March 30, 2022

Algorithm to Determine Congressional Passion on a Given Issue

Working on an algo to determine extent of Congressional passion on a given issue. So far I have three inputs: 

1. Does it affect them or their legacy? 

2. Does it affect how other kids in class see them, i.e. other global ruling elites? 

3. Can it be used against the other party to gain more power for themselves? 

Scoring:

0-10: Congress could not care a fig. 

10-20: Congress mildly interested.

20-30: Congress much interested.  

** 

These criteria totally explicate why Jan 6th so excites Congress. It's sort of the off-the-richter scale event for Congress (scale 1-10): 

1. They were physically in the building, so 10. 

2. It was gigantic worldwide news and embarrassment so 10.

3. Can be used against Trump and any other political enemies so 10. This works both for Democrats and Republicans because most GOP officeholders want to Trump gone from scene. 

That score of 30 is the highest in U.S. recorded history! 

**

FBI/deep state against Trump, Russia hoax, etc... (Score 28)

1. Yes, politicians co-opted by Chinese money were hurt by Trump’s anti-China actions as well as their partners in military industrial complex due to Trump view of NATO and wars.  So 8. 

2. Yes, Trump hugely embarrassing to other kids in class, i.e. European rulers.  So a 10. 

3. Yes, to dethrone Trump this is definitionally true. So a 10. 

This is a 28, second highest. 

**

Kavanaugh hearing (Score: 20) 

1. Voting on SCOTUS candidates contributes hugely to their legacy. Everyone is watching: 9
2. Again, not much. Let's go 1 since Europeans don't care who is on court: 1
3. Yes, ding-ding-ding:  10

So that would be a score of 20. 

**

Election Security (score 14): 

1. Not so much. They successfully entered office under current voting system and see no reason to mess with it:  3
2. Europeans don't care about our voting system: 1
3. Yes can be used as weapon. 10

**

Decline of Manufacturing in U.S. (score 8): 

1. Not at all. Can still buy their BMW: 1
2. Europeans don't care what we build: 1
3. Both parties are globalist so hard to pin it on one: 6 

**

Balancing Federal Budget (score 5): 

1. No, doesn't affect them unless a default on debt:  2
2. No, doesn't embarrass them to run huge deficit as many other countries do too:  1 
3. Not so much because neither GOP nor Dems care about debt nowadays: 2

March 29, 2022

I Love Words

I think of how Eric Metaxas loves words, especially slightly unfamiliar ones, and I feel similarly. It seems an odd thing, to like words!  You can’t touch them and you can’t eat or drink them. You can’t store them in a vault and hope they appreciate in value. But I take comfort that it’s part of the ever quirky human condition.  

People have loved words since before they were written down; Homer spoke poetically some 5,000 years ago. God made us this way, or at least some of us.  The philosopher Rene Girard would say that all loves are give to us from others - if everyone valued ankles, ankles would become the body part most associated with sexual desire - so essentially it was probably a few authors in a few books in youth who transfused this affection in me.  

Partially though I think it’s a particular brand of writing that appeals - depictions of nature and of the senses.  Words are thus a conduit to relive actual experiences. The description of the beauty of trees or ocean merely triggers the feelings that I have in an actual forest or sea and so is derivative. Nearly everyone is in love with some form of nature, be it the sea or sun or moon or mountain. This is surely bred in us as well. Only humans create art and the cave dwellers 20,000 years ago drew - what else? - God’s creation.  It’s a way of extending the pleasure of scenery even when you aren’t in front of it. 

A couple examples from the Charlie Smith novel I’m reading:

She lay down on the yellowed sisal rug in the living room and listened to the little house geckos chirping like docents...Arise, she said silently, the Redeemer has come, and stopped in the kitchen—that still held its faded bundle of afternoon light like a sheaf of yellow seagrass in its arms...             

Stars everywhere like bristly bits tossed aside, crumbs.


March 28, 2022

Livin' in a Stupid Age

I think a decade or two ago Mark Shea or someone said, "we live in a stupid age." 

The last few years have been: "hold my beer". 

The asininity has reached stratospheric levels.  To borrow from Lino Rulli, it's not assi-nine it's ass-i-ten. 

How much longer till we see headline: "Local Obstetrician Tells Husband 'Don’t Bring Politics Into This' When Asked Sex of Newborn"?

Prayer is the main solution of course but I'm always under the semi-illusion of thinking money will solve problems. My longtime disdain for lawyers has abated; before I saw them as parasites but now see them as the only tool left in a insane society. 

Perhaps I’m naive but I think the last best hope for working through the system is being able to grassroots-fund lawyers who will fight for conservatives. Not that my pittance will make much difference anyway but but... it's like voting, you want your vote to count and not cancelled out by a fake one.  

Lawyers are like policemen in that the more amoral a country and its government becomes the more you need them. Obviously we need them desperately now, at least the ones willing to defend the likes of the Jan 6 protestors or to fight the courts to release documents and uncover corruption. The number of worthy charities explodes as injustice and oppression explodes.

How long till a Babylon Bee type headline: "DOJ Spokesman says "Jan 6 Trespassers Lucky to Get a Trial at All, Let Alone a Fair One”? 

Persuasion seems a joke at this point except for perhaps the small controlled experiment of a jury. The public at large is drunk off the media narrative. 

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum... the Left declared war on us. We were out there, mostly minding our own business, and suddenly all hell broke loose. Mostly because Americans committed the mortal sin of electing Donald Trump to the presidency. 

I'm amused by those who say that Trump is too divisive for '24.  It's like Britains saying in 1943 "Churchill is too divisive...let's put Neville Chamberlain in".  President DeSantis would become President Satan within two weeks of his inaugural.  At some point we've got to wake up to the reality that there's not going to be a "uniter" president because there's no way to unite fundamentally equal and opposite mindsets. Square, meet circle. 

March 21, 2022

Babylon Bee Created A Monster

I upgraded my Babylon Bee subscription and they gave me “headline writing rights”.  Which means I along with every other schlub can offer headlines which then get voted on Slido-style. 

Here are my potential entries…so far I’ve entered only the first two. Gotta spread the wealth:  

**

Minnesota Cop Used Lethal Force So Cleveland Indians Had To Change Their Name

Congress Gives Self 21% Raise To Offset Smaller Future Insider Trading Profits

Justice* Ketanji Brown’s Nameplate to Sport Asterisk Saying “Sex & Color Aided”

Trump Didn’t Make us Tired of Winning But Always Being Right is Getting a Little Boring

Male Swimmer Lia Thomas Would Be More Entertaining With a Falsetto

U.S. Elites Found to Have Been Flirting With Ukraine For Years, Hinting at NATO Marriage 

“American Hero” Job Has Been Outsourced to Zelensky

Six out of Ten Americans Would Prefer Ukraine Over West Virginia as U.S. State 

 

March 20, 2022

Put Not Your Trust In Code

Wall Street Journal inadvertently makes the case against Dominion voting machines:

“Both of these books re­veal the messi­ness be­hind crypto. Code may be law, but code is writ­ten by peo­ple. Crypto may be de­cen­tral­ized, but servers are still bought and run by peo­ple. Ethereum may be both ‘im­mutable’ and ‘self-gov­ern­ing,’ but when the code was hacked, his­tory proved plenty mu­ta­ble and the de­vel­op­ers who cre­ated the cur­rency were the ones who made the ul­ti­mate de­ci­sions.”  

March 13, 2022

Live-Tweets of the Hanks v Griswold Case

Ashe in America live-tweeted the Hanks v. Griswold hearing (Jena Griswold is the infamous Colorado Sec of State)... Griswold has been demonizing county clerks doing their job: 

Attorney for the Plaintiffs is speaking now.

Attorney is arguing the destruction of records violates the statutes.

Also argued the certification process.

Connecting Griswold to Obama. 

Claiming new evidence with the Elbert county image. 

Asking for forensic audit of Elbert and Douglas.

Talking about what Tina Peters did — I imagine this is going the route of “we can compare Elbert and Mesa”

On standing: Must have suffered injury.  May provide the requisite harm. Judge reading from a decision (Marks) against Sec Gessler (R) back in the day

Defense saying Marks is not relevant

Judge asks defense if they have an argument as to whether the system met the VSS 👀

(VSS = Voting Systems Standards)

I can’t believe this!!! He asked what the remedy is if true.

Defense: There’s lots of remedy with the Secretary of State.

Judge: If the Secretary fails to take action?

Judge: Does anyone other than the Secretary have standing and, if not why?

Defense: it has to be timely

WHOA.

Judge: so what’s the 35 day trigger?

Defense quoted statute that a verified petition would ...

State’s timing and standing arguments are destroyed by attorney Case!

Time limit is moot because Sec of State Griswold has repeatedly ignored evidence. She has the Mesa reports. Instead of investigating, she demonized clerk Peters, then clerk Schroeder, then clerk Klotz. 

But didn’t look at the evidence.

Now he is arguing administrative procedures — Jena’s assumed emergency rules.

Clerks are harmed when the SecState deletes their Election Data

Jena has prohibited clerks from hiring experts (emergency rules) which requires the Clerks to trust the SOS office.

Attorney Case: “What is she hiding?” 

Nailed it.

Secretary could have prevented this and failed to act. What were her motive?

Judge: so what’s the 35 day trigger?

Defense quoted statute that a verified petition would be an available remedy and the judge agreed.

Booooom!!  #logfileslivesmatter

Sounds like the clerks are going to have standing.

Judge: Do you agree the clerks have the duty to hold the data for 22 months?

Defense: No

Judge: a little more specificity?

Defense: You’re asking me to expand upon their allegations.

Judge just took his glasses off. In my head, it’s a good sign 😆❤️

Judge says SecState doesn’t have responsibility to preserve data to preserve records.

Judge: if they have a duty how do they not have standing

Defense: The law provides they have a duty but they are filing under the Apa which has different regulations.

Going for the technicality approach.

Ok judge questions for Case now.

Defense declines to say anything

Defense rests.

Judge to Case: We’re here to determine if there is standing and subject matter jurisdiction. Claim on rules (6th judicial review) arguably constrains the clerk and recorders. Do you believe the commissioners have standing?

Case: Yes, because they purchase the equipment. Purchasing decision means they can be harmed

Judge: obligation ends at funding

Case: Duties and responsibilities… and DEFECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Ok judge just said “oh actually, I understand your position.”

“Politics has no place in this courtroom and we will get to this as soon as possible.”

#recess


March 12, 2022

Sts Perpetua and Felicity

Words make things more real for me which is why, I think, Sts Perpetua and Felicity strike such a cord.  Their writings not that long after the death of the last apostle really bring home the actuality of their experience. 

Their deaths were in Carthage, now Tunisia. A big city on the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Italy. The “games” were there too, not just in Rome - “games” meaning spectacles of Christians fed to lions. 

The Roman emperor at the time was Septimius Severus who, after deposing and killing the incumbent emperor Didius Julianus, killed his other rivals for the crown. It’s unknown if the deaths of Christians in Carthage were local persecutions or empire-wide actions or decrees by Severus.

From Universalis.com: 

“With so many martyrs of the third and fourth centuries we have to say ‘they were martyred but nothing else is known about them.’ That is not the case here. We have a detailed contemporary account of their arrest, trial, sufferings and martyrdom, written partly by the saints themselves and partly by an eye-witness. Devotion to them spread rapidly and they are mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass.”

The 22-year old Perpetua wrote in prison about her father’s frustration that she would not renounce her Christianity which would only increase as her day of martyrdom drew near:

“Now when the day of the games drew near, there came in my father to me, spent with weariness, and began to pluck out his beard and throw it on the ground and to fall on his face cursing his years and saying such words as might move all creation. I was grieved for his unhappy old age.”


March 11, 2022

Quote on Twitter: "I think that in about 3 weeks the press could get the average American to support a genocide."

Interesting article in NY Sun about the civil war in the Republican Party. 

Two views of reality: “National Review thinks we can make peace with the liberals in debates over principles and policies, but we can’t go too far lest they call us radicals. The other side thinks we are in a wartime situation: the left wants to destroy us. That is a large difference.”

Another said the big difference is that “National Review thinks its job is to police the right, while the hard right thinks that our job is to defeat the left...This is infuriating because the left has Hollywood, the media, and the tech industry. Imagine trying to take on all of that and then be criticized by people who are supposed to be on your own side.” 

When did others make the u-turn and move off the mainstream GOP reservation?  My guesses: 

Pat Buchanan: 1990 

Victor D. Hansen: 2010

Tucker Carlson: 2013

Eric Metaxas: 2015

Mollie Hemingway : 2017

J.D. Vance: 2018

**

The problem with seeing the Left as an opponent of war is that it leads to further disintegration.  For example, the Left and the government will see the right as enemies of the state and thus feel well within their rights to punish and persecute the right. That is already happening with “lawfare” and judges who take it upon themselves to deny hard conservatives due process under the law.  

So you have to be sure before taking that plunge, especially with media, corporations, and government all against you. 

But on the other hand, to be in denial about what the Left wants is also dangerous. Being an ostrich has risks. To be naive towards Hitler in 1930s wasn’t a great strategy.

I don’t know what the answer is other than to pray and sacrifice that we get a religious revival. 

And the problem ever is always how to be angry with injustice and yet possess humility. 

**

St Augustine writing around 400 A.D., may as well be 2021:

"For I know very well what efforts are needed to persuade the proud how great the power of humility is. But by humility we reach a height—a height not grasped by human arrogance but granted by divine grace—which transcends all these earthly pinnacles that totter with the shifts of time. . . . This belongs to God alone, but the inflated spirit of human pride strives to claim it for itself ...so I must also speak of the earthly city [of Rome]—the city which, when it seeks dominion, even though whole peoples are its slaves, is itself under the dominion of its very lust for domination."

We can see that with America. 

We once had sufficient humility not to go fight in the European war (WW1) until it was 3/4ths over.  Again in WW2, we waited over 2 long years before entering and then only after being attacked.  

We then had enough sense not to try to make the world in our image, not to try to be the utopian who would prefer to right every wrong (by killing). 

Now we positively itch for war - sometimes even starting them - whether it be Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, or now the drumbeats for Ukraine.  

The downfall of the U.S. is pride and the lack of respect for the limits of our power. (This even despite the continued demonstration of the weakness of that power - see Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan!) 

In our feverish desire for war, we’ve even made our economic co-dependence a weapon even though every Russian limb you cut off, you cut one off the rest of the world.

March 05, 2022

Earnestness in PJ O'Rourke and Matt Taibbi

The story of man is: sin - punishment - repentance.  Rinse and repeat. Both on a micro and macro level.  So it makes our current situation explicable. Every generation, after all, must start from scratch...we're back in the sin phase. America will be punished and then, ideally, repent. So hopefully I can tamp down my shock a bit. 

The word of the day is: earnestness.  God probably calls us to this more than I realize. This quality, according to John Podhoretz, was one of the things that made the late P.J. O’Rourke a mensch. O’Rourke never quite fit in, being an Ohioan amid a host of east coast Harvardians. Somehow O’Rourke managed to be earnest and yet funny. 

Earnestness is decidedly not a Gen X vibe. A couple days after hearing Podhoretz I read Matt Taibbi on this, flipping it around a bit: 

I grew up in the Cold War, one of those Gen-exers raised on Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse-Five and Dr. Strangelove to believe our hawks and their hawks were equally crazy. My generation’s orientation was ironic. We struggled with earnestness because we were there during the ten seconds it took for the Boomers who preceded us to go from being Marxist revolutionaries to Apple executives. The late seventies and eighties were a strange period in American history (a lucky one, I realize in hindsight, as I think about the world my kids are facing) when war was so distant that the fact that not enough people took it seriously as a policy option was a regular complaint of Washington experts. 

My generation, which smoked a lot of weed and listened to a lot of standup, mostly didn’t buy it. Being told since birth about the thousands of civilization-destroying missiles aimed at you by lunatics on both sides of the planet tends to decrease your patience for armchair-General Buck Turgidson types who argue that with a few engineering tweaks here and there, war can be a good idea again.

March 04, 2022

Anarcho-Tyranny and It's Discontents

Heard a term yesterday that I didn’t know existed describing a phenomena I only recently became aware of.  It’s sort of akin to if you went to the hospital with a serious injury and someone else with paper cut received priority and attention. 

It’s called “anarcho-tyranny” and is defined as “the dehumanizing state of affairs whereby the state refuses to stop violent crime, yet still vigorously enforces even the most unjust and petty laws against ordinary people.”

Really eye-opening since I had no idea this sort of thing was “a thing” until the way the Jan. 6rs were treated versus the BLM rioters.  The treatment of the Jan6rs could have been a shining example of our legal system playing no favorites but became the exact opposite. 

Instead of charging them to the fullest extent of the law and sentencing them based on those laws the DOJ has spent over a year now making them sweat either with home arrest or in D.C. jail, understanding well that the process is the punishment.  

One person, who did no violence and merely trespassed in the Capitol,  recently committed suicide after hearing the DOJ is asking for 50-70 months in prison. (“Consistency in sentencing” is the goal of the DOJ they say, which essentially means, “pretend there’s no difference between violent offenders and trespassers”.) 

We’ve come a long, long, long way from when the future president John Adams defended the British soldiers in the Boston Massacre simply because even they had the right to a fair and speedy trial. 

We’re seeing in realtime how the decline of a virtue plays out in a nation, namely in a lack of adherence to due process. I would not expect that from judges, who are supposed to be impartial and “above the fray”.  They are supposed to be the best we have and now that they’ve lost virtue well... Katie bar the door. 

**

More on anarcho-tyranny in Revolver News:  

“Anarcho-tyranny is why downtown D.C. was abandoned to a rioting horde last summer, most of whom will never be brought to justice, yet the largest manhunt in history seeks every person who walked into the Capitol on January 6. Anarcho-tyranny is why St. Louis only made an arrest in 29 percent of murders last year, but still brought felony charges against the McCloskeys for simply holding guns in the face of a braying mob.”

The term originated in the early ‘90s by Sam Francis, who was a Patrick Buchanan advisor back in the day and predicted that someone like Trump would come along sooner or later given the behavior of the elites.  On the term: 

He used it in the context of the crime wave of the early nineties, when armed drug gangs freely roamed American streets even as big government plotted to grab guns from regular Americans and ensnare the bourgeoisie in its regulatory and tax bureaucracy. It is a situation in which government does everything but what it is supposed to do, namely protect life and property.

March 02, 2022

Thoughts Shaken, Not Stirred

Interesting how neither JP2, Benedict, nor Trump could defeat their internal deep states. None could lift a finger against corruption despite three completely different skill sets/temperaments. Maybe the executive is impotent versus any bureaucracy? Or that we simply expect too much of our executive? 

Perhaps Pope Benedict himself kind of addresses this obliquely when he said a decade ago:  

“God grants to evil and to evildoers a large measure of freedom — too large, we might think. Even so, history does not slip through his fingers.”

That freedom God gives evildoers inevitably gives them power in the short-run. Is that power at all? The long run is where the power is. 

**

Interesting comment from a Catholic cardinal in a book I’m reading.  A reporter asked him, “what are we going to do about our Church?” And he replied, “The way you pose the question itself is wrong. You must recognize that this is not ‘our’ Church but ‘his’ Church. Christ said, ’This is my Church.’…” 

**

Heard Donny & Marie Osmond’s “Morning Side of the Mountain” song and thought about how it could be a model for the story of God and man except for missing the happy ending in the latter story. That song was kind of plaintive as a kid so it’s nice that now I can see it now as resolvable in the light of eternity. 

The song was written by a Jewish Russian emigre named Samuel Medoff in the 1950s. To read way too much into it, it’s almost like the lack of resolution between the morning side and the twilight side was a wait for the messiah! His co-writer, Larry Stock, was second generation via Hungary, and it might’ve been Stock who had the melancholic streak, as he was a co-writer of a more famous song: “Blueberry Hill”, with the lyrics: “The wind in the willow played / Love's sweet melody / But all of those vows you made / Were never to be.” 

I also listened to "Whiskey River” and there’s a riff in that Willie Nelson that sounded suspiciously similar to one in Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs” that came out two years later. I think The Beach Boys Bruce Johnston, who wrote the Manilow song, was listening to Nelson..