Come On, Take It a Blast From the Past From January 14 2016

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While some blogs on the right have declared that the United States are already dead, I don’t believe that. After all, a lot of us are still alive.

No, okay, I know we are in a rather icky place, but let’s please be aware that a) this doesn’t mean we’re losing. b) Jerry is probably trying to hack into the email system to send us an email from the afterlife, and the email will say “Despair is a sin.” c) be not afraid.  In the end we win, they lose.  Sursum corda.

But rituals are important. And humans live by them, and by oaths.  So this Blast From The Past seemed needful, and perhaps comforting.

(And for the record, I’m okay.  This entire week I’m away from home, though and my schedule, time, (and access to electricity) is not my own.

Yesterday, on a private forum a friend of mine who here will go under the name Sam Anderson said the following:

Patriotism is good. Nationalism through a patriotic lens, seeing your country as worthwhile, as having prospects and things to be proud of, is not only acceptable but necessary for the health of any nation. But MOST especially the United States, because it’s one thing for the French to be ashamed of being French, but at the end of the day, they’re still going to be French. France is established on ethnic and historical foundations, and even if the French think they suck, there can still be citizens of France. Just not very long, since self-loathing aligns you, first metaphorically, then inevitably in practice, with enemies who ALSO loathe you.

But an American just CAN’T believe in nothing, CAN’T reject the philosophy underpinning America, and be one. Philosophy IS America. There’s nothing else to base it on, and there’s no “philosophy on the side” option. There’s no “shared values” or that bullshit. There’s a piece of paper that lays out precisely how the government functions, tells it what it doesn’t get to do, and tells YOU to go shift for yourself. Now yeah, maybe you can quibble with a point or two of it. Lots of people did then, too. But people who reject, wholesale, that that makes sense as the foundation of a country- who complain about negative rights, who call the constitution outdated de facto, aren’t American, the same way you couldn’t be a Catholic but not believe in G*d. A-philosophical American is a contradiction in terms. The most they can do is live somewhere between Mexico and Canada. We’ve got a lot of that kind of “American”.

But nationalism is only a problem when it starts to supersede rather than represent a people. The American people, left mostly to their own devices, with most of their own money and most of their own time, even if they only SORT OF try to adhere to their founding principles, can turn the world upside down. It’s not because of any particular genetic, ethnocentric, economic, or whatever reason. You could do it with anyone… they’d just have to agree to the challenging but rewarding terms of freedom, which historically much of humanity would rather trade for security. But America, the national body- the government bureaucrats meant to represent the people, who increasingly act in contravention of same- that America cannot find its ass with both hands. It’s just the resurgence of a far inferior product coming back under a much more successful and respected brand.

One of the lines you can draw between right and left is, when a conservative roots for America, they mean the individual entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, and scholars- the millions of little people who even now, every so often, by the grace of determination, judicious risk taking, and hard work, manage to do a few really big things. When a liberal roots for “America”, they back the bully-boys in the government with the private jets… the big institutions that nevertheless manage routinely to fuck up thousands of little things.

THAT’S the form of nationalism that’s toxic.

Let’s go back to what Sam said “Philosophy IS America.”  If you don’t believe in the founding principles, you’re not an American.  You’re at best a permanent resident who grew up here and behaves generally within the law.

We’re a volitional citizenship.  Yes, if you were born here, you are LEGALLY an American.  You can legally be a lot of things that you’re not even close to being in reality.  Take all the college people running around screaming they want to be protected from micro-micro aggressions.  They are legally adults.

My younger kid is also legally an adult, and although closer to an adult than most of the micro-aggressed, he still lives at home and has never had to provide for his daily upkeep.  He’s a legal adult, but not an adult like say any of you who have to work for a living.  (We let him only because he’s taking two stem degrees concurrently and not taking accommodations for his sensory issues.)

Do I think it was a mistake of the founders to allow citizenship of birth in a nation of volition?  You bet your beepy I do.  They got so much right, though, and they were only human.  They couldn’t believe anyone born here, enjoying the blessings of liberty could possibly wish to believe that a system where “we belong to the government” is better.

They were wrong.  In a way, again, understandable, since they’d given their life, their fortunes, their sacred honor for this endeavor and many lost them.  (Read a book called Signing Their Lives Away, if you haven’t yet.)  On the other hand, not understandable, since they knew how revolutionary their system was.  Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness?  You must be mad.  The government as a servant to the sovereign citizen?  Cooee, what world do you come from?  Separation of powers to make it difficult to “get things done”?  Mister, you must be one of them escapees from the asylum.

And yet — and yet — some of us are very much citizens of the volitional nation.  We embrace the vision of the founders, we work to protect the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.  We took an oath, and we keep it.

Come on.  Go ahead and take it.  Take it by yourself in the privacy of your heart; take it with your family; take it with a co-worker.

Take the oath.  Then keep it.

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen [or a moonstruck admirer for those on the right and left who think those people abroad have a better idea- sah]; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

 

132 thoughts on “Come On, Take It a Blast From the Past From January 14 2016

  1. Agreed! I think all of us born here should be required to pass the citizenship test and take the oath of citizenship upon reaching voting age. Also a fan of Dennis Prager’s American Seder.

    1. A frighteningly large number of people born, raised, and educated in this country could not pass the citizenship test. When I taught intro American politics, I gave it on the first day of the semester. Then I have them score it right there. If they fail (6/10) I tell them they are no longer citizens and will have to earn it back by the end of the semester. Most of them are surprised when they learn the quiz is a citizenship test.

      1. Almost nothing I learned in public school would have prepared me for taking the citizenship test. And some of what I *was* taught was ludicrously wrong, like “the Pilgrims discovered America” in California in the second grade…

        1. And this is why I am opposed to citizenship tests replacing birthright citizenship. Such tests require that good people create and administer them in good faith, and that’s something I’m not willing to bet on. It’s far too likely, in my view, that such tests will end up being created and administered by Howard Zinn disciples, or by the loyal and patriotic citizens of the Deep State of America. They’ll be tests where the right answers are the wrong ones.

        2. No, no, no. Everybody knows the Pilgrims followed Prince Madoc, who actually discovered America. There they fought the Aztec Empire and were almost defeated, until George Washington defeated them at Valley Forge.

      2. Citizenship classes for naturalization teach that the Bill Of Rights consists of NINE amendments to the Constitution.

        1. *wags paw* In theory, you could argue that the Tenth Amendment is separate from the Bill of Rights, because it looks back to clarify what is left a little vague in Articles Four and Six, plus the Supremacy Clause.

          Disclaimer: I teach government, so I read all sorts of different arguments about “What they meant when they said/did/added . . .”

            1. I daresay new citizens discover that one pretty quickly. It tends to be useful in the neighborhoods in which they are prone to settle.

          1. Agreed – the Tenth Amendment does not identify a specific class of Rights and therefore is arguably not part of the Bill (“an itemized list or a statement of particulars”) but instead is a categorical limit on the Federal Government as a whole. It expresses the principle of federalism and states’ rights, whereas the Ninth Amendment affirms the existence of such “unenumerated” rights – retained by the people – outside those expressly protected by the Bill of Rights

    2. This! And those who refuse or fail get green cards. They will be legal aliens for the rest of their lives.

    3. That would leave us open to citizenship tests written by the Democrats. (Though we could probably swing blinding.)

      1. Yes, and that’s something we would have to guard against, and do a better job than was done by the stewards of American History. Eternal vigilance is impossible for everything, but we have to watch the Declaration and the Constitution and ruthlessly quash any attempt to corrupt or diminish them.

  2. Only the Liberals want to believe America is dead. We are not dead, we have pent up anger about what is happening. But we are not down yet. Reeling but ready to burst forward.

    1. The left is not content to simply believe America is dead; if that is all they did we would be better off. They are dedicated to the mission of killing America and replacing it with a Soviet Union style state.

      1. Although born here, there is a similar oath to obey and uphold the Constitution that is part of the oath that attorneys take when sworn in to be members of the bar. Apparently the Ivy league law schools just like with everything else do not such oaths seriously when they teach their students given the yahoo who was one of two lawyers in NYC who threw a Molotov cocktail at a police suv and had materials to make more so they could hand them out to others. Utterly disgraceful.

        1. Oh, some take their oath seriously, and some just take.

          Btw, so you know why ballerinas are also lawyers?

          They practice at the barre.

          Do you know how many skirts that ballerinas have?

          Tutu.

        2. Problem is that they think of it as being completely in line with the oath. Form a more perfect union and all that.

  3. This seems a good place to remind everyone that if someone says “The Constitution isn’t a suicide pact” they are helpfully informing you that 1. they have no clue what the Constitution is, and 2. they are trying to renege on their side of the deal while holding you to yours.

  4. Great post.

    I just posted something over on my page saying that we are NOT turning into Russia despite many people’s best efforts. Sure, it might have taken people a while to notice, but the pandemic started the paying attention, and now the riots and feckless response to them has sharpened the vision and pulled people out of their regular lives. This has caused them to throw the side-eye at certain groups of people, including politicians, in this country and recognize that we, the people, need to pay closer attention. I’m happy to see it.

    1. Feckless. That’s the word that I’ve had in my head. It’s shocking how weak and useless they all are.

    2. Not sure about Russia (Russia at least made use of client states; US is used). DDR or CCCP probably closer between the propaganda and the stasi.

      1. In Russia today. It is an authoritarian mess driven by Putin’s need to stay in control and his control of all aspects of the media, economy and politics. He’s the spider at the center of the web. I highly recommend Mark Schrad’s book “Vodka Politics” and Karen Dawisha’s “Putin’s Kleptocracy”. I used them in my Russian politics course. They are now ~4-5 years old, but still relevant as Putin is still in power.

  5. And look who’s back to play the fool! (except that fool-players are supposed to be funny…)

    That this oath is usually taken by those who are volunteering to do so would remove most of the objections that might be made, but I do have questions:

    * What about those who can’t take oaths? I do not see any “swear (or affirm)” style language.

    * The “when required by law” clauses seem *remarkably* open ended? But after all someone volunteered this so it is what they signed up for.

    * This is the citizenship oath. Right? So in theory it implicitly applies even to those who mere merely born here. Doesn’t that remove the “they volunteered” section of the previous question? Which slams headlong into slavery…

    I do wish we had a more explicit Just Born Here vs Citizen distinction…

    1. Every US oath includes the option to say it as a solemn affirmation instead. It goes without saying, unless you are reading something written by a lawyer instead of an sf author. 🙂

      1. Well, it is an Oath; the ur-example of Serious Business.

        If you aren’t reading it with a lawyer’s eye for language ur doin it wrong.

      2. I’ll swear on a Bible without complaining about it. It’s the spirit of the oath, not the trappings, that’s important.

        1. At the time that the Constitution was written, some Christian groups were opposed to “swearing an oath” but were willing to “affirm”.

          So the writers of the Constitution provided an alternate to “I swear”. IE “I affirm”.

          Just a bit of trivia that I picked up. 😉

          1. Can attest; this is a Quaker thing, among others. And sometimes they didn’t even like the “affirm” option. Had an ancestor who got thrown out of the church because he became a sheriff and swore to uphold the law.

            1. I have noticed that all too many of those who consider the Constitution and the law as optional – ignorable whenever they conflict with their own individual beliefs – are members of the Society of Friends. Also that a majority of the Left elite have been educated in schools run by them, and tend to send their progeny to the same places.

              Sidwell Friends being the one which the Clintons and Obamas sent theirs – and which completely without shame grabbed $5.2 million from the “relief” package, despite their $40K tuition (that I doubt any of their parents were in danger of not being able to pay) and $52M endowment.

              1. I’m pretty far from the Quakers, theology-wise. And I will disobey the law when it contradicts the Law.

                1. Well, my Law is the Constitution. However, there honestly is nothing in that which contradicts the older Law.

                  The problem with (some of) the Quakers is that they believe they are a law unto their own individual selves. That their “personal relationship” is the arbiter of whether they obey the Law – newer or older.

              2. Well, they didn’t used to be that way. back in the 1700s, one Quaker in a standoff is quoted as saying, “I would not harm thee for all the world, my friend… but thou art standing where I am about to shoot.”

                1. It ought be acknowledged that Revolutionary War hero General Nathaniel Greene was a Quaker. I regret that I am not privy to how he reconciled beliefs and actions.

                    1. Considering the Friends’ proclivity for shunning, he might not have had to.

                      Although in my experience, being shunned is often not as quiet as we’ve been led to believe.

                    2. There was an interesting subspecies known as “Fighting Quakers” – he was the one that I recollect hearing about. My maternal grandmothers’ people were Quakers; they held one of William Penn’s original land grants. (I’ve seen the scans of the paperwork, so no exaggeration.) My GG-grandfather Smedley (maybe ggg-grandfather, I’ll have to check the chart on Ancestry to be certain) was slung out of his local Quaker Meeting for being altogether too enthusiastic for Mr. Lincoln’s war. GG/GGG-Grandfather Smedley was a ferocious Abolitionist, and according to family lore, involved in the Underground Railway, maintaining an alternate stop in or near Lionville, PA. He was married to a woman with a German surname; presumably a Lutheran, so he took his religious custom to that church.
                      The Marine general, Smedley Darlington Butler is a shirt-tail relation. My daughter was astounded to discover, upon enlisting as a Marine, that he was famous outside the family…

                  1. He was excommunicated when he joined the forces that went to the siege of Boston. They elected him their leader. When Washington arrived to take command, he noticed that Greene’s camp was particularly well disciplined, and later in the water, he told Congress that if something happened to him, they should appoint Greene commander in chief.

                    Luckily, that did not arise.

                2. After having both cheeks slapped:”Friend, the Scripture having been fulfilled, I will now proceed to beat the Hell out of thee.”

                  1. Although I read an article once on that bit of scripture in its historical context, and according to the writer, a slap on the right cheek was a superior-to-inferior blow, and in the Roman Empire you had to take that. But a slap to the left cheek meant they either had to use the sinister, insulting hand… or punch you.

                    Either of which now made it A Fair Fight.

                    Meaning said Quaker was applying Scripture in its original intent. 😉

              3. I started out at a Quaker school, as did Little Brother. We both got yanked out halfway through an academic year, I was in Second Grade and I think LB was still in preschool. Bit hazy as to why exactly, but I do recall that a) I was learning absolutely nothing (I think they were still teaching us letters – not spelling, not how to read, just letters – and single-digit addition & subtraction in second grade) and b) both Little Brother’s preschool teacher and the school’s principal (or whatever title she used) had it in for Little Brother for some reason. I think because he dared to *gasp!* ask questions during the lessons.

  6. I went out this afternoon to take my daughter’s Montero SUV to the local garage to check on a small problem with the transmission slipping upon starting first thing in the morning (pray for us that it is only that the transmission fluid was low, not that it needs a transmission rebuild, because that we cannot afford!) and my next-door neighbor was watering her lawn. A nice, retired civil servant, woman of color, pillar of her local AME congregation . She’s been a homeowner in my neighborhood since forever. We’ve watched her grandsons grow up; hardworking, polite, well-raised lads – if they ever had any inclination to devolve into nasty, thuggish gangstas, Miss Irene would have taken over the beating when their mother and father got tired. She called me over, and said that she was praying for my daughter and I … no reason stated; just that she was concerned for us, since we had been good neighbors since we moved in. (And when we redid the fence between our house and hers, we left a lattice window so that she could watch Larry-Bird the Rooster and his harem of hens. She was raised in the country, doesn’t mind the racket he raises at o-dark-thirty, and her bedroom is on the other side from our house anyway.)
    I had a brief impulse to tell her – that if her grandsons were thinking of participating in any BLM protest in San Antonio – not to do it, because there were some bad elements using those protests for their own ends … and those ends were entirely bad and counter-productive. Didn’t do it. Thought better of it – Miss Irene is pretty shrewd. I think she and her son and daughter-in-law will have figured it out. Her daughter-in-law has opinions on Section 8 tenants which would peel the paint off walls.

        1. It is a good idea to have your garage (assuming it is one you trust) check the transmission. It used to be (and may still – I’ve not tracked developments) that going too long on your transmission fluid caused the gears (bands, whatever – I’m an accountant, not a gear head) to strip when new fluid replaced the old.

          That would mean a new transmission is in your future and you probably do’t want to wait until it chooses the timing.

          1. The automatic transmission I rebuilt had two planetary gear sets, two clutches, and two pinch bands. The problem with running an automatic transmission with low fluid level is, there may not be sufficient pressure to fully engage the clutches, causing them to slip, wear down and heat up. If your transmission takes more than a couple of seconds to ‘chunk’ into gear when shifted to Drive, if the shifts are slow, sloppy and late, CHECK THE FLUID! You could save more than a thousand dollars in repairs.

            It’s usually much cheaper if you remove the transmission yourself and take it to the shop. Like, $500 or $600 cheaper.

              1. TorqueFlite 904. Pretty sure two bands, but it’s been more than 20 years.

                And old Mopar guy told me the difference between the 904 and the 727 was, you couldn’t use the 904 in a tank.

          2. I trust my garage – and yes, they advised against entirely replacing the fluid for that very reason. They just topped up with suitable new.
            When I finish paying the mortgage on the house (in another four years or so) I plan on getting an auto loan and buying a slightly-used dealer-trade-in pickup truck, to replace whichever of our two older cars in in the worse shape. The Daughter Unit approves. Thus, we will not feel quite like slumming suburbanites, when we pull up to Tractor Supply for chicken munchies…

            1. The smaller cab of the pickups means the air conditioning is more effectve. And the added seat height makes entry and exit a lot more comfortable once your knees start going out.

              And, of course, you can carry stuff…

              Mrs. TRX is quite short, and has one of those folding plastic step-stools with a rope tied to it. She unfolds it and puts it on the ground so she can get in without hauling herself up by the steering wheel – very bad for the tilt mechanism – then hauls the stool up with the rope, folds it, and it stores neatly in the door pocket.

  7. From a semi-lurker … I certainly can’t keep up with this crowd! Semi-lurking is more my speed. Whew … too much talent and knowledge for me!

    From time to time, I have to walk away from news, blogs, and daily conversation. Though that’s the tricky part, the walking away thing when day to day life is scary. Living in metro-Chicago is not for the weak of heart right now. I’ve seen my old work-neighborhood destroyed and my adopted home-town morphed into a SJW madhouse that cannot protect itself. But that’s the definition of a “madhouse,” no?

    I’ve learned that prayer has indeed made a difference for me. I recommend it. The forces at play here and elsewhere are not merely human. Seems wise to spend time with the Most High, siding with His help and Wisdom.

    Will it make a difference? I know that question well and have learned that yes, it does. I promise.

    One added thought. If you were raised as I was in a tradition of self-sacrifice, don’t get your wires too tangled. I’m with Sarah. This is a time for strong determination. I try to let Him handle the heavy lifting. I’d rather bargain …

    If there are 100 worthy men and women, would You act? And what about 50? Or 20? Or even ten?

    Makes me smile. I know we have ten. Heck, we have thousands.

      1. I have always taken comfort in 1 Kings 19:18 “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”

  8. Everything went okay at Sam’s Club. Basically the alleged sit-in faction decided to go to Centerville and bug people there instead, and the relatives of the deceased Mr. Crawford decided to do one more march up the sidewalk up North Fairfield, instead of sitting around in the intersection waiting to get run over. (Said relatives got a settlement from various parties about a month ago, so they’re just keeping their hand in.)

    There is a rumor that those of us who got sent home early will still be getting paid for the time we didn’t work, which would be nice.

    In other news, Orange Man Bad is getting criticized for going to church and for going to visit the JPII Shrine (a museum put up with Polish Catholic money, over by Catholic University of America and the Dominican House of Studies), and also for visiting without letting protesters get close enough to make trouble. Also, if the President stands outside a church, it’s just a crass photo-op, but if random other people stand outside a church, that’s a Meaningful And Deep Demonstration.

  9. While some blogs on the right have declared that the United States are already dead

    This would have a little more meaning if they weren’t falling over themselves declaring that all is lost every time something doesn’t turn out perfectly.

    For all the memes the French tendency towards surrender has nothing on American Conservatives.

    1. Perhaps the professional conservatives. There are still some of us around who never gave up believing that freedom of religion and speech are sacred, that the US Constitution offered (and still does) the best hope mankind has ever had for that kind of freedom, and that liberty and justice for all are worth working and fighting for.
      It’s hard to resist the fake charity of “tax productive citizens and give largess to the the poor” (along with a cut and a fat pension for government employees, for services rendered) of the omnipresent, omnipotent, benevolent (HAH!) welfare state but it has to be resisted with the real thing…Help in emergencies, and teach self-reliance. And while we’re at it, get the nonsensical micromanaging nanny-state regulations off the back of people who are trying to work.

      1. Oh I don’t mean Conservative Inc. I mean go to any random forum where Conservatives congregate and you will see at minimum a large minority of doomers.

        Generally it appears that as the average age increases the doomer fraction increases with it.

        1. If you are declaring things doomed you ain’t conserving, you’re conceding. Instead of a Conservative you’re a Concessionaire.

          1. Get your peanuts! Popcorn! Shredded pieces of the Constitution! Burnt pieces of the American Flag!

            On sale: George Will’s reputation. 99.9999% off. Closeout!

        2. I attribute those to two major groups: The leftists engaging in agitprop and those who desperately desire an apocalypse so they can be [movie trailer narrator voice] The Last American [/movie trailer voice] to give their lives some semblance of meaning.

        3. I think that the “doomer” view amongst us old farts comes both from having experienced much more of the evil that has occurred over our lifetimes – and that our memories of the “old days” are rather slanted (for those of us who had a “normal” upbringing, anyway).

          When I was three, I didn’t even know what a President was – and that one had been killed in Dallas wasn’t a blip on the radar.

          When I was eight, Apollo was my thing – and it hardly registered that some white Presidential hopeful had been killed, and some black preacher was also. (I was aware of the riots and so on – but they weren’t important. We were going to the Moon!)

      2. Count me out of the doomer crowd. “I have not yet begun to fight.” The recent spate of rioting, condoned and blessed by the leftwing liberal crowd is sufficient evidence that the brouhaha has begun, and that it’s serious enough that idly sittting by and watching while people’s lives and livelihoods are burning is complicity in the crime.

        1. Well, I’m not of that crowd, either. I do admit that myself, and the society that I live in, may possibly be doomed – but if so, I shall make as large of a contribution to the garda onóra as I can manage.

    2. My sister-in-law posted a piece on Facebook about the well-organized, kindly BLM protestors (complete with medics ready to hand out eyewash) set up outside St. John’s church (or what’s left of it) Monday who were attacked by government forces using tear gas and rubber bullets just so That Awful Man ™ could have a photo-op, and how this evil has made the author A Force to be Reckoned With. The piece reads like well-done propaganda and of course she believes it completely. Apparently the same officials who are viciously attacking innocent protesters are also supposed to know, instantly, whether any given group is harmless or not.

      1. … his evil has made the author A Force to be Reckoned With.

        That piece has revealed the author a dog, who barks loudly and yet the caravan continues on its route.

        In spite of the cock’s belief, the sun rises despite its crow, not as consequence thereof.

        The petty preening of pretentious poltroons is why I eschew visiting the book of face.

      2. And the USPP statement that the reason for the use of pepperballs (effectively a paintball full of OC) and smoke (not CS) was because of attacks on their personnel and the protesters climbing buildings rather than any order for a photo op is just a lie from the fascists to all these folks

      3. The police say they didn’t know the president would be walking through the park. They were just trying to defend themselves, as they were being attacked with bottles and projectiles.

        1. But they are the police and commanded by OMB and thus have to be lying. That kind soul carrying a brick and tv camera said so

  10. I took a different oath, one that is still in effect (and will be until the day I die.) Support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, etc.

    About three years ago, a former friend publically challenged me online to fulfill my oath over some minor brouhaha related to alleged actions by the current President. I didn’t respond, but she probably doesn’t realize that I consider her and her ilk to be a far greater threat to the Constitition than he ever will be. One of many reasons I am no longer her friend.

    1. Civilian DoD employees also take an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I have not forgotten.

    2. Padre, my husband swore that same oath, at age 18 and several times since then. Hubby has been muttering “against all enemies, foreign and domestic” for most of the last week. It’s pretty clear that the riots are being orchestrated by people who probably meet the definition of “domestic enemies of the Constitution” and who are probably supported, and possibly led, by “foreign enemies” ditto. I wonder whether PDJT’s designation of Antifa as “terrorists” loosens the rules of Posse Comitatus The vast majority of the rioters are sheep and opportunists, who are being manipulated into violence by a small number of professional agitators. I suspect that systematic overhead observation of a riot could identify the agitators pretty quickly. Just demonstrating via video that a small group of agitators is responsible for most of the arson and violence might go a long way toward calming things down. Nobody likes to be a sheep.

      1. Actually, it would appear that a whole lot of them like to be sheep, they just don’t like to be reminded that they are sheep. Hence the big, flashy distractions around shearing time.

      2. The Vanilla ISIS, ironically known as “Antifa”, are an international organization, not ” domestic”. Thus attempts at violent overthrow of US Government fall under “war”. Since they do not observe the laws and customs of war, they have thus unlocked the achievement:

        Unlawful Enemy Combatant

        And -that- opens up all sorts of responses normally restrained from use on more ordinary dipsticks.

        They had eight years to shut down Guantanamo. A handful of key Vanilla ISIS players may have cause to regret that oversight.

        ” revolution” has consequences. Since We Win They Lose, they will likely have reason to regret choosing a hostile foreign power as a master.

        I regret it comes to this, but We Win They Lose.

        Tsk.

  11. A-philosophical American is a contradiction in terms. The most they can do is live somewhere between Mexico and Canada. We’ve got a lot of that kind of “American”.

    I receive mail mis-delivered for them nearly every day; it’s labeled “Occupant.”

      1. So that’s what the aardvark and Nessie were working on in the minion pool!

        Extended Range Aerodynamic Augmented Carp Ballista.

        ERAACB. Needs work on the acronym, boys.

        1. I think the aardvark is quite proud of having an acronym that is obviously an acronym and not a backfitting of a word with a stupid collection of words to claim it’s an acronym.

        2. Flying Integrated Secondary Humor Extinguishing System (FISHES) to be used when the primary carp-ballisa fails.

  12. Every Federal Employee takes an oath. They too often are foresworn but that’s another thing.

    I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

    5 U.S.C. §3331

        1. Why do you think I refuse to go into Management? And don’t get me started on some of the agencies… of course as an American I considered myself bound by that Oath long before I ever considered gov’t work.

          Sad that so many people don’t believe that their Oaths are binding these days.

  13. I’m expecting mini-collapses across the US, albeit not quite yet. We’ll know it’s happening when people are fleeing California in such numbers that the freeways are completely jammed, leaving the bulk of people there to die before they can be rescued, after the infrastructure stops working for whatever reasons. (Sabotage, rioting damage, genuine plague, etc.)

    I pick California because they’re the state most eagerly plunging into ‘what did they use before candles? Electricity’ self-destruction. They’re our canary.

    On the other hand, if martial law can be declared and the foot soldiers of Anti-FA’s masters be shot for rioting/looting _now_, while Americans are disgusted by the blatantly hypocritical violence and looting that’s been organized by the masters of the Left, the Giuliani strategy for reducing crime in NYC might prove effective nationwide. Given that looters and arsonists are pretty much a ‘shoot on sight’ target in a sane world anyway, the effect on their communities might well be to reduce dyscivic cultural issues.

    -Albert

  14. We had a march a town over last week which managed to actually be peaceful. We’re having one in my town Sunday. I live on a dead end road which opens onto the route, so we’ll be stuck at home for a few hours, without the fun July 4th vibe to make up for it.

    However we live only maybe a hundred yards off the main road. My first thought was to wonder where my husband’s short sword was packed away. But the housemate has enough non-projectile weaponry on hand to arm everyone in the house.

    I hate that it’s reached the point where I’m thinking that way.

    1. Near where I live, there’s a particular underpass that goes under a train track, that I would normally use to go into town to get things like the dog meds, etc.

      It’s currently the site of a so-far peaceful protest.

      I’m not going through there.

      Because all it takes is one person to decide to go stand in the road, and you’d be a sitting duck.

      1. In general, a large group.of people you don’t know, in a somewhat secluded area without any quick escape routes beyond the obvious?

        Nononono, no thank you.

        It is just better to have a knowledge of alternate routes. Somebody inadvertently showed me one yesterday that is in a Useful Place, and I was very pleased.

      2. Oregon DOT is replacing several culverts under highway [redacted]. This entails 20 minute waits while both lanes are being mucked up. Got stuck in one this morning, and took a different route home. We’re rural enough so that the thug-patrol would not be inclined to notice, but I felt seriously under-armed stuck in the lineup.

        There’s a somewhat shorter alternative, but it has little overflow capacity. Not gonna take it. I think they’ll be done with the worst bit in a week. Two more trips, one non-negotiable. Whee.

  15. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    The “We” there is referring to Americans. If you read that and think “Well, of course” you’re an American. If you read it and your response is something like “Yes, but…” then you aren’t.

  16. For the benefit of those wondering about events in Lafayette Park Monday evening, with a reminder that ot all statements from government personnel should be taken as literal truth …

    Statement from United States Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan about the actions taken over the weekend to protect life and property
    … On Monday, June 1, the USPP worked with the United States Secret Service to have temporary fencing installed inside Lafayette Park. At approximately 6:33 pm, violent protestors on H Street NW began throwing projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids. The protestors also climbed onto a historic building at the north end of Lafayette Park that was destroyed by arson days prior. Intelligence had revealed calls for violence against the police, and officers found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the street.

    To curtail the violence that was underway, the USPP, following established policy, issued three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators on H Street to evacuate the area. Horse mounted patrol, Civil Disturbance Units and additional personnel were used to clear the area. As many of the protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls. No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park. Subsequently, the fence was installed.

  17. FLOTUS tweeted some nice pictures of the presidential visit to the St. JPII museum and shrine. There’s a picture of them standing in front of the main Redemptor Hominis Church at an altar, and (rather touchingly) the President seems to be almost standing at attention. There’s also a picture of them kneeling in a side chapel dedicated to Our Lady and the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary (ie, five events concerning Jesus’ proclamation of the Kingdom), where you can see a copy of the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa. However, what you can’t see is that there’s a reliquary with a little vial of St. JPII’s blood set into that little chapel altar, and that’s what our First Lady is venerating.

    That’s some hardcore Eastern European spirituality, as well as a serious memento mori for anybody. Especially when your husband has just been having people howling for his blood, literally.

    Also, JPII would have been a hero to Melania as a kid, but chances are good that her husband met the guy. And when you have two guys meeting who both have powerful people skills, I’m pretty sure young Donald Trump learned something about the man.

    Apparently the visit was scheduled well ahead of time, to go with signing the executive order for international religious freedom, but it wound up getting attention in some weird ways. Honestly, this little moment of peaceful veneration and recollection seems a lot more explosive and full of possibility, all at the same time.

    May God bless and keep the United States of America, and the entire crazy human race.

      1. If Trump’s other marriages weren’t recognized by the church, then there wouldn’t be a problem. I doubt Trump’s other marriages were religious ceremonies. My wife and I were still devoted Catholics although we couldn’t take Communion because she had been briefly married before. Oddly we discovered there is a way to become a communicant again in the Catholic church (without an annulment). After we had tired of the hypocrisy going on, we eventually became Episcopalians (OK I know. I know. Whole other story). They allow for divorce and since they, the Catholics, and the Orthodox agreed to recognize each other, we could actually attend Catholic mass and take Communion legitimately as co-religionists.

        Another odd story is that when the Catholics and Anglicans decided to talk after Vatican II, the Catholics discovered that the Anglicans believed in transubstantiation although the Anglicans simply called it the Real Presence of Christ in Communion. Neither Church would acknowledge the other’s term for it, so they invented a third term that they both agreed each other’s term meant. Ain’t humans grand? I bet the Big Guy got a good laugh out of that one.

        1. As the non-Catholic side of my marriage – I wasn’t even asked the question about possible previous marriages (or current ones, for that matter, although I think they relied on secular authority to catch that little problem for them).

    1. I was greatly UNimpressed by the Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory’s statement slamming the presidential visit shortly before the Trumps’ arrival. Graceless reminder of the politicization of the Church.

      It isn’t as if the Church has done much in the way of standing up for religious freedom in China or elsewhere, or has taken the Democrat politicians too task for their support of abortion nor curtailment of religious freedom (e.g., Little Sisters of the Poor.) The Archbishop shot at Trump but hit himself in the foot.

      1. Correction: The hierarchy as a whole has not done much. Non-governmental groups have done a fair amount. (And of course the legit Chinese Catholic bishops and priests have done tons.)

        The problem is that traditionally they haven’t been obstructed by members of the Vatican Curia, much less undercut by the Popes. Which is not the case under Pope Francis and his flunkies.

        1. Yes – I was careless about making clear the distinction between the faithful and the priesthood, especially as the overlap is often far less (and sometimes — proof JPII merited sainthood — far greater) than one would anticipate.

  18. Found out last night that one of my sisters is among the National Guard contingent shooing rioters away from the White House in DC. The way I found out leaves me wondering just what kind of crap is being spread about the President in other countries – I won’t repeat the things my mother said (she’s somewhat less than completely connected with reality these days, and has gone from politically moderate to rabid anti-conservative) but they left me stunned and somewhat sickened.

    While nobody ever accused the man of being *nice*, he’s proved to be competent and refreshingly straight forward in a role that usually sees craven liars I can’t call morons because that would insult perfectly decent morons.

    1. I am not looking forward to seeing all of my family over summer. Not able to get out of it.

      1. Can’t get out of it? Have you considered suggesting that you may be COVID-19 positive? No, no test results yet but do you really think it wise to take the chance?

  19. My mother is one of those “peace at any price, appeasement at all costs” types who unfailingly jumps down my throat whenever I suggest using any level of violence as a response in any situation.

    This morning, she opined – genuinely, seriously, and without the slightest hint of irony – that ANTIFA members caught looting, burning or vandalizing property, or instigating violence should be shot dead and/or strung up from the nearest convenient tree/lamppost/street sign, and that such action was the only way to guarantee that the madness would stop.

    That says something. I’m not sure what exactly it says, but somehow I don’t think it’s a good thing.

    1. Your mom is older than you.

      Your mom remembers more of the Cold War than you.

      The prospect of hanging can concentrate the mind wonderfully.

      Your mom may have had a ‘road to Damascus’ moment.

      ‘Peace at any price’ does imply ‘including use of force’. Our choices are use force, get peace, refuse force and either get a communist bloodbath or anarchic low level conflict.

      1. Without going too deep into a story that I don’t feel is mine to tell, Mom’s attitude towards violence and force was born not from politics or education in Leftist-dominated institutions, but from a childhood in an abusive home.

        Again without going into detail, let’s just say it’s probably a good thing that my mother’s paternal DNA donor perished before I had a chance to cross paths with him.

          1. Yes. In both cases. Though thankfully Paternal DNA Donor was not a pervert. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t still repay him for what he did to Mom and her siblings a hundredfold.

      1. Oh she knew she was gonna vote for him well before this latest round of insanity started.

        Not that she likes him much, she’s just utterly disgusted and appalled by the Left and their antics.

        1. Beloved Spouse and I were going through mail before feeding it to the shredder and took the time to look over the “Survey” Donald Trump’s campaign had sent us to try to pry contributions out of our meagre wallet. One question asked our opinion on his term-to-date, offering three answers: about as good as I expected, not as good as I expected, no answer.

          We agreed that the right answer wasn’t o there: He’s done far better than we expected, having had very low expectations. But we wholeheartedly agreed Trump has done a terrific job on the one campaign issue which had won our votes: He’s done an incredibly good job of being Not-Hillary!

          1. He’s done an incredibly good job of being Not-Hillary!


            What! No “other” that you can fill in?

  20. Took an Oath 40 *cough* years ago, as referenced here recently. Hasn’t expired yet, won’t until I do.

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