Past Their Sell By Date


Sarah Hoyt has a thoughtful piece over at PJ Media explaining why she expects the current playacting at revolution by the Left to fail. She argues the false premises of the marxist philosophical worldview of the Left has so distorted their perceptions of Reality that they can’t understand why their efforts to bring about Utopia keep failing. In frustration the Left is throwing a tantrum because things aren’t “fair.”

They expect that the “99 Percent” will rise up in solidarity with them to overthrow the “1 Percent” of capitalist oppressors. However, it’s the Left that won the slow revolutionary march through the institutions over the past fifty years. It’s Leftists who now make up most of the “1 Percent.”

Real revolutions, not the left’s pretend theater, are not “and the people rose up.” That’s usually the last stage. Real revolutions are caused by living conditions/ways of making a living changing so dramatically that ideology must follow.

Communism and socialism were – though heads-on-pants insane – well suited to the mentality of mass production and mass movements.

They’re fish out of water in the 21st century. Which is why every move they make turns against them. Their heads are full of a society that no longer exists.

I’m not saying they’re not a danger, particularly in the areas – geographic and social – they control. What I’m saying is that they’re losing that control.

Read the whole thing.

In effect, proles who thought they had been guaranteed a spot in the Outer Party and had a shot at making it into the Inner Party are raging because their Fill-in-the-Blank Studies did not qualify them for anything other than struggling to service a significant debt on a barista’s wages. One part of the left is revolting against another.

This has happened before. During the middle years of the last century, the international socialist fought the national socialists in Europe. Sarah Hoyt argues that we’re now seeing the death rattle of the Left’s revolution rather than its birth pains. I hope she’s right.

Past Performance Is No Guarantee Of Future Results …


… but given the world’s experience with every other marxist revolution, we might want to be careful about what changes we make in American society and how we make them.No Cambodians, Zimbabweans, or Venezuelans were available for comment as this post was written. However, several Czechs and Poles noted their experience was that making political systems more like our has reduced oppression in their countries.

Quote of the Day


The mutability of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc. Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it.

—Emmanuel Goldstein

Readjusting the Overton Window


The Overton Window is the range of ideas which are considered acceptable for public consideration and debate. It moves around as the climate of public opinion changes.

President Trump’s speech at Mt. Rushmore was an attempt to move the window upward to include a more respectful view of the Enlightenment principles generally held by the Founding Fathers and away from the Postmodern Neo-marxist worldview underpinning much of the turbulence in America these days. I hope he was successful. I’m not sure that he was. Oh, he did a fine job of rallying the people who already agree with him, but he was preaching to the choir.

Let me extend that metaphor a bit. I’m not sure how effective he was as an evangelist, one who brings good news to the unconverted. There are a large number of Americans who have come to believe the marxist fallacy that everything can be defined as a power struggle among various identity groups, and that someone else’s is the result of privilege and oppression. They want what they see as their turn controlling the levers of power, and many of them are willing to tear down the current system in order to change things.

What many of them don’t understand is the difference between the ideals of the American Revolution and so many others—the people have granted power to the government so it may serve them not rule over them. Those who wish to be change things so that they can become part a new ruling class need to look at the history of those other revolutions. Only a few of the revolutionaries become part of the nomenklatura, and even fewer make it into the Inner Party. The rest become the proles in a failing society.

The good news these folks need to hear is that the American Revolution produced a melting pot society where everyone’s positive contribution has a chance to prosper. It’s not a perfect society, but it’s the best humanity has come up with to date. Events such as the Minneapolis riots or the failure of Antifastan in Seattle are hitting some with a dose of Reality that may show them the folly of their worldview.

It will be interesting to see how they react.

Meanwhile, I hope President’s speech successfully framed some of the questions to be considered by the public between now and the Third of November.

Quote of the Day


I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory–I can see that the end is more than worth all the means and that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction.

—John Adams

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know


The Democrats’ official party Twitter account sent this tweet—
The rally referred to in the tweet is a fireworks display at Mr. Rushmore on Independence Day. They took it down, but not before it was archived.

So now, the Democrats are on record saying that celebrating the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July is an act of white supremacy.

Thomas Jefferson was unavailable for comment,

Don’t Know Much About History


The 1619 Project is a leftist attempt to rewrite History to sell the false narrative that the United States was founded to protect the institution of slavery. While it has been promoted by outlets such as the New York Times, it has generally be repudiated by professional historians, including intellectually honest leftists. However, it has gained  a following among the ill-informed.BTW, George Washington’s will provided for the emancipation of his slaves. He was the only slave owner among the Founding Father to do so.

Don’t Know Much About History


Tim Kaine has claimed in a speech on the Senate floor that America invented slavery. The Washington Free Beacon quotes Kaine as saying,

The United States didn’t inherit slavery from anybody. We created it,” Kaine said. “It got created by the Virginia General Assembly and the legislatures of other states.” He added that the country needs to do “much more” to “dismantle the structures of racism that our federal, state, and local governments erected and maintained over centuries.

Moses was unavailable for comment.

Don’t Know Much About History


The BBC reports that protestors in England are demanding that a statue of Mohandas K. Gandhi be torn down because he publicly expressed negative opinions about blacks when he lived in South Africa over a hundred years ago. It seems that these protestors have forgotten, if they ever knew, Gandhi’s contribution to the dismantling of the British Empire, whose colonization of the undeveloped world was arguably the greatest example of white supremacy.

A Similarity and a Difference


Both the 1972 and 2016 presidential elections were plagued with irregularities committed by persons associated with the party that was in the White House during the election.

However, IIRC none of the criminal acts committed during the 1972 election (as opposed to the 1973/74 coverup) were perpetrated by currently serving law enforcement officials.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


Ridicule has been on of the most effective (and quite satisfying) weapons to use on Team Kimberlin. Four years ago, I poked fun at Bill Schmalfeldt with an I’m Not Making This Up, You Know post.

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The Cabin Boy™ was trying to write something clever about politics and succeeded in showing how little he knows about The Little Corporal. Of course, it was Napoleon who was tagged with that nickname because of his supposedly short stature and a rumor that corporal was his pre-revolutionary rank. Actually, he was of average height and had been commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Artillery in 1785. Adolph Hitler, OTOH, was referred to as The Bohemian Corporal, originally by the Paul von Hindenburg, the last German president to serve before the Nazi takeover. Hitler had served as corporal in WWI, and “Bohemian” referred to his supposed lifestyle.

#SMH. This just another example of something the Cabin Boy™ knows that isn’t so.

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This has been in many ways a battle of wits with unarmed men.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


Eight years ago was Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day. Lots of websites participated, including one that was then known as Breitbart Big Government. I linked to their coverage in a post titled I’m Shocked, Shocked …

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Big Government reports that Mr. Kimberlin’s 501c3 funders are “stunned” to be supporting him.

Uh, huh.

I’m reminded of Captain Louis Renault.

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Many of the usual suspects no longer associate with Kimberlin. Openly.

Fighting the Last War


There’s an old adage which states that most armies are prepared to fight the last war. It has a deep basis in Reality. After our 1892 medium-power Krag rifles were outclassed by the full-power Mausers used by the Spanish in 1898, we adopted the Mauser-clone 1903 Springfield for World War I. The lessons learned about firepower in that war led to the adoption of the M1, which would have been a superior weapon in WW1, but was outclassed by the German Strumgewehr 44 (the original assault rifle) by the end of WW2. We entered the Viet Nam War armed with the M14, which would have been a great weapon for WW2, only to be outgunned by the other side’s AK47s, true assault rifles. I went through basic training with an M14, but was finally issued an M16 in Viet Nam.

Armies aren’t the only bureaucracies that cling to outdated “solutions.” The public health response to the Wuhan virus pandemic is a case in point.

The 1918 influenza pandemic was worse than it had to be, in part, because of the failure of some communities to take proper measures to prevent rapid spreading. The proper lesson from that pandemic is that dangerous communicable diseases must be contained by reducing interpersonal contact until other means of fighting it are available.

The initial restrictions imposed as public health measures dealing with Covid-19 were reasonable and cautious responses to a potentially catastrophic situation. They would have been excellent in combating the 1918 flu, but it appears that they’ve been overkill in vast swaths of America with disastrous unintended (I hope) consequences. For many the cure is worse than the disease.

Most Real World situations don’t track well with our attempt to model them because we never seem to be able to understand all of the ways that things interact. Experience and common sense and a willingness to take risks are necessary live in the Real World. Credentials are not the same thing as experience, and non-expert expertise has failed. It’s time to get back to living in the Real World. That will require that public health concerns take their rightful place among other factors to balances with economic realities and civil rights.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


“The ram has touched the wall” is a saying derived from Julius Caesar’s De Bello Gallico (About the War in Gaul) which signals that a contest has moved past the negotiating stage. The phrase is rendered in Latin as murum aries attigit. Because so few people take Latin in school these days and even fewer have read Caesar, I published this except from the book as the TKPOTD four years ago today.

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This is the origin of one of the Latin expressions I use. It’s from Book II of Caesar’s Commentary on the War in Gaul

Chapter 32

To these things Caesar replied, “That he, in accordance with his custom rather than owing to their desert, should spare the city, if they should surrender themselves before the battering-ram should touch the wall; but that there was no condition of surrender, except upon their arms being delivered up; that he should do to them that which he had done in the case of the Nervii, and would command their neighbors not to offer any injury to those who had surrendered to the Roman people.” The matter being reported to their countrymen, they said that they would execute his commands. Having thrown a very large quantity of their arms from the wall into the trench that was before the town so that the heaps of arms almost equalled the top of the wall and the rampart, and nevertheless having retained and concealed, as we afterward discovered, about a third of their arms in the town, the gates were opened, and they enjoyed peace for that day.

Chapter 33

Toward evening Caesar ordered the gates to be shut and the soldiers to go out of the town lest the towns-people should receive any injury from them by night. The Aduatuci, by a design before entered into, as we afterwards understood, because they believed that, as a surrender had been made, our men would dismiss their guards or at least would keep watch less carefully, partly with those arms which they had retained and concealed, partly with shields made of bark or interwoven wickers which they had hastily covered over with skins (as the shortness of time required), in the third watch, suddenly made a sally from the town with all their forces in the direction which the ascent to our fortifications seemed the least difficult. The signal having been immediately given by fires, as Caesar had previously commended, a rush was made thither by Roman soldiers from the nearest fort; and the battle was fought by the enemy as vigorously as it ought to be fought by brave men in the last hope of safety, in a disadvantageous place, and against those who were throwing their weapons from a rampart and from towers; since all hope of safety depended on their courage alone. About 4,000 of the men having been slain, the rest were forced back into the town. The next day, Caesar, after breaking open the gates which there was no one then to defend, and sending in our soldiers, sold the whole spoil of that town. The number of 53,000 persons was reported to him by those who had bought them.

Murum aries attigit.

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Murum Aries Attigit branded goodies are still available at The Hogewash Store.

“Chinese Chernobyl”


The Gentle Reader has no doubt heard of a catastrophic reactor accident that occurred in the Soviet Union in 1985 at a place called Chernobyl (now in Ukraine). The reactor was a typical example of Socialist engineering—the RBMK-type was in common use throughout the USSR—with an inherent design flaw related to the core’s cooling system. The Chernobyl reactor exploded during a reactor test of the core’s cooling system. This risk of a core meltdown was not made evident in the test operating instructions, so the operators proceeded with  testing the reactor in an unstable state. Upon test completion, the operators triggered a reactor shutdown, but a combination of unstable conditions and reactor design flaws caused an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction instead. Poor design, bureaucratic inertia, and operator carelessness created history’s worst peacetime nuclear event.

It’s being suggested that the Wuhan virus pandemic is China’s Chernobyl. If the virus got into the wild because of improper procedures in a Chinese laboratory, it would be a striking parallel example of Socialist bureaucratic incompetence acting with disregard for public safety. However, even if the actual source is something else, a wet market or whatever, the Chinese Communist Party’s attempts to strong-arm reality so as to avoid blame for the meltdown resulting from their carelessness and mendacity is a nearly perfect example of why socialist systems all fail. Wishing won’t make it so. Facts are stubborn things.

The Laws of Thermodynamics, when compounded with Murphy’s Law, assure us that bad stuff will happen on a random basis. It’s wise to take steps to protect ourselves from such events. “The battle is not always to the strong, or the race to the swift, but it’s the way to bet.” History tells us that competition in free markets has the best track record for generating the resources needed for healthy living.

The Chinese people will have to sort out their own political destiny. It may be that they will grow tired of their current masters and that the CCP virus pandemic will inch them along a path to something new.

Meanwhile, the Wuhan virus pandemic has given many Americans a 30-day free trial of nanny state control.

Good Advice—From China


My training as a military officer included reading Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. The most famous quote from that ancient Chinese classic is probably

是故勝兵先勝而後求戰,敗兵先戰而後求勝。Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

Patricia McCarthy has a post over at The American Thinker titled The unbearable pettiness of the Washington press corps which looks at the disrespectful manner in which the press treats Donald Trump at the manner in which the President turns their futile behavior back on them, especially during the Wuhan virus pandemic briefings. Throughout her piece, she quotes Sun Tzu.

What makes these briefings so entertaining is when the president calls them out for their dishonesty.  He has a steel-trap mind and remembers what he has said.  When they twist or edit his words, he knows it and humiliates them.  But they seem not to realize they are being humiliated.

President Trump has been teaching us all.  It is only the men and women of the media who fail to learn.  Donald Trump, as John Perazzo has written, is a superb and unappreciated president.

“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.” —Sun Tzu

This is that moment.

Read the whole thing. I’ll add this—

上兵伐謀 What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy.

The Art of War is available from Amazon.

Generational Differences


Mrs. Hoge and I were both Baby Boomers, but she was seven years younger. Her idea of old time rock was the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Mine was Bill Halley and Elvis, so even within a “generation” there are differences in world experience. I was old enough to be subject to the draft during the Vietnam War. Many younger boomers weren’t. (I served in Vietnam as an officer in the Army Signal Corps.)

I saw this tweet go by, and it reminded me of how the lack of big wars over the past couple of generations as lulled some people into a false sense of security.When one has experienced the fear of running out of ammunition, the prospect of running out of toilet paper is less likely to be viewed as a existential threat.

UPDATE—America’s Newspaper of Record reports that some are responding to The Pandemic properly—