Category: American Politics
The Americans are not a forgiving lot. They can be harshly judgmental and moralistic. They can be dreadfully PC: left, right and centre. Milo Yiannopoulos is in the process of finding out just how much.
Apparently he made some remarks at some point recently that young gay males might discover who they were by means of sex with older men, and he meant people in their late teens, but the wall has fallen in on him.
I cannot imagine Milo Yiannopoulos NOT having made such remarks at some point in his short and much exposed life. In fact he made them in some radio show somewhere where he thought he had licence to be outrageous. He has suddenly been made aware that the United States is a literal, irony-free society, and can summon a fury of self righteousness in a split second.
In case you have been living in isolation for the past six months Milo Yiannopoulos is a provocative British faggot who has been talking about the dangers of Islam, feminists and political correctness to gays and to freedom in general. He has been getting away with it because he is witty, charming, fundamentally intelligent, faggy, well spoken, and essentially sound in his arguments.
He draws the opprobrium of the political Left the way a tank draws fire on a battlefield; if you cannot knock it out, you are doomed. Yiannopoulos has been drawing fire towards himself, including full scale riots at the U of C campus at Berkeley.
The idea that this fairy imp is a conservative shows how desperate the situation has become. He is only conservative of the right to speak and think; he is in all senses of the word a liberal. He is for freedom in all its forms, especially of thought, speech and whom you can laugh at. Nor is he a leftist.
On Monday, he wrote on Facebook: ‘I’m partly to blame. My own experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous.
‘But I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse, “advocacy.” I deeply regret that. People deal with things from their past in different ways.’
This month the students at Elizabethtown College in US “are wearing white pins in the shape of puzzle pieces to remind them of their white privilege.”
The campaign was launched over the weekend by the Elizabethtown College Democrats, who say it aims to make students at the small and private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania more introspective about issues of race, especially in their predominantly white region of Lancaster County.
“Discussions about race are often perceived as being only open to people of color, but I think it is just as important for white people to partake in conversations about race,” Aileen Ida, president of the College Democrats, told The College Fix via email.
Obviously these students have right to pay $56,200 in tuition and fees to make a fool of themselves but at the very least they should get the colour of the pin consistent with history. The appropriate colour for the pin should be blue for the following reason.
The Pact of Umar, an apocryphal treaty between the Muslims and the Christians, that later gained a canonical status in Islamic jurisprudence states the following.
Obligation to identify non-Muslims as such by clipping the heads’ forelocks and by always dressing in the same manner, wherever they go, with binding the zunar (a kind of belt) around the waists. Christians to wear blue belts or turbans, Jews to wear yellow belts or turbans, Zoroastrians to wear black belts or turbans, and Samaritans to wear red belts or turbans.
Given that most of the White students are Christians, the appropriate colour for the pin should be blue. Using white as the pin colour leaves them aligned with the Ku Klux Klan. Is that really the message these students want to send? Even the Nazis got it right historically, when they specified yellow as the colour for the star that Jews had to wear as a badge.
Of course this left the Taliban in Afghanistan in a quandary, when they specified, during their rule from 1996 to late 2001, that the Hindus had to wear badges in public to identify themselves. With no precedence for Hindus in the Islamic jurisprudence, they selected yellow as the colour of choice for these badges, thus staying within the confines of the Pact of Umar.
US continues its march toward a Banana Republic status with an out of control intelligence community in tow. The Week opines.
The United States is much better off without Michael Flynn serving as national security adviser. But no one should be cheering the way he was brought down.
The whole episode is evidence of the precipitous and ongoing collapse of America’s democratic institutions — not a sign of their resiliency. Flynn’s ouster was a soft coup (or political assassination) engineered by anonymous intelligence community bureaucrats. The results might be salutary, but this isn’t the way a liberal democracy is supposed to function.
Unelected intelligence analysts work for the president, not the other way around. Far too many Trump critics appear not to care that these intelligence agents leaked highly sensitive information to the press — mostly because Trump critics are pleased with the result. “Finally,” they say, “someone took a stand to expose collusion between the Russians and a senior aide to the president!” It is indeed important that someone took such a stand. But it matters greatly who that someone is and how they take their stand. Members of the unelected, unaccountable intelligence community are not the right someone, especially when they target a senior aide to the president by leaking anonymously to newspapers the content of classified phone intercepts, where the unverified, unsubstantiated information can inflict politically fatal damage almost instantaneously.
There is another component to this story as well — as Trump himself just tweeted. It’s very rare that reporters are ever told about government-monitored communications of U.S. citizens, let alone senior U.S. officials. The last story like this to hit Washington was in 2009 when Jeff Stein, then of CQ, reported on intercepted phone calls between a senior Aipac lobbyist and Jane Harman, who at the time was a Democratic member of Congress.
Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.
In the past it was considered scandalous for senior U.S. officials to even request the identities of U.S. officials incidentally monitored by the government (normally they are redacted from intelligence reports). John Bolton’s nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was derailed in 2006 after the NSA confirmed he had made 10 such requests when he was Undersecretary of State for Arms Control in George W. Bush’s first term. The fact that the intercepts of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak appear to have been widely distributed inside the government is a red flag.
All this was not an isolated event as WaPo notes.
Nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
More disturbing is the release of SIGNIT related to this case.
President Trump’s national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, was forced to resign on Monday night as a result of getting caught lying about whether he discussed sanctions in a December telephone call with a Russian diplomat. The only reason the public learned about Flynn’s lie is because someone inside the U.S. government violated the criminal law by leaking the contents of Flynn’s intercepted communications.
In the spectrum of crimes involving the leaking of classified information, publicly revealing the contents of SIGINT — signals intelligence — is one of the most serious felonies. Journalists (and all other nongovernmental citizens) can be prosecuted under federal law for disclosing classified information only under the narrowest circumstances; reflecting how serious SIGINT is considered to be, one of those circumstances includes leaking the contents of intercepted communications, as defined this way by 18 § 798 of the U.S. Code:
The key will be to watch if there is any follow through on this.
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that the most significant question posed by the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn is why intelligence officials eavesdropped on his calls with the Russian ambassador and later leaked information on those calls to the press.
“I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is conducting a review of Russian activities to influence the election. “The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.”
Given Trump’s propensity to never back down from a fight, this angle might lead to interesting results if the investigation proceeds in that direction.
The abrupt resignation Monday evening of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump’s national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who described to the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media.
The effort, said to include former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes—the architect of a separate White House effort to create what he described as a pro-Iran echo chamber—included a small task force of Obama loyalists who deluged media outlets with stories aimed at eroding Flynn’s credibility, multiple sources revealed.
I am linking you to a long and heartfelt article by a former American Democrat who, over the course of 25 years, has become inclined to vote Republican without any change in his political views. How can this be?
I think many people who once voted liberal or for left-wing candidates have experienced the same emotions and the same evolution. They may smoke dope; they may support abortion rights, limited or not; they may even sort their garbage and take global warming seriously, but they have one thing in common with me, George Orwell, and you, dear reader. They can smell the totalitarianism emanating from the political left these days, the “smelly little orthodoxies” as Orwell called them.
In the 1930s these virulent intolerances and dreams of social control were in some fashion channelled by the Communist Party and its near equivalents. After the fall of Soviet Communism, we found that the same human impulses to control and domination were liberated from the discipline, such as it was, of Marxist thought. Thus without the discipline of Marxism and the Party, leftist totalitarian behaviour and thought spread out of its Petri dish to infect wider and wider sectors of society. The impulse to grievance and victimhood remains, even as the theory that gave it a semblance of coherence lies rotting in its grave. Which only demonstrates the truth that Leftism is an urge of the soul and ontologically prior to Marxism, which was a particular economic theory seeking to justify the Leftism.
I quote from Brad Torgerson’s article (the one I recommend you read):
A good friend of mine, who also happens to be an outstanding author, once quipped, “If I am forced to choose a side, I choose the side which is not forcing me to choose sides.”
Seldom have I ever encountered phrasing more apt. Because that’s precisely how I feel. I’ve been feeling that way, for years now. It was not a sudden thing. It was a gradual realization. The slow clarity of an underlying sentiment, incrementally surfacing…..
And later in his essay –
And I have been reminded every single day, just how far I’ve been pushed away — by so-called progressives in this country.
Sure, some of that is me walking my talk. I am not exactly the same guy I was 25 years ago. And not because I don’t think some of the idealism of liberal thought is not worthy, or even evocatively beautiful.
Liberalism — the kind I was attracted to in my teens, and early twenties — mostly focuses on brighter futures with better choices.
Yet at many points over the past quarter century, that shining picture of what the Left supposedly stands for, has been undermined again, and again, and again, and again, by the behavior of self-styled Leftists.
Maybe it all comes down to the fact that I decided Alinsky’s ballyhooed rules are pernicious. Not once do they involve self-reflection, nor questions of higher moral obligation to a power or a need beyond simple political expediency. Like with the 2004 Washington State governors race, the ends justify the means. If you’re a Leftist and you have to lie to get what you want, then lie. If you’re a Leftist and you have to cheat to get what you want, then cheat. If you’re a Leftist and you have to hurt people to get what you want, or if you have to frighten people into not opposing you, then hurt and frighten people.
Never doubt that everything you — the Leftist — says or does, is done justifiably.
Everyone and everything is a fair target. Lash out. Incriminate. Slander. Punish. Make them quake in their boots. They deserve it, the jerks. “If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists!” Oops, Leftists excoriated Bush 43 for saying that. Now they themselves live it every day. “If you didn’t vote for Hillary, you’re with the KKK and the Nazis!”
Torgerson’s article speaks for itself. He joins a long list of people disillusioned with Leftist totalitarianism: if you are interested in the 1930s version I recommend “The God that Failed”, written by several important former European communists, and if the 1960s is your thing, you can try David Horowitz’ “Radical Son”.
I would say that, now, more than ever, we need an Orwell, to remind us once again that patriotism and loyalty to one’s own people trumps (yes, that word) abstract professions of loyalty to the future, the road to which is made of human skulls.
“The era of climate change denial is over. Rejection of the unequivocal scientific evidence that carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are warming the planet and changing our climate is no longer socially acceptable,” Professor Mann said.
“Only the most fringe of politicians now disputes the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and human-caused, and they are largely ignored.”
Not merely wrong but socially unacceptable!
When will the denial of Trump’s election be over, and be no longer socially acceptable?
When will these people admit they were beaten? When will they start to learn? Probably never.
But back to Michael Mann
“We scientists are, in general, a reticent lot who would much rather spend our time in the lab, out in the field, teaching and doing research. It is only the most unusual of circumstances that gets us marching in the streets. Trump’s assault on science is just such a circumstance. And we are seeing a rebellion continue to mount.”
Michael Mann has for decades been conducting a political campaign through assertions of climate science, the effects of which involve economic distress to tens of millions if not billions of people, by raising energy prices, putting us off fossil fuels, wasting wealth on inefficient wind turbines, all on the basis of a dubious assertion that human activities are the principal cause of global warming. The Ontario government’s windmill and coal policies are direct results of the political climate of ideas created by the likes of Professor Mann.
A reticent lot, indeed. More likely, accustomed to wielding power over the fate of humanity, and now angry that the sceptre of power has been abruptly ripped from their hands by Trump and his appointees.
American race hustlers abound. One can think of Al Sharpton, Van Jones, Jesse Jackson. The new one on the block is Michael Eric Dyson. Obviously he is at least half white, and that makes him more tedious than less. In a way the racism of Malcolm X came from a place of deep and possibly grievance. This guy is a nabob of the chattering classes, a professor of sociology at Georgetown. He appears on talk shows to denounce whiteness, white people, and the baneful effects of both on his precious consciousness.
Let us refer to the words of Thomas Sowell, the American black intellectual, who has fought the ideas of the race hustlers all his life. Speaking in an interview in 2013 in the American Spectator, Sowell had this to say:
AmSpec: Let’s talk about the example of David Hume and the Scots and the path they followed.
Sowell: The role Hume played was one diametrically opposed by that played by most intellectuals as regards ethnic groups that are lagging behind. He wanted the Scots to master the English language. And that’s what they did. There were places all over Scotland that were giving lessons in English. The Scots learned that and it greatly expanded their cultural universe. I don’t know if there were any books in Gaelic in Scotland, and you were unlikely to learn chemistry or anything like that in Gaelic. The Scots came out of nowhere. They were very backward at one point. But from the middle of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century many of the leading British intellectuals came from Scottish ancestry, including John Stuart Mill and Adam Smith.
It was the same with the Czechs in the Hapsburg Empire. If you were a Czech and you wanted to become a doctor or a scientist, chances are you’d find the books you needed in German, but not in Czech. And so, again, you needed to borrow from another culture.
Hume understood that. Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore understood this. The kids there learn English in addition to their native language.
But nowadays you are told to cling to your own culture and glory in its past achievements, real or fictitious. In Czechoslovakia after World War I, when they were doing they were doing the opposite of what Hume had done, intellectuals were lauding the Czech peasant as the purist expression of Czech culture. And the Czech peasant may have been the purist expression of Czech culture, but there wasn’t a damn thing he could teach you that would enable you to become a doctor or a scientist.
None of this race hustling will stop until Americans of good intentions cease to listen to the Dysons, Sharptons, and their ilk. Yet they seem addicted to self flagellation. Why? Therein lies a question whose answer runs deep into the spiritual decadence of the contemporary leftism.
Cultural appropriation is both good and necessary for cultural growth. People like Dyson are too ashamed of their “blackness” – whatever that is – to endure comparison to real standards of accomplishment, which he labels “white”. Dyson fails to understand that we all once to learn those standards of accomplishment ourselves, and in so doing gave up living in our little villages and knowing only our cousins and our clansmen. Charlatans like Dyson keep trying to get American blacks to revel in their cultural and economic failure, and to shift the blame for that failure onto whites. If whites were not around, he would have to shift the blame onto whatever racial or cultural group was dominant. That is the sum and substance of sociology, a collectivist system of blame apportionment and victim worship.
A rational society would fire every sociologist from university teaching positions and send them to work making coffee and sandwiches for people who do useful things.
Michael Eric Dyson is today’s Tedious Wanker.
“Part of me is going to miss liberal democracy.”
I continue to be amazed and not a little alarmed by how rational people, such as yourself, are themselves seriously disturbed about Trump. [That was an awkward phrase.] I see it on Boards that I sit on, I see it in some friends. They are really concerned, such as I have not seen since Reagan’s days.
See the above cartoon from the New Yorker; it captures the angst. I say to myself: “This is the United States. They change King and Prime Minister at the same time. They change the direction of government and the arbiter of social mores at the same time. Not my system but you would think they would have grown used to it after 230 years.”
And my response to the thought is : “Apparently not”.
As to this being the last hurrah for Republicans for a while, I think not. [Please understand that everything I say at all times these days is preceded by a serious caveat: I could be wrong]
The Republicans are being invaded by Trump and possibly by his followers. This may mean that the white working class (and like-minded) may find a home in the Repos. The old adage of the Democrats was that the American working class would vote Democratic if they could only see their interests properly. Such a view needs adjustment. Before Trump, many American working class people were voting for Republicans because Republicans were talking to a broader range of moral issues than the merely economic; issues of loyalty, country, solidarity, and the sacred. These are issues that the Democrats abandoned, leaving them able to talk about only two axes of differentiation: procedural fairness (or its absence) and equality (racial outcomes, income) versus inequality. I borrow this analysis from Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind in its entirety.
I cannot sufficiently praise Haidt’s book for its analysis of how societies evaluate issues.
Now, with Trump, the Republicans are talking a language of fairness of outcomes, as well as patriotism, inclusion, unity and God. The equality of man under God, not the inequality and oppression of groups; the equality of Americans as patriots, not the inequality of who needs special toilets, special legal privileges, and special status. It is a powerful language of equality in unity, and it has nothing to do with the dollar.
On top of that, Trump is telling the American people that he is looking out for their interests, in a way that the previous three, maybe four, Presidents have not.
When the Reagan revolution began, the move was to crush communism and deregulate the economy, and open international trade. Both succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations. In so doing, it appears that the social and economic interests of the elite prospered, of whom most seem to be Democrats, with Republicans a well-represented minority in the coastal elites, as well as those who draw upon government for sustenance. So it was a coalition of the state-dependents and the elites versus the middle classes. (Roughly speaking).
Forty years later, what needs doing has changed (or not, depending on your politics). The country at large seems to have felt that, for there to be a United States, a country at all, certain processes of social and demographic change had to stop, be slowed, or be reversed. These are racial and demographic in part, but so is everything else in society.
Right now I am watching the elites (of which we are members) having a conniption fit, but for whatever reasons, probably of temperament, I am unable to be greatly disturbed at the change. In fact I am watching with some amusement the incredulity of elite opinion in Brexit-land and in the United States as the masses speak through their imperfect prophets, Farage and Trump. People who think themselves better do not like to be told they are wrong. No one likes to be told they are wrong; I don’t. But the tones of outraged privilege emanating from all quarters of elite opinion (The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the Washington Post etc.) allow for some questions as to who is the true upholder of democratic values?
Is the Smaller cartoon right?
Am I missing something important? Is liberal democracy under attack?
Or is it just the whining of left-wingers and the privileged when their cultural and political hegemony is overturned? In short, have we just seen an important election in which liberal democracy worked? And the elites do not like it one bit.
Until further evidence is available, I shall remain confident that one flawed President has been replaced by another flawed President, of different policies, and that the system is holding.
As always, best regards and good luck in your projects
“I said, ‘Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women,’
but the media took that totally out of context.”
Mrs Dalwhinnie said that she finally had understood what the women’s protest in Washington was about, and since her concerns reflected exactly what Kate Heartfield wrote in the paper this morning, I shall cite Miss Heartfelt:
Anti-Trump women’s marches send message to misogynist demagogues: We won’t go back to the bad old days
“Going backward is the thread that runs through Donald Trump’s plans.
- He has promised to undo the progress of the past half-century, in ways that completely unnerve reasonable people on both the left and the right in every country. Undoing decades of trade liberalization and market-friendly policies that have brought unprecedented peace and prosperity to humanity.
- Undoing the legal and cultural reforms that affirm an individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
- Overturning the Cold War victories of so many around the world who declared, sometimes at great personal cost, that a free press and an open government were the better way.”
(numbers are mine)
- True, in part. He certainly talks of protection and managed trade and negotiating better trade deals, controlling US immigration, deregulating energy exploration and production, lowering taxes, school reform, cutting government spending by 20%, abolishing some cultural spending agencies, increasing personal choice in education, and crushing Islamic terrorism. This is an ambitious program.
- Where? When?
- Whaaat? Same questions as 2 above.
In discussing this with Mrs Dalwhinnie, I was stumped when she said “it is not what is said, it is what people hear”. Appeals to facts when dealing with emotional issues are mostly vain. In the spirit of combatting emotional truths that are just not so, let me ask the following:
- When did Trump promise to roll back abortion rights?
- When did Trump promise to roll back gay rights?
- When did Trump promise to roll back Cold War victories, or suppress free speech and open government?
[hear the sound of crickets, or wind over snow]
Trump is a New York liberal on social matters and a pragmatic conservative on matters of economics. So far as I can tell, he does not give a damn for conservative Christian shibboleths popular among Southern Baptists and some Evangelicals.
Where there’s smoke, said President John Kennedy, there’s a smoke machine. In the case of the well organized and supposedly non-partisan women’s march, here is some research of interest. It shows that the links between the march organizers and the funding activities of George Soros are clear, many, and uncontested.
The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
All important, but it is fair to say quite peripheral to what the election was about – as if reality matters. And in addition I observe that the gap between the treatment by the official feminist movement of Trump for his vulgar but private comment of 22 years ago in a locker room about grabbing pussies of women who offered them, and the treatment of Bill Clinton for his serial seductions over the decades, is grotesque.
This brings me around to the comment that “what matters is what is heard, not what is said”. Today we see directly in Heartfield’s article the lies – that is not too strong a word – about what Trump said, and what the Post is willing to publish. What Trump intends is revolutionary enough, but it has nothing to do with women’s rights, or anyone else’s rights, for that matter.
If I may borrow a line from the People’s Cube, that naughty satirical pseudo-Communist send-up of all things Leftist:
“Arguing the issue is beside the point. The issue is never the issue; the issue is always the revolution.”
Doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink. Admits to a germ phobia. Works twenty hours a day. This might be a crazy man.
Or possibly an android. But androids aren’t vain. And besides, he admits that he is vain, unlike the previous android. Prides himself especially on his “common sense.” He also seems to have a sense of humour, and to be capable of self-deprecation. But hasn’t made a habit of it.
Extreme self-confidence; comfortable among strong-willed people.
He is very smart, very sharp, with that kind of intelligence that was made for survival on a stage. Quick on his feet; knows when to duck. And unlike a politician, when not to. (As I mentioned in a recent post, the public are good at judging pretty faces on their TVs; not so good at estimating intelligence.)
Remarkably candid. Doesn’t mind if you don’t like it.
Likes people in uniform, from generals to hotel cleaning staff. Knows how to wear a tuxedo; or a babe on his arm. Decidedly heterosexual. Likes strong women, too. (Women are discovering that sometimes a man is okay, for a change.)
Can do business with anybody, both in his imagination and in fact.
Bit of a temper on him: retaliates for slights. Can recall, but does not nurse a grudge. People who have actually known him for a long time say he is a warm, loyal, generous friend, who remembers birthdays. (Certainly well organized, in that way.)
And I have seen interviews with him from years ago, in which his political views were solicited, before he became a professional politician. (Once a hack, always a hack: I can’t stop myself inquiring into “background.”) Those views have not changed: a “populist” then as now.
Doesn’t like wars. Knows they cost a lot of money. Would rather that no one got hurt.
Given to overstatement and wild exaggeration, but with enjoyment. Needs coaching on the understatement side.
Basically honest, in a businesslike way. Unlikely to commit crimes, once he knows what they are.
I have no reason to believe he is a gangster, apart from the fact he’s been in real estate, and often talks like a gangster. Also looks like a gangster, and dresses like one, and has a wife who looks like a moll, but I don’t think it’s fair to dwell on appearances. (Too, she looks absolutely gorgeous in powder blue.)
For that matter, most gangsters are refreshingly honest, when the stakes are low. Gratuitous dishonesty is for the general population, who never take big risks.
As protection rackets go, one is probably better off with gangsters than with minor-league bureaucrats, looking for something to enforce, if only to assuage their minor-league bureaucratic egos. Gangsters are happy to overlook the small stuff. They get big by focusing on the “bigly.” We get small by focusing on the small change. Fortunately for us, gangsters create employment, and don’t make a scene unless they have to. (However, little-league gangsters can be a pest.)
Moses gave ten commandments, by the way. Only three are currently enforceable, and those only in carefully specified cases.
But there are more than 10,000 felonies on the U.S. books today (I saw an estimate somewhere, of nearly 17,000) — from dwarf tossing (in Florida) to slow dancing (in a national park). They are currently increasing faster than 1,000 a year: a few by statute, the rest through regulatory codes. Goodness knows how many misdemeanours. Nanny State can always nail you for something.
Nineteen in twenty convictions are by plea bargain; 97 percent of charges stick in some form (approximately the level in Stalin’s Russia). And this despite sometimes slovenly police. Tens of millions of convicted felons; about 7 million currently in gaol or on parole; well over a million busy lawyers. Just think if they had proper trials.
So yes, the people in the inaugural crowd who shouted that Hillary should go to gaol, had a point. And Donald should surely go there, too. So should everybody. Indeed, it is conventionally Christian to observe, that we all deserve to hang.
I listened carefully to the inaugural speech. You had to be a foreigner to appreciate it. To such an one, it sounded as if the new Chief Executive conceives of Natted States Merica as one yuge protection racket. As I said: better to be in than out.
And on reasons hinted, I think this is for the best. The previous Chief was a fusspot, a nickel-and-dime man, lacking the strategic vision. He was never sure whose side he was on. He set some sort of record for new laws. High time to simplify things.