayward’s recent column provides a starting point:

Not only is the Rule of Law a hollow phrase in America today, it lacks the proper intrinsic weight. Even the most hideously savage regimes have laws, and they bloody well expect everyone to follow them, Or Else. The Islamic State has all sorts of laws, with divine authority cited for many of them. They’re even minting their own currency these days. If you know absolutely nothing else about a particular society except that it features absolute obedience to the Rule of Law, I suggest asking a few more questions before deciding to purchase a summer home there.

Yes, indeed. In particular, ask this one:

Are government agents permitted to break one law in the course of enforcing some other law?

...and demand a yes or no answer – unqualified.

What’s that? You want to know what I have in mind? How about just about everything? For example, the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land, explicitly recognizes and guarantees certain rights of privacy and property in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Yet government agents routinely violate those rights for “law enforcement” purposes in the enforcement of other laws: everything from municipal zoning ordinances to the income tax and the War on Drugs. Indeed, we’re expected to surrender those rights upon request when a gaggle of myrmidons needs our property for a “stakeout;” recent developments in California have made this plain.

The usual excuse is “compelling government interest.” But under the theory behind the Constitution and the state charters, government, an agent with delegated powers, can have no interests of its own. It exists solely to discharge the responsibilities delineated for it in those documents, and for no other purpose.

A conservative who waves this aside to make room for his favorite intrusion on our rights – perhaps by saying something like “We’ve got to be practical” – is no friend of freedom. Nor will he rise to defend freedom when his personal ox is gored.

Quoth Louis Thiers:

Either rights exist, or they do not exist. If they exist, they involve absolute consequences...Furthermore, if a right exists, it exists at every moment. It is absolute today, yesterday, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, in summer as in winter, not when it pleases you to declare it in force.

I have no problem with a conservative who’s willing to accept that statement...but far too few self-styled conservatives are so willing. It might threaten their campaigns against drugs, sodomy, or abortion. It might make it difficult to fund their next military expedition! Can’t have that.

Small wonder conservative commentators so frequently slather contempt upon libertarians and libertarianism. They usually know, in their heart of hearts, that their positions contain quite a lot of contradiction, and they’d rather not have us point it out...especially when the powers and perquisites of high office are at stake.

ADDENDUM: Don't bother to comment if you can't do so without insulting me. Don't bother if you can't grasp why unenforceable laws are a bad idea. And especially don't bother if you think agents of the State should have the privilege of breaking laws that bind the rest of us. As I've said more than once, I'll entertain intelligent arguments only. Either play at my level or play with yourself...a practice I'm told has its devotees.

(Cross-posted at League of Outlaw Bloggers.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Devil Cop Wilkins is still guilty.

H/t: "Girls Just Wanna Have Guns."

A Question Of Public Deportment

By now, the entire country knows what’s happened in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the “no true bill” decision by the grand jury that sat on Officer Darren Wilson’s fatal shooting of giant thug Michael Brown.

I had a predictable reaction to the rioting and looting:

You can take the savage out of the jungle,
But it’s much, much harder
To take the jungle out of the savage.

I claim that the videos that have surfaced since the disorder began support that evaluation, and no other.

Chiefest among the nominally nonviolent obscenities of this affair are the words of His August Majesty, Barack Hussein Obama, first Emperor of the United States:

That this man should have the gall to stand before an audience and prattle about the rule of law – he who routinely flouts the law! – is a blasphemy beyond my power to adequately condemn. That he should call the rioting “an understandable reaction” – he who accused the police of “acting stupidly” in the Henry Louis Gates matter, without having even a superficial acquaintance with the facts! – recalls Maxine Waters’s defense of the Los Angeles rioters after the acquittals in the “Rodney King” trials. Has there ever been a less sincere, more barefaced liar in any American public office, much less in the Oval Office?

America, your greatest shame isn’t allowing Obama the presidency. It’s having returned him to it.

But let’s not dwell on the present when we have the past and future to address. After all, they’re so much bigger!

Time was, there was no hesitation on the police’s part to enforce noncontroversial norms of public conduct. They would routinely tell “undesirables” to “keep moving.” Nor was there any unease among law-abiding citizens about the practice. It was well understood that we would grudgingly tolerate much that went on behind closed doors that we could not countenance in public. Absolute intolerance of public misbehavior expressed an understanding of “camel’s nose under the tent lip” dynamics: a “broken window theory” of public conduct that reached well beyond vandalism and random disorder.

The breakdown, as always, started with little things. Littering. Public nuisances such as loudly played radios and boom boxes. Jostling on crowded sidewalks. Much followed from the mistaken tolerance of such behavior – a refusal by ordinary citizens to haul the offenders up by the scruff of their necks and compel penance and redress – that few predicted at the time.

We were opening the door to savagery in the streets. Some of us saw it coming and said so. Not enough Americans listened.

Incentives to savagery won’t affect everyone equally, of course. Those who responded by “acting out,” in the common parlance, were already predisposed toward such conduct: the sullen, the wrathful, the violently inclined previously held in check by a sense that they’d never get away with it. That the great preponderance of them are Negroes should surprise no one. What other demographic cohort has systematically been told that it’s “owed,” that “Whitey is holding you down,” that “justice” demands the mulcting of the innocent as “reparations”...and of course, “no justice, no peace!” -- ?

No one can hear such a gospel year in and year out without reacting to it. A hefty fraction of American Negroes have internalized it. Thus we have reached a situation quite similar to that of Muslims. It’s often said that, whereas the radical Muslim wants to behead you, the “moderate” Muslim merely wants a radical Muslim to behead you. Similarly, whereas the black rioter wants to loot your store and burn it down – assuming he gets the order right, that is – many a “peaceable” black merely condones such conduct as “an understandable reaction.”

Needless to say, this is not a formula that will restore order to America’s cities.

The violence will continue. It’s likely to intensify, as the public reaction to it has been hesitant at best. Why, for example, have so few affected business owners not organized a private militia to guard their establishments? Why has no governor acted to arrest and confine those openly exhorting the “protesters” to violence and vandalism, as is licit under the doctrine of incitement to riot? Why has the president not federalized the National Guard nationwide and sent it to the sites of rioting and looting with orders to shoot to kill?

Given the identity and character of the president, I doubt we need an explanation for that last point.

Would anyone care to dispute John Derbyshire’s “The talk, non-black version” today?

There’s more and probably worse to come. Stay tuned.

(Cross-posted at League of Outlaw Bloggers.)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Black Out The Blackers-Out

Ostrich tactics only work if your enemy is an ostrich – and an ostrich afraid of you, at that. Just now, the major networks, wholly dedicated to the protection of His August Majesty Barack Hussein Obama, first Emperor of these United States, are employing ostrich tactics: they’ve completely embargoed the most devastating revelations of the political cycle: Sharyl Attkisson’s Fast and Furious discoveries, and Jonathan Gruber’s megascandalous admissions that ObamaCare’s passage was made possible only by a systematic campaign of deceit.

To be perfectly fair to the satraps of the networks’ news divisions, the tactic has served them well in the past. Republicans and conservatives have almost never confronted them on it in a significant way. Indeed, we’ve tended to act like ostriches ourselves. We’ve disdained the Big Three as unreliably biased, turned to the alternative media for our news, and let it rest there. We’ve allowed the farce to continue unchallenged.

But that doesn’t loosen the Big Three’s grip on the national consciousness, which remains terrifyingly strong...and malevolent.

Here’s Ricochet’s Stephen Miller recommendation to the Republican National Committee:

ABC and NBC have instituted a three-week blackout — on network broadcasts, websites and social media pages — of the devastating admissions of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. The ACA architect repeatedly boasted of deceiving the American public about legislation that cost six million people their family doctor. This should be the final straw in any relationship the GOP and RNC leadership has with these networks, period. No more debates, no more appearances on “Meet The Press,” “Morning Joe,” or “This Week” on ABC.

Boycott both NBC and ABC over failing to report on Gruber’s revelations and put CBS on final notice over the revelations that they coordinated with the Obama administration to tank Sharyl Attkisson’s Benghazi reporting. Network news is a dying religion becoming more ideologically rigid, forgoing any attempt to stay relevant in a media landscape that no longer needs them. Leave them behind. We’ve already shown that it works. Marginalize them and label them progressive news outlets and make them live by it. MSNBC came out of the progressive closet fully earlier this year and their ratings and web traffic got worse. Air America is no more and Current TV is now an unloved stepchild Al Gore gave away for oil money.

Indeed. Broadcast news departments are middlemen. They don’t produce the news; they package and resell it. Should one of the two major parties deny them access, appearances by its national figures, and the privilege of covering its conventions and other events, they’d lose a hefty fraction of their wares. Now that that party holds 31 of the 50 governorships, the majority in both houses of Congress and in 67 out of 99 state legislatures, the loss might be enough to send the networks’ news divisions into irremediable collapse.

Alternately, it might evoke a long-needed purge of network news department mandarins whose faces have been wedged so long and so deeply in the Democrats’ posteriors that they’ve become inured to the taste and aroma.

On a tangentially related matter: have you followed the broadcast networks’ coverage of developments in Ferguson, Missouri? Have you felt adequately informed by it? Were you aware that private citizens and businessmen in that city have been buying guns and ammunition faster than local retail stores can stock them? That Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and Al Sharpton have been egging the black mobs on? That the mouthpieces of those mobs have threatened “demonstrations” – mass violence – in 90 cities nationwide unless Officer Darren Wilson, not even the subject of an indictment yet, is convicted of murder?

Feeling safe in your home, Gentle Reader? I did, once long ago. I check my own armory a lot more often these days than I did back then.

(Cross-posted at League of Outlaw Bloggers.)

Systematized, on-going ruination.

According to Obama our immigration system is broken because it doesn’t allow illegal aliens who illegally crossed the border to take American jobs. That’s not a broken system, that’s what the system is supposed to do.

When illegal aliens aren’t allowed to legally take American jobs, that’s how you know the immigration system is working. In the language of progressivism, helping means ruining and fixing means breaking. A system that fulfills any useful purpose must be reformed out of all usefulness.[1]

To conceal their true destructive purpose, progressives must lie. Today, every single area of public life is awash in lies of the worst kind. The lie about the numbers of unwelcome foreigners in our country is one.

Another is the lie about St. Trayvon in Sanford and Michael Brown in Ferguson. Both were thugs and thieves and the insolent Brown took to walking in the middle of the street and clearly – clearly – attacking the police officer who witnessed his "fuck you" behavior and confronted him. The black segment, for I can find no evidence warranting the descriptor "community," including our first anti-American occupant of the White House, have united behind the manufactured fantasy that Brown was a pleasant soul yearning to attend Rocket Science School. Even, the "conservative" Newsmax cable channel just a moment ago showed a picture of Brown wearing a . . . SHMG . . . school graduation cap. The scholar! Another image showed him wearing earphones. An innocent "youth" enjoyin' him some tunes safe at home!

The picture of him stealing from the store clerk was not shown. The lie of omission.

The authorities grovel before liars and thugs in Ferguson -- not a few of them New Black Panther scum and other outside communist agitators -- as though they were upstanding citizens with legitimate grievances. Progressive "truth." And the U.S. Dept. of Justice investigates the officer and his department when he and it enforced the law as they were sworn to do. Something needin' fixin', yo.

Effective law enforcement = broken system. Persecution and personal ruination for the officer = solution of choice.

Progressives are at war with common sense, human nature, basic morality, simple decency, the rule of law, tradition, custom, economics, religion, truth, and even cultural survival. The summum bonum of progressives is the immiseration of the productive middle class; the enslavement of the middle class, the poor and the lumpenproletariat; and the installation of a new Constitution-free alliance of voting parasites, intellectuals, the ultra wealthy, Muslims, other foreigners, and the courts.

[1] "Amnesty for Unamerica." By Daniel Greenfield, the Sultan Knish, 11/22/14.

The lie of 11 million illegals.

Collapsing the System and America’s First World identity has been the objective of Obama’s government all along.

Immigration patriots need to know that it’s not about Amnesty for five million people—it’s about enabling the fifty million that will reduce the U.S.A. to a geographic expression and the historic American nation to a despised minority.[1]

Fred Elbel of the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform, cited in source, "now believes the total to be closer to '50 million.'”

[1] "The Myth Of The 11 Million: Wall Street Analyst Estimates 21-25 Million Illegals Now In U.S." By Nicholas Stix,, 11/23/14 (links omitted).

Sunday, November 23, 2014

New Fiction

Well, one of them is new, anyway:

In The Waste: Sequel to The Warm Lands. The trek westward from Anam brings Gregor and Laella to a surprising denizen of the Great Waste: a gigantic, magnificently vital tree whose survival amidst the surrounding desolation Gregor cannot explain. But life requires no explanation. It is its own justification...and life will always call to life.

The Common Good: Sequel to In The Waste. Gregor and Laella’s westward trek has brought them to Luzan, a prosperous and surprisingly stable oasis-community protected from the Wastes by a girdling forest of a sort Gregor’s sorcery instructors at the Scholium Arcanum had told him was no more. However, Luzan’s stability is founded on a grisly secret: a price that proves to be most unsettling.


Bar The Doors And Don Your Bullet-Proof Vest!

Our beloved Ace of Spades has suggested an ingenious rejoinder to Barack Hussein Obama’s imperial presumptions:

Yesterday we saw a number of ideas floated about how to respond....rescission, lawsuits, de-funding and withholding votes on nominees to name a few on the table. There's one idea I'd like to add that is in many ways symbolic but that would focus the nation on the seriousness of this problem, do not invite Obama to address a joint session of Congress to deliver the State of the Union address.

The Constitution simply requires that "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." Nothing requires that he do so in person. The modern in person State of The Union dates back to Woodrow Wilson but Truman, Eisenhower and Nixon all gave written reports as was the custom from Thomas Jefferson to Wilson.

And Presidents don't simply show up whenever they please to address the Congress, they must be formally invited. That's where Boehner and McConnell can strike a blow for the legislature...simply don't invite him.

Brilliant, especially given Obama’s penchant for making everything into a campaign appearance...but we must ponder the possibilities:

  • Obama hates to be balked.
  • He might, conceivably, try to force his way in, with Secret Service backing.
  • It would therefore behoove Congress to prepare to prevent him from doing so.
  • That would require an augmentation of the Sergeant-At-Arms’s forces on hand.
  • It would also be wise for the members of Congress to wear protective gear: body armor.

Lead might fly. Individuals might be wounded or killed. But the properly prepared would have at least some reason to worry less, having less likelihood of being harmed. Do you think Obama would be among them?

(Apropos of the above, remember this episode? They weren’t ready to prevent him from forcing his way in. Verbum sat sapienti.)

(Cross-posted at League of Outlaw Bloggers.)

The Apolitical King: A Sunday Rumination

“My kingdom is not of this world.” – Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God and Redeemer of Mankind, as reported in the Gospel According to John, 18:36

The last Sunday before Advent is the Feast of Christ the King, which concludes the liturgical year. Kingship – the proper role and conduct of royalty in a society that supports it – is inherently bound to political conceptions: i.e., the proper role of coercive power and whence the authority arises for its use. This makes the conception of Jesus as King of Kings a seemingly paradoxical one, for He claimed no temporal powers. Indeed, as I noted above, He explicitly said that His kingdom is not a temporal realm.

That politics – public policy, public obligations, and the political affiliations of Christians – should color our conceptions of His New Covenant goes beyond absurdity into blasphemy.

Some years ago, I wrote:

We of the Twenty-First Century are largely unaware of the obligations which lay upon the kings of old. They were not, until the waning years of monarchy, sedentary creatures whose lives were a round of indulgences and propitiations. They were expected not merely to judge and pass sentence, but also to lead the armies of the realm when war was upon it. The king was expected to put himself at risk before any of his subjects. Among the reasons was this one: the loss of the king in battle was traditionally grounds for surrender, after which the enemy was forbidden by age-old custom to strike further blows.

The king, in this conception, was both the leader of his legions and a sacrifice for the safety of his subjects, should the need arise. He was expected to embrace the role wholeheartedly, and to lead from the front in full recognition of the worst of the possibilities. Not to do so was an admission that he was unfit for his throne:

     "We have talked," he said, "about all the strategies known to man for dealing with an armed enemy. We have talked about every aspect of deadly conflict. Every moment of every discussion we've had to date has been backlit by the consciousness of objectives and costs: attaining the one and constraining the other. And one of the first things we talked about was the importance of insuring that you don't overpay for what you seek."
     She kept silent and listened.
     "What if you can't, Christine? What if your objective can't be bought at an acceptable price?"
     She pressed her lips together, then said, "You abandon it."
     He smirked. "It's hard even to say it, I know. But reality is sometimes insensitive to a general's desires. On those occasions, you must learn how to walk away. And that, my dear, is an art form of its own."
     He straightened up. "Combat occurs within an envelope of conditions. A general doesn't control all those conditions. If he did, he'd never have to fight. Sometimes, those conditions are so stiff that he's compelled to fight whether he thinks it wise, or not."
     "What conditions can do that to you?"
     His mouth quirked. "Yes, what conditions indeed?"
     Oops. Here we go again. "Weather could do it."
     "By cutting off your lines of retreat in the face of an invasion."
     "Good. Another."
     "Economics. Once the economy of your country's been militarized, it runs at a net loss, so you might be forced to fight from an inferior position because you're running out of resources."
     "Excellent. One more."
     She thought hard. "Superior generalship on the other side?"
     He clucked in disapproval. "Does the opponent ever want you to fight?"
     "No, sorry. Let me think."
     He waited.
     Conditions. Conditions you can't control. Conditions that...control you.
     "Politics. The political leadership won't accept retreat or surrender until you've been so badly mangled that it's obvious even to an idiot."
     The man Louis Redmond had named the greatest warrior in history began to shudder. It took him some time to quell.
     "It's the general's worst nightmare," he whispered. "Kings used to lead their own armies. They used to lead the cavalry's charge. For a king to send an army to war and remain behind to warm his throne was simply not done. Those that tried it lost their thrones, and some lost their heads -- to their own people. It was a useful check on political and military rashness.
     "It hasn't been that way for a long time. Today armies go into the field exclusively at the orders of politicians who remain at home. And politicians are bred to believe that reality is entirely plastic to their wills."

[From On Broken Wings.]

But the King of Kings, intrinsically above all other authorities, would obviously be aware of this obligation. More, His sacrifice of Himself must perforce be for the salvation of the whole of the world -- indeed, the whole of the universe and every sentient creature in it. Nothing less could possibly justify it.

That He surrendered Himself to death by torture ought to have provided our comprehension of His role with all the clarity it requires. Yet there are a fair number of persons who, confronted by some political proposition, will reply that “you can’t be a Christian if you think that.”

The wound to Christianity is more than superficial.

There could hardly be anything more blasphemous than for a priest of Christ to state, from the pulpit, that Christians are under an obligation to support certain political parties or public policies. Yet we hear this sort of thing from far too many pulpits...and from far too many persons whose conception of Christ’s New Covenant is shallow, to say the least.

Consider the current foofaurauw over America’s illegal alien population. The proposition that Americans owe persons who were not legally entitled to enter or remain in this country the right to legal residence, plus perhaps other privileges of citizenship, has many persons in a lather, myself among them. My sentiments are on record, nor have they changed at all since I first penned that essay. But above all other things, the issue is a political one, that touches upon the nature of a polity with a government largely conceded to be legitimate. And politics is always about the use of force.

Christ’s sole use of force while on Earth was to drive the moneychangers and sellers of sacrificial animals from the vestibule of the Temple of Jerusalem: “My house is a house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.” [Luke 19:46] That episode cannot be used to sanction or condemn the use of political power for any reason. Neither did He ever make a pronouncement on public policy, or on the proper attitude of the Jews toward the Rome-dominated State. His artful evasion of the matter – “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” [Luke 20:25] – is an all-time classic, and a perfect lesson to pastors tempted to insert their own politics into their Sunday homilies.

It should be clear that Christians, whatever their denominations, are under no religious obligation to vote this way or argue that way about any political subject. If there’s an exception, it would apply to officeholders who presume to advocate policies that would result in slaughter, oppression, or injustice...but even here, there’s a legitimate argument about the relative weight of intentions and the gulf between meaning well and doing well.

If your parish is blighted by a political priest, as is mine, and you find that nothing you say or do can induce him to keep his politics out of his preaching, at the very least you may rest assured that your conscience remains your guide in such matters. You have no political obligations arising from your faith. Your sole responsibility toward others is summed up by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” [Luke 6:31] Together with Leo Tolstoy’s dictum that we should act with love toward those whom God has placed in our path, it provides all the ethical guidance we need.

The King of Kings has said it. That’s good enough for me.

May God bless and keep you all.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Triple From Glenn Reynolds

Our beloved Instapundit remains one of the Blogosphere’s most valuable jewels. Today he hits a three-bagger (or a natural hat trick, if you prefer hockey) with the following citations, all of which concern male-female relations and the “angry ugly girls:” i.e., the gender-war feminists.

1. War On The Male Genitalia.

Here’s the story. Please read it all. A small taste:

They’re not called the family jewels because they are ordinary. They’re not referred to as stones because they’re impervious to injury. No, they are both extraordinary and surprisingly fragile. So, sorry notsorry if we give them some breathing room when we sit, if we don’t smash them betwixt our legs on public transit. But as the horizon of “male privilege” is constantly expanding, giving the old wedding tackle ample space is now a crime against humanity.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) announced on Monday that a new campaign addressing courtesy on public transportation will come into effect by January. One of the targeted behaviors is ‘man-spreading’ — the act of spreading one’s legs so far apart that other passengers are forced to squish their own together.

Or, if you prefer a more nuanced description, one of the most infuriating and outright ridiculous display of male privilege and machismo in existence today. As Mic’s Derrick Clifton succinctly put it, ‘Hey, bro, you’re not that well-endowed.’

What I find most striking about this excellent piece is the following:

...might I direct your attention to Frank T.J. Mackie. Yes, he is an extreme caricature, one meant to mock your enemies.

If you haven’t seen the admittedly weird movie Magnolia, starring Tom Cruise, William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jason Robards, please do so. Frank Mackie, played by Cruise, is an ultramasculine counterpoint to the gender-war feminists, the leader of a cult who encourages his followers to see women as exploitable bodies only, and purports to be able to teach them how to act on that view. I can’t describe him more compactly than that, so please see the movie.

It’s an open question whom the Mackie character was meant to mock, but entertainment can be like that. What we have before us, however, is a trend in sociology (inter-gender relations subdivision) that will evoke Mackie’s attitude and the consequent behavior in many thousands of men who would, in a more civilized society, have been as deferential and courteous to women as any woman could possibly have wished.

Incentives matter. Eventually, feminists, bless their pointed little heads, will learn that...hopefully before they become extinct, thence to be found only in anthropological textbooks.

2. “Victim-Blaming”

There’s a tremendous amount to be said on this subject, but perhaps one article will suffice for now:

Don’t drink so much. "Stop victim-blaming."
Watch your drink. "Stop victim-blaming."
Walk in well-lit areas at night. "Stop victim-blaming."
If colleges cannot suggest basic common sense measures to protect students — which help guard against crimes that aren’t rape and help men as well — without being accused by the feminist chorus of blaming victims, what can they say?

Indeed. The whole thrust of the “Stop victim-blaming” trend among feminists is to remove the weight of responsibility for their personal behavior from women’s shoulders. This is so plainly idiocy that one must ask, “Are these women stupid as well as ugly and socially graceless?”

The very same advice, given to young men, is utterly ordinary and noncontroversial. But then, we already know what delicate hothouse flowers women the eyes of the very same feminist activists who insist that they’re men’s equals in all things.

(Hey, it’s a special! Two lies for the price of one! Grab ‘em while they’re hot!)

3. “Geeks On Strike”

Dr. Helen Smith, Reynolds’ beloved wife, prompted by an inquiry about “Gamer-Gate” and “ShirtStorm,” cites a relevant passage from her recent book:

The “strike” theory is generally correct, I think. The problem is that games and porn are entertaining, inexpensive, easily accessible, and reliable. Women can be entertaining, but they’re expensive, inaccessible for most men, and from the male perspective, shockingly unreliable. I would say that porn has raised the bar somewhat—it’s bound to be seriously annoying when Little Miss Real Life won’t give head when Jane Pornstar is twice as hot and is cheerfully performing all sorts of acrobatic stunts. And if you think about it, is a real woman who is average and only wants to have missionary-style sex once a week, minus a week for her period, actually any better than a wide variety of gorgeous porn stars catering to every bizarre fetish the Japanese can imagine and available on demand? It’s not quite so clear once you put it in those terms. The biggest communication problem is that most women see “relationship” as a positive thing. Most men see it as an ambiguous thing. So, when the selling point of Little Miss Real Life over Jane Pornstar is “relationship,” you can see where it’s not going to be very appealing. I don’t think there’s much of a “fuck you” element, though. The guys who think that way tend to be the players, particularly the Sigma players. A lot of the guys who opt out aren’t particularly angry at women, they just don’t see much point to pursuing involvement with them.

Every word is gospel truth, but the part I flashed on more or less immediately was:

Women can be entertaining, but they’re expensive, inaccessible for most men, and from the male perspective, shockingly unreliable.

Well, yes, but you could say the same about Lamborghinis, and we certainly don’t stop desiring them for those trifling reasons.

In truth, a lot of wishful thinking takes place in just about any young man’s mind, whether he’s Alpha, Beta, or Omega. As a longtime proponent of the “Shove it up your ass, bitch” school of male-female relations, the hostility of any woman – or women – has never troubled me, which might have something to do with my current choice of mate. But the typical “geek,” a sociological subgroup to which I superficially belong, allows himself to dream of “her:” the attractive, intelligent woman who will value his abilities and assets more than she deplores his lack of first-string-quarterback status...hopefully, far more.

Yes: “she” might exist. But it would be best not to delude oneself about how likely one is to encounter her. Life generally proves simpler for those of us who confine our dreaming to the wee small hours.

(Cross-posted at League of Outlaw Bloggers.)