Thursday, October 20, 2016

If We Stand Together, No One Can Stop Us

The real problem is that we are all so divided. Nobody dares stand up to our oppressors, because we cannot seem to agree that it would be a good thing to do. If we ever did act as one, then there would be no limit to what we could accomplish. That's why it is very important to keep talking to our neighbors, even when we belong to opposing political camps.

There is a meme going around: "I hope we can still be friends after the election, even if we are in different internment camps." And yes, there are people who see an internment camp in their future.

What would it take to fight the relentless march of government over our lives? The courage to do what you feel is right and the conviction that all your neighbors will do the same.

Excerpt from Our Lady of Kaifeng: Courtyard of the Happy Way

What would it take for all of us to act as one against the guards? Do they have to put us in a camp before that can happen?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sometimes the Good Wins Despite Being Good -- Or Maybe Because of It

It is becoming amply clear that Donald Trump cannot win. He cannot win because his backers are supposed to uphold the moral high ground, and even though many of them are hypocrites, he hasn't given them much choice but to reject his obvious moral lapses. But there are those who support him in the evangelical camp who think that the Bible has precedents for immoral men to be God's anointed. This is all so Vacuum County!

Read Vacuum County to see how this plays out!
For those favoring a purely opportunistic voting strategy, the tables have turned. If you were voting for Trump just to beat Hillary, voting for Trump can no longer achieve that goal. Under the principle of the wasted vote, a vote for Trump is no longer anything but waste, Which means that voting for Gary Johnson just might be less wasteful, given that his backers include those who just want to block Hillary but also a large and incorruptible base that is voting Libertarian. Suddenly the pragmatic choice is not the lesser of two evils, but actually something good. Who would have guessed it?

In a similar twist of fate, the international literati have chosen a poet whose poetry actually scans, despite the fact that it scans -- or is it because of it?

Ever since WWII, people in power have been trying to undermine meaningful literature and poetry that scans.  They've done such a great job of it, that many college professors and professional poets don't know anything about meter in poetry, anymore. And even naive readers have learned to object to the poetry of Kipling as doggerel on the grounds that it is too "sing-songy". Many don't even know that the effect they deride is meter, and that it sounds song-like for very technical reasons, having to do with the interface between music and lyrics,

The powers that be are now so tired of the poetry that is not "music" that they have chosen a musician's lyrics for the Nobel Prize of literature. Is it despite the fact that it scans that Bob Dylan's poetry was acknowledged by the poetry haters -- or because of it?

Sometimes the good is chosen, not despite the fact it is good, but because of it, and the only thing that makes that seem like such a radical choice is the people making it, with their long history of choosing evil over good.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

How Do You Know If You've Won?

Winning does not mean anything unless you are better off after victory than you were before. If you think you have won an argument, but the other side does not change its mind, then chances are you didn't actually win. You may be more brilliant, you may have better strategy and tactics, you may have beaten the enemy to a bloody pulp and gotten them to surrender in the last battle of the war. But if in the end you pay tribute to them, instead of their paying tribute to you, then you have not won. Hannibal beat Rome in every battle, and yet he did not win. Sometimes our military leaders can hand us victories on silver platters that our civil leaders and diplomats never take advantage of.

We beat the British in the Battle of New Orleans. But we did not win the war, since we had to pay the British for the Louisiana Purchase on that note they got from France, and they did not have to pay us to repair the damage they had done during the Sack of Hampton and the burning of Washington.

The British Burning Washington

Why did it turn out that way? Could there have been a different outcome? And is the shoddy treatment of Jean Laffite by the Madison administration related to this?

 A meeting between Aaron Burr and James Madison toward the end of Theodosia and the Pirates: The Battle Against Britain suggests an answer.

An Excerpt from Theodosia and the Pirates: The Battle Against Britain

Neither Madison nor Jefferson were military men. Neither had served in any of the battles of the American Revolution. But while Jefferson had succeeded in avoiding war during his administration, Madison declared war.

An Excerpt from Theodosia and the Pirates: The Battle Against Britain
That the line between privateers and pirates had been so blurred by the end of the War of 1812 is due to the Neutrality Act.

An Excerpt from Theodosia and the Pirates: The Battle Against Britain
The Embargo Act had been an attempt to avoid war by outlawing international commerce. Anybody who thinks Jefferson was the original libertarian must not have heard of the Embargo Act.

An Excerpt from Theodosia and the Pirates: The Battle Against Britain

Not paying taxes on goods that you sell to the American people is a service to the American people against their government. But the wool is still being pulled over the eyes of most people on this point.

An Excerpt from Theodosia and the Pirates: The Battle Against Britain
Why couldn't we send privateers to collect restitution from our enemies, instead of taxing citizens to pay for the military?

An Excerpt from Theodosia and the Pirates: The Battle Against Britain
A war is not won until the enemy pays for all the damage it has caused. Payment can come in the form or gold or of land. But if not paid for, the damage is absorbed by the people  -- and that is not a victory.

An Excerpt from Theodosia and the Pirates: The Battle Against Britain

No war should ever be fought at the expense of the people! Every war should be bankrolled by the enemy. That's why letters of marque are provided for in the Constitution. When was the last time we took advantage of that provision?

An Excerpt from Theodosia and the Pirates: The Battle Against Britain
The Constitution has not been just lately infringed upon. The very Founders were already in the process of unraveling its fabric as soon as they each came into office. You don't have to be an anarchist to want to reform this situation. We can restore the Constitution only by acknowledging how early on it was undermined by politicians in office -- even those who drafted it themselves.