The Challenge to “Reaching Across the Aisle” Is Finding the Aisle

My son once remarked rather glibly that he’d like to run for public office some day.  I asked him over Thanksgiving if he had retained that ambition… and, after pulling a long face, he answered that he might seek office only if he could do so without raising the banner of either major political party.  Of course, this makes office-seeking a practical impossibility; but his response contained a sentiment that I have found very common in his generation.  They may speak of wanting to “cross the aisle” or wanting to “get something done”, a position which I have chided in them more than once; for why cross the aisle if error sits on the other side, and why get something done if activity leaves the world worse at dusk than it was at dawn?

But, yes, as little sympathy as I tend to have with one side, the other inspires in me no warmth of affection.  Both have lately passed a farm bill (another farm bill—the word “pork” acquires new meaning under that a rubber stamp, year after year) which subsidizes mega-farming conglomerates and helps to drive small farms out of business.  Neither side is currently talking about securing the power grid against an Electro-Magnetic Pulse that could leave 90 percent of us dead in a year: both are too busy drawing lines in the sand over the Wall.  For the sake of full disclosure, I will say openly that I believe the endgame envisioned by Democrat master-puppeteers (an elite group which fully excludes useful idiots like Alexandria Octavio-Cortez) is to flood our system with public dependency until shortages produce riots in the streets—at which point martial law will be declared, elections suspended, and a dictatorial oligarchy settled into place.  I believe that certain Republicans share that vision, though their way of reaching it may take a detour.  (How about, for instance, inviting civil chaos by not securing the power grid against an inevitable EMP?)

A particular commentator whom I have followed on Twitter and whose personal journey in life has led her through the kind of misery and travail that I always respect posted last week a comment about reaching across the aisle only to wring “one of them” by the neck.  I get it.  At the same time, though, I’ve blundered into studying a series of cases where justice has grossly miscarried: the Steven Avery case in Wisconsin, the four young men originally imprisoned for the Carter and Haraway murders in Ada (Oklahoma), and Officer Daniel Holtzclaw’s outrageous 263-year sentence for sexual assaults never committed (also in Oklahoma).  Now, my friends on the Right appear to be generally comfortable with the assembly-line manner in our justice system shuttles cases from the “active” to the “closed” file.  As long as someone ends up in the jug, they’re happy—and the judges for whom they vote seem fully aware of this predilection.  Of course, when Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller usurps unconstitutional powers and extorts Mike Flynn into an unlawful confession by bullying his son, the same justice-hawks suddenly develop a taste for fairness and due process—while the other side, on cue, is looking for a tree that will bear Flynn’s full weight.

Now, this past week, I see a flurry of “tweeting” (what an unconsciously apt verb for people who chatter away like starlings descended upon a field!) from the Right about what a bad boy Vladimir Putin is and how the cause of human decency and eternal truth compels us to stay in Syria and oppose evil actors everywhere.  Beyond the logistical impossibility of waging a worldwide war forever (for la paz empieza nunca, in the words of one Cold Warrior), how would we escape bombing ourselves at some point for our own malfeasance, if our crusade were sincere?  (Example: President Obama gave the order to “drone” perhaps as many as a thousand children located in close proximity to desirable targets.)  In our very imperfect world, should we not consider that the PRC’s objectives encompass the globe and include actually reading thoughts by means of cameras and interpretive software (a bit of intrusion already being practiced on Chinese citizens), whereas Putin is interested only in returning Russia to a world-power status as NATO annexes real estate all around him?  In short, shouldn’t we be cutting a deal with the lesser villain in order to hold the greater one in check?

All of this “aisle” stuff… if I am to reach across and strangle everyone who is promoting a ridiculous or ruinous position, I’ll need to combine the talents of the most implacable serial killer ever with those of the liveliest kangaroo.

So, my son… I do understand your perplexity—and I wish you and your generation much luck in trying to sort it all out.  Perhaps this explains the appeal of Octavio-Cortez: just go crazy and set the intellectual needle back to “zero”.  That failing, I can see no better place to begin than self-sufficiency.  Be radically skeptical, and be as stingy as Scrooge in the matter of handing control of your life over to Big Brother.  Make a circle around yourself of things you can handle on your own, and try to broaden the circle every month, every year.  Learn how to purify water.  Grow something to eat, even if it’s a few gojis on your window sill.  Take a self-defense course if you don’t want to pack a gun.  Put a little cash away in a safe place, and buy a little gold.

Could this be the platform of a new party, or of a transformed old party?  (The Anti-Slavery Party, perhaps?)  I don’t know.  I’m too old for such questions—or perhaps these are the questions that immediately make me feel very old.  I only know that everything seems to be headed in the reverse direction: dependency, and always more dependency.  As I receive the yearly bombarding of emails giddily wishing me happiness and good cheer—without any logical connection to real-world events or practical likelihood—I simply hit “delete, delete, delete”.  I will extend to you all, rather, the wish I have for my son: greater self-sufficiency.  Independence.  In my parlance, that translates as happiness and good cheer.

Does the New Polar Express Make a Stop at Auschwitz?

In some quarters, my most recent comments—concerning the importance of focusing on duty at Christmas time rather than roasting chestnuts in an open fire—were perceived as an ill-humored burst of “survivalist” extremism, or maybe just a “Scrooge attack”.  Allow me to clarify my case (which, I must warn, may simply enhance the Scrooge effect).

The substantive side of my argument is this: that we who care about the realm of human spirituality should give a sense of urgency to our religious holidays, not party ourselves into a state yet more oblivious than usual.  To dramatize the point, I offer for your examination a coin of two sides.  On one is a fraudulent disaster’s chimaeric, entirely imaginary leer:  climate change.  On the other is the blank surface of a calamity not only genuine in its contours, but utterly inevitable in some form: an Electro-Magnetic Pulse’s incineration of unprotected power grids.  When considered together, the sides of this Janus Dime show us just what a grim future we’re buying—just what a betrayal of our humanitarian culture we’re being sold.  The fantasy’s portrait, riveting but a mere daydream, distracts us; the blank surface easily escapes notice, especially when the other side’s lurid entertainment induces eyes to wander.

Climate change: I have objected for years, including many moments during my final semesters in the classroom, that the “98 percent of scientists” canard is a patent absurdity.  An entomologist is a scientist; so is an anatomist, and so is a speech pathologist.  The only science of any relevance in this plebiscite would be climatology—even meteorology would rest somewhat on the periphery of competence.  Now, responsible climatologists would refuse to reach any verdict based on data covering less than a century; yet we are constantly exhorted, on the Weather Channel and elsewhere, to heed the “climate warning” in today’s rate of tornadoes or late freezes or wildfires versus the statistics from ten years ago.  Those of us who protest, “Wait a minute,” are instantly shouted down—even, and especially, in academic settings—and are thereafter maligned with rabble-rousing phrases like “climate fascist”.

What’s going on here?  Don’t pretend that you see nothing amiss.

Carbon dioxide composes somewhere between .037 and .042 percent of the earth’s atmosphere.  A probable mild increase in CO2 over recent years has stimulated a robust growth in terrestrial vegetation—which means that water is not only being conserved at higher levels in the atmosphere (i.e., that humidity is greater) but also that vast amounts of it are being stored in plants.  Yet alarmist “climate change” models simply channel the melt from polar icecaps (which, perversely, do not seem to be melting at the projected rates) straight into Earth’s oceans.

Why are “scientists” creating such slipshod models?  What’s going on?

The typical West Coast American (God help us) appears to believe that a sustained rise in temperature produces terrain like the Mojave Desert or Death Valley.  In fact, since higher temperatures put more moisture in the atmosphere, tropical rainforest is the more likely result.  Sometimes geology interferes.  Our own desert regions, and those around the world like the Sahara, were once ocean bottom that was lifted above sea level.  The increasing salinity of areas watered by such vast inland seas caused vegetation to die off around their margin, which in turn left more water in the atmosphere (the clouds that eternally drift through deserts while never brining rain) and induced further evaporation.  Eventually, only sand and salt flats remained.  Yet to call the Sahara typical of the super-heated tropics is to be unforgivably superficial and slapdash in one’s analysis.  (Speaking of superficial… an immense subterranean sea now appears to undergird much of North Africa, further demonstrating that we don’t know exactly where our water resources end up.)

Why are “scientists”, then, presuming to tell us that California’s wildfires are a window upon our common future if some One World Government doesn’t take control of our energy resources?

Why do said “scientists” not share with us the dirty little secrets about solar and wind power: that both have been linked to spiking cancer rates among those who mine the necessary Rare Earth Elements incorporated in their manufacture and even (in the case of windmills) among those who live near the completed dynamo; that both are fabulously expensive when analyzed start-to-finish; that neither is a reliable source of steady energy, since wind doesn’t always blow and sun doesn’t always shine; that both therefore require conventional back-up sources of energy; and that immense physical areas devoted to nothing else are needed to churn out effective energy levels from both (for, it turns out, windmill productivity plummets if rigs are placed close together)?

Why do “scientists” consider it beneath their whistle-blowing expertise to highlight the royal profit in tax breaks that energy companies are harvesting by collaborating in these boondoggles?

Why are “scientists” always promoting ever more big-brotherly political intrusion as the sole answer rather than endorsing more  insular, traditionalist, multi-functional, self-sustaining communities (where existence can be largely pedestrian)?

How many dogs do “scientists” have in this hunt—and what, exactly, is being hunted?

I’ve scarcely grazed the surface of an issue whose obvious and cynical marketing for public consumption is inextricably linked to a tongue-hanging lust for a highly centralized (read “totalitarian”) political machine.  Let us now flip the coin and contemplate how “scientists” and politicos respond to a looming extinction event not dramatized in one of Al Gore’s comic books.  And we find… a smooth, blank surface.

A solar storm of the severity of the 1859 Carrington Event is both inevitable and overdue.  It will happen; and when it does, we shall lose much more than telegraph communications (the only electrical system operative a century and a half ago).  Our lights will go out.  Our computers and cell phones won’t function.  Our cars, unless they are at least forty years old, will refuse to run—and even your classic ‘68 Mustang will need gas that can no longer be delivered or pumped.  Planes will instantly fall out of the sky.  The injured will bleed out because all emergency systems will be offline… and in any case, hospitals will have no electricity.  Your freezer will stand silent: your food will run out whenever you eat the last can of brown beans in your pantry or the last potato in your garden.

Absolute, utter, unspeakable, indescribable chaos.  And it will continue for months, because replacement generators are produced only in Germany, South Korea, and the PRC (our bosom pal)—not in the tariff-hostile, globalist U.S. of A.  Every informed estimate has nine out of ten of us dying within a year… which does not include the predations that might be inflicted upon us by cutthroat invaders.  For China and Russia, by the way, have secured their power grids.

I emphasize that this scenario does not require the malign activity of a terrorist: Mother Nature can bring it to pass all by herself.  But from a terrorist’s perspective, initiating an EMP turns out to be a rather low-level undertaking.  A small nuke exploded in the stratosphere from, say, one of North Korea’s two current orbiting satellites would do the trick.

Do you hear the outcry of those 98 of every hundred scientists?  I don’t, either.  And what alarm are the Democrats sounding when not riding jets to global conferences on climate change?  Where is the Republican rush to fill this breach in our essential defenses that no border wall can address?

We are told that the evil power companies have persuaded Congress to relax as they, behind the scenes, do nothing but pocket the money not spent on security.  Even if this were so, why does Congress accept such mendacity when dozens of its members will absolutely not be turned aside from their crusade to ban plastic straws and gendered pronouns?

Why would this intolerable situation be tolerated, unless… unless certain people in high places have found the option of lightening our population load by 90 percent to be not unattractive?

My intended “Christmas present” is a package which wraps these two responses together: the hysterical panic over an imminent catastrophe that cannot happen, and the utter indifference to one that hasn’t happened already only because the daily flip of our solar coin hasn’t landed on “tails”.

I know that most climate-change warriors are not evil conspirators: they’re kids who want to appear hip and engagé over a cup of Java at Starbuck’s or Barnes & Noble.  I don’t even suppose that many elected representatives who flog this tired nag have any real awareness of where she’s carrying us—they’re simply piling onto yet another opportunity to make government more intrusive in our lives (which, according to their philosophy, can only lead to happy destinations).

What I see behind all of them is the kind of mind that reasons thus: “Our species could travel the stars.  We could eliminate disease, and even death, with the help of Artificial Intelligence.  We could make war, and the risk of war, a bad dream in our cultural memory.  But we need more control!  We need ignorant masses of voters to settle us in the seat of power—and then we need a means, a pretext, both to suspend further elections and to thin out the volume of those masses.  Their collective activity is already consuming more resources than we can continually, reliably access… and their number just keeps growing!  They contribute nothing, they demand everything… and Mars appears to draw farther and farther away—not to mention Barnard’s Star.  We need to shed layers and layers of fat.  We need a purge.”

You can sing your Christmas carols on the train to Auschwitz if you like.  My preference for you—for us—would be this.  As you roast your chestnuts on an open fire, ask yourself where chestnuts come from, and how fire for heating and cooking may be made.  Could you harvest nuts, if you had to?  Could you build a fire?  God gave us Earth, and everything we need to survive is—or was once—within easy reach before us.  We need only fear for our parents, our children, and ourselves if we squeeze our lives neatly into train cars and trust in the engineer’s superior and benign planning.

Get off the train.  Collect some wood.  See what’s happening.  The “scientists” aren’t going to tell you.  They’re too busy trying to place another publication or win another grant.  Get off.  The manger has all you need.

Christmas: Engineered Nostalgia or Orientation to the Future?

Certain things can be done best on those days when the sun rises over a heavy frost—like today.  This would be a good morning to tug on my high boots and wade into the briars and vines around my garden’s perimeter with a shovel.  If I embarked upon the same mission at warmer times of year, I would either have to gear up like a beekeeper or else risk blundering upon a bed of yellow jackets (not vestes jaunes angry about Macron’s gas tax, but the really angry insect whose sting is worse than a flying stone).  This wicked undergrowth is dangerous throughout most of the year both for the poisonous snakes it might conceal and for the tenderbox it creates around our house, should a tossed cigarette far down the road start a forest fire.  I used to hack at it with a swing-blade. Now I prefer the shovel.  Its shaft is twice as long as the serrated blade’s, so I get more acceleration into my strokes.  I also don’t have to bend as far into spots where the spines are especially prickly.  A shovel’s blade, if you angle it properly, can cut as fine as a saber.

Yet I may not go a-hacking today.  Yesterday was the fourth in a row of very drizzly December days (the French word brumeux keeps rattling through my brain).  I exploited the opportunity to sally forth—again with my trusty shovel—to level a field in the far back where I hope to plant grass and have a playing surface for young visitors someday.  The builders of our new home, in their hit-and-run, time-is-money fashion, took a run at the space with a bulldozer.  In my opinion, their efforts were more harm than help.  The “leveling” was extremely erratic, and the weight of the dozer compacted broken stone and red clay into a sheet almost as impenetrable as concrete.  Only when the surface has been thoroughly soaked can one strip away an inch or two of it with relative ease.  Yesterday I transported four wheelbarrows of the stony muck from the high side of my “field” (a sculpture in progress) to the low side.  Despite the cold temperature and the drizzle, I grew heated with the work and shucked off my cap.  Eventually, even my coat went by the board.  Later that evening, I felt a head-cold coming on.  Mother Nature always gives me a little slap-in-the-face of this sort when I become presumptuous.  Today may therefore simply be a time of rest and repentance.  Sorry, Mother!

My cleared space has paid some surprising dividends in terms of my making friends with the neighbors.  Last week I was shocked to see “the field” arrayed with what looked like two dozen tree stumps suddenly sprouted from its razed surface.  On closer inspection, I found that the “stumps” were turkeys picking through the recently shifted dirt.  I managed to get a shot of them—with a camera—just as they were starting to flutter off (see above).  My moving the upstairs curtain may have spooked them.

Similarly, I also blundered into a couple of yearling deer last week while hanging a sheet over my orange tree in anticipation of a frost.  Both sides were surprised… but I decided to “act normal” and go about my business.  Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that the deer, too, were going about theirs, casually and helpfully grazing my weeds away.  Always before, they had bolted away at the least sign of a human.  Of course, the bolting is a very healthy strategy around any primate, and I would be distressed to think that I was weakening their defenses by inspiring a false confidence.  Maybe they’re capable of distinguishing my wife and me from the rest of the species.

Whatever I get done during the winter months will determine what I get done over the rest of the coming year.  Hesiod says I should be mending the plow by a fire… but I have neither.  (We decided against a wood-burning fireplace because smoke torments my finicky sinuses.)  What I plant and where I plant it, however, will depend upon where I can adequately clear space—and some needs are more pressing than others.  My drainage ditches, too, require extension.  Those that I built last summer have been a resounding success; but the top of our hill, where the builder decided simply to dump massive amounts of large stone to give traction to his eighteen-wheel haulers, erupts into puddles every time a good rain falls.  While the job isn’t urgent, it also won’t grow any easier once the temperature starts rising again.

With all of this on my mind, I found myself explaining to my son in detail why I don’t feel free to take the long, long trip to Denver for Christmas.  I hate such trips, anyway: being confined in a tight space for three or four hours gives me a migraine.  I also hate large cities.  Yet if we were still in our previous home, we would surely hit the road for Parts West. The task of managing the new place has introduced a special complexity into the calculation.

My son, on the other hand, is beginning a “real job” (as opposed to the series of menial gigs that his college degree prepared him for), and December 24 is considered a work day; so his catching a flight to our part of the world is out of the question.  It’s the first Christmas he will ever have passed away from his parents, in his 23 years on earth.

No one is more distressed about that than I… but I’m convinced that my son understands my objectives for the property I’m trying to develop.  If we have a field of peanuts (protein), several thriving nut trees (more protein), pomegranates and gojis and prickly pear (antioxidants—and, yes, I have prickly pear cactus), apples and apricots (vitamins), and kiwi vines (latest addition—really strong in Vitamin C), then we will have created what I think of as a “survival farm”.  Water doesn’t seem to be a problem here.  Heat: I could convert my fireplace to burn wood in a crisis.  Electricity: do without… but may look into solar batteries next year.

If my son eventually has a family, he may one day very much need a place like this.  Nobody likes to talk about the several imminent catastrophes with which we are on a collision course—and, no, “climate change” isn’t one of them.  Just to give you an idea… our national power grid remains about 90% unsecured, making us unique in that regard among major industrialized nations; an Electro-Magnetic Pulse would cause most of us to perish within a year; such an EMP could occur at any time, not necessarily due to terrorism but simply because of solar flare activity; a solar event of this kind is overdue, as well as astronomers can tell; and our national conversation is consumed by… whether or not President Trump paid off a hooker to stay quiet.

I have relatives—no, I have a certain close relative who has reviled me for putting my property before my son.  She’s quite the typical over-educated, secularized, pampered, career-bureaucrat progressive, and she has decided that my sense of urgency about the future is all balderdash—though, of course, erecting windmills everywhere and impeaching Trump are among her top priorities.  I think of her now when I look at the lid of a tin of Planter’s Nuts that I bought off the discount rack at Walmart.  Across the festively decorated top are scrawled the words and phrases, “Family Traditions”, “Joy”, “Warm Wishes”, “Winter Happiness”, “Sweet Memories”, “Winter Wonders”, and—remarkable for both for its particular inanity and for its inconcinnity with the string of nouns—“Enjoy Love”.  There you have it.  Planter’s has captured in about a dozen words the new meaning of the “holidays” (and why “Happy Holidays” didn’t make the cut, I have no idea).  My relative is obviously of the persuasion that this secular caricature is the real deal.  I should therefore, cost what it may, be arranging those “winter wonders” and “sweet memories” out of respect for “family traditions”.  The only reason she wouldn’t say that I have a holy obligation to do so is that the word “holy” veers, for her, away from reality and into nothingness.

Ironically, I suppose, the love for my son that transcends Facebook-ready photos is precisely what keeps me preoccupied with my spring preparations.  My “winter happiness” includes busting my ass on a bed of rock and clay because I don’t want my child and his children to face certain agonizing starvation in the world being created by people like my oh-so-wise relative.  The irony would lurk in my being excessively immersed in the here-and-now, if one wished to deconstruct my practice; because if I claim a belief in higher realities, why not simply let this life’s chips fall where they may?

If you require a full answer to that question, then I won’t be able to supply it in the space I have left.  Try this thumbnail version: a person who lives for here and now does not sacrifice our very finite opening for self-gratification to the service of others.  A person who lives for an eternity where his fusion with God’s will may grow complete becomes very busy during his few terrestrial moments with giving others a little “extra time” to figure out the path.  I know that I may one day have to shoot those turkeys with something other than a camera.  In the meantime, I want them to settle in and peck my spaces to their avian heart’s content.  That’s why I don’t rent another bulldozer and raise hell pounding and crashing all over my premises: that’s why everything I do is with a shovel, a hoe, an axe, a rake, or a pick.  I want to raise as few seams as possible between “now” and “later”. In my view, the here-and-now should not be at war with the durable: it should unlock the enduring, if not the eternal.  As for those who scoff at undying truth and higher reality, I think they often abuse what we have now and may just carry us to the brink of existential calamity with their obsession over “warm moments”.

I’ve sent my son the photo of those turkeys as a Christmas card.  He gets it.  We’re not about huddling over “warm winter memories”, he and I.  We’re about adjusting our egocentric impulses to the requirements of a future that accommodates someone more than ourselves.

Three Good Reasons to Be Paranoid About Those in Power

After the last post, I might as well draw up the cinch with a big sigh and explain myself better, though to some a mere hint in these matters is unwelcome.

I have now, over a period of six months, discussed three reasons why we—or the vast, out-of-the-loop majority of us—should consider ourselves justified in suspecting that we have been designated expendable, if not slated for the slaughterhouse.

Item One: I’m sorry… but, yes, the first of these is related to the UFO phenomenon.  Scoff if you like.  A good nineteen out of twenty sightings that claim to identify something otherworldly in the skies are misperceptions or hoaxes, and the info-tainment industry has liberally stirred both mis- and dis-information into the pot.  None of that alters the reality of certain events like the Phoenix Lights in 1997: a series of sightings reported by hundreds, videotaped by dozens, witnessed by a personal contact of mine with a security clearance, and observed even by Arizona Governor (at the time) Fife Symington.  Though the Governor would conclude his brief researching of the incident with a lame attempt at mockery in a press conference a day later, for that one day he was as alarmed as his fellow citizens; and he has since confessed (without offering details) that the smirking dismissal of the reports was more or less ordered by Them Who Must Not Be Refused.

These silently and impossibly hovering, silently and impossibly accelerating craft could have been the result of only one of the following: an extraterrestrial visit, a military project in which extraterrestrial vehicles were reverse-engineered, or a purely terrestrial project the principles of whose engineering sophistication have been kept entirely off the academic grid.  Take your pick.  If you wish to join the coerced Symington in smirking at our collective phobia of little green men, then Option Three is clearly your choice… and is it really more consoling than the the notion that wide-eyed dwarves are cruising our skies?  Why is the physics behind this celestial parade wholly unknown at Rice and MIT?  Security?  But if secrets of such depth and consequence are routinely withheld from us, then what assurance have we that they will consistently be used to our benefit in the future?  How does a democratic society process such paternalistic “protection”?

And more immediately to the evidence of the incident… why the Phoenix Lights?  Why the in-your-face display of miraculous engineering over a major American metropolis?  Did the fleet simply veer off course?  If you’ve ever smirked in your life, this would be the time.  My own creeping suspicion is that the event was a kind of probe on the part of the covert designers to study public reaction.  That would mean… well, what else could that mean, but that powers within our state have not only developed technology of a science-fictional sophistication, but that that they—or some few high-ranking string-pullers among them—have also developed an interest in how the vast American mass would respond to an open show of miracle-machines?

So what game is being played when strings are thus pulled?  At what point do we—the great unwashed, the profane uninitiated—get to find out?

Item Two: the insecure power grid.  It is simply inconceivable to me that our nation would have blazed a path well into the twenty-first century without insulating our electricity-dependent way of life from surges of electromagnetic radiation.  These could be maliciously generated by the low-level technology of a second-rate terrorist nation like North Korea, or they could occur naturally (through solar flares).  In either event, a significant Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) could leave most of us without lighting, heating, refrigeration, phone or television service, operative automobiles, restocked grocery stores, functional hospitals, and other essentials of daily living so numerous that about nine of every ten Americans would die within a year (since our generators are not domestically produced and cannot be quickly replaced).  This is a virtual “On the Beach” scenario.  And the United States Congress, during the same two decades that saw a bankrupt Russia and a bureaucracy-heavy China secure their grids, did… precisely nothing.

Now, one must not underestimate the role of irresponsible, egotistical exuberance that overtakes the lives of our representatives when they arrive in Washington.  A kind of childishness descends upon many that, in specific cases, often mimics the influence of outright stupidity.  I do not believe that Barack Obama, for instance, had joined an evil cabal to destroy 90 percent of the nation when he ignored every single recommendation of the EMP Commission.  (As Peter Pry explained to Mark Levin, Obama probably saw the securing of our grid as a bad-faith gesture before those traditional adversaries whose favor he was courting—apparently having skipped the briefing about solar flares in that manner for which he became famous within the Beltway.)  Yet this is always the Washington fashion, it would seem.  The people’s choices wine and dine and posture and hold court insouciantly above major issues like a foolish child skating on thin ice unless and until some firebrand forces the impending disaster into their faces.  Our forty-fourth president had his face lifted too high in the air for very many issues to achieve a direct impact with it.

Nevertheless, somebody should have blown a whistle loudly, especially in the wake of 9/11.  It is incredible that no one did, and that virtually no one has.  (President Trump has in fact taken initial steps toward EMP defense, which may reach completion by about 2020.)  Why is it that we find no dearth of representatives mashing the red button because sea levels appear to creep up around the Chesapeake and the hurricane season has grown testy—yet not a one of them for years has manifested the least interest in a possible extinction event whose occurrence is as inexorable as a major California quake or an eruption of Kilauea?  Can every one of these people have been asleep at the switch for so long?

Or could it be, instead, that the general slumber and stupor prevalent in our nation’s capital have been nursed along by a few insiders?  Are there those in very high places (not necessarily elected positions, but with significant influence over the elected) to whom a “thinning” of our population by 90 percent wouldn’t be such a very bad thing, in the grand scheme of things?  Would not this 90 percent in the “fatality zone” include 100 percent of those who had and have no inkling as to the truth behind the Phoenix Lights?  Is indifference to unimpeachable reports of bizarre craft overhead not fully compatible with further indifference to unimpeachable reports of national calamity just waiting for a solar flare?  In other words, hasn’t our “cluelessness” been checked out, duly noted, and integrated into further calculation?  And wouldn’t it be—to these designers of the grand scheme—a very convenient thing to have the power of zapping your enemies with death rays from flying saucers, but also the freedom of devoting every resource to “progress” rather than paying well over half of the GDP to unemployed rabble and senile vegetables?

Item Three: Now I return to my overly cryptic comments about my high school alma mater’s elaborate newsletter.  I used that text to launch into a Sunday sermon about how the new “suave” and “urbane” for the socially ambitious is leftist progressivism.  This is neither surprising nor unnatural as a broad tendency.  The cutthroat nouveau riche have long been known to endure a mellowing period during which they slip their lion and elephant trophies into storage and buy Picassos for display.  They may even affect certain radical convictions (having gouged the public to amass their own fortune) in a perverse combination of penitence and victory-dance.  The Rockefellers and the Carnegies become passionate philanthropists.  Bill Gates becomes something like the Dalai Lama for forward-thinking people.  Frugality and caution are so crass, you know, darling!

Yeah, I get all that.  And I understand, too—better than most—that a pater familias might wish to advertise his arrival into the highest echelon by sending his kid to a college which actively vilifies wealth acquisition while instructing its young charges in how to change condoms rather than light bulbs.  But… but I simply can’t comprehend how the greater population of concerned donors would continuously bankroll such a meltdown in morale.  For every J.P. Morgan showing off his new social consciousness, there must still be a hundred CEO’s of small companies around.  Are they all that afraid of being “Papa Johned” by the popular press for not supporting the University’s de-gendering of restrooms?

Why have college presidents, for that matter, allowed their English programs to fizzle out, year after year, in course offerings on transgender playwrights of the Fin de Siècle and symposia on female-empowering sex toys?  Yes—again, I recognize that their fear of being branded uncouth in the Chronicle of Higher Education is precisely analogous to the D.C. politician’s fear of wearing the racist tag because he supports secure borders.  In both cases, the will of the enterprise’s true constituency is ignored in favor of placating a few effete opinion-makers.  But… really?  Not a single college president has been willing in four decades to utter these words?—“Sorry, but you’re no longer chair.  This is a conservative area with socially mainstream alumni, and our English program will continue to teach Shakespeare and Milton—without torching the Christian faith at every turn.”

My suggestion is that, with all the other influences discussed ad nauseam by the radio and Internet commentariat, the leftward slant of education has been fashioned with a certain conspiratorial complicity on the part of what should be conservative exponents.  At a very high and embedded level in specific cases—and at a fully subconscious level, no doubt, in subordinate cases—conservative cultural beacons have decided that it’s okay to let the restless masses wander down corridors inevitably leading to destruction.  The intelligentsia want to reject heterosexuality and parenthood?  Fine.  Their toxic effect will be dead in a generation.  The chattering class and the secular Christian-lite clergy want to practice charity by allowing the Third World to flood society unchecked and unvetted?  Fine.  Chaos will ensue, basic rights will be suspended, dictatorial powers will be bestowed… and then the only issue to be settled will be whether the ruling elite veers communist or monarchist.  A non-issue, really: the stronger always prevail.  A Stalin trumps a Trotsky every time, and Cesar Chavez always becomes Hugo Chavez.

Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity can inveigh against Saul Alinsky’s or Cloward and Piven’s revolutionary manual all they like.  The force that most frightens me, as a career academic, is the one I can’t see—the one that should be present in measurable quantities and, instead, shows up as statistical zero.  That force should be coming from the Right.  It’s not.  Like the designer of some diabolically brilliant computer virus, an elite few with incalculable influence have chosen at some previous stage of our cultural debacle to settle back, lace their fingers, and let the worm run through the system.  I can’t name a single one of them, and I can’t see their shadow… but I feel it, cold over my shoulder.  I wonder if they begin to comprehend what a deep place in Hell they’ve reserved for their souls by making this bid to “bail out” civilization?