Slam into SCOTUS

With the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last Friday, the political world was thrown into hysterics.  Democrats are threatening to set the Supreme Court building and the White House ablaze if President Trump attempts to nominate a replacement for the Notorious RBG before the November election.

Even if they were serious about their histrionic, treasonous threat, President Trump should do it, and Senate Republicans should act speedily to confirm his nominee.  For that matter, President Trump should appoint the most stridently right-wing, pro-life, socially conservative, religious justice possible.

If the Kavanaugh hearings taught us anything, the Left will pillory any mildly conservative nominee to the Court.  Kavanaugh is a Beltway Dudley Do-Right, and he was treated as a de facto stand-in for every unpleasant interaction a woman has ever had with a man.  If the Left treated him so shabbily, why not go for broke and get the second coming of Antonin Scalia, or a young Clarence Thomas clone?

When I first heard the news, I remembered President Obama’s Merrick Garland appointment, and how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold confirmation hearings.  That was entirely constitutional, both for the president to nominate, and for the Senate to decline to confirm.  McConnell’s rationale was that the Senate should not confirm a nominee during a presidential election year, so as to give the people a chance to vote for new leadership first.

My initial reaction was, “Well, screw it—just slam in a nominee and control SCOTUS for generations.”  The Senate isn’t bound by an unwritten rule or custom, and the Left has broken so many rules (including threatening to impeach Trump for performing his constitutional duty to make an appointment), it’s time for us to do so to win.

But then my younger brother informed me that a confirmation at this time would not be a breach of senatorial custom.  The rule that McConnell invoked in 2016 only applies when the President is one party, and the Senate is controlled by the opposing party.  Presidents who have attempted nominations in those conditions during election years have failed.  Ted Cruz covers it beautifully in a short YouTube video:

Of course, McConnell warned then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2009 when the Senate got rid of its requirement that sixty Senators were necessary to confirm Supreme Court nominees that it would one day come back to haunt the Democrats.  The price of their political expediency could very well be—let us pray!—a conservative-controlled Court.

Sadly, it seems that the Democrats will keep moving the goal posts, as usual.  The cry now is that if Trump gets his nominee before the election, the Democrats will engage in court-packing should they win the presidency and Congress; in other words, they’ll add Supreme Court seats to dilute the conservative majority.

Congress has the authority to alter the number of Supreme Court seats (when the Constitution was first ratified, the Court only had six justices, rather than the present-day nine).  However, the last infamous example of court-packing—Franklin Roosevelt’s ham-fisted attempt to inflate the Court to fifteen justices from nine—was met with severe push-back from even his own party, which saw it for the transparently naked power-grab it was.  Democrats nearly ninety years later are all too eager to engage in that power grab.

Therefore, even if President Trump gets his nominee confirmed before the 3 November election, it could all be undone with a Biden win and a “blue wave” seizing control of the Senate.  That’s why it’s all the more imperative—especially in swing States—to get out and vote for Trump.  The Supreme Court pick will be meaningless if Democrats take control of the levers of power again.

Nevertheless, Senate Republicans need to confirm—speedily—whoever President Trump puts forward as his nominee (hopefully Amy Coney Barrett).  That decisive action could rally millions of conservatives to get out to vote for Trump (and vulnerable Republican Senators) in November.

More importantly, it will—barring progressive court-packing—secure the Court for conservatives for at least a generation, and possibly beyond.  If President Trump is reelected and Republicans maintain the Senate, it may then be advisable—as much as I hate to suggest it—for Justice Thomas to step down, thereby allowing Trump to appoint a younger conservative who can maintain the conservative majority for another thirty or forty years.

Big things are afoot.  The Republicans and Trump may just have one last shot to save the Republic.

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Lazy Sunday LXXXII: Rural America

After a week of incredibly hot weather here in South Carolina, Saturday brought a blessed drop in both the temperature and humidity—a foretaste of autumn.  My girlfriend and I spent Saturday weeding my disgracefully overgrown flower beds, which were mostly weeds strangling the life out of everything but the hardiest of perennials (and my robust banana trees).  We then did some new plantings (with a few more to put in, as well as some mulch).  The results were pretty good:

Lamar House - After Planting, 5 September 2020

It felt good to get our hands (and clothes, and faces) dirty, digging through the dirt and nurturing plant life.  My mother is an expert gardener, so I’ve picked up a few simple techniques from her; otherwise, we just bought flowers we liked and plopped ’em in with some in-ground bedding soil and a some water.  Fingers crossed that everything survives.

My mind has been on the soil lately, and our connection to it.  I have a fondness—perhaps a tad romantic—for country life.  With current trends in the cities—rising home prices, rising property taxes, and rising urban violence—country life seems like an attractive, even inevitable, alternative.

As such, I thought I’d dedicate this week’s Lazy Sunday to some pieces about rural America:

  • TBT: Rustics Have Opinions, Too” – This piece dates way back 2009, when the blog was in its first iteration on Blogger, and I was still enthralled with “Randian-libertarian economic” philosophy.  Such are the follies of youth.  However, I did notice even then the deep disdain of limousine liberals for the rest of us here in “flyover country,” a disdain that, at least in part, accounts for the TEA Party movement and the Trumpian revolt of 2016.
  • High-Tech Agrarianism” – When The Virus hit, people were in a tizzy about having enough toilet paper and food.  People gained a renewed interest in gardening as a source of sustenance, not just beauty.  In this post, I mused about a possible return to small-scale homesteading, coupled with our advanced information technology.  Essentially, I posited a world in which people still work, albeit increasingly from home and on more flexible hours, and can use their time to tend to small crops to supplement their diets.
  • SubscribeStar Saturday: The Future is Rural” – One of two recent posts on the lure of rural America and small town life, I argue here that life in the country offers many attractive incentives for working families.  Not only are cities pushing people away with high prices and crime; the country is ready to take in telecommuters who earn good money but want a low cost of living in a safe, healthy environment.
  • SubscribeStar Saturday: Small Town Natalism” – The second post in my Saturday series about small town and rural living, this post is a preliminary sketch of a policy proposal:  applying nationalistic, pro-birth natalist policies to the small town context.  Instead of wasting money on seldom-used public facilities, local governments could offer a stipend to married families with children to encourage increased birth rates.  That would grow towns organically and attract new residents, thereby broadening the tax bases in often distressed rural areas.

That’s it for this week.  The garden is calling to me.  Time to put down some mulch!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: The Future is Rural

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The roiling waves of urban riots this summer could be the death knell of urban living.  Even smaller cities are falling victim to progressive insanity and destruction.  It was one thing when Seattle and Portland were ablaze, and Americans wrote off Detroit years ago.  But now Kenosha, Wisconsin is the hotbed of disorder and chaos?

The story of “white flight” from urban centers is a Leftist favorite, and—of course—progressives blame the plight of inner city blacks on the fact that white people took their tax dollars and fled tot he suburbs.  Never mind that riots in the 1960s destroyed white- and black-owned businesses, and that the current wave of riots destroys millions of dollars in black-owned property.  The Leftist narrative also implies that blacks aren’t capable of succeeding without substantial financial and institutional support from whites, a clear example of progressivism’s bigotry of low expectations.

As is often the case with Leftist canards, there is a kernel of Truth among the popcorn ball of misleading disinformation:  people did flee urban centers in the 1960s, precisely because they were so dangerous.  As the respectable, middle-class civil rights movement gave way to the militant black nationalism of SNCC and the Nation of Islam, sane people ran for the suburban hills.

Now we’re in a similar moment, in which progressive grievance-mongering and racial malfeasance gin up BLM and Antifa criminals, eager to fight imaginary “Nazis” in the streets.  While these riots are a tragedy for our nation and for the rule of law, there is a silver lining:  it could prove to be a boon for rural America.

The rest of today’s post might be a tad delayed; I am proctoring the SAT this morning, and then am hitting the road for a family celebration.  My apologies in advance.

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TBT^2: Back to School with Richard Weaver

Today marks the first day of school for the 2020-2021 school year:  The Year of The Virus, if we were to affix a Chinese Zodiac-style name to it.  It’s going to be the most unusual school year any of us have ever experienced, I imagine.  Please keep teachers, students, administrators, and staff in your prayers.

As I’ve noted often, I reread at least the introduction to Richard Weaver’s Ideas Have Consequences every school year.  The introduction offers a strong diagnosis of modernity’s ills, and it reminds me why teaching is so important—not just the accumulation of random facts into worldly knowledge, but to inculcate deeper knowledge and virtue—what we might call “wisdom.”

Here is “TBT: Back to School with Richard Weaver“:

Every year I try to reread the introduction to Ideas Have Consequences, Richard Weaver’s masterful work of analysis and prophecy.

With school starting back in just FOUR DAYS—may God have mercy on us all—it seemed germane to bring back this post from 2018, itself a contextualization of a Facebook post from 2014.

Here is “Back to School with Richard Weaver“:

Every year, I try to sit down and re-read at least the introduction to Richard Weaver’s seminal Ideas Have Consequences, probably the most powerful book I’ve ever read.  I tend to undertake this re-reading around the time school resumes, as it helps remind me why I teach.

In addition to Ideas Have Consequences, Weaver wrote some of the most eloquent essays on the South—and what it means to be Southern—in the twentieth century.  In 2014, I posted the following quotation on Facebook; I will allow it to speak for itself[:]

I’m undertaking my annual baptism in the works of Richard Weaver to focus my philosophical thinking for a rapidly approaching school year, and, as always, I’m presented with an embarrassment of riches. Few thinkers cram so many nuggets of truth into so little space. Every paragraph of Weaver’s writings yields insights that speak to the very heart of humanity.

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Resist the Black Pill

Lately, it’s been easy to give in to despair.  Trump is way down in the polls, we’ve suffered reversals on DACA (and Trump’s own reversals on rescinding foreign student visas for colleges going online-only in the fall and on suspending foreign worker visas through the end of the year), BLM is murdering people for saying “All Lives Matter,” and so on.

Despair is a sin.  Like most situations in life, doing the opposite of what you feel is virtuous.  Wallowing in self-pity (or shouting angrily during one of Tucker Carlson‘s litanies of unpunished progressive malfeasance) is the emotionally satisfying approach, but it’s not very productive.

I’m noticing that a number of folks on our side of this great culture war are taking the “black pill.”  Z Man railed against Trump in this week’s podcast, and in a post earlier this week (which I referenced yesterday).  Milo had all-but written Trump off until the Roger Stone commutation.

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Funcling II

Today’s post is extremely belated (and short) because I spent the day being a fun uncle with my niece and nephews, all of whom are under the age of five.  As you can imagine, I’m a bit drained, though not as much as usual.  Perhaps resting for two weeks has increased my stamina, rather than causing all of my minuscule muscle mass to atrophy a la George Costanza’s ill-conceived “Summer of George.”

With all the chaos swirling about in the ether of our civic life, spending time with family always reminds me of the truly important things in life.  Of course, that also makes me even angrier with white hot rage when I ponder the would-be progressive overlords who seek to destroy everything I love and cherish simply because I have the “wrong” politics, skin color, and sexual orientation.  If some child molester in drag gets hired to read storybooks to my niece and nephews at their local library (they wouldn’t be there in the first place, of course, but you know how these programs can pull a bait-and-switch on you), I’ll be the pitchfork-wielding peasant leading the mob to eject Frankenstein’s Monster from the premises.

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The Joy of Spring

Seasons in South Carolina are not the stately procession of one phase of life from one to another, with flowers poking through snow, or a crisp autumnal chill sneaking into the night air in late September.  Instead, it’s as hot on Halloween as it is on the Fourth of July (well, maybe just a tad cooler, but you’d never know from the humidity).  I often joke with out-of-Staters that we get about two weeks of spring and two weeks of fall, with about nine months of summer and two months of winter—and even the winter is interspersed with some summery days.

This year, South Carolina has been blessed with an unusually long and mild spring.  It’s 11 May, and I’m still wearing sweatshirts in the mornings.  We had a brief foretaste of the long summer a couple of nights last week, when the cloying thickness of summertime humidity hung menacingly in the air—the threat of summer’s oppression.  But God has seen fit to grant us at least a few more days of mild springtime.

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TBT: Gig Day II

Tomorrow—Friday, 1 May 2020—Bandcamp is waiving the commission it takes on sales of musicians’ work.  That means every purchase made on the site from midnight to midnight Pacific Standard Time tomorrow goes completely to the musicians (other than PayPal processing fees)—another 15% in our pockets.

The Age of the Virus has really taken its toll on musicians.  As I wrote last Thursday, a substantial portion of my income in 2019 came from music lessons and gigs—nearly 17% of my gross income for the year.

With The Virus holding full sway over us, shutting everything down, there are far fewer opportunities for musicians to earn a living—except by way of online album sales.

As such, Bandcamp sacrificing that 15% commission is a huge act of charity for its users.  It also means that it’s the best time to support musicians you lovelike me!

Bandcamp gives musicians the opportunity to sell their music in high-quality digital formats directly to fans.  One nifty feature is that artists can offer their entire discography in one go, often at a discount.

To that end, my discography—seven albums, EPs, and retrospectives, spanning fourteen years of artistic development—is on sale for $15.75.  All of it.  That includes my tour de forceContest Winner EP and its hit single, “Hipster Girl Next Door.”

Another fun feature is that Bandcamp allows fans to pay more if they so choose.  Indeed, when I announced on my Facebook artist page that the full discography was up for grabs, two fans paid $20 for it.  Some artists have reported fans paying as much as $100 for a single album.  I don’t expect that kind of generosity, but, hey—dig deep.

Regardless, there’s never been a better—or more necessary–time to support indie musicians.  We can’t play gigs.  We can barely teach lessons (some folks are doing so online, but it’s just not the same).

So, any support you can offer is always welcome.  To purchase the full discography, you can view any of my albums (like Electrock EP: The Four Unicorns of the Apocalypse) and find a button/link that reads “Buy Digital Discography” (unfortunately, there’s no way to supply that link directly).

Of course, you don’t have to buy all seven albums—it’s just a good deal.  You can also buy individual releases, like 2006’s Electrock Music (ludicrously cheap at $1 for twelve tracks!) or 2007’s Electrock II: Space Rock (just $5!).

But enough soliciting for now—there will be more of that tomorrow.  Let’s get to the ostensible purpose of today’s post—TBT.

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Delusional Crone (Almost) Divorces Husband over Trump

If you’re ready for your blood pressure to spike before you even eat your cholesterol-thick breakfast, here’s an example of the delusional loonies on the Left:  a California woman (almost) divorced her husband because he voted for Trump.

This story is a bit old, as it dates back to early 2017, but it’s indicative of where our nation is.  It not only demonstrates the intense loyalty of the Left to their progressive dogma, but also how cheaply marriage is held.

The short version is thus:  73-year old Gayle McCormick threatened seriously to divorce her husband of twenty-two years when she found out he voted for Trump (ultimately, they merely separated permanently).

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