Ghosts of the Constitution, past, present, and future

Yesterday I posed this quote from someone:

The constitution is the conservative equivalent of a gun-free zone.

I followed up with this deliberately very open ended question:

Now, can we use that insight and turn it into what needs to be done next?

The comments indicated everyone took a much narrower view of things than I had. One even took bizarre break from reality saying that my post meant I, “decided to go full-on Brownshirt/Blackshirt/Silvershirt” regarding the election. What? I wasn’t even talking about the election. How did they get there? Did they think they were able to read my mind through the Internet? That was really weird.

Here is what actually happened.

When I read the quote it was like first few nanoseconds of the big bang. Out of nothing there exploded a whole universe. It was like how some people describe their first LSD experience. I’ve never used LSD so I wouldn’t know for certain but that is my best analogy for how it affected me.

There were three comments (here, here, and here) which accurately touched an extremely small fraction of that universe that I saw unfold. And it was all about the past and the present. I was hoping for something more about the future as I was pretty sure I had explored enough of the past and present and satisfied myself that there wasn’t a whole lot more to be learned from those domains. I could be wrong about that so I present that part of my expanding universe for comments, corrections, and additional observations.

But what I really want is for people to think about and suggest a solution to the problem that can be implemented in the near future.

The Past

The authors of the constitution could have set up a separate branch of government which had the job of enforcing the adherence to the original intent. If not this then at least explicitly given the Federal courts some independent enforcement capability and protection from court packing. This may not have been practical or even possible but an attempt in this direction might have made some difference.

This attempts to address the issue, as McChuck, in the comments said, “The Constitution failed because it had no “OR ELSE” clause.”

At numerous critical times there were fairly clear cut issues before the courts which probably, at least a simple majority of people decided the Constitution was inadequate for the present circumstances. And rather than go the long route and get an amendment to the constitution through the process the courts allowed a short cut. This short cut was then used for things not nearly so clear cut. The short cut became a super highway with no restrictions.

I haven’t done the research but a couple very early, reasonably well known examples of such “clear cut issues” were the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Louisiana Purchase. Where does the constitution allow that in it’s enumerated powers?

There are probably hundreds if not thousands of case where little short cuts were taken over the centuries and they enabled all kinds of criminal trespass on the constitution.

What if, instead of politicians and judges instead of giving these short cuts a blind eye, they had handled it differently? What if they had said, “I think this is a good idea. I think this is within to domain of proper government power. BUT, it is also outside of the powers granted to the government”? Let’s, as rapidly as is practical, push through a narrowly scoped constitutional amendment to address this “clear cut issue”. This would have at least attempted to prevent the short cut from becoming a superhighway.

But the politicians of the time didn’t see, didn’t care, or wanted the superhighway and neither of those things happened.

The Present

The U.S. government debt is almost $28 trillion with $159 trillion in unfunded liabilities and constantly going up. Had the original intent of the U.S. constitution been adhered to that could not have happened. The superhighway of criminal trespass on the constitution is is a superhighway to disaster.

The criminal trespass on our personal liberties are just as gargantuan as the economic disaster. The First, Second, and Fourth enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights may have the most lanes of the superhighway over them but all of them, with the possible exception of the Third Amendment, have been paved over with at least a bike path clearly marked where there was once a tall fence with no gate and a NO TRESPASSING sign on it.

People who believe the constitution should be respected according to original intent started talking with each other. The Internet made it far easier to connect with others of a similar mindset. They realize, “Not only is the government infringing upon our rights, the courts aren’t coming to our aid.”

The criminals see the Internet chatter and see erosion of their voting base as more people come up to speed on the situation. The criminals shadow ban people. They freeze their accounts for a day or a week. Then they start completely banning people.

This couple was completely banned by Facebook and they have little* to no idea what it was about. A few weeks later they were both banned within minutes of each other from Instagram. All they posted on Instagram were family pictures. No explain was given. No appeal was possible.

Other people have received some clues. And it’s over the tiniest of stuff:

They are making every post of mine with #DontCaliforniaMyTexas as hate speech and deleting it. I got one day in jail for it

In the last week it was the President of the United States who permanently banned from Twitter. Shortly after POTUS moved to Parler, Apple, Google, and Amazon in a matter of just a few days deplatformed their apps and then the entire site. Poof! Gone! The company is possibly permanently destroyed.

Yesterday morning AR15.com was booted from GoDaddy (see also here). They are now back up on AWS Amazon. I wonder how long that will last as AWS Amazon was the host for Parler.

The political left is saying, “It’s time..” and “Cleansing the movement…” is next.

“Maybe they are being hyper sensitive to people of any political persuasion”, you suggest. It doesn’t look like that to me and others:

Big Tech did not remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s accounts when she called for “uprisings” against the Trump administration. Facebook and Twitter did not target Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she claimed that allegedly marginalized groups have “no choice but to riot.” These platforms did not act against Kamala Harris when she said the riots “should not” stop.

This week, Joe Biden condemned the Capitol rioters, saying, “What we witnessed yesterday was not dissent, it was not disorder, it was not protest. It was chaos. They weren’t protesters, don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It’s that basic, it’s that simple.”

Yet he refused to speak in those terms when Black Lives Matter and antifa militants were throwing Molotov cocktails at federal buildings, setting up “autonomous zones,” and burning down cities. Instead, he condemned Trump for holding up a Bible at a church — without mentioning the fact that that very church had been set on fire the night before.

What makes you think it will end with social media? What if the political left pulls your Internet connection for some flimsy excuse, or none at all? You think that would be going too far because Internet is essentially a requirement of life these days? Really? You think that would stop them? Do you think I am extrapolating way out into never-never land? “That can’t happen here?”

What if banks refused to do business with you. Wouldn’t that be worse than pulling your Internet connection? Guess what…The Obama administration was telling banks, “If you do business with risky customers, such as gun manufactures or dealers, you will suffer the consequences.” It was called Operation Choke Point.

What about other services such as FedEx, UPS, USPS, your water, waste disposal, and electricity? They didn’t “censor” you, you can still print a newsletter or hold a sign up on the street corner, right? And as long as it wasn’t a government entity refusing you service it’s entirely legit, right?

It used to be motels, restaurants, gasoline stations, etc. could, and did, refuse service to people based on their own criteria. There was a Federal law passed which prohibited such discrimination when it was based on the grounds of “race, color, religion, or national origin.” But it doesn’t protect you if you happen to be one of those nasty people who believe the constitution means what it says.

Do not be surprised if there aren’t soon “blacklists” that result in a surprising number of restrictions on what we normally consider public services. Don’t think so? Today Senator Chuck Schumer called for authorities to add the Capitol rioters to a national no-fly list.

The net result of this? Individual constitutionalists are, metaphorically, standing on some random street corner holding up homemade signs saying, “Repent! The End is Near!” Thousands of criminals occasionally glance at the “Gun-free zone” sign as they zoom by on the nearby superhighway at 100+ MPH and snicker.

The comparisons to the early days of what is described in Gulag Archipelago are eerie. Have a chat with someone with Venezuela, or East Germany sometime.

The Future

This is where I was/am hoping to get some discussion. How can we regain a limited government and our personal liberties?

An armed rebellion? Maybe. But I’m not seeing that as a high probability path. I could see that bringing down the government. But I don’t see that as necessarily building a consensus for the resurrections of limited government rising from the ashes. And your going to start your own cancel culture with a scoped rifle? And how does that work out? You shoot every politician with a ‘D’ beside their name? Then what? Hold another election with the same people voting (and/or cheating) as last time?

And at what point to you start shooting? Are you justified in shooting if you get booted off Facebook or Twitter? And who would you shoot if you somehow managed to convince yourself it was justified? Who do you shoot if some anonymous bureaucrat told your bank to stop doing business with you?

What’s the path to victory here? I am a details oriented guy and as I dig into the details I’m not seeing a viable path.

There is the Lyle option, as I like to think of it. A (supposed) return to Protestant values. This is, perhaps, due to the Second Coming—this isn’t entirely clear to me. I largely dismiss this, not just because I don’t believe in the existence of god(s) but because if the constitution was originally divinely inspired then why did it go so terrible wrong and how can we expect to be better the second time around?

The best I have been able to come up with is that we are probably headed for a Minsky Moment and/or a currency crisis in the somewhat near future. This could be a worldwide event and it could involve the collapse of our currency and perhaps our government. Perhaps out of the ashes of the collapse a more constrained government will have more appeal and will rise.

I see this second option as more probable of success, but still improbable, because the government size proved to be its own downfall rather than being brought down by individualist rebels. Clear and positive proof of big government failure is probably required to convince a majority of people to try small government again.

What I don’t see is a high probability of success path that can be traversed by a few people on the street corners with their handmade signs.

Please discuss.


* Barron recently told me, “I may have been tagged because I didn’t use the complete spelling of my last name.” Yet I know people who have been using completely, and pretty obviously, fake names for their Facebook accounts for years.

Quote of the day—Gad Saad @GadSaad

On a personal level, I’m a free thinker who is allergic go along, get along, group think. The ideals that drive my life are freedom and truth and any attack on these ideals represents an existential threat to all that I hold dear.

Gad Saad
2020
The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense
[From Amazon:

“Read this book, strengthen your resolve, and help us all return to reason.”  JORDAN PETERSON

This could be said of me from the time I was in the first grade. My grade school experience was hell because of this. Two of the three teachers I had in my first eight years of formal schooling tried to make me believe absurd things. Example include such as three doubled was nine, and the letter ‘y’ is always marked as a long ‘i’ when marking up a word by its sounds. The third teacher had her faults as well but non compliance was not so harshly punished. The absurdities extended from the classroom to the playground with rule interpretations that met with the teacher’s desired outcome instead of the written word of the rule book.

Classmates, my parents, and at least one younger brother for the most part advised me to not let it bother me and just go along with it even though it was wrong. That does not appear to be in my nature and it has never been a characteristic I had an interest in changing about myself. I’d rather attempt to change the world and fail than change myself to conform with a false view of reality to avoid punishment for wrong think.

I think I’m going to like this book.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ayn Rand

There is hope so long as there is one man left living on earth. There is hope, but it will not be saved automatically. It depends on the free will and choice of every man who is able to think. Those who don’t want to think don’t matter in this issue. They’re merely social ballast.

Ayn Rand
1982 public lecture
[It seems we have a lot of social ballast these days.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Mark Knapp

Leopold & Loeb were trying to commit the perfect crime and never expected to become famous by their crime. At the same time, they prided themselves on their ability to throw off the shackles of morality and demonstrate to each other that they had achieved Friedrich Nietzsche’s ideal; i.e., the Superman, who arises above moral arguments that are designed by the weak to hold back those with the will to become strong. Despite the manner in which the present day Progressive elite camouflages its motives by appeals to social justice and egalitarianism, such Superman morality is at the core of much of our modern culture. It all boils down to survival of the fittest if there is no absolute groundwork for our moral beliefs!

Mark Knapp
January 8, 2014
Leopold, Loeb, Active Shooters, Modern Man & Superman
[I think this overstates it a little bit. Multiple, incongruent, moral philosophies can co-exist. For example, Jainism, Objectivism, and Christianity shouldn’t have a problem with the others and get into a survival of the fittest contest. Yet, they are very, very different.

Quibbling aside, his point about Progressives does seem fair. You can see it in their attitudes toward gun owners and conservatives in general. You see moral superiority at every turn.

In one specific case it was scary. An Obama supporting woman I knew several years ago proudly told me she and I were one of the “new humans” or some such thing. And it was people like us who would take over the world as lesser humans failed to keep up. She was sure we were more advanced and knew better than “ordinary people” on most topics.

She apparently didn’t realize I disagreed with her on almost every topic she had expressed an opinion about. I just didn’t see any reason to confront her on the multitude of absurdities she asserted.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Sheriff Steve Reams

While I understand each person’s choice to disagree with me, my response to those individuals is this: I’m not comfortable giving up the fight for their constitutional rights in exchange for their vote/support.

Steve Reams
Sheriff Weld County Colorado
March 2020
Colorado Inmate Red Flags Sheriff
[And others are not only comfortable and willing but desirous and eager to strip the people of their constitutional rights.

Culture, philosophy, and elections are important.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Roberta X

You are surrounded by dangerous primates, the single most deadly species on the planet, proven killers; and you’re safe because for nearly all of them, harming you is simply too much bother.  You’re in far more danger, orders of magnitude more danger, from the things they do carelessly than any deliberate act.

Roberta X
September 27, 2019
Most People Are Basicially Lazy, Which Is Why They’re Good
[There’s more than a little truth to this. But I’m a little bit more optimist than what is could be concluded from the truth of Roberta’s insight.

People help other people even with no expectation of the favor being returned or compensation. There is something either in the gene’s or in the socialization, perhaps both, that makes most people feel good about helping others rather than just grabbing their stuff and continuing on when someone else is down.

Perhaps I’m more of an optimist than I should be but it’s hard to know for certain.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jason Brennan

Most people seem to subscribe to what I call the Special Immunity Thesis: the idea that the set of conditions under which it is permissible, in self-defense or defense of others, to deceive, lie to, sabotage, attack, or kill a government agent is much more stringently constrained than the set of conditions under which it is permissible to deceive, lie to, sabotage, attack, or kill a private civilian.

On the flip side, we have what I call the Moral Parity Thesis: the idea that, very simply, you have the same right of self-defense against government agents as you do against civilians. Officials have no special moral status that immunizes them from defensive actions. When they commit injustices of any sort, it is morally permissible for us, as private individuals, to treat them the same way we would treat private individuals committing those same injustices. Whatever we may do to private individuals, we may do to government officials. We may respond to governmental injustice in exactly the same ways as private injustice.

The Moral Parity Thesis has radical implications. It means you may assassinate leaders to stop them from launching unjust wars. You may fight back against a police officer who arrests you for something that shouldn’t be a crime—e.g., marijuana possession or homosexuality. You may escape from jail if mistakenly convicted or convicted of a bogus crime. Your business may lie about its compliance with an unfair regulation and evade excessive taxes. A jury or judge may nullify an unjust statute by refusing to convict those who break it. The Moral Parity Thesis vindicates helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson, who threatened to kill fellow American soldiers to stop them from killing civilians during the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. It vindicates Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for sharing at least some state secrets. It vindicates government agents who sabotage unjust efforts from within.

My basic argument is simple: By default, we should accept the Moral Parity Thesis, unless we can find some good reason to believe the Special Immunity Thesis instead. Upon inspection, though, the arguments for the Special Immunity Thesis fall flat. Governments and their agents aren’t magic.

Jason Brennan
December 2018
When Nonviolence Isn’t Enough—Does the right to self-defense apply against agents of the state?
[It’s an interesting article on personal and political philosophy.

Lysander Spooner had some things to say on this topic as well:

It is a natural impossibility that a government should have a right to punish men for their vices; because it is impossible that a government should have any rights, except such as the individuals composing it had previously had, as individuals. They could not delegate to a government any rights which they did not themselves possess.

I took a philosophy class in college but it was far less interesting and relevant than what I have read in the years since. And it was philosophers never mentioned in class, such as Ayn Rand and Spooner, that my Marxist professor left out of the curriculum that made the difference.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Karl Popper

The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato.

Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.

Karl Popper
1945
The Open Society and Its Enemies: New One-Volume Edition, Notes to the Chapters: Ch. 7, Note 4
[Via email from Bob T.

Interesting observation. I had a similar discussion with a co-worker many years ago. We didn’t arrive at a solution. And it is quite clear our government and society has gotten us into the end game of this paradox without implementing the apparent solution offered by Popper over 70 years ago.—Joe]

Huffman’s rule of social interaction

A civil society is dependent upon not having runaway hostile emotions. You might get angry with your spouse, a co-worker, a neighbor, a political party or, on a global scale, another nation. In most cases these are bursts of anger that, when put into the larger perspective its not worth severing the relationship or escalating the hostilities. Everyone is going to have a better life if the parties can freely interact to the mutual benefit of everyone. If there is no mutually beneficial interaction at the current time that doesn’t mean that there won’t be such need in the future.

For example, suppose your neighbor’s dog sometimes poops in your yard. If you escalate the situation and you end up not being on speaking terms it going to be tough to help each other when you need to cover your windows with plywood to protect against a hurricane.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put a stop to the neighbor’s kid torturing your cat or you finding a new job and telling your boss he is a jerk when you leave. There are times when you must take action to protect yourself.

I would like to express this philosophy more succinctly and refer to it in the future as Huffman’s rule of social interaction:

Never burn bridges.

Wait until your enemy is crossing it and then use explosives.

Quote of the day—David Ropeik

Fighting for the right to own a gun is a way of asserting control against a society that many feel is encroaching on their values and freedoms. Millions of people with such feelings want guns less to protect themselves against physical danger and more to protect themselves from the threat of a society they feel is taking away their ability to control their own lives. That deeper loss of control fuels the disproportionately intense passion of gun rights advocates and explains what The New Yorker calls the ”conspicuous asymmetry of fervor” that energizes 4 million members of the National Rifle Association to effectively determine gun control policy for a country of 310 million.

People with these concerns have been identified by research into the Theory of Cultural Cognition as Individualists, people who prefer a society that grants the individual more freedom and independence and leaves them more personally in control of their individual choices and values. Contrast that with the sort of society preferred by Communitarians, who feel most comfortable, and safest, in a “We’re all in it together” world of shared control and communal power, a society that sacrifices some individual freedoms in the name of the greater common good. These deeply conflicting worldviews drive the central conflict in the fight over gun control.

David Ropeik
2016
The Gun Control Battle Isn’t About Guns As Weapons. It’s About Guns as Symbols.
[Via an email from Paul Koning.

Ropeik, while obviously anti-gun, does give almost fair respect for our philosophical viewpoint. It’s nice to see the debate framed with something approaching reality as opposed to straw men.—Joe]

‘Twas a fine day

There are “new shooters”, many of whom, long ago, had their fathers show them how to shoot a 22 or such, and then haven’t touched a gun for 20 years. Stuff like that, and then there are those who’ve never touched, much less fired, any kind of firearm. Last weekend I had the privilege of introducing one of the latter to the fine art of pistolcraft.

(Long, wordy, self-aggrandizing post, with something of a review of the Walther PK, 380 Auto pistol, and detours into cider-making and “gun psychology”, ensues. You have been warned)

Continue reading

Those we pay to preach to us

I won’t call it “irony”, exactly, for that would be unfair. AHA speaker has heart attack.

Heart disease is real. People die from it. I get it. It’s just that I’m remembering a lifetime of being preached to, agitated, made to fuss over our food, told we shouldn’t eat salt, we shouldn’t eat fat, then told that, never mind, fat and salt are necessary, then we’re told this, told that, do this, don’t do that, or OMG! we’re going drop dead any second! “Be afraid! Be very, very afraid!!!

“Are you having a heart attack right now? Are you sure? Maybe you are having a heart attack! Do you know the signs? We think you’re having a heart attack right now…” I’ve heard the radio ads to that effect, from those rat bastards.

I believe that worry, fear, obsession over your food (or anything else) is more likely to cause health problems than any of the foods (or most any actual dangers) themselves. Trouble is, the fear, agitation and obsession have been the main product, packaged and promoted by the media and the AHA.

So if all you heart experts are so knowledgeable that you could presume to tell the rest of us how to live, would you be having heart attacks yourselves? What is the rate, or incidence, of heart problems among heart specialists, compared to the population at large? Is there any difference? That’s a question. I don’t know.

And if you’re having heart attacks yourselves, maybe go ahead and study the phenomenon but stop with the preaching? When you have proven answers, then come out and calmly declare them. I just don’t want to hear another ad, sponsored by the Ad Counsel, subsidized with my tax dollars, telling me how I should live, assuming that I have the maturity, experience and intellect of a three-year-old.

Just stop with the nanny-nag, nanny state shenanigans. Then I might could take you seriously. Maybe.

I know people who can’t get through half a day without worrying about their food, or their environment, killing them, and that right there is a potentially deadly psychological disease, promoted and spread by the nanny state “experts”.

In any case, if I’m going to die of a heart attack this very day, at least I will have spent some time living without fear, and living without fear is a good thing.

What is AgitProp?

It’s short for “agitation propaganda”, sure, but what does that mean?

For a good definition, this should be in textbooks.

All such assertions (in this case the assertion is “We’re jittery and dysfunctional, so we need more gun restrictions”) depend on one false premise, which says, in effect;

Human rights are subject to revision based on circumstance.

If that premise is true, then we should yield to the moment, we appease and give in. “There there, you can have what you want if you’ll only STOP CRYING…”

If the premise is false then we STAND for what we know is right, not for the moment but for all time. We prevent the emotion-driven from making mistakes harmful to themselves and others. We do them the favor of correcting them. It’s what adults do when confronted with irrational behavior.

You all know, even you leftists know, that the premise is a false one. Human rights are not altered by circumstance, statistics, emotions of the moment, nor by the way, are right affected by weather.

Rather than argue circumstances then, we must learn to reject the premise that rights are subject to circumstances, bring some very needed reason into play, assert rights, name their origin and stand up, faithfully and consistently to defend rights for all time. Do it for the children (to play on an authoritarian mind trick*).

Do it for future generations. Otherwise we fall down that rat hole wherein someone’s implanted, overwhelming emotions have the power, all by themselves, to force you to relinquish your rights and appease the sleaze. (Hey, that’s a slogan; “Relinquish Your Rights and Appease the Sleaze….”)

That’s the end game for the Dark Side, and it almost always works.

Will it work this time? How many of you, within a matter of hours or days, started, in your minds, bargaining away bump stocks, for example? Then one after another, like robots…”Bargain away bump stocks, bargain away bump stocks…” It was like a plague that spread via the airwaves, from coast to coast, in a matter of hours.

Who really needs a bump stock, after all, right? Not me, but that’s not the point.

At all.

Don’t participate in the insanity of the appeasement of the insane. That’s how they get you, and you even end up thinking yourself smarter for it. How deliciously evil is that? You’re smarter than those confounded “extremists”;
“Why, if it weren’t for them, this thing could be handled delicately and properly, and we could deal, and everyone would win…”
You’ve heard it all before. Eventually you’ll be saying it more and more.

Here’s an idea; the crazy people, no matter how frightened or offended they on the left act, no matter how they kick and scream and hold their collective breath until they turn blue, and no matter how they threaten or accuse, they aren’t your masters. They’re just sad, angry, confused people with nothing else to offer but more sadness, anger and confusion. Don’t feed the trolls.

Offer reason to the irrational. It’s the only possible way to help them. Don’t be that parent at the supermarket who’s giving in to the three-year-old just to make him SHUT UP. You idiots.

Who’s in control, the parent or the three-year-old? It can go either way, and you’ve all seen it.

Don’t pretend like their crazy assertions (“I’m so scared…we need a gun law to make me feel better– You bastards!”) have any validity, or guess what? You just put the crazy people in control, and you’d have to be crazy to do that. But you do it anyway, then you bitch and carry on about how the inmates are running the asylum. Well no shit Sherlock; you put them in charge.

It happens in your personal life. That’s where it starts. You start out walking on eggshells at home, or at school, and you end up walking on eggshells politically, then before you know it you’re trying to make other people walk on eggshells. Same causes, same effects. The Progressives know when they’ve got to you, just like a shark smells the chum-of-appeasement you’re throwing in the water, just like a dog knows when he has you upset.

AgitProp. That’s what it means. That which arouses emotion in you owns you.

*“Nothing is too good for the children”, we are told. Like most everything the left touches however, the definition of that phrase, when uttered by a leftist, is its own opposite. It means;

“Nothing is too bad for the children.”

For the left, rights deprivation isn’t too bad for the children. Abortion isn’t too bad for the children (except in the sense, “Too bad, children!”), nor is grabbing power from the People, nor graft, nor violating the constitution, nor are coercion and wholesale confiscation too bad for the children. None of the horrible things done by communist regimes, past or present, have been too bad for the children, and if that’s the case (and the left has always had love affairs with communist regimes), then truly, nothing is too bad for the children.

I thought you should know that. Carry on.

Prep-Check

It’s Gravity season. Time for things to fall. Things like leaves and branches. On power lines, naturally. And roads. Oh joy, be still my beating heart! Since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and Maria, I’d been meaning to dig out the generator for a test run, and do my other fall emergency checks. Thus begins a short story of preparedness and failure. Continue reading

Quote of the day—Sir Robert Peel

Sir Robert Peel’s Principles of Law Enforcement 1829

  1. The basic mission for which police exist is to prevent crime and disorder as an alternative to the repression of crime and disorder by military force and severity of legal punishment.
  2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behavior and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect.
  3. The police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain public respect.
  4. The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes, proportionately, to the necessity for the use of physical force and compulsion in achieving police objectives.
  5. The police seek and preserve public favor, not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to the law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws; by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of society without regard to their race or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humor; and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  6. The police should use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to achieve police objectives; and police should use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  7. The police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police are the only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the intent of the community welfare.
  8. The police should always direct their actions toward their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary by avenging individuals or the state, or authoritatively judging guilt or punishing the guilty.
  9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

Sir Robert Peel
1829

[H/T Windy Wilson.

Kevin Baker has been a big proponent of Peel as well.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ayn Rand

Contrary to the prevalent views of today’s alleged scholars, history is not an unintelligible chaos ruled by chance and whim—historical trends can be predicted, and changed—men are not helpless, blind, doomed creatures carried to destruction by incomprehensible forces beyond their control.

There is only one power that determines the course of history, just as it determines the course of every individual life: the power of man’s rational faculty—the power of ideas. If you know a man’s convictions, you can predict his actions. If you understand the dominant philosophy of a society, you can predict its course. But convictions and philosophy are matters open to man’s choice.

There is no fatalistic, predetermined historical necessity. Atlas Shrugged is not a prophecy of our unavoidable destruction, but a manifesto of our power to avoid it, if we choose to change our course.

It is the philosophy of the mysticism-altruism-collectivism axis that has brought us to our present state and is carrying us toward a finale such as that of the society presented in Atlas Shrugged. It is only the philosophy of the reason-individualism-capitalism axis that can save us and carry us, instead, toward the Atlantis projected in the last two pages of my novel.

Ayn Rand
1966
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Is Atlas Shrugging? Pages 181 and 182
[It is trivial to see the dystopia Rand wrote about in Atlas Shrugged in the world around us. It is also trivial to see her utopian correction to that path is not being, and probably could never have been, followed.

I’m usually accused of being too, if not insanely, optimistic. And even looking through those rose colored glasses I only see a tiny hint of a mirage that might be a path to recovery without going through an extremely dark place and time. I fear we went speeding past our exit years, if not decades, ago and our economic and personal freedoms will suffer violent abuse without realistic hope of recovery without extreme suffering and great loss of life.—Joe]

It’s the radiation, Stupid

They started with weightlessness as the reason, they did drop the R-word in the middle (can’t throw out all credibility), but only in passing, then reinforced the weightlessness meme again at the end.

I see it like this (because this is how it is); you can’t get the money if you aren’t offering the hope of something exciting (like a Mars colony) or something excitingly catastrophic (like the end of the world unless government has total control). Therefore you can’t come out and say that a Mars colony is a stupid idea because then you lose your funding.

In fact you’d have to live underground on Mars, or die of radiation. If you’re going to live underground, well, you can do that here on Earth much more easily and cheaply. AND…you don’t want to do that anyway, because living underground forever is boring, so forget the whole thing.

On second thought, no; I’m wrong about all of that so give me a hundred billion dollars and I’ll get you’re dumb ass to Mars. You’ll need to pay in advance.

Quote of the day—Sarah Hoyt

We women who grew up reading Heinlein are different.  We know that we are different, but know we are as capable as men of creating a future worth living in, and more important than men because only we can give birth to the future.

The women of feminist-offense can doubtlessly find something to complain about in everything Robert A. Heinlein – a man who loved women – wrote and said.  And I hope they enjoy it.  But only we Heinlein women are capable of giving birth to children who will take over the stars.

Sarah Hoyt
July 31, 2017
Robert A. Heinlein: The Man Who Loved Women
[Aside from some difficult to quantify genetic contribution, Robert Heinlein was probably a greater influence on my personal philosophy than anyone else in my life.—Joe]