A Functioning Nation: System Requirements

In the comment-thread to our previous post, our resident left-wing gadfly and Obama-administration cheerleader — resplendent as always in saddle shoes, pleated skirt, class sweater and pom-poms — tried to make the case that the resurgent forces of genuine conservatism on the Right had sinned against America by exerting their influence in opposition to current Democratic policies. Conservative members of Congress, he insisted, have a Constitutional obligation to go with the flow. When national policy becomes a runaway train to Perdition, their duty is not to try to halt, reverse, or, if all else fails, derail it, but rather just to tap the brakes lightly every few miles.

That would be reasonable enough, if the state of the nation’s affairs were like a pendulum, swinging one way and then the other, but always returning to an unchanging mean. Instead we see, everywhere we look, movement in one direction only — in, for example, the size and scope of the managerial state, the intrusion of the Federal government into every aspect of our lives, the rising proportion of our laws created by unelected and unaccountable Federal bureaucrats, the displacement of the traditional American population by mass Third-World immigration, the growth of our national debt, the expansion of unfunded liabilities and entitlements, the enfeeblement of Congress relative to both the Court and to an increasingly arrogant Executive, the erosion of social cohesion and public trust, the decay of our inner cities, the dysfunction of the swelling underclass, the dwindling labor-participation rate, the continuous outsourcing of jobs and manufacturing, the slow death of the traditional family, the normalization of sexual decadence and ubiquitous pornography, the displacement of thrift, discipline, and self-reliance by hedonism and dependency, and the coarsening and enstupidation of the American popular culture.

In response to all of this, a conservative bloc in Congress, representing the gathering rage of scores of millions of traditionally minded Americans, has begun to resist — which has caused congestion at the Capitol, and a lot of hand-wringing elsewhere. They are mocked and scorned as “extremists” (despite the fact that the views they represent were, for the most part, ordinary mainstream ideas not long ago), and they are accused of breaching decorum, throwing “sand in the machinery of government”, and generally not behaving like “adults”. Our commenter even suggested, as noted above, that compromise is a Constitutional “responsibility”.

In software development we have a saying: “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.” The Framers saw that for the nation they were creating to survive at all, there would need to be, at minimum, sufficient commonality among its people for there to be the possibility of consensus. They knew that factional struggles would ensue from time to time, but rather than letting one side, then another, seize the helm, and so drag the nation wildly from course to course, they designed the system so that its default state, when consensus became impossible, was to halt: to maintain the status quo ante until a minimum of comity and agreement could be restored.

This, however, depends in turn upon some vital preconditions, the most important of which is that the nation itself must be, generally speaking, one nation — that is to say, that there must be enough commonality in its people, their culture, their sense of moral virtue, their guiding principles, and their notion of the role and purpose of government itself for the Constitutional system to work at all. This was always kind of a crap-shoot, and the Founders knew it; before even a century had passed, the nation was riven by great factional convulsions, and nearly came apart. But even the America of the first Civil War was far smaller, and far more homogeneous — ethnically, culturally, linguistically, religiously, morally, and philosophically — than the sprawling, multicultural America of the early 21st century.

To borrow another term from software development, it is becoming clearer and clearer that the American constitutional system simply does not “scale well”. An operating system that worked nicely for a nation of a few millions of self-reliant European Christians occupying a sparsely populated parcel of fertile territory is now looking increasingly brittle and “buggy” at continental, polylingual, and pan-ethnic scale.

If we are able to think clearly and dispassionately about this, we should not expect to find a political solution to what is at bottom a mismatch between our operating system and the hardware we’re now trying to run it on. The nation has simply gotten too big, too heterogeneous, too fractured and fissile in every way, for this increasingly centralized Federal government — indeed, perhaps, for any centralized government — to manage. It is no longer a matter of which side wins this or that election; we must understand that the problem is at a deeper level.

What will happen, I think, is that after a period of further strain and deterioration — lasting, perhaps, another decade or two, but possibly much less than that — the nation will begin to disaggregate, to break apart. If, starting now, we were all to begin to think hard about how to ease this passage, and what sort of arrangement we might like to see on the other side of it, we might spare ourselves, and our children, a great deal of suffering.


  1. JumpinJackFash says

    Why are you so sure that the US will begin to split apart, and eventually break apart within our lifetimes?
    South Africa was once 50% white. From my viewpoint, it’s very possible that the white masses (or what remains of us) will be content to go along to get along, provided with ample bread and circuses.

    As much as I would like to see a breakup happen, its very possible that the US will devolve into a latin american style kleptocracy with a rich, white and asian ruling elite, and brown race mixed peasants doing the grunt work. In fact that may be the plan.

    Posted October 13, 2015 at 9:53 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Why are you so sure that the US will begin to split apart, and eventually break apart within our lifetimes? … its very possible that the US will devolve into a latin american style kleptocracy…

    Because this is not Latin America, and there are too many Americans who will not tolerate what you describe. That the nation is decaying does not mean that all of its people are.

    Perhaps I’m wrong. I don’t think so, but “predictions are hard, especially about the future.”

    I can certainly say, at least, that if the nation is not to thrive, I too would rather see it crash than rot.

    Posted October 13, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Permalink
  3. Whitewall says

    “Because this is not Latin America, and there are too many Americans who will not tolerate what you describe. That the nation is decaying does not mean that all of its people are”. That would hold true in my part of the country. I suspect we here in the South won’t be alone in that.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 6:33 am | Permalink
  4. Whitewall says

    After last night’s debate..http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/425531/debate-lesson-america-now-has-openly-socialist-party-jim-geraghty

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 7:17 am | Permalink
  5. The Anti-Gnostic says

    It has taken me three decades of adult life to realize there is no such thing as the rule of law, only the law of those who rule. Good people, good rule; bad people, bad rule.

    We are constantly reminded (lectured, harangued, threatened) that the USA is a Propositional Nation, which is why it’s practically a crime to point out that only a particular people, the Anglo-Americans, dreamed up the proposition and fought for it. There is a sea change brewing in American political thought as more people realize that it’s not about ideas nearly so much as it’s about the people who hold them. Existential, ontological questions are not actually settled by vote in any event. The losers just agree to go home instead of marching in the streets and fighting. This pacifistic compact will start breaking down as the looming conflicts come into focus. All it’s really ever been about is who gets to live where and run the institutions.

    Currently, a transnational, decadent elite is running roughshod over tradition-minded, heavily-armed people. Malcolm is exactly right. We need to be giving this serious thought before the shooting starts.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink
  6. JK says

    [B]efore even a century had passed, the nation was riven by great factional convulsions, and nearly came apart. But even the America of the first Civil War …

    Merely a suggestion for a *refinement/replacement for the terms of the argument Malcolm (and most every commentator/observer) reaches into the grab-bag of our American History and grasps for illustrative purposes.

    But, and just my opinion, it’s not the American Civil War we should be looking at although so close along the timeline its convenient to, using Malcolm’s programming metaphor – “link” the present to.

    What we are looking at now is not so much resembling the Civil War rather;


    (Aware Academia would not deign a nod toward Whitewall’s Sectionalism.)

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 9:36 am | Permalink
  7. Epicaric says

    It is the noted burgeoning of central government that has exacerbated the social fissures now apparent in the United States. A diminution of Federal power and devolution to the individual States of much of what occupies current national debate would have allowed us to avoid much, if not all, of the rancor on any number of the most contentious issues that presently divide the nation. Kim Davis, as such, would have been an issue – or not – for the people of Tennessee alone. We are blessed with a union of fifty states that would allow for a near infinite diversity of political cultures from which to choose, all permitting freedom of movement, and thus exit. I need no more live in Provincetown, MA than Provost, UT. Let us celebrate our diversity, and return that to the States which was taken from them, and more.
    If you find the customs and habits of the people of California at odds with your own, you may limit your time amongst them to a pleasant holiday and bid them farewell. I am equally sure that the people of Texas would welcome the Vermonter on his or her rodeo holiday to the Lone Star State.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink
  8. Malcolm says

    Quite right, Epicaric: that’s the way this thing was supposed to work.

    Diversity is beautiful, when everything has its own place. That’s what separate states, and separate countries, are for. You travel, experience new people and customs, and then come home to the bosom of your own culture — broadened, happy, and refreshed, and able now to see the familiar in a new way.

    Everybody, everywhere, used to understand this. Why must it now be so hard to grasp?

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink
  9. Whitewall says

    “Why must it now be so hard to grasp?” Maybe because one of our major political parties has a lust for permanent electoral power and like the British Labour Party of a few decades ago, sees masses of disparate foreigners as the key. BLP is nearly dead today, but Britain has a social and cultural hangover. A high price to pay for political greed. That’s the Left though.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
  10. Whitewall says

    JK, I decided not to bother with a slice of American history, rather I chose a bit of Britain’s very recent past. I think academics have played a large part in this problem we have. An unholy cartel–academia, media and the American Left.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink
  11. JK says

    Yes WW – your 2nd sentence too. Refer Antis prior long comment.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink
  12. Malcolm says

    An unholy cartel – academia, media and the American Left.

    AKA: The Cathedral.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink
  13. Malcolm says

    Find the rest of that series, and more, here.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink
  14. Whitewall says

    My gosh Malcolm, I had no idea on both accounts. Those are two heavy duty links and I want to come back to them again when time permits.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 4:23 pm | Permalink
  15. Malcolm says

    Oh yes. Very influential, those links. I don’t know if you’ve heard much about “neoreaction”, but those posts by Mencius Moldbug are some of its founding documents.

    I’ve got quite a bit of other stuff I might send your way, if you start getting a taste for this way of seeing things.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink
  16. Whitewall says

    Neoreaction..since I like Gilbert Chesterton, I am going to assume he might fit that definition? If so, I’m interested.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
  17. Malcolm says

    Chesterton is a big favorite with the NRx crowd, yes. (In fact, you’ve reminded me that I had a GKC post under construction the other day. I should finish it.)

    Syme’s response to Gregory regarding poetry in the first chapter of TMWWT is pure neoreaction.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
  18. JK says

    Seconded Whitewall.

    (Sometimes, occasionally … Whitewall, I’ve come away from “our exchanges” thinking maybe you’re not appreciating the distinctions I have in mind when I’ve typed, ” … at the state/county/local levels very often I find myself voting for Democrats.

    Don’t know Whitewall you listen to Derbyshire on Vdare but, back on the broadcast of the 2nd, John made the same point – just a very very brief snippet and I can’t give you a “it is at this point” but



    I heartily recommend at least familiarizing with the school of thought.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink
  19. JK says

    I’d add Whitewall – just anecdotally mind – every single fully licensed and fully automatic firearm I’m aware of within 50 miles of me, is owned, possessed and is taken out for firing – by a registered Democrat.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink
  20. antiquarian says

    I might point out, also, that only a few years ago, purely in order to obstruct their opponents by any means necessary when their opponents’ intentions were sufficiently repugnant to them, Wisconsin Senate Democrats fled the state in order to deny their opponents a quorum.

    It didn’t work, in the end, but it does demonstrate clearly that Dems have no problem with heel-dragging and obstructionism when the shoe is on the other foot.

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink
  21. JK says

    Above too WW I mentioned Antis’ longish comment but what I was referring to wasn’t Anti-Gnostic’s but the Antis above at 1740 rather the comment left on the previous post.

    But then that’s where our host’s pointing to NRx has its say.


    We two I trust shall enjoy no such minor quibbles?

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink
  22. Ed says

    We’re at the extremely perturbated place just before it all lets go, leading to inception of a new paradigm that includes the current larger knowledge base, near light speed of info flow, and very fast doubling rate; all compared to conditions just after the Revolution. It’s not a D versus R thing, it’s systemic, and cyclic…

    Posted October 14, 2015 at 11:33 pm | Permalink
  23. JK says

    Where’s a Bob Koepp when he’s needed?

    Posted October 15, 2015 at 12:32 am | Permalink
  24. Malcolm says

    I really miss Bob Koepp (peace be upon him). What an astute commenter he was.

    Posted October 15, 2015 at 12:58 am | Permalink
  25. JK says

    Ahoy One-Eyed!

    The Illinois Lottery said in a statement, “Please note the funding to pay winners exists, but the legal authority to issue checks does not.”

    Illinois’ Homer Glen resident Rhonda Rasche [Yes Virginia One-Eyed there is a Homer Glen Illinois – Zipcode 60491] or if you’d prefer:


    Anyway One-Eyed, Rhonda Rasche of Homer Glen observes (according to the Chicago Tribune)

    “If I was selling raffle tickets and didn’t pay; the state of Illinois would have me sued or jailed at state expense, probably both!”


    Posted October 15, 2015 at 3:52 am | Permalink
  26. Patrick says

    Perhaps it’s not the system (Constitution) at fault. To use another systems term, “garbage in, garbage out”. A nation of “self-reliant European Christians” was the key. Arguably, just self-reliant Christians, European or not, would work too.

    Posted October 15, 2015 at 5:46 am | Permalink
  27. Whitewall says

    antiquarian, I recall the Wisconsin episode as well as how the media treated the whole affair like it was sport or something. When in reality, the sorry spectacle was juvenile and cowardly. It does however point out as said earlier that Dems can and will do “by any means necessary” what they must to try to win. They get an admiring pass from most media as most media is, it seems, made of the same mind set that a modern Liberal is made of.

    A little earlier, I recall the Texas state Dems doing the same thing to avoid a vote. Same coverage. Instead up standing up like adults and voting their beliefs, they flee town for a “road trip”. For this they are admired and applauded. Not so for us on the conservative side. We are always to be adults, while the Libs get to live and act as rebellious 19 year olds well into their dotage. It’s just the way it is.

    Posted October 15, 2015 at 6:37 am | Permalink
  28. Whitewall says

    JK..(Sometimes, occasionally … Whitewall, I’ve come away from “our exchanges” thinking maybe you’re not appreciating the distinctions I have in mind when I’ve typed, ” … at the state/county/local levels very often I find myself voting for Democrats”. JK I understood you clearly and I can report that here in my state of NC, that used to be what I could safely and gladly do. You may have noticed that NC has now become the 9th or 10th ranked state in population. What I remember as rural and open a couple of decades ago is no longer. The area I live in–though I remain in the county, is nearly a million and a half souls. Who might own what firearm is now completely unknown whereas years ago I knew many. Now in eastern NC, things are still a bit like the generation before. You know, life long registered Dems. who voted for Jesse Helms but would rather die before they would have it known they were thinking of actually registering Republican! These people were always referred to as “Jessecrats”.

    Posted October 15, 2015 at 7:00 am | Permalink
  29. Whitewall says

    I remember John Derbyshire from somewhere and that he had a falling out with NR I think over something. I didn’t follow up as I figured since Rich Lowry was…maybe is, the editor of NR, he being a delicate sort, that maybe the Derb caused Rich too much upset on the cocktail circuit. Anyway I will lend the Derb an ear when I can.

    Posted October 15, 2015 at 7:13 am | Permalink
  30. Whitewall says

    “The Man Who Was Thursday” today might be like Black Lives Matter meets Occupy Movement at the Whole Foods coffee counter? Just which they would wonder is “authentic”?

    Posted October 15, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink
  31. antiquarian says

    Whitewall, I didn’t think the Wisconsin episode was juvenile and cowardly, though I was pleased with the end result. I thought the move was just typical political maneuvering of the kind all political parties engage in from time to time. Gerrymandering, filibustering, procedural blocks, walkouts– this is just the ordinary coin of the realm, as I see it.

    What I dislike about the Left’s usual take on it (the interpretation that the Wisconsin walkout belies) is the asymmetry and the intellectual dishonesty that underpins it. They’re for greasy little maneuvers when they need them, like when Maryland Democrats eliminated Roscoe Bartlett by gerrymandering, and nobly posture against them when the other side does it, and it’s not as though no Republicans ever do these things, but it’s the Dems that have this posture of intellect and idealism, this self-granted heroic role in the Progressive Narrative that their actual position of greasy expedience makes such a mockery of.

    Posted October 15, 2015 at 10:19 am | Permalink
  32. Whitewall says

    antiquarian…quite so. “Is the asymmetry and the intellectual dishonesty that underpins it”. So true as a matter of form and tactic, which is based on, in my opinion, the very real truth that the “progressive” at his core is a coward. To block, filibuster or delay is one thing. To load up en mass and flee the state is another matter all together. The act of greasy pole climbers.

    Posted October 15, 2015 at 11:54 am | Permalink
  33. PJ says

    50 diverse Americas is better than one bloated, homogenized America.


    Posted October 15, 2015 at 12:39 pm | Permalink
  34. Doug says

    I’m enjoying you guys drift here. Makes me think of something which I can’t but help believe is incredibly relative to your conversation. Matter of fact, salient to everything your discussing.
    A plurality.
    Specifically a plurality of like minded people.
    Now it is fair to say, lot of people out there they may not have the skills to articulate a common plural state of mind, but they damn sure share similar values and basic principles of liberty and freedom.
    Here is the thing, I believe this plurality doesn’t know it is one. That if it does, it will be undeniable.
    How do we get there?
    The motive power of a plurality in liberty posses a primal legitimacy unlike any thing in the sphere of human activity.
    Essentially what Im trying to say here how do we of a mind, become united, we are out there, how do we find out we are not isolated and not a minority?
    Because if we become that plurality, everything changes.
    I really believe in all my heart, the narrative lies and memes notwithstanding, this is a nation made up of good people, that good nature and values, it really counts, it is what all that stands in the way of the barbarians and human extinction movement. The glue of civility.
    That plurality, it is unstoppable, it is manifest.

    Posted October 15, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Permalink
  35. The Anti-Gnostic says

    Doug, historically people coalesced along ethnic or creedal lines. Multiethnic, multicreedal societies have no organizing principle. They shamble along under a highly centralized government that keeps the lid on everybody, or they adopt frivolous non-culture to keep the peace. Either way, such societies–empires–are temporary.

    Posted October 15, 2015 at 6:08 pm | Permalink
  36. Joe B says


    Your diagnosis is correct but you offered no solution. The constitution has been so bastardized as to be unworkable as is the relationship between the left and the right. We are just playing “whack a mole” in the present system.

    We need to separate as a people via secession. Should start in Texas which would be joined by other like minded states. The bill of rights would be the basis for a new constitution creating a direct democracy with the power of initiative,referendum and recall and voting as a privilege, not a right.

    Not a perfect system but allows for the separation of two peoples who have incompatible world views and more “of, by and for the people”.

    Posted October 16, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink
  37. Malcolm says


    A good start, but you lost me at “direct democracy”.

    No, no. A thousand times, no.

    Posted October 16, 2015 at 11:08 am | Permalink
  38. whitewall says

    wasn’t Ross Perot a big “direct democracy” guy?

    Posted October 16, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink
  39. I hear that, Robert …


    Posted October 16, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink
  40. Didn’t they try “direct democracy” in Athens? Didn’t they try socialism in, among many other places, the Soviet Union? Hello?

    Our problem is not the Constitution. Our problem is the abominable Left.

    Posted October 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink
  41. Doug says

    I believe what we have today is administrative tyranny. Administrative law gone totally wild. Out of control.I read comments where people think the USC has failed.
    If anything, the constitution has worked perfectly, exactly as designed, an instrument of administrative law with a few amendments added on which are incompatible with the form of power that is a direct result of the composition of the constitution without amendments 1, 2, and 4, plus the idea of Posse Comitatus.

    In its entire history, has the US Constitution been responsible for creating any Liberty at all?
    Me thinks not.
    If anything it is responsible for creating the conditions and opportunity’s for exactly the tyranny we have today. The kind of leviathan breathing down our throats is only possible because of the USC. The amerikan nomenklaturer meddling in every facet of the sphere of our lives is a direct result of the administrative power the USC created. Makes me wonder if that was the intent of the creators of the USC, and why they couldn’t obtain ratification without addition of specific amendments, in particula the 2nd.
    And I’ll back up my premise with this caveat:
    If the wrath of an armed plurality where to exercise its primal right of throwing off the slavery of the state, where to go directly for the actors who usurp power not theirs, I’ll bet a body part, the despots would hide behind the constitution to protect themselves so fast your head would spin.

    Posted October 16, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
  42. The University of Southern California may have failed some of its students, but the Trojans usually field a decent football team.

    Posted October 16, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink
  43. “Makes me wonder if that was the intent of the creators of the USC, …”

    The Framers were brilliant and, possibly, even clairvoyant to some extent. But I seriously doubt they could have foreseen the stupidity of the electorate that brought us the Obamination.

    Posted October 16, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink
  44. whitewall says

    Henry, “Our problem is not the Constitution. Our problem is the abominable Left”. Just in the 20th century, and I think with the damage done by Woodrow Wilson, the modern Left began its assault on the Constitution. To them, it had become an outdated document. FDR carried this work on and LBJ set loose dysfunctional systems that defied common sense and reality. It is the unmistakable evidence of failure of these programs that we are fighting over in the 21st century. The Left insists on a fight to the death to preserve their unwillingness to accept reality. Reality is the enemy of the Left. We on the right acknowledge reality. We believe what we see. The Left only sees what it believes.

    Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink
  45. “The Left only sees what it believes.”


    Correspondingly, Thomas Sowell’s “A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles” discusses “the two competing visions that shape our debates about the nature of reason, justice, equality, and power: the ‘constrained’ vision, which sees human nature as unchanging and selfish, and the ‘unconstrained’ vision, in which human nature is malleable and perfectible.” The latter, of course, is the Left’s belief that humanity simply needs a hug, and then all will be well in the world.

    Posted October 17, 2015 at 11:31 pm | Permalink
  46. Doug says

    BigHenry, thats a cheesy answer right there buddy.
    You got a great blog, smart dude, figure you could come up with something better than that.

    Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink
  47. Doug says

    Malcolm, you imagine this might contribute to fracturing of this country. I mean, there is a lot of stuff going down, and who can predict the unintended consequences of those running things.
    Take a gander at this little gem:


    “Hunt” down right wing “Extremists”?
    What’s next, death warrants with your picture on it?
    Re-education camps?

    They are gonna “hunt” me down?
    No need, I’m right here. Hiding in plain sight.
    Come and get me motherfuckers.

    What is this country now? A 3rd world shithole run by a regime of marxist psychopaths?

    Malcolm, what are you gonna do when they classify your blog and your views, making you a right wing extremist and they “hunt” you down?

    They had a news conference announcing this.
    My country?
    Your all right wing extremists now.

    Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:58 am | Permalink
  48. “…, figure you could come up with something better than that.”

    Everybody can have an off day, I guess.

    Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink
  49. Doug says

    Hear you Big Henry.
    I think social engineering I like almost anything under the sun, nothing new.
    Those guys who created the USC, they where pretty smart guys in the classical reasoning sense. Look at the Roman Empire, nothing that constitutes the State is new. Tyranny is tyranny, no matter how you dress it up. Facisism, communisism, Fabianism, socialism, oligharchy,

    Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink
  50. Doug says

    Hear you Big Henry.
    I think social engineering I like almost anything under the sun, nothing new.
    Those guys who created the USC, they where pretty smart guys in the classical reasoning sense. Look at the Roman Empire, nothing that constitutes the State is new. Tyranny is tyranny, no matter how you dress it up. Facisism, communisism, Fabianism, to create, impose, and sustain it. Sharp minds which grok human nature and how to manipulate , oligarchy,whatever you call it are systems of tyrannical power. Takes a lot of critical thinking to manipulate and herd people into behaving in ways which benefit absolute power.
    The Fabians looked at it as the long march. They began a couple centuries ago.
    They understood it required the destruction of what America and her prosperity and liberty represented over a long gestation period to attain their agenda.
    Is it unreasonable to suppose that the Federalists where intelligent enough to craft a document which on face value satisfied the reticence of the anti federalist. That they created a Trojan Horse of tyranny?

    Have you read this essay by Gary North, Conspiracy In Philadelphia?


    It is a real outlier, yet the plausibility is profound to say the least.
    It is as worthy a read as The Origins Of The Second Amendment.

    Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Permalink
  51. Doug,

    I am a physicist by training, not a historian, sociologist, philosopher, or political analyst. I have read some books on these subjects, mostly after I retired from my professional career. I wanted to indulge my interests beyond all the technical stuff I concentrated on during my scientific research.

    But I am by no means an expert in any of the fields I mentioned (besides my research in nuclear physics).

    Currently, when I’m not playing bridge tournaments online, I read detective novels — just for the fun of it.

    Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:39 pm | Permalink
  52. Doug,

    Sometimes my comments tend to be vague. So just to avoid any misinterpretation, what I meant to say in my comment (just above this one) is — so much to read; so little time.

    Posted October 19, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink
  53. Doug says

    You have that righ BH. So much to read. And great things too.
    Hey, I’m a welder in a coal mine. You kind of get to thinking about stuff down in the bowels of God’s green Earth that doesn’t happen to you when you get outside.

    I wish I was a physicist. Physics is just the most fascinating thing imaginable. I have terrible dyslexia, I can’t grok mathematical equations and such.
    But I try to understand the principles of physics nonetheless. Like welding, and materials, how things work and function, the transformations in steel alloys when heat treated, or the theory of light, never cease to intrigue me.

    I read Feynman’s lecture The Theory of Thermo Electro Dynamic and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, couple of Hawking’s books too. Just how you guys figured that stuff out alone is amazing.
    You’re a lucky guy!

    Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:29 pm | Permalink
  54. Whitewall says

    Doug…you weld in a coal mine? Isn’t that dangerous? Come to think on it, isn’t it just as dangerous to be in coal mining during the Age of Obama? PC police are out there.

    Posted October 21, 2015 at 8:01 am | Permalink
  55. Doug says

    Just being underground, or on a strip mine for that matter is dangerous. Everything wants to kill you. You just don’t get killed.
    Actually, there are other things more dangerous underground than welding. Its as safe as the guys you work with really. Your your own best safety guy. Lot of times its management who through their behavior are the root cause that leads to mishaps.
    Welding, methane is the number one concern. The next is fire watch. Another miner watches for fire, smoke, sparks etc setting other material off, and for a proscribed time after welding is stopped. Its not dangerous if adequate precautions are observed. Some mines are more gassy than others. The mines employ an ingenious air circulation system to evacuate coal dust and methane at a rate that never allows the air to methane ratio to build up where it becomes explosive. The intake side travels along ingress/egress routes, the exhaust side is routed through previously mined sections, for obvious reasons. The miner has methane detectors mounted all over it. The cutter bits makes a continuous spray of sparks when they are in rock. Sand stone makes lots of sparks when those carbides bite in. The mine boss and section foreman’s have hand held detectors they use to inspect for methane before you can go down. Plus you are issued a detector for testing before you begin welding or using a torch.
    They put up various walls called curtains. Some are block and mortar, which are then sealed gas tight with HD caulking, thats used for old sections to contain and route the air, and keep methane in the old section out of the working side, another kind is large swinging doors to allow pass through. Kept closed always. They put them up along the mantrip routes or tracks for the buggies. This way the air circulation is controlled. There’s always at least two entrances in a slope mine. They always pull air in from an exhaust opening at the entrance instead of pushing it in. A shaft mine is a little different, but basically the same practice. It’s all required by state and federal law. And they are outstanding safety requirements, good mining practices too. In no uncertain terms, born from the deaths of thousands of miners.
    You hear of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster a few years back? Company managers didn’t follow established protocol, cut corners with the air system in order to increase production, methane gas built up and detonated. Methane is astoundingly nasty stuff. Add in some coal dust and it is a fuel air explosion in a coal mine. The concussion wave from one can bend 24 inch I beam like a pretzel, dent 1 inch thick plate steel like a sheet of taffy. Throws 30 ton coal buggies around like a potato chip. When it goes off, the concussion kills you dead if your in it, or if your lucky and your in another section or behind a rib or two, it consumes all the oxygen, and you die pretty peacefully. You run out of air real slow. The destruction blocks off the air routes, causes the roof and ribs to collapse and block escape. All the escape route markers are blown away. Nothing looks the same, its so dusty and smokey, your miners light is worthless. Its all by feel and memory. Your breather only has enough air for 20 minutes. They have mouse houses of spares and first aid placed strategically, rescue tents/modules that can hold a bunch of guys, but you have to get to them. Lot goes wrong, the methanes destroys everything when it explodes. Without air circulating its the dust makes it darker than the inside of a dead dogs asshole. Even without the smoke and dust, its dark like you don’t know till you experience it. Dark like nothing on earth. When your down on maintenance shift, midnight to day shift, no mining is going on. Its so quiet its beautiful. Its the complete absence of sound and light. You can hear the roof settling if your in a newly mined section.
    Some deep mines I’ve been in are 7-8 miles back to the working face. 3-4 miles wide, usually if the mine has been operating for a lot of time, there are sister mines along side or at the ends. They sometimes connect them.
    WV is one big coal mine. There is so much coal, so many seams, no one nows how much. It is an incomprehensible riches of energy. It is raining soup down there. It is a treasure of unfathomable scale. And that is just WV, though most of the really fine metallurgical coal deposits concentrate in WV. There is Pa, Maryland, Va, Kty, Tenn, Ala, Ill, Ind, Wy, and there is gas and oil too. We have made chicken scratches at it. You have no comprehension of the lies being told until you see it with your own eyes. Some of the coal is so energy and material rich, it is used to make all kinds of things, from top grade jet fuel to plastics. A coal to fuel plant is a gold mine. We are being swindled, conned, grifted and scammed into poverty. All so a handful of psychopaths can control everything. There is so much energy down there, we can have prosperity beyond our wildest dreams.

    Fuck that piece of worthless shit and his ilk.
    It don’t matter what that psychopath and his kind think. Guys like us who mine coal, or any number of trades and crafts, we help make this country what it is. When the time comes, that idiot and his pals are gonna get their due.

    Posted October 24, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink
  56. Whitewall says

    Doug, it sounds like you have been at this kind of work a long time. I’m not that far away as the crow flies from WVa, central NC. I’ve been around a bit of mining in my time, all strip mines. I am familiar with the coal regions of SW Virginia, and into some of WVa. Mostly I know some regions of eastern KY best. The Upper Big Branch…wasn’t that in northern WVa where news reports first said the miners were found alive only to have to report that no, they were all dead?

    Posted October 25, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  57. Doug says

    Sounds like you get around. Work related to mining somehow? Met a lot of guys from NC came up to WV to work. Good folks, solid guys. Most have gone back, not many mining jobs left. Or operating mines either.

    Not real long. Its best to know much as possible way I figure it, keeps you alive and the job interesting. If you care, as a miner you can run any piece of equipment and work at any aspect of coal mining you have a notion for it. Once you become a utility man there isn’t much you don’t get to do. Running a Dragline or a big shovel, foreman, or a miner operator offer less opportunities because there just aren’t a lot of those pieces of equipment or positions. Everything else is fairly common. Some guys stick with one thing or position and are content. Lot depends on the mine you work at also. I’ve worked on high wall miners, rock crushers, strip, underground, wash plants, everything but augers and long wall. Those AddCarr high wall miners are something. That’s the toughest hardest work I’ve ever done. Was a welder on one. Inherently about as dangerous as any mining system there is. But you can put mine coal on those like nothing else let me tell you. We held a 24 hour world record till a crew in Colorado topped it.

    Born and raised north country of NH., part of which not too far from a place called Fabian, next to big and little Deception Mountain, just coincidentally next to Brettonwoods. Funny coincidence all that wouldn’t you say? Lot of old Kings grants up around those mountains. Old estates too, old old money, Boston Brahman’s, established when they chickened out during the war of 1812, colonial bug out locations. Little communities of granola munching trust fund brats now, drive around in beat up old farmers trucks and start up micro brew pubs, hobby farms and other wealthy idle pursuits. Used to be all sorts of little mom and pop/family run industries/manufacturing. Great jobs. I welded rocket engine components for 12 years one place. NH was a shingle state, hang out your sign and register you name for 5 bucks. State corporate taxes where basically a formality. No income taxes or sales taxes either.
    The real-estate cons, marxists and corporate slave class down in lower peoples republic of new england came up and invaded during the 90-2000’s. The huge equity and stock market boom money they had acquired down south, and the statist mindset they carried with them disseminated the native rural economy and culture. They brought up the crime and the drugs and cultural marxism and the local political corruption too, all the meddling and what not. Milked it for everything it was worth with property revaluation shell games and tax values. Skimmed off the cream and left the natives out in the cold. It seriously sucked. We locals never saw it coming. I have a special place in my heart for cultural marxists if you haven’t caught on. They are a plague. The book of revelations needs a revision regarding the 4 horses.

    WV where I live is like NH was when growing up. I’m a hillbilly with a yankee accent now. Its beautiful in these mountains. All the meat you can get hunting trapping and fishing. Its rugged country, another world. Fine people too. You make friends for life here, you become family. Deep Presbyterian Christian roots. There are little churches and congregations tucked in every hollow or all along the ridge lines. It is really sweet kind of community, not clannish, more like tribe or old precinct from CofC times. Most have Scotts Irish blood in them. Fiercely frugal and proud. I’m a Scotsman by descent, fit right in.

    UBB is down in Whitesville, Boon County, south west corner WV. You might be referring up to the Sago mine accident, that’s below Buckhannon.

    Posted October 25, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

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