“It cannot be saved”

Fred Reed is correct. The USA cannot and will not be saved. The Mandate of Heaven has been lost. God has, quite rightly, damned America.

Let’s not delude ourselves. America is ruled by the Five Cities, Boston, New York, Washington, Tel Aviv, and Hollywood. The rest of us just pay taxes. The heart of the beast is New York, the Ivies being its nursery and Washington its  storefront.

To a practicing curmudgeon, the presidential contest is amusing but unimportant. Hillary will win, whether she wins or not. She is just the wave front of deep and fast-flowing currents of decay that cannot be stopped. Trump may try, but he cannot succeed. We live in a dying culture and, soon, a diminished country. It cannot be saved.

Not true? Add up the bits and pieces. We laugh in horror, some of us, primarily the older, at the decline of schooling, the courses like Batman and the Struggle for Gender Equity. Comic, yes. Yet in aggregate these constitute an academic and civilizational collapse both profound and irreversible. Enstupidation does not happen in a healthy country. Who even wants to reverse this onrushing night? Not the universities, nor the teachers unions, nor a professoriat gone as daft as the “students,” nor the banks battening on student loans.

It is over. Hillary may start wars in her six months before going into a sanatorium. Trump may build walls. But the rot will go on.

Does that mean you should give up? It depends. You should give up any thoughts of reviving what is already dead; you cannot fix a corpse. But you should not give up on the vision of building something better.

None of this should come as any surprise. You were, after all, warned at least 12 years ago by a certain nationally syndicated WND columnist.

You Can’t Fix a Corpse
July 12, 2004

Tibetan religious tradition has it that when the Dalai Lama dies, the Buddha of Compassion leaves his body and incarnates in the body of a young child. The monks immediately go out in search of this blessed child, and when they find him – as they inevitably do – he is tested by a group of high lamas and enthroned as the reincarnation of his successor.

Imagine, however, if the lamas refused to recognize that the Dalai Lama was, in fact, dead. Suppose that instead of going in search of the Buddha’s new carnal home, they hooked the corpse up to a life support machine and waited patiently for the Holy One to awake and rise up. It’s not hard to see that they would be doomed to disappointment, and furthermore, would fail to find the next Dalai Lama as well.

This is precisely our dilemma today, for America, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, is dead. By every measure, large and small, the original vision of limited government by, for and of the people has been folded, spindled and mutilated beyond recognition. When one reads the Constitution, one simply marvels at the distinct difference between its words and our present reality.

Our paper Federal Reserve Notes are not Congress-issued gold and silver coins. Our direct taxes are not apportioned. We are entangled in a veritable web of foreign alliances, Congress shamelessly makes laws regarding speech, religion and guns, and the judicial branch has arrogantly assumed for itself unchecked supremacy over the other two branches.

Regardless of whether one see these changes as blasphemous treason against the Constitution, or as reasonable and necessary modifications to what was designed to be a living document that evolves with the times, it is impossible to deny that they have been made. It is likewise impossible to assert that a massive central government possessing eminent domain, owning over a third of the land and claiming more than a third of all income is either limited or small.

For many years, conservatives and other freedom lovers have placed their trust in the Republican Party, hoping that it would fulfill its promises to return America to its national birthright of freedom and individual liberty. Those promises, unsurprisingly, were broken by the party of Abraham Lincoln, who is most famous for converting what had been a voluntary Union of free association into a forced Union by military might.

Any last vestiges of hope in the Republican Party have been shattered by the current regime, wherein a Republican President, Republican House, Republican Senate and Republican-nominated Supreme Court have demonstrated that they have zero interest in the timeless vision of America’s founders. Supporting them in the hopes that they will revive American liberties is akin to hoping that shock paddles will suffice to revive a month-old corpse. American freedom is not only dead, it has been rotting for some time.

There are those who say that a vote for a third-party candidate, such as the Libertarian’s Michael Badnarik or the Constitution Party’s Michael Peroutka, is wasted. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, these are the only votes that are not wasted, for positive change will only come from those outside the corrupt bi-factional system. After all, it was neither the Tories nor the Whigs who fought for American independence.

Like the Tibetan lamas, we must go in search of those in whom the spirit of freedom and liberty burns. The revival of American liberty is still in its infancy, as only 482,451 people voted for the Libertarian and Constitution presidential candidates combined, 0.96 percent of those who voted for the victorious Republican, George W. Bush. But that is 482,395 more people than the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, and as for those who believe our present bipartisan system is eternal, well, tell it to the Whigs.

Or, for that matter, to the optimates and populares of Rome. The choice is simple, if not easy. A revival of liberty or the continued stink of an extinct republic as it decomposes into dictatorial empire.

America is dead. Let us go, then, and find her.

A blast from the past

This was the column I wrote the day after 9/11 that launched my recently concluded op/ed career as well as this blog.  It has its flaws, but in light of the references to the NSA and even Syria, it is a fairly prescient warning of the events of the subsequent twelve years, as well as of the freedoms we have lost during that time.

Yield no more freedom
September 14, 2001

In response to a number of questions inspired by last week’s column, we were working on a piece related to PC security, specifically the sort offered to one’s e-mail communications by various encryption technologies, when we were interrupted by the horrifying events of Tuesday. The fatal hijackings and subsequent media response has been difficult to dismiss from our mind, so we have tabled the usual technology review for a week in favor of some reflections on these recent events.

One of the many troubling aspects of the hijackings is the brutal demonstration that we, as a people, have received very little of the security we were promised in return for the many violations of personal freedom and civil liberties that have been enacted over the past decade. We would go so far as to raise the question if this had not been a fool’s bargain, wherein we have given up something of precious value in return for … arguably, nothing. It is bad enough that we allow the FBI to filter our e-mails and record our keystrokes, that we permit the National Security Agency to intercept every electronic communication floating through the aether, but it is even worse that we have done so without realizing that which we hoped to gain.

Just as the drug war has not reduced the amount of illegal drugs used in this country, the sacrifice of our civil liberties on the altar of national security has not brought us security. Keep this in mind, as the inevitable drumbeat begins for more sacrifices, as the calls begin for Americans to give up even more of their hard-won freedoms. National security cannot seriously be cited any longer in the attempts to ban personal encryption technology, not when, as WorldNetDaily reported yesterday, far better forms of communications encryption have already been delivered to terrorist-sponsoring states like Syria with the full approval of the previous administration.

It is said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, but that vigilance must be applied within as well as without. A thousand suicide bombers could not destroy America, but America is quite capable of destroying itself in the pursuit of any number of false idols, among them wrongheaded and illusory notions of security at any price. Individual privacy, like private property, is one of the foundations of our freedom, and it must not be thrown away out of fear. Anonymous cell phones or encrypted e-mail missives could be used by a terrorist, true, but the same is also true of a razor blade or a flight simulator.

What our leaders must realize is that personal technology is not a foe, but a powerful ally. The enemy we face can be subdued and contained by soldiers, bombs and a strong national will, but it cannot be ultimately defeated through conventional war. But satellite transmissions and the Internet know no borders, nor does the concept of freedom. Our enemies recognize this, which is why they fearfully denounce every sign of American influence as decadence, because they well know that they cannot raise another generation of suicide warriors if that generation is allowed to partake of the dangerous and forbidden fruit of freedom.

Some have protested that America must not strike back, that doing so will only perpetuate the “cycle of violence,” that others will only rise up to replace those we strike down. But this is demonstrably untrue, as no German ever rose up to replace Hitler, nor does a Japanese war party trouble us today. It is appropriate for a nation to fight a war in its own defense, especially when war has been openly declared upon it. But in doing so, we must resolutely resist the call to sacrifice that which makes the United States of America a country worth defending – our inalienable rights and our individual freedom.

That settles that

The month-long experiment has come to an end.  The results are in.  I was more than a little curious about what sort of effect the end of my WND column would have on the blog.  After all, the blog only began as a sort of permanent mailbag to replace the little mailbags at the end of the column, and it initially became useful to me as a means of responding to multiple emails about the same column at once.  It was so effective in this regard that the numbers of emails I received about the current column eventually dropped from dozens per day to only a few per week despite the fact that the column readership grew considerably over the same period.

It seemed to make sense that because a lot of people originally first came to visit VP by way of WND, we would see a noticeable decline in the traffic here without my column there.  That didn’t bother me, as traffic has never been a priority here and I assumed all the regulars would likely continue to swing by.  I was more than a little tired of fruitlessly attempting to advocate liberty to a crowd that was much less interested in it, on average, than in being in a position to dictate to the other half of the country.  That is why, at the end of the experiment yesterday, I was surprised to learn that after retiring my column on December 31, VP traffic not only did not decline last month, but increased to 630,860 Google pageviews, (895,311 combined with AG), up nearly 20 percent from the previous month. 

What happened?  It wasn’t the SFWA presidential campaign that made the difference; there aren’t that many SF/F writers in the first place and most of them don’t pay any attention to the election.  A fair number of rabbits did come by the one day to show how they could hop on one foot and shake their fluffy little cottontails on command, but less than appear from a single Instalink.  Nor were there any Instalinks to VP in January to skew things upward, though there was one to AG.  What happened was that two weeks after seeing there were no negative effects on traffic from the end of the column, I added a link to VP from AG for the first time.  The unexpected increase in January almost entirely comes from that little modification to the AG layout.  Go figure.

What I learned is that while there is a significant amount of overlap between the two blogs, as anyone who recognizes the regular commenter names can tell, there is rather less than I assumed.  I never bothered linking the one from the other because I thought that everyone who went to AG was already a VP reader.  That was initially the case, I’m sure, but it is clearly no longer true, especially in light of the emails I’ve received from AG readers who were clearly surprised to discover the existence of this blog.  I’ve said from the start that because the human interest in all things socio-sexual is considerably greater than in pretty much anything else, AG would eventually surpass VP.  That hasn’t happened yet, but at the present rate, it should take place within two years even though, as the chart shows, VP is still growing at a reasonable pace itself.

So, it would appear that I was wrong and those of you who said WND was no longer doing anything material for me from a readership perspective were correct.  I admit it.  You may commence the crowing now.

While the sole purpose of this blog remains the Amusement Imperative, which concerns entertaining myself in whatever manner happens to strike me at the moment, I do appreciate the way in which the Dread Ilk continue to contribute to the discourse here in their inimitable manner.  It’s remarkable how even the class of anklebiters has gradually improved over the years.  They may still be nipping at the sweet, sweet taste of my ankles, but at least they are aware they are doing so and not operating under the illusion they are gnawing through the foundations of Western Civilization or the last remaining supports of the Patriarchy.

The final WND column

11 Years of Failure

On Sept. 14, 2001, WND published my first political column, “Yield no more freedom.”
I wrote it in response to the Sept. 11 attacks in an attempt to warn
Americans of the assault on their rights and liberties by the U.S.
government that I believed would soon follow. Unfortunately, despite
being correct, my warnings largely fell on deaf ears, as conservatives
and liberals united in an attack on American freedom that culminated in
the Patriot Act, drone killings and secret assassination lists.

Over the last 11 years, my predictions have been both eerily
prescient and ludicrously inaccurate. While I did correctly foresee the
financial crisis, the global economic depression and the collapse of the
housing market, my ability to anticipate election results was reliably
poor. Unfortunately, the one area where my expectations seldom went
unfulfilled was the way in which the federal government continued to
expand its intervention into the U.S. economy and the lives of America’s
citizens almost unchecked by resistance on the part of the people or
their elected representatives.

WND column

The Mystery of Christmas

This Christmas is a season for despair and disquiet for many Americans. Approximately 47.7 million of them, one in every six, are on food stamps.  That is 16.1 million more than were being fed by government assistance in December 2008. More than 100 million working-age Americans do not have a job. The U.S. share of global wealth, as measured by GDP, has fallen from 31.8 percent to 21.6 percent in the last 10 years. A full 28 percent of Americans have no savings, not even for emergencies.

Most of us are having smaller and less luxurious Christmas celebrations this season. We are buying fewer and less expensive presents for each other. What has been a vague feeling of uncertainty has given way to the sober realization that we are facing more than an economic bump in the road; many are beginning to recognize that the decades-long party has ended, and the consequential hangover is just beginning.

The delta moment

Just to forestall any concerns or conspiracy theories, I let WND know today that I’m ending my column there as of December 31.  There are no problems, no differences of opinion, or anything like that.  I haven’t taken a job with the IMF or a K-Street lobbying firm.  I have no plans to write a column anywhere else.  I am appreciative of the platform WND gave me for 11 years and I very much respect and support Joseph Farah.  But I feel the quality of my columns has not been up to their previous par over the last two years; today’s column reminded me of what they used to be.

So, rather than phone it in, I’ve asked WND to give my place on the Commentary page to someone else.  I will continue to blog both here and at Alpha Game, as before.  I don’t know what effect that will have on my readership, but that really doesn’t matter.  Sometimes, you just know it is time for a change.

WND column

Standing Firm for Freedom

It was not a surprise that the response of the New York Times to the Connecticut public-school shootings was to run, not one, not two, not three, but four editorials calling for yet another push for gun control. The mainstream media have been waiting literally years for something like this to happen, and they are not about to let such a crisis go to waste.

WND column

No doubt some of you are getting a little bored with the book announcements, but since WND was happy to let me use the column to let its readers know about it, that’s the subject of today’s column.  But it is more than just an announcement, it is also a reminder that simply running away from the poisoned, intellectually-stunted kultursmog is not a viable long-term strategy for Christians and conservatives.  The old ways will reassert themselves in the end, they always do, but in the meantime, it is the responsibility of those who keep to them to continue pointing the way out to those enmeshed in the mire.


Christians and conservatives are world-class complainers about the
current entertainment culture. Their complaints are entirely justified as
there is a tremendous amount about which they can quite reasonably
complain. Television is filled with perverse and immoral characters, the
only reason representatives of some of the nation’s largest demographic
groups appear on screens large and small is to be mocked, and the
traditional virtues are openly despised and denigrated in the name of
public entertainment….

WND column

An American Independence Party

In Spain, the two pro-Catalan independence parties now control a
majority of the regional parliament. While the Esquerra Republicana de
Catalunya is on the political left and the Convergència i Unió is on the
center-right, the one thing they can agree on is that Catalonia should
be independent.

In Great Britain, the Scottish National Party has all but eliminated
the Conservative Party north of the border and seats nearly twice as
many members as the Labour Party in the Scottish Parliament. As for the
United Kingdom herself, the United Kingdom Independence Party, derided
by British Prime Minister David Cameron as a collection of “loonies,
fruitcakes and closet racists,” just handed the Tories their
Eton-educated heads in three by-elections that serve as a likely
harbinger of political upheaval to come; UKIP has already effectively
replaced the Liberal Democrats as the United Kingdom’s fourth most
influential political party after the Conservatives, Labour, and the
Scottish National Party.

WND column

The Liberty Curve

Most people instinctively understand the truth underlying the concept of the Laffer Curve. It articulates the elasticity of taxable income, which is to say, it shows how the amount of taxable income tends to change in response to changes in the income tax rate.  This is because most people understand that they modify their behavior in response to positive and negative stimuli.