Vive la France!
The ongoing comedramedary that is electoral politics has entered its next season, as the French presidential elections have completed their first round of combat. As expected, right-wing hate fear fascist nazi Hitler Trump white privilege patriarch poopyhead Marine Le Pen has made it to the second round, as has "centrist" Emmanuel Macron, an international banker and former member of the Socialist Party. No points for guessing which one George Soros is paying college students to riot for. Further research: what does "antifascistes" mean in French? It is a mystery!
Macron is expected to mop the floor with Le Pen in the runoff, and this is not predicted to be anything like the way Hillary Clinton mopped the floor with Donald Trump, nor the way "remain" mopped the floor with "leave" in the British EU vote I still refuse to call "Brexit" because honestly that’s hideous. We all know that the two things that are always and everywhere honest and correct are elections and electoral polls, so I’m sure that will remain the case.
The Liberty Conservative earlier today posted an article about a bizarre Twitter rant Cato Institute vice president Brink Lindsey engaged in on Wednesday. Lindsey was outraged about that there Ron Paul; apparently it’s somehow cosmically socially unjust that Ron Paul is more widely known and respected than Brink Lindsey, and Lindsey wants us all to understand that real libertarianism consists of world wars, government-managed trade "agreements," and presumably also forcing people to bake cakes, though Lindsey himself was rather silent on that important point.
So that’s as may be. I was planning to write up a few hundred sarcastic words and throw it in Last Week in Weird. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the bookmarks: I shared the story on Facebook, which promptly earned me a 24-hour ban. And that’s not just me: apparently anybody who shares this particular story on Facebook is banned from "creating open graph actions" for twenty-four hours. What is an "open graph action?" It is a mystery!
Don’t worry; the Trump administration is hard at work protecting America from the truth. By which I mean: they’ve apparently concocted an ambitious network of excuses to
kidnap and torture dispense summary justice upon deliver a charming Uncle-Sam-o-gram to Wikileaks editor Julian Assange, who has, as of the time of this writing, been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for seven years. Of course, the Official Media Gatekeepers — by which I obviously mean: fake news — are only too happy to help sell this atrocity to the American people.
The US view of WikiLeaks and Assange began to change after investigators found what they believe was proof that WikiLeaks played an active role in helping Edward Snowden, a former NSA analyst, disclose a massive cache of classified documents.
Did I meet him? At the open house?
I don’t think I’ve ever been so jazzed to slap that foam finger on an image before.
No doubt you’re familiar with Easter. It’s the holiest day in the Christian liturgical year, celebrating, as it does, the resurrection of Christ — something of a momentous event. Indeed, the entire week leading up to Easter is quite significant — Holy Week, it’s called — and is one of the seasons in which Christian spirit is riding its highest; arguably only Christmas week is a more important, and more religious time for most Christians.
Which makes it all the funnier that the perpetually clueless Libertarian Party chose to celebrate Holy Week by running this great ad aligning itself with the Satanic Temple.
This past week saw the death of one of my great comedy heroes, Don Rickles, along with one of my great libertarian heroes, William N. Grigg. As a libertarian humorist, that’s kind of a tough week!
Will Grigg was the great libertarian thinker and writer who is responsible more than anyone else (with the possible exception of Radley Balko) for shedding light on the atrocities committed by the modern American police state. Over the past ten years, Grigg wrote hundreds of articles at his own blog, Pro Libertate, most of them dealing with the American criminal justice system and the wreckage it leaves in its wake. Will Grigg also wrote countless articles and blog posts for lewrockwell.com, and was one of the founding members of the Libertarian Institute. I cannot (and do not) claim to be one of the many people Will Grigg’s work helped to get free from the clutches of the "punitive priesthood," as he called it; I am merely someone who learned from Will Grigg, but that, to my mind, is high praise as it stands.
Don Rickles, of course, scarcely needs an introduction. He was the legendary insult comic dubbed "Mr. Warmth," and was possessed of an inimitable ability to command a stage with his rapid-fire, ceaseless wit. No subject was off limits for Don Rickles, very much including the sacred shibboleths of modern America: race, sex, and handicaps. Rickles had a joke for any occasion, and usually a flood of them; he was callous, he was politicially incorrect, and he was a member of the old school of Jewish comedians who would spontaneously shift into Yiddish just to annoy the audience. He was, in short, the best.
Peace is probably going to be a pretty major theme around here for the near future, what with the recently-begun war in Syria and the upcoming war in North Korea, soon to be followed by World War III and then the nuclear obliteration of everybody. Good thing I don’t live at the closest possible missile target to both Russia and China! Not to mention I don’t even have Don Rickles to take my mind off of it anymore.
Where was I? Oh, right: peace. It’s a bit awkward for me to claim that peace is such a big deal — which claim I do intend to make — without first providing a definition of what, exactly, it is. What does peace consist of? Where does it come from? How can it be maintained, and why does it matter?
Lights in the darkness
As we discussed a few days ago, April 6, 2017 was the day president Trump officially betrayed Trumpism, inserting the United States into yet another foolish regime change operation in the middle east, pushing the world yet closer to open war between the US and Russia, and dumping additional tens of millions of dollars down the defense contractor pit. Apparently, making America great again involves giving us Hillary Clinton’s policies dressed up with Sewer Urchin’s rhetorical style.
But you know about that already. In fact, if you’re a bit sharp, you most likely knew it was coming. Yes, the Trump reversal was whatever the opposite of "unexpected" is — a concept word scientists of the future will dub "expected." What was less expected, though — arguably much less expected — was the way many of Trump’s most stalwart supporters turned around on him just as ferociously. And I don’t just mean tiny, meaningless dudes with blogs and no audience.
Making political predictions is easy. Here’s the rule of thumb: whatever is the worst possible outcome, that’s what they’ll do. The entire body of optimism I was able to muster for the Trump administration was, as I said many a time, predicated on the slim hope that maybe — maybe — he’d be less of a warmonger than his predecessor. There was some campaign rhetoric to that effect, and, while believing campaign rhetoric is a singularly silly idea, it was just enough to prop up a distant hope that the United States could indeed decide that not every event in every country is our business.
So much for that.
You have the obligation to remain silent
Ah, America. Land of the free! Home of the Barves! Where the only thing more cherished than apple pie, baseball, and motherhood is the absolute, rock-solid, George Washington-approved, First Amendment-guaranteed right to free speech. I’m sure you know it by heart:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Of course, as any fule kno, the Constitution is a "living document." What necromantic rites were involved in this black sorcery your humble narrator shudders to think, but apparently the Constitution, quite unlike every other piece of paper in the history of the world, has the power to update itself whenever the disembodied flying devil head of Uncle Sam wills it to be. And, in an astonishing turn of events, He communicates His grand design to us through the federal judiciary. Last week, the holy judiciary handed down the magical new text of the First Amendment, which has apparently been updated with a rider adding "… unless minor bureaucrats don’t like it."