When Does it End?

At my second Town of Lamar Council Meeting, my colleagues outvoted me 4-1 to renew Lamar’s mask ordinance for another sixty days.  They also shot down my proposal that we reopen council meetings to the public, who can currently only attend online via Facebook Live and Zoom.

That’s precisely what I expected to happen, and I appreciate their reasons:  concerns about safety, etc.  The big, lingering question—one I can’t get out of my mind—is “when does it end?”  At what point are we safe “enough” to remove our masks?

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The Virus Kabuki

A big hat-tip (H/T in blogger parlance) to Mogadishu Matt for reblogging this New York Times piece about masks and The Virus.  I tend to view mask mandates as a form of petty tyranny—a way of signalling virtue on the cheap while inconveniencing otherwise law-abiding citizens who don’t want to muzzle themselves every time they want to buy cereal.

As such, I was surprised to see the dubious wisdom of mask mandates questioned in the pages of the progressive Left’s favorite “mainstream” rag, The New York Times.

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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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TBT: Populists and Elites

One of the blessings of the Trump administration was that Trump reminded us how fun regular people are.  Sure, I love the symphony and all that stuff, but a representative government should be basically populist—it should care about the people it governs, and look out for their interests.  Leaders should reflect the people, not set themselves against the people.  At most, our officials should strive to set examples for how a good life can be lived.

The thrust of this piece—written one year ago today—is that elitism is shockingly ignorant:  it presumes that anything that does not interest the elitist is somehow barbaric and simplistic.  That our own elites embrace the vulgar and raise up vice as a virtue suggests their elitism is supremely misguided—or lacking entirely.

Few remember now Michael Bloomberg’s disastrous run for the Democratic primary last year—it was so long ago!—but it was the political embodiment of clueless elitism against Trumpian populism.  Bloomberg had the resources and the softly center-Left stance to buy himself into the White House, or at least the Democratic nomination, but he bungled it so badly, even his supporters were in awe of his ineptitude.

Well, now we have a senile, fraudulent feebster leading a puppet regime, so it seems gross incompetence is no longer a barrier to entry to the highest office in the land.  Perhaps a healthy dose of elitism is needed after all.

Regardless, here is 18 February 2021’s “Populists and Elites“:

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Patriot Party

President Trump survived another sham impeachment and seems to be enjoying life outside of the White House.  I doubt his legal problems are over, as the Democrats and the Establishment Uniparty will do everything in their power to suppress and harass him and his family, but he remains hugely popular among his supporters.  According to a CBS News poll, seventy percent of Republicans would consider joining a third party if Trump led it (per The Epoch Times).  Thirty-three percent of Republicans would join a Trump-led party, with another thirty-seven percent responding “maybe.”

In similar news, John Derbyshire broke down numbers for a related question on his most recent podcast.  The poll he referenced asked (essentially) “what is the future of the Republican Party”?  The three choices were (to paraphrase) “Trump runs again,” “Trumpism is presented by a more traditionally ‘presidential’ candidate,” and “return to the old-style GOP issues.”  Respondents to that poll overwhelming selected the second option:  Trumpism with a less flamboyant figure.  Trump running again came in second, with the return to status quo ante option in a very distant third.

In other words, Trump himself might fade over time—and voters might want a less bombastic package—but the ideas and policies he championed remain hugely popular among conservative voters.

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SubscribeStarSaturday: Reflections on Local Government

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

I’ve had my first Lamar Town Council meeting and am slowly learning the ropes of the Town and its needs.  I’ve grown up with local government—my father worked in municipal government for thirty-seven years, doing everything from reading water meters to managing human resources, and now is the town administrator for a small town in his semi-retirement—but I’m learning how little I really knew going into it.

As such, I thought I’d share some of my initial reflections, and what I’ve learned so far.  Note, I won’t go into anything that’s not public information (to my knowledge, I haven’t learned anything confidential as of yet), but just offer up some of my observations as I’m learning the lay of the land.

That all said, it’s been an overwhelmingly positive start, and I’m excited to dig in, learn as much as possible, and help out however I can.

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Romney Gets One Right

Okay, okay—before you start pelting me with the citrus fruit of your choice, let me make it clear:  I have no love for Mitt Romney.  I think he’s a traitorous, chimerical liar whose positions bend and twist with the ever-changing fashions of the Left.  He strikes me as a coward and opportunist, who will gladly slit his own party’s throat for a farthing of accolades from Democrats and the progressive press.

All that said, I’m intellectually honest enough to give credit where it is due, and even a stopped Mormon is right twice a day.  Mitt Romney has proposed a bill (forgive me for linking to the Never Trumpers at The Dispatch) that he argues is intended to alleviate childhood poverty, but is really a pro-natalist plan:  direct payments of $350 for children five and under, and $250 a month for children six through seventeen, with a maximum annual benefit of $15,000 annually, and payments beginning four months before a child’s birth.

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Fleeing to (and Preserving) Freedom

Monday’s edition of Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day on Ballotpedia listed the sixteen States that lost population in 2020.  That’s significant as it will likely affect the apportionment of congressional districts in a number of States, depending on how rapidly other States’ populations grew relative to these States’ shrinkage.

Seven of the States were in New England of the Mid-Atlantic:  Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  The other nine were California, Michigan, Ohio, Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia.

While I certainly don’t like seeing Southern States in that list (I’ll consider West Virginia “honorarily Southern”), their inclusion makes sense.  Mississippi is a great State, as I imagine West Virginia is, too, but they’re not exactly hotbeds of opportunity.  Similarly, Louisiana is so corrupt, it’s little wonder that it’s shedding inhabitants.

The rest of these States make perfect sense:  New England and the Mid-Atlantic are hotbeds of failed progressive policies and social justice insanity.  Reading photog’s posts at Orion’s Cold Fire gives a good sense for the besieged nature of conservatives in his State, Massachusetts.  I once spoke with a pharmacist who relocated his family from either Connecticut or Vermont—I can’t quite remember now—who said he had to move South because he was run out of his job for not supporting abortion.

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