SubscribeStar Saturday: Authoritarian Creep

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Something with which I struggle to wrap my mind around is the authoritarian impulse.  I’m not pretending I’m immune to this impulse—this desire to tell others how to live their lives, backing it up with the threat of force for non-compliance—but the older I get, what little appeal the tendency held continues to diminish.

What I struggle to comprehend is the apparent need to boss people around.  I understand needing to be authoritative with children and students—setting clear boundaries, understanding actions have consequences, molding the child to become a self-governing adult—but this desire to boss around perfect strangers is increasingly foreign to me.

This impulse manifests itself in virtually every facet of our lives.  It creeps in bit by bit.  Modest policy proposals and laws suddenly becomes weaponized Karenism, empowering authorities and otherwise normal people to swagger about with impunity, assured of the righteousness of their cause du jour.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Blue State Secession

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I’ve written several times about the possibility of secession—of a (hopefully) peaceful dissolution or separation of the United States.  To be clear, I do not want that to happen, and I fear such a separation would be anything but peaceful.  But if it means a world where the progressive crazies can test out their wacky theories and policies in their own land with its own borders—and I am well outside of those borders—then it may be the best possible of all options.

I tend to disagree with Daniel Webster’s assessment that “Liberty and Union” are “now and forever, one and inseparable.”  While I think the Union of the States did at one time strengthen the defense of liberty, it increasingly seems that the Union—as manifested through the power of the federal government—is trampling those liberties.  I prefer John C. Calhoun’s rejoinder to Andrew Jackson:  “The Union, next to our liberty, most dear. May we all remember that it can only be preserved by respecting the rights of the States and by distributing equally the benefits and burdens of the Union.”  The Union is great, but only so far as it preserves liberty and the rights of States.

Quoting John C. Calhoun favorably, of course, is dangerous in these woke times, as he was an evil slave owner (per the social justice warriors) and argued that slavery was a “positive good.”  Of course the man wasn’t right about everything, but he was right about States’ rights and the importance of liberty.  I can acknowledge that Truth without accepting his other beliefs.

But I digress.  It seems that secession or peaceful separation is not merely a conservative pipe dream, a distant hope for some second chance at liberty.  The progressives are getting in on the action.  The ultra-progressive publication The Nation has a long op-ed published entitled “The Case for Blue-State Secession.”  Most of the piece is ridiculous Leftist dogma, but the fact that the totalitarian Left is toying with the idea is intriguing.

H/T to Brion McClanahan of The Abbeville Institute and McClanahan Academy for this piece; below is his YouTube podcast explaining the op-ed:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Hammer Films V: Hammer Films Collection, Volume II, Part II

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This weekend I’m wrapping up my review of the Hammer Films Collection, Volume II.  Compared to the first volume, the selection of flicks aren’t nearly as good on the second volume, but there are some good moments (and you get a Peter Cushing Frankenstein picture with 1958’s The Revenge of Frankenstein, my narrow favorite from the first half of the collection).

Like the Hammer Films Collection, these are all Hammer Studios movies distributed through Columbia Pictures.  The collection includes the following films:  The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Snorkel (1958), Never Take Candy from a Stranger (1960), Maniac (1963), Die! Die! My Darling! (1965), and Creatures the World Forgot (1971).  For this second part, I’ll be reviewing ManiacDie! Die! My Darling!, and Creatures the World Forgot.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Hammer Films IV: Hammer Films Collection, Volume II, Part I

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This weekend I’m continuing my series of reviews of various Hammer Studios films.  Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing (preview) of the Hammer Films Collection.  While writing that review I discovered that there is a second volume, which I immediately added to my Amazon Wishlist.

My family members came through (God forbid spend $9!), and I finally made it through this six-film collection.  I’ll say the real gems were on the first volume, but there are some good flicks on this collection, too.  Like the Hammer Films Collection, these are all Hammer Studios movies distributed through Columbia Pictures.  The collection includes the following films:  The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Snorkel (1958), Never Take Candy from a Stranger (1960), Maniac (1963), Die! Die! My Darling! (1965), and Creatures the World Forgot (1971).  For this first part, I’ll be reviewing The Revenge of Frankenstein, The Snorkel, and Never Take Candy from a Stranger.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Hammer Films III: Universal Horror Films, Part II

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Last week I wrote some reviews of the first four films on the The Hammer Horror Series, a collection of Hammer horror flicks.

The collection includes eight films in total:  Brides of DraculaThe Curse of the WerewolfThe Phantom of the OperaParanoiacThe Kiss of the VampireNightmareNight Creatures, and The Evil of Frankenstein.  Today I’ll be reviewing the second four films:  The Kiss of the VampireNightmareNight Creatures, and The Evil of Frankenstein.

The rest of this post on SubscribeStar might be a tad delayed; I’ll have it completed as soon as possible.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Hammer Films II: Universal Horror Films, Part I

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Last April I wrote a detailed review (preview) of the Hammer Films Collection.  I’m currently making my way through Volume II of the collection, both of which feature Hammer Studios films that Columbia Pictures distributed.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to complete the second volume in time to review it today, but I will do so in a couple of weeks.  However, Christmas brought a bumper crop of films from the famous Hammer Studios, including a collection of four Dracula films distributed by Warner Brothers and an eight-film compilation of Universal Studios horror flicks.

I’ll be reviewing the first four films on the Universal Studios-distributed collection, The Hammer Horror Series, and reviewing the second four next Saturday. At the time of writing, the collection is only $17.21 on Amazon for the DVD ($34.99 for the Blu-Ray edition); at that price, I’d definitely recommend picking it up to enjoy these flicks yourself.

The collection includes eight films in total:  Brides of DraculaThe Curse of the WerewolfThe Phantom of the OperaParanoiacThe Kiss of the VampireNightmareNight Creatures, and The Evil of Frankenstein.  Today I’ll be reviewing Brides of DraculaThe Curse of the WerewolfThe Phantom of the Opera, and Paranoiac.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: The Spirit of 1776

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Disclaimer:  I do not endorse violence as a means to achieving political ends in normal circumstances.  That said, I reject the claim that “violence never solves anything.”  The vast annals of human history suggest the opposite is largely the case—violence has been the resort—sometimes final, sometimes not—to resolve any number of problems.  Our entire political system rests on the implicit use of violent force towards upholding the common good—and protecting those unable to protect themselves.  Jesus Christ died—quite violently!—for our sins, offering us ultimate salvation forever.

Further, our entire nation is founded on a last-resort to violence to secure American liberty:  the American Revolution.  Brave men pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honors to secure liberty and to defend their rights.  Over 4000 did make the ultimate sacrifice—and many, many more since then—to win and secure our freedom.  Sometimes some turbulence is necessary—as the Left has told us all of last year as BLM destroyed cities—to secure liberty.

That’s an uncomfortable concept—I don’t necessarily like it, and I am sad to see it has come to that—but it’s the foundation of our Republic.  I sincerely pray for reconciliation and healing, as did John Dickinson prior to the American Revolution, but I am not optimistic given Democratic control of the organs of power.  The storming of the Capitol will be used as a pretext—it already is—to oppress and imprison conservatives.  At such a point, the remaining options begin to vanish.

I am not calling for or advocating violence in any form—but I’m afraid it’s coming nevertheless.  Please pray with me for reconciliation—true reconciliation, not the dictator’s peace of bending the knee to Leftist insanity—and prepare for troubled times ahead.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: 2021 Goals and Predictions

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A new year has sprung, which means it’s time for every blogger, commentator, talking head, professional wag, and tin-foil hat prognosticator to make wild predictions for the coming year.

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we are very bad at predicting future events.  I scoffed at the idea that The Virus would ever become anything more than a minor nuisance in our daily lives.  Now we live in a regime dominated by public health tyrants and their shrieking, useful-idiot toadies.

Nevertheless, you’re paying good money for conjecture, innuendo, and false hope, so here are my predictions (and some personal and blog goals) for 2021:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: End-of-Year Reflections 2020

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It’s hard to believe that another year is in the books—and what a wild year it was.  In keeping with last year’s “End-of-Decade Reflections” (subscriber link), I decided to reflect again on the swiftly expiring year.

Indeed, technically 2020 is the last year of the long Teens decade, with 2021 marking the beginning of the 2020s, just as 2001, not the year 2000, is the first year of our current century and millennium.  But no one thinks about it that way, so I did end-of-decade reflections last year.  My post this year will take a more humble scope and just focus on the year 2020 itself, not the ten preceding it.

Besides, 2020 has contained a decade’s worth of events inside its twelve months, as every Internet wag and memester has already noted.  There’s enough to consider in this year to fill up a SubscribeStar Saturday post:  distance learning, Universal Studio trips, teaching music, the challenges to indie musicians, running for Town Council, etc.  The world—already a rapidly changing place—has changed substantially in just a few short months.

What to make of those changes is the real challenge going forward.  What happens next?

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