That’ll End Well

Hey, Spain — while you’re at it, send troops to seize the colonists’ Catalans’ arms.

Spain is to start suspending Catalonia’s autonomy from Saturday, as the region’s leader threatens to declare independence.

The government said ministers would meet to activate Article 155 of the constitution, allowing it to take over running of the region.

Catalonia’s leader said the region’s parliament would vote on independence if Spain continued “repression”.

Catalans voted to secede in a referendum outlawed by Spain.

Some fear the latest moves could spark further unrest after mass demonstrations before and since the ballot on 1 October.

Spain’s supreme court declared the vote illegal and said it violated the constitution, which describes the country as indivisible.

The secession vote may very well have been illegal, but so was our Declaration of Independence. Every signatory to that document could have been hanged for treason under the laws of Great Britain at the time. The United States has endured now for 241 years.

Many Americans say the Civil War “settled” the question of whether states can secede from the Union, conveniently overlooking that the United Colonies had successfully seceded from the British Empire less than a century before. I’ve said that legal questions cannot be settled by force — only the particular conflict at issue.

When a dispute among nation-states reaches the point of armed conflict, legal precedents covering it go out the window, never to return. By seeking to suppress Catalan independence in this manner, Spain risks accelerating its own disintegration.

 

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It’s Called “Projecting”

Today, Geraghty discusses Harvey Weinstein, the Pig That Ate Hollywood’s Moral High Horse.

Hollywood has demonstrated an amazing propensity for believing the problems are “out there” — out in middle America, where the audience lives — instead of within its own industry, actions, and behavior.

What it is, is, Hollywood assumes whatever horrible behavior happens there, must be happening everywhere. The flaw in that reasoning is that the entertainment industry attracts people who are more comfortable playing “let’s pretend” — where the consequences are elided in favor of manufactured closure.

“Out there,” consequences are real and endings are also beginnings and middles. Real people “live happily ever after” for about three minutes before life… goes on. No ending credits, no immediate negotiations for a sequel, no residuals. Just… more living, for those still alive.

In Hollywood, “more living” is what you base a sequel on. No sequel deal, no additional consequences.

That’s how Weinstein lived. It’s how everyone in Hollywood lives. Not knowing any better, it’s how they assume everybody lives.

That’s why they’re not fit to preach, even to those who live in that bubble, let alone to you and me.

Kim, You Ignorant Slut

The Korean War is in its 68th year. It never formally ended.

America doesn’t need to “declare” war on you, you dopey little speed bump. We don’t need to provoke you.

You, however, need to stop provoking us.

Beneath Notice

I can remember when taking a knee
Was a sign of respect and submission
But we can’t expect twenty-something millionaires
To engage in that much cognition
So they kneel as a sign of disrespect
To the flag their grandfathers might have died for
Millions of immigrants fled home for
And all good Americans have pride for

A flag flown by my ancestors
Who fought to free the slaves
And saw their eldest brother killed
And laid in a soldier’s grave
A flag laughed at by Hitler
He didn’t laugh for very long
A flag sneered at by Stalin
We’re still here, his flag is gone

Bin Laden tried to end it too
Doused in jet fuel and burned
Yet it rose again from the ash and rubble
And he got the comeuppance he earned
So to pampered gridiron idols I say
Indulge your childish vainglory
Your moment in the spotlight’s glare
Won’t be a footnote to that flag’s story.

Just Don’t Try to Use Their Online Store

I don’t have any first-hand experience of shopping in an actual bricks-and-mortar Boot Barn store, but as God is my witness, friends don’t let friends try to use their online store.

Any email you’re supposed to receive from them — an e-receipt, a shipping notification, a password reset link —  may be intercepted by SpamCop if your email provider uses it to block spam.

Didn’t write down your order number? If something goes wrong with your order you’ll never know it. Unless you managed to set up an account ahead of time, that is, so that you can log in and look up your order history.

But if you used a SpamCop-covered email address to set up that account, better write down your password on a Post-It note and hang it on your monitor, because if you lose it you’re SOL. Then again, if somebody else uses your password to log in and change the password, you’ll be even more SOL. And you still won’t get any mail from bootbarn.com.

Don’t try to use a robust password generator to set up your account either. I tried that using LastPass and BootBarn.com rejected every password LastPass offered. I had to make one up and type it in — and God help me if I forget it. (No, wait — I used one of my spare email addresses for that. I hope SpamCop isn’t patrolling that server too. I haven’t received an acknowledgment of the new account yet though, so, probably it is.)

REMEMBER

Few people may recall that September 11, 2001 was supposed to be the day of a New York City mayoral election. Rudolph Giuliani was coming to the end of his second term and his successor was to be chosen on the day 19 Muslim mass-murderers decided to crash jet airliners into the World Trade Center’s twin towers, along with the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol in Washington (passengers prevented Flight 93 from reaching its target).

The election was rescheduled, and Michael Bloomberg was elected. In a city that was the scene of the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil, claiming thousands of lives, he devoted his three terms to policing the size of fountain drinks New Yorkers could buy.

His successor, Bil de Blasio — murderer of groundhogs — is now on a crusade to eliminate private property and personal autonomy in the city.

What the hell are we as Americans to make of this?

I’m sorry, this probably isn’t the kind of remembrance post you were expecting. Fortunately, not everyone is a New Yorker.

Addendum: Officially, September 11 is a national day of remembrance, called “Patriot Day,” which you know damn well people call “Patriots’ Day,” which already exists. I’ve never understood why it is at all appropriate to call 9/11 Patriot Day. We might as well call December 7 “Flag Day.”

You’ll notice the name we give to December 7 is utterly free of euphemism: it’s “Pearl Harbor Day.” That’s because back then people knew what was needed to honor the American patriots who fell on that Sunday morning — we went out and won the damned war. After we got through with Germany and Japan, the belief systems that turned them into our enemies had been dismantled and discredited.

The victims of 9/11 deserved no less. Does it really feel to you as if we’ve done it?

Quit Beating Around the Bush, Lefties

Move on to burning books, lynching deplorables, and fire-bombing people’s homes, already. Drop the mask and show your true colors.

It’s not as if your allies in the media have any integrity left. Of course they’ll keep covering for you.

Addendum: Today’s soundtrack: “Born to Be Riled” by Goosesteppenwolf.

Getting It Backwards

Former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming wants to amend the Constitution to “get the money out of politics.”

He takes exception to the Citizens United decision, which ultimately arose from an attempt by Hillary Clinton supporters to suppress funded political speech critical of her. In Simpson’s complaint, he gets the problem wrong by 180 degrees.

The problem is not that money has undue influence over American elections; the problem is that there is so much at stake in American elections — in American politics — that there is demand for funded political speech to influence political outcomes.

The Founding Fathers — authors of the Constitution Simpson wants to change — explicitly limited the enumerated powers of the federal government in hopes of preventing national politics from becoming the primary focus of American life. They knew that if the political stakes became high enough in a society where people were free to prosper, there would be those who sought to buy their way into power.

They also knew that powerful elites like to raise new barriers to entry so that potential rivals are unable to challenge them. That is the phase we’re in now with this effort to amend the Constitution — it’s not to clean up politics by getting money out, it’s to consolidate power by keeping new money out.

They’re reacting to Citizens United because it wiped away years of work they had already invested in raising these barriers to entry.

One thing is true: there is too much money in politics. But the way to fix that is to extract the government’s claws from the economy and lower the political stakes in any given political campaign.

No one will spend millions of dollars to gain control of a government that can’t seize a rancher’s property over a mud puddle. And that’s a fix that doesn’t require a constitutional amendment rewriting the First Amendment.