Stop and think,  collected — 2012

Note. Because of all the changes in the archive pages, over time, you will find that many or even most of the links you hit to other "Stop and think" installments actually lead nowhere. I intend to work on that problem bit by bit, but in the meantime if you encounter frustration with a particular link, please feel free to hold my feet to the fire. — Nicholas Strakon

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Reader responses

Just one tiny flaw in the plan ... The so-called fiscal cliff is the result of various pieces of legislation or parts of legislation that will either expire (e.g., the Bush tax cuts) or go into effect (e.g., the Budget Control Act of 2011) in a couple of days.

The idea was that the effects would be so dire that no one in his right mind would want them and that Congress would act decisively and wisely to avert them. The flaw in the plan, of course, was the unspoken assumption that the members of Congress are in their right minds.

We are assured by this or that party that they have the best interests of the people at heart but that, doggone it, the pesky opposition is just being obstructionist. The American public by and large believe those claims, showing that they, too, are not in their right minds.

The solution to the problem is elementary, and I dare to step into a policy controversy to offer it here. No one has to give an inch. No one has to accept more or higher taxes or less spending or anything. No one has to lose face.

Congress has it in its power merely to vote for one piece of legislation declaring that the effective date of all the relevant legislation is hereby set at March 1, thus averting all the consequences, giving the legislators more time for their political theater, and throwing the burden onto the incoming Congress. Nothing has to be repealed or enacted. If everyone who claims to have the best interests of the American people at heart, really does, on what basis could this legislation fail? It should pass with virtually no opposition.

March 1? Heck, they could make it January 1, 2014. Or 2047. The point is, none of this political theater is necessary. So why do we have to hear about it day after day?

Why, indeed? What we can be sure of is that none of it — absolutely none of it — is necessary for the well-being of people who are in their right minds. [Ronn Neff] (December 2012)

Over the cliff with one more myth! I've written before about some soothing catchphrases of statism that we Elder Sods were brought up on but don't hear much anymore — for very good reason — including "We owe it to ourselves" and "Taxes are the price we pay for civilization." As the pols gavotte on the edge of the "fiscal cliff," I have to take a shot at a target of Modine Herbey's back in August: "government planning."

The statists never distilled their glorification of government planning into a punchy popular maxim, to my knowledge, but such planning was certainly another main thing they wanted us to believe in. They did succeed in abbreviating "government planning" to just "planning," suggesting that only state-operators — politicians and bureaucrats — were capable of organized, goal-directed, future-oriented behavior. That's not a unique application of statist shorthand, of course: we're also supposed to believe, for example, that "education" has to mean "government education" and "research" has to mean "government-funded research." During the debate over Obamacare, anchors on Fox News, the conservative news network, routinely referred to "health care" when adverting to the "health care" proposals of the socialists and fascists, as if they were actually trying to infect their viewers with the mind-virus that the choice was Obamacare or no health care.

With respect to economic planning, the classic idea was that only politicians and bureaucrats are competent, because only they are all-knowing and disinterested. Materially interested actors in the economy — business owners and investors — are shortsighted, grubbing and grabbing heedlessly for the next day's profits, and devil take the day after that. Maniacs of greed! (We see such capitalists, evil and reckless, all the time on TV shows and in the movies.) How the traditional statist account of economic activity comported with the planning required to draw up a company's budget, build a factory, develop a distribution network, or market a series of new products just wasn't a fit subject for discussion.

Nor was the fact that, in a real economy, investments are apportioned between capital goods, aiming at a long-range return, and consumer goods, aiming at a shorter-range return. Doesn't that contradict the premise of unrelieved shortsightedness? And if an order of production always emerges, does that involve reasoning informed by market signals or does it result from investors' throwing dice while blindfolded? Sad to say, the blindness metaphor is all too apt thanks to the Federal Reserve and what Tom Woods calls its "Soviet commissar in charge of money and interest rates," but the Fed's blinding effect on investors is another thing the statists were disinclined to discuss.

Nevertheless, "government planning" managed to hang in there as some kind of ideal. It even seems to have survived Solyndra and the various Sons of Solyndra. Now, however, now ... surely ... at long last ... I should think that the gyrations anent the "fiscal cliff" on the part of the pols in Congress, the chief pol in the Palace, and his minions must be the last straw for anyone still operating a live brain, and that the cranially abled must finally and forever retire "government planning" to the snicker-heap along with "We owe it to ourselves."

On the other hand, old Strakon has to keep rein on his congenital optimism. [Nicholas Strakon]

You just don't get it, Strakon. The only thing shown by the anarchistic jockeying and posturing over the "fiscal cliff" is the crying need for dictatorship. [Comrade M. Herbey] (December 2012)

Sudden skepticism. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) says he's done the arithmetic and discovered that posting trained, armed guards at every American school would cost billions of dollars. Just not feasible as a government program. (I'm reading a little into what I heard him say. In light of who he is, he has to be thinking in terms of a government program — and probably a federal program.)

Meanwhile, leftists other than Dianne Feinstein (see next segment) are pointing out that the presence of at least one armed officer at the Columbine massacre in 1999 didn't end the affair with no innocent casualties. Well, sure. Cops aren't perfect; they don't always hit what they're aiming at; they can't react instantaneously; and one or two cops can't be everywhere at once on a big campus or know everything that's happening.

Imagine that! Government isn't perfect! The Left's sudden skepticism toward utopianism and government intervention is making me dizzy.

Worse, the leftists revert to their usual mad, mad utopianism, not to mention totalitarianism, in the same breath. Government does a bad job of protecting us from unofficial criminals — but society, if left alone to develop ways of defending itself, would do an even worse job than the state! Let's not just distort, despoil, and strangle society — let's disarm it. "It," of course, means "us."

Dizzy times two. I should really leave the TV and the computer off until sometime in the new year. [Nicholas Strakon] (December 2012)

How is it possible for a non-drooling adult to think like this? Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said something on Friday that astonished me. (And the enemies of civilization have to go some to astonish me.) Her comrades, for their part, are nodding their head and applauding the woman's sagacity. Responding to NRA vice president Wayne LaPierre's call for armed guards at schools, Feinstein cited the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and said, "There were two armed law enforcement officers at that campus, and you see what happened. Fifteen dead ... 23 wounded."

After picking up my jaw from the carpet and dusting it off, I looked up Wikipedia's long and detailed account of the event.

The massacre began at 11:19 a.m. "At approximately 11:24 a.m., a Jefferson County deputy sheriff [unnamed in this account] arrived and began shooting at [Eric] Harris and [Dylan] Klebold, distracting them from the injured [student] Brian Anderson. (Anderson escaped to the library and hid inside an open staff break room.) Harris fired a total of ten shots at the officer, who reported a Code 33 (officer in need of emergency assistance) to his colleagues. When his gun ran out of ammunition, Harris ran inside the school with Klebold."

The Wikipedia article does not mention the presence of more than one officer on campus before the massive police response developed. And please note that it describes that single officer as having "arrived" after the shooting had started.

According to the Huffington Post story by Amanda Terkel, which I link to at the beginning of this installment, "Deputy Neil Gardner was a 15-year veteran of the Jefferson County, Colo., Sheriff's Office assigned as the uniformed officer at Columbine." Terkel quotes a police report: Gardner "leaned over the top of the car and fired four shots" at Harris. Clearly that exchange of gunfire occurred outdoors, and Deputy Gardner was near his vehicle for some reason.

"The second officer," Terkel writes, "was Deputy Paul Smoker, a motorcycle patrolman who was near the school writing a speeding ticket. When he heard a dispatch of a woman injured at the high school, he responded. He, too, fired at Harris but didn't stop him." That shooting, too, apparently occurred outdoors. It sounds to me as though Smoker was not assigned to the school but just happened to be nearby. In any case, he certainly wasn't in the sort of tactical position that an armed school security officer should maintain. An armed officer dedicated to providing school security has no business abandoning his mission to write speeding tickets.

I can't tell whether the Wiki account refers to Deputy Gardner or Deputy Smoker. It's reasonable to conclude, though, that whoever the deputy was who shot at Harris and Klebold at 11:24 a.m., he probably saved the life of student Brian Anderson.

I'm unwilling to spend the rest of the day Googling, as I fear I'm already drowning you in detail, along with the main point I want to make. It's not Feinstein's blurry summation or the odd details in the Huff Post's account that I find astonishing. What I find astonishing is Feinstein's logic: "There were two armed law enforcement officers at that campus, and you see what happened." Is she actually contending that fewer people would have been killed or wounded if no one in the vicinity had been armed, other than the monsters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold? Or — what would be only a little less bizarre — that because one or two cops didn't react instantly and perfectly in this single case, preventing the loss of all innocents, it's a categorically bad idea to resist maniacal armed intruders? [Added December 24 in the spirit of fairness, charity, and good will toward all.]

If either of those reasonable inferences is true, why would anyone take seriously the babblings of such a repulsive fool? [Nicholas Strakon]

One more question, Strakon, if I may. Could this Feinstein character possibly have the chutzpah to say what she said in the presence of Brian Anderson? [Modine Herbey] (December 2012)

Watch what happens with Chuck Hagel. Those of us who practice the American version of Kremlinology will be watching closely to see whether the General Secretary ends up nominating Chuck Hagel for minister of war.

Mark Landler started off his story in the New York Times on Wednesday in this wise:

With Chuck Hagel, a former senator from Nebraska, emerging as a front-runner to be President Obama's next secretary of defense, critics are taking aim at his record on Israel as well as remarks he made about pro-Israel lobbying groups in Washington.

Mr. Hagel, a Republican, has been skeptical about the efficacy of American sanctions against Iran, has opposed efforts to isolate militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and has spoken candidly about the influence of what he once referred to as the "Jewish lobby" on Capitol Hill.

Those comments, in particular, have drawn the ire of Jewish leaders, who say they raise questions about Mr. Hagel's commitment to Israel and have propagated unsavory stereotypes about Israel's influence over American foreign policy.

Landler quotes Abe Foxman of the ADL to dire effect.

Deeper in the story, Landler writes: "Speaking of groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which advocates for Israel, Mr. Hagel said, 'The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.' Critics faulted both his implication that lawmakers are bullied and his use of the phrase 'Jewish' rather than 'Israel,' suggesting that all advocates for Israel are Jewish. Senators from both parties have expressed discomfort with his choice of words."

Right: all would have been well if only Hagel had said "Israel Lobby." John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt could testify to that.

And Hagel has some nerve, referring to bullying! ("We'll teach you to say 'bullied,' schmuck!" POW! THWACK! THUD!)

Moreover, no one should neglect the leading role played by millennialist leader Rev. Fred Bob Bullpup, out in Punkin Patch, Missitucky, in advancing the Israeli program in this country.

(Dear Joe Sobran: If you're up there looking down, please, please check to see whether there's any way you can slip a column through from the other side. I'm trying as hard as I can, but only you could do justice to this thing.)

In light of Obama's background in Negro extremism, as well as hints that have emerged since he was installed in the Palace, I doubt he's a genuine fan of Israel and Zionism. He's certainly not locked in the same stage of fever as John McCain or Mitt Romney. But given the makeup of America's ruling class and the Zionists' ownership of Congress, Obama mostly has to go along. The significance of his decision on the war ministry is that if he drops Hagel, we'll know we'd better drop that "mostly."

For now, Obama's people are still defending Hagel against the Lobby.

Shortly after the Zionists expressed themselves, the sodomites piled on, according to Peter Wallsten and Scott Wilson, writing in the Washington Post: "Gay rights activists voice doubts about Chuck Hagel as prospective defense secretary" (December 20).

What I'm wondering now is whether the opposition of the Holy Homosexuals (He, She, and It Who Must Be Obeyed) can be used as convenient cover in forestalling the Hagel nomination. A follow-up story in the Wa Po indicates that Hagel has now rushed to out himself as a disgustingly degraded homosexualist, but it's usually impossible to descend into a chasm of abasement deep enough to appease the twisted creatures in charge of what's good, right, and moral in our poor country.

In view of the sodomites' and the neocons' uniting against Hagel, I thought about ending with some riff on the "strange bedfellows" cliché, but given the overall domination of America by what Joe used to call "alienism," I'm not so sure their intercourse is really all that strange. [Nicholas Strakon] (December 2012)

Comrades! Rectify your Newspeak dictionary speedwise. "Gun control" is doubleplus oldspeak. "Gun safety" is doubleplus-mandated duckspeak currentwise. [Comrade Strakon] (December 2012)

It's been too long since I've linked to something by the intrepid Will Grigg. By the time I came across this powerful essay of his, I'd already seen the imperial Drone Master flick away tears that were invisible to me, despite my HDTV, while sermonizing in his usual voice, flat and chilly.

"Sandy Hook Massacre: Sympathy from the Devil," posted at Mr. Grigg's site, Pro Libertate
We may debate whether all men of power are true sociopaths, but whatever they are, such men do enjoy much more room for mental evasion in accomplishing their evil than Adam Lanza did. With respect to drone attacks, for example, it is easier to give orders that are transmitted down many levels and eventually carried out with computer-game technology from thousands of miles away than it is to walk in and do what was done at Sandy Hook. The state and its hierarchy are a great guilt-blurring device, encouraging the commission of crimes much vaster than Lanza's. He murdered 27; the order-givers and order-takers of the state have murdered millions. [Nicholas Strakon] (December 2012)

That man Kerry again. According to the media, it's likely that Obama will nominate Sen. John Kerry to be secretary of state. When Kerry was the Democratic candidate for president in 2004, Steve Sniegoski wrote a little something about the "peace candidate" from Massachusetts, and we'd like to remind our veteran readers of it and alert our new readers to it. (December 2012)

Obamunist prophylaxis. I just ordered, on line, two spare magazines for a pistol in .45 ACP that I don't actually own yet and won't be able to afford for another couple of months. They're those infernal "high-capacity" devices, designed for 13 rounds.

The mags are back ordered (duh), and the vendor, Midway USA, is currently restricting orders to two per customer. I had tried to order three.

I just hope the vendor can ship them before the Emperor issues a ukase transforming them into illegal objects.

I can only imagine the feeding frenzy that's underway in the gun stores.

The pistol itself, of course, is also an infernal device — one of those dread "semiautomatic" firearms that we're hearing so much about. According to the media, "semiautomatic" is synonymous with "military assault weapon." Especially dangerous! (Well, at more than six hundred bucks, I should hope so.)

To be serious, for the matter is deadly serious, it's noteworthy that the media's invincible ignorance of firearms (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt) always serves the cause of statist oppression. I suppose it makes sense. Ignorance is an especially bad kind of darkness, just like the state. [Modine Herbey]  (December 2012)

Update, December 19. After posting the above comment, we discovered
this piece by Timothy P. Carney at the Washington Examiner:
"Media myths on 'assault weapons' and 'semiautomatic firearms.'"

Whatever it is, it ain't socialist realism. Knowing they like to keep up with breakthroughs in the world of agenda-freighted public art, I alerted some of my co-conspirators on Friday morning to a New York Times piece I'd seen about a lamentable dust-up in Atlanta: "Outcry Brings Down Murals in Atlanta Art Project," by Robbie Brown.

Ungrateful low-consciousness rubes saw the murals as "confusing at best, demonic at worst," according to Brown. One of the artists involved, a Frenchman named Pierre Roti, responded, and I predicted to my correspondents that what he said would stand up as my guffaw of the day. (It certainly did, since the day later turned black and terrible.) Here it is: "Mr. Roti, who traveled to Atlanta on his own budget and spent 11 days on the mural, said he found the reaction confusing. He intended the mural as an allegory about the brutality of capitalism, not a statement on religion or demons."

Senior editor Ronn Neff was quick to get back to me, writing: "I think we should get down on our knees and thank God for artists like Roti, who will speak the truth to power.

"All we hear, day after day, on TV, on the radio, on podcasts — even in those announcements you hear at gas stations while you're filling up your tank — is how grand the capitalist system is. Schools fill little ones' heads with that nonsense until they aren't able to understand the simple Keynesian economics of conscience.

"Roti's is truly a courageous voice." [Nicholas Strakon] (December 2012)

Obama is "asking" again. Specifically, he is "asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes."

Productive Americans are "asked" to surrender honestly earned wealth to the pols and bureaucrats — who do their "asking" while pointing guns at the peaceful producers. When a significant proportion of our countrymen begin to ridicule such "asking" as a preposterous and spectacular abuse of language, we freedom partisans will know we're getting somewhere in bringing Americans out from under the statist ether. Not before. [Nicholas Strakon] (December 2012)

The Twinkie offense. Whatever other problems Hostess Brands may have had, the headline-making story of its collapse should remind us of something important — something that I'm pretty sure was omitted from those headlines or even from the text of any story in the established media. In the absence of the regime's labor legislation from the 1930s onward, which established government-supported unions, it's highly unlikely that a suicidally rapacious union could drive a company out of business.

In a free society, any union that tried such a thing would be busted, and its violent or trespassing thugs would be arrested. "Striking" employees might even be fired for their unexcused absence, though that would depend on the company's calculations involving the loss of its experience base, the cost of training new workers, a possibly longer interruption in production, and so forth. Any absentees who did end up getting sacked would face appropriate difficulties in being hired by anyone else.

Heartless? Only if we deny that a company's white-collar men, investors, suppliers, and customers are human beings, same as its hourly wage employees. [Nicholas Strakon] (December 2012)

From behind the lines by Edward Morrison Morley:

It was déjà all over again this week for this veteran of life behind the Iron Curtain when President Barry Soetero came on the legacy media pontificating about what people should do in a storm, how to protect oneself against high winds, why closing one's windows in a hurricane is a good idea, and so forth.

I was unpleasantly reminded that this was the mode of bloviating totalitarian dictators everywhere, of the ilk of the late and unlamented dictator of Romania, Nicky Ceausescu, or Bulgaria's equally un-mourned Tudor Zhivkov, who were always appearing on the radio and telly giving teachers tips on teaching, peasants suggestions on peasanting, people in ball-bearing plants guidance on how to produce more and better ball bearings, etc.

Our own president proved an annoying paragon of that kind of political know-it-all-ism in the face of "Superstorm Sandy." (What would the media have done had the storm been named "Quincy" or "Zoe"? The mind boggles.) Sad to say, our storm-expert president missed a golden opportunity to take measures that could have been trumpeted as fantastic economic measures to avoid going over the fiscal cliff: he could have fired the head of FEMA (redundant since Barry is doing his job) and the national weather people (ditto, since of course you don't need a weatherman president to tell which way the wind blows. Barry could get some ideas about that from his buddy Bill Ayers).

On second thought, the old Iron Curtain dictators were less irritating in some ways: they were rarely seen gallivanting around the country campaigning on the citizen's dime (or ruble or whatever).

(November 2012)

Things I might be heard to say on election night no matter who wins:

Do you believe they actually went out and elected that guy?

Man, I do love seeing that other guy and his gang get whipped. They deserve every bad thing.

After every glorious election, more power for them, less freedom for us.

I need another drink. Make it a triple. Straight.

I hope that idiot's happy now, being elected / re-elected captain of the Titanic.

So, how soon do you think the economy will collapse? Forget 2008-09. I mean really collapse.

The established media once again made out like bandits. Billions of dollars in subsidies from all this political yammering! Doubt we'll be seeing much anti-statism from them any time soon.

I wonder whether the miserable creeps will get us into a war with Iran now.

You think things are already terrible? Well, they're about to get worse.

At least my hands are clean. I didn't vote for that bozo.

Did we really go through all the Doritos? [Nicholas Strakon]  (November 2012)

This writer seems to be known only as "M.G.," and he is characterized as a mere "commenter" at the Those Who Can See site. But on the basis of this not-to-be-missed piece, I hereby designate him as a major essayist whose future work should be eagerly anticipated: "Bring low the enemy of Multiculturalism." [Nicholas Strakon]  (November 2012)

The passing of a great and gentlemanly scholar. By now you are probably aware of the death of Professor J. Philippe Rushton, author of Race, Evolution, and Behavior. At VDare, Spencer Davenport has written a vivid account of what — if Rushton had been a colored leftist — would be described as "his struggle."

"Phil Rushton's Credo and the New Dark Age," October 9.
The mouth-frothing slander and excoriation that Rushton faced, as recorded by Davenport, highlight the Left's characteristic indifference to the truth or falsity of propositions. Davenport notes, too, what he considers to be the cowardice of conservatives. But I wonder about that. Conservatives of the National Review type have betrayed so much so badly, and for so long now, that I suspect they have left cowardice behind in their descent. Can we indict as a coward a man who refuses to honor that which he truly reviles?

In the paragraph beginning, "There have been notably few MSM comments on Rushton's death outside of Canada," one sees how relatively rapid and recent Rushton's transformation into an unperson has been. (He was, of course, already a thoughtcriminal in the eyes of the people who are in charge of us.) Things are moving very quickly now. [Nicholas Strakon]  (October 9, 2012)

Jared Taylor's appreciation of Prof. Rushton, at American Renaissance (October 4).

Not voting, again. Even with the Most Biggest and Importantest Election in the History of Democraziness fast approaching, I'm going to refrain from writing another column pleading with my countrymen to stay away from the polls. The reason is this. I hardly ever praise my own writing — more often, I cringe when I reread it — but I am going to claim, right here, right now, that I twice hit the ball out of the park, in my previous columns on not voting:

      "Down with apathy!," November 6, 2000.

      "You are not a number! Or, Once again I'm voting for rain," November 3, 2002.

In those two pieces, which naturally overlap in their arguments, I said everything I'm inclined to say about voting — in the long form, at least. I reserve the right to take potshots here and there.

I reserve the right, too, to refer the reader to others' writings, such as this New York Times piece: "Error and Fraud at Issue as Absentee Voting Rises," by Adam Liptak, October 6.

Liptak writes: "... Florida and other states are swiftly moving from voting at a polling place toward voting by mail. In the last general election in Florida, in 2010, 23 percent of voters cast absentee ballots, up from 15 percent in the midterm election four years before. Nationwide, the use of absentee ballots and other forms of voting by mail has more than tripled since 1980 and now accounts for almost 20 percent of all votes."

A fifth of all voters are voting by mail!? Those who still somehow believe that "my vote counts" should reflect on how easily even a little error and fraud can make their conscientiously prepared ballot not count.

The Permanent Regime rumbles unstoppably on in the direction of making voting ever easier and ever more fraudulent, rolling like an Abrams tank over the brittle barbed wire of voter I.D. utopianism. [Nicholas Strakon]  (October 2012)

Am I just being silly, or ...? I caught a newsbit on Fox this morning that you'd be unlikely to get from any of the print media. It was a shot of a sign on the New England Compounding Center, the outfit that seems to have been responsible for the deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis. It reads:

For Delivery's

I wonder how long any of us, if running a business, would permit such an illiterate display to remain on our building. How many would allow it to be posted in the first place?

Such a thing hanging on a transmission shop or down-home diner wouldn't erode my confidence so fatally — but on a pharmaceutical-compounding center?

It makes me wonder how many employees have a command of basic English. In any case, that seems to be something you'd want the management of such a place to have.

Am I just being silly? [Nicholas Strakon]  (October 2012)

Why have people started to talk like this? Our language continues to take crazy spins as it plummets toward the dirt, and I could go on and on about that, but for now I'd just like to ask you whether you have any idea why so many people (on TV, at least) are beginning their reply to a question or comment with the word "so":

Questioner: How well do you think President Obama did in last week's debate?

Responder: So, the consensus seems to be that ...

The impression given is that the responder's argument and evidence have zipped by in an unheard nanosecond and we've suddenly arrived at his conclusion. It's very odd. To be frank, it upsets me.

I've never heard a person in "real life" talk like that — yet — but one of my correspondents thinks that it has become a verbal tic among scientists, off air. If so, it has spread like wildfire just in the past few months, on air — even more quickly than the illiterate misuse of "begs the question" spread, and much more quickly than "hone in" for "home in" among the non-readers some years ago.

Am I being silly again, noticing such things? The trouble is, it won't seem fair if I manage to avoid dementia as I move deeper into elderhood, and I nevertheless find myself unable to communicate with Americans twenty years younger than I. And I'm not talking about Spanish-speakers. [Nicholas Strakon]

That begs an interesting question, Strakon, and we ought to hone in on it. (Sorry: had to have my little joke.) When Hispanics come to this country, does their Spanish become as crummy as the English spoken by Americans? [Modine Herbey]  (October 2012)

A pol's wonderfully serious joke. Richard Mourdock, Indiana state treasurer, is the Republican candidate to succeed Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar — in fact, he bumped off the decrepit RINO Lugar in the primary — and the Democrats are having themselves a time airing a frisky comment Mourdock made some time ago: "To me the highlight of politics, frankly, is to inflict my opinion on someone else."

Now, that's both honest and funny. It's very hard for a pol to win an election being honest, but he can sometimes win despite being funny, if he keeps a rein on it. Humor actually helped Ronald Reagan a time or two. Honest and funny, though: that's a truly perilous combination politically.

I'm grateful to Mourdock, though, for his moment of honesty. Indeed, those who succeed in gaining power through electoral politics or other means do live by inflicting their opinion, at gunpoint, on those whom they presume to rule. And one must assume that they enjoy doing it.

I understand how the Democrats find it irresistible to attack Mourdock's remark, but in doing so they reveal something more important than their characteristic lack of humor. They reveal their hypocrisy. I could cite a million examples, but one grindingly awful one will do. The Democrats' regime in Washington forces people who believe abortion is murder to pay for abortions. Moreover, Democrats typically press for the abolition of existing limits on abortion subsidies. Seems to me there's more than one big criminal gang out there inflicting opinions on peaceful people. [Nicholas Strakon]  (October 2012)

Paste this on your Chevy Volt, Joe. Vice Tyrant Biden is having fun repeating his bumper-sticker thing from April: "Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive!"

OK, if we're reducing our thinking to the level of bumper-stickers, I've got one: "The spirit of Liberty is dead, and Leviathan is alive!" [Nicholas Strakon]  (September 2012)

Save your cogitating for something you can calculate. If there's one thing that, for my sins, I find almost as irresistible as a virgin bag of Spicy Nacho Dorito chips, it's coming up with at least a half-hearted rooting interest in the presidential race. Recently a friend and I — both conscientious non-voters — fell victim to the time-wasting endeavor of speculating about which of the ruling-party candidates for president would be less bad if elected. Though neither pol can be represented as a peace candidate (!), I mentioned the possibly greater chance of Romney's taking America to war with Iran.

My friend replied, "Well, Romney might or might not go to war with Iran, but one thing I'm sure of is that Obama would continue to wage war against me."

We can't really know which man would be the lesser tyrant and villain, of course. And how much difference would it make, anyway? Our beloved country and the world-building civilization that sustained it are long since ruined.

Seeking to suppress our woolgathering at least for the time being, I confected a little dialogue between a couple of shopkeepers in a Brooklyn neighborhood of thirty years ago who are trying to forecast their fate:

"Lou, did you hear that the Gambinos were thinking of turning our street over to the Genovese?"

"Yeah, Sal. Madonn', I hate them Genovese. They knee-capped my nephew over there in Canarsie."

"I know, I know. But the Gambinos burned down my cousin's candy store. I can't figure out what would be the worse thing for us."

"Minchia! Me neither."

I don't know whether utopianism can be said to have any non-ugly sides, but we plainly see an especially ugly side of it in the fact that many millions of Americans are planning to go out on November 6 and endorse one or another of the great crime families that mercilessly exploit them. [Nicholas Strakon]  (September 2012)

When Red Guards run your life. This is a pretty good read, if you can avoid falling into a deep funk over what all has been lost: "At Least Fun in the Sun Isn't Banned. For Now ..." by Brooks Barnes and Michael Cieply (New York Times, September 2). The writers report that "lately ... cities, school districts, and even libraries [in southern California] have been outlawing chunks of what used to pass here for birthright at a startling clip."

The punch line here is hilarious, assuming you've embraced the darkness:

But that beach town [Santa Monica] really earned its bones in the ban business with smoking, which is outlawed almost everywhere, including the beach and at A.T.M.'s. Private apartments are one exception, and the city spent much of the summer embroiled in a battle over closing that loophole. Eventually, the push to forbid smoking in apartments was dropped, partly because it would complicate the smoking of medical marijuana.
Meanwhile, public nudity in town is legal, pretty much, throughout California — i.e., not just on public beaches — though apparently one most often sees it practiced by homosexuals on the streets of San Francisco. (Last year a demonstration resulted when a San Francisco city supervisor proposed a ban on nudity in restaurants.)

Well, sure: the ruling Red Guards decide which freedoms are appropriate and which are inappropriate, according to their taste. And the little lives and routines of normal people just make them sick to their stomach. [Nicholas Strakon]

Commentary on that "fun in the sun": "No Fun Allowed: L.A. Beaches Ban Footballs, Frisbees, and Sand Digging," by K.C. Dermody (Yahoo! Contributor Network, February 9, 2012).

Modine Herbey wonders: If the Guards have banned footballs and frisbees on the government sand, how long can it be before they start encouraging beach-blanket fornication? (September 2012)

So who learned what, exactly? I see that another Paulite, writing at the Rockwell site as the balloons deflated after the Romnoid Robotfest, has confessed that the Ron Paul campaign for president didn't actually have to do with his becoming president, but instead was intended to offer people an "education."

If that's so, I trust some people got one, good and hard, seeing the Romney Machine strip Dr. Paul of some of his duly elected delegates; deny him a place on the list of speakers; instruct the clerk at the rostrum to refuse to announce the vote for Paul, delegation by delegation; and even block his name from being placed in nomination! (See "The Last Gasps of the Ron Paul Movement / And how the GOP's new rules are meant to make sure no one rises to replace him," by David Weigel, Slate, August 29.)

What's worse, only liberty partisans and a few lefty media folk seem to have noticed.

Are you done with electoral politics now, folks? Finally?

Actually, I'm pretty sure that's not the end of it, since another generation of innocent utopians always seems to emerge in every new election season. "Libertarian educators" will no doubt anoint a successor to Dr. Paul in the run-up to 2016, and another fortune in donations (though not as large, surely) will go swirling down the party-political toilet. Meanwhile — pardon me for noticing — and not to put too fine a point on it — just mentioning it — donations to TLD have altogether dried up. I wonder how donations to other liberty forums and organizations are going.

True, the vast majority of the Paulites have to be softies who like enough of Dr. Paul's message to donate to him but don't buy the whole liberty, justice, and peace heresy. Such folk wouldn't give a penny to us hard men. But they understand part of the message, apparently. And seeing some of the light that's invisible to their neighbors, instead of throwing away money on politics they might have bought books to truly educate themselves, saved more to protect their children from the government training gulag, laid in more gold and silver and guns and ammo, and maybe even helped some non-famous small fry who was being persecuted by leviathan. You don't have to be an immaculate anarchist to find those good things worth doing.

Incorrigibles may remind me that the Paulites did achieve some concessions in the Republican platform. But who's going to hold the Romnon's feet to that lukewarm water bottle? [Nicholas Strakon]

Comment. Let's hope the Republicans have indeed perfected their Stalinist rules and techniques to bar a Ron Paul successor. It would be as though a household infected with the Black Plague had imposed a voluntary quarantine on itself: a true public service. [Henry Gallagher Fields] (August 2012)

Big revelation. (1) A new book by a Navy SEAL tells us that the attack on Osama bin Laden's hideout went rather differently from the official accounts we were originally given.

Is anyone surprised?

Moreover, we learn that bin Laden was shot to death while unarmed and while making no effort to resist. Which means that the Navy SEALS who killed him committed cold-blooded murder.

And again: Is anyone surprised?

I suspect that few Americans will be troubled to learn any of this.

And for the last time: Is anyone surprised?

(2) If the SEALs who committed this murder wish to identify themselves, TLD stands ready to award them its coveted Lon Horiuchi Medal of Bravery. (It's not really a medal; it's a discarded banana peel.) [Ronn Neff]  (August 2012)

At Taki's site, in his article "Abortion and Rape," Judge Nap says what should be said by an abortion opponent capable of dealing with ideas and principles. I get sick and tired of hearing from public figures who are incapable of it, such as the egregious Rep. Todd Akin. On the other hand, if more pols and bureaucrats started talking like people operating live brains, it would threaten some of my settled assumptions about the mind-killing quality of statism. [Nicholas Strakon]  (August 2012)

Not even empty gestures are permitted. Thanks go to a TLD reader who tipped me to this short piece: "Feds Strike 'None' from Nevada Ballots," by Kurt Nimmo,, August 23.

Senior editor Ronn Neff points out that Nevada's "none of the above" provision was always a toothless feel-good measure: Even if NOTA achieved a plurality, the office would have been filled by the second-place finisher. But the story should still be interesting to any surviving constitutionalists, showing as it does how easy it is for a single employee of the Central Government — a lawfaker operating under the title of "judge" — to overthrow the election laws of a state.

Of wider interest, I should think, is something else that Nimmo mentions: the latest proposal for compulsory voting. Horrifying as it is, I wouldn't mind seeing it implemented if it helped a few million more Americans wise up to our rulers' current definitions of "freedom" and "democracy." (Even so, some of us conscientious non-voters would have to figure out a way to invalidate a ballot on a voting machine.) [Nicholas Strakon]  (August 2012)

The approaching "fiscal cliff" continues to receive occasional coverage in the media. Good. But somehow it fails to provoke commentators of the established media to reflect on their standard treatment of state versus society. I refer to the utopian expectations they apply to state action and the dystopian expectations they apply to social action, including action in the material sphere, i.e., the market.

In fact, when it comes to planning, businessmen working in a competitive environment make monopolistic pols and bureaucrats look like heedless, visually impaired drunks climbing behind the wheel of a semi. That's assuming the businessmen aren't themselves shielded by state privilege or blinded by leviathan's tyranny over money and interest rates.

Socialism is planned chaos, as a smart old Middle European gent argued back in 1947. And the deeper we sink into socialism — and fascism — the more chaotic things will get.

In contrast with that view, media mainstreamers just keep chanting: We need to elect better people to run the country! [Modine Herbey]

Comment. A terrifying possibility is that some of the pols and bureaucrats are quite sober and clear-eyed, and are counting on chaos. Crisis tends to strengthen the American leviathan, and if politicians can blame everything on someone else, they can often get themselves re-elected. [Nicholas Strakon]  (August 2012)

St. Claire, the Beige Imam, and the Sea of Galilee. I came close yesterday to sending this bad wisecrack to my e-mail correspondents: "Would someone please tell me why God wants Claire McCaskill to remain in the Senate?" I'm alarmed to learn that liberal opinionator Dana Milbank and I are dipping into the same bag of jokes, even if Milbank is an Obama critic: "Signs of divine intervention for Republicans?" (Washington Post, August 21). [Nicholas Strakon]  (August 2012)

Musings on the re-election of Obama. I haven't declared a rooting interest in the presidential race this time, and unlike Doug Olson I've refrained so far from publicly predicting the outcome (see next installment, from August 21). As I read Mr. Olson, he is maintaining that the Bradley Effect will come into play in the Big Election this time, despite General Secretary Obama's persistent, if small, leads both in nationwide polling and in swing-state polling.

I believe it was the leftist media that first proposed the Bradley Effect, after Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley lost the California governor's race to George Deukmejian in 1982 despite election-eve polls that showed Bradley ahead. The idea is that a significant share of white voters aren't willing to tell pollsters that they oppose a Negro candidate but are willing to vote against a Negro in the privacy of the voting booth, knowing they cannot be individually punished for their sin. If the Bradley Effect exists, though, one may argue that a possibly compensating phenomenon also exists, namely, the pollsters' failure to reach a representative sample of younger voters, who are less likely to have land-line phones and who are disproportionately gaga for the Obama style of socialism-fascism and for Negro supremacism, or at least antiwhite race-mixing.

Deep waters, indeed, and I seem to have mislaid my scuba gear. But Mr. Olson's declaration does remind me of a certain nagging problem. I haven't told readers this, but privately I have been assuming that Obama will pull off some kind of Electoral College win. However, what would such a victory mean for my ruling-class theory, in light of the fact that the Dark Suits are giving most of their political money to Obama's Republican opponent?

Working with the Red Guards, their junior allies in the ruling class, the Suits manufactured Wee Obama in the first place, or at least acquiesced in his manufacture. At first he rewarded them handsomely, seeing to the continued and accelerated transfer of a staggering amount of the people's wealth to great fascist banking and corporate entities. But then he backed new regulations that, it appears, have elicited opposition from the Higher Circles that is more genuine than their usual entreaties of "Please, Brer Fox, don't throw me in dat briar patch," confected for public consumption. We may be inclined to discount the Suits' public criticism of Obama, but if following the money isn't a fairly reliable tool for the ruling-class analyst, then we all may as well just close up shop.

That being said, we must continue to follow it. If the Suits begin to throw significantly more money Obama's way after the conventions, and certainly if they begin donating more to Obama than to Romney, then the dissonance between polling results and ruling-class theory will vanish.

Likewise, if much of the rest of the established left-wing media join Dana Milbank ("By most earthly measures, President Obama has no business being reelected") — and there is much about Obama that they could allow to come to light, many fatal questions they could ask — that, too, will eliminate the dissonance.

If neither of those wonders comes to pass, we still must keep one important factor in mind. The Dark Suits are extremely powerful but not all-powerful. If they had been omnipotent in the 1970s, they need not have accepted the Red Guards as a new, junior wing of the ruling class. The Suits derived some advantages from doing so — it gave them more-sophisticated tools for manipulating society and policing conflicts over corporate privileges — but it was costly as well. In certifying the dominance of the Red Guards in big media, big entertainment, big academia, the big foundations, race-policing, their own human-relations and public-relations departments, and so on, the Suits accepted a degree of permanent instability in their rulership. In terms of ownership or finance, the Suits control all the entities I have named, but they don't seem to exert day-to-day control over their Red Guard employees. Once again I fall back on the old citric metaphor: the Dark Suits face the never-ending task of making at least a little lemonade out of Red Guard lemons. Sometimes it's just hard work.

What I am proposing is that, beyond their ability to shove huge piles of money at political candidates, the Suits' direct influence over the outcome of elections is somewhat blunted. It is still unlikely that either of the ruling parties these days would nominate a presidential candidate who stood outside the mainstream as the Suits, exerting all their efforts, have worked to define it. But short of that, it is conceivable that a candidate could be re-elected whom they had invented or at least certified but who had then fled the reservation once in office. Channeling Hyman Roth, the Suits might just shrug and mutter: "This ... is the business ... we have chosen." And do their best to quietly undermine the maverick in Congress and in the bureaucracy.

On the other hand, if the pol had fled into intolerably wild territory, they might have to start planning his de-election, by means peaceful or otherwise. It's a last resort, and a confession of failure, but they've done it before. [Nicholas Strakon]  (August 2012)

On related subjects: "Class Warfare in 2012. Ho, Ho, Ho,"
by Gary North, posted at the Rockwell site.

Douglas Olson just doesn't believe it. Obama is the ultimate result of Saul Alinskyism, coupled with America's obsessive and disgusting guilt over race. He could not have succeeded on the basis of either element by itself, but they blended perfectly in him, with his freakish birth and desperately concealed background. And even that could not have happened without the incredibly whorish media and their blatant, unprecedented efforts on his behalf.

I don't believe for a minute that 40-something percent of Americans personally "like" Obama or think he is doing a good job. A large number of those who are polled are simply terrified to tell a strange voice on the telephone — who they know is aware of who they are and where they live — that they don't like this "evolving" dictator, or any nonwhite, for that matter. Eric Holder was right about one thing: Americans are cowards when it comes to discussing race.

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, at least, followed the Hitler model and asked his legislature to grant him dictatorial powers, which it did. This guy just seizes them, and Congress barely even complains about the usurpation of its authority. When was the last time you heard even a mention of Obama's "recess appointments" made when the Senate was not in recess? Or of his giving "waivers" to laws that provide him no such authority?

I predict a landslide for Romney, although not of 1980 Reagan-Carter proportions. And to exploit the classic paraphrase of Pauline Kael after Nixon's massive victory in 1972, our media sycophants will marvel: "How can he have won? Nobody I know voted for him." [Douglas Olson]  (August 2012)

Strakon and Neff on our sickening under-taxation. Knowing he'd get a kick out of it, I sent senior editor Ronn Neff the link to this New York Times piece the other day: "America's Aversion to Taxes," by Eduardo Porter, August 14. The page title for the Web version is "Slipping Behind Because of an Aversion to Taxes."

I commented, "We need higher taxes, so we can be more like Italy and the rest of the Europeans! That's the ticket!" Yes, a bold and daring chap indeed, Porter actually cites Italy, while admitting that it suffers from "a shrinking economy and a high unemployment rate." Mr. Neff's comments follow.

Quoting Porter:

The big exception has been the United States. In 1965, taxes collected by federal, state and municipal governments amounted to 24.7 percent of the nation's output. In 2010, they amounted to 24.8 percent. Excluding Chile and Mexico, the United States raises less tax revenue, as a share of the economy, than every other industrial country. No wonder we can't afford to keep more children alive.
[Slapping myself on the head.] Why didn't I see this before? The United Nations lists the United State as 34th in the child-mortality business. (Presumably, it would rank even lower if Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and others were not listed as separate countries.)

If only the other 160 countries (e.g., Togo, Botswana, and Chad) would get the public services the United State has, they would have it as good as we do. And if the United State would just increase its taxation level to Greece's (number 27 on the list), there's no telling how many more children could be saved.

Yes ... the key to prosperity and low child mortality is ever higher taxation.

I mean ... look ... Singapore went from 60.69 in the early 1950s to reach the lowest child mortality in the world today — 2.60. I'm sure that can be fully accounted for by a blindingly massive increase in its tax rates to 17 percent. Ummm ... wait a minute ...

Strakon resumes: European countries are sagging badly on quite a few indices already, but on the health front, just wait until they have the same proportion of primitive Mohammedans to contend with as we have of — well — you know.

That reference to "you know" reminds me. I've never been able to figure out why our supervisors don't try harder to imitate our African friends, specifically the economic sages of Zimbabwe. Forget higher taxes. Why not just multiply the money supply by a factor of one hundred — heck, by a thousand! We'd all be rich! Even those poor at-risk babies would be tooling around in Mercedes strollers! [Henry Gallagher Fields]  (August 2012)

The latest from the birthplace of Magna Carta. It's tempting to say that Britain has hit a new low in its threats against Ecuador, but it's not really true, in light of such crimes as the Amritsar massacre of 1919, the Hamburg and Dresden firestorms, Churchill's domestic totalitarianism, the modern-day abolition of free expression and imprisonment of peaceful dissenters, and so on. The open thuggery directed against a nation with which Britain is not at war is better described as an extension of crime into a realm that hasn't been visited, to my knowledge, since the disintegration of the empire. (I am distinguishing this kind of villainy from the illegal wars against such countries as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Serbia.)

Here's Paul Craig Roberts's take: "Ecuador President Rafael: 'We Are Not a Colony' / Correa Stands Up to the Jackbooted British Gestapo." [Nicholas Strakon]  (August 2012)

Holy smokes! I was delighted by the political-scientists' recent ruling that smoking is no more dangerous than eating chicken eggs, that wonderful, natural, nutritious, versatile, and tasty food. I'm immediately upping my daily consumption of cigars from four to six. [Nicholas Strakon]  (August 2012)

Arise, ye prisoners of vacation! There has been talk lately about whether the school year should be extended. Not to cover the whole summer — of course not! Nobody is proposing that children stay in school all year. Just a few more weeks.

It is such a commonplace that the schools are failing "our" children, I marvel that anyone would consider keeping a child in one of them even a day longer. But perhaps there are solid reasons for lengthening the school year — solid food, for example.

We all know — don't we? — that when schools are closed children do not get the nourishing breakfasts and lunches their growing bodies need. It's a wonder the poor dears don't just waste away during the cruel summer months when there is no one to prepare a hot nourishing meal of slop and hot dogs for them.

So, yes, let's have a longer school year for "our" children. And here's an idea: maybe there should be a new federal program for schools to give them baths, too. I mean, how else would they ever get bathed? [Ronn Neff]  (August 2012)

"We are on strike, we, the men of the badge and gun." Proposing even more restrictions on gun ownership, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said on "Piers Morgan Tonight," "I don't understand why the police officers in this country don't stand up collectively and say, We're going to go on strike. We're not going to protect you unless you — the public — through your legislature do what's required to keep us safe."

It occurs to me that there is at least one class of people for whom such a strike would not constitute much incentive to do anything that would get the police back to work. But I guess hizzoner isn't much worried about that.

More important, though, is that Bloomberg's remarks remind me of something Morris Tannehill, co-author of The Market for Liberty, used to say. It is a simple insight that all by itself undercuts most of the traditional arguments for government: "Governments don't protect people; people protect governments."

Thanks, your honor, for confirming that statists understand that as well as anyone. [Ronn Neff]

Free download of The Market for Liberty (PDF)

More dread understanding. The threats by Red Guard homosexualist mayors to bar Chik-fil-A from doing business in their socialist bastions show us that we have been wrong in one respect: When we have talked about rights, we have said that property rights are the basis for all rights, and that the Left did not understand that. They thought that other rights could somehow exist without property rights.

But now we see that leftists understand the connection perfectly well. And they understand that the way you keep a person from speaking his mind is to deprive him of his livelihood and to destroy his business — in other words, to violate his property rights.

If you can keep him from expanding his business, you can punish him for speaking. Maybe it's illegal to put him in jail for what he says, but you can still repress him for it. [RN] (August 2012)

Unspecified news. Something struck me in this New York Times story about Wade M. Page, perpetrator of the Sikh massacre in Wisconsin: "Wisconsin Killer Fed and Was Fueled by Hate-Driven Music," by Erica Goode and Serge F. Kovaleski.

According to the writers, Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center said "that in 2000, Mr. Page tried to buy unspecified goods from the National Alliance, which Mr. Potok described as a neo-Nazi organization that at the time was one of the country's best organized and best financed hate groups."

The SPLC's Heidi Beirich was quoted to the same effect in an earlier story. Beirich is head of the outfit's "Intelligence Project."

Page tried to buy something from the NA, and SPLC knew about it? How in Hades? (And what's with the tried? Was his credit card over its limit?)

Apart from the scary essence of the SPLC's revelation, note the inept journalism on the part of the Times. Once again, a mighty and revered news organ breezes right by some of the main questions that any reader operating a live brain would want to have answered. It's another of those oh-by-the-way eyebrow-raisers that I've satirized before by imagining a TV newsreader's saying, "And in Solar System news, the Jovians have completed the second ring on their giant space station. And now here's Blade Swedejaw with sports ..." WAIT! WHAAAT?!

Who all is under such close surveillance? And how, exactly? [Nicholas Strakon]

Modine Herbey comments. But why should we believe anything SPLC says, to begin with? After all, they're the varlets who labeled WTM Enterprises, TLD's publisher, as a "white nationalist" group. And at the same time altogether failed to specify the actual organ of our hateful deviltry — disseminating undiluted venom on the Net since 1996 — The Last Ditch! As Strakon himself proposes in "Our sliming by the SPLC" (March 2009), those people are not known for the exactitude or depth of their research. (August 2012)

How it's done. When Mitt Romney was in England, the British reptile media fell twisting and spitting upon his mild wonderings about the Airstrip One Olympics — that unbelievably gross, degraded, and nauseating propaganda spectacle of totalitarianism that has so transcended the imagination of George Orwell. Back home, the snakes and lizards of our own established media instantly promoted Romney's comments into a "gaffe," and began framing them in parallel with General Secretary Obama's communistic speech in Roanoke, Va., on July 13. It was as if to say, See? Both candidates occasionally stumble, fumble, and bumble. And it's the silly season, anyway. Best to ignore everything. Except maybe for what Romney said.

Proceeding then to Israel, Romney said some truly horrifying things about a somewhat more pressing matter, the dog-wagging drive toward war with Iran. According to Jodi Rudoren and Ashley Parker, writing in the New York Times, "Mitt Romney said Sunday that preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear capability should be America's 'highest national security priority,' stressing that 'no option should be excluded' in the effort."

No option.

The writers further report:

... While President Obama and his aides always acknowledge Israel's right to defend itself, they put an emphasis on sanctions and diplomacy; Dan Senor, Mr. Romney's senior foreign policy aide, went further on Sunday, suggesting that Mr. Romney was ready to support a unilateral military strike by Israel.

"If Israel has to take action on its own," Mr. Senor said in a briefing before the speech, "the governor would respect that decision."

After carefully noting the shades of difference between the Obamunist and Romnoid philosophies of foreign adventurism, the writers proceed to declare that Romney's visit to Israel "went smoother than the London stop, in which Mr. Romney appeared to be insulting his hosts by questioning their preparations and enthusiasm for the Olympic Games."

Before Romney arrived in Jerusalem, I almost posted a prediction that his utterances there would 1) be horrifying and 2) make fewer waves than those he made in Airstrip One. Now I wish I had done so. I'm becoming too cautious in my old age. [Nicholas Strakon] (July 2012)

Hoping in vain for satire. I have scrutinized this page at the New York Times for any hint that the piece on it is meant to be satirical. I found none. I conclude therefore that it's not satire; instead, it's just intensely disgusting: "A Police Stop That Hardly Seemed Routine," by Zvi H. Szubin.

I leave it to you to come up with appropriate variations on the phrase "road to serfdom." [Nicholas Strakon] (July 2012)

The consolation of Schadenfreude. As I note elsewhere, whatever happens on November 6, it's going to be very, very, very bad. But here's a way to derive a little enjoyment from the disaster: Focus on the loser. Whichever of the crumbums that is, he'll be receiving his deserved comeuppance. Now that ought to make the Cheetos and beer go down more easily on Election Night. [Nicholas Strakon] (July 2012)

Gun nuts. In 2008, after the Man-Who-Would-Be-General-Secretary warned an adoring soviet of San Franciscans about all the banjo-pickin' hillbilly mutants clinging to God and guns out in the hollers, gun sales and applications for personal-protection permits soared. Even though the 0 has found it inadvisable as president to launch any big public attack on gunowners and the right to self-defense, gunmakers are still enjoying a boom four years later. In March, Sturm Ruger announced "that it would stop taking orders until it clears an enormous backlog," in what called "the latest sign of the boom times for the U.S. firearms business." Also in March, according to Reuters, "Shares in Smith & Wesson Holding Corp ... shot up nearly 18 percent to their highest in more than two years on Friday, after the gun maker hiked its full-year sales forecast on a higher order backlog, reflecting strong demand for its guns and rifles."

At, Paul Joseph Watson wrote:

Gun sales are being driven by a combination of factors, including fear of rising crime caused by economic turmoil, but primarily as an insurance policy against a second Obama term, which gun enthusiasts fear will be used as a lame-duck tool to gut Second Amendment rights.

Gun stores are reporting a record number of sales for the month of February, with suggestions that Obama stands a good chance of winning re-election causing firearm and ammunition shortages nationwide.

And now, an ABC affiliate in Florida reports, "Gun sales across the state are spiking in the wake of the Aurora movie massacre, and Florida is on its way to becoming the first in the nation to reach one million concealed weapons permits." Unsurprisingly, sales and permit apps are burgeoning in Colorado, too, as well as in other states.

Naturally, much of that activity is motivated by the simple desire of currently unarmed or permit-less people to have the tools with which to defend themselves. But the rush can only have been encouraged by the predictable moanings and squealings of the anti-self-defense forces, whose immediate impulse after any terrible crime is to disarm the peaceful, law-abiding people who might be victims of future crime.

Despite the millions of dollars that gunmakers and gun stores spend on advertising, it's the leftists who are the most effective marketer of guns in this country — well, they, along with their underprivileged darlings in the criminal classes. Keep squealing, comrades. You are sowing dragon's teeth. [Nicholas Strakon] (July 2012)

It's not the leaks that are the scandal. Mitt Romney is trying to make hay with the Obamunists' national-security leaks, charging that the Presidential Palace fed the media for political advantage. But to my mind, the leaks themselves aren't scandalous, whatever their motivation. I applaud the fact that the vaunting national-security leviathan leaks like a sieve. What's a scandal is the imperialists' assumption that revealing their secret crimes — including murder — will promote admiration among the American people rather than loathing and revulsion.

And the worst scandal is that their assumption is correct. [Nicholas Strakon] (July 2012)

What do we really know about this Ross character? At Unamusement Park, Unamused has some nasty fun with ABC's Brian Ross and his on-air suggestion that mass-murderer James Holmes just might be a Tea Partier. (So far as I know, Ross has not yet apologized to Holmes.)

Minitrue hasn't told us yet whether the Colorado Secret-Police Fusion Center has linked Holmes to American Renaissance. Or whether AR's Jared Taylor has admitted to liking those James Holmes mysteries written by Adolf Conan Doyle. Maybe the Colorado Komitet isn't as assiduous as its counterpart in Arizona. Hard to believe it's any more honest or intelligent. [Nicholas Strakon] (July 2012)

Malia and Sasha, dropped off down at the cineplex. I marveled at this when I heard General Secretary Obama say it on the telescreen after Friday's Aurora Massacre: "My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been in the theater, as so many of our kids do [sic] every day? Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and I'm sure you will do the same with your children."

Are we really to think that any theater the Obama kids went to wouldn't be completely locked down hours before by a hundred Secret Service agents? And that if the shooter had somehow penetrated the perimeter, the return fire from a couple dozen highly trained gunmen, including one or two wielding Uzis, would not have administered some crucial discouragement, fancy-schmancy body armor notwithstanding?

In his remarks, distant alien overlord Obama was trying to impersonate an ordinary person and suggest that he has something in common with the ordinary people he presumes to rule. Risible nonsense! Whoever fed him the line had to figure, though, that in uttering it Obama wouldn't make himself a laughing-stock. And I suppose that is correct.

How is it possible? How stupid have people become? Might their imperviousness to the absurd have something to do with Duh-MOCK-risy, "We are the government," and all the rest of that nonsense? [Nicholas Strakon] 

The intrepid Will Grigg exposes the more ironic side of Obama's sentimentalizing in "Aftermath in Aurora: Child-Killer as 'Comforter-in-Chief'" (posted at

Also worth reading at the Rockwell site: "Why Did No One Fight Back? Questions Linger over James Holmes Batman Movie Theater Shooting," by Mike Adams.

(July 2012)

The neuroscientist. James E. Holmes, the accused perpetrator of the Aurora Massacre, was a student of neuroscience at the Ph.D. level, dropping out of the program just last month. And according to ABC News, he was "apparently a gifted scientist" who in 2010 "graduated with top honors from University of California Riverside with a bachelors of science in neuroscience."

All the spokesmen for neuroscience whom I see quoted in the media come across as absolute determinists with respect to human behavior: There's no such thing as free will. Human consciousness is a mere epiphenomenon, irrelevant to what we actually do. Now, even if the media's depiction of neuroscientists' characteristic epistemology — anti-epistemology, rather — is accurate, I do not wish to rush off in a foolishly conclusive direction. After all, we have not traditionally seen a large proportion of modern America's mass murderers emerging from among neuroscientists. But I can't help wondering just what lessons this particular student learned about human evil and what conclusions he came to regarding the special evil simmering within himself.

When people become convinced that they have no choice, they sometimes choose to do some very strange things.

Whatever Holmes thought was determining his behavior, it will be piquant indeed if his attorney argues in court that this former neuroscientist just couldn't help himself. [Nicholas Strakon] (July 2012)

Self-defense as special privilege. Thanks to gunowner-control, very few New Yorkers are legally permitted to respond to predators in the righteous and effective manner described in this report:

"Off-Duty F.B.I. Agent Thwarts Car Thieves in Queens," by Joseph Goldstein, New York Times, July 18, 2012
Firing from an upstairs window to thwart a "mere" property crime? Imagine the furor that would have erupted had an ordinary private citizen done that — whether or not he had a gun permit. And actually hitting one of the disadvantaged, underprivileged, disenfranchised, at-risk urban darlings? An indictment would surely follow, whether or not the mischievous nocturnal pixies had been carrying iced tea and Skittles, or had resembled the imagined Son of Obama. [Nicholas Strakon] (July 2012)

The Roanoke Obamination. General Secretary Obama orated in Roanoke on July 13 — that's Roanoke, Virginia, praise God, not Roanoke, Indiana, home to TLD Galactic Headquarters — and what he said about how no one accomplishes anything on his own struck Larry Auster as so objectionable that he paid an uncharacteristic, if indirect, tribute to the founder of Objectivism. Obama, Auster wrote, is "canceling out all individual achievement, saying that all achievement is collective. This is right out of the speeches of Ayn Rand's villain Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead."

Now, few men and women in public life today don't come off like a Rand villain. But — yes — the Big Zero manages it more than most.

The Roanoke speech has lit a fire under many other anti-leftists, as well as under the Romneyites, however we may care to classify them. The imperial reptile spat forth many other gobs of poison, including some ridicule of intelligent people, but here's the core of his pronouncements:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business — you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. (Transcript)
Showing unaccustomed charity toward the 0, I am assuming that the "that" in "you didn't build that" referred to the roads and bridges, not the business itself. Some right-wingers have quoted the sentence out of context. (Meanwhile, at least one liberal — Bob Beckel, on Fox News's "The Five" — denied that Obama was even talking about depending on government.)

I've spotted a little coverage of the Roanoke firestorm in the non-Fox national media, but the casual news consumer cannot have heard any more from the MSM about that story than he's heard about the ongoing plague of Negro theft-and-assault mobs in our cities. Suffice it to say that I'm seeing a lot more from Minitrue on the not-so-riveting issue of Mitt Romney's tax returns than I am about 0's dependence ruling.

Before proceeding to my main point, I will digress a few feet into the weeds. As you see in the above excerpt, one of the social entities the Imam-in-Chief cited as having been created by our all-wise, all-beneficent, marvelously creative Central Government is the Internet. Sorry. That straw has now inflicted a critical fracture to my camel's C-2 cervical vertebra. It is true that, for purposes of war and militarism, leviathan came up with the first primitive glimmering of the Internet. But it was many thousands of entrepreneurs, joined by many millions of more modest folks, who spontaneously and freely proceeded to build the Net into the marvel it is today. The Internet is an example of how private people pursuing their personal preferences and peacefully cooperating can seize the moldiest of stunted lemons and transform it into delicious lemonade. The government's "invention" of the Internet is just another case of feeding the birds through the horses — in this case, blood-soaked warhorses.

Now, in Roanoke the general secretary certainly made an error characteristic of his ilk — conflating society and that malignant tumor feeding upon it, the state. But in proposing that, I don't want to blur the fact that he really doesn't seem to grasp the idea of society in the first place, at least not in a form recognizable to us freedom folk.

Every time the 0 starts praising what he takes to be a social virtue, we can see and hear and smell the blood-rusty machinery of coercion towering behind him. Take, for example, the business about our being "our brother's keeper" (originating in Cain's impudent gibe to the Almighty) that he's forever repeating. He seems to think that he's endorsing charity and benevolence, but he always goes straight on to connect the purported virtue of "keeping" people to that Dread Keep (that Hideous Strength) of the worst viciousness, our enemy the state. Charity and benevolence do not exist at gunpoint. ("Keeping," though — that's another matter.)

Because leviathan has managed to seize many of our economy's "commanding heights" (spasibo, Comrade Lenin), including what we have now learned to call its infrastructure, the 0 feels free to claim that all other human activity depends on it. And, more's the pity, to a large degree he's correct, as long as we expand the definition of "depends on" to include "is distorted by," "is corrupted by," "is exploited by," and "is stifled by." But the general secretary is convinced that that's the way things must be and ought to be.

We may wish to disagree. Our choice is not between atomism (that old Red herring) and collectivism at gunpoint. And for those who rightly understand human society, the question is not whether we depend in part on other people to survive and flourish. Instead, the question is which kind of people we want to depend on — fellow freemen or gangsters of the criminal state. [Nicholas Strakon]

An afterword: Down the memory hole. When I began to spin up the above observations about the Roanoke speech, I Googled for a YouTube video of it. Finding one, and exposing my dentition, digestion, and blood pressure to enormous risk, I watched the entire thing. But as I followed along with the official transcript from the White House, I was astonished to see the video jump from Obama's remarks on education — "I want to help our elementary schools and our middle schools and our high schools hire more teachers, especially in math and science" — to the conclusion of the speech, "I promise you we will finish what we started...." The video omitted about a fourth of the speech, including the most controversially totalitarian material that everyone (except the left-wing MSM) is talking about.

The little friend of Minitrue who prepared and posted the video isn't as skilled as the true pros in Airstrip One, though. The editing break is clearly visible.

Exploring the YouTube page, I found this link provided by the poster: By the way, he says he's from Switzerland, of all places.

The bowdlerized version seems to be based on a C-SPAN broadcast. [NS] (July 2012)

Assorted thoughts on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision from our senior editor:

(1) So it was the conservative John Roberts who was the swing vote and not Anthony Kennedy after all. Anything I may be tempted to say about the two-party system is clearly redundant. Anything I might say about trusting conservatives with our liberty is also redundant.

(2) SCOTUS decided that the individual mandate is just a tax — just as they did when they upheld Social Security in 1937.

(3) You have to love the irony: the Republican, Mitt Romney, most responsible for making Obamacare and the individual mandate possible is now pledging to repeal it on his first day as president — assuming he gets to be president. (Just how would he do that? By imperial decree?)

(4) And Republicans are all saying, "Yeah. Vote for Mitt." Does it not occur to them that they should punish him?

(5) What is so especially shocking about a tax that is to be (in effect) collected by insurance companies? Retail outlets all over the country collect sales taxes, and employers all over the country collect income and payroll taxes.

(6) Will this decision really galvanize people to vote for Romney in November? Or will most Americans just say, "Well, you know, if it's constitutional, I guess it's all right."

(7) What could any non-insane person possibly expect from a branch of the Central Government that upheld the income tax and conscription? and overthrew all the abortion laws in the country?

(8) As usual in such cases, the usual suspects are showing sudden new respect for Roberts, since he has suddenly "grown in office." It is interesting how such growth in office so closely parallels the growth in state power.

(9) John Boehner has vowed that the House will vote to repeal Obamacare. And if the Republicans win the Senate this year, they too (say their bosses) will vote to repeal. Great. But let's not lose sight of this: even if the law is repealed, the individual mandate has been upheld by the Supreme Court. It now enjoys the coveted protection of "stare decisis": any future legislation that contains a directive that Americans purchase something will be "constitutional," as long as it can be characterized as a tax.

Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice. [Ronn Neff] (July 2012)

Once more unto the breach, with a yawn. As you may know, Fox News specializes in reporting dust-ups over what is to be permitted on property claimed by government. I encountered yet another such story on July 4. This time, controversy had erupted (to trundle out another weary cliché) over a decree by the Authorities in Mineral Wells, Texas, that people must not decorate the graves of U.S. military veterans in a cemetery the Authorities purport to own, except on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and a week on either side of those holidays. Independence Day and Flag Day are not so favored.

Fox aired a mini-debate between a right-wing nationalist lawyer febrile with flag adoration and a lefty lawyer who considered the U.S. flag to be litter and said that obedience to the law is true patriotism. (Jawohl! Da, tovarisch!)

Provocative and thought-provoking, yes? Wake me when they break for My-name-is-Doug and his mesothelioma commercial.

I've seen so many of these dumb stories now that I usually just groan, "So effin' boring. Property, property, you idiots," and slump in my chair. Sometimes I actually think about switching over to MSNBC.

Since you're a TLD reader, I trust you won't find my groan excessively elliptical. Nevertheless, I'll expand on it. What disgusts and drives me to slumpage is the inability of statish thinkers even to see, let alone understand and support, the magnificent social invention in front of their nose that is alone capable of eliminating such otherwise insoluble social conflicts: property. It's passing strange, in light of the fact that — despite our submersion into totalitarianism — almost every man still cherishes the property he owns, guards it against theft at least by unofficial criminals, and strives to acquire more.

I refrain from writing "private property" because that's redundant. All true and justly held property is private. There is no such thing as "public property" (TINSTAPuP). And if you can take a little purple prose, the only real "public cemetery" is one in which the public's freedom is buried.

Victims of state-think, doublethink, and nonthink keep banging their head against the wall and then wondering why it hurts. To torture George Orwell's phrase, they can't see the blood trickling down their nose. [Nicholas Strakon] (July 2012)

"Me, too!" The news that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) was introducing an Orwellianism called the "Ex-Patriot Act" to punish Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and others seeking to escape the socialist-fascist kleptocracy kicked off an e-mail blizzard among my co-conspirators and me, but we didn't know the half of it. Though maybe we should have assumed it.

Sunday morning on ABC's "This Week," Speaker John Boehner told host George Stephanopoulos that it's "absolutely outrageous" for anyone to renounce his U.S. citizenship in order to avoid paying taxes. "It's already against the law," Boehner said, but in answer to a follow-up question from Stephanopoulos he said he'd support the Schumer bill "if it's necessary."

Another tribune of freedom heard from!

I Googled a little to see what Fellow Tribune Mitt Romney had to say, but I couldn't find anything. Does he agree or disagree with Hizzoner Mr. Republican Speaker Boehner that America is and ought to be a great open-air prison? If he agrees, I've got a few more questions, which I would pose to those Duh-MOCK-risy addicts who intend to vote for Romney in November. (Not that I wouldn't have some questions for them anyway.) [Nicholas Strakon] (May 21, 2012)

If you're a fan of political comedy-horror, here are a couple of videos you shouldn't miss:

Obama was not born in Keynesia!

A liberal is asked whether truth exists.

I had a Stalinist acquaintance in college who proudly and straightforwardly defended Stalin's mass murders and everything else. He was a lot easier to talk to than the young woman featured in the second video.

The most interesting thing about the American leftist fog is how it absolutely depends on something very hard and concrete indeed. Turns out, it's the same thing Stalin's tyranny depended on: the gun.

My challenge to you is, Prepare a seminar for these people on why free-market money and interest rates are superior to statist central-banking, and how the market would do a better job than the FDA in ensuring the manufacture and sale of safe, effective drugs. I guess I ought to specify a time limit for this assignment. Let's make it, oh, 75 years. (No electroshock allowed. We're freedom folk!) [Nicholas Strakon] (May 2012)

An obviousness wrapped in a transparency inside an enigma. If you got the early word on Wednesday that Barack Obscura's philosophy on homosexual "marriage" had "evolved," but you hadn't yet learned just what he said in his ABC interview, in which direction did you predict he was "evolving"? Toward a more traditional, coherent idea of marriage or further from it?

Sorry: It's such an easy question. These Dark Reds are so predictable. And by "Dark" I refer to Obama's nature as a homosexualist Red Guard who is a creature and servant of the homosexualist Dark Suits. That is — not to the color of his skin but to the content of his character.

For rhetorical purposes I imply that some change has actually occurred in what passes for Obama's thinking. Again, no insult intended: I know my implication is hard to swallow. [Nicholas Strakon]

As soon as you hear one of these characters utter any variant of the word evolution, as it applies to his thinking, you just know you're going to be seeing yet another monstrous mutation. [Modine Herbey] (May 10, 2012)

That immense power. 0's service as a Dark Red has earned him a bad review in Newsweek: "Why Can't Obama Bring Wall Street to Justice?," by Peter J. Boyer and Peter Schweizer (May 6, 2012).

This is exquisite:

Had Obama wanted to strike real fear in the hearts of bankers, he might have appointed former special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald or some other fire-breather as his attorney general. Instead, he chose Eric Holder, a former Clinton Justice official who, after a career in government, joined the Washington office of Covington & Burling, a top-tier law firm with an elite white-collar defense unit....

It may be ... that Wall Street was greedy, stupid, and immoral, without actually breaking any laws. But the powers of the Justice Department are immense, and a more aggressive prosecutor surely could have found cases to make.

Senior editor Ronn Neff comments: "Red Guard 'justice'! The banks may not have broken any laws, but let's get the Justice Department to make something up."

This intramural slugfest may be our modern American version of the Trotsky vs. Stalin bout. Extra butter on my popcorn, please. [Nicholas Strakon] (May 2012)

Black humor, in spades. Hungry for some satire that's sharp and timely? I recommend Jonathan Frost's guest article at Unamusement Park. [Nicholas Strakon] (May 2012)

Who are the utopians? In his recently published collection of essays, Delusions of Power, Robert Higgs writes:

I am accustomed to having my arguments in this regard [questioning the very existence of the state as we know it] dismissed as utopian. My reply is that the true utopians are those who continue to look to government as we know it for the protection of people's just rights to life, liberty, and property. The experiment in avowedly "limited" government, it now seems to me, was destined to fail and has indubitably done so. (pp. 3-4) (May 2012)

No doubt you've already seen all this in the newspaper or heard about it on the evening news, but maybe the juxtaposition, at least, will be fresh. Both items are from Larry Auster's View from the Right, and both have to do with advances toward Diverse People's Democracy over in Airstrip One:

"Goodbye blacklist, black hole, blackmail, blackhearted, etc."

"Greater Manchester police ignored cries for help from white girl being sexually victimized by Muslim gang." [Nicholas Strakon] (May 2012)

Move along, move long; nothing to donate to here. Not to take sides prematurely, now, or prejudge the sublime operations of our perfect Nifongian-socialist justice system, but I couldn't help being dumbfounded when I learned that George Zimmerman's fund-raising website had been taken down. (Word on the street is that it attracted $204,000 in donations to Zimmerman and his family during the two weeks it was posted.)

Finally I find, in a story at the Washington Post, some information on why the site was eliminated. In what follows, "Mark" is Zimmerman's lawyer, Mark O'Mara, and "Woods" is a spokesman for the latter:

"It was taken down at Mark's request and [Zimmerman] will not have any future online presence unless authorized in advance by Mark," Woods said in an email....

O'Mara has hinted that he will ask Zimmerman to be declared indigent, which would allow [sic] taxpayers to pay for his legal bills. Any income from the website would make that process more difficult.

How obnoxious is that? Do you see how socialism works to stifle spontaneous society? In particular, watching the totals mount up (far beyond $204,000) would have helped inspire even those sympathizers who hadn't given a penny to Zimmerman's cause — and the deluge of money would have shoved a middle finger right in the face of their raving adversaries.

Again, far be it from me to prejudge any criminal proceeding! My motive here is merely to decry the society-crushing gauntlet of socialism — in this case, criminal-justice socialism. This state intervention won't just rob taxpayers to pay for another's criminal defense but will also help keep any unseemly torches and pitchforks off the road to serfdom. [Nicholas Strakon]  (April 30, 2012)

A co-conspirator tips me to this report by John Hudson of The Atlantic Wire: "North Korea Vows to Cripple the U.S. with Fake Missiles."

Let's hope the neocons don't get any ideas as a result of this fraud. They love going to war over fake weapons. [Nicholas Strakon]  (April 2012)

The echo gangs. In his Future of Freedom piece for April 26, "An Echo, Not a Choice," Sheldon Richman takes out after Republicans, such as Romney, who posture as advocates of the free market; but the General Secretary also gets dinged along the way. Here's how I look at it: the two ruling parties aren't identical — any more than the Gambino and Genovese families are identical. [Nicholas Strakon]  (April 2012)

Biden's bumper sticker. "If you're looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited," Vice Emperor Joe Biden tromboned the other day, "it's pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."

You already know what I think about fascist corporate bailouts — robbery is "successful" from the standpoint of the robber and those with whom he shares his swag, but not so "successful" from the standpoint of the robbee. So I'm going to focus on the "Osama bin Laden is dead" part.

To be nice, momentarily, let's accept all the Establishment categories and claims — Osama was the Dr. No of the Mohammedans, it's great to have U.S. troops including secret commandos roaming the world and killing people, OBL was still alive at the time of the commando raid in Abbottabad, and so forth. OK. But would someone finally tell me what Barack Obama's giant personal contribution was in getting Osama? What was it that the General Secretary did, personally, that was so ingenious and heroic? Will we eventually see a photo of Little Beige Big Man wearing a helmet, similar to the pic that did wee Mikey Dukakis so much good in 1988?

With his bumper sticker, Biden is mainly seeking to impress those who can be impressed by dumb-head slogans pasted to cars. But conspiratorialists may be forgiven for wondering whether the Obamunists are also hinting at something that they can't come right out and say, namely, that they reversed a secret policy of the Bush Likudnik regime with respect to Osama. That policy being, We don't really want to get this guy. [Nicholas Strakon]

Good job, there, Strakon. For once you wrote something about Obama and Osama without getting them mixed up and writing "Obama bin Laden." Honestly, it is difficult, distinguishing among all these foreigners. [Modine Herbey]  (April 27, 2012)

Update, April 28. The Democrats are now claiming that a President Romney would not have said "Yes" when the militarists and national-security creeps asked whether he wanted them to whack OBL. Wheels within wheels, mirrors upon mirrors ... Wrinkle my brow however much I may, it's all too recondite for me. [NS]  (April 2012)

A public-spirited injunction recently received here at TLD Galactic Headquarters:

Dear Citizen,

I am writing to caution you against the racially and gender-insensitive rhetoric in your recent "Stop and Think" observation, where you repeatedly write: "Mr. (?) Bayne," as if it were not entirely obvious which of the several genders Bijan C. Bayne represents (not that it matters, of course!). Your insensitive use of the word "Mr." in place of an appropriately gender- and class-neutral title is also noted. If I see any future violations, rest assured that I will report you to both the Ministry of Sensitivity toward Bizarre Negro Names and the Directorate of Wymyn's and Transgendered Welfare.

Citizen Tawoenyna

I am appropriately chastised! Don't want to be popped behind the wire, after all. [Nicholas Strakon]

I thank a veteran TLD reader and supporter for the above "injunction."

(April 2012)

A Big Premise takes another hit. In The Atlantic — of all places — a piece has appeared that, tragic as it is to relate, dynamites the foundations of our Glooorious Duh-MOCK-risy: "Obama vs. Romney: Unknowable Foreign-Policy Differences," by Conor Friedersdorf (April 18).

With respect to the leading presidential contenders, Friedersdorf writes: "There's no sure way to predict who will do what if elected."

Wait! That sounds familiar. Seems I read another article once upon a time that said much the same thing. It differed from Friedersdorf's piece, though, in being informed by principled analysis. [Nicholas Strakon]

They can't wait. Even more rule by decree is on the way, according to the New York Times's Charlie Savage, in "Shift on Executive Power Lets Obama Bypass Rivals" (April 22).

Savage begins: "One Saturday last fall, President Obama interrupted a White House strategy meeting to raise an issue not on the agenda. He declared, aides recalled, that the administration needed to more aggressively use executive power to govern in the face of Congressional obstructionism."

As a tyrant vaunting and arrogant, the General Secretary has now wrapped his redoubled autocracy in a propaganda slogan, "We Can't Wait," and has even had it inscribed it on a banner. I hope some of us victims, at least, will understand who "We" are. If I may abuse grammar for the sake of idiom, it ain't Us.

We ought to remember, though, that this is the modern American style of rule by decree. That is to say, most of it is legal! In the way that legal is understood these days, at least. Most of Obama's ukases are based on grants of power — constitutional or otherwise — by Congress. Often, those surrenders reside in bills thousands of pages long that are unread by any of "our representatives." That is most frequently the case with respect to slapped-together monstrosities rammed through Congress in times of panic and crisis. Those panics and crises, in turn, typically come roaring upon us out of previous state invasions of society — both American society and societies around the world. It's really an impressive system, when you think about it.

The result is that we are drowning in "laws" — fake laws — and "programs" that cannot be uniformly enforced or administered. And the result of that is to give the inhabitant of the Presidential Palace (and, ultimately, those who own him) a scope of discretion that's just dizzying to the observer who favors liberty, justice, peace — and real law. It's the American embodiment of George Orwell's old insight about totalitarianism, as a system under which there are no laws. Only decrees. [NS]  (April 2012)

Two "Days," a little too close together on the calendar. Tomorrow, Wednesday the 25th, is World Malaria Day (the meaning is, Anti-Malaria Day). In publicizing that fact, the telescreen is saying that 1,400 children die of malaria every day around the world. It seems unbelievable, but it's the World System's own figure, so I'm taking it at face value for the sake of argument.

Non-leftists with an eye to irony may think that World Malaria Day comes too close for comfort to Earth Day, which was Sunday the 22nd. (The Left, of course, has little more sense of irony than it has of humor.) How many millions of people were doomed to die of malaria because of the Red Greens' successful attack on DDT? The enviro-Stalinists started up Earth Day in 1970, and owing to their influence (and, no doubt, some corporate-statist skulduggery) the Nixon regime by regulatory fiat banned the domestic use of DDT two years later, kicking off the World System's global assault.

In all the jabber about malaria, I'll be curious to see whether there's a mention of the World Health Organization's 30-year ban on the use of DDT in the Third World, or whether that crime vanishes — swoosh! — right down the memory hole.

Official discouragements and restrictions on DDT continue. For example, according to the EPA, WHO even now approves only the indoor use (!) of DDT, and the U.S. EPA leans on other countries "with the goal that DDT be used only within the context of Integrated Vector Management programs, and that it be kept out of agricultural sectors." Out of agricultural sectors! — that's a good one. [Nicholas Strakon]

See "An Environmental Failure: Restrictions on DDT,"
by Ashley Herzog, at

(April 24, 2012)

The virtual foreigner. After months of leftist snarking about Mitt Romney's unorthodox technique of canine transportation, having to do with strapping his dog's cage on the top of his vehicle, the Romney people have now pointed out that little Barry Soetoro actually ate dog when he was living in Indonesia. I'm not going to joke about that — the now-august general secretary was only a kid at the time, and some kids gobble up whatever oddments are placed before them by their Authorized Caregivers.

Far from joking, I'm going to make two serious points. First, the Fido-munching has been sitting around in plain sight since Obama confessed to it in his best-selling memoir, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, in 1995. Only now are System scribblers who have read the book acknowledging it for the benefit of those of us who have resisted reading that particular masterpiece. That reinforces the point made by investigators of the pol's murky background, such as Jack Cashill in his riveting Deconstructing Obama, that the main reason the Obama murkiness has persisted so long is the entrenched indifference of the left-wing mainstream media in the face of it.

My second point is more important, I think. It's not little Barry's fault, but the fact remains that for four years — crucial childhood years — in Indonesia he was exposed to an environment utterly strange to that of the historic core of our country's population. If he learned to eat dog, what other things did he learn that took deeper root? What alien influences helped form him? What alien values, assumptions, and habits of mind did he absorb?

In itself, his dog-eating reveals the inner Obama no more than a man's skin color reveals the whole panoply of his likely racial traits. Both of those things, though, are indicators of differences that are probably far less superficial. However long-delayed, the widespread publicizing of Obama's dog-eating is a good thing. It reminds us people of the majority that he is truly an alien overlord. [Nicholas Strakon] (April 2012)

An old rocker's lèse majesté. At an NRA conference on April 19, Ted Nugent, a former pop music figure, said that if Obama is re-elected, he, Nugent, will be "dead or in jail" by this time next year. And he referred to Obama and some of his minions as criminals.

According to the Washington Post, Nugent also said, referring to the Obama regime, that "we need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November."

Democrat squealers — prominent among whom was the unspeakable Debbie Wasserman Schultz — took those remarks as a physical threat against Obama and claimed that Nugent was inciting violence. (One of my correspondents wonders whether Nugent was indeed inciting violence — on the part of the state against himself.)

A writer at the left-wing forum AlterNet chimed in, alleging that, in the past, Nugent had described the General Secretary as a p.o.s. and had called upon him to "suck on my machine gun." Well, but maybe that was just to encourage the Maximum Leader to get high off the fumes of Hoppe's No. 9, yes?

Nugent denied that his NRA commentary constituted a threat, and the Secret Service, which was quick to interview him, is now apparently satisfied with that.

This little dust-up makes me wonder whether the Organs of State Security, or the left-wing squealers, at least, will take it as a threat from now on whenever I post one of my hyperbolic statements about being "popped behind the wire" sometime in the future. (I hope they are hyperbolic.)

Like Nugent, we at TLD often describe our rulers as criminals. In fact, describing government as the worst form of organized crime is one of our big things. Is that, too, criminal, in the eyes of the squealing political Respectables?

I wonder whether it still permissible to post that verse from Psalm 109 containing the phrase, "May his days be few" — not referring to Nugent, that is — without attracting the attention of the Organs.

In any case, I wish to be charitable toward the Big 0 and his minions: it is understandable if great criminals who live by the gun misunderstand their victims as hinting that guns can be pointed in the opposite direction. [Nicholas Strakon] (April 2012)

Has Rich Lowry seen this story? I'm referring to news coverage of the atrocity in Spring, Texas, and I'm pretty sure you've seen it. Here's a follow-up account: "Lawyer: Mom accused in fatal baby abduction [was] upset," by Juan A. Lozano of the Associated Press. You've got to love that "upset."

Lozano starts out: "Neighbors of a Texas [Negro] woman accused of kidnapping a newborn boy after fatally shooting his [white] mother said Thursday they were shocked when a photo of the friendly, polite woman flashed across their television screens following her arrest."

Friendly. Polite. Just got upset.

We'll have to wait and see whether the killer gets off because of the unfathomable evil of her crime and the insufficiently clever manner in which it was committed.

Meanwhile, the Left and the other antiwhite forces will surely continue to amass their irresistible arguments and evidence against the racist madman John Derbyshire and his intolerably noxious version of "The Talk." [Nicholas Strakon]

No doubt "Daddy" just got upset. In Fort Wayne, Ind., much closer to home for me than Spring, Texas, a salt-and-pepper lesbian couple have been arrested on charges of felony child abuse and neglect of two little boys, involving serious bodily harm including broken bones that were never attended to by a doctor. The boys are the sons of the white "partner." The Negress, called Tawoenyna (sic) Portee, is the "partner" accused of actually inflicting the brutal beatings.

According to the version of the story broadcast by WANE-TV News, the boys referred to the couple as "Mommy and Daddy." "Mommy," naturally, is the actual mommy; the Negress played the role of "Daddy." However, WANE's print version says one of the boys called the Negress his "mommy/daddy." Whichever is the case, I fear that the boys' physical batterings are the least grievous of their many injuries.

I was curious to see whether WANE posted the photos of the pair that it had broadcast. What it has done is interesting. The photo one sees first on the page is a dazzlingly pointless shot of the red-and-blue light bar atop a police car. At first I didn't even realize it had anything to do with the story. Then I noticed little "1 2 3" links at the bottom of the photo. Hitting "2" brings up the photo of the white "partner." Hitting "3" brings up the photo of the Negress. Very clever. I tell you, our adversaries just do not miss a trick.

This morning a lady from the local outlet of Stop Child Abuse and Neglect appeared on the telescreen, in connection with the story, to reveal that a child living with a biological parent and a "significant other or partner" is "more than five times at greater risk of abuse" than a child living with his two biological parents, a single parent, or his grandparents.

More than five times!

Now, since like Winston Smith I am blessed (or cursed) with a memory of past party lines, I know that such an observation represents a change in the Red Guard social-service message. In the not-too-distant past, the Guards were telling us that a child reared by both of his "biological" parents derived no advantages from that arrangement, if indeed he did not suffer a disadvantage, since it reduced his exposure to stimulating and diverse experiences. The traditional "nuclear family," if it ever actually existed, was suffocating and, of course, fatally patriarchal. And real daddies were just bad. [NS] (April 2012)

Another triumph of statist utopianism is described, though not exactly celebrated, in this New York Times piece by Michael M. Grynbaum: "With Classroom Breakfasts, a Concern That Some Children Eat Twice."

Grynbaum writes: "New York City's policymakers [are] in an uneasy place: trying to tackle children's hunger while combating what has seemingly become a national epidemic of childhood obesity."

Re-engineering society to make everything better for everyone is hard! [Nicholas Strakon]

Unsatisfiable. At AlterNet I discover this amusing blip in the Red Guard party line: "The Hunger Games' Subtly Racist Cliché: Why is Hollywood still reducing black actors to spiritual servitude?" by Bijan C. Bayne. Mr. (?) Bayne is complaining about what he/she calls the Negro Spirit Guide, as confected by Hollywood, i.e., the Entertainment Left.

Next, Mr. (?) Bayne will no doubt expatiate on the racist oppression represented by those Negro computer geniuses, science prodigies, and legal savants whom the scriptwriters and casting directors are always coming up with. [NS] (April 2012)

The Derbyshire Affair (April 7). I'm moving my mention of John Derbyshire's recent Hateful Hating Hate-mongering Hate piece to the top of the heap, here, and adding to it because the matter has now exploded into a full-fledged Affair — at least for us tiny frogs splashing away in our small pond. My original entry, from April 5:

At Taki's Magazine, John Derbyshire presents Hate Facts informed by Hate Analysis, and it's all just so Hateful that I wonder how long Taki, despite his billions, can possibly keep his site on the Net or himself outside the wire: "The Talk: Nonblack Version."

You may wish to ignore Derbyshire's point no. 13, even with his subsequent caveats, as being pointless and a waste of time and energy, especially in view of the social opportunity costs involved.

At the antiwhite left-wing forum AlterNet, I now find: "National Review Tries to Distance Itself from Derbyshire for Racist Column, but Silent on Calls for Firing Him," by Faiz Shakir.

At View from the Right, Larry Auster and his commenters chime in to good effect, in "Derbyshire's 'Talk,' and the controversy it has triggered." I think you'll enjoy their assessment as they watch the terrified little bunnies at National Review bounce off into the tall grass.

I suspect the fun has only just begun. [Nicholas Strakon]

Update: April 9. The sacking has now occurred, according to this Politico dispatch from April 7: "National Review fires John Derbyshire," by Dylan Byers. The rabbits can resume placidly munching their carrots.

Of the stinky things that NR editor Rich Lowry is quoted as saying, this assaults my nostrils the most violently: "... The main reason that people noticed [Derbyshire's piece] is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we'd never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways." (You've got to love that clubby, faux-affectionate "Derb" in this context — "I'm sure ol' Joanie the Arcster understood why we had to burn her.")

Right, Rich. Well, I for one was astonished to learn that Derbyshire wrote for NR, and was a longtime contributor at that. I guess it shows how many years it's been since I last bothered to glance at NR. On the other hand, I visit Taki's Magazine every day.

Many people in the liberty community — not to mention the race-realist community — have probably forgotten that National Review still exists. [Nicholas Strakon] (April 2012)

Shock! Shock, I tell you! The System is still capable of surprising me, and I was surprised to see this, at the New York Times: "NBC Fires Producer of Misleading Zimmerman Tape," by Brian Stelter.

Well, now we're getting somewhere. Kind of. Still no apology to White Hispanic George Zimmerman, though.

An excerpt:

Inside NBC, there was shock that the segment had been broadcast. Citing an anonymous network executive, Reuters reported that "the 'Today' show's editorial control policies — which include a script editor, senior producer oversight and in most cases legal and standards department reviews of material to be broadcast — missed the selective editing of the call."
Well, of course they missed it: It sounded right to them. [Nicholas Strakon] (April 2012)

At the Rockwell site, Jeff Berwick provides a nice, deeply horrifying overview of the surveillance state and its progress: "It's a STASI World." [Nicholas Strakon] (April 2012)

The very latest in leftist thinking. Conservatives of a "strict construction" bent have traditionally been skeptical of judicial review, and some have even called on Congress to impose statutory limits on the scope of the federal judiciary's power. I'm an anarchist and therefore not a constitutionalist, but I always enjoyed reading what Joe Sobran had to say about the Constitution and its tyranny-minded torturers. Joe was strict! I was sympathetic with his insistence that the courts have no monopoly on interpreting the Constitution, even if I was unsure how the principle of to-every-man-his-own-Constitution would work. Why, that could lead to anarchy, I always thought.

I open thus in order to armor myself, in what follows, against any charge of hypocrisy and to make it plain that I haven't started idolizing the Court and its cloudy powers just because it temporarily lacks a firm leftist majority. To some extent I'm dogless in the big fight over separation of powers — though I've long since unleashed TLD's pack of slavering Rottweilers against ObamaCare itself, and I do certainly hope that, in the present case, one group of government employees (the justices) successfully counter that other group of government employees.

On Fox News today, showing up to defend the Palace against the Supremes was Ian Millhiser, representing the Center for American Progress (like that bland name, do you?). With the rigid, unblinking, almost pouty sternness that's common among leftists, Millhiser declared:

The Court doesn't have the power to overturn the Affordable Care Act. The Constitution says that Congress can regulate commerce. The Affordable Care Act is a regulation of one-sixth of the nation's economy. The Court can overturn many things if they are actually unconstitutional. But the only thing that the Court has the power to do is to follow the text of the Constitution of the United States. Striking down the Affordable Care Act is not within the judiciary's power.
Three points and one question, if you will.

I aim this one mostly at my constitutionalist friends. The Constitution does indeed give Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. It is highly unfortunate that the Founders, who we are taught had such an exquisite finger-tip sense of how Power might be abused, suffered a complete collapse of imagination here. (That's the generous interpretation of what they were up to. They, we may wish to recall, included Alexander Hamilton.)

It's also worth noting, though obvious and somewhat boring, that Millhiser is coming out here against judicial interpretation. His conservative interlocutor on Fox pointed out what a change that was for liberals. I think the word hypocrisy was used. Millhiser did not tell us who may decide that legislation is unconstitutional if the Supreme Court dasn't do any interpreting. I doubt that he would designate, as such deciders, the People "out of doors," finally uprisen against tyranny.

"The Affordable Care Act is a regulation of one-sixth of the nation's economy." In other words, the more all-encompassing the present health-care tyranny is, the more constitutional it must be. Purloining in broad daylight a favorite point of anti-Obamunists — the "one-sixth" part — and turning it to totalitarian purposes, Millhiser wins the Spring 2012 TLD Award for Left-wing Chutzpah.

And now that question. Would Millhiser encourage the Obama regime to ignore the Court's decision if a majority votes to overturn? Ward Hill Lamon, U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia and an old crony of Abraham Lincoln's, claimed that Lincoln issued (but later withdrew) a warrant for the arrest of his enemy Chief Justice Taney in 1861. (It would have been Lamon's job to collar Taney and drag him off.) Is Obama, that great fan of Lincoln, thinking along similar lines? Justice Minster Holder has recently conceded that "courts have the final say," but who has confidence in any of that man's assurances? OK, that's three questions. [Nicholas Strakon] (April 2012)

Turns out we were just funnin'. In "Marbury vs. Obama," posted April 3, I speculate about what "Jay Carney [will] try to argue, in another desperate scramble to clean up after Obuffoona...."

According to ABC News, here is what Carney did, uh, argue:

"[Obama] certainly was not contending ... that the Supreme Court doesn't have as its right and responsibility the ability to overturn laws passed by Congress as unconstitutional," Carney said during Wednesday's White House briefing. "He was referring to 85 years of judicial precedent, of Supreme Court precedent, with regard to matters like the one under consideration. And it's maybe fun to pretend he meant otherwise, but everyone here knows that that's what he meant."
It was predictable, and I might have predicted it: yet another resort to the Left's maddening "everyone knows" ploy. On the other hand, this declaration might make it harder for Obama to send the Bad Justices to Guantanamo. [Nicholas Strakon] (April 2012)

Please, Brer Justice, don't throw me in dat briar patch! At View from the Right, Larry Auster's site, a commenter offers a thought worth pondering. It begins: "The last couple of days have illustrated why the people who say that Obama is a horrible negotiator have a strong case. He has created a situation, with his remarks about the Supreme Court, in which the Court cannot rule the way he wants without creating the widespread perception that they have bent to political pressure from the White House."

Yes. But the argument from stupidity always deserves skepticism. Should we now take more seriously the arguments of those who say that Obama and the Obamunists wouldn't mind seeing the health-care law overturned? — both for short-range electoral purposes and for the long-range purpose of laying the groundwork for a fully socialized system?

Obama himself is a dull tool; but I'm reminded here of his predecessor, the patron saint of bricks and turtles and everything thick and slow, who was surrounded by some very clever puppet-masters. Bush and the neocons initiated a war that was stupid, insane, blundering, misconceived — I leave it to you to insert any similar adjectives — but one that also just happened to suit the neocons' and Israelis' long-range strategy. Funny how that works. [Henry Gallagher Fields] (April 2012)

Marbury vs. Obama. Flanked by the rulers of Mexico and Canada, General Secretary Obama declared yesterday that "it would be an 'unprecedented, extraordinary' step [for the Supreme Court] to overturn legislation passed by the 'strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.'" That's as reported by Mark Landler of the New York Times in his story, "President Confident Health Law Will Stand," which Landler's editors buried on page A-17.

As they should do, Obama's opponents are having a good deal of fun with the little man's latest skydive into bottomless ignorance, or transparent deceit if you prefer.

According to The Free Dictionary, Franklin Roosevelt's National Industrial Recovery Act swept through the House in 1933 by a vote of 325 to 76 — a strong majority in anyone's book, one would think — only to be overturned by the Supreme Court in 1935. Now, true, the Senate passed the NIRA by only seven votes. So will Jay Carney try to argue, in another desperate scramble to clean up after Obuffoona, that it's not the sort of thing his master was talking about? Well, he'd better not: let us look at the congressional votes for ObamaCare, formally titled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In its case, matters were reversed. According to Wikipedia, it passed the Senate 60-39: a "strong majority." But it had to struggle to victory in the House, slipping through by a vote of 219-212, as we may recall, but as the general secretary apparently does not.

I will be interested to see whether the New York Times continues, with a straight face, to describe the affirmative-action charlatan in the Palace as a "constitutional lawyer." [Nicholas Strakon]

"Rule of law" utopianism. Writing of Obama as a "constitutional lawyer" reminds me that I've got something to say about his "promise" not to abuse the police-state provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act. Kevin Baker, in the NYT book review I link to, is only one of many — naturally including libertarians and paleoconservatives — to notice that, as Baker writes, it is "a curious position for a former constitutional scholar to take: the promise of one man substituted for the rule of law."

What I have to say is actually for the benefit of those Obama critics. Their devil is too small. On January 20, 2009, Obama promised that he would "to the best of [his] ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." He actually promised it twice, because of the chief justice's initial bumbling. And all of his predecessors made the promise at least once. They were required to.

Lincoln made it. Twice. Wilson made it. Twice. And Truman. And Nixon. And Lyndon Johnson. And George W. Bush.

Franklin Roosevelt made the promise four times.

Well, look where we are.

Any purported rule of statute law must always depend on the promises of men: and they are men hungry for power, privilege, and pelf. Many of us in the liberty-sphere regard the Constitution, our supreme statute, as a distressingly well-designed engine for the growth of consolidated central government. But it's still hard to deny that it took a lot of straining and twisting and lying, by a lot of men of promises, to put us under the heel of today's socialist-fascist-imperialist leviathan.

No piece of paper is going to enforce itself. Now that's a promise. [NS] (April 3, 2012)

Last week, several of us co-conspirators had a little e-mail discussion about Justice Breyer's notion that "the very act of entering into the world as a newborn babe could be construed as 'commerce' that invokes federal regulatory authority," as an editorialist for the Washington Times put it.

Senior editor Ronn Neff observed that an adverse ruling by the Supreme Court is not going to drive a stake through the heart of ObamaCare:

Now that those particular arguments have entered the 'market of ideas' they will not go away. They will only flourish. Think of all the obscene state actions that were unthinkable 40 years ago. Someone proposed them, and someone else said, "Nahhh. We can't to do that." But each proposal was simply shelved, not tossed out.

Only free-market ideas can be thrown out completely and for all time — because of the Great Depression and because the poor can't afford to buy everything.

I thought of what Mr. Neff had written as I watched ABC's "This Week" program Sunday morning. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Maryland Rep. Chris van Hollen, ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, were debating ObamaCare, and Van Hollen said:
If [the justices] were to strike [the individual mandate] down on constitutional grounds, I think most people understand the only approach you can take after that to get everybody covered, everybody in the pool, is to go to a Medicare-for-all type proposal. That is something Republicans have rejected. That's why they had proposed the approach that is in the Affordable Care Act. That's why Mitt Romney took that approach up in Massachusetts, because that is the one way that everybody gets into the insurance pool.
With the totalitarians on the job, you can't win for losing.

If ObamaCare survives with the individual mandate intact, the resulting chaos will also result in a powerful push for "a Medicare-for-all type proposal," of course. As regards any given pol, such as Van Hollen, the only question is whether he knows that and is planning for it even now, or whether he is just a useful idiot.

A secondary point, suggested by Van Hollen's mention of the Republicans. Over the week just past, the theme has emerged among the Democrats that "the Republicans themselves" — not just Romney — have proposed an individual mandate "in the past." I doubt that the Democrats are making that up out of whole cloth, because it would be so easy for the Republicans to loudly demand that they supply names and facts. Unless it is a bare-faced lie, it's a vivid demonstration of how the duopoly system can build leviathan in a collusive-appearing way, even when no actual collusion is presently occurring between the two official ruling parties. (In arguendo, I'm assuming a lack of systematic collusion just now.)

I'm always frustrated when Democrats rely on a claim of "tu quoque" in defending their latest expansion of state power against Republican opposition. "Who cares?!" I want to yell. "What does the consistent proponent of freedom and the free market say? Where are the ideas?" But to the media those questions are usually irrelevant. Their blinkered focus on the two official parties of leviathan helps keep "debate" within System-safe parameters, that's for sure. [Nicholas Strakon]

Richard Wilkins comments (April 4). No less a center of the conservative movement than the Heritage Foundation proposed an individual mandate as part of its "free-market" alternative to HillaryCare in 1993, and I believe that the Heritage health-care folks eventually consulted with Mitt Romney on his Massachusetts plan. (April 2012)

At The Freeman, Sheldon Richman has penned another important and thought-provoking piece, one that casts a much brighter and broader light on Brecht's old trope about rulers' "electing a new people."

"Seeing Like a Ruling Class: Making society legible"
Highly recommended. [Nicholas Strakon] (April 2012)

Romney's promise. According to today's Politico Playbook, here is some of what Mitt Romney was due to tell the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference today, by video: "In a Romney administration, there will be no gap between our nations or between our leaders." He was referring to the United State and Israel.

No gap, eh? I am tempted to make an extremely crude joke about who would be the do-er and who the do-ee, if you catch my drift; but I'd better leave that sort of thing to Jim Goad, et al., over at the Taki site. Romney was also programmed to say: "As President, I will be ready to engage in diplomacy. But I will be just as ready to engage our military might. Israel will know that America stands at its side, in all conditions and in all consequence."

Way to go, Mitt! Yes, that's the way to preserve Washington's sterling reputation, in the Mohammedan world, as an objective, disinterested, even-handed broker of peace!

Of course Romney would be breaking no new ground there. But how about this, also from today's Politico e-mail update?

"Green donors bet on Romney flip-flop," by Darren Samuelsohn: "Julian Robertson, founder of the Tiger Management hedge fund, helped put cap-and-trade legislation on the map with $60 million in contributions over the past decade to the Environmental Defense Fund. Now, Robertson has given $1.25 million to Romney's Restore our Future super PAC, plus the maximum $2,500 to the Romney campaign. Other green-minded financial backers may not be giving as much as Robertson, but they still share the view that climate-change science and a solid environmental agenda wouldn't be a lost cause if Romney won the White House."
In which of the two areas — tail-wagging-dog imperialism or Green totalitarianism — are we more likely to witness a Romney betrayal? Hmmm ... Now that's a puzzler! [Nicholas Strakon]  (March 6, 2012)

Fair questions. Partisans of natural rights can explain what they mean by "just" and "justice," and do so clearly and concisely.

Can leftists explain what they mean by "fair" and "fairness"? Those are concepts on which American leftists are relying ever more heavily as they call for expanded and more intrusive state power.

Why does hardly anyone ever ask them to explain? [Nicholas Strakon] (March 2012)

Silencing. Miss Sandra Fluke, the 30-year-old left-wing activist who is also a law student at Georgetown University, says that her anti-leftist critics, such as Rush Limbaugh, tried to silence her after she declared at a mock congressional hearing that other people should be forced to pay for her contraceptives.

Anti-Leftists, it is claimed, are trying to silence their leftist adversaries when they make rude fun of them, even though the anti-leftists are often obliged to recant and apologize a couple days later, as was the case with Limbaugh.

At the same time, leftists try to silence their anti-leftist adversaries — and sometimes do silence them — by mobbing them, blacklisting them, pressuring their employers to sack them, leaning on publishers to suddenly discover that anti-leftist books are "repellent," threatening and intimidating hosts with whom the anti-leftists have signed contracts, and so on.

At least the Left in this country hasn't started silencing its critics and other non-fans by resorting to the techniques of its more forthright foreign cousins — clapping them in psychiatric prison, sending them to the Gulag, or shooting them in the back of the neck. Let's count our blessings, while we still enjoy them. [Nicholas Strakon]

Modine Herbey comments. What delicate flowers these comrades are! As if anyone could ever silence the Left.

A little more on Miss Fluke, courtesy of Larry Auster.

(March 2012)

A Fluke of privacy. Interviewed last week by CBS News, Miss Fluke said of Limbaugh: "I think he was confused about what my testimony said, for starters. I didn't say that I should be paid for anything. What we were talking about was private insurance covering a medical need. It has nothing to do with the government paying for anything, or taxpayers, or anyone like that."

"Private insurance"? Really? Then what was Miss Fluke doing, on camera, talking to politicians at a faux-official event in government surroundings? Maybe it was because she'd have difficulty actually finding private insurance against the "illness" of pregnancy, since as Sheldon Richman pointed out in the column I linked to before, pregnancy results from a volitional act. That's unless we're talking about rape, and all delicacy aside, it is my understanding that Miss Fluke isn't claiming that she's a victim of ongoing serial rape. Rape insurance: now, that's something a free market would provide. [Nicholas Strakon]

P.S. — on that "all delicacy aside." Let's keep in mind that in publicly discussing her voluntary sexual habits, and her inability to finance them, it is Miss Fluke who has set all delicacy aside. Not I. And for that matter, not Limbaugh, either.
(March 6, 2012)

Impervious. One reason the leftists are impervious to arguments that the health-care law is tyrannical is that they don't grasp the distinction between force and freedom — or if they do grasp it, they don't care.

One reason the Left continues to hold the high moral ground in the eyes of so many ordinary people is that those ordinary people don't grasp it, either.

At the same time, neither the leftists nor the ordinary people whose confusion they exploit would hesitate to object if someone broke down their door and tried to steal their TV.

How much farther can the chasm widen between the intellectual habits that people practice in their daily life and the ones they bring to bear when they think about the state? Is there really no limit? [Nicholas Strakon]

Modine Herbey answers. No. (March 2012)

"Move along." James Q. Wilson, who formulated the "Broken Window" theory of neighborhood decline and public disorder, died March 2 at 80.

As administered by government police on property claimed by government, many applications of Wilson's ideas are unjust, such as ordering undesirable street people to "move along." But they are absolutely just and rightful for true property owners and those whom they've delegated to protect their property.

The very image of a broken window reminds us that fixing such things is the business of property owners, motivated by self-interest, and no one else.

As Proudhon observed, liberty is "not the daughter but the mother of order." Under statism we cannot have both liberty and order. [Nicholas Strakon] (March 2012)

The Pentagon's brain drainage. I most heartily recommend the Mises Daily article for February 29, "Military Spending and Bastiat's 'Unseen,'" by Eric Phillips.

Let me offer a substantial extract:

There are only so many people ... who have the brain power to obtain PhDs in the hard sciences, and in 20th- and 21st-century America, a disproportionate number of these people have been employed by the military-industrial complex — from one-third to two-thirds of all technical researchers at any given time since World War II. According to the late Columbia University professor Seymour Melman, this "has left many U.S. civilian-products industries at a competitive disadvantage due to faltering product designs and insufficient improvement in industrial-production efficiency." To see the effect of the private-sector R&D shortage, Melman contended, one need only
go to the stores that now sell great arrays of "high tech" merchandise. Pay attention to the boxes for these goods, which typically state where the contents are made. Try the largest libraries and see if you can find texts that contain instruction for production of the products that have been disappeared from U.S. manufacturing.
They are not there.
This essay is the more impressive in light of the fact that Phillips is still a graduate student. I'll be looking for more of his work as his career advances. [Nicholas Strakon] (March 2012)

Boy, that "NATO" outfit really knows how to run an empire. On February 21, according to the New York Times, "NATO personnel" burned some Korans in the presence of native Afghanis, and the results were predictable. In today's New York Times story, "Afghan Protests over the Burning of Korans at a U.S. Base Escalate," Alissa J. Rubin writes, "In the eastern city of Jalalabad, where one person was killed and 10 wounded, protesters said that both Afghan soldiers and NATO troops fired on the crowd."

Among the results that were predictable — in news that apparently broke too late for Rubin's story — was the killing of two American soldiers by one of those carefully trained and indoctrinated pro-U.S. Afghan soldiers we hear about. That's according to the Wall Street Journal's Dion Nissenbaum in this dispatch: "U.S. Soldiers Killed, as Kabul Braces for Wider Protests." (Apparently someone authorized the actual nationality of the dead soldiers to be specified.)

"NATO" says it had confiscated the Korans from imprisoned evildoers and that they contained evildoing messages in code. Even the neocon war partisans are upset about this one, pointing out that the books should have been turned over to the intelligence folks for examination.

The official mantra from both "NATO" officials and the U.S. regime is that the burning was "inadvertent" and an "error." Yesterday's New York Times story reported that the "NATO" commander, Général John R. Allen, de le Corps des Marines, apologized for the disaster and said it was unintentional.

The "NATO" personnel who actually did the deed may have thought they were burning auto-repair manuals or copies of Tristram Shandy, I suppose, though you'd think the horrified reaction of the Afghan witnesses might have tipped them to the fact that something wasn't right. Well, I suppose the Afghanis are always upset about something. But to proceed up the chain of command, it seems likely that someone intended the burning, despite the assurances of General der Marine-Infanterie Allen. And, in fact, that someone ordered it.

TLD readers have a pretty good idea of what I think of Mohammedanism, but — Hate Watch Alert! — I really hate imperialism. Even when it's conducted by "NATO" legionaries, commanded by Generale dei Lagunari Allen.

I don't know whether I'm allowed to point this out, but the same people responsible for the bumbling and atrocious war against the Afghanis cannot stop babbling and drooling — here at home in NATO-ica — about how tolerant and compassionate and humane and understanding we ordinary NATO-icans have to be as they thrust exotic Third Worlders among us, using money stolen from us in taxes. What's the word for "irony" in NATO-ish? [Nicholas Strakon] (February 23, 2012)

Another libertarian embarrassment. American Renaissance dangled some red meat in front of its readers on February 22 by running snippage of a piece at Reason magazine, "The Silly Panic over a Minority White Nation" (original full version), by Ronald Bailey. AR's editorial intro was a gem: "Hispanics will become categorized as whites, so whites have nothing to worry about!"

The resulting comments from readers were actually more restrained, overall, than I would have expected, but the posting did provoke quite a few denunciations of those awful libertarians and all their works.

Much of Bailey's piece reads like a parody of racially insensible libertarianism, written by one of our enemies, but unfortunately it's for real. Such treatments deepen my growing distaste for the word libertarian. All real libertarians ought to recognize it as a ruined label, and anti-statists who are race-realists need to be especially wary of it.

As other writers have done, Bailey relies heavily on the confusing incoherence of typical ethnic categories: whites, blacks, Orientals (Mongoloids) — and "Hispanics." But "Hispanic" is only a linguistic category. And the question of the day, as it pertains to the mass migration from south of the border, has to do not with Castilians or with Argentinians of German heritage but with mestizos and indios, and the extent to which those people of alien race can be expected to assimilate without helping to destroy the things that civilized Westerners cherish. (Bailey takes intermarriage to be an unobjectionable form of assimilation.) The writer also adduces the old, sloppy notion that Irish-Americans and some other Europeans weren't white, and he seems to have concluded from that claim that race as we refer to it now either doesn't exist or doesn't matter.

Bailey ends his essay by writing, "America is an ideal, not a tribe." That is the same, pretty much, as the liberal and neocon claim that America is a "proposition nation." The trouble is that the ideals and propositions keep changing, and for the worse. Why do they change? One reason is that whites of Western heritage no longer know how to act as white Westerners, and don't care that they don't know. That's very important. But another reason, also very important, is that non-Western or even anti-Western colored people are flooding into the country.

The two troubles are related. Let us suppose that some kind of non-destructive assimilation is conceivable, in principle, for alien nonwhites — to the extent, say, that Negroes had been assimilated by 1950, before the drug epidemics, before "Rap" and the "gangsta" subculture, before wilding and flash-mobbing, before established-media promotion of anti-white hatred, before welfare-momism and EBT cards, and before bastardy became not just an embarrassing problem for Negroes but an overwhelming epidemic. What is the chance that even that much assimilation will occur now, on the part of the mestizos and indios, when not even whites will act white?

We race-realist anti-statists at The Last Ditch are living proof that a man doesn't have to renounce his attachment to liberty in order to recognize deep-seated cultural differences, deep-seated hostility to whites and to the West, and — especially — biologically seated racial differences. To recognize, in other words, that the deluge of alien colored people is a big problem.

Now, how do partisans of liberty tackle social problems? We don't attempt to tackle illiteracy and ignorance by endorsing state education. We don't attempt to tackle poverty and unemployment by endorsing state management of the economy. We don't attempt to tackle pollution by endorsing state "ownership" of the environment and natural resources, and the extinction of property rights.

Similarly, we don't attempt to address cultural and demographic problems by endorsing border-police statism. Instead of continuing to move in the wrong direction, and expanding state power, we demand liberty and justice for everyone, allowing people to protect their property, educate themselves as they see fit, choose for themselves whom to do business with and associate with, and decide for themselves which strangers, if any, deserve to be helped. Liberty partisans have much to teach those who do endorse coercive ways, but they'll never succeed in teaching or even reaching anyone if they blind themselves to the very problems that are at issue: including problems of race and culture.

I have made these points before; now I have had to make them again; I will keep repeating them, as often as is necessary, until darkness falls, or I do. [Nicholas Strakon] (February 2012)

A related column of mine from 2006.

Big Sister explains freedom. Sally Kohn, the homosexualist left-winger, appeared on Fox News this afternoon in a left-right back-and-forth about the continuing contraception controversy, and she was brimful of the usual leftist Facts & Figures showing that most major Catholic institutions are all for the Obama "compromise" and that huge percentages of ordinary Catholics have no problem with the regime's overall policy.

It didn't occur to Kohn, apparently, that the overwhelming popularity (as she sees it) of Obamunism tends to undercut her case for compulsion. Naturally, her conservative interlocutor failed to raise that screamingly obvious point.

On second thought, though, I suppose the Reds can't rely on overwhelming voluntary compliance with their desires, can they? It's still not 100 percent. The Party demands 100 percent compliance.

And of course it demands that 100 percent of thoughtcriminals, no matter how few, must receive the old humanitarian, compassionate boot in the face.

But the best was yet to come. Kohn went on to declare: "The Constitution and the very makeup of our country from the beginning has [sic] been balancing religious freedom with individual liberty and choice, and that's exactly what the administration has been trying to do."

So that's what they've been trying to do!

As far as I'm aware, that breaks a little new ground, at least in its explicitness. I wrote recently in this space that real rights cannot conflict with each other; it's the statists' positivistic fake rights that conflict with real rights. But now Kohn is framing her totalitarianism, not as the "right" to some material condition that others are forced to arrange, but as "individual liberty and choice."

Religious freedom, it transpires, isn't an aspect of individual liberty at all, despite what we've all thought all our lives. Instead, it has always been in conflict with individual liberty ...

... Here in Oceania.

Once again, the conservative interlocutor didn't blink at Kohn's jaw-dropping assertion. After all, she had her own carefully prepared little tape to play; no time to actually grapple with ideas. No time to craft two or three easy sentences and show up Kohn for a fool, and a nasty one at that. [Nicholas Strakon] (February 2012)

Maybe they're afraid it actually works. The Mormons' practice of posthumously baptizing people, including Jews, is in the news again. According to the Washington Post, "Nobel-laureate Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and a top official from the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Tuesday that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should use his stature in the Mormon Church to block its members from posthumously baptizing Jewish victims of the Holocaust."

The church hierarchy was quick to respond:

"We sincerely regret that the actions of an individual member of the Church led to the inappropriate submission of these names [for posthumous baptism]," spokesman Michael Purdy said in a statement. "These submissions were clearly against the policy of the Church. We consider this a serious breach of our protocol and we have suspended indefinitely this person's ability to access our genealogy records."
The Post reported that "the church has tried to improve its technology to block the process from including Jewish Holocaust victims."

So, in this case, where something really important was involved — i.e., Jewish sensibilities — the Mormons didn't have to strain to come up with a politically convenient "revelation." They just set about having their boffins refine and restrict their technology.

Senior editor Ronn Neff comments: "But what pikers these Jews are! Why not demand that the Mormons unbaptize the Jews they've already baptized?"

This ridiculous matter reminds me of the time a certain anarchist atheist of Jewish heritage — old-timers would recognize his name — vehemently objected when he discovered that a friend who was an anarchist Christian was praying for him. The objection? The Christian was violating his rights! [Nicholas Strakon] (February 2012)

In the coils of the "safety net." On February 12, I found this piece atop the page-one section of the New York Times site: "Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It," by Binyamin Appelbaum and Robert Gebeloff.

It is full of people's "stories," which senior editor Ronn Neff has properly identified as a hallmark of leftist journalism (and oratory); but in this case not all of them are raving paeans to government. The article is a long one, but I encourage you to get through at least two or three pages of it. You will find some truly shocking statistics about the metastasizing dependence of ordinary Americans on leviathan.

Mr. Neff observes: "It is precisely this kind of story that so turns my stomach against the state that I urge its enemies (all seven or eight of them) not to turn to it for 'benefits' until the direst circumstances compel it.

"And even then, it may be better to freeze to death on the streets first."

Appelbaum and Gebeloff's piece has garnered attention from the harder Left. A leftist at AlterNet, "Dartagnan," was inspired to crow: "NYTimes: The Anti-Government Republican Base Is Totally Dependent on Government." The restlessness about becoming serfs of socialism expressed by some of the people quoted in the Times frustrates "Dartagnan": it's irrational, and the unfortunate result of all that reactionary right-wing Republican propaganda! [Nicholas Strakon] (February 2012)

"Access." Do you favor "women's access to contraception," or do you oppose "women's access to contraception"?

Hint: If you say you favor "access," you're a "progressive" and a fan of a government-dictated health industry. If you say you oppose "access" — but what civilized person could oppose that? We don't need to hear from that type person.

You've got to admire American leftists' flair for language, or anti-language at least. The wallahs down at Orwell's Ministry of Truth, Bureau of Newspeak, had nothing on them.

These trick questions and boobytrap-ambiguous word uses amount to a twist on T.H. White's summing up of totalitarianism: "Everything not forbidden is compulsory." In the Left-totalitarians' mental universe, which they try to browbeat us into entering, anything not subsidized with taxpayer money does not exist.

In other words — and I think I may have arrived at this formulation before — society does not exist; only the state exists.

I wish we could somehow figure out how to arrange "access" to non-existence for the state. Unambiguously. [Nicholas Strakon] (February 2012)

Writing at the Freeman, Sheldon Richman has trouble with the entire notion of contraception "insurance": "Contraception: Insuring the Uninsurable" (February 10, with updates about the "compromise"). A sample: "Coming of child-bearing age and choosing to use contraception is not an insurable event. It's a volitional act." (February 2012)

Progressive education. In the Obama contraception tyranny we see a clash between the actual right to freely exercise one's faith and the fake right to obtain health care, forcibly, at someone else's expense.

Real rights cannot clash with each other. Real rights and fake rights must clash, the former against the latter. In fact a good way to detect fake rights, arbitrarily dreamed up by state-building collectivists, is to check and see whether they entail the abridgment of other people's rights to life, liberty, and property. By definition real rights do not and cannot. I believe a philosopher might refer to this as the law of non-contradiction in action.

Left-totalitarians are explicitly, unapologetically denying the real right to act peacefully in accordance with one's conscience in favor of the fake right to forcibly obtain health care. I'm inclined to thank them for their bracing honesty. They are burning off all the mystifying, obscurantist fog behind which they lurk, ripping away the masquerade behind which they scheme, to let us see them as the brutish enslavers they are.

To use the Left's own jargon, it is truly a "teaching moment." [Nicholas Strakon]

Modine Herbey comments. I urge Obama to stick by his bloody guns. Attempt no compromises with freedom, tyrant! May your version of "health care" bring millions more of our countrymen out from under the ether. (February 2012)

More homicidal humanitarianism, at our expense. Quoth John McCain, in calling for the United State to arm the Syrian rebels: "The blood-letting has got to stop."

There speaks a man for whom force, i.e., blood-letting, is the solution to everything — even blood-letting!

Please note that this American senator is not talking, here, about Americans righteously defending themselves and their freedom here at home, forcefully or otherwise. Instead, he wants to require American taxpayers to finance the escalation of a civil conflict, in a faraway land, that is none of our business. With results that are unpredictable.

If I may paraphrase Chesterton, "This statist has suddenly and quietly gone mad. He is talking nonsense; and he can't stop." Of course that's not exactly right: McCain is never quiet. And "suddenly" must not be taken to mean "recently." [Nicholas Strakon]  (February 2012)

I just hope I'm out of the stadium before the two-minute warning. Of all the Super Bowl commercials this year, the "Halftime in America" auto-industry spot narrated by Clint Eastwood has engendered the most adverse comment. Its political message, celebrating the results of the Obamunists' partial nationalization, is nothing new, though I don't understand why it doesn't infuriate more taxpayers and for that matter all of us who are forced to use the regime's counterfeit currency. It's the same message we heard after the Chrysler bailout in 1979 and after the Bush-Obama banker bailouts: that is, robbery works! — at least from the standpoint of the robbers and those sharing their swag.

Infuriating, as I say, but otherwise not very noteworthy. What I do find noteworthy is the commercial's crippled metaphor: Halftime in America? What does that mean? Both legs (so to speak) of a metaphor have to work, or the thing winds up being pretty lame. This one works on the football side but not so well on the hope-for-the-future side.

Reagan's "Morning in America" actually had the same defect, if you think about it — since darkness eventually falls on even the brightest day — though I suppose it was saved by some religious and poetic resonances with the everlasting day, the great "gettin' up mornin'" when we're supposed to awaken to eternal life, and so on.

But halftime? Clunk. "Halftime" means that the game is half over for America. People in vibrant countries and civilizations don't think in terms of a halftime. What — are we supposed to expect that after another couple hundred years or so of Obamunistic Hope and Change, America will finally arrive at an eternal, steady-state utopia?

A darker reading seems much more likely at this juncture. The Eastwood commercial depends heavily on Pravda-scale fantasies regarding the "progress" of Detroit, that haunting epicenter of ruin and decivilization. For me, the only way the halftime metaphor works is as a warning that the rest of the country is halfway to Detroit. Tick, tock. [Nicholas Strakon]  (February 2012)

Paul Kersey comments on the commercial, at Stuff Black People Don't Like.

A trio of recent off-siters that I find worthwhile:

How liberals think is always a fascinating topic: furiously fascinating, one might say. In the context of Duluth's official antiwhite propaganda campaign, a commenter at Larry Auster's View from the Right, "Patrick H.," offers a noteworthy dissection of the logic of anti-racism as practiced by antiwhite liberals.

Jim Goad waxes impolite as usual, in "Homosexuality: What's Choice Got to Do With it?" (Taki's Magazine, February 6, 2012).

In a somewhat muddy essay on this inherently muddy subject — "The homosexual choice" (2004) — I pointed out that, whatever the truth of the matter is, the "we were born this way" premise is much more empowering for the homosexualists than the old "sexual preference" idea.

Will Grigg once again hits the bull's eye, in this slammer of an article originating at his own site and featured today on the Rockwell site: "The Pseudo-Courage of Chris Kyle" (February 5, 2012). Mr. Kyle, who at one time wore the colors of the world's most dangerous criminal gang, has now published his memoirs, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. [Nicholas Strakon]  (February 2012)

Kangaroo scientists take another leap. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, are now saying that sugar is toxic and addictive —

But let's hit the pause button right there.

So far, I'm still on the bus with these boffins, pretty much (though I don't like loose talk about addiction, which is a murky concept indeed). I've been on and off the Atkins Diet several times over the past seven or eight years; and especially when I'm on it, I like to harass my friends with the dire (and somewhat hysterical) dictum, "Just as chocolate is poison to dogs, sugar is poison to humans!" Even when I'm not Atkinsizing, I keep candy, ice cream, and high-octane colas on the Index Victuum Prohibitorum, and I sample cookies, cakes, and pies only at birthday parties and other such free-for-alls.

Now, all of that being said, let's hit Play:

— and "should be considered a controlled substance just like alcohol and tobacco." That's from the editor's intro of a Time magazine piece on the subject, "Should Sugar Be Regulated like Alcohol and Tobacco?" by Bonnie Rochman, February 2, 2012. Rochman writes: "To counter our consumption, the [report's] authors advocate taxing sugary foods and controlling sales to kids under 17."

There they leap again.

The leap I refer to is the one from science to ideology, and it's a giant one indeed. The moment these marsupial M.D.s and Ph.D.s bounce from describing their scientific findings to making policy recommendations, they recast themselves as ol' Joe Blow sittin' beside the cracker barrel and workin' his jaw. In other words, their opinion about what should happen to our liberty is no weightier than ours.

In fact, we may want to accord it even less weight. I've noticed — haven't you? — that nowadays scientists almost always accompany their headline-worthy biological or environmental findings with a certain kind of policy proposal: one that involves not weakening leviathan's crushing and ruinous power but strengthening it. And that occurs in an era when a grievously large proportion of scientific research is financed by one level of government or another. If I may again trot out one of my favorite formulations: Comrades, it is no accident. [Nicholas Strakon]  (February 2012)

A related column of mine from 2007:
"Global warming: What if the Left is right?"

Clip joints. According to the telescreen out of Fort Wayne, an Indiana state representative who was sponsoring a bill to abolish licensing of barbers and cosmetologists has now withdrawn it because — in the newsreader's words — he "got a lot of compelling testimony last week from cosmetologists and others in the industry to keep regulation in place." (Print version of WANE-TV story, January 26, 2012.)

Rep. David Wolkins (R-Winona Lake), who introduced the bill, is quoted in an earlier Indianapolis Star story as saying, "This bill was dumped in my lap because I'm the 'smaller-government person' in the House. I have nothing in it other than I am the carrier." Circus clowns have nothing on brave, principled statesmen in the ability to back-pedal at lightning speed. According to the story, Wolkins also said, "It has created a headache. They're all up in arms."

"They," the Star writes, include "the Professional Beauty Association, a national organization of salons, spas, distributors, and manufacturers" who are "opposed to the legislation, [and say that] the bill will kill cosmetology schools, put local product distributors out of business, jeopardize the livelihood of Indiana's barbers/cosmetologists, and threaten the health and safety of consumers."

Nice to see that the "health and safety of consumers" at least get a mention, at the end. But it's plain to see that the consumers aren't the chief concern here; the main thing is the desire of established operators to stay legally protected from unruly competitors. Where are the quotes from those endangered consumers, terrified at the prospect of greedy, heartless, exploitative, unhealthy, extremist laissez-faire free-market dog-clip-dog capitalism breaking out in Indiana?

The story itself is instructive, but so is the way the Fort Wayne TV station (which is government-friendly) reported it. According to the Progressive fairy-tale ideology long promoted by the government schools, it should have been the customers who pressed for the regulations to be retained. But the TV newsreader and her scriptwriter were blind to the aspects of the story that — in light of the System's traditional party line — should put it in the man-bites-dog category. After all, "business always opposes regulation," right? Absent was any declaration along the lines of, "Oddly enough, it's the industry itself that's calling for the regulation to be retained." (Media consumers do hear "oddly enough ..." fairly often in the course of "straight" news coverage.)

Have we been deep-dyed in statism for so long now that the old Progressive fairy tales are no longer considered necessary? Or any mental activity whatsoever? [Nicholas Strakon]

Modine Herbey comments. Yes. (January 2012)

Their inclinations are obvious. With the encouragement of the Red Billionaire himself, the left-statists are now using Warren Buffett's secretary as a pawn in their never-ending drive for higher taxes. General Secretary Obama himself, in last night's State of the Leviathan speech, adverted to the fact that Debbie Bosanek pays federal taxes at a higher rate than her boss does.

Naturally we'd better not hold our breath waiting for the right-statists — war conservatives and other giant-government conservatives — to propose the obvious solution for this "unfairness," which is also the gradualist, reformist, moderate-libertarian solution: Cut the maximum tax rate for Mrs. Bosanek and everyone else down to the rate that Buffett pays!

That reform would address the Left's perpetual whining for "equality" and "fairness," and at the same time would advance the cause of liberty and prosperity, restricting the life's blood flowing to the state, that malignant tumor on society.

The fact that we don't hear mainstreamers of the Left, Right, or totalitarian Middle proposing any such thing makes their inclinations, assumptions, and premises crystal clear. Some of them occasionally burble about cutting taxes, but when push comes to shove, they've all got good reasons for keeping the level of mass robbery about where it is. After all, they've got plans for our money, much more important than any plans we little people may have for ourselves and our families.

I refer, above, to the moderate-libertarian solution to the disparity in tax rates. Well, real partisans of liberty and justice have their own idea of what the uniform tax rate should be. Hint: the conceiving of that number represents one of the great breakthroughs of Hindu mathematics in the ancient world. [Nicholas Strakon]  (January 25, 2012)

The emperor has no unicorn. In his imperial oration, Obama declared: "I'm a Democrat, but I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: that government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves and no more." Let's take the little liar at his word and examine that idea.

Last summer Mitt Romney got roasted by the Reds and the Pinks when he said that "corporations are people." That set me to wondering who the leftists think do populate corporations; but now I've got to wonder what kind of entities Obama thinks populate the government. In a 1971 debate with state-defender Jeffrey St. John, Roy Childs said — and I never tire of quoting him — that "government does not consist of men who have powers of epistemological elitism; that is, they have no means of knowledge not available to other men." They don't have other special abilities denied to non-government people, either; or special exemptions from the ordinary morality governing non-government people; or special exemptions from the laws of scarcity, supply and demand, and simple arithmetic.

But if we're to take him at his word, Obama must believe that government is magic and that government people are supermen somehow definitively elevated above the normal human plane. (Don't get me started on what Lincoln may have believed.) I'll point out in passing that such a belief contradicts the democratic slogan that "we are the government." But more important, there is a reading of Our Leader's dictum that leads straight to anarchism: What can government people do that other people can't do? A good deal worse than nothing, that's what. [Nicholas Strakon]  (January 25, 2012)

Complications of fascism. President Obama rejected the current application for the Keystone XL oil pipeline yesterday, blaming procedural problems and (of course) Republicans, according to John M. Broder and Dan Frosch, writing in the New York Times: "Rejecting Pipeline Proposal, Obama Blames Congress" (January 18, 2012).

The move earned denunciations from Speaker John Boehner, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue, and American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard, according to Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, writing in the Washington Post: "Obama administration rejects Keystone XL pipeline" (January 18, 2012).

I'm hoping Obama suffers some lasting political injury from this, but that's because I'm not choosy about what injures that swine's prospects. Free-marketeers and all partisans of liberty and justice fiercely oppose the Keystone XL project, albeit not for the same reasons the statist environmentalists and enemies of industrial civilization oppose it.

We oppose it because it depends on the exercise of eminent domain, which is the euphemism that governments have dreamed up for what is actually robbery by forced sale. It's the same as if a carjacker, sticking a gun in your face, said he was going to take your late-model car but would throw you a hundred bucks in return. You might object to that sum, not to mention being forced to deal with the bandit at all; but if the robber and his criminal confederates determined in their solemn councils that a C-note was a "fair price," you'd be sunk. And, if you forcefully resisted, shot.

Actually, eminent domain isn't quite the same as street robbery, because only governments add insult to injury by bleating slogans at you about how robbing you serves the "public good," the "general welfare," the "national interest," etc., just the same as all their other crimes, including their mass-murdering wars.

Within the category of what government people call "eminent domain" we find two distinguishable types of robbery: the mostly socialist and the hard-fascist. We see the mostly socialist type when governments force owners to sell property for state projects — new highways, military installations, government airports, and so on. Even so, those projects are still partly fascist in nature because they shower tax money on private contractors who are connected with the boys downtown and revel in state privilege (often buying it with bribes).

We see the hard-fascist type when governments steal the property and then hand it over to new "private," i.e., non-governmental, owners. That's what would happen with Keystone XL.

"Keystone XL Pipeline Relies on Eminent Domain for Success,"
by Jonathan Mariano,, November 7, 2011

"Keystone XL pipeline unites left and right,"
by Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, November 11, 2011

Eminent domain reveals a deep truth about the governments that practice it: although not all of them have succeeded in imposing totalitarianism, they all tend toward totalitarianism. They operate upon the totalitarian premise that no peaceful man's rightful property is secure if seizing it would serve the purposes of government people. In effect, government is the ultimate owner of all property — an idea that has survived from the old days of monarchies that evolved from feudalism. As I have proposed before, our common familiarity with taxation may have bred a lack of contempt — or a lack of understanding, at least. But let a man be once clubbed over the head with eminent domain, and in that bruised cranium there may arise a freshly contemptuous understanding of the nature of the state.

As enthusiasm for fascism goes, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is hard to beat. The Times reports that the Chamber also lobbied for the authoritarian and deeply fascist Stop Online Piracy and Protect I.P. acts, the threat of which — as you may have heard — recently called forth upon the information highway some pretty sophisticated villagers brandishing some pretty advanced torches and pitchforks, prompting an entire infestation of lawfakers to scatter like rabbits. (We'll have to see how long they remain in the tall grass, cottontails quivering.) As if that weren't enough, the Chamber supports right-to-work laws, yet another government intrusion into the economy.

I think that from now on in these pages we'll just call it the U.S. Chamber of Fascists. [Nicholas Strakon]  (January 19, 2012)

Just in time for the start of Worship Season. The Washington Post has been authorized to report that the hysterically funny inscription on the Martin L. King memorial about his being a "drum major" will be rectified to some extent.

One hopes that this doesn't ruin the entertainment value of the monstrosity.

In any case, the thing's cautionary value is more important, and that will be unimpaired since its looming Morlockian style will remain. (Have they installed a siren to pull in the Eloi yet?) [Nicholas Strakon]

Modine Herbey comments: No, Strakon, in our current dystopia no sirens are required to pull in the Eloi.

Strakon replies: True enough. We don't hear sirens before the Eloi troop into Morlock territory. It's only afterward that they tend to go off. (January 2012)

"The Cult of St. Martin Luther King — A Loyalty Test for Careerist Conservatives?,"
by Paul Gottfried, VDare, January 16, 2012.

"I'm So Bored with MLK," by Jim Goad, Taki's Magazine, January 16, 2012.
Excerpt: "His ongoing canonization is such that Jesus is now merely
Martin's towel boy. Compared to MLK, Jesus is not very sacred
at all in this culture. He's a much safer target to criticize."

They are inventive — gotta give 'em that. According to the New York Times, General Secretary Obama is now seeking more power in order (so he claims) to shrink the government.

I can't quite put my finger on it, comrades, but I think something is wrong with this picture. [Nicholas Strakon]  (January 2012)

Watering the bodies: We really are wonderful! The story about U.S. Marines' urinating on the corpses of their fallen foes in Afghanistan pales in comparison with the actual atrocities committed by Our Glorious Boys (and Wymyn) as they have striven to impose Rights for Wymyn and the GLBT Community, Mandatory Diversity, and Israel-friendly Duh-MOCK-risy in some highly unlikely venues. Still, you've got to admit that the story broke just at the right time to illustrate Joe Audie's latest essay, "We're so wonderful!" [Nicholas Strakon]

Henry Gallagher Fields comments: The desecration pales, too, in comparison with the atrocities committed by Our Boys in previous imperialist wars, such as World War II.

Not many Wymyn at the front in those days, of course, thank God. No, the regime's family-abandonment and culture-destruction policies worked differently under Franklin Roosevelt, herding women into the war factories to play Rosie the Riveter. (January 2012)

Politics is disgusting. I recently told a friend that if I were a minarchist and a voting man, I'd vote for Ron Paul — but I went on to say that I still wouldn't, really, because if my vote in the primary for the best man actually helped get him nominated (through some magic), I'd be helping to elect the worst man. I wouldn't have anything to do with such a maddeningly disgusting system.

As hard as it may be to imagine, my disgust with politics just continues to deepen. Now, it makes me uneasy that for the second time in the past few months I'm feeling some sympathy for old Mitt, but I've just got to get into this. The other day, in calling for free individual choice in health insurance, Romney said: "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. If, you know, someone doesn't give me the good service I need, I want to say, you know, that I'm going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me." That statement, in itself quite praiseworthy from the free-market standpoint, is now being characterized as a gaffe — same as when Romney stood up in the face of the shrieking Reds and told them that "corporations are people," i.e., that corporations aren't actually populated by Satan's imps, space aliens, badgers, or whatever other entities the commies may be fantasizing about.

Romney is often snarked at for being an android whose every utterance is carefully programmed, but look what happens when he actually says something that's interesting and (perhaps) less painstakingly scripted. If some of the words he uses — in this case, "I like being able to fire people" — are similar to words his enemies have used in a radically different context to condemn him, why, that's good enough!

The contextless phrase is good enough, by the way, not just for such execrable creatures as Debbie Wasserman Schultz, quacking away on behalf of the DNC, but also for Romney's Republican rivals Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman. The latter promptly went forth and proclaimed that "Governor Romney enjoys firing people." I knew that Perry was an awfully primitive lizard, but now Huntsman has revealed himself to be the lowest species of slime.

Bushwhacking knaves feed lies to drooling fools — and it's the candidate's fault, because he should have anticipated it all. No one is expected to be unfoolish enough to reflect that in his everyday life he, too, likes to be able to fire a saboteur of an auto mechanic or a scorch-prone electrician.

Once again, all the way through yet another election year, it looks as though I'm going to have to keep that bottle of Emetrol out on the counter within easy reach. [Nicholas Strakon]

A letter-writer recently observed here in The Ditch that politics makes us stupid, just as the other aspects of statism do. Thanks to this current imbroglio we see revealed some of the mechanics of how politics operates to punish and discourage actual thought. [Henry Gallagher Fields]  (January 10, 2012)

Maybe Professor Doctor Algore can answer this. One hundred percent of Chevy Volts have now been recalled. It seems that the battery casing catches fire. (GM isn't calling it a recall, but a "customer service campaign," to avoid bad publicity and — get this — federal monitoring. How can a company partly owned by the state avoid state monitoring?)

What I want to know is whether the recall is due to the danger the fire represents to the driver and passengers or is due to the danger the fire represents to the environment. [Ronn Neff]  (January 2012)

Finally! Now the world starts to make more sense to me. MSNBC has suspended Patrick Buchanan as a commentator because of racial and ethnic crimethink contained in his new book, Suicide of a Superpower.

Apparently, promoting protectionism and praising Alexander Hamilton on the air can take a fellow only so far. But I should be serious. Some commentators are opining, plausibly, that the reddest of the news nets tolerated Buchanan for as long as it did because it liked how he beat up on Republicans of the War Party. That has become pretty stale now, not to mention a little inconvenient, since the Obamunists have shown themselves to be members in good standing of the same Party.

According to Alternet's Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, who applauds Buchanan's purging, his book contains "several white supremacist statements, including the absurd assertion that 'white folks' built America. (Sounds like someone flunked 8th grade history class.)"

Yes, indeed, I've never heard anything as absurd! As all of us attentive students learned in eighth grade, if it hadn't been for the Negro contribution, why, there'd be no Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, electricity generation, railroads, telephones, refrigeration, airplanes, cars, lasers, Mac computers — we owe it all to Tyrone and Lakeesha! Without their ultra-beneficent ingenuity, the whole continent would be a howling wilderness, just like Darkest ... Ooops! Well, never mind.

Of course this brings to the forefront a question that some of us have surely meditated upon already: What are the young-uns being taught in eighth grade? [Nicholas Strakon]  (January 2012)

Simple Nick is puzzled again. I came across a piece in the New York Times today that I found thought-provoking: "A Shrinking Military Budget May Take Neighbors with It," by Binyamin Appelbaum. Actually, make that question-provoking.

In his second paragraph, Appelbaum writes: "... As the Pentagon confronts the prospect of cutting its budget by about 10 percent over the next decade, even some people who do not count themselves among its traditional allies warn that the potential impact on scientific innovation is being overlooked. Spending less on military research, they say, could reduce the economy's long-term growth."

The overall argument of the piece is a variation on the old assertion that if we hadn't had all our Grand and Glorious Wars, we'd never have had big airplanes, computers, radar, infrared, sulfa drugs, lightweight materials, modern surgical techniques, and so on. The Big One — World War II — is adduced as the Big Example here, despite some trivial aspects such as its mass incineration of factories, libraries, universities, research institutes, museums, and human minds.

But let's look further back, all the way to 1880, when American technology was going great guns and the economy was expanding by leaps and bounds. Bell had invented the telephone, Edison and Westinghouse were conducting their creative struggle over electricity, Mergenthaler was about to invent the Linotype, and the Roeblings had developed whole new technologies to build the Brooklyn Bridge, which would open in 1883.

Yet the U.S. Army in 1880 numbered only about 30,000 soldiers, and the entire War Department was housed in one average-size office building next door to the White House.

Nick the Simple wants to know: How was it all possible? [Nicholas Strakon]

Ronn Neff comments. It is of course true that without the military there are things we perhaps like and would not have.

Let's get excessive here: Maybe not the Internet. Maybe not High-Def radio and TV. Maybe not space exploration. Maybe not certain fabrics or preservatives.

But this is a classic case of the broken window. What do we not have that we would have?

All the state can ever, ever, ever do is rearrange capital and impose costs. Its every action does one or both. Inherently.

So there are losses. What state-worshippers have to say is: We like this stuff better than any that free men would have given us.  (January 7, 2012)

Have the neocons seen this map? The telescreen just showed a map of where the mighty Iranian Navy is conducting its dangerous, reckless, saber-rattling war games with its advanced super-weapons. Come to find out, it's just off the coast of — not New Jersey — not California — or even Montana — but, believe it or not, Iran!

Well, Nick the Simple is simply dumbfounded.

The context is different, but I can't help being reminded of the old German joke about a Nazi Party official's trying to illustrate the glorious crusade against Bolshevism for a Bavarian peasant, with the aid of a map. The peasant points to the giant swath of territory stretching across half the map and asks what country it is. The official replies, "The Soviet Union." The peasant then points to a different country and asks what that tiny place is. The official answers, "Why, that's Germany!" After stroking his chin for a bit, the peasant looks up and asks, "Has the Führer seen this map?" [Nicholas Strakon]  (January 2, 2012)

I heard it on Fox News: peace and freedom are bad for business. On New Year's Day an anchor at Neocon Central was interviewing an investment professional named Ed Butowsky about economic prospects for 2012, and Butowsky said that of all the leading presidential candidates, Ron Paul poses the greatest threat to the stock market and Americans' 401Ks. You see, Dr. Paul erroneously takes a "non-interventialist [sic] approach to outside of our borders," despite the fact that there's a "world economy" these days, and most of our big companies do business outside our borders, and world events are economically important, so ... there.

Now, I have difficulty imagining the election of Dr. Paul even in arguendo, but if such a thing were to happen, it would deliver a great shock to the System (provoking it, by the bye, to de-elect him as soon as possible). And it seems reasonable to predict that such a disturbance in the Force would be reflected in a stock-market panic of some magnitude.

But if Wall Street expert Butowsky were a free-market man, he would accept that panic as a necessary correction — a healthy liquidation of malinvestments as companies were obliged to depend on the economic means of obtaining wealth and abandon the political means. And he would confidently look forward to a return to prosperity, on an honest and solid foundation. (I am, of course, discussing the effect of peace and liberty if implemented and leaving aside the question of whether a President Paul, or any elected official, could actually implement them.)

Instead, by insisting on the badness and wrongness of Dr. Paul's ideas, Butowsky was defending the status quo. He was suggesting that wars of aggression and other foreign interventions are now necessary to support the American economy. That our economy is so fascist and interconnected with fascism around the world that it would be destroyed by a policy of peace, free trade, renunciation of empire, and radically deep cuts in taxes for war, foreign aid, and the IMF.

To the Paulites I say: This is what happens when you try to foment a political revolution without first engaging in the decades of work it takes to complete an intellectual and cultural revolution. Even smart people won't be able to understand the simplest things you're talking about.

Or if by chance they do, they won't be willing to admit it. [NS]

Ronn Neff comments. What utter parochialism. Don't these guys understand how important the other planets are to our economy and well-being? To say nothing of the comets! If there weren't laws passed governing the travel plans of comets, it would be Deep Impact every other day. But do they ever talk about it? Do they wonder whether there is sufficient oversight in this matter? Don't they realize that there are factions seeking to deregulate the solar system?

Morons! There's a whole industry out there waiting to be created, and the environmentalists are all just tunnel-visioned on this planet. Don't they realize there are crystals out there just screaming to enlighten us?

I know my 401K has suffered from their narrow focus.  (January 2012)


Published 2012 by WTM Enterprises.