Still Addicted to that Rush

President Trump with Rush Limbaugh

Still Addicted to that Rush

Ilana Mercer, on the late king of radio

Rush Limbaugh died on February the 17th. In the encomiums to conservatism’s radio king, mention was made of his 2009 address at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. CPAC for short, or CPUKE before Trump.

Addicted to that Rush,” the March 6, 2009 column’s title, came not from Rush’s brief addiction to painkillers following surgery, but from an eponymous hit by the band Mr. Big. (It, in turn, came from a time when the American music scene produced not pornographers like Cardi B, but musicians like Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan). Nevertheless, that title alluded to one of Rush’s missed opportunities: speaking against a war into which he was involuntarily drafted and by which he was almost destroyed: the War on Drugs.

Still, how petty does that war, in all its depredations, seem now! How unimaginably remote do the issues Rush spoke to, in 2009, seem in the light of a country that has come a cropper in the course of one year, due to an unprecedented consolidation of state power around COVID, compounded by an amped up, institutionalized campaign against white America. And, in particular, against white Trump voters.

Other than champion tax cuts and globalization, the Rovian cadre of the GOP had been doing what it has always done: calling for a more upbeat, inclusive and diverse party. Michael Steele, then chairman of the Republican National Committee, today an “analyst” for MSNBC, had derided Rush as a mere entertainer, describing “The Rush Limbaugh Show” as incendiary and ugly. Then as now, Steele’s main concerns were not those of main-street Americans. Rather, Steele’s cares were “conciliatory.” The Rovians, like the Never Trumpers of the Lincoln-Project, believed in the urgent need to broaden the Republican Party’s base and “appeal” to traditionally hostile minorities, when in fact the GOP had been courting traditional Democratic constituents with every trick possible, with little success, all the while sticking it to the base.

The Steele-Limbaugh spat fell into Barack Obama’s lap. The former president was losing it— throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the thing he called “the economy,” but which is really no more than the trillions upon trillions of voluntary, capitalistic acts individuals perform in order to make a living. Introduce government force and coercion into this synchronized spontaneous order, and it starts to splutter. The economy responds poorly to economic planning and planners. BHO thought that he could walk on water. America facilitated his fantasy. The former president was realizing that he was not the magic man he imagined that he was. Desperate times called for desperate distractions.

In short succession, Democratic henchmen—Paul Begala, Stanley Greenberg, James Carville, and Robert Gibbs — began picking on Limbaugh. Strong-armed too by the Obama administration, CNBC reporter Rick Santelli led a revolt from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange against the bailout billions for mortgage delinquents. Little wonder, then, that the contents of Limbaugh’s speech at CPAC garnered less attention than the characters involved.

Rush spoke stirringly. He railed against the enormous expansion of government in the first few, frightening weeks of the Obama presidency. But, as I noted at the time, not a word against the man who began what Barack was just completing. George Bush set the scene for Barack. Stimulus, bailouts, a house for every Hispanic—these were Bush’s babies. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights had been abandoned well before the fist-bumping Obamas moved into the White House.

“Contrary to popular myth,” wrote James Ostrowski, President of Free Buffalo, in 2002, “every Republican president since and including Herbert Hoover has increased the federal government’s size, scope, or power—and usually all three. Over the last one hundred years, of the five presidents who presided over the largest domestic spending increases, four were Republicans.”

“Include regulations and foreign policy, as well as budgets approved by a Republican Congress, and a picture begins to emerge of the Republican Party as a reliable engine of government growth.”

As rousing as his speech was, Limbaugh did not devote a word to the Warfare State, every bit as corrupt, corrupting, and bankrupting as the Welfare State. As we observed at the time, over $1 trillion was being spent yearly on imperial expeditions that were awash in American blood, but offered few benefits to the sacrificed, stateside and abroad. Besides, we asked, “what kind of a nation neglects its own borders while defending to the death borders not its own?”

Rush rightly denounced the State’s failed war on poverty. It failed not because fighting poverty is not a noble cause, but because, given the perverse incentives it invariably entrenches, government is incapable of winning such a war. The same economic and bureaucratic perversions also make the State’s stalemated War on Drugs equally unwinnable and ruinous.

Lysander Spooner, the great, American 19th-century theorist of liberty, defined vices as those acts “by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which a man harms the person or property of another.” Government has no business treating vices as crimes. If, for harming himself, a man forfeits his freedom, then he is not free at all.

Limbaugh accused Obama of wanting to transform America. This was obvious then, as it is today. But what of George W. Bush, who had wormed his way into the affections of conservative leaders like Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham (who used to call Bush a patriot). What was Bush’s insistence on unfettered, open borders if not an expression of his disdain for “America the way it had been since its founding,” to quote commentator Lawrence Auster (also since deceased). The former president refused to enforce immigration law. That was his way of converting America into something quite different. Just like Obama, Bush harbored a death wish for America of the Founders. Added Auster: “Until conservative opinion makers render unto Bush the censures he richly deserves, especially for the same things for which they now excoriate Obama, their criticisms of Obama will have the [odor] of rank partisanship.” It took Trump to dispatch Bush.

At the time, I expressed the hope that conflagrations such as the one between Steele and Limbaugh continue and deepen. “It’s good for the GOP ─ the party needs to be gashed good and proper if a coherent articulation of ordered liberty is to be forged from the current philosophical chaos.” Come to think of it, that this tract began with Rush Limbaugh, of blessed memory, and ended with Trump, is in itself significant. For it took the “Donald’s creative destruction” to finish off the Republican Party 

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She’s the author of  Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s currently on Parler, Gab, YouTube & LinkedIn, but has been banned by Facebook and throttled by Twitter.

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Rattus Republicanus

Gulliver’s Travels, credit Wikipedia

Rattus Republicanus

by Ilana Mercer

The defining difference between Democrats and Republicans is this: Republicans live on their political knees. They apologize and expiate for their principles, which are generally not unsound. Democrats, conversely and admirably, stand tall for their core beliefs, as repugnant as these mostly are.

The Left most certainly didn’t rush forward to condemn the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riffraff, as they looted and killed their way across urban America, last year. Instead, Democrats defended the déclassé, criminal arm of their party. “Riots are the language of the unheard,” they preached, parroting MLK.

What of the trammels of despair that drove the Trump protesters of January 6? Trust too many Republicans—goody two-shoes, teacher’s-pet types all—to trip over one another in order to denounce that ragtag of disorganized renegades, the protesters aforementioned, who already have no chance in hell of receiving due process of law.

Consider Nancy Mace. With the speed of a whirling dervish, the Republican representative from South Carolina rushed to make a name for herself posing as a heroic “survivor” of January 6. Following the incident on the Capitol, Mace quickly transformed herself into the young, go-to GOPer on the “hive media,” bad mouthing MAGA folks (to the likes of supercilious Don Lemon, of all people).

Shortly after the incident Democrats are likening to September 11, during a pit-stop on Fox News with the forgiving Martha MacCallum, miss congeniality attempted to redeem herself as a “constitutional conservative.” Oh, and how Ms. Mace had suffered. You don’t know the half of it.

Having joined the Democrats in peddling her “harrowing” experience during the Jan. 6 incident, Mace, a middle-class young woman, proceeded to use lefty language for political leverage to describe her familial situation. For the purpose of self-aggrandizement and drama, Nancy kept calling herself a “single mother.” A single mother is a term the Left, and now the thoroughly co-opted Right, has adopted to glorify unmarried mothers and fatherless “families.” It was meant to excise the father from the picture and undermine the nuclear family.

Mace’s biography mentions that “she is the mom of two children aged 11 and 13,” and a divorced woman (or womin), and thus, by extension, not a “single mother.” So, give it up, please for the man who made the Mace kids. He is her ex-husband, Curtis Jackson, whom Nancy Mace divorced in 2019.

Political pygmy Adam Kinzinger was another young GOPer to rush onto the “enemedia” to announce his hackneyed vision for reclaiming the GOP from the deforming clutches of Trump and MAGA America. Last month, Kinzinger voted to impeach President Trump. He further swelled the chorus by announcing that “the Republican Party had lost its way. If we are to lead again, we need to muster the courage to remember who we are.” So original. So inspirational.

“We need to remember what we believe and why we believe it,” Kinzinger continued. “Looking in the mirror can be hard, but the time has come to choose what kind of party we will be, and what kind of future we’ll fight to bring about.” (CNN) With his Country First initiative, Kinzinger evinces his inability to comprehend that, for him, the “Country” ought to comprise of his constituents, the people he represents. It is the lead of his constituents that Kinzinger is obliged to follow, not his own political métier.

Kinzinger is a spawn of the military. While we’re at it, let us dispatch for once and for all the conservative mythology surrounding the philosophical fabric of the military, these days (in Kinzinger’s case the reserve). Isn’t it obvious that the military is a morass of leftism, statism, feminism, reverse-racism, interventionism, propositionalism, and other poisonous creeds? If nothing else, the Trump years have made it clear that the military brass has aligned with the Left.

As for Nancy Mace’s bona fides: “I have spoken out strongly against the president and my own colleagues,” bragged Ms. Mace smugly. “[W]e have a Constitution as our guide. The vote to certify the Electoral College is in our Constitution,” she said of the political battle that precipitated the January 6 riot. “That was a ceremonial vote to certify all 50 states that were legally certified.” Spoken like a Beltway Babe.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She’s the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s currently on Parler, Gab, YouTube & LinkedIn, but has been banned by Facebook and throttled by Twitter.

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The Walls of Jericho

Salt’s Mill

The Walls of Jericho

Bill Hartley blows his trumpet

Since the nineteenth century the expansion of our cities has seen settlements on the outskirts absorbed into the urban area. Occasionally though a town avoids this trend and manages to retain a distinct character. Topography can sometimes play a part in allowing this to happen and there is a good example to be found in the Yorkshire Pennine country.

Not everyone would favour living on an exposed site more than 1200 feet above sea level. This is a location which still carries a sense of isolation, even though it overlooks the City of Bradford. The railways never made it here, being defeated by the gradient. Closest was the old Great Northern Railway which climbed to some impressive heights on its network but was defeated by Queensbury, now part of the Bradford Metropolitan District. The station lay 400 feet below the town. Here, up to the 1960s, stood one of the strangest examples of railway architecture, a triangular station built that way to accommodate three lines which needed to find their way around the hills. Because the valley bottom sites had been taken by other lines they were known to train crews as the Alpine Route.

Queensbury lies on a spine dividing the Aire and Calder valleys and getting up there from any direction involves a steep climb. Unsurprisingly, the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race was routed through these parts. Queensbury retains its own distinct character and shows no signs of being gentrified. It is soot blackened, insular and on an icy winter’s day when denuded of people, a slightly sinister place. Agriculture never really worked around here. On the outskirts are small fields with drystone walls and crumbling farmhouses. Surprisingly farming still clings on, mostly sheep rearing and some horse breeding; there is little else which can be done with such marginal land. At one time though the land did have a greater value and in the nineteenth century there was said to be around 30 quarries operating in the district. This easily accessible stone became the main building material and all of this effort is reflected in the Queensbury townscape. There are few brick buildings here and the local gritstone was used both for walls and even as roofing material on the weaver’s cottages.

The Queensbury skyline is dominated by the great chimney of the Black Dyke Mills. Architecturally this place could define Dark Satanic and no-one has ever bothered to clean off the soot. To a considerable extent the mill created the town and many other buildings owe their existence to the company. The man behind this was John Foster (1798-1879). His career encompassed the transition from domestic weaving to the mills. Originally he outsourced work to the cottagers who wove with handlooms. Then he brought the cottagers into his mill. Foster was a philanthropic mill owner and the town contained shops and leisure facilities provided by the company, plus of course the famous Brass Band. It may seem strange that Foster should choose such a remote location for his huge mill. The reason was because his family had been small farmers there and he owned the land. In addition there were deposits of coal under the property; farming and its close connection with mining and quarrying combined to provide the materials that Foster needed. The business is still in operation, though the company has now moved to Bradford. The industrial units which operate out of the old premises just about keep the place going.

This High Pennine country has produced some strange place names. Just beyond Queensbury on the road to Thornton is the aptly named hamlet of Mountain. Then there are clusters of cottages with Biblical names such as Jericho, Jerusalem and the perhaps ironic World’s End. Religion has been deeply ingrained here and still appears to hang on. The Anglicans of course have the parish church and the Catholics a toe hold but for those wanting something more charismatic there is a newcomer, the Life Church. Interestingly for such a remote place, choice always seemed to be available. For those seeking a no frills religion there is a Bethel Baptist church dating back to the nineteenth century. The Moravians have been here that long too. Religion also influenced the naming of another now vanished local landmark. In the hamlet of Egypt stood the Walls of Jericho, two immense drystone constructions flanking a narrow road. The walls were erected to hold back waste rock from a local quarry and driving between them was said to be an uncomfortable experience. All that rock was being held in place by nothing more than the skills of local artisans whose usual work would have been erecting field boundaries. By the Eighties, the walls were in a dangerous state. Enter the local authority with a dubious estimate of how much it would cost to stabilise them. The walls are now long gone and have entered local folklore.

Descending from Queensbury towards Bradford one option is to go through Thornton, a village whose main claim to fame is that the Bronte sisters were born there. The Reverend Patrick Bronte seems to have spent much of his career moving from one grim West Riding location to another before ending up in Haworth. Thornton marks the descent from the bleak country around Queensbury into the more urbanised district of Shipley. Close by is Titus Salt’s massive mill at Saltaire, built to a neo-Florentine design. In further contrast to the austere Black Dyke Mills, it has been sandblasted back to a warm honey colour which it never knew in its industrial heyday. To find it when entering Shipley from Thornton, turn left just after the Precious Glimpse Baby Scanning Studio.

Saltaire and its model industrial village are heavily promoted by the tourist trade. For a different view of how life used to be lived, a trip up to Queensbury would be an option.

William Hartley is a former Deputy Governor in HM Prison Service 

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When Kyle Came to Kenosha (2)

A Kyle Rittenhouse supporter in Kenosha, credit Wikipedia

When Kyle came to Kenosha (2)

by Ilana Mercer

I’m not even sure one can still speak freely about theoretical matters. Nevertheless, against the background din of “insurrection” charges against MAGA America, I’ve tried to distill the hardcore libertarian take regarding the storming of the Capitol Building, on January 6, in a brief YouTube clip.

It is very plainly this: principled libertarians will distinguish pro-Trump patriots such as Kyle Rittenhouse from the armed wing of the Democratic Party: Black Lives Matter, Antifa and other criminal riffraff. BLM rioters trashed, looted and leveled their countrymen’s private property, their livelihoods and businesses, doing billions in damages. In contrast, the ragtag men and women of the MAGA movement stormed only the seat of power and corruption that is the State. Once!

Yet, in reply to the fact that “entire cities were burned to the ground” by BLM troops (the Democratic Party’s violent militia), some of the staunchest of conservatives have asserted that “storming the Capitol building” is much worse than “than burning down strip malls.” Principled libertarians, very plainly, think the opposite. Like us or not, the radical property-rights libertarian—who does not live inside and off the Beltway—will strongly disagree with the Trump-blaming conservatives. A certain kind of libertarian, the good kind, distinguishes clearly between those who, like BLM, would trash, loot and level private property—the livelihoods and businesses of private citizens—and between those who would storm the well-padded seats of state power and corruption. Continue reading

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ENDNOTES, February 2021

Bird of paradise, credit Wikipedia

ENDNOTES, February 2021

In this edition: Entente Musicale, new releases of English and French music from SOMM; Kathleen Ferrier, remembered; Messiaen and 20th-century piano music from Divine Art, reviewed by Stuart Millson

A musical entente cordiale is presented in splendid sound this month, courtesy of the ever-enterprising SOMM CD label; a disc which features the virtuosity of two first-class and thoughtful performers of the younger generation, Clare Howick (violin) and Simon Callaghan (piano) – both searching, it seems, for a fusion of the flowering of authentic national voices in music, from England and France in the early 20th century.

France is represented chiefly by Debussy’s valedictory Violin Sonata dating from the end of the Great War – although one might also include Frederick Delius in the French category, for the English-born bohemian spent his last years in the seclusion of the countryside of Grez-sur-Loing. Clare Howick brings both detail and pathos to her interpretation of Delius’s Violin Sonata in B major (op. Posth), especially in the Andante middle movement. Thoughts arise of summer or early-autumn air with insects and birds galore; of overgrowing, untamed garden vegetation and the decaying colours of flowers and occasional traces of their once-strong scents. Continue reading

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Sappho of Lesbos

Sappho of Lesbos

by Darrell Sutton

John William Godward, In the Days of Sappho

The isles of Greece! the isles of Greece
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace

Byron had a strong affection for Lucan’s Pharsalia. His attachment to Aeschylus’s Prometheus was equally pronounced. Acquainted with the classical tongues, bi-lingual editions of Greek and Latin texts were commonplace. His poems illuminate his penchants. He preferred the territories and literature of ancient Greece to its modern terrestrial forms. The ‘Isles of Greece’, though nationalistic in tone, is imbued with nostalgia. From a distance of two thousand years, Byron roamed the ruins of Greece daily by means of its preserved treasury of writings, and this he accomplished without a great fondness for their contemporary scenery. To quote his own words:

Let Aberdeen and Elgin still pursue
The shade of fame through regions of virtu;
Waste useless thousands on their Phidian freaks,
Mis-shapen monuments, and maimed antiques;
And make their grand saloons a general mart
For all the mutilated blocks of art.

Byron had other appetites. Had the public known of them, his reputation would have been sullied. These cravings came and went. Whether they were enabling or inhibiting factors of his poetic prowess is a matter for his critics. But clearly, select authors of classical Greece retained a permanent place in his heart throughout his life. Continue reading

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Automatic for the People

2nd Amendment Rally, Jan 20th 2020, Richmond, Virginia, credit Wikipedia

Automatic for the People

by Ilana Mercer

When Uncle Sam threatens some blighted and benighted region of the world—ostensibly on behalf of the American People and for their own good—our representatives call it peace through strength. It is then that ordinary Americans are encouraged to pipe up in praise of the State’s invariably Orwellian peace-through-strength strategies.

Peace through strength on our front porches, while being menaced by lowbrow looters and assorted louts? For that you can be incarcerated in the land where the criminal roams free. And when practiced by pale faces, our Second Amendment rights, exercised on the perimeter of our properties, as we stand vigil against the vilest of human beings—that’s tantamount to white supremacy and privilege. Witness the fate of some courageous home owners (the McCloskeys of St. Louis, Missouri) exercising age-old rights—also American constitutional rights—when they ventured out onto their verandas with firearms, intending to stand their ground and deter mobs from overrunning hearth and home.

Good people standing their ground were libeled and charged as criminals. Since these home owners did nothing illicit in the natural law, state authorities had to cunningly conjure charges against their naturally licit stance of deterrence. Law-abiding Americans who practiced deterrence, or peace through strength, have all-too-often been prosecuted by a justice system characterized by institutional rot. Continue reading

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Ominous Stirrings in the World of Woke

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Bibel in Bildern, credit Wikipedia

Ominous Stirrings in the World of Woke

by David Ashton

The ideology of “equality, diversity, inclusion”, which some call “Wokeism”[i], is spreading into every nook and cranny of our national life. Perceptive observers compare it to a new “faith”[ii], recently adjunct to Black Lives Matter militancy. It has no formal creed, unlike traditional Christianity or orthodox Islam but its adherents and missionaries repeat the requisite jargon better than neophytes of yesteryear Sunday School and, sadly, with deeper psychological internalization than thought-reform penitents of Communist China. Some converts seem almost deranged[iii] and invoke as their icon an African-American criminal “martyred” in dubious circumstances[iv].

Who are these “engineers of the human soul” (to quote Stalin)? Conveniently, in a pull-out section, the New Statesman has illustrated the “equitable future”[v] in store for the hapless inhabitants of these isles by quoting several woke supporters. Commencing with the ridiculous statistical complaint that the current pandemic has exposed such “underlying inequalities” as that half of “black, Asian and ethnic minority” women are worried about their work prospects, the magazine advocates proactive plans for “equality of gender, race, disability and class”. Continue reading

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Storming the Citadels of Statism

John Martin, Belshazzara’s Feast, credit Wikipedia

Storming the Citadels of Statism

by Ilana Mercer 

Hardcore libertarians differentiate between pro-Trump patriots and Black Lives Matter detritus. BLM rioters trashed, looted and leveled their countrymen’s private property, their businesses. Democratic stormtroopers harassed their fellow Americans—meek men and women in eateries, in shopping malls, in the inner sanctum of their homes—sometimes forcing innocents to kneel or recite repulsive, self-incriminating racial catechisms.

These Mao-like cultural revolutionaries descended like locusts on places where their fellow Americans shop and socialize, sadistically threatening, and often visiting, physical harm upon their countrymen, unless they knelt before them like slaves. In contrast, the ragtag men and women of the MAGA movement stormed only the seat of power and corruption that is the State. Yet, despite the fact that “entire cities were burned to the ground” by the Left’s militarized BLM troops, some of the staunchest of conservatives, staffers at Breitbart, have concluded, in error, that “storming the Capitol building” is much worse than “than burning down strip malls.”

Hardcore libertarians, very plainly, think the opposite. Like us or not, the radical, libertarian propertarian—who does not live inside and off the Beltway—will strongly disagree with the contention of the Trump-blaming Breitbarters. Continue reading

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“Unequal Equals, Helots Egalités”

John Martin, Pandemonium

“Unequal Equals, …Helots Egalités”

A. R. Kneen on the ‘great reset’

On 29th September 2020, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated:

Building back better means getting support to the most vulnerable while maintaining our momentum on reaching the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the SDGs. Canada is here to listen and to help.[…] This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset. This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality[1], and climate change[2].[3]

Other public figures, including Boris Johnson[4], Joe Biden[5] and Prince Charles[6], have linked the idea of achieving ‘equality’ through a ‘reset’ with the 2020 declaration of a pandemic. As with Trudeau, this is often called ‘building back better’.

A number of commentators consider the ‘great reset’ a form of communism – The Washington Times published an article titled ‘Great Reset is Corporate Communism, and It’s Coming to America’[7]:

It’s a takeover of free markets and an imposition of behavioral, political and economic standards on entire countries, by unelected, unaccountable, often even unseen and unknown billionaire elites. And it’s coming to America. It’s communism dressed as social justice capitalism. […] Build back better means something. The great reset is real. And Americans must fight the communism these soft-sounding phrases are actually selling.

Continue reading

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