Stop and think,  collected — 2015

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

Down with titles! At the Daily Caller, Blake Neff reports: "Professors Threatened with Investigation for Questioning Rape Documentary" (December 14).

The totalitarians are now hoping to wield the already-infamous "Title IX," a social-engineering edict imposed by the Central Government in 1972, as a weapon against free expression.

Joe Sobran observed that "anything called a 'program' is unconstitutional." In the spirit of Joe I'll venture a historical observation: It was a sure sign that leviathan had arrived when people started to talk about federal law in terms of "titles." [Nicholas Strakon] (December 2015)

"Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, 'What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.'"
     — St. Augustine, The City of God, Book Fourth, 4, "How like kingdoms without justice are to robberies" (Dods version)

We thank our friend G.T. for alerting us to this passage. And we leave it to our minarchist friends to identify kingdoms with justice. (December 2015)

New definitions of "success" coming. So, comrades! I heard on the telescreen the other day that Washington had retired its old state-schooling program, "No Child Left Behind," and imposed a new one, "Every Student Succeeds." The theory seems to be that a comically crackbrained name is preferable to a horribly scary one.

The irrepressible funnyman Obama, never willing to be upstaged down at the comedy club, called the changeover "a Christmas miracle." [Nicholas Strakon]

Modine Herbey comments. But wait — isn't it exclusionary and, liyeek, Nazi to mention Christmas? Especially in the context of miracles? (December 2015)

Trumbama. I would not have expected to see this in the Washington Post: "How Obama's power plays set the stage for Trump," by Jonathan Turley, December 10. [Nicholas Strakon] (December 2015)

"It is not cynical to have more faith in freedom than in subjugation." That's from James Bovard's excellent piece of December 11, "Obama's 'Cynicism' Racketeering" (Future of Freedom).

As uttered by statists — whether sociopaths or sincere fools — denunciation of "cynicism" is the handmaiden of state utopianism. [Nicholas Strakon] (December 2015)

A TLD survey.

Check the organization you fear the most:

___ ISIS

___ The Republican Party

___ The IRS

Suppose you hear a knock on your door and when you answer the person there announces what organization he represents. Which one would cause your heart to sink?

___ ISIS

___ The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)

___ The Watchtower Society (Jehovah's Witnesses)

___ The Census Bureau

___ The IRS

You answer the telephone around dinner time. A caller from which organization ruins your dinner the worst?

___ A fundraiser for Vietnam Vets

___ A bill collector

___ The IRS

Do your answers have any significance? [Ronn Neff] (November 2015)

Thank you for your service #1: As for those who die on a campaign, won't we first say that the man who died in earning a good reputation is a member of the golden class? ... And for the rest of time we'll care for their tombs and worship at them as at those of spirits. And we'll make the same conventions for any one of those who have been judged exceptionally good in life when dying of old age or in some other way. (Plato, Republic, Book V, 468e-469b)

Thank you for your service #2: As long as the war lasts ... nobody may say "No" to [a soldier]. Accordingly, if a soldier wishes to make love to anybody, whether male or female, this law will make him more eager to carry off the price of valour.... Marriages will be more readily available for a man who's good than for the others, and ... he will frequently be chosen for that sort of thing in preference to the others, so that the most children will be born of such a man. (Plato, Republic, Book V, 468b-468c) [Ronn Neff ] (October 2015)

Coincidence? Has anyone else noticed or am I just imagining things? It was only a few years when ... out of the blue, it seemed ... we were seeing commercials that assured us that certain products did not contain high-fructose corn syrup.

Shortly after that, we started seeing soft drinks advertised that they were made with cane sugar.

Then out of the blue, the United State has new relations with Cuba.

Just a bunch of coincidences, right? [Ronn Neff] (October 2015)

"Take it with a grin of salt." Sad news from the woods: "Yes, the Associated Press This Morning Announced the Death of 'Yogi Bear,'" by Rick Chandler, SportsGrid, September 23, 2015.

David T. Wright offers an obituary:

Yogi Bear, 1949-2015

Yogi Bear, beloved cartoon character, died today after a long illness due to complications from liver disease. Best known for his iconic television show aimed at children, Bear had a checkered career with numerous ups and downs.

Bear began his career working as a stage hand and occasional extra for Walt Disney Studios and later Warner Brothers Cartoons. His fortunes took an upturn when a talent scout for the new Hanna Barbera studio caught Bear's standup act at a Sunset Strip nightclub in the early 1950s.

His career exploded, but the long, grueling hours and athletic demands of cartoon work took a toll on his physical and emotional well-being, leading to problems with substance abuse and gambling. He hit bottom in the early 1970s as his performance style fell from favor, losing his hilltop mansion and for a time sleeping in $10-a-night dives on skid row. However, he managed to revive his fortunes somewhat in the 1980s by making public-service television advertisements for the U.S. Forest Service, leading to appearances on talk shows and, ultimately, a stint on "Hollywood Squares."

Bear's long-time partner and collaborator, Boo-Boo, is expected to attend the funeral on leave from a rehabilitation facility. The two became estranged in the 1990s after Boo-Boo turned state's evidence against Yogi after a dispute over the division of the proceeds from hijacked picnic baskets, resulting in charges that led to a stint in prison for Bear. Boo-Boo later brought and won a palimony suit at a trial that was marked by accusations of physical and sexual abuse, infidelity, and honey addiction. The two recently reconciled and produced the short-lived reality television show "Bears in the Woods," but the magic was gone.

Yet another achievement in journalism: "Chicago TV Station Wishes Jews a Happy Yom Kippur with Nazi Emblem" (TPM, September 23, 2015). (September 2015)

Rubio. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Israel) has a new campaign spot in which he goofs around with a football and cracks wise. But he also says a few serious things, as when he tells us who he believes is the most underrated president.

No, it's not Harding. Don't be silly.

Instead, young Master Marco answers: "Probably Truman. I don't think we give him enough credit for the difficult decisions he had to make at the end of the Second World War."

Difficult? It was my understanding that the little gutter savage actually had no difficulty in deciding to commit his mass murders at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The candidate's comment seems to tell us more about himself than it does about Truman. Isn't Rubio supposed to be a Republican? What's he doing trying to rehabilitate a homicidal Democrat tyrant? Well, he's hardly the first Republican to do so. I guess they're just in love with war, militarism, and imperialism — and in the time since Lincoln, Democrats have been the grooviest and bloodiest war presidents.

I can't get enough of this wholesome, public-spirited bipartisanship, can you?

Fiorina. In the wake of the second Republican debate, both Fox News and the Washington Post ran favorable coverage of Carly Fiorina. But Fox played up her raving militarism and the Wa Po played it down.

See? The established American media do offer us a wide range of viewpoints after all!

Trump. Donald Trump's real service to the forces of Mordor is that he makes Rubio and Fiorina and the other Orcs look reasonable and civilized by contrast. [Nicholas Strakon] (September 2015)

Better wait for the translation before boarding this spaceship. According to Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet, Robert Reich has a new book coming out, titled Saving Capitalism.

Personally, I'm waiting for Reich's next book, To Serve Man.

Meanwhile, the Times is authorized to report, "Earth Blamed for Cracks in Moon."

As astonishing as it may be, the Times is not specifically blaming white cisgendered American males.

However, I anxiously await the follow-up headline, "Lunar women and minorities hardest hit." [Nicholas Strakon]

P.S. Yes, from time to time we like to honor Joe Sobran's priceless wisecracks. (September 2015)

Mussolini and Robespierre in a single pantsuit. At Mises, I find a nice survey of "The Economics of Hillary Clinton," courtesy of William Anderson. Crony capitalism and Saul Alinsky both come in for a mention. Dark Suits and Red Guards as separate but allied factions are one thing; to find their characteristic tendencies combined in one person is always a little more interesting. On the other hand, it all comes down to the same thing: statism. As Anderson clearly understands. [Nicholas Strakon] (September 2015)

Steve Sniegoski has a new off-site article that you should be aware of: "The Attack on the Nuclear Deal, the Israel Factor, and the Iran Peace Scare." It's at the Council for the National Interest. I was privileged to have an early look at the piece, and my immediate response was this. Steve's writings on the Middle East all plainly reveal the ruinousness of Washington's interventions for the benefit of Israel, but the present essay somehow makes the absurdity and injustice of them remarkably undeniable. You should read it. [Nicholas Strakon] (September 2015)

A fair trade? If we'd agree, in respect of the Charleston church murders, to give up Southern symbols, would our adversaries, in respect of the Virginia TV murders, be willing to give up affirmative action and the "diversity" imperative?

The smoking gun. I'm just full of questions today. Here's another one. Can anyone still operating a live brain think that WDBJ in Roanoke, Va., would ever have hired the homicidal bigot Vester Flanagan — with his same talents and same screwed-up employment history — if he'd been white? And not a member of some other legally protected class?

In the past, whenever I've seen hard-to-explain plane crashes, train derailments, gas-line explosions, food adulterations, hospital errors, non-weather-related blackouts, etc., I've always wondered how much of each calamity was attributable to affirmative-action hiring and "diversity." But it was always impossible to say, in the absence of a smoking gun. It's a little easier with this calamity, since the smoking gun was actually on camera. [Nicholas Strakon] (September 2015)

On-the-job performance: "The inoffensive everyday phrases used by reporter Alison Parker that earned her a death sentence because Flanagan deemed them 'racist'," by Wills Robinson, The Daily Mail, August 28, 2015.

"You sick f*ck!" We hear that in the movies all the time, before our hero shoots down a fellow who he's just told us is in need of compassionate psychiatric care. In the aftermath of the Roanoke murders, at a time when Vester Flanagan was still reputed to be alive, Fox News was interviewing one of their Law Enforcement Talkheads, a retired New Jersey detective lieutenant. The ex-cop labeled Flanagan "sick" — and then a minute later expressed the hope that he wouldn't be able to pull off an insanity defense.

I wanted to ask: Well, which is it?

At no point did the Jersey guy use the word "evil."

I like Ayn Rand's formulation of evil irrationality. That seems to cover it, without removing the criminal's moral responsibility. [Nicholas Strakon] (September 2015)

Related reading: "'She must have been sick!' / Thoughts on the drownings in Texas," by Nicholas Strakon, 2001.

Only 13 percent? Has anyone else noticed that every broadcast of the TV game show "Family Feud" includes a black or mixed-race family? [Ronn Neff]

"Feud" Ebonics. Steve Harvey, the host of "Family Feud," says on each broadcast that families are there to try to "win theyself" $20,000. "Theyself"??? Does no one work for that show who can explain to him that there is no such word? Does he do it deliberately? [Ronn Neff] (September 2015)

Just another little redefinition of society ... Move along, move along. The Washington Post ran a story recently about a certain decision by the National Labor Relations Board. It's a real eye-glazer in general, but get a load of how it starts:

"A federal labor board voted Thursday to redefine the employee-employer relationship...."

The unfettered extreme anarchic laissez-faire free-market capitalism that Comrade Bernie complains about continues to roll along ... How bizarre it is that some nut jobs describe the current System as totalitarian! Perhaps some government board could redefine their relationship with the razorwire. [Nicholas Strakon] (September 2015)

An avalanche on both their houses. Both sides of the Mount McKinley / Denali naming controversy are making me roll my eyes. This headline on a Washington Post story furnishes an additional madcap element, as if one were really needed: "Obama can rename Mount McKinley Denali — but he can't stop its loss of ice." According to the story, Comrade 0 is in Alaska to "highlight climate change." I hadn't even known he was in Alaska, period. But he does flit about quite a lot. Hard to keep track.

I dislike the nationwide renaming movement because it's driven by the anti-white Left and it's an arrogant flaunting of their power. But my optical orbs are also getting a muscular workout thanks to the outrage that Republicans, and especially Ohio Republicans, are exhibiting at the insult to the Great and Heroic President McKinley, Grand Tariff-Master and Martyr of the Imperial Republic, without whose noble warmongering everyone in America would be speaking Spanish now. Oh. Hmm ...

Hey! Wait a minute! I'm an anarchist! — so I have to ask, where do governments get off naming geographical features, anyhow? They don't own them. (Or anything else!) [Nicholas Strakon]

Ronn Neff comments: The Indians don't own them, either. (September 4, 2015)

Modine Herbey comments. After decades of hearing from the media, the professoriate, and all the other branches of the System that government is omniscient and omnipotent, now we're told that its chief officer, whose job it is to "run the country," can't handle a little ice? (September 2015)

This bit of satire proceeds from statist premises, but it's pretty funny nonetheless. And on point: "Nation with Crumbling Bridges and Roads Excited to Build Giant Wall," by Andy Borowitz, the New Yorker, August 31, 2015. But wait! I forgot. The Great and Classy Wall of Trump would be built at the expense of Mexican taxpayers. So, never mind. [Nicholas Strakon] (September 2015)

Again I cry: property, property! The forces of rectification are attempting to exhume the remains of anti-Lincolnite hero Nathan Bedford Forrest, along with those of his wife, and inter them elsewhere, or put them on a bonfire, or throw them in the Mississippi River, or something. (Very well, I made up those latter parts — I'm just trying to stay ahead of the curve.) The Forrest statue, too, would be removed, though not — one hopes — with the aid of dynamite.

The graves and the statue now reside in "Health Sciences" Park, which is the rectified name of Forrest Park in Memphis. In terms of vacant clunkiness, that moniker competes with the National Institute of Coordinated Experiments (N.I.C.E.) of C.S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength. But their abolition of history often propels the totalitarian renamers to the frontiers of blandness, at least in this country. Under an old-fashioned totalitarianism, we'd have something along the lines of Gloriously Diverse Workers' and Peasants' Respite from Heroic Struggle. Here, we get "Health Sciences" Park. (I believe there is a government hospital near the park. Whether it already offers compassionate treatment for thoughtcriminals, I cannot say.)

The Experiment in Memphis, Nicely Coordinated or not, reminds us of the irreplaceable role of private property in preventing social conflict. "Health Sciences" Park, of course, is land that the local government purports to own. The writers of the article I link to above, Paul Clark and Tanya Grimsley, maintain that the Memphis city authorities have acted "against multiple code[s] and laws." But no struggle over multiple codes and laws would be necessary if the Forrests had been interred on land that was truly owned in the first place. (Governments cannot truly own anything, being criminal organizations.)

The state inevitably fosters social conflict; free society, on the basis of truly owned property, tends to undermine social conflict. If I may quote myself:

Leviathan, as I and many other writers have pointed out, creates not social order or social peace but social disorder and social war. Every time it thrusts its bloody pincers into another area of social life, it heightens social conflict. It is with respect to "public" libraries, including "public" school libraries, that we see ferocious political struggles over what books should be included. It is with respect to "public" schools that we see ferocious political struggles over curricula, student dress, busing, and the medicalization of misbehavior. It is with respect to "public" parks and the "public" square that we see ferocious political struggles over what symbols are to be displayed and what demonstrations of popular discontent are to be allowed. It is with respect to "public" roads that we see ferocious political struggles over helmet-wearing, child-safety cocoons, speed limits, and all the rest. If such matters were left to free society, whose material expression is the free market, such conflicts could never arise. People would be left — what's that obscure formulation? Oh yes: Free to choose.

Leviathan sets people at each other's throat, inducing them to abandon peaceful coexistence in society and instead struggle to capture the violence of the state to work their will or at least defend themselves, desperately, against the enforced will of others.

I write that the current struggle in Memphis would not be occurring if the Forrest relics were situated on true property. That's true, but no property and no free activity on that property are ever safe in an environment of plunder and spoilation. The totalitarians are always seeking to thrust their pincers deeper into society. The proposal described in this piece is characteristic of their ideology: "Professor Calls for Punishing Private Confederate Flag Displays as a 'Hate Crime'" (by David French, National Review, July 10, 2015).

Private displays. In fact, nothing is private in the eyes of such people. That government-university employee is not willing to let you alone on your own property, however peaceful you may be — and of course the state itself does not let you alone on your property. It never did. The whole system and the decivilizing ideology behind it must go, root and branch. [Nicholas Strakon]  (July 2015)

A TLD Golden Oldie, if I do say so myself. What with the Dark Suits and Red Guards going to warp speed in their assault on Southern symbols, it's time for me to remind old readers and to alert new ones to a column I wrote in July 2000 about what I call symbolic secession: "Let them keep the Stars and Stripes, and we'll take Don't Tread on Me."

The only observation I'd add in light of current circumstances is this. Far more atrocities, and far worse ones, have occurred under the U.S. flag than have ever occurred under the Confederate Battle Flag. [Nicholas Strakon]  (July 2015)

Really, no thanks are necessary — it was our privilege! The decivilizers at MTV are preparing a show about "white privilege." Apparently it will feature deracinated young white folks weeping and apologizing for white people in general and "what they've done in America."

I'll leave aside what white people have done in America in the fields of economics, literature, the graphic arts, music, movies, food, folklore, and resistance to tyranny. Instead, here's a list, by no means exhaustive, of what white people have done in America in the fields of science, technology, and industry:

First successful steamboat.

McCormick Reaper.

Eli Whitney's interchangeable gun parts.

Morse's electric telegraph.

The Roeblings' designs and constructions, including the Brooklyn Bridge. (Roebling the Elder was a German immigrant.)

Bell's telephone (a Scot/Canadian in America).

Edison's inventions, including electric light, phonography, and moving pictures.

Westinghouse's inventions.


Cheap, mass-marketed photography (starting with the Kodak company).

John D. Rockefeller's revolutionizing the oil industry.

Andrew Carnegie's revolutionizing the steel industry (a Scot in America).


Practical industrial refrigeration; refrigeration in the home.

Air-conditioning (Carrier).

Ford's Model T and mass production of motor vehicles.


Frequency modulation radio.

Carlson's xerography, leading to the Xerox machine.

Biologist Norman E. Borlaug's Green Revolution.

Big high-altitude commercial airliners (Hughes).

Transistor (Shockley and his team).

Sabin vaccine. (Born in the Russian Empire, Sabin worked in America.)

Salk vaccine.

Linus Pauling's DNA research.

James Watson's DNA research (in America and, with Francis Crick, in Britain).


Kilby's integrated circuit; Noyce's silicon chip; Silicon Valley.


Compact disc.

It would be interesting if the sad sacks on MTV were to wake up in a world where white people in America had done none of those things. Would they really want to stay there?

I don't know whether this is relevant to the discussion, but it turns out that white people did quite a few things in Europe, too, that furthered science, technology, and industry. I hear tell that they were responsible for a few cultural and philosophical achievements as well. [Nicholas Strakon]

Ronn Neff points out: White people also invented basketball. Where would blacks be without that?  (July 2015)

Now that the Supreme Court has made its decision about so-called same-sex marriage, will homosexuals clamor to be "married" in mosques?

I'd say that they will not ... for the same reason that anti-fur and anti-leather activists don't demonstrate in front of biker bars. [Ronn Neff] (June 2015)

George W. vindicated! The recent observations here by Strakon and Steve Sniegoski, with their references to Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, remind me that I've been meaning to comment on the claim that there were no WMDs in Iraq.

That claim is a patent falsehood, as I shall now prove.

Count 1 in the charges against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted in the Boston Marathon bombing: Conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, resulting in death.

Count 2: Use of a weapon of mass destruction (Pressure Cooker Bomb #1), resulting in death; and aiding and abetting.

Count 4: Use of a weapon of mass destruction (Pressure Cooker Bomb #2), resulting in death; and aiding and abetting.

Count 23: Use of a weapon of mass destruction (Pressure Cooker Bomb #3 on or about April 19, 2013, in the vicinity of Laurel Street and Dexter Avenue in Watertown); aiding and abetting.

Count 25: Use of a weapon of mass destruction (Pipe Bomb #1 on or about April 19, 2013, in the vicinity of Laurel Street and Dexter Avenue in Watertown); aiding and abetting.

Count 27: Use of a weapon of mass destruction (Pipe Bomb #2 on or about April 19, 2013, in the vicinity of Laurel Street and Dexter Avenue in Watertown); aiding and abetting.

Count 29: Use of a weapon of mass destruction (Pipe Bomb #3 on or about April 19, 2013, in the vicinity of Laurel Street and Dexter Avenue in Watertown); aiding and abetting.

Are we really expected to believe that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had weapons in 2013 not available to Saddam Hussein in 2001? What about the United States? Did Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have weapons not available to Donald Rumsfeld?

Or has something else happened? Something similar to homosexualist demands that the definition of the word "marry" be changed? [Ronn Neff]  (May 2015)

A new article by Steve Sniegoski has been posted at Veterans News Now: "Jeb Bush, James Baker, and the Pro-Israel Mega-Donors" (May 23).

Dr. Sniegoski has penned another winner with this essay, and I recommend it very highly. It deftly illustrates the relationship between domestic politics, ruling-elite maneuvering, and foreign policy. The precipitous decline in George H.W. Bush's political fortunes in advance of the 1992 election was breathtaking, and we can learn much from it as we work to understand the system of rule in this country. Certain aspects of that system have only intensified over the past 23 years.

Imagine Steve's audacity in proposing that we can learn something about the present by studying the past! The Ministry of Temporal Disconnection and Public Amnesia will be sorely displeased. [Nicholas Strakon]  (May 2015)

Powerfully ignorant. At last, She Who Would Be Empress and Would Then Have to Be Obeyed has allowed as to how her senatorial vote for the Iraq War was "a mistake, with no qualifications," in the words of Politico writer Adam B. Lerner. ("Hillary Clinton says her Iraq war vote was a 'mistake,'" May 19, 2015.) Before now, she had blamed that tricksy hobbit George W. Bush for abusing her innocent vote.

Now, anyone can make a mistake. Even a states-goddess such as Hillary. (Let's say.) But her admission brings to mind a thing — it may even be what the e-cognoscenti call a "meme" — that's occurred to me before this. Long before. And that is the tendency of power-elite figures to moan, in the wake of the Iraq disaster, "Had I but known! But how could I have known? No one could have predicted what would happen!"

Cutting her losses, and trusting in the American people's mental disability when it comes to history, Hillary actually seems to be moving away from "Had I but known!" and toward "Who cares what I knew then? Everything's different now!" I leave it to you to decide whether that's an improvement. In any case, many power-elitists still haven't made that move.

In early 2003, when Bush started his war, at least two people whom I know personally did confidently predict disaster. I was one of them, and Steve Sniegoski was the other. In our phone conversations at the time, we ridiculed the credulity of power-elitists such as Colin Powell who took seriously, or pretended to take seriously, the cartoonish evidence for Saddam's WMDs. But generally we found little humor in it all. I vividly remember Steve's saying to me, "It's going to be awful. Just awful."

Now, we were little men. Nobodies. Not to put too fine a point on it, but as unknown munchkins we were not consulted. Steve at least lives near Trantor, so perhaps he can spot the power elite if he has a good pair of binoculars. But I'm just a crank peeking out from the Indiana cornfields, more than 600 miles from Washington and New York.

Actually, quite a few other folks who'd read some history, kept their eyes open, and had a regard for reality shared our opinion. Some enjoyed a much wider readership than we did, even though the number of our readers occasionally reached into the dozens. But the power-elitists spurned those warnings and protests, too, claiming that their sophisticated understanding and occult knowledge led them to know better.

That being so, one might think that any current admissions of error and ignorance about something as important as launching a war would overthrow what we've been told all our life — that our rulers do know better and possess special powers. (After all, why even have rulers if they don't know better and possess special powers denied to normal people in society?)

Or are the rulers just lying? In 2003 were some of them motivated by "going along to get along" careerism? Were others motivated by an actual desire to destabilize the Mohammedan Middle East for decades? Indeed, were some blackmailed? No doubt some were ignorant; some were stupid; and some were dishonest, corrupt, and evil. And some fell into more than one category. I won't try to sort that out here. Whatever we decide, we're still left with the conclusion that trusting our rulers is mighty risky. [Nicholas Strakon]

Steve Sniegoski comments. I think the superiority of the ruling elite rests in their ability to keep the American people from recognizing the obvious. Or from asking the obvious question: If they were so wrong about what they said then, why would they tend to be right now?

We are told that all the experts were wrong about Saddam's having super-threatening WMDs. If that is so, then their expertise should be questioned. But we are told not to judge them by their past performance. Well, how else can anyone be judged?

Who'd have thought Iraq would fragment with the removal of Saddam? That very denouement was broached in a number of government-sponsored reports. Yeah, but that's Monday-morning quarterbacking. Maybe so, but the quarterback who throws seven interceptions on Sunday in a 63-0 loss usually doesn't start the next week.

Modine Herbey comments. In 2003, Hillary Clinton was also ignorant of the fact that Justice and Right would be served only if the state recognized homosexual "marriage." (Goak.)

If I may be a little more serious, during a debate with a defender of the state in 1971, the great Roy A. Childs, Jr. observed: "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."

It seems to me that, if state operators are telling the truth about their ignorance, we have to suspect that they have fewer means of knowledge than other men.

(May 2015)

Schadenfreude over "Selma." The latest in Hollywood's never-ending chain of race movies is "Selma," which IMDb summarizes as "[a] chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965." All respectable white liberals will be expected to pay homage by queueing up at the multiplex, ten bucks in hand. No waiting for Netflix or on demand, now! —

— but maybe not, at least with respect to the older generation of libs whose memories are still in working order. There's dissent in liberal-land. According to some ancient Lyndon Johnson liberals, "Selma" displays insufficient respect for the great floppy-eared statesgod of smoking guns and rancid butter. Apparently it even portrays Johnson as resisting the Voting Rights Bill of 1965!

The day after Christmas, Johnson fugleman Joseph A. Califano Jr. wrote a protest piece in the Washington Post titled, "The movie 'Selma' has a glaring flaw." He opened by asking, "What's wrong with Hollywood?"

"In fact," Califano went on, "Selma was LBJ's idea, he considered the Voting Rights Act his greatest legislative achievement, he viewed King as an essential partner in getting it enacted — and he didn't use the FBI to disparage him."

I don't know, Joe. To me, your objections sound like ... RACISM!

Perhaps you begin to understand my use of the word Schadenfreude in the title here.

The ideology in play, I'm sure, requires a tight focus on Martin L. King, Jr., as the Ultimate Magical Negro who never needed a lick of help from those hateful Ice People. And that's even if the movie was made with white money, though it could have been made with "hip hop" money for all I know. The producer-director is a black lady who "made her feature film debut with the documentary 'This in the Life' (2008), a history [of the] hip hop movement that flourished in Los Angeles in the 1990's," according to IMDb.

Thus are the great evil state-building achievements of true white devils, such as Johnson, tossed down the memory hole in pursuit of the antiwhite cause, giving us a generous helping of irony as well as Schadenfreude. I almost want to cry out, "Leave my old villains alone!"

Now, of course, Johnson committed many crimes that were a lot worse than pushing through the Voting Rights Act — among them, getting a lot of conscripted young men killed — but that enactment did pump up the strength and intrusiveness of the Central Government, which is always a bad thing. Moreover, the only rights that exist are the interrelated rights to life, liberty, and property. There is no right to vote for the hierarchy of a criminal organization.

A very similar contretemps occurred in late 2007 during the great liberal family feud between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, prompting me to write this, which also happens to mention Schadenfreude: "Hill and Bill, Kluxers extraordinaire." In general, of course, things on the race front are even worse now than they were in '07. [Nicholas Strakon]  (January 2015)

2014 archive.

Published in 2015 by WTM Enterprises.