We Need a Tribune

The title, of course, is ancient Roman – tribuni plebis. Tribune of the Plebes. The common folk. You know: you and me. While the title Tribune was applied through Roman history to a variety of offices and functions, the part I’m most concerned with is the actual tribuni plebis. Those charged with protecting the people from the Ruling Class.

In the Roman Republic there were ten Tribunes, one for each of the Roman tribes and they had the power of legislative veto and ius intercessionis – they could veto Senate legislation and they could intervene to protect any commoner. That isn’t exactly what I have in mind for an American Tribune because I also take a bit from the Roman Censor – who was periodically elected to look after public morals and how the officials were conducting their offices. I just want one Tribune and here’s the powers I want it to have:

  1. The ius intercessionis: I want the Tribune to be able to intervene in any federal prosecution and simply annul the charges against the accused, prior to or after conviction. It isn’t a pardon (though it would work out to one given our Constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy): it just releases the accused and prohibits the government from prosecuting over the crimes charged at the time ius intercessionis is invoked.
  2. The Tribune is empowered to investigate any elected or appointed official of the federal government. No elected or appointed official can refuse access by agents of the Tribune to any federal document or property: the investigative power of the Tribune is to be absolute, not subject to review or check, no official can refuse a Tribune’s demand for documents or access. For appointed officials (the bureaucrats) the Tribune would have power to prosecute (with a jury trial) and punish without recourse to federal appeals courts. For elected officials, the Tribune presents the evidence to Congress and calls for expulsion (of Congress members) or impeachment (of Executive or Judicial office holders). The Tribune would not have the power to investigate State or local officials, nor any citizen who isn’t employed by the federal government. The Tribune is a watchdog on the federal government, nothing more.

I’d have the Tribune elected in odd numbered years by national popular vote with a limit of one term per Tribune who cannot seek another federal office until seven years after leaving office. The election would be held on the second Tuesday of December, the Tribune taking office at the stroke of midnight, New Years Day with a four year term. The Tribune would be limited to a staff of no more than 100, the budget provided by a set tax which can’t be reduced or abolished but which does rise indexed to inflation to keep the budget stable in real terms (it wouldn’t really require much: no more than a few million dollars a year; we could probably fund it by a penny tax on the sale of shoes or some such).

What I want here – and others can modify my idea – is a person, elected, who has no other role than to check up on the government. That is all the office is empowered to do. It can’t be interfered with by other branches, it would be very difficult to bribe, it can’t be used as a launching pad for a different office as the gap between running for a new office is long. What is wanted is a looming threat over all officials of government…that their game will be exposed. True, a Tribune with a small staff couldn’t find all problems…but it could find a lot of them, and merely exposing them would often be sufficient to force reforms. And it would also serve as a fallback for Americans oppressed by their own government – there would be a lot less chance of trespassers being held in solitary confinement or people being entrapped in a FBI scam to kidnap a governor if there was an official who could, just on their say so, stop the whole thing in its tracks.

We had thought the checks and balances of the Constitution were sufficient. They weren’t. To secure justice for ourselves and punishment for corrupt officials, we need a new power in the land…one which only we, the people, can raise up and who has no other job than to glare at those who would rob our substance and oppress us.

Happy Easter!

I’m a little late in getting to this, so we’ll go ahead with what Peter had to say about it afterwards:

Peter proceeded to speak and said:
“You know what has happened all over Judea,
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached,
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
for God was with him.
We are witnesses of all that he did
both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.
This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us,
the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
He commissioned us to preach to the people
and testify that he is the one appointed by God
as judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness,
that everyone who believes in him
will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Acts 10:34a, 37-43

To me, it is impossible to not be moved by this – as well the reading where Peter and “the apostle Jesus loved” run to the tomb and find it empty…still not knowing and still not sure, but you know they were running through their heads things from “they stole his body” to “didn’t he say he would rise again?” and in hope and fear wondering what was going to happen.

And as my pastor did this morning, I’ll ask all Christians reading: do you believe in the resurrection? Because if you don’t, then there’s no point in going to Church. That is the unique thing about the Christian faith…to have it make the least of sense, the resurrection must be believed. I do believe it, as it turns out.

God bless you all!

Open Thread

8.5% inflation, but you know it is a lot higher than that – they’ve clearly fudged the numbers. My guess is that it is closer to 20%: prices are just out of control. The Fed says inflation may have peaked in March…but, that’s just a lie and the Fed knows it. As long as we’re pouring money out while also not producing at home, inflation will continue to rise. Might have a few ups and downs going forward, but the only way to stop this is to choke off the money supply – in other words, we have to go into a recession to stop inflation. And we only get out of the resultant recession by increasing domestic production on all levels, but especially energy. Side note: Team Pudding Brain is absolutely opposed to increasing domestic energy production.

Oh, they’ll say they want to switch to green energy but that stuff doesn’t work. It isn’t easy to find news reports about it, but solar just sucks. Uncle Sam kicked in more than $700 million for the solar plant in Tonopah, NV (with his nephew the Nevada State government kicking in a bit more than $100 million more) and the damned thing never worked. It is now shut down (after emitting poison gas and frying untold numbers of birds) and in bankruptcy.

And I do get the appeal of solar energy – the sun does shine, after all! But not brightly everywhere all the time. At best, something like solar can be a supplement. And it seems to me that if we’re going to shell out taxpayer funds for it, they should go to put solar panels on residential roofs – especially in the desert southwest. But, that doesn’t really work, now does it? If the panels are on my roof, how does the power company profit from it? So, build the 100 acre blight on the desert and have the power sent to my home…if the thing works. One thing I’ll bet about that plant in Tonopah is that everyone who made money off it was connected to Harry Reid and his machine.

Meanwhile, supply shortages continue – and not just in energy. I read that there’s a shortage of baby formula. How does the United States ever have a food shortage? We’ve never had one except in a few areas of the South during the depths of the Civil War – and that wasn’t really a shortage of food but the inability of the crumbling Southern economy to transport the food to where it was needed. This is the land of plenty. We have something like 500,000 square miles of arable land in the United States – and that’s without bringing anything like all arable land under cultivation. And American farm land is good – it is, for the most part, very fertile and either naturally well watered or easily watered by irrigation. Its why we have been – until just recently – the bread basket of the world. And here we don’t even have enough food for infants!

And this looks to get worse. I’m sure you’ve seen your local store out of or low on very common items – but various disruptions, including the war in Ukraine, look to cause all sorts of production and transport problems as the year progresses.

And what is Team Pudding Brain up to? Blaming the inflation on Putin and getting set to green-light an absolute flood of illegal immigrants over the southern border. It is just insane.

As a result of all this, the Democrats are in trouble? How deep? They’re heading towards wipeout territory. One recent poll Joe in the 30’s on approval rating – and in the midterms, the party in power’s vote share usually mirrors the incumbent’s approval rating. Now, to be sure, some are convinced that the Democrats are serenely pushing ahead with the Progressive insanity because they’ve already rigged the mid-term vote for a Democrat win. But that isn’t possible in this circumstance. To rig a vote, you have to have total control not just of the count, but of resolving all disputes about the count. Democrats have this total control in the deep Blue cities, of course, but not much else – Georgia, Wisconsin and Arizona have all done at least a bit to tighten up voting controls. They won’t, that is, get away with 2020 in those States again. Personally, I think Democrats are going Full Progressive for two reasons:

  1. The people actually running things for Joe don’t care about the upcoming vote.
  2. Those who do care figure might as well quadruple down and at least hold the enthusiasm of the big cities.

The guy who shot up the subway in NYC was on the FBI radar, has been arrested multiple times and posted insane, violent rants on You Tube. Too bad he wasn’t a middle class housewife who complained to the school board – might have been able to do something about this. I mean, the FBI only has so many people – think of all the strings attached to garage doors which would have gone uninvestigated if the FBI was spending time on the NYC shooter?

The Blizzard of Oz

I can’t recall a political endorsement in a primary causing such an immediate and heated firestorm. When Trump endorsed Oz, it caused very large numbers of prominent Trump supporters to go absolutely ballistic. They hate the endorsement. To hear many of them speak, this endorsement tears it with Trump: they are done! Going to back DeSantis in 2024. Trump is an embarrassment! He’s always picking terrible people! If he wins in 2024, it’ll be as bad or worse than it was in 2016!

For a moment there, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were listening to Never Trump. I mean, this was astonishing.

And it also lets you know just how very bad at politics our side is. I mean, we are just terrible at it. We don’t understand how it works. We routinely step on our own crank. We hand the Democrats the weapons to attack us with.

Aside: by “we” I mean “everyone but me”. And probably Trump, as well.

First and foremost, in our internal conflicts we have to be careful that in trying to push our preferred person forward, we don’t create a toxic environment. In other words, don’t shred your own side. This is true for any Party primary. Vigorous attack and debate is good – but your primary purpose is to sell your candidate and do it in a way that the supporters of the loser swing enthusiastically behind your guy. Torching Oz as a horribly bad choice is not quite the best way to go. It should be like, “I understand Trump has endorsed Doctor Oz. As we all know, any of our fine candidates will be better than the Democrat. I’m disappointed he didn’t endorse Candidate X instead, but I still believe that Candidate X is our best option and here’s why.” See the difference?

Beyond that sort of tactical operation, there is more to consider here.

I do get the doubts about Oz. Yes, he’s taken pro-choice and anti-gun positions and he has, to put the best face on it, been open to medically transitioning children. He has taken these positions. In the past. That is kinda important because in the past, Trump took some pretty Left positions. And I’ve seen over the past 14 months some very far Left people starting to rethink their views. We’ve all had an education of late, haven’t we? Trump busted down the doors and exposed the rot in the heart of our institutions. Everyone is dealing with that. The Left and Never Trump by sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting “I can’t hear you!”. Everyone else…by thinking it over. And very often coming to conclusions very different from before.

I used to be a stalwart defender of the FBI. I believed the CIA was dedicated to defending America. I thought that large corporations were by and large beneficial. But here in 2022, I want both the FBI and the CIA abolished and I’m in favor of breaking up the large, monopolistic corporations. I’ve had an education. It started for me before Trump, but it was the Trump years that showed me how bad it was and how far I had to be prepared to go to fix it. What I’m saying here is that the past is not the present: things change. If you could go back to the our old blog you’d find me vigorously defending the FBI, CIA…Wal Mart, for crying out loud. Are you going to hold me to that? Tell me that because I once held a particular view I can’t hold a different view now that I’ve obtained different information?

But that is the standard we’re being told to judge Oz on – in the days of being in Oprah World, anything he said is permanently binding on him and it all makes him unacceptable. Forever.

Sorry: that is just a stupid, unjust attitude. If the Muslim Oz will pardon, it is also un-Christian. We all get not just second chances, but buckets and buckets of chances. I will not deny Oz a seat at the table because he once said something I don’t like.

So, what is Oz saying now? On the trans issue, nothing: at least, nothing that I have found. He will have to address that directly, I think. That’s up to him. But he now claims to be pro-life. He isn’t running on a gun control platform. His policy positions are secure borders, energy independence, curbing corporate power, school choice. Not a bad list, if you ask me.

To be sure, Doctor Oz translated into Senator Oz could betray us. Like Romney and Murkowski have (Collins hasn’t – she does what she needs to do to stay viable in Purple Maine; she must at times vote against us). But he could also betray us like Barr or like Sessions did. Remember them? Rock ribbed Conservatives. Honest and brave men we could count on. Except they both folded like cheap suits at the first bit of Leftist pressure. And, sure, a Senator Oz could fold just as readily – like, for instance, current Senator Toomey did…he of Tea Party Conservative fame…but when the real test came, he went along with the Democrat’s 1/6 fantasy.

The bottom line is that Oz, no matter how badly he could betray us, cannot do worse than some of those we trusted the most.

And then there’s the chance he won’t betray us. Could happen. Every now and again a person of courage manages to navigate their way into politics. Doesn’t happen often as politics attracts the greedy and the cowardly (the stupid, too: in freaking spades), but it does happen. Right now we’ve got Rand Paul and Ted Cruz in there – both men, I think, we can rely on to stick to their guns no matter. Could Oz be another one? No way to know until it happens. But consider this: the GOP Establishment already hates him. The Donor Class isn’t on his side. His own Liberal media friends are soon to turn quite viciously on him. He only wins and only stays in office – let alone aspires to a different office – if he keeps us on his side.

Oz is worth about $100 million. He’s not just famous: he’s got nearly universal name recognition. So, he isn’t in this for the money and he isn’t in it for the fame. He could have pretty much sat on his a** for the rest of his life raking in money and being on TV any time he wanted. You know, just like Trump in 2015. There is a chance that Oz is running for office – which will impact his money making ability and turn him from universally beloved American personality into a partisan figure – just so once he gets in there he can sell us out to the Democrats. But figure the odds, guys. Unless Oz is the most spineless sort of man, the chances of that happening are billions to one against.

This is not to say that a Senator Oz will always vote the way you want. Pennsylvania is heading towards Red State status, but its a ways away and anyone running Statewide there will have to trim their sails this or that way to retain electoral viability. In short, you can expect a Senator Oz to sometimes go contrary on us – but betray us? Like Toomey did with the impeachment vote? I just don’t see that in the cards. In fact, I see what I believe Trump sees in the man: an ally. Someone who is willing to bite the bullet and enter the sewer of politics because he wants something better for others. He doesn’t need to do this for himself – so, unless he’s some sort of psychopath, he’s doing it for someone else…and the only realistic party that can be is, well, you and me.

It is time, my friends, that we all grow up and start understanding that politics isn’t neat and tidy. It is a mess; mostly because it is run by people…but, worse than that, it is often run by the worst sort of people. But who are the heroes of politics? Those who bucked the trend. The people who stood forth in glorious contradiction of the age. Those who went in it to do something rather than be somebody. People like Lincoln and Churchill at the heights…people like Reagan and Trump on the lower level. Maybe Oz – and a lot of other normal people stepping forward – are just what we need? Maybe it is time for us to think about what we want and how we might get it?

I’m always reminded these days of something my father said to me about 1982 or so. I was 17 and dad was explaining to me how liberty is fought for. One thing really stuck: “I’m telling you, Mark, that when it becomes a real, final fight for liberty in America, some of your best allies will be people you can’t stand. Don’t reject anyone who is willing to stand with you.”

The War That is Politics

That is, of course, a slight reformation of Clausewitz: war is a continuation of politics by other means. But you can also just as well say that politics is war. I think that our problem has been – aside from sheer cowardice and greed – that we’ve seen politics as debate. That is, we feel that politics is an argument and that if we can just argue the right way, we’ll eventually win.

How did that work out?

Well, 60 years ago we were arguing that Social Security had to go. After six decades of refining our arguments, Social Security is untouchable we’re now arguing about what a woman is.

Not too good, huh?

While we argued – and pretty much won every argument – we’ve lost just about everything. This is because the Left doesn’t argue: it states a Party Line and it doesn’t ever stop stating a Party Line unless, internally, they decide a different Party Line will work better. It doesn’t matter that we can prove conclusively by argument that the Party Line is drivel – they’ll just keep stating it and they will, even if only incrementally, enact their Party Line into law. We, until very recently, never understood this. But, now we do. At least, some of us do.

Over the last week or so, we who have a firm understanding of things have started to call opponents of Florida’s gender law, “groomers.” Meaning, of course, that those who want the law gone are attempting to groom kids into sexual degeneracy. Using this term has naturally infuriated the Left but it has also got some of our weak sister’s on the Right to call for the fainting couch. You know the type – and they’re all over the place deploring our use of the word “groomer”. Their argument is that since we are winning this debate, we shouldn’t use such a mean and loaded term. But what they leave out is that we’re winning the debate only because we’re using the mean word. In other words, we’re not trying to out-argue the Left (because the Left isn’t trying to argue), but we are out-fighting the Left. We’re hammering them. And it is working.

Other than their argument that it is mean to call the Left groomers, they also claim that it is inaccurate. That it is untrue. That when we call them “groomers” it is just as bad – and just as much a lie – as when the Left called the Florida law the “don’t say gay” bill. How can we consider ourselves to be decent if we’re lying just as much as the Left?

Well, mostly because we’re not lying. Nobody gets off the hook that easy.

Where the Nazis fully enacted their policy – and set the stage for WWII and the Holocaust – was at Nuremberg in 1935: the so-called “Nuremberg Laws”. Their official German titles were Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour and the Reich Citizenship Law. In 1945, when the Germans emerged from the Nazi world, they were dismayed. Shocked. Saddened. Angered. Lots of things. But only a very few, and often only years later, really figured it out. Here’s someone who did:

It is very important what she says at the end – essentially, “I could have known”. That it was only a lack of curiosity which lead her to work for a monster and see him as something other than what he was. The point I’m making: you’ve got no excuse. If you are of normal, human intelligence, you are on the hook. If you don’t know – if you don’t realize the consequences of your actions, it is because you are refusing to know them.

Naturally, if you ask your basic Leftist out there if he’s in favor of grooming children, he’ll say, “no”. And within the Leftist’s mind there might even be full sincerity in that. But the only reason there is that sincere belief is because the Leftist has refused to know. He’s not stupid – if he’s talking to you, he’s at least of normal human intelligence. He can reason. He’s got a situation where teachers are telling kindergartners about sexual preferences – often with the teacher using his/her/xir-self as the example. The only possible reasons someone would do that is stark insanity or they want some sort of sexual validation and/or gratification from the children. And neither insane people nor those who seek sexual validation/gratification from children should be teachers. And every Leftist knows this.

If the Nazis had called their law “The Law for Massacring Millions, Starting a World War and Having Russian Soldiers Take Revenge by Raping Every Kraut Woman 8 to 80 They Get Their Hands On”, even the Nazis would have some difficulty in getting that enacted, even in a police State. But that is what the Nuremberg Laws were for – and everyone could see from the first moment that war and massacre were going to be the result of such laws. That the Germans didn’t – and even years after the war – still didn’t see it that way doesn’t mean there was some impenetrable mystery, but that they just didn’t want to know. My change to the title of the law was a bit of an exaggeration, but make no mistake about it, everyone knew that making a law saying that a certain ethnic group has no civil rights was going to end up very badly, especially when it was enacted by a man who already told you that his goal was conquest of foreign lands populated by the people he just declared to have no rights.

They know! They all know. They just refuse to know – or admit they know. Because that gets them off the hook. “Hey, how was I supposed to know that the guy who calls Jews vermin was going to do something hideous to them?”. Yeah, right. “Hey, how was I supposed to know that the teacher telling the 5 year old about transgenderism turned out to be a perv?”. Uh huh.

They not only know, they approve. And that makes them groomers – and that is why it is right for us to call them that. And by our calling them what they are, they are forced on to defense, which means they’re losing. If you’re explaining rather than telling, you’re losing. We spent decades trying to explain that we’re not racists to people who simply told us we were racists. It is rather fun to have the shoe at least on the other foot. And the can stew in it – because there was never an ounce of evidence that we are racists, but, hey, if you’re teaching transgenderism to 5 year olds, there’s a high chance that you’ve got an ulterior motive…like, say, prepping them to be transgender 12 year olds you can diddle.

Prove me wrong – prove to me that it isn’t that.

And good luck with that.

This is the difference between argument and fighting. Between debate and war. We’re just now engaging in war. And as truth is on our side, we don’t have to lie. But it does take courage to fight – courage we have definitely lacked until just recently. And our engaging in battle is going to cause dismay among some. There will be those who will back off, even join the other side, because we decided to fight. So be it. If we want to win, we have to do it.

Open Thread

Finally released Kings and Queen: Book V of the Mirrors series. To me, it is the best one. To be sure, I think that each book is an improvement over the prior – some of that is because I’m getting better at writing! Remember that when I started this, I merely sat down with a bare outline of part of a story and just got rolling. While not selling millions – it is an indy author thing, after all – people are buying it and I am getting really good feedback on it. It is fun! If you haven’t started the series, pick up Mirrors and get going. You won’t regret it.

On to more boring stuff…

Ukraine war: looks like Ivan got himself a bloody nose and is pulling back from Kiev. But the Russians don’t tend to quit, so I do wonder if this is just a regroup before they try again. Took the Russians 6 months and 3 tries to get Plevna in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877, after all. Russians are just awful at anything that requires organization and timing…but they are very good and putting their head down and smashing away until the other side is overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, the Ruble massively rebounded because Putin simply started demanding payment for oil and gas in Rubles. It is hard to sanction a resource-rich nation like Russia. It can cause some dislocations, but those who were buying the resources were buying them for a reason.

I think that regarding the trans debate, the most crucial thing we can do is assert the plain fact that heterosexuality is the norm. Sure, in a human population of 7 billion, you’re going to find lots of variations from the norm, but all the variations combined are going to be a tiny fraction of the whole. Our presumption – our insistence, really – is that any minor who proclaims themselves in any way not heterosexual is mistaken. Only after study by genuinely disinterested third parties can any proper judgement be made as to whether or not there is a genuine variation.

We must bring an end to this current system which socially punishes the norm, provides benefits for the abnormal and immediately agrees with any proclamation of variation from the norm. There’s a poll out that says about 20 percent of youngsters view themselves as something other than heterosexual. This is not biologically possible and probably overstates reality by at least a factor of 10. But because of our current system, many of these kids will be set on a path which will prove destructive. We must put a stop to this – it is genuinely insane and continuing it is not survivable.

Since you guys won’t show up on Twitter, I’ll give you some samples of what you can find there.

Open Thread

Some recent polling indicates an impending disaster for the Democrats – but outside polling, the RNC is now targeting about 70 Democrat House seats. Sure, there is some bluster always built into such things, but that large a number shows the GOP knows that if there’s a year to just have someone running, this is it. A lot of seats can fall our way just because we’re not the Democrats.

In response to the dire political picture, the Democrats seem set on fighting over Florida’s law to ban teaching sexuality to kindergartners. I don’t think this will work out as well as they hoped – though there is a chance that such a thing is merely to keep suburban white women on board. In other words: to prevent a 40 seat loss from turning into a 70 seat blowout. You know: “hey, we know that prices are through the roof and crime is rising, but don’t vote GOP! Don’t want your neighbors to think you’re a homophobe, do you?”.

Other than that, the issue is a real loser for the Democrats. The line has been crossed and people don’t want any of it. Polling on it shows massive public support with even pluralities of Democrats not keen on teachers talking sexuality with little kids without parental knowledge or consent. Even a lot of gay people are coming out forthrightly in favor of the law: because everyone knows that when you’re six years old, you don’t have a sexuality…and they further know that it is absurd to provide life altering chemicals and surgery to kids because they allegedly are trans.

All of a sudden, both the New York Times and the Washington Post confirm the Hunter Biden laptop story. Everyone is asking: why this and why now? After all, the lie was already sold and did its job. The Democrat base remained convinced that the laptop was bogus. So, why even bring it up again?

Various theories are put forward: Putin is about to release a lot of dirt, so get ahead of that. There are investigations going and they may result in indictments in spite of strenuous efforts by DOJ to avoid it, so get in front of that. They’re going to 25th Joe out and this will be the leverage to get Team Pudding Brain to go along with that. I simply don’t know – but whatever reason they’ve brought it back up again, it bodes ill for the Democrats.

The bottom line is that the e mails are authentic – and that means that Hunter Biden is massively compromised by foreign powers and “the Big Guy” probably is as well. How this is to be managed if it comes out in a way that even the MSM can’t cover it up for the Democrat base is going to be tricky.

San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin – yes, the son of the Commie murderers of yore – is facing a recall effort. Think about that: a Commie son of Commie murderers is facing recall in San Francisco. Trump woke us on the right up to how bad things are – but Pudding Brain and his like at the local level in the post-Trump world is now starting to wake up urban Progressives. This is not to say that I expect San Francisco to vote GOP any time soon…but gun ownership is rising and, very quietly and only among trusted friends, these urban Progressives are now starting to question aspects of the Progressive religion. I’ve seen several bits written by such – and they freely admit that they’ve always hated Republicans, assuming such are ignorant racists, and that they, the Progressives, were on the right side of history leading the world to a future of peace, prosperity and justice. But that was before they had their car broken into a dozen times and had to step over mounds of feces on the sidewalk outside their zillion dollar home.

Revolutions happen slowly and then all at once. Think about the Russian revolution – on the whole, actually, things were better than they had been in Russia in times past. Even with the war – which Russia had de-facto already won (only to lose it because of the revolution) – things ground along pretty well. There was more freedom of speech than ever before. Political engagement was increasing. There was a rising class of independent farmers. The government was fairly competent and staffed by mostly honest men. But then, without warning, people just decided they had enough – that, while better than olden times, they simply couldn’t endure the Czar and his system any longer. It was nearly universal: hardly anyone stepped up to defend monarchy: from nobleman to laborer, everyone simply agreed that whatever else happened, the Czar had to go. And so it was done and a 300 year old dynasty was swept away in a couple days. I think it may be like that here – that our total Ruling Class (which includes a lot of GOPers, of course) will find that they’ve worn out their welcome. That even if things aren’t horribly bad, they have to go, even if we don’t agree about what comes next.

Open Thread

As I pointed out earlier, we’re governed by morons – yesterday, Pudding Brain shot his mouth off about removing Putin from power. We’re used to that sort of thing as ol’ Gramps forgets what he’s supposed to say…but when he said it, huge numbers of high end people were all “wow!” about it…here, at last, was the strength we need! America is saved! And thank God Trump isn’t in power. Of course, within minutes of Biden’s statement, his staff was out there pointing out that, no, we don’t seek regime change in Russia.

But it was astonishing how many people took what was obviously a gaffe and made out like it was the greatest oration of all times. They really believed it! People were comparing it to Reagan’s speech about tearing down the Berlin Wall!

The flip side of this was the Never Trump people who instantly saw it for a mistake but the only thing they could say was how mad they were – the helped install Biden because they had to get rid of Trump and his insane statements and this is what they got! Just stupid – Trump didn’t say insane things. He said outrageous things, but not insane. Everything he said was actually calculated for effect…Pudding Brain can only say what’s on the script and then only if his meds don’t wear off half way through.

Just a bunch of idiots – who have to pretend a clearly senile, old man (who was corrupt and stupid in his best days) is someone who could possibly replace Trump. And they have to try to sustain this Narrative – Trump was so bad that he had to be replaced and the only plausible replacement was good, old Joe who is a moderate and competent. It is theater of the absurd.

Ketanji Brown Jackson had her hearings this past week and some GOP Senators did hit some good points and a lot of people don’t like how soft on crime she’s been as a judge, especially as regards abuse of children but, in my view, nobody made the most telling statement about her: she’s a rubber stamp.

It doesn’t matter how smart she is or what credentials she has, the bottom line is that she’s where she is because Democrats are 100% confident how she’ll rule on any issue identified as crucial for Democrats. Some GOP Senator should have said just that: “look, Ms. Jackson, you’re a nice lady and all, but everyone here knows that when cases regarding things like gender, guns and immigration come before you, you’ll rule as the Democrats want regardless of what the law says. You’re not here to ensure Justice: you’re here to enforce a certain political ideology which you’ll dress up with legalese. All I’d like right now is for you to admit this: admit to the American people that your bias is firm and won’t be shaken and that for the remainder of your life all you’re going to do is try to advance the Democrat agenda via Judicial activism”.

The explosion would have been epic – and very useful. The main thing necessary for combating lies is to point them out. People tend to caution ( which often works out in practice to be cowardice): as long as they aren’t forced to confront an issue head on, they’ll go along with whatever drivel people are using to justify a bad thing.

The thing about Trump – the thing which most infuriated his opponents right and left – was his willingness to call things out. Recall his early speech on immigration which the Left and Never Trump cast as Trump calling all Mexicans rapists – we all know what he said and the reason his opponents twisted “they’re not sending us their best” into an insult to all Mexicans was because they knew it was true – our open border was used as a dumping ground for all manner of criminals. Everyone knew it – but nobody spoke it. But once Trump spoke it, it couldn’t be ignored…and, in general, even today the American people still go for Trumpist immigration and border security policies. Contrast this to someone like Jeb! calling illegal immigration an “act of love”: Jeb isn’t a bad guy. He was a very good, Conservative governor of Florida. The foundations of the current GOP dominance in Florida were laid down by Jeb. But we all knew from the first second he made that statement about immigration that it was bull – a lie, covering up the horrid truth. If we really want to beat these guys, we have to tell the truth. Not just about SC nominees, but about everything.

The Ukraine war does continue to grind on – I’ve mostly been using the Institute for the Study of War maps to see how things are going…and they show a very much stalled Russian offensive. OTOH, the maps put out by the Russian Defense Ministry show much more substantial gains…but, who can trust that? But then I saw a French Ministry of Defense map and it pretty much agreed with the Russian. And if the French and Russian maps are even partially correct, the Ukrainian position east of the Dnieper is turned north and south and the Ukrainians should be trying to extricate their army from the east.

Musk hopes to get an orbital test flight of his completely reusable Starship in May. My bet: it will slip. Various government agencies are foot dragging on final approvals – and the more Musk tweaks the Ruling Class, the more roadblocks they’ll throw up for him. The Starship with its heavy lift booster is certainly impressive – significantly larger than the Saturn V we oldsters remember. The payload it will lift is not just larger than anything launched before or today, but bigger than most space program plans for the future. It is a rocket which can, eventually, go to Mars. Musk will probably want to go as quickly as he can…but it is fraught with risks and expenses and, as I’ve pointed out before, until we can really work out the issues of gravity and radiation, there’s probably not much point in going except as a prestige “I did it first” sort of thing.

Open Thread

Kings and Queen is out! Very happy to release Book V of the Mirrors saga. I like some of the very human touches I was able to insert:

Trossen smiled and saluted and then dashed off. Zenia exited the carriage carrying a rather heavy bundle. She looked around in frustration.

    “Where has that fool got off to now?,” she said, impatience in her voice.

    “Which fool?,” I asked. “You’ll have to be specific as an army is made up of them.”

    “Trossen. He was to help me set up tonight.”   

    “I’m afraid he’s been called to other duties. I’ll have Aldor detail another man to help you.” There was a sudden look of astonishment and worry immediately on her face.

To me, it is by far the best of the lot. At least, so far: Book VI Heirs is also good while Book VII Empress is also coming along nicely. Meanwhile, lots of work has been done on Book VIII The Crimson Blade and Book IX, Ghost Tower. Heirs is very cool because, among other things, you get to meet Fred’s parents and Bryce’s mom. And Eddie Diggins makes a cameo. You can check out Kings and Queen here.

Read an article today which theorizes that Team Pudding Brain hopes that by supplying Ukraine we can bog Russia down until Putin quits. I guess it could work but our experience with limited war is pretty bad. In fact, it has universal failure as it’s hallmark. Don’t get me wrong: so far, the Ukrainians are standing up to it very well but I still don’t see any serious counter offensive while the Russians do continue to grind forward in the south and east. Mariupol may fall in the next few days – this would be a hard blow against Ukrainian morale and would free up a lot of Russian forces for other tasks.

As I’ve always said: either all in, or all out. Either it is worth fighting Russia over Ukraine or it isn’t. If it is, send an army. If it isn’t, stay all the way out. This is a semi-repeat of the Crimean War and a lot of the dynamics of it are very similar except that no Great Power really wants to put it on the line to stop Russia. That makes stopping Russia nearly impossible.

I finally got into Trump’s Truth Social app: once you get in (there still is a waiting list) you’ll find me under @Mark_E_Noonan. Its functionality is good: at least as good as Twitter’s. Traffic on it is low as it is being brought on line slowly. Matt is also there, of course. I think it will be worth everyone’s while to get an account…once it is fully up, Trump is going to light up politics with it.

The transgender debate really is heating up – Matt got banned from Twitter today, and I suspect it was over his statements about it. I’m probably fairly immune to blocking as my block list is approaching 40,000 on Twitter. I very quickly block all insane people I come across on Twitter…and by so doing, I greatly lessen the chances I’ll be reported when I state something against the Narrative. But, anyways, the issue is hot right now – and it was DeSantis plus the NCAA that got it front and center. By allowing an enormous male athlete to compete and win as a woman, the NCAA exposed the basic absurdity of it all. Then DeSantis went and proclaimed the 2nd place finisher (an actual woman) the winner. This shows good instincts on DeSantis’ part – this is a fight worth having and one we can win.

The go-along “Conservatives” are doing their usual – conceding the main point and then saying they’ll argue the details. One directly said it – going along with “I don’t think its fair that a transwoman competes against women but transwomen are women…”. (((needle scratch sound))) Stop. Once you say that transwomen are women you are accepting the entire trans agenda. That is the one thing they want you to say – because once you say it, you have no defense against anything else they want. It was the same thing in the same sex marriage debate – “love is love”. Once that was conceded – and most “Conservatives” did – then they were defenseless. Because to say “love is love” is to say that all things are the same. It was to say that a heterosexual relationship was the same as a homosexual relationship. And where is your argument against gay marriage? Poof, its gone. “Transwomen are women” means you cannot oppose transwomen competing in women’s sports. You’ve just said a transwoman is just the same as a woman.

We know that people with a male biology – even if covered by major surgery and chemical treatments – are different from people with a female biology. To say “transwomen are women” is not merely to say something incorrect, it is to state a lie. It simply isn’t possible. And everyone knows this – and that is why, if we fight it out, it is a winning issue for us. I’ll state right now that transgender people are as much human beings as anyone else and are entitled to live their lives as they see fit and all signs of unjust discrimination against them must be removed. But because I am tolerant and willing to accommodate transgenderism it must not follow that I will sustain absurdity. Men and women are different. They remain different regardless of what surgical or other medical actions are taken to make a man or woman appear as the opposite sex.

There is a basic unfairness – and Americans hate unfairness – in allowing a person with the natural attributes of a male to compete against women. If we press back on it, we will win. We will obtain laws – and even legal judgements – which make it clear that laws which define privileges and immunities for women only apply to biological women. That if we want to provide privileges and immunities for transgender people, it will have to be with separate laws. To me, standing firm here on the assertion that men and women are different is the first step on the road back to sanity. It’ll be the first time we ever successfully defended truth since at least before World War Two.

Open Thread

You read about the Great Terror during the French Revolution and from your safe, prosperous American home you wonder how people could act like that? I mean, you understand that there was injustice and even cruelty in the Ancien Régime, but you still look upon it in shock. And then you read a piece in Bloomberg opinion which has an upper class twit telling us to eat lentils and let the dog die to deal with inflation.

And then you understand.

Cruelty and injustice can be dealt with – it is having people treat you with contempt that gets the blood boiling and makes cheering as a noble’s head comes off something understandable.

And there is monumental contempt for us.

When the Hunter Biden story was actively suppressed by the MSM and the Tech Giants in 2020, do recall that 50 former intelligence officials signed a letter stating that the Hunter story was Russian disinformation. It was this letter which allowed Team Pudding Brain, the DNC and the MSM to justify spiking the story. People actually got banned from social media for bringing the story up! The MSM and Tech efforts were bad enough, but the crucial thing was the bald-faced lie by the intelligence officials…without that, the rest wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. But really grasp that: the organizations charged with protecting American national security produced 50 people to lie in print. When you add in the fact that the FBI knew all about this months before it broke and not a single person there blew the whistle you really see our problem: they are against us. They hate us. They hold us in contempt.

I pointed out on Twitter earlier that the same MSM and government agencies who assure us the 2020 vote was legit are the same people who lied about Hunter Biden.

And, yet, you still can’t get through to Never Trump on this. I’m not talking about those Never Trump who have morphed into Never Republican…I’m talking about those who remain Republican and are already largely lining up behind DeSantis for 2024: they remain impervious. One of the more famous said today that he’s backing DeSantis because he doesn’t have the character flaws of Trump. Which is a sort of reverse lie: what character flaws does Trump have? The only one’s we know about are those told to us by government and MSM sources which are proven liars. I mean, seriously: maybe Trump is an immoral man, but nobody can really know. He’s been so consistently lied about that no outsider can sift it and determine what might be true or false (though we can rely on it that Trump has never broken a law – if he had, even in the most trivial manner, he’d already have been tried for it). But, also, for all we know, he’s a moral man. Sure, he had his divorces and his playboy days when young…but young billionaires tend to do that sort of thing and in the year when we have drag queen story time, I’m going to place getting busy with a super model rather low on the moral outrage scale. And rely on this: were Trump still playing around on the side, we’d know about it…I’m sure the MSM has people watching him 24/7. So if he was a bit of a cad from 25-50, he’s not today.

Dr Oz is still rolling along in the Pennsylvania Senate race. I get the doubts about him – he’s from Oprah Universe, something I hold in utter contempt. Over the years, as part of the price of being part of that universe, he staked out positions which are pretty much anathema to anyone on the right, especially on issues like “red flag” laws for gun ownership. But, I also don’t automatically condemn him for that. Lets face it: we’ve all had an education the past 7 years. Perhaps Oz has looked around and figured a few things out? He’s presenting himself as the Trumpist candidate. So far, Trump hasn’t endorsed him – but the rumor from Trump World is that Melania, who apparently is a good friend of Oz, is pushing for him. We’ll see how it comes out – to me, the most important thing is getting the (R) to victory. Is Oz that guy? Don’t know. But I can’t see how he’d be worse than Toomey…who took our Tea Party movement to get into office and then became a colorless GOPe Establishment guy once in, going as far down as to vote to convict Trump in the second trial (and that vote sunk his career in the GOP).

The war with the Ukraine continues to drag on – and Putin, so far, shows no sign of quitting. Ukraine still stands firm and there are even reports of local Ukrainian counter-attacks. OTOH, a recent video of Zelensky in Kiev looked a little photo-shopped. Like they had him in front of a green screen that they projected Kiev on to. I still hold it isn’t our fight – but it does affect the world. In one case, over food supply. The Ukraine is one of the world’s bread baskets. The Ukrainian farmers should be starting to plant their crops right about now. If they aren’t – and it looks like they’re not – then the world is going to have some serious problems in the Fall.

In other news on that front, China and India are working deals with Putin – China and India do need Russian oil and other raw materials, after all. From a geo-political standpoint, our obsession with Putin is taking us out of the global equation while a should-be ally (India) and our definite rival (India) are cutting deals which undermine America’s overall position. My view: we should have declared absolute neutrality in the Russo-Ukrainian war, holding ourselves willing to host peace talks and providing humanitarian aid to both sides.