Find a Water Source and Stuff Your Cupboard: Happy 2020!

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2019 ended with my having discovered Daniel Horowitz’s podcast, Conservative Review (originally a video broadcast on The Blaze network). Once Horowitz and his guest Steve Deace had combined to dissect the omnibus bill, promptly signed by President Trump amid high-fives all around FOX News, I knew that any peace I was to find over the holidays must come from within. That’s not a bad realization. I have spent most of the past two weeks, in fact, enjoying my son’s visit and completing a manuscript about my religious faith. We should remind ourselves once in a while that anyone whose hopes rest upon this world is doomed to disappointment.

Nevertheless, a year that began with my dedicating a futile tome to a poor bloke who will rot away for the rest of his life in a Georgia prison because a jury couldn’t understand “reasonable doubt”, then continued with my unearthing (mostly through Diana West’s labors) how the hundred-million-murder march of Stalinist/Maoist communism was made possible by FDR… well, let’s just say the 2019 nag ran true to form all the way to the finish line. Mr. Trump is vastly preferable to the socialist alternative. On the other hand, he isn’t Washington crossing the Delaware, contrary to memes circulated throughout social media by wishful thinkers. He’s certainly not the return of Christ (another favorite meme). He’s a man who loves attention, receives some very bad advice, and “cuts deals” by entering an absurdly high initial bid and then gulping down the come-back without any dickering. Happy 2020.

My advocacy on behalf of securing the power grid was also plugged into a dead socket. Nobody cares. I’m not sure that I even care any more. Do you want to believe “studies” designed by power companies to conclude a) that an electro-magnetic pulse would be almost impossible to create, and b) that the grid is rock-solid, anyway? Okay. I guess we’ll find out when the next major solar storm flares up (oh… and those studies forgot to mention solar storms, by the way). I’ve probably got 500 gallons of rainwater collected in various tubs around the property, and I have the means to purify it. Our cupboard is full of rice and canned nuts, and I’ve stocked up on shotgun shells. I do wish that my son didn’t live on the fringe of a sanctuary city, where rioting and looting will exceed even Hollywood’s ability to project after all the power has been off for a couple of weeks; but he has water-purification tablets, guns, and a few close friends who know how to shoot.

As for the rest of the nation… let’s just leave it at this. When one of my letters to an elected representative finally drew a response, I was told (and I condense): “Climate change is of great concern to me. That’s why I am working hard to promote clean energy through the construction of the —– nuclear power facility.” A Republican senator in action: keep those campaign contributions from the power companies coming, and also try (weakly and vainly) to outflank the Left by hugging some trees. Umm… EMP and climate change, Senator, are not… oh, forget it.

I subsequently had the bright idea, shared in this space, that the “demography is destiny” prophets of doom might be gainsaid if we could actually encourage some non-Caucasian conservatives in their bid for public office. My efforts drew comments on social media that reminded me of my promotion of Ted Cruz years earlier. Oh my God, Heidi Cruz has worked for Goldman-Sachs! Oh my God, Lerah Lee admits that she admired Barbara Bush as a child because both had attended the same high school! Apparently, a much, much better idea would be to nominate (in one case) a quondam registered Democrat whose daughter and her husband share more than a few ideaas with Liz and Bernie, or to nominate (in the other case) a white woman so wealthy that she can finance her campaign largely from her own bank account. Haven’t I already read this Republican script a few dozen times—didn’t I just read it a few days ago? “Climate change is of great concern to me….”

This week, I had kicked around a similar idea about “outreach”. Since our nation is now so flooded in illegal residents that we can’t accurately number them within ten million, since several states are eagerly issuing driver’s licenses to them, and since we know that many have already voted in past elections… well, would there be any way to peel some of them off of the Nanny State pap? Perhaps by appealing to their dignity, their manhood? Perhaps by circulating fluent Spanish-speakers through their communities warning, “The free stuff will run out! You’re being played—your vote is being bought! Free school, free health care, free road repairs, free police protection… the nation is going bankrupt, and you will be the first to feel the squeeze! You’re being set up! Don’t you want to contribute, to be respected? To be a part of the broader community? Or do you want your sons joining gangs when there’s no more free anything, and your daughters being kidnapped and enslaved when it’s no longer safe to walk out the front door?”

And so forth. Except that I finally got a hold of Michelle Malkin’s Open Borders, Inc. The first chapter was enough to enlighten me. Most of our beloved “refugees” aren’t fleeing cartel violence and a complicit, corrupt police force. Their way is paved by complex international bureaucracies, almost literally, mile after mile. Billionaire subversives and US-hostile nations conniving at our dissolution are bankrolling elaborate networks to keep the spate of migrants flowing. Everybody at the table wins (though you and I don’t get through the door). Mexico and other “donor” nations reap billions annually from wages sent back home, even as they relieve themselves of an indigent population that had posed nothing but problems in the past. The PRC primes the same pump, sits back, and watches our political system collapse. The New World Order oligarch-hopefuls see their empire of innumerable servile minions taking shape. Mainstream churches harvest a little more in the collection plate if they can woo some of the newcomers into their congregation—but the big money is paid by our tax dollars to church organizations that “resettle” the “refugees”. Democrats acquire tens of thousands of new voters in various localities; and Republicans… well, they have another occasion to display their compassion as their constituents watch taxes, culture, order, and rule of law thrown into the bonfire. Republicans are concerned about climate change, you know.

So… no, I don’t think a Spanish-language appeal to dignity and manhood would make a dint on this crowd of money-hungry adventurers who use their children as passports. The real “backbone of Mexico” is back in Mexico, trying to ride out a civil war that didn’t need months of blackout to erupt. Their communities are unraveling because their footloose, opportunistic brethren have taken off for the Yanqui Klondike: the nearly 600 sanctuary cities, where abogados and advocacy groups tell you how to milk the cash cow (Apple has an app, according to Malkin, that puts illegals instantly in touch with such vital information). With so much money filtering back to the old country through such irregular channels, a farmer who wants to grow his melons and peppers is an endangered species. Adiós, America… yes, and Adiós, Mexico.

For good news, I turn to… wait a minute, still looking… ah, yes. The Second-Amendment Sanctuary movement in Virginia, proceeding county by county. The newly elected Virginia duma is already licking its collective chops at the prospect of calling in the National Guard to gun down non-compliant citizens, so we may expect to see something like Janet Reno’s Waco before the year’s end. And then… then, unlike the aftermath of Waco, the shooting will just be starting. Fort Sumter might be a better analogy, once the smoke clears.

And that’s the good news. But remember: Republicans, too, are concerned about climate change.

My Uneasy Truce With Liberal Christians on the Border Crisis

My wife and I, having retired to an area of the Appalachian foothills where she grew up, are supposed to join formally a small church this Sunday.  I have few expectations, and no illusions.  At my age, one is aware that faith either lives and breathes in what one says and does… or else it is a body without breath, a mere word gracing a convenient nexus of social diversions.  I love the compound’s century-old trees, the whispering creek under a small bridge, and the 180-year-old-church itself.  The people are probably no better than I at my best or worse than I at my worst.  I don’t really need a church to tell me when I walk with God… and I’ve never been able to convince myself that I’m walking with God because I belong to a church.

It’s actually very hard to find a denomination that will countenance the sentiments of my last sentence, especially along the more conservative edge of the spectrum.  Among the hardliners, you either hear and adore the Word every Sunday… or you’re hell-bait; and to hear the Word, you come to church and listen to Preacher Paul exegize select verses (which need no exegesis because everything in the Bible is literally true and means just what it says, except… whatever).

Well, we have steered clear of Preacher Paul this time.  I like our new minister, though a passing allusion (which I may have misconstrued) to LGBT issues in one of her sermons made me squirm.  As a woman who attended seminary in the Deep South, she endured a baptism of fire, I’m sure, that left her more sympathetic to liberal causes célèbres than I could ever be.  And as a straight white male who has navigated the shoal waters of college English departments for over three decades, I’m sure I could tell her things about leftist hypocrisy, coarseness, and inhumanity that would shock her.  But I probably won’t.  We settle where the tides of life have cast us ashore.  Some of us have known dense swamps, and some only barren rocks.

Yet this general magnanimity of mine doesn’t always wear well in specific cases.  The defense of our border is one such: I’m challenged to give my “live and let live” shrug when I hear trash talk about ICE.  If a devout libertarian were to explain to me why all borders should be nullified, I would heartily disagree, but I could understand how his principles had generated his position.  The connections would be logical and relatively unprovocative.  What makes me want to cry foul on discussions of this subject is the mention of children.  It’s tantamount to hitting the lights when you know you’ve drawn a losing hand and then raking in all the chips during the scramble.  No, sorry—you don’t get to skulk away free on the border crisis just by uttering the word “children”.  Even if you squeeze “Christ” into the same sentence, you’re not sneaking out of the room with the pot.  In fact, if you start throwing “Christ” at me routinely, I’ll have you permanently banned from the game… or I’ll just stop playing games, since I’m not the organizer here.  I’ll design my conversations to orbit tightly around “hello”: I’ll keep the peace of a quiet outsider visiting a lunatic asylum.  Sound familiar?

Let’s look at children, by all means—we of sound mind.  Take a six-year-old who’s been dragged from the rural village whose lanes, creeks, briar patches, and sand flats are all he’s ever known… and bundle him along a series of rattletrap bus-rides and crawling night transits in flatbed railroad cars until he comes to the desert.  Then make him walk two or three hundred miles through spaces that have no water and steady, brutal sun.  Why art thou doing this to him, thou follower of Christ?  Or why are you defending those who do this to him?  The reason is said to be a “better life”.  What better life?  Better how?  Better for his “parents”?  (Let’s assume for the sake of argument, and in the teeth of probability, that all our six-year-olds are being dragged through Hell by a true parent.)  How better for his parents?  Because they will harvest free health care, free police protection, free food and shelter in some cases (so they’ve heard), and free-and-permanent victim status in our ongoing high-stakes political game of subverting the republic?  How will this profit our boy?  What positive life lessons—assuming he survives the trip intact (and waving aside more probabilities)—will he learn from these new habits?  Dependency, indigence, victimhood, protest, envy, resentment… along with all the duplicity, cynicism, despair, and passive-aggressive tricks of exploitation that are first cousin to these… have we given this child, my brothers and sisters in Christ, a better upbringing than he would have enjoyed on the dirt floor of his hovel?

My Beacons of the Christian Conscience, ironically, are always among the first to deplore our overcrowded cities (and little Pedrito’s dad does not intend to pick apricots and lettuces), our high unemployment levels and (when those fall) low wages, our soul-killing ghettos, our deadly-violent streets, and our garbage-laden popular culture.  Yet by inviting hordes of fortune-seekers to ignore our laws, they are feeding the machine that generates all such misery.  Is it so important, then, that Pedrito not be brought up on a dirt floor?  Why?  For health reasons?  Are the mouthpieces of our Collective Conscience remotely aware of what massive movements of people into tightly condensed population centers do for infectious diseases?

But the children, the children!  They’re already here.  How can you turn them away?

An observation, and then a suggestion.  If it were known far and wide that our border was firmly shut to illegal penetration, then no child would ever be forced to endure this excruciating, sometimes fatal ordeal.  If a “parent” nevertheless feels so drawn by the prospect of a rich payday that he will submit his child to such torture, then I say that we have a prima facie case for severe child abuse.  Therefore (and this is my suggestion), instantly put each child up for adoption who is rescued from such a parent, and send the parent back home.  Fortunately, the volume of American families willing to adopt a child within two hours of a phone call is immense, thanks to the success of the Left at killing off very adoptable infants.  My wife and I would take Pedrito tomorrow.

Why is that “not Christian” of us—but leaving children in the hands of anything-to-get-ahead parents is a deed of mercy?  Are we truly trying to be disciples of Christ in a fallen and intricately compromised world… or are we posing for a selfie in some situation whose props and lighting “look Christian”?  (“Here’s another of Jesus and me… that’s me on the right.”)

I try to remind myself that inviting ignorant, dependent masses into red states at grave risk of igniting plagues and gang warfare—all for the sake of illegal enfranchisement and permanent hijacking of the nation—is the psychotically amoral scheme only of the Democrat Party elite (and more than a few Republican fellow-travelers in the beltway).  I try to recognize, even, that not all the “Lord, Lord” Christians who condone this calamity are merely of the virtue-signaling, selfie-snapping sort.  I truly believe that some, perhaps many, are honestly mistaken about the situation’s squalid facts… that is, I think I truly believe it.  I try to.  Truly.

But my vexation with people who are well old enough to understand just what a desert is, even if they’ve never seen one, can get the better of me.  My impatience with people who decry our repellently commercialized Christmases yet cannot accept that children may grow up spiritually healthy without iPhones and x-Boxes makes me nearly snap sometimes.  I know they mean well, some of these people… maybe most of them.  (More likely just some of them.)  And scarcely a one of them, at the same time, can credit that anyone holding my position isn’t a racist animal.

I’ll be okay.  I’ll listen to the wind high in the century-old pines, and the incessant watery whisper beneath the bridge.  All the projects of this world end in futility, from an earthly perspective… and the stream flows on.  Who knows?  Maybe I can politely nudge a mind or two in a different direction.  Maybe I will discover that one or two minds covertly occupy the same turf as mine.

But it’s a shame that so many children will have to suffer, in the meantime.  And it’s beyond shameful that their suffering will be abetted, and even engineered, by people calling themselves Christians—engineered in the very exercise of this self-indulgent, extravagant short-sightedness that they are pleased to call Christian living.

Keeping Bambi and His Mom Together… in the Snake Pit

Back from a whirlwind trip to collect the keys from the builder of our new house almost 800 miles away.  Quite exhausting… but what wears me down more is pondering how much brush I have to clear.  The crew pushed things around to create space for their construction—not to leave space for my garden and orchard.  And to think that the Master Builder marveled at the number of snakes he had seen about the site!  When you produce brush piles, O Rugged Captain of Joist and Beam, you get snakes.  (Which is just as well… because you also get rodents.)

And there were other, more minor nuisances… our builder set out a mailbox post with a street number because the Fire Department requires it, but didn’t bother to add the non-requisite mailbox.  We hard-working, home-grown Americans don’t go the extra mile in business dealings any longer, apparently: we sidle up to the legally stipulated boundary and then stop.  The builder, I hasten to add, comes highly recommended and is overworked (“If you want a job done, find a busy man,” runs an old adage that—of course—none of my students had ever heard). And he did lay all the joists and beams with admirable precision. I’m not griping… I’m just sighing.

It’s a start: the beginning of my life’s last chapter, after I have wasted so many intermediate pages trying to live out a hopeless narrative in the academic world.  I got the first of my long-suffering, probably dead-on-arrival fruit trees in the ground… and my cactuses fared much better. Nopales mean antioxidants at my doorstep if… if our socio-political train finally runs off the track. I stared down a deer through the kitchen window with the same grim reassurance.  I’m neither a hunter nor, on most occasions, a carnivore… but it’s nice to know that Bambi’s mom is in the larder if I absolutely need her.

Speaking of neglected work, cultural meltdown, does and fawns, and slimy serpents… I’m not exaggerating when I say that much the most annoying part of last week’s adventure was having to listen to CNN carry on in the hotel breakfast room (a hotel, because the house wasn’t quite ready on the evening promised).  Oh, I’d heard plenty of protests about CNN’s “fake news” coverage… but I had shrugged them off as the hyperbole of competitors, since I myself hadn’t regularly watched cable news for years.  The phenomenon, it turns out, goes far beyond mere bias.  It leaves me more determined than ever to ready the drawbridge for cranking up, because some of us are obviously losing our minds.

Now, what I’m about to write is based on the five-minute walk-through needed to soak up two cups of tea.  (I postpone breakfast and squeeze it almost into lunch—the so-called “starvation diet” that’s actually done me a lot of good).  Yet the very fact that my sampling was so brief and casual raises its own alarm: at any given moment, this is what you get.  Alisyn Camerota was leading a chorus about how frightened those de-parented toddlers along the border must be.  There were storms in the South Texas forecast—and, and the storms would bring thunder… and, and the little children would be so very terrified because they had been wrested away from Mama and Papacita!  Oh, my God! Oh, it was all so uncivilized and beastly!

Yes, Alisyn (keens another Woman of Corinth), and I talked to one person (one person of many, none of whom had names… but what would a border-jumper’s name mean to you, privileged Americano?  We’ll call her Maria…) and… and she was in tears, and she said that she didn’t know where her child was!

Hrrrumph… yes, Alisyn (as we switch to Clive Coat-and-Tie on the steps of the Capitol).  It seems that there are some advisors surrounding this president, and indeed many Americans among the president’s supporters, whose philosophy is that immigration is bad for the nation and should be brought to a complete halt for the indefinite future….

At this point, I growled over my tea, “No, we just want the damn laws enforced so that not just anyone gets to wander into the country!”  It was a very audible growl… but I was on my way out, and anyone who wanted to savor the anguish of the cuddle-your-child advocates further (a team strangely silent on the public funding of Abortions ’R Us Planned Parenthood) was instantly relieved of my presence.

I’m just not getting it. I have seen the edges of the Chihuahuan desert, and I will hazard this generalization: anyone who either leads or sends a child across hundreds of miles of that terrain is very likely a child-abuser of the first order from whose influence the toddler ought to be liberated permanently. Or if the situation in Mexico is really so bad that mothers are fleeing with their babies in arms—fleeing into a yet more lawless vacuum than their native village where they will be that much more likely, both mother and child, to be raped or murdered—then we should approach our southern neighbor and announce, “You have a civil war going on, and your refugees are spilling into our nation. We insist upon intervening. You need help.” When the refugees do reach American soil, by the way, the good-faith option would be to go straight to the authorities rather than to attempt sidestepping them under the expensive and criminal guidance of the very cutthroats whom you claim to be fleeing.

Dividing kids from such adult “supervision” seems a very good idea to me, even though it has now been scrapped and we’re right back to “catch and release”. Why not put the kids up for instant adoption? My wife and I will take one. Will Alisyn Camerota? Will Chris Cuomo?

Meanwhile, certain municipalities in Canada are swooping in and placing children in foster care if their parents protest the school system’s LBGTQ agenda. Several cases in our own cities have lately involved children being forcibly separated from their parents after hospital visits, not because physical abuse is suspected, but because the white coats want to experiment and observe. Where were the mainstream media on these stories?

Remember the body of the toddler lying face down on a beach that stirred such a surge of compassionate border-opening in Europe two or three years ago? No one has ever explained to me why there were no footprints around this lamentable little corpse in the soft, wet sand. Did the photographer really snap the shot without first checking to see if the boy had vital signs? Or was the whole thing staged?

Are we really such an irrational, impulsive mob now that an image without context and a talking head wearing crocodile tears suffice to advance the cause of major criminal enterprises?

The answer appears to be “yes”. Naturally, it has always been so with respect to a minority—a large minority—of the republic. Any republic.  Our imbecility is now approaching critical mass, however. It scares me a lot more than snakes… and snakes, remember, actually eat rats.