The Application of Mercy

In Humbolt Park, Chicago, last night a couple was dragged from their car and shot. The man is dead and the woman is injured. It is entirely irrelevant why this particular event happened. The punishment of the criminals, if it happens, will also be entirely pointless because they won’t be punished properly.

I got into a good natured argument yesterday and today on Twitter about the post-Civil War Reconstruction period. I took the position that the main American mistake – our mistake of all mistakes – was that we allowed the Confederate leadership to live after the war. Not only allowed them to live, but allowed them to prosper and resume their power in the South. This is why we got Jim Crow. It wasn’t imposed by poor white farmers, but by the Ruling Class. The Ex-Confederates that we let off formed the KKK and used the most horrific violence imaginable against black Southerners as well as any white Southerners who wanted to take a stab at living in peace and justice with the freed slaves. And make no mistake about it, there were plenty of white Southerners who were willing to live in peace – I’m not saying they were ready, in 1865, to intermarry (though some did, in spite of huge pressure against it), but they were willing to live and let live. That was all very deliberately and maliciously suppressed by the Klan, under the control of people who had been Confederate generals, governors and other officials.

We have had the sense that Grant’s policy of letting them up easy was the correct way to go and in a certain sense, this can’t be argued against. As the historian Will Durant pointed out, the greatest military captains of history have shown that clemency is a mighty engine of war. But when we think about some of those past captains, we see it wasn’t exactly like it was after our Civil War.

Caesar was famously magnanimous with the defeated Gauls. He treated the defeated so well that during the ensuing Roman Civil War the Gauls didn’t rise in revolt when they could have easily thrown off Roman rule. Its not like the Gauls didn’t have people who could fight. They did: Caesar had let quite a lot of them off to return to their homes. But they didn’t rise. Why not? Probably had something to do with Caesar having their main leader strangled in Rome after his defeat. In other words, Caesar was merciful, but he wasn’t stupid enough to leave a strong, intelligent and clearly brave enemy alive.

Another example of this sort of thing was what the Austrians under Prince Schwarzenberg did to the Hungarians after their revolt was crushed in the 1840’s. Once the Hungarians were down, the operatives of the Austrian Monarchy went to work hunting down the leaders of the Hungarian revolt and hanging them in large numbers. The Prince was urged to mercy by a friend who, like many in Austria and around the world, was horrified at the operation of vengeance. Schwarzenberg said that he quite agreed that mercy was necessary – but, first, they had to have some hangings. Did this make him a hypocrite? Not at all. Cruel? Nope. He was merely being wise and ultimately merciful. Another observer of the same events, the still young Bismarck still more than a decade away from fame, responded to a friend complaining about the repression in Hungary by asking why no tears were shed for all the people who had been made widows and orphans by the rebels? People were acting as if the rebels must certainly have been in the right and that their actions were immaculate. This, to Bismarck (and to any fair observer) was drivel. The Hungarians had their complaints about the Austrian Monarchy, but so did everyone – but the Hungarians had no particular justification for going into revolt…especially as for each Austrian act of repression against Hungarians, there had been Hungarian acts of repression against non-Magyars in Hungary. Very rare will there be the person who is totally in the right!

Now, how did this work out? Well, once the hangman’s noose was put away (and it was, fairly quickly), order and justice were restored and some years after it was all over, Gyula Andrássy – a Hungarian rebel who had been condemned to death in absentia and actually hung in effigy – was appointed Prime Minister of Hungary and Foreign Minister of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Funny how things can work out? But it likely would not have worked out had the Austrians simply allowed the rebels to resume their position in the Hungarian Ruling Class as if nothing had happened. What we did in 1865 was allow the defeated enemy to resume his position. This got us a century of Jim Crow and, ultimately, played a huge role in the subordination of State governments to the Feds. Think about it – a modicum of justice in the South and there never would have been a Plessy vs Ferguson leading to a Brown vs Board of Education. No consent decrees. No gerrymandering minority-majority house districts. No “one man, one vote” destruction of the State Senates, which was a body blow to the very concept of Republican government. A few more hangings and we wouldn’t have had Jefferson Davis spinning his Lost Cause drivel while Forrest created the KKK to be a mafia-like muscle to re-impose Confederate rule in the South (and, yes, I realize that Forrest seems to have had a change of heart years later, but by then the damage was done – he’d have been far more useful to peace and justice dying at the end of a rope in 1865 than dying with lots of black friends in 1877).

Mercy must always triumph over Justice. But Justice must have her due. It can’t be otherwise. To get back to the start of this piece, the reason savages dragged two people out of a car and shot them is because we developed an entirely mistaken idea of what mercy is. We have it in our minds that Mercy means you skate. It can’t. If you do wrong, you must pay. A price is demanded for everything. Even God’s mercy had a price, after all. What will be done wrong about the people in Chicago is that they won’t be forced to the real atonement necessary. Even if they spend some time in jail, it still can’t possibly balance the books. For goodness sake, they dragged people out of their car and shot them! How is 20 years in jail going to make up for that? How will that deter the next barbarian? But before you go “death penalty” I’ll also ask: what will killing the shooters accomplish? To their fellow barbarians, they are still heroes who showed The Man. Dying from lethal injection won’t balance the books.

No, there has to be more – it isn’t enough to jail or kill: the perpetrators must be revealed for what they are: very stupid barbarians who will find out that Civilization can be one real son of a bitch when necessary. The reason our civilization used to hang, draw and quarter people wasn’t to be cruel. No, it had a very specific purpose: it was to show everyone, especially the barbarians, that Civilization wasn’t to be trifled with. That if you’ll live in peace with your neighbors, you’ll be fine: but if you won’t, then you’ll be made to curse your mother for giving you birth.

And it works, guys. The reason that we used to live in a world where even in big cities we didn’t have to lock our doors at night is because for centuries before, the most harsh punishments had been meted out to those who broke the rules. In the long run, it was a mercy to do it – because it eventually deterred people from being savages. Yes, provide mercy – and I mean in the sense of letting someone eventually off. But first, to put it bluntly, there must be a little hanging. We don’t have to do it to everyone who drags a person out of their car – just a few. The rest will get the message. And then we’ll have the crowning mercy of nobody being dragged from their cars and shot requiring us then to brutally punish the perpetrators. Because that is what you’re doing – you’re not trying to be cruel: you’re trying to get to a point where you don’t have to punish very much because there’s hardly anyone to punish. That is real Mercy.

44 thoughts on “The Application of Mercy

  1. Amazona June 20, 2021 / 6:43 pm

    A good and relevant article, Mark.

    We recently had the statement by then-Mayor Daley about how to treat rioters, and I think there is agreement that even stopping short of shooting to kill but still being willing to use painful methods to stop rioting and arson would do a lot to shut down this current form of violent recreation we are seeing run rampant.

    Strong measures from Day One would have changed the arc of history in this country, as it has been allowed to play out. Emphatic physical retaliation for attacks on law enforcement officers, mass arrests, high bail for some and denied bail for the most violent, and long jail sentences would have sent the message that this is simply not going to be tolerated.

    Prosecution for advocating the overthrow of our government should have been immediate—and I am talking about overt statements of this intent and desire, not the attribution of imagined intent that we see forming the entire mass of the Leftist claims about January 6.

    We’ve been tiptoeing around the subject of violence in poor black neighborhoods, and our squeamishness has had the effect of being responsible for thousands of deaths of innocent people, many of them children.

  2. Amazona June 20, 2021 / 7:04 pm

    I know this is not labeled as an open thread, but the last one is closed for further comments, so…..

    Kurt Schlichter tweeted: I am noticing a lot of conservatives whose view is “We love ya Mr. President, but we’re going in a different direction on2024.”

    I don’t think President Trump runs again.

    John Arthur of RedState says this:

    President Trump was, and is, great. The greatest president of my lifetime. He was exactly what we needed in 2016.

    But, in 2024, is it time we move on to DeSantis?

    I don’t see a shift to DeSantis as “going in a different direction” but rather taking a handoff of the baton in a relay in which Trump set the pace and laid out the blueprint for what had to be done and how to do it.

    I think anyone who has the same agenda as Trump and the same fearlessness and the same understanding of the problems but who is younger and lacks the baggage associated with Trump would be a wise choice. We can mourn the unfairness of the fact that most of this baggage was created by anti-Trumpists and laid upon him, but the fact is, they did a good enough job that he is and always will be burdened by it in the minds of millions of people. We can rail against them and the unjustness of it all, or we can pay homage to Trump for what he did and what he taught us and the new crop of Republicans and apply it all to our future leaders and demand that they build upon it.

    At least it is fun to speculate what it would be like to have, for example, a DeSantis/Noem ticket, with the ability to run a female vice presidential candidate chosen not because she checks off a couple of boxes but because, unlike the last one, she is accomplished and competent.

    And there is the advantage that Trump has drawn so much fire, so much melodrama. that anything thrown at anyone else would just be pathetic efforts to recycle warmed-over leftovers.

    Much as I love Ted Cruz, and think he would be an amazing president, I also like him as the leader of the Senate and spokesman for our movement. And who knows, with the presidency off the table a SCOTUS seat might be more appealing to him.

    • Retired Spook June 21, 2021 / 4:51 pm

      I don’t see a shift to DeSantis as “going in a different direction” but rather taking a handoff of the baton in a relay in which Trump set the pace and laid out the blueprint for what had to be done and how to do it.

      DeSantis is the most talked about and may well be the front runner, but the GOP has a wealth of potential candidates that fit the Trump ideological mold without any of the real or invented personal baggage: Mike Pompeo, Jim Jordan, John Radcliff just to name a few.

      • Amazona June 21, 2021 / 9:22 pm

        I think DeSantis gets the nod because he is the position to be able to actually do stuff, to enact policies, whereas the others are still kind of stuck in just being able to talk about their philosophies but unable to enact them. He also has the gleam in the eye as he takes on the Left, which is a Trumpian quality.

        We do have great depth on the bench, more so all the time—I’m getting a kick out of seeing Lauren Boebert stepping into her new position in the House—–and I just hope they understand that vying to be the chief instead of playing the vital supporting roles necessary for a strong coalition will weaken the party and its messaging and effectiveness.

      • Retired Spook June 22, 2021 / 9:08 am

        Don’t get me wrong — I like Ron DeSantis. I was just pointing out the incredible strength of the GOP’s bench.

      • Cluster June 22, 2021 / 1:08 pm

        Keep an eye on Sen. Josh Hawley, I have always liked him, and AZ AG Mark Brnovich, a complete back bencher at this stage but this guy has what it takes and he is running for Senate.

    • Amazona June 21, 2021 / 9:46 am

      Juneteenth has been a Denver celebration, mostly confined to the Five Points area, for many years. This year, from what I have seen, it was pretty peaceful. A celebratory gathering out in Aurora (eastern part of the metro area) was fired upon with several injuries and one person dead. The police suspect multiple shooters—maybe finding 114 shell casings helped lead them to that speculation. Do ya think?

      Our society no longer condemns brawling. It’s like the Jerry Springer syndrome on steroids, where everyone is just waiting for something to break loose. Hell, we don’t even condemn rioting, trying to burn federal buildings while barricading people inside, or destroying whole neighborhoods, at least in some cities. One of society’s jobs is to set boundaries, but the Left’s is to tear them down.

  3. Amazona June 21, 2021 / 9:24 am

    Worth reading:

    The US Conference of Catholic Bishops Votes to Draft a Policy That Could Deny Communion to Pro-Abort Politicians Like Joe Biden

    • jdge1 June 21, 2021 / 2:54 pm

      What I find disturbing is the number of bishops & cardinals who opposed any action in dealing with and defining this situation calling it, weaponizing the Eucharist. Their obligation is to teach and uphold the Church’s position on moral issues and deter sinful acts. That some bishops have already publicly stated they would give Holy Communion to Biden and/or any other politician who actively pushes for abortion, is in itself, a scandal. I wonder what their position would be if the overwhelming majority of the USCCB votes to restrict anyone from administering Communion to any person whose public position advocates for anything the Church has defined as a moral sin? Given the current Pope’s stance, I doubt much would happen (at least until they have to answer directly to God).

      • Amazona June 21, 2021 / 9:17 pm

        The Church started its lurch to the left with Vatican II and has been continuously moving in that direction ever since. Even the disaster of recruiting gay priests, resulting in sexual predation on pubescent boys, was covered up by claims of general “pedophilia”—implying that priests were molesting little girls—because the Church didn’t want to take responsibility for its decisions and because it didn’t want to alienate its hard-core Leftist support by talking about homosexuals preying on young men.

        The current Pope constantly preaches against capitalism and that Church doctrine demands income redistribution, and gave Nancy Pelosi, whose support for pro-abortion legislation has empowered the killing of who knows how many babies, a private audience and then did a photo op with her.

        America Media, a Jesuit newsletter, is so Leftist it often sounds like the HuffPo. The Jesuits, once the most muscular defenders of the faith, are apparently now spineless apologists for anything socialist.

        But there is pushback, and I am happy to see it. I heard a priest, in his homily, tell the congregation they should read what the Pope writes because the need to know what he is saying—and not to worry that this would constitute heresy. I nearly fell out of my pew. This was, by the way, in a church that says the Latin Mass, requires head coverings for women, has a communion rail and in general reminds me of the Church of my childhood.

        I agree, it is upsetting to see so many bishops and cardinals not only objecting to strict adherence to Church doctrine but using Leftist rhetoric to defend their abandonment of standards.

      • Amazona June 22, 2021 / 6:35 pm

        The Comments section in an America Media article shows the confusion people are experiencing as they let what should be spiritual matters be contaminated by media messaging that is wholly political. This is an example:

        All the so-called pro-life abortion tactics actually seem to make it worse. The reason I’m very angry with the present-day “conservatives” is that they do nothing to support life: pre/post natal care, child care, child poverty, racism, anti-immigrant, anti-vaccine, science denial, environmental destruction, democracy subversion, etc. What is good about bringing a child into this kind of world to face a bleak and desperate future?

        There’s lots of ranting about how Trump, somehow, is to blame for abortion. It’s a sad commentary on several things: The lack of analytical thinking, the success of Leftist propaganda and the erosion of actual Catholic teaching, to name three. The quotation I include mentions only three things that relate to pregnancy and having children, and they are actually irrelevant to the moral consideration of killing an inconvenient child. But this killing is justified by the author because politics.

        The Catholic Church has survived for millennia because it is for the most part unchanging. Its rigidity is what has made it stable. If the single most inflexible construct in history can be undermined and distorted by the Left, that is a warning to all of us about the power of propaganda.

  4. Retired Spook June 22, 2021 / 11:10 am

    Mercy must always triumph over Justice. But Justice must have her due.

    One of my favorite T-shirts says “Never push a man to violence who has been waiting for an excuse to use it”

    I get lots of fist bumps from guys at the gym when I wear that shirt. I’ve never had anyone say, “that’s offensive.” A lot of the sentiment is obviously because of where I live, but I think there are probably millions like me out there who have gone from abhorring the thought of killing other Americans to realizing that the ones I might have to kill are no longer Americans, nor do they value the things that made America great. They just want to destroy that which I have taken an oath to protect. That said, I pray that saner minds prevail, and we can settle our differences peacefully, but I suspect that ship has sailed.

    • Cluster June 22, 2021 / 1:12 pm

      The young Puerto Rican couple who were executed on the streets of Chicago the other day at the hands Black Supremacists may begin a turning point in this country. Or at least it should. And if not, I suspect a turning point is soon to happen. The inner city violence and chaos that is promoted and supported by the Democrat Party is untenable and may very well result in all out war … soon

      • Amazona June 22, 2021 / 3:19 pm

        I think the closest we will get to “all out war” will be political in nature—-but I also think it possible, if not likely, that we will see armed people fighting back in the inner cities. I’d call those “skirmishes” more than all out war.

        The problem is that people have seen what has happened to Kyle Rittenhouse, who so obviously acted in self defense but who is branded, and prosecuted, as a “murderer” and we/they know that self defense against Leftist thugs will get US arrested and charged.

        Back to the political solution……..

      • Cluster June 22, 2021 / 4:20 pm

        Right, “all out war” would include all weapons at our disposal including political. And it would involve local skirmishes which I am shocked that more of those have not happened yet. The American people are very tolerant but I suspect that tolerance is soon to break particularly in the inner cities and immediate suburbs.

      • Amazona June 22, 2021 / 8:25 pm

        I’m just thinking about how much of the United States is geographically remote from the hot spots of violence. While I can see people who are directly affected by it starting to arm themselves, to fight back, I just don’t see vans of people from Kansas arming up and heading to San Francisco to deal with rioters and arsonists.

        Personally, I’d be perfectly happy to have a few snipers pick off a dozen or so rioters and then melt into the shadows–but that wouldn’t be “war”.

      • Amazona June 22, 2021 / 3:26 pm

        I like your use of the term “Black Supremacists” and would like to see it used more widely, leading to the observation that we have plenty of examples of Black Supremacist violence but none to speak of of the dreaded “White Supremacist” scourge we are constantly told represents the biggest threat to our nation in its history.

  5. Amazona June 22, 2021 / 7:48 pm

    Buyer’s remorse, big-time:

    POLITICS HE’S A “F***ING FAILURE”: Top Obama Ethics Official Flips Script, Rages on Joe Biden in Explosive Rant

    “We’ve got a Raytheon board member leading DOD. We’ve got private equity fund people in the WH and at State,” he said. “You’ve got corporate execs and big firm lawyers who represent corporations throughout. And personnel is policy.”

    • Amazona June 23, 2021 / 9:10 am

      The Right’s pushback against the Left has usually been defensive, and it’s good to see us finally going on offense. When a movement is wholly dependent on emotion it is vulnerable to challenges based on actual ideas and facts.

  6. Cluster June 23, 2021 / 9:59 am

    One obvious observation I want to point out. Have you noticed that according to the ruling class; breaching a police line at the Capital is an insurrection but burning down a local police precinct is democracy in action? If you haven’t connected the dots yet, the ruling class wants to eliminate local policing and impose a federal police force. Kind of like the Gestapo. And I know that people like Rico and Casper who purport to be champions for “human rights” all march in lock step like good little Germans. There is not one honest decent Democrat from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s who could support this current regime and those who do, were never true to their convictions. It wasn’t long ago that the Democrat standard bearer, Bill Clinton proclaimed that the “era of big government is over”. My oh my how dramatic that party has changed.

    • Amazona June 24, 2021 / 10:23 am

      It is my understanding that it was the National Socialist Party’s relationship with big business, in which the party exerted so much control over major German businesses that their interests were the same, that allowed the eventual canard that fascism is a right-wing construct (based on the claim that all business is somehow “right-wing”) to be invented.

      Now we are seeing the intertwined interests, and management, of Big Tech with the Left. If, as the Left has been claiming for more than half a century now, “fascism” is the intersection of business and politics, with government control of or deep involvement in industry, then clearly the Democrat Party and Big Tech are engaging in an ever-expanding and powerful 21st Century iteration of fascism.

  7. Cluster June 23, 2021 / 10:07 am

    And again, we need to make Hunter Biden the face of the Democrat Party and compel every Democrat to defend his actions at every opportunity. After all, Joe once said that “Hunter is the smartest person he knows”. I would remind him of that statement everyday.

    Joe Biden might have inadvertently paid for a series of wild nights his son Hunter had with a prostitute at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont Hotel in 2018, according to text messages and receipts obtained from his laptop. During her days-long visit to the hotel, the two have sex, drink vodka and film porn while he smokes crack, according to the Post. At one point balances a line of M&Ms on his erect penis – all of it documented in files stored on the laptop. Hunter accidentally paid the woman, who went by the name Yanna, $25,000 after he was overcharged for the services, according to texts and receipts, and was soon contacted by a Secret Service agent, who raised concerns of an account tied to his father. ‘Come on H, this is linked to Celtic’s account,’ the agent texted, using the Secret Service code name for Joe Biden when he was vice president, the Post reported. ‘DC is calling me every 10. Let me up or come down. I can’t help if you don’t let me H.’ ‘I promise be right down. Sorry.’ Hunter answers.

    A good measure of any man is to look at his children, and by any measure Joe Biden is again another complete failure.

    • Amazona June 24, 2021 / 11:11 am

      A few on the Right have connected the actions of Hunter Biden with the approval and even participation of his father, but so far this connection of the dots has not made it into the Agenda Media.

      Going back to Burisma—-Hannity keeps going on (and on and on and on and on and on and ON…..) about “zero experience Hunter” but misses the big picture. Hunter Biden and John Kerry’s stepson Christopher Heinz were at that time the co-owners of the private equity firm Rosemont Seneca Partners, where Heinz’ college roommate, Devon Archer, was a managing partner.

      In 2014, Biden and Archer became members of the board of Burisma Holdings, which was being investigated in a probe of money laundering in the United Kingdom.
      ……………………………….

      “Apparently Devon and Hunter both joined the board of Burisma and a press release went out today,” Heinz wrote in an email on May 13, 2014 to two of his father’s top State Department aides. “I cant (sic) speak why they decided to, but (there) was no investment by our firm in their company.”

      Smoke and mirrors. In that same time frame, Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden pushed for billions of dollars in US financial aid to Ukraine—money which disappeared, with the disappearance linked to the ownership of Burisma. THIS is the scandal, not the hiring of Hunter Biden. It is the funneling of billions of dollars, thanks to the efforts of John Kerry and Joe Biden, into an area where it could be siphoned off with some of it returning to Biden (and possibly Heinz/Kerry) coffers.

      Ditto for the Kerry/Biden funneling of money to China when Hunter Biden had some sort of sham business relationship with the government there, which then returned a lot of this money to the Biden/Archer/Heinz (Kerry) enterprise,

      All the chatter is focused, with intent, on Hunter, to keep attention away from Joe’s participation in the schemes. And Kerry hides in the shadows with no one paying attention to him.

      • Cluster June 25, 2021 / 11:33 am

        I’m convinced that foreign aid is just another slush fund for the ruling class

      • Retired Spook June 25, 2021 / 11:39 am

        I agree. If we had a surplus and wanted to share it with other countries, I’d be somewhat sympathetic, but that’s not the case. We’re in debt up to our eyeballs.

  8. Amazona June 24, 2021 / 9:53 am

    Kurt Schlichter strikes again, with a list of questions the Lapdog Media really should be asking Joe Biden after he made this comment:

    BIDEN: “Those who say the blood of Patriots, you know, and all the stuff about how we’re gonna have to move against the government.”

    “If you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.”

    This is a series of potential questions, from a longer list:


    Kurt Schlichter
    @KurtSchlichter
    ·
    14h
    “Have you considered that the military forces of the National Guard in red states, which include aircraft, artillery and infantry, may refuse or even oppose your campaign against American citizens? Would you attack those forces?”

    14h
    “When staffing the campaign you speak of against American citizens, what was your analysis of the number of armed American citizens the 2,000,000 pre-desertion military would have to oppose?”

    14h
    “You expressed a willingness to use bombers and potential even nuclear weapons against your own people. How many American citizens would you kill to retain your hold on power?”

    BTW, I think the phrase “pre-desertion military” answers one question about whether or not the American citizenry could stand up to the American military.

    • Amazona June 24, 2021 / 10:04 am

      “Those who say the blood of Patriots, you know, and all the stuff about how we’re gonna have to move against the government.” is typical Bidenesque gobbledygook, but aside from the inability to actually frame a coherent statement around the observation of Jefferson that “”The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” I think the most important part of this statement, which I have not yet heard addressed, is his claim that there is a movement based on “… we’re gonna have to move against the government.””

      There is no such movement. There is no such inclination. This is a fantasy, concocted in the same fantasy factory as the dreaded White Supremacy Movement. It’s a lie. But it is an insidious lie, threaded in one form or another through the Dem anti-Right narrative, a cousin to the lie that the event of January 6 was an effort to overthrow the government through an armed insurrection. It is all part of the Left’s ongoing campaign to completely redefine conservatism. And we are letting it ride, without significant pushback.

      BTW, this is not the first time Biden has made the implied threat to use the might of the American military against Americans. In February 2020 he said “Those who say ‘the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots’– a great line. Well, guess what? The fact is if you’re going to take on the government you need an F-15 with Hellfire missiles. There is no way an AK-47 is going to take care of you if you’re worried about the government knocking down your door,”

  9. Amazona June 24, 2021 / 10:50 am

    Those of you who read my posts might remember my recurring comments on the Left controlling the narrative by controlling language. From “semantic infiltration”—-the adoption of Leftist terms by the Right over time until they become entrenched in our consciousness as if they are legitimate—to the simple redefinition of words, the efforts to control our thoughts and actions by controlling our language are ongoing, and too often are also effective.

    I often remember what was, to me, a very powerful Twilight Zone episode in which a man finds himself increasingly isolated as everyone around him starts using words in ways that don’t make sense to him. This morning I looked up that episode: from Wikipedia:

    “Wordplay” is the first segment of the second episode of the first season (1985–86) of the television series The Twilight Zone. An allegorical tale around the themes of language barriers and adulthood learning, it follows a man who finds that suddenly everyone around him has swapped the meanings of unrelated words.

    Bill Lowery is a salesman whose company has switched to a medical supply product line. He stays up late at night attempting to memorize medical terms in order to be familiar with the products in a week’s time. As Bill leaves for work, his neighbor refers to his dog as an “encyclopedia”. Bill shrugs it off, thinking his neighbor is joking. Bill puts in a full morning of work trying to cope with new terms, which include jibes from younger salesmen such as “teaching old dogs new ‘trumpets’.” A subordinate asks him about a good place to go for “dinosaur.” Bill tries to find out why the co-worker is not using the correct word, but the co-worker walks away annoyed.

    Bill goes home for lunch. His wife Kathy says their son is feeling ill, and didn’t eat his “dinosaur”. This makes Bill realize the bizarre neologisms he has been hearing are not just a practical joke.

    Returning to the office, Bill finds that the word swaps appear even in printed form, such as his personnel file and car displays, and that the amount of gibberish has increased to the point where he can no longer understand anything that is said to him.

    I recommend taking a look at this episode. It has stuck with me for the 36 years since I saw it because it focused on what was to become an ongoing interest of mine—the essential nature of precision in speech. It may have even helped form that interest by illustrating the chaos that ensues when we don’t have the same understanding of what words mean.

    BTW, in looking this up I found a lot of information about the serious and philosophical nature of the series in general, and pulled a couple of quotes from ending comments from various episodes:

    “There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men.”

    And……

    Any state, any entity, any ideology which fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of Man…that state is obsolete.

  10. Cluster June 25, 2021 / 1:02 pm

    The United States Government is largest criminal organization in the world.

    • Retired Spook June 25, 2021 / 1:12 pm

      Second largest is the Democrat Party.

    • Amazona June 25, 2021 / 1:40 pm

      Sorry, Cluster, but I would put the US government down in second or third place—don’t forget China and Russia.

      Not to say that a significant element in our government isn’t vying for first place

      • Cluster June 25, 2021 / 2:06 pm

        Yes, China I would say is #1, with us a close second. Russia, in my opinion would fall below Iran and possibly all countries in Central America.

  11. Amazona June 25, 2021 / 1:42 pm

    Joint Chiefs Demand Military Personnel Violate Enlistment Oath

    First and foremost, American military personnel are swearing to never willingly engage in any activity that would do harm to the Country they serve. Yet on an ever increasing basis, that is what is being demanded of those who take the oath, at the hands of the Biden cabal and its minions among the self-serving “political” class of military leaders in the Pentagon.

    • Retired Spook June 25, 2021 / 2:16 pm

      This is just my opinion (and not a threat, NSA, if you’re monitoring this), but if the SHTF, traitors like Gen. Milley will not be able to find a hole deep enough to hide in.

      • Amazona June 25, 2021 / 11:25 pm

        Tsk tsk tsk, fielding—ODing on those Stupid Pills again, I see. It’s not as if you can claim you are trying to be funny, because this doesn’t rise to the level of attempted humor even on a Samantha Bee level.

        “I (Enlistee Name) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

        What must be clearly understood about this oath is that the ultimate pledge is not to any person or cabal, but to the Constitution of the United States of America. It is not a vow of blind allegiance, negating any other law or premise of right and wrong, mindlessly doing the bidding of whoever claims to be in power. First and foremost, American military personnel are swearing to never willingly engage in any activity that would do harm to the Country they serve. Yet on an ever increasing basis, that is what is being demanded of those who take the oath, at the hands of the Biden cabal and its minions among the self-serving “political” class of military leaders in the Pentagon.

      • Amazona June 25, 2021 / 11:32 pm

        “What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America?” Milley said of the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol……

        The words of General Milley show that he is simply not smart enough to be trusted as a general. Anyone who thinks the January 6 display was in any way related to a desire or intent to “overturn the Constitution of the United States of America” is pathologically stupid and should not be trusted with any degree or level of authority. The man can’t even count

  12. Cluster June 26, 2021 / 7:53 am

    I see fielding waited all of two minutes before realizing he forgot to drop the race card.

    • Retired Spook June 26, 2021 / 9:55 am

      Wouldn’t you love to know what passes for thought in the brain of someone like Fielding? There has to be a short circuit in there somewhere.

      General Milley is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He is the big cheese, the senior military officer in the United States of America. For him to even entertain the possibility that the military should include the study of Critical Race Theory in its training disqualifies him from his position.

      • Cluster June 26, 2021 / 1:20 pm

        I wonder if it was “white rage” that was responsible for the execution of that nice young Puerto Rican couple in Chicago?

  13. Cluster June 26, 2021 / 1:28 pm

    Well once again we have another tragedy in America and as usual, we once again learn that “officials” knew of the problem:

    A consultant engineer warned back in October 2018 that the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, Miami Beach, was in need of numerous repairs around the base of the structure ‘in a timely fashion’. A structural field survey specifically raised concerns about the pool deck area and underground parking garage. In the pool deck, waterproofing was ‘failing’ and ‘causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below’, the report said.

    As with this case and honestly most mass murderers in this country, officials knew of the problems prior to tragedy happening yet nothing is ever done. When will we start holding “officials” accountable? Did you know that over 70% of criminals who use guns in the commission of their crimes are let out on plea deals? And then our “officials” just can’t seem to figure out what the problem is … but it does make for a good campaign message, right? Until we have term limits and until people in charge are help accountable for their neglect and incompetence. this country will always be like the Democrat Party – third rate.

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