Archive for the ‘ Politics ’ Category

In The Hands of Fearful Men

Our country is now led by men who fear Death as they fear Poverty – a sinking, gut terror; this is not a child’s fear of the haunted house, nor the sailor’s fear of the unmapped sea. This is the guilty man standing before the jury. This is the frightened doe with the wolf snapping at her heels. This is the dread of the unavoidable.

Since the start of the last century, the creeping ideal named Communism has split the world asunder, often by splitting their skulls first. All of their electioneering, all of their politiking, all of their rabble-rousing done in an abject hatred of wealth; with grand words from golden tongues they denounced, detested, decimated the rich.

Yet beneath this righteous facade was a deep-seeded anxiety, a trembling notion that Poverty was the worse that the world could offer – that if some man smoked cigars while another smoked Salems, Fate was busy laughing. That if in some parlor in some city, a businesswoman drank bourbon while another drank Bud, God himself was waiting to exact Justice.

Envy is a sly fox – like oil sitting atop water it slips above Justice as if it belongs, as if it is but another layer to virtue. But where Envy and Justice mix, there lies Vengeance. And oh! how the man afraid of Poverty will bring his Vengeance down upon his fellow man – how the ringleaders of the masses will destroy the very foundations of society to put off for but a moment longer the day when he will look around him and see ashes, the hour that he will rise from his chair and notice nothing of worth beneath his dais. And how inevitable that day is.

Now, at the turn of a new century, we are once again in the hands of fearful men – men scared of Death to the point that they will sacrifice Life for a fleeting chance at Health. Their Envy now pollutes their Justice, blackening it like boiling tar in a dying sea, and their Fear overwhelms every sense of Right they once had.

For Death is a determined collector, and all men know this. To enslave ourselves to running from it is no better than to lie down and wait for its icy touch.

Still, now they slap on the healthy their shackles of Fear and Envy. They will drive us before them while shouting “For Justice! For Health! For the Children!” But one by one men will fall to their empty philosophy, their dark future that averts its eyes from the inevitable and hides amidst platitudes and purposeless gesture of goodwill. For where Liberty is attacked, Life is the first casualty.

Yet there are we who do not fear Death, as we do not fear Poverty. We no more Envy the rich than we Covet the healthy. For the Lord has beaten Death just as He dwelled in Poverty, and so we are in Awe of Him, and we tremble before Him, and not the childish worries of these cravenly men.

May we fear God as we do not fear Death.


The Flight of Meaning

There is an empty idea traipsing about in the political world today that seems to be accepted everywhere with nods of heads and polite claps, yet it seems to be like a hot air balloon, floating further and further from reality with every blast from the newspaper-fed furnace. On Christmas Eve it culminated with a ‘gift’ from our president, which is much like a robber stealing your nice winter coat and handing you back the hood ‘in the spirit of Christ.’ I feel less grateful, and more annoyed that the Spirit doesn’t get a say in the matter.

This idea began, as most ideas do, firmly planted on the ground in the days when ideas were allowed to do such a thing. Our forefathers called them ‘rights,’ and kept them squarely lined up and penned in, shoo-ing off unnecessary additions and otherwise being quite miserly and judicious in their use of the word. Like every child, we grew up and decided to spite our fathers, and now we have rights spilling from our noses and ears, and there may very will be more ‘rights’ than ‘wants’ left.

It is quite curious that, in the golden age of liberalism and revolution, the Rights of Man were grounded in ‘God and nature’. How ‘inalienable’ and ‘inherent’ they were, the basis of freedom and justice, spread out upon our hearts and planted in our minds, so that we knew who was slave and who was free. Ah, how that knowledge has gone, and now the Free-man is slave to the State, and the State slaves for the politician. For now, the word ‘right’ has spread its wings and taken flight from its meaning!

In a newspaper just the other day, I stumbled upon this: ‘Despite all the compromises, it has finally been possible to ensure something so fundamental, as the right of every American not to be financially shipwrecked when their health fails them.’ Here we see the flight of meaning – nonsense on the back of an eagle, a ‘tongue dropping Manna.’

Let us propose, for fancy’s sake, that it is a Right to be granted health care without means of payment. Now, let us suppose that this doctor wished to vacation – perhaps a week to rest his wearied body from providing all the patches and band-aids his poor hands could wrap up. But a crisis of sorts occurs, perhaps a mass golfing-accident, or an epidemic of broken noses, and the hospital is short a doctor. How far does this ‘right’ go? Is the doctor recalled from his vacation for the good of the state? If none of these men can pay, does he work for free? What if, in a strange occurrence, all the doctors were to disappear to, say, the Bahamas. What of our ‘right,’ now? Do we ship the sick to the warmer clime to follow them? Or maybe we take the Bahamas by force, so that we once again have a population of doctors ready to work for us?

If it is fundamental for every American to be provided for, who is to do the providing? Why, this doctor of course, and fie on his rights!

For this ‘fundamental right’ does nothing more than trample on the rights of other men. A ‘right’ that requires a service is no more than the imposition of slavery. We do not have the ‘right’ to blueberry pies on Tuesday nights, though I often desire one, and feel it would vastly benefit the humour of the population. We do not have the ‘right’ to whiskey on long days, though I often fume that Templeton cannot provide it, and curse their heartlessness for being short of it. And we do not have the ‘right’ to a doctor to care for us, though I may be sick as a dog and wheeling rapidly towards deaths door.

The Rights of Man are grounded, and once uprooted they wither and die. That God granted man Life does not mean he granted him Health, for to say that is to ignore the very fabric of life. That God granted man Liberty does not mean he granted him Housing, for to say that is to ignore the very world surrounding us. That God granted man the Pursuit of Happiness does not mean he granted him Happiness, for to say that is to ignore our own hearts.

Yet this is what is being spouted and applauded by our politicians and our journalists, absent of sense and absent of support. They pulled an idea out from the ground and let it fly to the air, telling us it is more beautiful brown and brittle than green and glossy. For ‘their thoughts are low; to vice industrious – to nobler deeds timorous and slothful; yet they please the ear’.

On Building Cribs for Men

An idea has been repeated often in the last few years, a thought that is true, but has managed to wind its long tentacles around the hearts of the learneds, and twist their wills for the worse. It is a curious realism in its base form, but has transformed into a sort of horrid pessimism, a black curtain that hides hope behind it, far away from the eyes of those who need it most.

This line of reasoning starts with a rather un-opposable foundation, that adults in our culture act like children, unable to choose what is best for them, and subject to fickle trends, so that in one moment they want a blue house, and the next moment a brown one, or on Monday they wish for soup to be served the rest of the week, and on Wednesday they are clamoring for stew.

Now, such an observation is indeed a grounded reality, the manifestations of which are far too numerable to point out. Suffice to say that, since Greek times, the grand circus that is Direct Democracy has had ample opportunity to flesh out the specifics.

Yet the insidious pessimist has snuck in and grabbed this observation, and decided to stick it in cement, declaring that since men act like children, we must treat them as such; that since these infants will choose to eat sugar instead of greens, we must ban the candy and force the carrot down their throat. The more childish the desires, the harsher we must come down. In a sense, it is a forfeit of democracy in exchange for the desire to coddle man-kind, a wish for mother-hood gone wild. In short, they wish to build cribs for men.

Given that the founding fathers rejected Direct Democracy for this reason, it is curious to me that their solution, Representative Democracy, is now being thrown to the sewers as if it is a hopeless dream. The toddler that is man, being apparently unfit to grow up, is now not even able to find an adult in a crowd of children to look up at. The given solution seems to be either let the government baby-sit us from cradle to grave, or to ban the uneducated from voting, for fear of their making a bad choice. The first of these options already being tried and failing all across Europe, I am seeing that the second is becoming as trendy as the first.

I’m unsure why the educated class seems so sure of their ability to govern well – little in their lives that I have witnessed makes me prone to accept their judgments any more than that of a poor man. As Alexander Hamilton said, ‘Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.’ All of the Ivy League politicians, and their Political Science Degree carrying associates, have done little to create any trust for a successful, benevolent educated aristocracy.

But at root, they have entirely missed the other possible solution for this problem – instead of taking a fact and wrapping it in depression, perhaps it is time to begin unraveling the perpetual infancy that mankind loves to slink into. By this, I mean treating men like men – dismantling the cradles and striking down the curfews, and should they burn their hand on the oven, or stay up too late and miss a test, or, dear me, elect a corrupt politician, instead of taking them by the hand and leading them to bed, force them to grow up or fall down.

It would be simple to write a story about a boy who was treated like an eight year old ‘til he was eighty – a sort of Peter Pan with no choice in the matter, forever forced to spend his life in a perpetual Neverland, only this time, Pan is the boy who couldn’t grow up. Instead of choosing between adult love and perpetual childhood, Wendy is kidnapped before he gets any naughty thoughts in his head, and Hook is the hero, trying to free the Lost Boys from their cradles. Such is the world modern man is shuttling towards – so let us be this new Captain Hook and break the cradles of mankind.

On Politicians Doing What They Do Best…

It has lately become all too apparent that politicians have only one useful skill – getting re-elected. Once they have clawed their way out of local obscurity and grasped onto the golden crown of incumbency, beating off the flies from the dead they abandoned in their wake, the ability to reason is quickly shoved into their pocket so that they can use any and all tools available to them in their quest for re-affirmation – and both past promises and personal conscience are the first casualties on the journey.

Today, we are blessed with the mask not just slipping from their faces, but it quickly being trampled and spit on by those involved, while they simultaneously pretend the mask never existed in the first place.

Arlen Specter, previously a so called Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, has switched from Elephant to Donkey in name, although he has always been an Elephantine Ass in form and spirit. This, unsurprisingly, was preceded by the news that his primary opponent for 2010, Pat Toomey, was dancing on his political career’s corpse, playing with skulls and claiming to own the grave site. ‘Where be his quiddities now?’

In reaction to the news that his career held only a spoonful of life, our honest Senator did the only sensible thing he could do – switched sides. Being far too important of a man to face his current constituents disappointment with his utter failure to listen to their pleas, and being entirely unqualified to live an honest mans life, he instead crossed the aisle into the land of infamy, all the while bleeding lies from his mouth.

‘In the course of the last several months … I have traveled the state and surveyed the sentiments of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania and public opinion polls, observed other public opinion polls and have found that the prospects for winning a Republican primary are bleak.’

Ah. Yes. So instead of returning to the work force you helped destroy, and joining the job market you pushed into the abyss, you instead have decided to sell out the men and women who elected you to do a job that you refused to perform, and vote against the very principles that you were sent to the Capital to defend.

For this is not about the Republican Party moving one way or the other – they have not changed their platform in any significant manner since you took to the spotlight thirty years ago. You were elected with the aid of Republican money, Republican time, Republican name-dropping – yet when have you ever returned the favor by voting on Republican principles?

No, Mr. Specter, the Republican party did not move to the right. In fact, you never moved to the middle, either. Instead, for the last thirty years you have bought and bamboozled your way to victory, and your underhanded dealings have finally come to bite you in your newly-minted Ass. The people who had voted for you have finally seen your scam, and want none of it.

Sadly, I have no doubt that, should the opportunity present itself, nearly every individual in those two houses of depravity would follow suit, and shed their skins, emerging a ‘more moderate’ snake, twice as venomous and half as honest.

It is sad, but I truly never expected such wanton pissing on the voters. But, as Ben Jonson said:

No, Silius, we are no good inginers.
We want their fine arts, and their thriving use
Should make us graced, or favour’d of the times:
We have no shift of faces, no cleft tongues,
No soft and glutinous bodies, that can stick,
Like snails on painted walls; or, on our breasts,
Creep up, to fall from that proud height, to which
We did by slavery, not by service climb.
We are no guilty men, and then no great;
We have no place in court, office In state,
That we can say, we owe unto our crimes:
We burn with no black secrets, which can make
Us dear to the pale authors; or live fear’d
Of their still waking jealousies, to raise
Ourselves a fortune, by subverting theirs.
We stand not in the lines, that do advance
To that so courted point.

Fourth in a Series of Letter to Yours Truly, from Loyalist Janus Figstaffe, circa. 1774

Fourth in a Series of Letters to Yours Truly, from Loyalist Janus Figstaffe, circa. 1774

Dear Sir,

Oh Troubled Youth, with Worry and Ignorance you have shown yourself to be Irrelevant. Our Great Lord has, in these past Days, applied himself to relieve the very Issue you fight against – that of the wanton spending of your Sweat, and endless accruement of Debt. Your Doubt is no longer needed, for He has taken such a Mighty Stand that I, while previously so sympathetic to your Worries, am assur’d by His grand Action that the Root of the Problem has been forever ax’d.

Just Yesterday, our Lord has gather’d togeth’r his Cabinet, and demanded they forthwith seek out and cut down the extra Expenditures that have been left by the previous Administration. And, like a Magic Lantern suddenly shining ‘to a dark Basement, they have uncover’d and remov’d piles of Fat and Excess from all sorts and shapes of Budgets.

As reported in the Colonial Nightly News, the Grand Collection of Motherland Protection will forevermore purchase their Papyrus in large Quantity, thus saving a Pocketful of Coppers. Our Farming Committee will gather in one Tent, instead of the previous Seven, thus saving Three Silver Sterlings every year, although the cost of Movement into the Facilities is Four. Our Regimented Army will no longer have their previously plann’d Meetings, and your Labour will be lightened by the Worth of Three Sheep. And our Universities will now assign a scribe to every Forty Scholars, instead of every Thirty-Eight, saving a light Handful of Pennies over the next Seven Years (See, Child, even I must sacrifice for the Good of the Country!).

Do not tarry in Thought, blathering on about how small of an amount this is compar’d to the Deep Pockets of our Treasury’s Pants. The Grand One has made a Bold and Sure-footed Step Forward, declaring himself against the Great Debt his predecessor left him. Surely you see the Dedication to Frugality embodied in this late Declaration. Yes, He has invested far more in the Preservation of the East India Company, and this saves less money than the Senators use yearly in maintaining their modest Lifestyles, but the intentions behind it are of Pure and Noble Heart.

I hope this News warms your heart, and settles your Mind, even with the concurrent closing of the Boston Harbor until the notoriously wasted Tea is repaid in full. For while Our Majesty is surely saving the State in every Manner possible, the Worth of that which you destroy’d does exceed the amount that is thus projected to be saved. The Motherland needs the money, lest His Majesty not be able to sail by Private Galleon down the River when he has a Demand to travel.

In High Hopes,

Janus Figstaffe

Third in a Series of Letters to Yours Truly, from Loyalist Janus Figstaffe, circa. 1774

Third in a Series of Letters to Yours Truly, from Janus Figstaffe, circa. 1774

Dear Sir,

With much Discomfirt do I attend the news that your Actions have won Respect throughout the Colonies, and that, thru some Strange Muddlement, you are now consider’d Good Patriots. My Hand fumbl’s with the Quill it grasps, as an Angry Spirit stirs within me at the very Thought of such a Mockery of our Great Leader. I hear Rumours that these so called Sons of Liberty are planning a Continental Congress, in Defiance of the Capital, and do toss out Threats of Secession and Independence under some wild Claim of Constitutional Rights. Do not mingle with such Agitators, Child, for the Legislation here is already in talks of stamping out the Traitors in your Midst, so that they do not lose their Jobs to some Wild Antics. Know – that there is nothing a Senator will not do or say to keep his Position.

I am astounded to hear you claim that, in fact, this Administration’s Current Policies had actually lower’d the price of the Tea you dump’d, yet still you protested out of a Sense of Principle. Did He not promise Cheaper or Equally Priced Tea for all but five-in-a-hundred of you, and indeed fulfill this Promise? So why should the Presence of a Tax cause Irritation in your Souls, when that Duty goes to such a Good Cause as Creating or Saving jobs. No, you were not given Consultation on its Existence, and no, you have no Principl’d Man to defend you on the Floor of the House, but why should this be of Concern when you are given Tea for so Cheap. Does this not Purchase your Happiness?

You seem to forget that Principles are without Meaning in Politicks, and that to achieve Greatness, one must be Bipartisan and Co-operate, always listening to He Who Leads, whose history is filled with great Moments of Bringing Together Enemies. And while I cannot give any Examples, I can show you many Clippings from Articles that repeat, and therefore prove, his Reputations Truth. So concede in your Desires, and soften your Harden’d Heart, so that together we may make Lukewarm and Drinkable Water out of your Boiling Rage.

Abandon your Natural Rights, foolish boy, they are but a Holy Grail, and simply cannot keep your Safety as well as He can. You talk and talk that the Parliament does not rule you, but that you rule the Parliament, such a laughable Notion. Do you truly believe that, as a Hypothesis, your small-town Mayor S—h P—-n, with a Quaint Accent and Small-Framed Glasses, and a Barbarous Proclivity for Hunting and Skinning Mooses, could possibly know anything of Running Nations? Preposterous! The Common Man is good only for following Law, he knows not what is best for himself, and certainly not for others. Only those of us who run in High Circles are qualified to make such Decisions. Brainless Colonists should keep their Mouths unopened, and simply follow the Mandates of the Politickals.

Never forget that our Leader is a Peacemaker, and that unless you bring him to Anger, or happen to own Riches that he knows to be better used in Other Hands, he will do all he can to provide for you. But rise his Wrath, and he will pen such a Strongly Worded Letter as to Lambast you in front of all, fully revealing your Inequities and Trivialities.

Last, but not the Least, know that Our Leader gives you Life, Liberty, and Property, and any Excess of these must be return’d. For many cannot help their Follies and Failures, being but Natural Beasts, and should they be unable to retain and save as much as you, the Government will endlessly provide for their Vice thru your Virtue, so that none will be Inconvenienc’d. For if they cannot be made Comfortable in their Poverty, why should you be Comfortable in your Riches?

Hoping You Reform,

Janus Figstaffe

Second in a Series of Letters to Yours Truly, from Janus Figstaffe, circa. 1774

Second in a Series of Letters to Yours Truly, From Loyalist Janus Figstaffe, circa. 1774

Dear Sir,

It is Disagreeable for you to respond to your Elder with Wit and general Mouthiness; and while I am pleased that you are asking Questions of so deep a Nature, nonetheless, I beg for you to try and refrain from Satyre and Irony, for such Tools should only be used against Enemies of the State. For proper Comedic Relief, see a certain J—-n S–w–t, who applied such a cutting tongue against the Happenings in Boston in his Daily Newspaper that I am sure the Publik will never take a serious look towards your Movement in the Near Future. Remember, Child, that only those loyal to Him have a develop’d Sense of Humour, as we are keenly aware of what is Truly Funny, and what is only Offensive. Perhaps I will speak more on such a topic in the Future, but beware, for now, of any jokes that target our Majesty – such jokes show only Bigotry and Ignorance.

To Answer your Retort, while I am quite aware that you and your Cohorts may never have personally met Mr. A—-s, and that he was, as you say, attempting to prevent you from going to the Docks, he has, in Publik, defended your Actions that Night with Spirit and Forcefulness. Can you not see this Overwhelming Proof that hangs on his neck like an Amulet of Guilt? If he were not the Ringleader of this Mob, he most assuredly would have violently denounc’d and thumb’d his Rich Nose at your actions, as those of us who were not involv’d have done. Therefore, with no Doubt, I convey to you that Mr. A—-s was the instigator, both Financially and Philosophically, regardless of your Lack of Contact with such a fellow. Additionally, Colonial Nightly Newspaper has already printed that he is Responsible, and as they are, in all Academic Views, quite Fair, I will pocket no other Arguments on this Matter.

As to the Deeper Issue, you seem to be quite Ignorant of the Causes of the Taxes you so abhor. The East India Company has, for many Years, employ’d large Quantities of Seamen, Planters, Pickers, and Sellers. When our Good Government, exhausted from War, levied a Tax on Tea, us in Academia expected nothing but the Happy Cooperation of the Citizens in maintaining these Pitiful Workers, who are Patriotic to the Core. Yet, due to the Scribblings and Yelpings of those like Th–m–s P—-e and B—j—-n F–l—n, Extremists and Haters who flood the Streets with their Loud and Angry Voices, and who, additionally, are quite Obese (never, dear boy, trust a Man who cannot see his Feet – unless he agrees in all things with our Leader), the Minds of the Commoners were poison’d and corrupted. They refus’d to purchase the Tea provided to them by their Protectors in the State, and resorted to Smuggling and Piracy to avoid but a One Quarter of Price Tax! Consequently, the East India Company is now in Grave Danger of financial Collapse!

Do you not understand that this great British Institute is Too Grandiose, Too Ostentatious, and Too Supportive of Our Government to Dissolve? What will happen to the Employees who bustle to and fro, across the World, to make the Tea you suddenly have no Desire to drink? Should they lose their Jobs so that you may purchase cheap, quality Japanese Tea, or, say it not, Korean Tea? Our Great Leader sees the Folly in this, and recognizes the Stupidity of the Everyday Man, and through Legislative Action, will save our Friends at the East India Company with this Tax! Halter your silly desire for Low Prices, and take your need for Competitive Markets by the Reign, and set them out to pasture. The One who Protects Us knows which Companies will do us better, and will, if need be, make Legislation to secure their Well-Being. Remember, that while you may desire Quality, the One knows that some Companies simply need Your Money more than you do.

For this Tax is to help those who are Less Fortunate than us, and so, while I do not drink Tea and so do not contribute to this Cause myself, to Belittle the Tax is to Belittle the Poor and Impoverish’d, who are too Weak and Sickly and Ignorant to do anything on their own. As I know you are quite the Tea Drinker, I tell you that it is your Duty as a Vertuous Citizen, and Publick Figure, to drink even more Tea and pay even more Tax, so that the East India Company may continue to Employ your Countrymen.

Charity is called on by God, so our Leader will force it through the Government, on penalty of Arrest. Distance yourself from this Tea Party, lest those who write the Newspapers and Gazettes accuse you of Hating the Poor, or of Owning Too Much. These charges are devastating against Men such as yourself, for unless you are part of the Government Itself, you have no Right to own more than your Neighbor. Riches are for Senators and Academics, and since you do not have the Proper Views to be either, pursue not your Revolutionary Ideals.

Awaiting Your Reply,

Janus Figstaffe