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I am retired from government, law enforcement, politics and all other pointless endeavors. I eat when I am hungry and sleep when I am tired.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A SENSIBLE ALTERNATIVE TO THE BENEDICT OPTION.

I stumbled upon this while reading Crisis Magazine.  It is a thoughtful alternative to Rod Dreher's Benedict Option humbug.

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/the-escriva-option

Thursday, July 30, 2015

STICKER POLICE IN PENNSYLVANIA

This is a quest post of mine on a local, regional newspaper.  It deals with the State of Pennsylvanias' attempt to give its drivers a break.  Of course the usual suspects pop up to defend the indefensible. 

The Sticker Police

By Thomas O. Meehan | Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 12:15 pm
I gather that after 2016, we won’t have to affix those silly little stickers to our license plates anymore.
This seems to have been in the works for a while. I found references to it dating back to 2013. Like any reform that would have the effect of lightening the public burden, this one seems to have proceeded at glacial pace. Taxes come fast. Regulatory burdens can only be relieved after much, much study.
The publics’ relief from the most infinitesimal imposition can be counted on to arouse the spirit of sadism in some quarters, and in this case it’s the police. They want the DOT to stop this foolishness and make us take up the pointless little stickers again.
According to ABC News, whom I’m guessing can quote accurately, “Police say they also look for expired or missing registration stickers because it gives them probable cause to stop a suspicious driver and check for other crimes and outstanding warrants. Eliminating the stickers, they say, will make it less likely that criminals are noticed and stopped.”
This is a fine specimen of totalitarian thinking. The police want to operate a rolling dragnet in hopes of boosting DUI and drug arrests. They don’t have enough excuses to pull us over at will and are in no mood to lose another one. It’s nice to know that their first priority is to play Simon Says with the public in hopes of getting a chance to play twenty questions with people. I do applaud their honesty. Usually they are less open about their drive to maximize arrest statistics as an end in itself. The House passed Bill 1154 to reinstate the stickers. Apart from Law Enforcement I don’t know who lobbied for the bill. Perhaps it was the Union of Pennsylvania Masochists.
The little stickers are worthless for the stated purpose. Scofflaws just peel the stickers off our plates and stick them on their own. (A State Trooper pointed this out to me by the way.) Personally I feel that the government might have better things to do than create bureaucratic pitfalls to aid the police in harassing us. The police already have license plate readers mated to laptops. From the information on your plate they know more about you than does your next of kin.
DOT estimates that the jettisoning of the stickers will save them one million dollars. They have already stopped ordering the stickers and are seeing the savings.
This is also an example of the government working at cross-purposes with itself. We all know that in sanctuary cities like Philadelphia, illegal aliens are regularly pulled over with no registration, license or ID at all. The only people who will get summonses will be suburban Americans, as usual.
I have a better idea. Why re-register our cars every year? What purpose does this serve? I know it creates and maintains employment at the DOT, but what’s in it for us? Making people jump through this hoop every year accomplishes very little. Why not just register our cars once. When we sell or junk our cars we can let DOT know. If we change address or whatever we can also let them know. They do use computers I suppose. If this is too revolutionary, would five years do?
Like so many other interactions with our government, we perform these inanities because we have done so in the past. Different stakeholders in big government see no reason why we shouldn’t go on in perpetuity. For them, it’s a living, for us it’s just a sticky senseless mess.

Monday, July 27, 2015

WHERE DREHER'S BENEDICT OPTION LEADS

I rarely waste time reading TAC anymore.  I can read Pat Buchanan's work everywhere, including sites with integrity.  TAC has become a sort of self parody.  It's like a room full of overridden hobbyhorses.  

That said, Rod Dreher's hobbyhorse snapped under him today.  His horse is the "Benedict Option."  It is his pathetic attempt to have something to say after he gave up on Christians retaking their own societies.  The Benedict option is a call for Christians to withdraw from the public square just as he withdrew to rural Louisiana.  It's a cold cruel post Christian world out there so let's just keep a low profile and tend our little common spiritual garden. I don't know if he really believes this, but He has to write something to stay in business.

Today, oblivious to the obvious, he came out with a call for the US to save the remaining Christians of the Middle East.  The headline:  THE GENOCIDE OF CHRISTIANS

Can Dreher really be so un-selfaware as to miss the message here?  

Clearly, if any group of Christians followed the so called Benedict Option, it is these very victims on the point of extinction.  They kept a low profile.  They kept to themselves.  They cultivated their Christian tradition. They were kind to others. They are the perfect exemplar of the Dreher's mealy-mouth mentality and now they face extinction. 

I haven't written at length about the Benedict Option until now.  I don't intend to do so now except to expose some obvious absurdities.  

Dreher doesn't seem to know who St. Benedict was in any detail.  The founder of Western Monasticism  is a poor model for a whole Christian society's withdrawal from an evil society.  By definition Monks are not the basis of a reproducing population.  Becoming a Monk is rather the point of Monasticism.  It depends on a Christian culture to feed it with more recruits. 

A further and more important point here is that St. Benedict did not withdraw from a pagan society.  He operated in a largely Christian one that became more, not less Christian as time went by.  There was no organized opposition to the monastic movement until the reformation.

Dreher is such a History dolt  that he doesn't seem to consider that the "successful" examples of faith communities living within other communities are all, or almost all communities living within Christian ones.  Just how his cloud coocoo-land Benedictine communities could exist in the midst of a truly hostile society is beyond Dreher's imagination. 

This is the last effort I will make to address Dreher or his pitiful hobbyhorse.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

OBAMA'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE MUMMERY

HERE IS MY LATEST ON VDARE.  OBAMA IS PRACTICING RACIAL JUSTICE POLITICS AGAIN.

http://www.vdare.com/articles/what-the-latest-round-of-commutations-tells-us-about-obamas-version-of-justice
President Obama is commuting the sentences of drug dealers again, calling it part of a criminal justice “reform” package he outlined in a speech before the NAACP’s national conference on July 14, 2015.[Text | Video ] He wants Americans to believe that he is righting historic wrongs, and he’s particularly concerned with what he believes are disproportionate sentences meted out to obama-signs-commutations[1]non-white drug dealers. Obama also frets about job prospects for the criminals he wants to liberate—it seems that racist white employers are loath to hire criminals. And he calls our incarceration rate “a source of inequity that has ripple effects on families and on communities and ultimately on our nation,” as if non-white criminals spring from intact families withinfunctional communities that mesh seamlessly with the rest of our nation. [President Obama for the prisoners, The Economist,July 16, 2015]. What are his true motives and mentality?
On July 15, the president commuted the sentences of 46 inmates. It’s no surprise, given the president’s preoccupation with his own race, that 78 percent of them are black. Surprisingly, only four percent are Hispanic. Even more surprising: Only three are women. Does Michelle know this?
Back on March 31, Obama commuted the sentences of twenty-two inmates. Seventy-two percent of these were black. And again, only four percent were Hispanic. Only one woman got lucky that time.
It seems that white drug pushers, unlike black drug pushers, deserved their long sentences. Their commutations never get above single digits.
A revealing stat in the commutation records: the mean age of the perps. Using Inmate Locater, I was able to find the age of each prisoner in the commutations and determine the mean of each group. For the first group, the mean was 47 years old. It’s 49 for the second. (See a similar analysis from the leftwing Clemency Report website: Mostly black, mostly crack, July 16, 2015)
The president would say these prisoners were released at this relatively advanced age because they had been in prison too long for justice’s sake. But as a former law enforcement official, I can offer a more pressing and honest reason: Middle-aged and older inmates have reached the point where they are less dangerous, while starting to exhibit expensive medical issues, issues the Bureau of Prisons would rather not deal with.
What I detect in all these commutations: cynical mummery. I have little doubt that Obama would like to soften the effect of our justice system on all those “brothers” he doesn’t really know. He really does hope to divert his people from prison to a new system of treatment centers, drug courts, and halfway houses.
These will not work any better in the future than they do now, but they may be his legacy. In order to show his sincerity and to keep his Leftist fans happy, he is willing to put on this show. He gets to spring some soul brothers; the prison system gets to unload some old cons; and his fan boys and girls get to see themselves as part of his revolution.
Let’s look at a brief list of Obama’s other proposals as outlined in his speech to the NAACP.
  • Obama wants to provide more discretion for judges and prosecutors to hand out lighter sentences. On the federal level, this will mean that Democratic Attorneys General will pass the word to go easy on drug prosecutions.
  • He wants to eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing. Of course, mandatory sentencing came about as a way of keeping liberal judges from springing the underclass on all the rest of us. If implemented, Obama’s reforms will make this necessary all over again.
  • He wants to make prisons kinder and gentler places with less abuse and no solitary confinement—good luck with that! Prisons used to be harsh, but the authorities were in control. Now, with the help of the ACLU and lawyers like Obama himself, the inmates run the show. Isn’t that what they wanted?
President Obama also wants more drug programs and job training. But job training is a colossal failure and nothing will change that. Besides, the inmates get all the drugs they want in jail. How long would it be before Obama himself would beback on weed if he were stuck in the clink?
Surely Obama jests about job training. The only jobs most career criminals can hope to fill are in things like warehousingand landscaping. But those jobs are already filled by Latin American illegals, another component of Obama’s Coalition of the Fringes.
In order to fully integrate all those inmates sprung under Obama’s reforms, they need to hide their criminal records. That is, unless they want to work for Obama’s government. Then, we can’t be too careful.
And lest you are tempted to vote against these policies, Obama also wants to make sure felons can vote so they can cancel out your input.
All of this should be put in the context of in the larger deterioration of the rule of law created by President Obama’s refusal to enforce immigration law.
Remember, all the long-serving inmates he is rescuing were sentenced according to fully ratified law. If they are indeed victims, why not change the laws and sentencing guidelines for everyone instead of randomly freeing a few? Instead, Obama prefers to act the African Big Man and just do it himself, curious behavior for an alleged constitutional law scholar.
Obama has commuted more sentences than any president since Lyndon B. Johnson. But he also has some Republican supporters. Could it be some of these Republicans are connected with the private prison/community treatment industry? Can some be more interested in budget squeezing than public safety? I doubt that many of the released inmates will be moving into the same neighborhoods as the GOP lobbyists. I presume also that the Koch Brothers have plenty of security.
It’s clear that we have an alliance of the worst of both the amoral libertarian Masters of the Universe, and the subversive,racially aggrieved Left. They all get a prize in Obama’s reform bag.
The Left doesn’t even try to hide its desire to swell the ranks of welfare state via “reform.” It not only wants ex-inmates to legally hide their status from employers, but it wants them tovote as well.
The President of the United States is supposed to be the chief magistrate. Instead, he sounds like a public defender, explaining away criminality as simply a “mistake.”
What is entirely missing from this debate is the moral dimension. President Obama is full of empathy for the criminals. He seems to have none for their victims. But then, just as he saw his hypothetical son in Trayvon Martin, he sees himself in his fellow blacks that he’s freeing from prison. He just doesn’t see the historic American nation as part of his responsibility at all.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

GREAT NEWS. RADIO DERB IS MOVING TO VDARE

The tile says it all.  I just got confirmation from VDARE that Radio Derb is moving there in August.  No further specifics.  I hope that the pay option is more flexible than at TAKIMAG.  I love both venues but the restriction to PayPal payments was an irritant. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

WHAT HAS BECOME OF RADIO DERB?

Radio Derb is off the air.  No news came with the announcement at Takimag.  It appears that the host of the site has closed it.  There was no advanced warning of this abrupt ending at least, I couldn't detect any on Derb's last broadcast.  

I hope that some explanation is forthcoming.  Perhaps Derb can set up shop elsewhere.

It is possible that the entity that "broadcasts" Derb gave in to pressure.  I know of no evidence of this at this early stage, but it is a possibility.  I know that some potential listeners were put off at paying to hear Derb, although they could easily wait a few days to hear it broadcast for free.  

I emailed Derb myself to quibble about having to have a Paypal account in order to listen.  He was gracious enough to reply.  It seems that he chose to keep the operational details of Radio Derb at arms length. Fair enough. 

It cannot be the case that Derb cannot get his voice out to the public.  I hope to support any attempt he makes to do so.      

Saturday, July 11, 2015

ANOTHER 15 SECONDS OF FAME

As I was puttering about this afternoon I suddenly heard my name on the radio; that is, on Radio Derb.  John Derbyshire's indispensable blog radio show, is must hearing to all we reactionary types.   

Derb read my quote from Glen Reynolds.  This was from a recent piece on VDARE.COM.  As usual he was quick to attribute both me and Reynolds.  This is the second time Derb saw fit to bring me to the attention of his audience.  I treasure such mentions by both he and Steve Sailor, as they are the twin gatepost of great conservative writing.  

Thanks Derb!




NOTE:

It seems that I never got around to posting this VDARE piece on my own blog.  So here it it.

A Northerner Defends Southern Traditions, Including The Battle Flag


This post-Charleston anti-Confederate feeding frenzy reminds me of something Glenn Reynolds explained after Newtown. It goes like this in the Cultural Marxist mind: “(1) Something badhappened; (2) I hate you; so (3) It’s your fault.” One verytwisted young man committed a despicable act, and of course this means that the Confederate flag must disappear from American life.
I have no known Confederate ancestors. If I did, I would hope to keep faith with their memory and my regional traditions.The Battle Flag is a part of Southern heritage. Of course theCivil War was largely about slavery. But it was not only about slavery. The flag question goes much deeper than slavery and race. As it happens, I’m originally from New Jersey so I try not to live down to that state’s traditions. I’m passing as a Pennsylvanian now.
The Confederate states insisted on their right as sovereign states to leave the Union. It matters not the reason. The Union victory ended slavery, although this was not Abraham Lincoln’sstated intention when the war began. It also ushered in the process by which we are all now facing incremental slavery due to the progressive extension of Lincoln’s Union.
Of course Lincoln didn’t mean it to get this far. Leaders are always failing to understand that the things they set in motion will remain in motion long after they are dead. I doubt thatFranklin Delano Roosevelt foresaw the centralized alien monstrosity he fashioned. He thought that however strange the people he welcomed into power as his apparatchiks, mandarinslike him would always retain control.
God knows what will become of the Supreme Court’s decision to call mandates taxes. Future generations will pay for that after many of us are gone.
So what does the Confederate flag mean to the rest of us? I see it as a necessary symbol of that ornery impulse that rests in the hearts of all real Americans. Our founders were not submissive toward the crown. People who were not supposed to be there settled the West. Americans who wrested land from a neighboring power to rule themselves settled Texas.
We Americans have always preferred at least the illusion of local control. At heart we have always had a grudging admiration for those who refuse to bend the knee, even in a poor cause. The Confederate Battle Flag is the secret alternative flag of all of us who want to have our own say.
As actual Americans, we don’t want to be lectured by pallid urban ninnies. We want to be who we are, not peasants commanded from afar.
The very nature and motives of the people who want the Battle Flag gone is a fine reason to keep it. Put another way, whenever someone wants you to abandon part of your heritage, the healthy response is: “You first!” or perhaps something ruder. What kind of people challenge other people’s traditions and historical artifacts when they are not in any way hurt?
Southerners flying their old flag hurt no one. The liberal elite isn’t harmed. But they just want to follow their own puritanical tradition of enforcing their judgments on others. They claim that the old flag is an insult to black Americans; perhaps so. But in an age when groups leverage imagined psychic harminto political advantage, this is an excellent time to draw a line against such impostures.
On a personal level, I’ve spent some time in South Carolina. I am not alone in remarking that the tenor of everyday race relations there is far superior to my northern home. Indeed I witnessed nothing but almost courtly relations between blacks and whites. I witnessed none of the wary semi-hostility typical of Philadelphia.
This being the case I was not surprised at the spiritual, non-violent black response to the horror in Charleston. The wagging tongues lecturing South Carolinians live in urban hellholes, surrounded by mindless violence. Those simple Carolinians, both black and white, still recognize mindlessness when they see it and they don’t confuse it with reality.
When was the last time the President or anyone in high office even used the word “tradition”? It’s almost a lost concept. It’s painfully obvious that, to the progressive mind, holding to any tradition is just an invitation to intervention and correction.
We hear a lot about our “values.” What are they exactly? They are whatever our perfumed urban elites say they are. Yet, I can remember when some of our modern “values” were illegal. The “values” of 21st Century America were the pathologies of 20th Century America.
So there is a lot more at stake here than the Battle Flag. There are those who respect the value of tradition and there are those who respect nothing but their own right to reorder the culture over the heads of their fellow citizens.

Thomas O. Meehan (email him) is a free-lance writer and former government Senior Research Analyst and Inspector. A refugee from the People’s Republic of New Jersey, he now lives in Bucks County