I hope you enjoyed the break from the unrelenting assault on bad politics and intellectual jihad on ignorance. The broadsides will begin again shortly. Many thanks to the guest writers and all those who submitted. Hopefully there will be others in the subsequent weeks, and this will evolve into a cadre of very smart people that supplant the steady diet of stupid passing itself off as opinion today. I see Buffet’s minion made it to the big table while I was gone, as did Ross and Haley. Trump…credat Judaeus Apella, Non Ego. Horace knew what was up, be like Horace.
Get it Sharp. Keep it Sharp.
Made in U.S.A.
I am a metal worker, engineer, and aviation guy who has been loving knives most of my life. I have tried lots and sharpened a million to the point I invented my own compact sharpener.
I am writing this opinion piece to the preppers or whatever you want to call sensible people that may not be knife lovers. Need is my focus here not want.
The first step I would take is to evaluate and test everything you own NOW. Do this fast if all you have are Chinese made cutlery. Cardboard cutting is the best of test material on all but the biggest knives. Sharpen what you have as best you can, and then cut cardboard if a knife cannot cut 50 inches of cardboard and then smoothly cut a piece of writing paper, you need another knife. A big knife, which everyone needs (7 plus inch blade) is a multi-tasking tool. It needs to be able to chop through half of a 2 x 4 and then be able to cut paper.
Test and eliminate junk with these categories in mind:
- Everyday carry folding knife 3 inch blade or better
- Small fixed blades
- Bowie or large blade knife
- Fillet knife
Before I break down my recommendations I would like to say I own no cutlery that is not made in America, Japan, or Sweden. No one else even comes close to blade metallurgy and heat-treating abilities as well as other quality concerns.
- Folders, I recommend first look at Benchmade and Spyderco. Disclude the Benchmade red box imports and the Spyderco Byrd lines. The steels that are available now are incredible ATS 34, 154CM, C30V,VG-10, H-1 are some of the best. There are very good knives available on the lower end that are almost as good. Examples are any of the old Gerber, Browning, or Kershaw knives that were made in America or Japan mostly 1095 tool steel or 400 stainless. These will be older knives in most cases. And remember used knives are not bad knives. I have a Spyderco Endura Pacific H-1 that I bought used for 35 bucks. I restored the edge and I would not take price of a new one for that knife. It cuts paper by paper weight. Have two good folders. I would recommend staying away from serrations hard to sharpen and when they are done they are done.
- Small fixed blades, just stick with the better manufacturers made in US or Japan and look at what steel they are made of. Benchmade has a good line and so does Spyderco, any other manufacturers, consider the steel, and if you don’t recognize it Google it! I must add the best bargain in the small knife category and that are the knives made by Mora of Sweden, these knives are available in carbon and stainless and are extremely good steel. I prefer the stainless. They are the best general task knives I own and I own a bunch of them. One in every vehicle and lots of other spots. Available for about 15 buck, all you need to do is find a better sheath.
- Bowie or big knives, blade steel is critical in these knives. The reason is, they are multi function. You made need to chop a stake and then cut something smoothly while there is no time for a sharpening. The best Bowies are Gerber, Sakai, and Cold Steel that are made in the US or Japan. Ebay these deals can be had under the Rigid name which are Sakai, custom Bowies and \or large fighters are good but usually expensive make sure you know the blade steel. Cold Steel made some excellent Bowies make sure you get the Japanese made (not Japanese steel) or US made. The US version is Carbon V which is no longer made, it is good but does rust which requires care. The second level of these big knives are generally Kabar and Ontario knives, they are all good if made in the US. They will be 1095 steel which is ok, but not great. They will require more sharpening but are good sturdy knives. You need one of the big knives at a minimum.
- Fillet knives, this knife style is a must have. They can do a lot and get scary sharp. Butchering, and filleting fish aside, good general purpose cutting tool. Very disturbing on the quality that is available today. I would ebay any Kershaw Japanese fillet that I could find, as they are head and shoulders above anything on the market today. The old Browning, Gerber, and Schrade knives made in Japan or America are also very good. The Chinese stuff available now is junk, period. Kershaw has a fillet that is expandable from the handle from 7 to 9 inches; there are still some of the Japan made knives available. You need a couple of these!
Like I said if you are doing this on a budget, shop used, shop ebay, and gun shows.
And if you are needing to improve your sharpening equipment I only have two suggestions the Spyderco sharpening system for fixed base and my America Stone for on duty available at www.americastone.net You have any questions Jesse will forward them to me.
– Frank James AKA J. Stackman
From Jesse James:
Visit Frank’s site. Buy his sharpener. Seriously. It’s the best out there. See review here. A word about counterfeit knives. High-end mass produced brands like Benchmade, Spyderco, Al-Mar, Extrema Ratio, Zero Tolerance and others are often counterfeited and sold online. Sadly, I have seen even brick and mortar stores reselling them because they were fooled as well. Unless you know exactly what the real thing looks and feels like do not buy it from someone who is not an authorized dealer or is not reputable. The good fakes are difficult to spot, particularly if you are not aware of the difference between a steel and titanium liner or exactly what an AxisLock looks like, or other particular details of the knife. These knives will break as they use inferior steel and it maybe at the worst possible time. If you’re buying second hand, trust the person, and if it’s too good to be true it usually is. Look at things like the workmanship and the screws, many knockoffs will not use torx or hex screws and opt for pins rather than threading the liner. Remember, you aren’t just paying for looks. The price of good steel can be well over triple that of simple stainless you buy at Home Depot. This is a helpful article to get you started.
Note from a seasoned procrastinator – tomorrow has been canceled.
Since this is my first post here and I am unknown to most anyone in these circles, I’ll take this opportunity to bore you with a bit of background. My wife and I are recent empty nesters. We married late, and then waited to have children so I’m feeling my age right now. All my life, I’ve anticipated what we all know is just around the corner, but unlike many of you, I have not done nearly enough to get ready. Thus I’m scrambling. I’m a bit of a loner, even when we lived “in town” I barely knew my neighbors two doors down. Finally, my perspective is Christian in nature so my anticipation of things to come is partly based on prophecies that have been around for centuries.
Okay, wake up; it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Not long ago I sat down to get a handle on all the crap that was happening. The candidates were chosen, though not yet blessed by the conventions. I didn’t like either of them, but I knew it didn’t matter. I came to the conclusion that one thing was truly inevitable: a one-world government. While I’m sure that is a huge surprise to many of you, “I” knew it was coming all along. What my analysis really did for me was bring everything together and made me realize how CLOSE we are. It gave me a great sense of urgency. The problem is… preparation is not my strong suit.
Nor does it help that I’ve spent the last few months exploring blogs and sites like The Virginia Freeman’s Society instead of actually preparing. Even so this site only recently grabbed my attention with Jesse’s “The road goes on forever, but the party’s already ended” post. It was an eye opener and Jesse makes absolute sense to me. I’ll admit, I’ve been reading a lot of SHTF fiction lately – starting with Bracken. The one concept that they all hold in common is some sort of community. As much as I hate to face it – it is our nature.
Now about tomorrow… it ain’t happen’ baby. Fact is, most of us are pretty sure the sun WILL come up tomorrow and that is the problem: one day it will not. If this idea is a bit hard to wrap your head around, why not consider some life-changing event that happened to you or someone you know? A sudden death, accident or illness that changes everything. Whatever that event, the day before was just like any other. Heck THAT day started just like any other and then, in a moment… BAM!
As I said before if I am a master at anything – it would be procrastination. While I can put together a pretty good plan, execution is often the bane of my existence. I am the poster boy for “analysis paralysis”. Even so, I’m reasonably accomplished at plodding along. So for me it makes sense to go with my strengths.
The good news for me and mine is, we no longer live in a highly populated area and we have enough land to grow some food. So whatever happens, there is a good chance we can stay put. The bad news is the soil here is not good and we suck at gardening even in the best of conditions. This spring, we will make an attempt at raised bed gardening. A local fellow here has a U-Pick operation and has confided in me that his raised beds were the key to his success. If I am smart and IF time permits, I’ll see if I can help him out this spring and maybe pick up some pointers. Community. Hmmm.
Next, I need to improve my level of fitness. Years of working from a desk and shunning exercise has taken its toll. Along with that I need some practical training in basic tactics – not to mention a whole lot more practice simply shooting. In addition, I’d like some training in trauma care so I can be at least as well-versed in saving a life as taking one. And, yes, I need to work on the community thing.
While I am sure your situation is different, my goal here is to use my own sad example to both assess the good and at least identify where there is room for improvement. Your situation is surely different but seeing the process may help you. While I hope my goals will change over time, we all have to start somewhere. That is key to overcoming procrastination. Start. Move. Do something.
The goals you set will likely depend on several factors. Where you stand at this point. How much you’ve accomplished thus far. What your ultimate aim is. This last is a major factor. Once again, I’ll use my own situation as an example.
My own primary goals stem from my Christian roots. I accepted Jesus the Messiah as my Lord and Savior as a young man and have at least tried to live my life as such. Early on, I was involved in a group that placed great emphasis on, for lack of a better word, evangelizing. (No, they were not Jehovah’s Witness or Mormons.) Nothing was more important than presenting people with the truth and offering the opportunity to accept Christ. I had other ideas. Decades later, I’ve come full circle.
Way back then I bemoaned the state of this nation, and how far we’ve sunk into the mire of socialism. Then I began to see the relentless push towards decadence and immorality. Later on, I realized that socialism/communism are simply tools for the globalists. Not too long ago, I stepped back to look the whole tapestry that is the last 100-150 years of this nation only to see how it is all coming together. Finally, I extrapolated that into what must happen. And don’t you know, it all fits right in to ancient biblical prophecies. Go figure.
It was then that I saw the hand of the adversary – the devil and how the events of this world are orchestrated. Mind you, he only controls the baton. It is God who authored the symphony.
I came to understand the great decline was a slide into the pit of hell or communism, if you prefer. I was also faced with the fact that “we the people” were largely responsible. Then I got hit with the big one…we’ve turned away from God Himself. Yes, there are those of us who believe and have always turned to God. Some stronger than others, but as a nation, we’ve chased Him from our classrooms, from our public places, even our homes. So what was the answer?
Not very long ago, I thought we had a chance. This was based on 2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land
I thought, yes! We can do this! We can turn from our wicked ways and pray and seek God’s face and HE WILL HEAL our land! This idea brought me hope because we still had the Constitution. God has the power. All we need to do was ask.
To put it bluntly, I still believe this is possible but it will not happen. We are too self-absorbed. We are too wrapped up in the Kardashians or whatever else is trending now. I remember a while back when we were new to a church. We were invited to an upstanding member’s house for dinner with a couple other families in good standing. As the small talk progressed we were asked about how we ended up there. We relayed the story of how we’d prayed about all of it and how God had led us there. After a pregnant pause someone piped up… “How about those Redskins?” Yep, these were the cream of the local Christian crop. God is a fine idea for most of us as long as he knows his place.
All of this came into play as I pondered the coming election and where all of this was going. The only answer that makes any sense at all to me is…
we are heading full steam ahead to a global government. This nation must fall and we are going down with it. Some will preach fire and brimstone and judgment. Is God mad? He should be but the truth is we will reap what we’ve sown. Even factoring in another eight years of Reaganesque Bliss, we are far beyond the point of no return. The question is what do we do? What CAN we do?
If a one-world government is indeed inevitable, all any of us can really do is decide whether to resist or succumb and prepare accordingly. For those of you ready to surrender, sit tight, enjoy whatever illusions of freedom you can. Meanwhile the rest of us can take stock, assess our situation, decide how we want to approach what’s coming and prepare accordingly. So how much time do we have? Who knows?
For a world government to be established, our nation must surrender sovereignty. For this to happen there must be an “event”. It’s not like we will all wake up one day and think, “We should sign over our lives to that nice United Nations.”. So it will be an event… something that changes everything.
So, yes, tomorrow is canceled… or it could be any day now. And then what? Well, that depends on how it all comes down, doesn’t it? Martial law is different than an EMP, which is not quite the same as a global economic nuke, which is not at all like a local disaster. The good news is – basic preparation for any or all of these shouldn’t vary too much. The most important factor is time – and how much of it will be available. If I can hunker down, great. If I have to move… George Carlin’s “Stuff” routine comes to mind.
Should I broaden my scope, perhaps waxing philosophical, I need to ask myself – “What is MY end game?”. The answer for me is both easy and complicated. No matter what, I want to do God’s Will. Before you start groaning, stay with me for a moment, please. The fact is “doing God’s Will” is not quite as pious and noble as you might think. Quick example. God was trying to lead Israel to the Promise Land, while Israel wanted to go back to Egypt and be slaves again. Seriously? Who’s plan do you think would work out better? For a long time I’ve said – “Be careful what you pray for because God might grant your wish.” Some lessons need to be learned the hard way. Just take my word on this one – okay? I’ve learned the hard way that God really does know best and if I am wise I WANT to do His will because He also wants the best for me. In the end “doing God’s will” is actually as self-serving as I can get. So, yeah, my first goal is to do God’s Will.
Of course then I’ve got to figure out what, exactly, God’s Will is. This is not always easy, at least not for me. The good news is, God is gracious when I screw up. So what does that mean?
Well, I won’t know until the time comes. Example number one: I am now plodding along at preparation until I move on to something else. Will I suddenly get intense about things and, in a fury of activity, accomplish a large chunk of stuff I should have done long ago? Maybe. Maybe not. Please don’t toss me into that group determined to steal from those who have to survive. On one hand I’m not sure I’m sold on mere survival. For some reason, starving to death under some dictator’s thumb is not my idea of living. Count me in with the “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees” crowd. And then I come back to… what does God want me to do?
For me, the bottom line is I do not know where any of this is going or my part in it. I do know God has NOT burned any bushes or otherwise told me to go all out in preparation. I do not know why. Still, I’ve had a nagging feeling that something is coming sooner than later and other urgings to collect certain items. That said, I must say I am moving faster now than I have previously. I have yet to reach anything approaching a fever pitch. Yet, I started this article off with “…tomorrow has been canceled” Curious, don’t you think?
Do as I say, not as I do? No, not at all because I am the last person to tell anyone what to do. I am not your leader. I am not your parent. I don’t know what or if God is speaking to you or if you are hearing Him or even whether you “buy into this God thing” at all. While I feel part of what God wants me to do is write, I am not about to proclaim this piece is “a Word”. It is what it is.
So bear with me for a moment, even if you don’t believe in God, please just consider the God – devil thing – think good and evil if it helps. Evil appears to be winning. Heck, it’s almost like a bad novel if you think about it. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t understand at some level that something evil is bent on overtaking the world.
Man always wants more.
Mankind NEEDS something more, something greater than ourselves because left to our own nature, we will not survive. We are self-destructive. You can lay on the candy-coating, sing Kumbaya, and group hug all you want – eventually someone will stab someone in the back.
Thus for me, it all comes back to what is really important and that is you and your relationship with God. As I pointed out previously, this nation is not likely to come to God in sufficient numbers to turn the tide. Even if it did, ultimately, the nation will tend towards self-destruction. But you can escape this. God, and by God, I speak of THE God and Father of my Lord and Savior Jesus the Messiah, laid all of this out centuries ago – actually from the foundations of the world. IF you have not yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I urge you to do so right now. If you HAVE accepted Jesus as Lord, then I recommend you ask God what He would have you do now. Chances are something has been nagging at you. I’d suggest maybe it is the Spirit of God working in you.
If I were to wrap this up, my point would have to refer back to the title: No Time to Waste. It seems to me anyone reading this can agree that something is indeed coming down the pike. If anyone knows for certain what that “something” is, their voice is lost in a shouting crowd. My own analysis suggests that something is coming sooner than later. Before we know it those words ”tomorrow has been canceled.” will ring true. Whatever you think you need to do before the SHTF, it may be wise to get it done.
Questions, comments and snide remarks can be left below or sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
We have much to be thankful for. For family, for our birthright given to us by better men than we, and the innumerable ways the Almighty has blessed us. I want to thank all of you for reading and being the best audience a man could ask for, particularly those who have provided feedback and championed me to your friends, family and everyone else.
Today I bring to you the writings of a wiser man, with prescient words about what would befall his beloved countrymen nearly two hundred and thirty years later. Samuel Bryan is probably one of the most brilliant men you have never heard of and a principal anti-Federalist. If you read nothing else, read this today. Emphasis in bold is my own. Enjoy.
October 5, 1787
To the Freemen of Pennsylvania.
Friends, Countrymen and Fellow Citizens,
Permit one of yourselves to put you in mind of certain liberties and privileges secured to you by the constitution ofthis commonwealth, and to beg your serious attention to his uninterested opinion upon the plan of federal government submitted to your consideration, before you surrender these great and valuable privileges up forever. Your present frame of government, secures to you a right to hold yourselves, houses, papers and possessions free from search and seizure, and therefore warrants granted without oaths or affirmations first made, affording sufficient foundation for them, whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded or required to search your houses or seize your persons or property, not particularly described in such warrant, shall not be granted. Your constitution further provides “that in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the parties have a right to trial by jury, which ought to be held sacred.” It also provides and declares. “that the people have a right ofFREEDOM OF SPEECH, and of WRITING and PUBLISHING their sentiments, therefore THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS OUGHT NOT TO BE RESTRAINED. ” The constitution of Pennsylvania is yet in existence, as yet you have the right to freedom of speech, and of publishing your sentiments. How long those rights will appertain to you, you yourselves are called upon to say, whether your houses shall continue to be your castles; whether your papers, your persons and your property, are to be held sacred and free from general warrants, you are now to determine. Whether the trial by jury is to continue as your birth-right, the freemen of Pennsylvania, nay, of all America, are now called upon to declare.
Without presuming upon my own judgement, I cannot think it an unwarrantable presumption to offer my private opinion, and call upon others for their’s, and if I use my pen with the boldness of a freeman, it is because I know that the liberty of the press yet remains unviolated, and juries yet are judges.
The late convention have submitted to your consideration a plan of a new federal government — The subject is highly interesting to your future welfare — Whether it be calculated to promote the great ends of civil society, viz. the happiness and prosperity of the community; it behoves you well to consider, uninfluenced by the authority of names. Instead of that frenzy of enthusiasm, that has actuated the citizens of Philadelphia, in their approbation of the proposed plan, before it was possible that it could be the result of a rational investigation into its principles; it ought to be dispassionately and deliberately examined, and its own intrinsic merit the only criterion of your patronage. If ever free and unbiased discussion was proper or necessary, it is on such an occasion. — All the blessings of liberty and the dearest privileges of freemen, are now at stake and dependent on your present conduct. Those who are competent to the task of developing the principles of government, ought to be encouraged to come forward, and thereby the better enable the people to make a proper judgment; for the science of government is so abstruse, that few are able to judge for themselves: without such assistance the people are too apt to yield an implicit assent to the opinions of those characters, whose abilities are held in the highest esteem, and to those in whose integrity and patriotism they can confide: not considering that the love of domination is generally in proportion to talents, abilities, and superior acquirements; and that the men of the greatest purity of intention may be made instruments of despotism in the hands of the artful and designing. If it were not for the stability and attachment which time and habit gives to forms of government it would be in the power of the enlightened and aspiring few, if they should combine, at any time to destroy the best establishments, and even make the people the instruments of their own subjugation.
The late revolution having effaced in a great measure all former habits, and the present institutions are so recent, that there exists not that great reluctance to innovation, so remarkable in old communities, and which accords with reason, for the most comprehensive mind cannot foresee the full operation of material changes-on civil polity; it is the genius of the common law to resist innovation.
The wealthy and ambitious, who in every community think they have a right to lord it over their fellow creatures, have availed themselves, very successfully, of this favorable disposition; for the people thus unsettled in their sentiments, have been prepared to accede to any extreme of government; all the distresses and difficulties they experience, proceeding from various causes, have been ascribed to the impotency of the present confederation, and thence they have been led to expect full relief from the adoption of the proposed system of government, and in the other event, immediately ruin and annihilation as a nation. These characters flatter themselves that they have lulled all distrust and jealousy of their new plan, by gaining the concurrence of the two men in whom America has the highest confidence, and now triumphantly exult in the completion of their long meditated schemes of power and aggrandisement. I would be very far from insinuating that the two illustrious personages alluded to, have not the welfare of their country at heart, but that the unsuspecting goodness and zeal of the one, has been imposed on, in a subject of which he must be necessarily inexperienced, from his other arduous engagements; and that the weakness and indecision attendant on old age, has been practiced on in the other.
I am fearful that the principles of government inculcated in Mr. Adams’s treatise, and enforced in the numerous essays and paragraphs in the newspapers, have misled some well designing members of the late Convention. — But it will appear in the sequel, that the construction of the proposed plan of government is infinitely more extravagant.
I have been anxiously expecting that some enlightened patriot would, ere this, have taken up the pen to expose the futility, and counteract the baneful tendency of such principles. Mr. Adams’s sine qua non of a good government is three balancing powers, whose repelling qualities are to produce an equilibrium of interests, and thereby promote the happiness of the whole community. He asserts that the administrators of every government, will ever be actuated by views of private interest and ambition, to the prejudice of the public good; that therefore the only effectual method to secure the rights of the people and promote their welfare, is to create an opposition of interests between the members of two distinct bodies, in the exercise of the powers of government, and balanced by those of a third. This hypothesis supposes human wisdom competent to the task of instituting three co-equal orders in government, and a corresponding weight in the community to enable them respectively to exercise their several parts, and whose views and interests should be so distinct as to prevent a coalition of any two of them for the destruction of the third. Mr. Adams, although he has traced the constitution of every form of government that ever existed, as far as history affords materials, has not been able to adduce a single instance of such a government; he indeed says that the British constitution is such in theory, but this is rather a confirmation that his principles are chimerical and not to be reduced to practice. If such an organization of power were practicable, how long would it continue? not a day — for there is so great a disparity in the talents, wisdom and industry of mankind, that the scale would presently preponderate to one or the other body, and with every accession of power the means of further increase would be greatly extended. The state of society in England is much more favorable to such a scheme of government than that of America. There they have a powerful hereditary nobility, and real distinctions of rank and interests; but even there, for want of that perfect equallity of power and distinction of interests, in the three orders of government, they exist but in name; the only operative and efficient check, upon the conduct of administration, is the sense of the people at large.
Suppose a government could be formed and supported on such principles, would it answer the great purposes of civil society; if the administrators of every government are actuated by views of private interest and ambition, how is the welfare and happiness of the community to be the result of such jarring adverse interests?
Therefore, as different orders in government will not produce the good of the whole, we must recur to other principles. I believe it will be found that the form of government, which holds those entrusted with power, in the greatest responsibility to their constituents, the best calculated for freemen. A republican, or free government, can only exist where the body of the people are virtuous, and where property is pretty equally divided; in such a government the people are the sovereign and their sense or opinion is the criterion of every public measure; for when this ceases to be the case, the nature of the government is changed, and an aristocracy, monarchy or despotism will rise on its ruin. The highest responsibility is to be attained, in a simple structure of government, for the great body of the people never steadily attend to the operations of government, and for want of due information are liable to be imposed on — If you complicate the plan by various orders, the people will be perplexed and divided in their sentiments about the source of abuses or misconduct, some will impute it to the senate, others to the house of representatives, and so on, that the interposition of the people may be rendered imperfect or perhaps wholly abortive. But if, imitating the constitution of Pennsylvania, you vest all the legislative power in one body of men (separating the executive and judicial) elected for a short period, and necessarily excluded by rotation from permanency, and guarded from precipitancy and surprise by delays imposed on its proceedings, you will create the most perfect responsibility for then, whenever the people feel a grievance they cannot mistake the authors, and will apply the remedy with certainty and effect, discarding them at the next election. This tie of responsibility will obviate all the dangers apprehended from a single legislature, and will the best secure the rights of the people.
Having premised this much, I shall now proceed to the examination of the proposed plan of government, and I trust, shall make it appear to the meanest capacity, that it has none of the essential requisites of a free government; that it is neither founded on those balancing restraining powers, recommended by Mr. Adams and attempted in the British constitution, or possessed of that responsibility to its constituents, which, in my opinion, is the only effectual security for the liberties and happiness of the people; but on the contrary, that it is a most daring attempt to establish a despotic aristocracy among freemen, that the world has ever witnessed.
I shall previously consider the extent of the powers intended to be vested in Congress, before I examine the construction of the general government.
It will not be controverted that the legislative is the highest delegated power in government, and that all others are subordinate to it. The celebrated Montesquieu establishes it as a maxim, that legislation necessarily follows the power of taxation. By sect. 8, of the first article of the proposed plan of government, “the Congress are to have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States, but all duties, imposts and excises, shall be uniform throughout the United States.” Now what can be more comprehensive than these words; not content by other sections of this plan, to grant all the great executive powers of a confederation, and a STANDING ARMY IN TIME OF PEACE, that grand engine of oppression, and moreover the absolute control over the commerce of the United States and all external objects of revenue, such as unlimited imposts upon imports, etc. — they are to be vested with every species of internal taxation; — whatever taxes, duties and excises that they may deem requisite for the general welfare, may be imposed on the citizens of these states, levied by the officers of Congress, distributed through every district in America; and the collection would be enforced by the standing army, however grievous or improper they may be. The Congress may construe every purpose for which the state legislatures now lay taxes, to be for the general welfare, and thereby seize upon every object of revenue.
The judicial power by 1st sect. of article 3 “shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made or which shall be made under their authority; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; to all cases of admirality and maritime jurisdiction, to controversies to which the United States shall be a party, to controversies between two or more states, between a state and citizens of another state, between citizens of different states, between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects.”
The judicial power to be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such Inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
The objects of jurisdiction recited above, are so numerous, and the shades of distinction between civil causes are oftentimes so slight, that it is more than probable that the state judicatories would be wholly superceded; for in contests about jurisdiction, the federal court, as the most powerful, would ever prevail. Every person acquainted with The history of the courts in England, knows by what ingenious sophisms they have, at different periods, extended the sphere of Their jurisdiction over objects out of the line of their institution, and contrary to their very nature; courts of a criminal jurisdiction obtaining cognizance in civil causes.
To put the omnipotency of Congress over the state government and judicatories out of all doubt, the 6th article ordains that “this constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be made under the authority of the United States, shall be thesupreme law of the land,and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”
By these sections the all-prevailing power of taxation, and such extensive legislative and judicial powers are vested in the general government, as must in their operation, necessarily absorb the state legislatures and judicatories; and that such was in the contemplation of the framers of it, will appear from the provision made for such event, in another part of it; (but that, fearful of alarming the people by so great an innovation, they have suffered the forms of the separate governments to remain, as a blind.) By sect. 4th of the 1st article, “the times, places and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time, by law, make or alter such regulations, except as to the place of chusing senators.” The plain construction of which is, that when the state legislatures drop out of sight, from the necessary operation this government, then Congress are to provide for the election and appointment of representatives and senators.
If the foregoing be a just comment — if the United States are to be melted down into one empire, it becomes you to consider, whether such a government, however constructed, would be eligible in so extended a territory; and whether it would be practicable, consistent with freedom? It is the opinion of the greatest writers, that a very extensive country cannot be governed on democratical principles, on any other plan, than a confederation of a number of small republics, possessing all the powers of internal government, but united in the management of their foreign and general concerns.
It would not be difficult to prove, that any thing short of despotism, could not bind so great a country under one government; and that whatever plan you might, at the first setting out, establish, it would issue in a despotism.
If one general government could be instituted and maintained on principles of freedom, it would not be so competent to attend to the various local concerns and wants, of every particular district, as well as the peculiar governments, who are nearer the scene, and possessed of superior means of information, besides, if the business of the wholeunion is to be managed by one government, there would not be time. Do we not already see, that the inhabitants in a number of larger states, who are remote from the seat of government, are loudly complaining of the inconveniencies and disadvantages they are subjected to on this account, and that, to enjoy the comforts of local government, they are separating into smaller divisions.
Having taken a review of the powers, I shall now examine the construction of the proposed general government.
Art. 1. Sect. 1. “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives.” By another section? the president (the principal executive officer) has a conditional control over their proceedings.
Sect. 2. “The house of representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year, by the people of the several states. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000 inhabitants.”
The senate, the other constituent branch of the legislature, is formed by the legislature of each state appointing two senators, for the term of six years.
The executive power by Art. 2, Sect. 1. is to be vested in a president of the United States of America, elected for four years: Sect. 2. gives him “power, by and with the consent of the senate to make treaties, provided two thirds of the senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law,” etc. And by another section he has the absolute power of granting reprieves and pardons for treason and all other high crimes and misdemeanors, except in case of impeachment.
The foregoing are the outlines of the plan.
Thus we see, the house of representatives, are on the part of the people to balance the senate, who I suppose will be composed of the better sort, the well born, etc. The number of the representatives (being only one for every 30,000 inhabitants) appears to be too few, either to communicate the requisite information, of the wants, local circumstances and sentiments of so extensive an empire, or to prevent corruption and undue influence, in the exercise of such great powers; the term for which they are to be chosen, too long to preserve a due dependence and accountability to their constituents; and the mode and places of their election not sufficiently ascertained, for as Congress have the control over both, they may govern the choice, by ordering the representatives of a whole state, to be elected in one place, and that too may be the most inconvenient.
The senate, the great efficient body in this plan of government, is constituted on the most unequal principles. The smallest state in the union has equal weight with the great states of Virginia Massachusetts, or Pennsylvania — The Senate, besides its legislative functions, has a very considerable share in the Executive; none of the principal appointments to office can be made without its advice and consent. The term and mode of its appointment, will lead to permanency; the members are chosen for six years, the mode is under the control of Congress, and as there is no exclusion by rotation, they may be continued for life, which, from their extensive means of influence, would follow of course. The President, who would be a mere pageant of state, unless he coincides with the views of the Senate, would either become the head of the aristocratic junto in that body, or its minion, besides, their influence being the most predominant, could the best secure his re-election to office. And from his power of granting pardons, he might skreen from punishment the most treasonable attempts on liberties of the people, when instigated by the Senate.
From this investigation into the organization of this government, it appears that it is devoid of all responsibility or accountability to the great body of the people, and that so far from being a regular balanced government, it would be in practice a permanent ARISTOCRACY.
The framers of it, actuated by the true spirit of such a govermment, which ever abominates and suppresses all free enquiry and discussion, have made no provision for the liberty of the press that grand palladium of freedom, and scourge of tyrants, but observed a total silence on that head. It is the opinion of some great writers, that if the liberty of the press, by an institution of religion, or otherwise, could be rendered sacred, even in Turkey, that despotism would fly before it. And it is worthy of remark, that there is no declaration of personal rights, premised in most free constitutions; and that trial by jury in civil cases is taken away; for what other construction can be put on the following, viz. Article m. Sect. 2d. “In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a State shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases above mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact?” It would be a novelty in jurisprudence, as well as evidently improper to allow an appeal from the verdict of a jury, on the matter of fact; therefore, it implies and allows of a dismission of the jury in civil cases, and especially when it is considered, that jury trial in criminal cases is expresly stipulated for, but not in civil cases.
But our situation is represented to be so critically dreadful that, however reprehensible and exceptionable the proposed plan of government may be, there is no alternative, between the adoption of it and absolute ruin. — My fellow citizens, things are not at that crisis, it is the argument of tyrants; the present distracted state of Europe secures us from injury on that quarter, and as to domestic dissensions, we have not so much to fear from them, as to precipitate us into this form of government, without it is a safe and a proper one. For remember, of all possible evils that of despotism is the worst and the most to be dreaded.
Besides, it cannot be supposed, that the first essay on so difficult a subject, is so well digested, as it ought to be, — if toe proposed plan, after a mature deliberation, should meet the approbation of the respective States, the matter will end, but if it should be found to be fraught with dangers and inconveniencies, a future general Convention being in possession of the objections, will be the better enabled to plan a suitable government.
Who’s here so base, that would a bondsman be?
If any, speak; for him have I offended.
Who’s here so vile, that will not love his country?
If any, speak; for him have I offended.
[Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2 ]
To love an addict is to run out of tears. -Sandy Swenson
I’ve seen addicts, am related to addicts and well aware of the devastation and heartbreak that comes with their behavior. In the coming weeks, the nation will be subject to much the same treatment as the husband, wife, sibling or parent of an addict. I look at the unrest and just sheer insanity of the statements made by those disappointed by the election results and it bears an increasing resemblance to the kind of behavior both addicts and codependents exhibit.
The pundit class and millennials blocking interstates are flip sides of the same coin. Codependence is the need to control others for their own good to the detriment of everyone involved, and is worth taking a look at in the DSM-5. Those in the halls of power are absolutely codependent or simply bad actors. We’ve seen calls from several groups and prominent members of the pundit class to refuse to respect the electoral college. The original argument was that Trump failed to win the popular vote. ‘You really didn’t meant to elect Trump, we are your betters and you should trust us. Democracy!’ Never mind the fact that a) we aren’t a democracy, and b) nothing says democracy like rioting and usurping the rule of law. Wait, that is democracy. This is classic codependancy, it’s for your own good, even if it kills you. An apt analogy is the crazy cat lady. She feels bad for the cats in the rescue shelter. She continues to adopt more and more cats despite the health risks for her and the cats. A rational person would not adopt cats only to kill them in squalor if they cared about the cats. It’s not about the cats, it’s about the cat lady. That satisfaction of she feels dragging another one out of the shelter overrides any and all evidence that she is doing more harm than good. Tell me that is not the current state of progressivism in America. The real cherry on top is that it is equally the hue and cry of the ‘conservative’ movement. I’d be encouraged if the calls for secession were met with equinamity on the right, but in true Lincolnian form they are committed to killing a goodly portion of the population if need be to keep a few stars on the flag. There’s nothing like an idea so good you have to threaten people with death for them to agree.
Snowflakes. The millennials are wholly different in their perception of politics. While at least the pundits and grifters of the political elite are somewhat Machiavellian in their machinations, or like Pelosi are obsessed with ‘helping’ us despite ourselves, the millennials had me stumped for the longest time. So far, it’s been a roller coaster ride of nonexistent logic, confusing and often contradictory ideology and an absolute plethora of made-up words. Everyone has a guiding principle, something around which the majority of their decisions revolve, so it was puzzling to me to find it so difficult to pin down. I think the millennials are the addict generation. The victim mentality pushed by the statists for so long is now bearing fruit, and it’s rotting on the vine. The radical professors of twenty years ago are now tasting the bitter cup of a generation that has moved well beyond any ability to culturally coexist or control themselves. One of the biggest things I learned about addicts at an early age is their preternatural ability to prey on normal human emotions like sympathy. I witnessed almost sociopathic behavior of people more than willing to cash in any meaningful relationship, tell any lie and steal anything to obtain what they wanted. It was Clausewitz’s Total War on an emotional level. Normal people are shocked how someone can be screaming for something one day and totally against the exact same thing the next day. A rational person cannot explain how an individual can chant ‘Love Trumps Hate’ while burning things in the street or beating someone half to death for their political views. An addict is more than capable of that about face without a second thought.
What could hundreds of thousands of people of every race, color and creed be addicted to? Victimhood. We have grown up understanding that being a victim in the statist sense of the word means you are not responsible for any and all actions you do. Commit a crime? It’s poverty, education, systematic racism. Office assistant doesn’t make as much as an underwater welder? Gender wage gap. Crap on cop cars? Wall St. made me do it. Beat someone half to death? They were microagressing me with their thoughts. Financed $100,000 in underwater basketweaving? Capitalism’s fault I don’t make $50/hr at Hot Topic. It’s an admittedly alluring concept, a life of consequence-free living. It’s not real, but don’t tell poor Bernie that. What happens when you aren’t a victim, however? The obvious answer is to invent a debilitating something, wave your affliction around and now you’re in business. We used to admire people for excelling in a field or a discipline. The millennials have taken that same approach to victimhood and what we watched in Portland was the Victimhood Olympics.
The entire sham becomes much more logical when looked through the prism of addiction. Rather than answer the embarrassing question of why you thought underwater basketweaving was worth sinking the equity of a small house into, claim you are quadgendered and can’t get a job because sprinkles are a patriarchal construct to keep non-binary peoples down. Our mistake has been focusing on defending sprinkles and taking the argument at face value. By all standards, there’s a very select few of the millennials that are true victims. The kids stabbing themselves in their haste to put safety pins on aren’t being thrown off buildings because they are gay. I guarantee few, if any of them know what it’s like to truly go hungry. The kids in Aleppo (that’s in Syria for all you Libertarians) are victims. The Afghanis hopping around on one leg thanks to Uncle Sam are victims. The Haitians drinking raw sewage thanks to the Clinton Foundation and the UN were, and still are, victims. The purple haired screaming he/she/it thing losing their mind on the road because they didn’t get their way in an election is about as close to a victim as I am to a White House bid. The vast majority of us are in the top 10% of the world’s wealthiest people, and a whole lot are more well off than that. Our focus should be on what the Victims Inc. employees are trying to obtain. The nonsense made up to get there is unimportant, but rather, what is the goal? If you look closely, the goal is that of all statists, ‘revolutionaries,’ progressives and whatever other flag they fly. Coercion. Do what I say, give me your stuff. I want no accountability, you may have no voice or contrary opinion, and I am entitled up to and including your very life if I am displeased with you. There is nothing new under the sun, and this is just a reiteration of an age-old problem. Still think Trump is the answer? You just wait until the Millennials make it to power. In the words of Bob Hope, ‘now we’re cooking with gas.’ You own you. No one else. Never forget that.
I am going to be indisposed the week after Thanksgiving and would like to extend an opportunity to anyone who would like to write a post or six for this site. The only real criteria is that a) you keep it at least semi-civil, b) it is written at a post-HS/college level of grammar and composition, and c) it is somewhat connected to politics, history, prepping or related subjects. For example, how to build an herb garden is acceptable, the top ten hardest origami animals to fold is not. Other topics may be acceptable, just send me an email and I’ll make the call. You are free to disagree with me on any topic, so long as there is some semblance of logic being maintained. I will edit for grammar and punctuation, but that is it. The rest of the mean, snarky comments I get will be wholly your fault as the readership eviscerates your thoughts for all to see. I kid, I kid. Less than 5-6k words and more than 1,500, but the floor and ceiling are negotiable depending on content. Contributors will get my undying gratitude and a Cuban (let me know if you prefer Dominican ect.) if they wish…a single not a box, this isn’t the NYT here. Submission is due by the evening of Nov. 27th.
And always, he fought the temptation to choose a clear, safe course, warning ‘That path leads ever down into stagnation.’ -Frank Herbert, Dune
The euphoria for half of America is going strong, even as I write this, and the other half are sitting in stunned silence or screaming with signs. While admittedly pleased watching the emotionally stunted SJWs suddenly make a pivot and decry democratic elections, I am concerned that many in the patriot movement may be drinking the Kool-Aid. I really try to avoid being a contrarian, but I suppose someone has to be the voice crying in the wilderness. The rise of what you can now call the Renegade Right is encouraging, at least still enough people care to vote in self defense of what few rights are still recognized by the Leviathan. While heartened that Trump obviously reads me and refused to play inside the controlled opposition box, the systemic issues are just that.
Short term, everything changed two days ago for rather obvious reasons. Marginalized people, by all accounts that includes blue collar union people in the Midwest, managed to redraw the election map in a way none of the talking heads predicted. A new voting bloc was formed, a new media and its concomitant personalities rose to prominence, and a level of bare-knuckled identitarian rancor not seen in my lifetime became the norm. Memes are the new yard signs and TV ads, and appear to have better results than the dinosaurs on ABC, NBC, CNN and MSNBC. Hillary’s image was destroyed on Twitter, FB and other social media faster than they could censor and ban users. This was legitimized as soon as a presidential candidate discussed a cartoon frog in a campaign speech. The hue and cry of racist, sexist and other pejorative terms reached market saturation and have lost nearly all currency in our language, particularly now that Trump has shown the ability to shrug off the epithets and do better among minorities than the last two and a half decades of Republican candidates, with the exception of 2004. The social divide has increased to an irreconcilable distance and by all accounts looks to be widening. The phrase ‘there will be casualties on both sides…people have to die to make a change in this world.’ was uttered on live TV in response to the election results. I don’t doubt the seriousness of the statement, but I do wonder about the ability of those scared of pronouns being effective at visiting violence upon me. Most importantly, many disgruntled souls have blown off steam and we look to be backing away from social critical mass.
Long term, nothing has changed. In fact, this election may provide the impetus of the millennial crybabies to galvanize into a political bloc and hammer into their thick skulls that a hashtag is not the same as standing in line and voting. The systematic problems have not changed one whit. An uneducated populace incapable of self-government? Check. Federal budget and pensions that are insolvent and based on a mountain of debt to maintain current expenditures? Check. Racial hatred? Check. NSA and DHS Übersurveillance? Check. Same FBI that said ‘we don’t see nuthin’? Check. I could go on, but you get the point. We have the opportunity for a respite and perhaps a smaller size boot on the neck of our economy and populace, but happy days are not here again. Constantine reunited the Roman Empire briefly, and managed to solidify it for a couple decades. Despite a momentary pause, the cultural inertia could not be stopped. Let us contemplate who has the future…the millennials. I’m on the bleeding edge and I’ve been voting for over a decade now. The fact of the matter is that millennials were voting for statism at a rate of almost 2:1 in 2012 and nearly the same this year, despite the baggage and the Wikileaks and four bodies in Benghazi. The non-white voters are even more of a monolithic voting bloc. If you throw in GOP statists like Ryan, Gingrich and the ilk infecting D.C. since Bush Sr., then I shudder to think what the ratio becomes. We will not make the difficult choice and we will self immolate as a result.
I want all of you to realize the fleeting opportunity we have here. Trump did not change the fact that we are ungovernable under our current model of government. People don’t want freedom, and you are greatly mistaken if you think this election was about anything other than jobs and keeping the weakest, and arguable the most corrupt, candidate ever to run out of the White House. Would I that every American had the willingness to endure the economic chaos of a sudden deregulation and the disappearance of subsidies. That political capital will never materialize, and the people threatening to kill themselves over not getting their way in an election will not be the generation to pony up and pay the bill. The solution here is not to roll your eyes, drink the Kool-Aid and go back to the NFL. The solution is not to curl up and cry. We take this opportunity to grow as people, grow the movement and grow our abilities. Develop some long-term goals and create a 6 month, 1 year, 3 year and 5 year plan. Write it down. Make that move, learn that skill and be a better version of you if we wind up facing someone more of a statist and with even less scruples than HRC or the past four presidents four years from now. We saw rain on the horizon and now we might have some more time to work on that ark. If the last year or two hasn’t impressed that upon you, then you have a terminal case of obliviousness.
The statists are not going away, as hard as that is to hear right now. Those of you who heard my praise of Hannibal may not know how the story ended. Hannibal couldn’t win enough battles to win the war, and wound up leaving Italy with Rome intact. Lee had the same problem, Chancellorsville did not win the war, despite how stunning of a victory it was. Half the country was willing to elect a professional grifter at best and a felon at worst. A sizable number of them hate you on a visceral level and see you as the number one problem with the world. A generation of people who have grown up seeing the government as an economic vending machine are seething right now and we are foolish to think Newton’s Third Law is not applicable in politics. We didn’t poke the Leviathan, we kicked it squarely in the nuts and it’s insanity not to expect a more virulent, vile and violent version of statism to take root and begin planning for the future. Use this gift wisely and don’t fall back into complacency. Also, please don’t get too excited about the reality TV star. I’m wishing him the best, but there’s been better men fall victim to the siren’s song of Mordor on the Potomac. I’ll take what I can get, but history demands I trust no one in or around that office. Shrewd is the operative word here, dear reader. Be smart. Be cautious. Be diligent. Be honorable. Be deadly. The statists are making the best of this time. Are you?
I trudged to the voting booth today, partly to vote and partly to watch. The regulars here know I am not particularly thrilled about Donald Trump, but I’m even less thrilled about yet another president that sees my existence as the root of America’s evils. I’m also severely allergic to radiation, so her Brezhnev-esque foreign policy is…decidedly less than ideal. I voted in self-defense and watched the glazed eyes and shuffling of people who seemed to think the US is much like the North Star…unwavering, untouchable and unchangeable. I suspect many here and elsewhere will be disappointed tomorrow morning when the last fetid breath of legitimacy is finally snuffed out of the Beltway. A prima facia case exists on both sides to cry foul, with Comey waffling like the weasel he always was while the various cases of shenanigans in Michigan and PA only stoking the fears of tampering. It’s important to keep in mind we are in the midst of almost a fact-free election and perception is reality…as long as it’s 120 characters or less.
One of the most disheartening things about this election is the team-based way in which we approach life now, on both sides. I’m not sure whatever happened to asking if it was right before rooting for someone on ‘my team.’ Maybe I’m just not with the times. Comey is an excellent example. He made his initial ‘extreme carelessness’ statement and the right hated him, the left worshiped at his feet. The investigation starts up again and now the right is worshipping at his feet and the left hates him. In a previous life I would have done the same thing, provided there was not sufficient evidence to build a case. Man is fallible and people can and do avoid prosecution under even the most fair and just legal systems. Knowing someone did it and proving they did are two very different standards, in a nation of laws and not of men. Today? The graft and corruption within the Beltway by its inhabitants is not longer the stuff of conspiracy theorists and fringe politics. It’s the difference between being cheated on by your spouse and finding out you’re being cheated on. It might not be all out in the open, but enough is that there’s no clawing back any semblance of trust. Comey doesn’t even matter anymore, nobody believes the man. The office has been stripped of his legitimacy, along with a sizable chunk of the federal government.
This spectacle in political excess and moral paucity will end. Whether in spectacular fashion or not. Tomorrow we will get up, go to work and life will continue, or not. You determine what that looks like. You own you. The name of this blog was chosen for that very reason. This political kabuki theater may force choices upon us we do not wish to make, but in the end we always get to pick how we respond. Heinlein was correct when he stated ‘You cannot conquer a free man, the most you can do is kill him.’ The current debacle we are witnessing doesn’t really change anything. It may affect the time and or circumstances, but it doesn’t change the crux of the matter. How much ownership of yourself are you willing to cede. Embrace it and the swan song that the election truly matters becomes much less palatable.
Personal, public and political events have conspired to place rather enormous pressure on my time and psyche. I am tempted to throw my hands in the air, buy a coffee plantation and disappear into the jungle like someone out of a Kipling novel. I don’t anticipate this situation will ameliorate itself in the near future, so we must soldier on. The social stress felt by most of us bleeds over into personal and professional relationships, as we have seen the last year. I encourage you this weekend to let it go for a day or two. I’m off camping, I highly recommend it. Go live, and the kabuki theater will still be there in 24 or 48 hours. Clear your mind and embrace the fact we get x number of days on this bad joke of spinning dirt. How you spend them is important. A life lived well is its own reward and what’s the point of surviving hell and high water if we can’t do that? In that spirit, I hope you enjoy the following as much as I do.
A life, if well lived, is long enough.
Many people failed to grasp the last several posts I wrote and gathered the mistaken conclusion that I have turned into a David French, Ben Shapiro or worse yet, Glenn Beck. The ‘Never Trump’ movement is cowardly, infantile and a naked grasp for relevance and readership by pundits quickly becoming irrelevant. Modern day Sophists descended from on high, telling the deplorables to get back in line with the Red Team statists or, gasp, we will be…deplorable…morally bankrupt…horrid little monsters that will prove Hillary’s statements correct. Whatever. The pundit class has not comprehended the sea change in media and aside from a very few, is only somewhat less extinct than the major media at this point. The new media complex of an innumerable number of blogs, Twitter accounts, and websites like Breitbart and Buzzfeed also suffer a lack of true perspective. Oft times a newly minted journalism major has very little grasp on what life as an adult is really about, and far too few are well-read enough to really proffer any real insight in the first place.
Given the newest chapter in the Anthony Weiner saga, the previously dismal looking chances of a Trump presidency have begun to brighten. I am still of the opinion he will never see the presidency, but the Clinton machine appears unable to shake the scandals as the election draws to a close. Unfortunately, many are under the impression that the Trump Train will ride in like Julius Caesar and vanquish the bureaucracy. In reality, the difference to D.C. between a Hillary or Trump presidency is one of a friendly or unfriendly ‘revenuer’ showing up in Franklin County during the Prohibition. More or less ‘shine may leave, but one man will not change an entire black market built around a single commodity. D.C. is built around one commodity, power. Every single person in the federal government has a vested interest in maintaining or increasing the size of the feeding trough, as do the oft-ignored private sector companies and contractors who have revenue streams relying on government contracts. Obama didn’t see the grants for $1M wasted on koozie research or $2M for jazz playing robots, I guarantee they never came across his desk. That…that is D.C., heroin addicts in charge of the poppy fields. It pains me to hear serious discussions about whether a single man is going to take on 2M+ bureaucrats and destroy the livelihood of several of the richest counties in the world…with a hostile Congress and 40% of the country convinced he’s the antiChrist.
We have heard endless discussion about the anger and frustration of the voters, and Trump being a symptom of the disease. Pray tell, why are we looking to a symptom to fix the disease? Trump is a shot across the bow, but unfortunately the American public has the collective memory of a goldfish. Talk to me when Congress finds the sand to actually make budget cuts, stop the NSA from stalking us, address unfunded liabilities or the myriad of other systemic problems with nearly every social program right now. If you are under the mistaken impression that the least powerful branch of government can somehow reign in the other two without massive abuse and overreach, then you are part of the problem. For every FDR, there has been a Congress to bankroll the programs and a judiciary to put a shroud of legitimacy around it. Look at the makeup and the voting habits of the 73rd Congress and you realize that while FDR was the CEO, Congress was the Board and CFO. Will actual conservatives enjoy a 70% majority in the House and 60% in the Senate? Of course not. What is being asked of him is on the scale of FDR, but even more radical. All of that assuming he threatens and browbeats SCOTUS into submission like Roosevelt. No, Trump will change little inside the White House. I submit he would do more lasting change if he lost and remained a public figurehead than if he won and was coopted into the Leviathan. Simply put, did eight years of Reagan solve anything? Did it reverse the path that FDR charted out for 20th century America? Tell me this will be different with a straight face.
Some of you won’t like this, but it needs to be said. Lose the emotion and look at the situation rationally. The root issue here is the product being sold to us, not management. The product sucks. Our infrastructure sucks, forced pseudo-single payer sucks, the economy sucks, legalized government stalking sucks, Cold War 2.0 sucks and everything these people touch winds up poisoned. The answer isn’t to hope for an Iacocca, the answer is to quit serving me crap and charging me for chocolate. I don’t want a redo, I wan’t a refund. Talk to your neighbors and community that is angry about increasing government overreach, corruption and incompetence. Engage with them and point them in a direction that has long term consequences, not a flash in the pan that will effect no systemic fix. Auto-delegitimization is happening as we speak. Good. Use that frustration people feel to accomplish something real. Reform your own little community or your own neighborhood. Build something that lasts more than a presidential election and has a whole lot more benefit to your daily life than someone thousands of miles away who won’t ever interact with you. I don’t want to want to reform the latchkey tyranny we have created, I want to make it irrelevant. The best way for me to do that is build a local community. Turn the angst to something productive and start building. Be there for your neighbors, do more and be better than what you seek to replace. The most revolutionary thing you can do today is stop grumbling and start grinding. The long game requires consistent, small steps in the right direction. Part of that means making friends and not being the antisocial weirdo at the end of the street. Go forth and make the Beltway irrelevant.
Edit: In likely a vain attempt to prevent commentators from derailing this off to a direction that is pointless, this is not about whether you should vote for Trump or not. I’m not saying he would be a worse bureaucrat than Clinton or not to go out and vote. This is about the electorate and not the candidates.