Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Four Recommended Reads: 9/2/2020

Is there a common theme to these recommended reads? I suppose one thread that runs through them all is the way that the forces of evil--in varying forms--seek to beat normalcy into the ground.

Let's start with Carter Page. There's an excerpt from his book that describes his experience being interrogated by the FBI. No, not just once. He was interrogated five times. A brave man, he did it without a lawyer and, turning the tables in a way that only Carter Page could do, he tried to educate them--presenting Power Point slides and documents he had written, not suspecting at the time that the FBI had almost certainly acquired and reviewed all of that material already via illegal FISA warrants:

Excerpt From Carter Page's 'Abuse and Power'

Next, we turn to the story of Mike Strickland. Strickland, confronted by a threatening Antifa/BLM mob, pulled his legally carried Glock to make a getaway.

Charges against him grew from two misdemeanors to 21 counts, ten of which were felonies, within hours of Portland politicos getting an earful from one of Strickland’s favorite targets, an anti-Second Amendment group called “Ceasefire Oregon.” The politicos also seemed to take on faith the word of one of the conspirators who insisted Strickland must be a racist, even though he knew better.

Strickland lost at every level of the Oregon courts. He's now appealing to the SCOTUS. This makes a compelling read, and a preview of what awaits us if the election is stolen:

Exclusive: Case of Portland Man Who Defended Himself Against Antifa Mob Heads to Supreme Court

Sohrab Ahmari has a brief article at First Things in which he considers the role that books--yes, books--have played in fueling the insane rage of the Left:

Yep. That's Kenosha.

The Books Behind The Rage
Over the past four years, credentialed academics and public intellectuals published a mountain of books and articles warning of rising authoritarianism and even fascism in the United States—and offering guides on how to resist this political menace. “Save democracy” books became something of a cottage industry: If you had what publishers call a “platform” and relevant scholarly authority, you were a fool not to try your hand at the genre. 
The titles revealed the high stakes: The People vs. Democracy, The Twilight of Democracy, How Fascism Works, On Tyranny, The Road to Unfreedom, How Democracies Die. And on and on. Only now are we beginning to witness the damage wrought by these irresponsible exercises in middlebrow hysteria, as radicalized activists set fire to American cities on the belief that they are locked in an existential battle with the forces of political darkness. 
This past weekend, hard-left activists in Portland, Oregon, allegedly shot dead a man wearing a “Patriot Prayer” hat. Antifa types were soon celebrating his death on social media. In Washington during the Republican National Convention, leftist mobs accosted and in some cases assaulted GOP lawmakers; the unblinking rage on display in the video footage is terrifying. 
What is the political theory behind that rage? How does a twenty-something recent liberal-arts graduate come to believe that his political opponents must be personally shamed and even physically beaten? Could it be that all those books and articles and cable interviews about fascism have had an effect?

Then again, how do well paid academics and politicians justify fueling this level of insanity?

Finally, Angelo Codevilla has a review of Michael Anton's new book, which we discussed and excerpted in What Happens If Trump Loses? Codevilla's review goes into areas of the book that weren't available in Anton's article. Codevilla himself is a first rate thinker on these issues, so I highly recommend the whole article (h/t commenter aNanyMouse).

Codevilla first argues that the American constitutional order has, in fact, long since lost legitimacy:

For almost 200 years the Constitution, the American people’s basic “deal” with one another, channeled our strivings and disagreement into deliberations and compromises that allowed us to live the mostly decent lives our culture prescribed. Adherence to its restraints preserved our capacity to continue dealing with problems in more or less predictable freedom. 
But, beginning in the 1930s, America’s ruling class pushed aside the Constitution, reducing to a bad joke the civics class description of the regime: “Congress makes the laws, the President enforces them, and the courts resolve individual disputes about them.” ... 
Despising any divine or natural authority and contemptuous of America’s history, those in the ruling class make war on the American people’s culture and national identity.  
... conservatives have continued to believe that the United States’s institutions and those who run them retain legitimacy. Conservative complaisance made possible a half-century of Progressive rule’s abuse. The War on Poverty ended up enriching its managers while expanding the underclass that voted for them. The civil rights movement ended up entitling a class of diversity managers to promote their friends and ruin their opponents. The environmental movement ended up empowering the very same wealthy, powerful folks while squeezing the rest of America into cookie cutter living and paying inflated energy prices. The feminist movement delivered divorce and abortion—far from benefiting women, it has made millions dependent on ruling class favor. The COVID-19 pandemic has had almost nothing to do with public health and almost everything to do with separating, impoverishing, and disconnecting people inclined to vote against the ruling class. As leftist judges rule, conservatives respond by appointing judges who pledge not to rule. As leftist governors establish their brand of effective sovereignty by decree, conservative ones obey court orders. So long as, and to the degree that, the illusion of legitimacy stands—so long as the Right obeys while the Left disobeys and commands—there is no end to what the Left can do because there is so little that conservatives do to fight back.

Here's Codevilla's conclusion:

But, as Michael Anton reminds us, things that can’t go on indefinitely almost surely won’t. The combination of the ruling class constituents’ fired-up insatiability, the rulers’ inability to control them, and the limits of conservative Americans’ patience is sure to cause a crisis that ends up in some kind of “Caesarism” of the Left or the Right. 
Speculating on what such a crisis might be is not terribly useful because revolutionary scenarios are really all alike, and have been described countless times in similar terms: All sides are readier than they know to pursue their desires by dispensing with order. Something happens that inflames one side and challenges the other. Somebody gets killed. All bets are off. 
Consider the 2020 election. In July, the Democratic National Committee engaged some 600 lawyers to litigate the outcome, possibly in every state. No particular outcome of such litigations is needed to set off a systemic crisis. The existence of the litigations themselves is enough for one or more blue state governors to refuse to certify that state’s electors to the Electoral College, so as to prevent the college from recording a majority of votes for the winner. In case no winner could be confirmed by January’s Inauguration Day, the 20th Amendment provides that Congress would elect the next president. Who doubts that, were Donald Trump the apparent winner, and were Congress in Democratic hands, that this would be likelier than not to happen? 
Before or afterward, were conservatives not unanimously to roll over, and were a few incidents to result in loss of life and conflict between police forces on opposite sides of the affairs, America might well experience an explosion of pent-up rage less like the American Civil War of the 19th century and more like the horror that bled Spain in the 20th.

I suggest that Bill Barr is probably quite familiar with these considerations, and that they factored largely into his decision to come out of retirement. I suspect that he is also well aware of the crisis of legitimacy this country could face if the Dem plan to steal an election via the mail is pulled off. That could finally be the "Emperor Has No Clothes" moment for America, and the result could be fearsome.


  1. In addition to Books Behind the Rage, we also have politicos/ MSM networks spewing Rage, see Caldron Pool's vid (starring Biden, Pelosi, Waters, Cuomo, Lemon), at .

    1. Link clearly works.
      Previously, there were times I’d forgotten that links are case-sensitive, and used caps to make link easier to read.

    2. Could have removed everything starting from the "?" and after. That only tells where the link is coming from.

    3. Thanx. Is that always so, for super-long links w/ "?"s ?

    4. I believe so, but better to test a few.

  2. What happens if, come January 20, we don't know the outcome of the House and Senate either, for the same reason?

    1. Why wouldn't we know the outcome of the House and Senate by that date?
      The House vote is tallied, not by member, but by delegation, such that, as long as the GOP controls 26+ delegations, DJT gets in.
      Delegations can only vote for the top 3 winners of electoral votes.

      I recall reading somewhere that, if your scenario comes to pass, the law as written gives it to Pelosi.
      Book it, if that happens, secession mov'ts will grow like weeds, or a Gen. Franco will move in as a Ceasar.

    2. @Mouse
      "Why wouldn't we know the outcome of the House and Senate by that date?"

      I think Anonymous is suggesting that if election judges and polling inspectors are having trouble counting votes for President they might well also be having trouble counting votes for Representatives...

      What happens if on the day the House meets it is unclear which party has a majority in, let's say, the Michigan House delegation?

      And who will be the Speaker of the House if the GOP wins a majority of the House on November 3? And what happens if enough House elections are still undecided if and when the House votes to prevent a delegation from voting?

      Plenty of questions. I certainly don't have the answers.

      My hope to avoid all of this is a GOP landslide. I can actually see it happening. Fingers crossed.

    3. "if enough House elections are still undecided if and when the House votes to *prevent a delegation* from voting?"
      I'll all-but bet ranch, that any vote to *prevent a GOP delegation* from voting, will spur
      secession mov'ts, or a Gen. Franco to move in as a Ceasar.

  3. I know Mark has linked to Angelo Codevilla on a number of occasions--here from the Claremont Review of Books, a periodical I can highly recommend as a subscriber.

    For serious readers, life can be too short to read everything of interest, so a book review helps reduce the pile of books on the nightstand. I find a good review helps me decide that sometimes a review is enough--for a pass on the book--or for confirming an interest to read the book.

    1. Well said. Life is short and blogging is time consuming.

  4. Replies
    1. Mark--Hovering over the link, it reads triplicate in my MS browser. It doesn't work for me either. So I copied from the CRB site.

      Neill, try this.

      Copy and paste.

  5. 2A Oregon Case shows our two tracked justice system.



    "You’re a paranoid lunatic for even suggesting that censorship, de-platforming, or un-personing are problems—and also a racist who deserves it."

    Excerpted from Michael Anton's "A Tyranny Perpetual and Universal?" @

    We can now confidently insert the words "certified" in front of paranoid lunatic, and "clinically defined" in front of racist. The Long March Through the Institutions wasn't just for show. The use of mental institutions for "re-education" has a long tradition in Socialism. After all, wrong think is really just a public mental health issue.
    Did anyone really think the bipartisan push for Red-Flag laws and stronger/tighter mental health infrastructure over the last couple of years was just for the rare homicidal loser/maniac.

    1. Real Clear Investigation has a long article on the "intellectual" antecedents of Critical Race Theory today.


      Well, that didn't take long.


      More support for Codevilla and Anton's argument.

    4. Sorry to keep adding to this, but we really are in a civil war. And the other side believes rules are for chumps or the weak.

  7. Wm. Jacobson, at ,
    lists reasons to believe that the Dems will "refuse to concede the election either Election Night or even the following day.
    Rather, the claimed certainty that there is a wave of Biden mail-in votes yet to be counted is all Democrats will need, to make a concerted post-Election Day effort to steal the election."

    The accompanying vid shows Hillary saying "Biden should not concede under *any* circumstances.”
    The whole post is worth a look.