Category Archives: Culture

Culture for the cultured and uncultured alike.

Rule Five Bullshitting Friday

Law & Liberty recently printed a review of Harry Frankfurt’s book On Bullshit. I can see now that I’m going to have to read this book, but following are some excerpts of the review, with my comments:

One of the most unlikely philosophical bestsellers in recent decades was retired Princeton University professor Harry Frankfurt’s On Bullshit. Published in 2005, it remained on the New York Times best seller list for 27 weeks. It opens:

One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, or attracted much sustained inquiry. In consequence, we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves.

What is bullshit? Frankfurt distinguishes between lying and bullshitting. A liar knows that there is a difference between getting things wrong and getting them right—and opts for falsehood. A bullshitter, by contrast, believes that it is not possible to distinguish the false from the true. Yet this realization does not prevent him from making assertions about the way things are.

To be fair, President Trump is something of a bullshitter himself, but a fair amount of his bullshitting is perhaps better described as bloviating.   The President, his accomplishments in life aside, is prolix and bombastic; I know more than a few people (myself included) who vote for him despite that, not because of it.  I will indeed vote to re-elect the President,  but because of what he’s done, not because of what he says.  Talk is cheap, but results are golden.

On that note:

In my view, the ascendancy of bullshit can be explained in part by the changing media through which we have become accustomed to communicate. The 1858 U.S. Senatorial debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas famously lasted three hours and were reproduced in their entirety in the newspapers of the day. Today, by contrast, political discourse often takes the form of soundbites, and the most salient political medium seems to be Twitter. Where there were once melodies, now there are tweets.

This, perhaps, is the key point.

I don’t use Twitter and rarely even look at it.  While there is occasionally a gem, it’s unusual; my estimate is that Twitter has the worst signal-to-noise ratio of any internet platform save perhaps Facebook and YouTube video comments.  One simply cannot say anything of substance in this format, and if you engage the regular Twitter mobs who generally post what is little better than autistic screeching, you give credence to the maxim that ‘if you argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.’

And speaking of bullshit; one of the most egregious pieces of bullshit ever spoken by any pol, agitator or “activist” is the line “we need to have a national dialogue.”  That can only be accurately translated as “you should shut the hell up and do what we tell you.”

I’m not sure what the answer to all this is.  The review linked here offers no methods of coping with bullshit.

We have a failing, government-run education system that emphasizes indoctrination rather than education, and a media that continually spouts, well, bullshit.  It’s going to take a major cultural shift to fix it.

Friday Evening Culture

We haven’t done one of these in a while, so it’s overdue.

Of late I’ve been bemoaning the seeming lack of real musical talent among young artists, and wondering if I just need to look farther afield.  Apparently I needed to look no farther than Quebec, for Canadian artist Lisa LeBlanc.  Here she is with her work Aujourd’hui, ma vie c’est d’la marde.  Enjoy.

Rule Five The More Things Change Friday

In accordance with my odd habit of reading classical and sometimes rather arcane stuff, I’ve recently been reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations.  It’s a fascinating read, and for having written this around 1800 years ago, this Roman Emperor had some insights that still apply today – some almost uncannily.  A few of these are here, followed with my thoughts.

Moreover I learned of him to write letters without any affectation, or curiosity; such as that was, which by him was written to my mother from Sinuessa: and to be easy and ready to be reconciled, and well pleased again with them that had offended me, as soon as any of them would be content to seek unto me again. To read with diligence; not to rest satisfied with a light and superficial knowledge, nor quickly to assent to things commonly spoken of…

“To read with diligence.”  How many people do that any more?  It took me years to learn to seek out differing viewpoints; the Old Man used to exhort me to vigorously challenge my own opinions, but I was probably in my forties before I really took that advice to heart, and it did result in my changing my mind on a few issues.  My current worldview, that of a somewhat prickly minarchist libertarian, arose from my following of that advice.  And “…nor quickly to assent to things commonly spoken of” applies as well.  In simple, modern English:  The “common wisdom” usually isn’t.

And these your professed politicians, the only true practical philosophers of the world, (as they think of themselves) so full of affected gravity, or such professed lovers of virtue and honesty, what wretches be they in very deed; how vile and contemptible in themselves?

Boy howdy!  Does this ever apply to most modern pols.  “…what wretches they be in very deed,” as in profiting hugely from their service, even if it’s indirectly; say, by laundering bribe money from a Ukrainian oil company by placing your useless, coke-head, prostitute-impregnating son in a plush “position” on their Board of Directors.

What is that that is slow, and yet quick? merry, and yet grave? He that in all things doth follow reason for his guide.

This kind of fits in with the first item, doesn’t it?  When used as a verb, ‘reason’ may be defined as to “think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.”  Now read Twitter, or FaceDerpbook, or any of the other various and sundry social media outlets, and see how many people you think are thinking, understanding and forming opinions by a process of logic.  I can answer that in advance:  Almost none.

He that runs away from his master is a fugitive. But the law is every man’s master. He therefore that forsakes the law, is a fugitive. So is he, whosoever he be, that is either sorry, angry, or afraid, or for anything that either hath been, is, or shall be by his appointment, who is the Lord and Governor of the universe.

The key takeaway from this?  “…the law is every man’s master.”  But today, the law is not every man’s master; too many people (like, say, Bill Clinton) get away with too much, with too many things, that common people never would.  “…the law is every man’s master” is another way of saying “equal treatment under the law,” which is, as we have documented many times in these virtual pages, effectively dead in this country today.

Marcus Aurelius was in many ways no prize by today’s standards.  He was an Emperor, by definition an autocrat.  But he was the last of what Machiavelli more-or-less accurately described as the “Five Good Emperors,” and the Roman historian wrote of him “…alone of the emperors, he gave proof of his learning not by mere words or knowledge of philosophical doctrines but by his blameless character and temperate way of life.”  His Meditations, these eighteen centuries later, are still worth reading – and reflecting upon.  Some of our political employees would do well to mark his words.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

The Kung Flu continues to show up in new ways.  The Border Patrol is seeing illegal immigrants coming in carrying the virus, and at least one officer has succumbed because of it.  All too much of the action taken against the virus has been futile, because it’s a virus, and the way you handle these is to protect the most vulnerable and let her immunity develop, which almost no country is doing.

Still – we should be seeing a vaccine within the next couple of months.  Once that’s in use, do you think we’ll be back to normal?  Maybe.  Here’s a prediction:  If President Trump wins re-election in November, the rheeeee from the political left will be some variation of “OMG WE HAVE TO STAY LOCKED DOWN” because, you know, we can’t let Orange Man Bad get credit for anything good.

With that said…

On To the Links!

It’s time to cancel the income tax.  Amen!

You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.

New York City is dead.

I’m shocked – shocked – to find the Dems are hiding from pre-convention interviews!

I’m shocked – shocked – to find the FBI was up to shenanigans in 2016!

I’m shocked – shocked – to find that Antifa didn’t fare well when they decided to take on the world’s biggest gathering of hardcore bikers!

This Week’s Idiots:

Senator Dick Durbin is an idiot.

Gov. John Kasich is an idiot.

Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, is an idiot.

Denver City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca is an idiot.

You went full retard, man.  Never go full retard.

Maxine Waters (I know, low-hanging fruit) is an idiot.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

And So:

I don’t have anything else to add, so instead of just another image from the archives, have this song from the King of Country Music.  I could listen to George Strait all day, and sometimes I do.

On that note (hah) we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Racist Assumptions News

Be sure to catch the latest in the Allamakee County Chronicles over at Glibertarians!

Now then:  Note to the Smithsonian:  This is actually racist.  Not to mention stupid.  Excerpt:

Witness last week’s contretemps at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum, which bills itself as “the only national museum devoted exclusively” to educating the public on these topics, recently debuted the online guide “Talking about Race.” The guide included a chart cataloguing the “aspects and assumptions” of “white culture” that “have been normalized over time and are now considered standard practices in the United States.”

What are these sinister aspects of “white culture,” you ask? Well, according to the Smithsonian, values like “hard work,” “self-reliance,” “be[ing] polite,” and timeliness are all a product of the “white dominant culture.” Indeed, it turns out that conventional grammar, Christianity, the notion that “intent counts” in courts of law, and the scientific method and its emphasis on “objective, rational linear thinking” are all proprietary to “white culture.”

There are several things that might be said about all this. But the place to start may be by observing just how insidious it is to teach black children to reject intellectual and personal traits that promote personal and civic success — in the U.S. or anywhere else. After all, in what land are students well-served when they’re encouraged not to work hard, make decisions, think rationally, or be polite and on time? Among the extraordinarily accomplished people honored by the museum, those such as Frederick Douglass; Harriet Tubman; Jackie Robinson; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Toni Morrison; John Lewis; Oprah Winfrey; Michael Jordan; Condoleezza Rice; and Barack Obama might be surprised to learn that hard work and rational thinking are somehow alien to black culture.

Don’t take my word for it.  Here’s the actual chart:

What a condescending pile of crap.  Let’s look at a couple of the most egregiously stupid bits:

  • Self-reliance

As opposed to what?  Dependence?  On whom?  Or what?  This is particularly demeaning, as it implies that “people of color” (whatever that means) are somehow less capable of self-reliance.  That’s utter horseshit.

  • Objective, rational, linear thinking

As opposed to what?  Subjective, irrational, scattered thinking?  That’s not thinking at all.  That’s just feeling.  That’s no way to live a life, and it’s sure as hell no way to decide a policy at any level of government.

  • Plan for future, and
  • Delayed gratification

As opposed to what?  Disregarding the future and only doing what feels good now?  These two items are critically important life skills.  Especially if one ever harbors any notions of a peaceful retirement.

Most of the attributes listed in this aggregation of racist horseshit aren’t “white” values.  Most of them are values of responsible, thoughtful adults.  They apply evenly and equally to everyone who takes responsibility for their own lives.

The Smithsonian should be ashamed of themselves for putting out this crap.

Rule Five What Makes A Nation Friday

What makes a nation?

A nation is a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.  That’s a pretty good working definition.  But what makes a nation last?  Let’s kick that around some.

There are four things a nation has to have to remain a nation:

  • Commonality
  • Cohesion
  • Trust
  • Liberty

Now let’s take a look at each of those and apply them to the United States today, now, in July of 2020.

Commonality

We’ve always been a nation built of parts.  But the national motto, E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One) no longer seems to apply.  Our nation is fractured along partisan lines.  As recently as the Eighties, the two major political parties could find common ground on at least a few issues, but today?

Refusal to accept the outcomes of elections is now the order of the day.  The political Left is particularly to blame; if they can’t achieve goals through the usual means, they resort to judge-shopping or, recently, outright intimidation and violence.  As recently as the Eighties, we were all Americans.  Now there are voices calling not to reform our nation, but to tear it down – and some of them are in Congress.

Cohesion

The United States is probably more fractured than it has been at any time since 1865.  The divide then was along geographical lines, North v. South; now the divide is largely along cultural lines, urban v. suburban/rural.

And, yes, some of this is along racial lines as well.  Major cities tend to be more “diverse” in skin tone, although not so much in ideology.  Small towns and rural areas tend to be populated by people of pallor.  And there is now a distinct tendency for urban denizens to automatically assume “racism” on the part of the small-town/rural dwellers, even though the term “racist” has been so over-used as to be meaningless; any disagreement, now, with radical progressive viewpoints is labeled as “racist,” even as nobody points out the actual racism involved in viewing whites as fundamentally flawed and evil, due not to the content of their character, but rather the color of their skin.

Trust

I remember when I was a young man in the Seventies and Eighties, I operated on the assumption that almost everyone I met was probably a pretty decent person, and tended to view strangers as friends I hadn’t met yet.  That may have been my rural farm-boy upbringing, and probably involved a little naivete even then.

Now, though?

I’ve always been more comfortable out in the boonies than in a city.  But now our major cities are descending into chaos.  I’m not just talking about riots and arson; look at the feces-laden, discarded-needle messes that San Francisco and Los Angeles have descended into.   People venture into some of these places at their peril, because a plurality of the people in those cities, based on all available evidence, are not decent people, and should probably be avoided.

Liberty

Are you kidding?

We now live in a country where you have to beg permission from the government to cut someone’s hair or paint their nails.

Various levels of government confiscate a portion of our income every year with the threat of force (try not paying your taxes, and see how long it is before they send men with guns out looking for you.)  The average American now labors until sometime in April every year just to pay taxes.

It has even come to the point where, in many states, you have to beg the government for permission to exercise a Constitutionally defined right.  And I’m not talking just about the Second Amendment, but increasingly in the post-Kung Flu world, even the First.

And So:

Someone once said that a house divided against itself cannot stand.  Our house is becoming increasingly divided, to the point where these four qualities, the ones that make a nation, no longer apply.

As I’ve said before and will say again, I’m hoping I don’t live to see the whole thing come apart.  I’m afraid my children and grandchildren will.  And, after the events of this year, I’m afraid I will as well.

Rule Five Shootings and Killings Friday

This is a pretty good summary of goings-on in some of our major cities.  Excerpt:

Since June, shootings and murders have surged across many of the country’s major cities. Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Nashville, Chicago, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and New Orleans have all seen murders jump over 20 percent this year. The violence is heavily concentrated in the last few months, ever since protests have led to nationwide pressure on politicians to “defund” and “reimagine” policing.

Just as concerning is that these stats do not include data from the end of June and July. Data from New York and Chicago, recent data from which we do have, tells that the last few weeks have seen by far the worst of the violence. Murders and shootings in the Windy City are up about 80 percent, and New York has averaged at a 209 percent over these last weeks compared to the same times last year. It’s likely these disturbing numbers for the cities above only captures a fragment of the lives lost during unrest in which many protesters chant “Black Lives Matter.”

It’s also worth noting that Atlanta appeared to lack this crime spike just a few weeks ago, according to the statistics released above. If it serves as a bellwether, then the cities that already had a surge at the time of recording are in deep water. The scale will likely become apparent over the next few weeks.

Every one of the cities above has both a Democrat mayor and Democrat-controlled city council.

And:

The surge also raises questions about the role of existing reforms in causing the violence. Of the eight cities with the worst surges listed above, Minneapolis‘s leadership has pledged to abolish the city’s police department, while Philadelphia and New York have already cut money from law enforcement under pressure from activists. All have voiced criticism of police departments. While police chiefs in both Chicago and New York have begged city leaders to grant them greater latitude to deal with the surge, city leaders have instead taken the politically expedient route of keeping policing limited.

Combined with a public willing to attack officers making arrests, it’ll surprise few to learn that record numbers of police are abandoning their line of work, straining cut resources even further. Having more officers on the street is widely recognized to reduce crime of all stripes, and the inverse is true as well. With blue cities’ law enforcement spread thin, restrained, and lambasted by soundbite attacks, it will be difficult for politicians to dispute the link between their policies and results on the streets.

Now, here’s the onion:

No major Democrat politician has yet come forward to address the connection.

Of course not.  That would mean admitting that decades of Democrat government has resulted in cities out of control, the rise of the toxic urban “thug” culture, turf wars over drug territory and innocent cities caught in the crossfire.  Correlation may not equal causation, but in this case, there’s a hell of a lot of correlation.  When conducting cause analysis, something I’ve spent a lot of time teaching folks to do, one of the things you do is look for trends.  This is a trend.

What’s baffling is how the residents of these cities keep putting the same lunatics back in charge of these asylums.  That’s also a trend.

What’s baffling is how these same pols keep up their autistic screeching about poverty, or guns, or other irrelevancies, ignoring that small-town and rural denizens with similar income levels and many more guns don’t exhibit the same violent tendencies.

What’s baffling is how black lives only matter when they are taken by white cops.

What’s baffling is how our major cities are continuing their descent into violence and chaos while the pols in charge continue the same damn circle-jerk.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

The week after a three-day weekend is always a contentious one, isn’t it?  I’ve been saying for years that you can’t take a vacation without paying for it one way or another, as our recent week at the Redneck Riviera once more proved.  But geeze, it would be nice to not get drilled the week after a three-day weekend that supposedly the whole company took off.

But enough of that.  You didn’t come here to read my whining about my workload, you came for news.  And so:

On To the Links!

Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.

If America is so racist, why are there so many fake “hate crimes?”

Is America at a point of no return?  Honestly, I think we passed that point along about 1850.

Bye-bye WHO.   We hardly knew ye.  I once had to study up on WHO requirements for pharmaceutical manufacturers to prepare for an audit I was brought in to do on a plant in South Africa.  The WHO “guidelines” were nearly incomprehensible; you could interpret them to mean almost anything.  My colleague and I pretty much ignored the WHO guidelines and audited against ISO instead.

Coming soon to a major American city near you!

Lesson:  Don’t play in the street.

RIP Charlie Daniels.  His song Long Haired Country Boy formed a small part of my youthful arc in favor of liberty:

‘Cause I ain’t asking nobody for nothin’
If I cant get it on my own
If you don’t like the way I’m livin’
You just leave this long-haired country boy alone

Good for Terry Crews!   A voice of reason in the wilderness.
This Week’s Idiots:

This idiot is running for President.  Supposedly.  Mind you, I’m 99.997% certain he’s just taking a dump.

Paging Dr. Darwin, Dr. Charles Darwin.

ABC News is apparently staffed with idiots.

Bill De Blasio is an idiot.

With that said…

Work beckons.

That’s not altogether a bad thing, mind  you.  Not only do we have bills that must be paid, at least my work 1) pays well and b) is mind-work rather than back-work.  In my life I’ve done plenty of both, and I prefer mind-work.  But I’m not above back-work if that’s what is necessary to keep a roof over our heads; I’ve hammered shingles on roofs before, and am not above doing it again if that’s what needs to happen to maintain hearth and home.

It’s called taking responsibility.  You know.  As a man does.

For now, though, the keyboard calls.  More tomorrow.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links!

Now:  Have another look at the fruits of socialism.  Fair warning:  This will disgust you, especially if you, like me, are a parent.  Excerpt:

For his first three years of life, Izidor lived at the hospital.

The dark-eyed, black-haired boy, born June 20, 1980, had been abandoned when he was a few weeks old. The reason was obvious to anyone who bothered to look: His right leg was a bit deformed. After a bout of illness (probably polio), he had been tossed into a sea of abandoned infants in the Socialist Republic of Romania.

In films of the period documenting orphan care, you see nurses like assembly-line workers swaddling newborns out of a seemingly endless supply; with muscled arms and casual indifference, they sling each one onto a square of cloth, expertly knot it into a tidy package, and stick it at the end of a row of silent, worried-looking babies. The women don’t coo or sing to them.* You see the small faces trying to fathom what’s happening as their heads whip by during the wrapping maneuvers.

In his hospital, in the Southern Carpathian mountain town of Sighetu Marmaţiei, Izidor would have been fed by a bottle stuck into his mouth and propped against the bars of a crib. Well past the age when children in the outside world began tasting solid food and then feeding themselves, he and his age-mates remained on their backs, sucking from bottles with widened openings to allow the passage of a watery gruel. Without proper care or physical therapy, the baby’s leg muscles wasted. At 3, he was deemed “deficient” and transferred across town to a Cămin Spital Pentru Copii Deficienţi, a Home Hospital for Irrecoverable Children.

The cement fortress emitted no sounds of children playing, though as many as 500 lived inside at one time. It stood mournfully aloof from the cobblestone streets and sparkling river of the town where Elie Wiesel had been born, in 1928, and enjoyed a happy childhood before the Nazi deportations.

Go, then, and read the whole thing, detailing this child’s life in a system where the state proclaimed this (emphasis added by me):

To house a generation of unwanted or unaffordable children, Ceauşescu ordered the construction or conversion of hundreds of structures around the country. Signs displayed the slogan: the state can take better care of your child than you can.

We haven’t come to that in the United States yet, but we do have the various local teacher’s unions proclaiming that they can educate our kids better than we can, and Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I loudly claiming “it takes a village” to raise a child.  Well, it doesn’t; it takes a family to raise a child.  You can see the results of the other approach, taken to the extreme, in the linked article:  Neglected children, irreparably damaged adults.

These, True Believers, are the fruits of socialism:  An uncaring, all-powerful state that can’t even manage to show the most elementary human decencies to infants and children.  Not just in Romania, either; Stalin made Hitler look like a piker when it came to mass murder.  Mao and Pol Pot were in the running as well.

I don’t think there is any way to have an all-powerful state without reducing the populace to servitude.  Only liberty can keep people prosperous, happy and healthy.  Only when people are free to make their own decisions, live their own lives, care for their own families, and to use their own talents, resources and abilities to the fullest extent, can a nation be truly happy and prosperous.  And to achieve this, a nation has to be founded on the principles of inalienable human rights, with limited government strictly barred from interfering with those rights.

You know.  Like the United States once was.

Rule Five 1776 Friday V

For the past few weeks RealClearPublicAffairs has been running what they are calling the 1776 series.  I recommend reading them all.  Here’s the description:

The 1776 Series is a collection of original essays that explain the foundational themes of the American experience. Commissioned from distinguished historians and scholars, these essays contribute to the broader goal of the American Civics project: providing an education in the principles and practices that every patriotic citizen should know.

This week I’ll be providing some commentary on the final issue of this series, Self-Government, the American Way, by Will Morrisey.  Excerpts follow, with my comments:

After winning the independence they had declared in 1776, Americans had to prove that they could sustain self-government in peace. They’d governed themselves already, as colonists, but now the British government no longer protected them from the other European powers, and indeed remained a potential enemy of the new country. It’s easy for us today to wonder why American statesmen from Washington to Lincoln seemed obsessed with building and sustaining “the Union,” or why President Jefferson so readily bent his constitutional scruples to purchase Louisiana from Napoleon to extend it. But to Americans then, looking at maps of North America, seeing their republic surrounded by hostile empires and nations whose rulers viewed republicanism with fear and contempt, maintaining the Union meant survival—survival not just of their way of life but of their very lives.

It’s important to note that the formation of the American republic was an existential threat to kings, emperors, dictators and despots all over the world.  Not only was there now a nation with government by the people, of the people, for the people, it was a nation whose governing documents included strict prohibitions against its interfering with the fundamental natural rights of its citizens.

To understand American self-government, one should begin with the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  These rights stand at the center of republicanism considered as an activity of self-government. They limit the power of Congress, the branch of the federal government charged with legislating. They prevent Congress from legislating republicanism out of existence.

As I’ve pointed out before in discussing other articles in this series, the first five words of the first amendment in the Bill of Rights is key and cannot be emphasized enough:

Congress Shall Make No Law.

No law, as I’ve said, means no damn law.  But during the Kung Flu crisis, that didn’t stop  state governors and local pols and bureaucrats from trying all manner of power grabs; many of those were challenged in court, many were protested with vigor by the citizens, but court cases take time.

Freedom of speech and of the press must not be prohibited—they cannot even be abridged by Congress. Here, we must know what the founding generation meant by such a formula: freedom of political speech and publishing. Slander, libel, and obscenity were universally banned by state and local law, and could potentially be banned by federal law, too. Republican government requires discussion and deliberation by the sovereign people. How else could citizens make their sovereignty effective? This is why the Preamble to the Constitution begins with “We, the People of the United States.”

Now, today, here’s the question:  Have we been successful, as citizens, in making our sovereignty effective?

I’d argue that today we can only say “somewhat.”

Congress routinely runs roughshod over the Bill of Rights.  The several states, maybe even more so.  During the earlier part of the Moo Goo Gai Panic, the Governor of New Jersey – the chief executive of one of the fifty states – replied to an interviewer that the Bill of Rights was “…above his pay grade.”  What an idiotic reply!  The Bill of Rights is not above anyone’s “pay grade,” it is a compendium of our natural rights with which no pol or bureaucrat at any level of government may legally interfere – a part of the Constitution which this stupid ass took an oath to support and defend!

The essay and the series concludes (emphasis added by me):

It remains for American citizens to live in the structure the Founders designed by respecting its features, a respect that can only be maintained by what one Founder called “a moral and religious people”—which is to say, a people who perpetuate the American effort at self-government in their private, civil, and political lives.

That last sentence, that’s the part that scares me.  More and more, I fear, more Americans are lured away from the “American effort at self-government” by the siren song of Free Shit, and more and more, the Bill of Rights is forgotten.