Monday, June 29, 2015

Love of Power Wins – Now the Yezhovschina Can Begin

The Secret Police in Orwell’s dystopian society were employed by the Ministry of Love. In that ironic designation we find the genuine meaning of the insistent refrain that “love” triumphed when the US Supreme Court consummated the long campaign to bring the most intimate human institution fully under the state’s control.
Those presently celebrating the state’s “affirmation” of same-sex relationships are intoxicated by the knowledge that they are the “who” rather than the “whom” in Lenin’s famous formula (which defines the essential political question as “who does what to whom”). Like countless others they have been beguiled into believing that “liberation” is achieved by identifying with the exercise of state power, rather than being protected against it.
The Stonewall Riot occurred because a minority rebelled against the routine abuses committed by police who used the leverage provided by liquor licenses to justify harassment of people who privately engaged consensual behavior. The movement that coalesced after Stonewall loudly proclaimed the desire to be left alone, even as it was co-opted by the institutionalized “civil rights” movement, which seeks to abolish freedom of association
That movement is now pursuing that objective with unprecedented vigor.  
As the New York Times reports, “gay rights leaders have turned their sights to what they see as the next big battle: obtaining federal, state and local legal protections in employment, housing, commerce and other arenas” – a crusade that will mean constricting the exercise of religious liberty and other elements of property rights.
In 1993, the ACLU supported the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which the group recently invoked in a successful defense of the religious liberties of a Sikh serviceman.  That case was decided shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling on same-sex marriage, which made it clear that the who/whom polarity had shifted. The ACLU is now demanding modification of the RFRA to allow the federal government to punish businessmen, clergymen, and other people whose exercise of religious freedom is deemed “discriminatory” by the state-licensed custodians of correct sentiments, at least some of whom aren’t content with the piecemeal approach.
Within hours of the Obergefell ruling, New York Times contributor Mark Oppenheimer used a Time magazine op-ed column to demand enactment of a measure that would “abolish, or greatly diminish” the tax-exempt status “for organizations that dissent from settled public policy on matters of race or sexuality.” Invoking the standard collectivist fallacy that the State subsidizes anyone it doesn’t dispossess outright, Oppenheimer groused that conservative churches are among the “rich organizations [that] horde plentiful assets in the midst of poverty.”
Only those organizations offering “an indispensable, and noncontroversial, public good” should be exempt, decrees Commissar Oppenheimer, who like his comrades is serenely confident that the present who/whom alignment can be made permanent.
To him and those of his persuasion, the services of an abortion clinic would likely be regarded as “indispensable and noncontroversial,” and thus worthy of an exemption. Those provided by a crisis pregnancy center offering material aid and moral encouragement to women choosing to give birth would be neither, and thus subject to being pillaged by the IRS -- and, most likely, regulated out of existence. Similar outcomes would be imposed on contending activist groups deployed on opposing sides of every culture war fault line.
The power to tax is the power to destroy, and withdrawing the exemption would effectively extinguish religious liberty by replacing it with a revocable state-issued license.  The ultimate objective is not co-existence with conservative or traditionalist religious believers, but their subjugation – in the name of “love,” naturally. “Hate” is already being defined as disagreement with “settled public policy,” and it would have no legitimate place in public discourse – or refuge in private life, once privacy had been effectively abolished.
One small but telling illustration of how this will work was provided by a celebratory house editorial published by a Regime-centric newspaper called the Patriot-News.
State-recognized homosexual unions “are now the law of the land,” observed the paper’s editorial collective, announcing that henceforth “we will not publish op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage … any more than we would publish those that are racist, sexist or anti-Semitic.” An addendum to the online version of that editorial advised readers that “complaining about our moderation policy or comments being deleted” was a violation of the paper’s new “community rules.”
Every publication has an unqualified right to establish and enforce its own rules of rhetorical comity. We shouldn’t be surprised if – or when-- the same Progressives who are seeking modifications to the RFRA and an end to tax exemption for non-Progressive religious groups would likewise seek to fashion an exception to the First Amendment for media outlets that publish opinions of the kind the Patriot-News will no longer carry. This would require a comprehensive national inventory of political and cultural opinions – and as something other than luck would have it, the Obama administration is contemplating an initiative of that kind.
During a conversation with Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, Mr. Obama disclosed that the administration “is keen to introduce tough new laws which will force the KKK and other extreme right-wing groups to disclose the identity of their members,” Riley told the Daily Mail of London.
Disagree with Obergefell? You're in the dock with this guy.
 “One of the things we need to do is for the national government to give resources and expose these hate groups,” Riley elaborated. “We need a national council on these hate groups. The President is talking about that.”
“In America we worship the First Amendment and anybody can say anything they want,” Riley told the paper, a statement anticipating the familiar, self-nullifying use of the conjunction “but.”

“But” – there it is!  – “we need to shine the spotlight on them [racists and other extremists, presumably], so at least we know where they are among the public. Neighbors should be able to know that the person living next to them is an absolute bigot.”
Perhaps the administration – which is already seeking to fine-tune to social, economic, and ethnic composition of residential neighborhoods – envisions a comprehensive census of political attitudes, as well. One approach might be to scrutinize social media for postings containing favorable quotes from dissenting opinions in the Obergefell ruling.
Writing in The Daily Beast, LBGT activist Jay Michaelson describes the dissenting opinions in Obergefell, especially that of Antonin Scalia, as “`stochastic terrorism,’ the broadcasting of a message so incendiary as to inspire some `lone wolf’ to violence – if not actual violence, then precisely the kinds of anti-democratic, anti-American defiance we have already seen among some politicians.”
John Roberts, who is obviously no stranger to judicial sophistry, produced a modulated and temperate dissection of the majority’s “act of will.” Scalia, predictably, was gloriously intemperate in assailing the majority’s social re-engineering. Michaelson, who didn’t rebuke the Left for its splenetic reaction to the Hobby Lobby and Citizens United rulings, indicted Roberts and Scalia as accessories before the fact to incipient (albeit unpredictable) acts of domestic terrorism: “It seems inevitable that rhetoric like this will stir the next Confederate flag-waving zealot to an act of, if not domestic terrorism, at least outrageous revolt. How could it be otherwise?”
The only way to forestall such “inevitable” revolt would be to identify and neutralize Americans of the kind who would have been designated “socially dangerous persons” under the Soviet Union's Fundamental Principles of Penal Legislation. Article 58 of the penal code, observes the authoritative Black Book of Communism, dealt with "any activity that, without directly aiming to overthrow or weaken the Soviet regime, was in itself `an attack on the political or economic achievements of the revolutionary proletariat.' The law thus not only punished intentional transgressions but also proscribed possible or unintentional acts."
"Poison Dwarf": Yezhov.
In defining “socially dangerous persons" the Soviet regime used "extremely elastic categories" that permitted pre-emptive incarceration "even in the absence of guilt." This is because that the Soviet rulers were pleased to call "the law" specified that imprisonment, exile, or execution could be employed as means of "social protection" against "anyone classified as a danger to society, either for a specific crime that has been committed or when, even if exonerated of a particular crime, the person is still reckoned to pose a threat to society."

In 1935, a figure who became known as “Stalin’s Poison Dwarf” contributed another refinement to the architecture of state terror. Nikolai Yezhov, an intimate associate of Stalin,
wrote a pseudo-academic paper contending that any form of political opposition should be treated as incipient terrorism – a position that differs little, in principle, from that of the above-cited Jay Michaelson.

Yezhov had long aspired to become head of the Soviet secret police, and he ascended to that role following the assassination of Stalin's rival Sergei Kirov, an act of terrorism orchestrated by Stalin himself. This inaugurated a short but bloody period of purges and persecution known as the Yezhovschina – the “Era of Yezhov.” The Poison Dwarf began by denouncing his predecessor as head of the KNVD, Genrikh Yagoda, for his inadequate zeal in identifying and eliminating enemies of the regime. Yezhov’s appetite for bloodshed and oppression grew in crescendo until he, too, was denounced, tortured into multiple confessions, and executed.
Yezhov’s fate offered a stark demonstration of the unyielding reality of the “who/whom” dichotomy, which is best expressed in the words of the Book of Proverbs: “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and the stone will come back on whoever starts it rolling” (26:27, ISV). Whatever one’s views of traditional marriage, the ancient wisdom contained in that passage is unassailable – and should be remembered by those who are presently enraptured by the prospect of exercising state power in the name of “love.” 
                                                                      A quick note:

My thanks, once again, to everybody who has generously helped us amid our ongoing challenges. I will continue to keep you updated about our situation. We deeply appreciate your kindness.

Dum spiro, pugno!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Heresies Against the Imperium

Pontifex Maximus

If Barack Obama is correct that
white Americans are racist at a genetic level, shouldn’t this tendency be considered an inherent trait? Given the persistence of racism in the face of unremitting remedial action by government, should we regard it as an ineffaceable characteristic to be preserved and celebrated in the name of “diversity”?

Racism could be considered sinful. It is not innately criminal. Assuming that political government has a legitimate reason to exist, its jurisdiction applies only to “external behavior and not the inner life of man,” as Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote in a rare moment of moral lucidity

All people are sinners, but relatively few are criminals. Aspiring totalitarians demand the power to define what is sinful, to refine sins as crimes, and then to redeem society through the application of violence. The roster of contemporary sins has been expanded to include possession or display of the Confederate Battle Flag, which the murderous sociopath Dylann Roof conspicuously displayed in a photograph taken shortly before embarking on his killing rampage in Charleston.

Within days, the Battle Flag was removed from government-claimed property in several southern states. May the divine Lincoln forbid that property claimed by the plundering class be defaced by a symbol associated with aggressive contempt for the liberty and property of other human beings! It is entirely true that Confederate symbols should not be displayed on government property, but the appropriate remedy is not to ban the symbol, but rather to privatize the property. 

Racial bigotry can inspire vicious criminal acts, and when wedded to state power it is a murderous, monstrous evil. That was true of both the long-dead political entity called the Confederacy and the still-operating Regime that conquered the independent South. 

In the decade prior to the conflict conventionally called the Civil War, the federal government zealously protected the supposed property rights of slave “owners” throughout the union by way of the Fugitive Slave Act

 During that decade, southern slavery advocates were arch-unionists, and many abolitionists favored secession. The federal government was perfectly willing to use overwhelming force – including martial law – in order to capture escaped human beings and return them to captivity. 

In early 1854, a young man named Anthony Burns escaped from the clutches of a Virginia man named Charles Settle, who claimed to “own” him. Burns found a home and gainful employment in Boston, but an informant recognized him as an escaped slave and contacted the authorities. 
Deputy US Marshal James Batchelder, clothed in the majesty of the “law,” was deployed to Boston in pursuit of Burns. The marshal quickly located his victim and – after using the pretext of a bogus robbery investigation to place him under arrest -- locked him in the federal courthouse. 
News of this abduction provoked an immediate response from local abolitionists, who organized an armed posse to liberate Burns from his captors. In the ensuing skirmish, Batchelder was fatally shot, but the police retained custody of Burns. 
Desperate to avoid further bloodshed, Burns – a devout Christian – asked his supporters not to attempt another rescue. A few days later, he was led in shackles to a ship bound for Virginia. The rendition took place under the vigilant gaze of a 1,600-man military contingent sent by President Franklin Pierce to deter any further efforts to liberate Burns. 
All of this was done by the supposed authority of the United States Federal Government, years before South Carolina and other states exercised their constitutional prerogative of withdrawing from the union to protest insufficient federal zeal in enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law.

 In 1858, self-liberated slave John Price, who was living near Oberlin College in Ohio, was lured into a similar trap devised by a slave-catcher bearing the improbable name Shakespeare Boynton. The objective was to convey Price back across the Ohio River to the slave state of Kentucky.
Students and faculty at Oberlin College organized an effort to free Price, filing criminal complaints against his kidnapers and a habeas corpus petition with a local judge. Once peaceful and “legal” means had been exhausted, a group of thirty-seven activists formed a posse and liberated the captive by force.
During the trial of Simeon Bushnell, a timid bookstore clerk who drove the getaway wagon, the prosecutor piously accused Price’s benefactors of “outraging the law of the land,” which dictated that slaves were “not fit for freedom” and were the property of their owners whether found “north or south of the Ohio River.”
By this time, Price had been spirited away to freedom in Canada – because as a black human being he had no rights anywhere in the United States of America.

In his 1857 Dred Scott ruling, Chief Justice Roger Taney “decided that the power of Congress to make rules concerning the territory of the United States was subject to restrictions of the Constitution protecting property,” wrote historian Alice Nichols in her 1954 study Bleeding Kansas. “In a word, Taney ruled that slaves were property, not according to state law, but national…. Slavery had been given freedom of the public domain. Indeed, by inference, states themselves could no longer constitutionally exclude slavery. Since a man could safely take his slaves into states having anti-slavery legislation, it could be said there were no free states. Slaves were the same as any other kind of property, except that there were no laws requiring the return of strayed horses and cattle….[S]lavery had become a political football, kept inflated by Northern self-righteousness and kept in play by the South’s pigheaded championship of wrong.” 
Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law led abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison – borrowing the words of Isaiah -- to describe the constitutional union  as “a covenant with death and an agreement with hell.” 
For his part, Lincoln – like the corporatist cabal he represented – was determined to make the union “perpetual,” even if that meant perpetuating chattel slavery. Lincoln’s reaction to South Carolina’s rebellion was not, “What will happen to my brethren in bondage?” but rather, “What will become of my tariff?”
Lincoln favored the proposed Corwin Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would have made slavery a permanent institution. As a war measure he “un-emancipated” slaves who had been freed in Kentucky by General John C. Fremont. For every day of his presidency Lincoln dutifully enforced the Fugitive Slave law, using federal troops to reward loyal slaveholders by returning their escaped “property.” All of this reflects the fact that he wasn't interested in abolishing slave labor as long as his government could collect taxes on it.
Whatever one thinks of the cause for which they fought, Confederate troops carried the Battle Flag as they confronted a hostile army, generally in engagements that took place at a strict reserve from civilians. This was decidedly not the case of the Stars and Stripes.
At the Bear River monument near Preston, Idaho.
When Patrick Edward Connor and his troops massacred at least 300 innocent Bannock and Shoshone Indians – including scores of victims officially designated as “combatant children" -- at Bear River in January 1863, it wasn't a Confederate flag that caught the breeze above the slaughter. 

When John Chivington's troops annihilated hundreds of peaceful Cheyennes at Sand Creek in November 1864, the Battle Flag was nowhere in evidence. The troops who cut down unarmed women, and then mutilated the victims by hacking off their breasts and pudenda as trophies, carried out their noble labor beneath the Stars and Stripes.

After the South had been conquered, and Generals Sherman and Sheridan pursued what the former called the "Final Solution" to the Indian problem, they didn’t act on behalf of the Confederacy, nor did their subordinates fly its Battle Flag. The December 1890 slaughter at Wounded Knee, the American foreshadowing of Babi Yar, was committed by the vengeful remnants of the U.S. Army's Seventh Cavalry, who wrought that Nazi-grade atrocity beneath the Stars and Stripes. The same banner was proudly displayed by the troops who slaughtered tens or hundreds of thousands of independence-minded Filipinos after their islands were "liberated" from Spain.
Yeah, it's only a "massacre" when the Army loses.
Theodore Roosevelt, the first self-described Progressive in the White House, was a passionate believer in the innate superiority of what he called the “higher races” – the Anglo-Americans, of course, supplemented by others, such as the Japanese, whom he described as “honorary Aryans.” Roosevelt, obviously, was a militant centralizer who evinced not a particle of Confederate sympathy.

The “consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it,” General Lee lamented in his correspondence with Lord Acton. The British statesman – who was no advocate or defender of slavery – agreed with that assessment: “I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo.”
Moro Crater, the Philippines: It's not a "mass grave," it's a "Liberty Hole."
As a matter of policy, Barack Obama, the incumbent figurehead of the imperial ruling elite, compiles a larger body count before breakfast every day than Dylann Roof did in Charleston. 

Obama’s podcast interview with alleged comedian Marc Maron took place a few hours after Roof’s rampage – and two days after the weekly “Terror Tuesday” meeting in which he selects people for summary execution via drone strike. According to survivors of the Charleston atrocity, Roof very nearly shirked his self-assigned task of murdering innocent people at intimate range. A serial murderer who kills by remote control, Obama suffers from no similar scruples.

The discretionary power to dispossess or kill other human beings defines the office commonly called “Commander-in-Chief.” Dylann Roof was able to exercise similar power in the service of his evil ideas because the government ruling South Carolina, as part of its franchise within the U.S. government’s territorial monopoly on power, forbids worshipers to arm themselves to in self-defense. So naturally the prescription being urged upon us is for more aggressive measures to disarm the public while purging the country of the symbolic remnants of a short-lived attempt to break up Leviathan’s territorial monopoly, and any "retrograde" notions of asserting a right not to be ruled by Washington.

Prior to 1861, the united States were a decentralized confederation. As a result of the war, they were consolidated into a unitary government. After the Spanish-American War, this entity took on the characteristics of an empire -- or, to use the appropriate German term, a "reich." The Confederacy, for all of its manifold sins, never achieved that status.

The Confederate Battle Flag is reviled not because it is indelibly associated with racial bigotry and mass bloodshed, but because it symbolizes a refusal to be part of the sacred American reich.                                                          

                                                    A quick update

I have previously described our family's housing situation. We received legal notice two days ago (June 24) that we will have to leave our present domicile no later than July 14. This was a reprieve, of sorts, but a highly qualified one.

With the help of many generous friends -- including one who has been nothing less than heroic and saintly -- it appears that we may be able to relocate by then. Our circumstances are still grim, but we deeply appreciate the help that so many of you have offered, and the kindness and concern you have expressed to us. Thank you so much -- and I will keep you apprised of future developments.