A War for No Reason?

Street fighting erupts in battle for Ukraine's capital Kyiv | Russia-Ukraine  war News | Al Jazeera

You don’t need me to report on the Russo-Ukraine War; there’s enough confusion already.

But see, I’m a political scientist, with a strong interest in military theory and history, and normally I know about things like this. But for the life of me, I have no idea at all as to why this war started, who was at fault, what the stakes are, who’s the good guys and who’s the bad guys–I don’t know!

Am I just a dope for not knowing these things, when our politicians and TV commentators seem to know all about them? They certainly are passionate about what actions they think America and her allies ought to take. Wack Putin. Send troops. Don’t send troops. Stop buying oil from Russia. Buy more oil from Russia.

After our fiasco in Afghanistan, the whole world–and especially the world’s bad guys–saw the weakness and sheer inanity of America’s leaders, and concluded that they can now do anything they want. As long as the chairman of our Joint Chiefs of Staff says his chief concern is White Supwemacy (or Climbit Chainge, depending on what side of the bed he gets up on), they knew they don’t have to take America seriously.

Unless SloJo sleepwalks us into World War III.

No More Mandates!

President Biden's Weirdest White House Habits

(Where do you suppose he thinks he is?)

Our country’s founders never anticipated such a thing–that we would set aside our freedoms and our Constitution every time the “experts” said we had a “crisis”–but it’s looking like we need one:

A Constitutional amendment banning “mandates” by any level or agency of government anytime, anywhere, for any reason. In other words, if you can’t get it passed as a law by the people’s elected representatives, you can’t do it. Period. No president, governor, mayor, or bureaucrat can just lay it on us.

We have 535 members of Congress, some of whom are sane. But say there are, oh, 450 loons up on Capitol Hill. Can they do more damage than one wacko in the White House, or the state house, or the city hall? Paradoxically, it doesn’t seem they can! The more divided the political power, the safer we are from its abuse.

There has always been this expectation–hope? wistful longing?–that our legislators collectively would be something better than a passel of nincompoops. But even with that hope dashed, at least they’re often too busy arguing and pulling chairs out from each other to do serious harm to the country. It’s only when they get together that we have to be afraid.

 

Political Science–and Tarzan

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1988, Hardcover) for sale  online | eBay

Speaking of orgies of sexual harassment (https://leeduigon.com/2021/10/08/californias-state-legislature-a-tar-pit-of-sexual-harassment-2017/), and the fact that #MeToo went away when they kept finding big-name liberals chasing women into the rest rooms, I learned everything I needed to know about this aspect of politics from just two sources.

First was an account of Czar Peter the Great’s visit to London in 1698. They called it his “Grand Embassy.” The English government provided him and his entourage with a luxury townhouse, servants, and free everything.

And the czar and his entourage, who had apparently never sat on chairs before, wrecked the place. The Grand Embassy behaved like a rock band. They brought horses indoors to race them up and down the marble staircase. They strewed garbage everywhere.

Because they could. No one would dare tell them to stop.

Equally illuminating are Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan stories. In these, the biggest, strongest ape is king until another ape can kill him; and while he’s king, he gets to mate with any female he wants, he’s entitled to first choice of whatever food is going, and there’s no way to hold him accountable for anything he does. Reading these, I got to thinking, “Gee, that sure sounds familiar! Where have I see this before?”

Or rather, where have I not seen it?

That’s the politics of this world: do whatever you please for as long as you can get away with it. The Big Ape rules. That’s the politics of the City of Man.

We prefer the City of God.

‘Law Prof “Debunks” Parental Rights’ (2017)

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I’m running this again because I’m putting together an argument for Newswithviews: to wit, that our ruling class is so estranged, so alienated from the American people that they might as well be space aliens.

This guy, for instance.

Law Prof ‘Debunks’ Parental Rights

Let’s see… They’re telling us that some people shouldn’t be parents… Therefore in each and every case, the state should have supreme authority over each and every individual… because somehow, in this poobah’s mind, government existed before anybody ever had a baby. So you have no natural right to your own children. You have only what the state is willing to grant you.

And who is the state?

A bunch of aliens like him!

The Ingredients of Fascism

Benito Mussolini | Biography, Definition, Facts, Rise, & Death | Britannica

“Fascism” is a word that gets tossed around a lot, these days–but how many know what it really means?

Let’s try to know what we’re talking about. Fascism is a real thing, and here are its basic ingredients.

*A big, strong, highly centralized government. The bigger, the better.

*A small group of business oligarchs, corporate bigwigs, who control a disproportionate share of the unfortunate country’s business.

*A charismatic leader is just about indispensable to any fascist enterprise. Failing that, modern technology may be able to create such a leader. That’d be cool if The Leader didn’t really exist. (Note: In the World War II era, Japan’s fascism got by with a small group of leaders, gathered around Hideki Tojo. There was no Japanese Mussolini.)

*Wide popular support. People forget that fascist governments are usually greeted with enthusiasm by the unsuspecting populace.

*A Great Enemy, greatly feared, from whom The Leader and The Party will protect the people. Try “white supremacists” on for size.

*Now, if you want to refine your fascism into Peronism or Obamaism, simply add a few favored unions into the mix–public employees’ unions, already closely linked to government, are great for this.

Put ’em all together, season with a continuous flood of bad and alarming nooze (fake news will do just fine, if no real crisis is available), and, voila! You’ve got real, historical, 100% pure fascism!

I think the only thing our country’s missing is the charismatic fascist Leader.

I’m Stumped

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I’ve read a lot of history, and I’m a good political scientist–but the current state of our country absolutely stumps me.

What do you do when at least half the citizens believe their government has been fraudulently imposed on them, and the new president is well-known for his very iffy cognitive faculties? And when that government promotes and pushes crazy policies supported by hardly anyone? Like tearing down the border, arming Iran, and sweetheart deals with Communist China, just to name a few.

What in the world can we do?

I don’t know. We’ve never been here before. These are things that happen in countries long ago and far away. They never figured out what to do about it, either. Goodbye, republic; hail Caesar.

How can we put any trust in the next election, when we’ve just had one that stinks to high heaven?

Historically, the way the rulers govern such a country is by fear and violence: step out of line, and you disappear. Is that where we’re going?

We have nothing left but our prayers.

Pray hard, and hope God hears us.

We’ve Hired a Professor!

Taking Selfies With The Happy Quokka Has Been Banned In Australia | Happy  animals, Cute animals, Quokka

G’day from Quokka University! Byron here: and, as chairquokka of our Political Science Dept., I wish to announce the hiring of an associate professor! Hired by me, in fact. Trumpets, please! May I introduce our first associate professor of political science…here he is…

NORBERT

Norbert the therapy dog!

I hired him because you can hardly believe how sharply he can change direction, even while running at full speed. This is an invaluable skill in politics! Human politicians take pride in their ability to zig-zag, but Norbert puts them all to shame.

I have assigned him to teach Sharp Turns 101 and Being For It, Then Against It 202.

Did I mention he works cheap? Well, he only weighs three pounds, it’s not like you have to feed him a lot. No need to raise the tuition just to feed Professor Norbert.

As for the burning question, “What is the tuition?”, well, don’t look at me, I’m the Poli Sci Dept.! See if you can find the registrar, Aunt Feezy the Quokka, and ask her. I think I saw her going into the mangrove swamp.

Quokka U. to Teach Political Science

50 Quokka Facts: Smiling, Baby-Flinging, Selfie Kings! | Everywhere Wild

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, with big huge news from Quokka University!

Today we have founded our official and bona fide Political Science Dept. and put its first course in our sillibus. I’m not sure how to spell that word, which is embarrassing because they’ve made me the chairquokka of the department.

Anyway, our course is called “Archaic Ideas in Politics” and it’s all about a lot of old-fashioned political notions guaranteed to keep you from ever getting woke–ideas like cutting government down to size, preserving individual liberties, limiting the power of the big shots, relying on actual laws instead of mandates, and rescuing society from nimrods who act and talk like they came from eggs laid by defective platypuses. Sign up for this course now, before it gets so crowded that nobody goes there anymore.

Now all we need for our Political Science Dept. is some political scientists. I think I  once saw one who got lost in our nearby mangrove swamp. If you want to teach political science here, drop me a line. The pay is all the nice leaves you can eat. Plus a bicycle!

Several liberals have already protested our course, so we know we’re on the right track.

Memory Lane: Hillary as a Man

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The do-over was even worse.

Hoo boy! Remember this?

Unable to imagine how their idol, Hillary Clinton, could have lost the 2016 presidential election to hated-by-all-the-smart-people Donald Trump, a couple of professors at New York University, in 2017, staged a creative experiment (https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=8889).

To test their theory that Hillary only lost because hateful stupid American voters were prejudiced against a woman, the profs re-enacted the presidential debate as close to verbatim as possible, down to facial expressions and hand gestures–with one difference. In the re-enactment, Donald Trump is a woman and Hillary Clinton is a man.

Imagine their horror when the audience found Hillary even more revolting as a man–downright “punchable,” one woman said–and Trump even more likeable as a woman.

So much for their theory. See? There is such a thing as a dumb political scientist.

I only refer back to this weird incident because I and several other observers think there’s a good chance Hillary will again be the Democrats’ presidential candidate.

She has not gotten more likeable since 2016. Let’s hope she takes the whole evil party down in flames with her.

By Popular Demand: America Is Not a ‘Democracy’

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Democrats want to undo the 2016 election, they say, to “save the Nation” and protect America from threats to “democracy.” This is crapola. It has always been crapola, and always will be.

From the Constitution, Article IV, Section 4: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…” Not a “democracy.”

Our country’s founders knew their history. They saw in classical Greek democracy–vividly clear in Thucydides’ history of the war between Athens and Sparta–a recipe for self-destruction. To them “democracy” was a nice name for hysteria. For example: Athens self-destructed, and lost the war with Sparta that they were winning at the time, by picking a fight–for no reason but pure arrogant foolishness–with Syracuse. Athens sent her army to Sicily to attack Syracuse, which was richer and stronger and more populous than Athens. As for the Athenian expedition, no one came home; and before much longer, the Spartans were tearing down Athens’ walls and imposing a puppet government to replace the democracy. Attacking Syracuse wasn’t the only foolishness indulged in by the democracy in the war, but it was the worst folly they could think of.

Our founders wanted nothing to do with democracy. It’s pure majority rule: and not only does the majority sometimes get completely carried away with some self-destructive project from which no reason can deter them, but it also has a habit of riding rough-shod over the minority. Just imagine a whole country run as Democrats now run our House of Representatives, and you’ll get the picture.

Our founders also studied the example set by Rome. The Romans had a republic. Instead of rule by mere majority, Roman government was operated by elected representatives, with two main branches of government (executive and legislative) and a system of checks and balances. The Greek historian Polybius praised the Roman system for being more stable and more just than anything they had in Greece.

But Rome couldn’t keep her republic. Our founders knew that, and decided to improve on Rome’s model by adding a third branch of government, the judiciary, and by writing everything down, with changes only to be made by a clearly-defined amendment process. They also tried to protect the states from being engulfed by the central government. We’re still working on that today. The great weakness of Rome’s republic was that it was never finished; it was always a work in progress; there was always an element of making it up as they went along. In framing our Constitution, this was what our founders labored to avoid.

And so, you see, the United States is not a democracy but, by law and custom, a republic. The two terms are not interchangeable.

For anyone to prattle on and on about “America’s democracy” is either ignorant, dishonest, or both. We do not have a democracy, and heaven forbid we ever do.