Object – Subject – Verb

I submit that Grand Jedi Master Yoda was not entirely correct when he pontificated “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” As Shaolin as it sounds, the truth appears to be somewhat different.

When one is young, doing is generally easy. “Trying” is more likely to reflect a lack of effort than a measure of difficulty.

When one is older, however, doing often becomes problematic. Then, in the vernacular:

“A measure of character, trying is.”

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A Quick Question

How can some of the American people so assiduously and comprehensively seek to apply the Preamble’s “promote the general Welfare” while “with equal fervor and fine impartiality”¹ completely ignore the succeeding “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity“?

¹ John Llewellyn Lewis, “Labor and the Nation” speech, September 3rd 1937

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“Infinities and indivisibles transcend our finite understanding, the former on account of their magnitude, the latter because of their smallness; Imagine what they are when combined.” ~ Galileo Galilei

“There came to him an image of man’s whole life upon the earth. It seemed to him that all man’s life was like a tiny spurt of flame that blazed out briefly in an illimitable and terrifying darkness, and that all man’s grandeur, tragic dignity, his heroic glory, came from the brevity and smallness of this flame. He knew his life was little and would be extinguished, and that only darkness was immense and everlasting. And he knew that he would die with defiance on his lips, and that the shout of his denial would ring with the last pulsing of his heart into the maw of all-engulfing night.” ~ Thomas Wolfe

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Ooooh Noooo!

Amid all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over various federal executive department heads succumbing to the “fell or was pushed” syndrome, it falls on me to make what should be the obvious comment — “So what?”

Were it up to me, it would be the department that was excised, not just its head. FBI? A 20th-century artifice designed, it seems for domestic spying. (See James Bovard’s excellent article here.) The Census? A benign design turned into another political cesspool. (Read this Politico article for the hand-wringing partisan flavor of what should be an impartial function.)

The federal executive branch has grown into a massively bloated monstrosity. Not including members of the armed forces, the Executive Branch employs more than 1 million bureaucrats. (Add over 3 million to that for those in the “defense” racket.)

That seems to me to be excessive even for the Leviathan that has become our clan of overlords. My cry of mock alarm would be much louder if “Orange Julius Caesar” were to disband the entire department snake, instead of just lopping off the head.

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In Defense Of “libertarians”

[Disclaimer: I once belonged to the Libertarian Party (for about an hour); I also was the editor for L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise for a longer period of time.]

Lately I have read blog posts by people I consider far smarter and/or more articulate than I who have targeted libertarians for their beliefs and positions. For the most part, the targeting has been off the mark. So how do I reconcile my admiration for these bloggers’ intelligence with my considered opinion that they do not know what they are talking about when it comes to libertarians?

Let me try to explain something that I would have thought obvious to the most casual observer: there are differences among libertarians just as there are among factions of any other socio-economic-political belief system. Let me give just one example. It requires a ‘split personality’ to deny the power of government and at the same time establish a political party that runs candidates for elective government office. One can rationalize it many different ways, but the fact is that libertarians seek to obtain the power that they also seek to limit or destroy.

That said, it is my belief that libertarians both understand and resist the liberty-destroying power that is government far better than either Republicans or Democrats — better than either conservatives or liberals, and certainly better than the other factions such as greens, socialists, or communists. And yes, even better than the alt-right and the antifa.

But do not despair, ye haters of all things libertarian. They are not a threat to you — in fact, they are much more a threat to themselves.

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

“Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

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Oh, Canada!

Someone in Canada hit my blog 44(!) times today, thereby establishing an all-time record that is likely to stand. I am tempted to think it might have been Natalia Martinez, but surely she had better things to do after her four-day ordeal. Perhaps someone in The Laurentians, desperate for entertainment, stumbled across The Infinite Smallness and spent some time admiring my dry wit.

Or perhaps someone in the Canadian government is looking for ideas for health care for the growing elder population. If so, they probably decided that they had come to the wrong place.

I would be more flattered were it not for the fact that 29 of the hits were on my home page, with one each on my most recent posts. I do not know quite what to make of that — perhaps it is something peculiar to the inscrutable mind of les Canadiens.

Regardless, I would like to thank my mystery guest for boosting my stats (if not my morale) and for providing me with an infinitely small topic for a post. Cheers!

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Bird Brains

There is a bird that has decided to declare war on my window. It seems that he is offended by the bird he imagines that he sees in there. I have watched him attack, with furious futility, over and over again, of course to no avail. I am afraid that at some point he will be hurt or even killed.

Today, as I was watching and listening to him bang repeatedly into the window, pecking furiously at the offender, it occurred to me that his behavior was intended to present to me an elegant metaphor.

The bird now has a name. I call him “Antifa”. He is too young to have developed any of the wisdom one gains from life experience and, unlike the majority of his peers, he has been distracted by an illusion.

His reflection, whom I have named “Fash” does not really exist, of course. Nonetheless, Antifa sees him and hates him. Clearly, his bird brain is not sufficiently developed for him to realize that what he is looking at is really just himself, reflected.

What Antifa represents, Fash represents the perfect opposite. Yet, they are the same bird in the same place at the same time, each made possible in that place only by the other.

Whenever there is an event that brings Antifa near the window and he remembers to take umbrage at Fash’s existence, Fash magically presents himself, glad to oblige Antifa’s raid. Fash always holds his own, and Antifa eventually retires, frustrated, only to repeat the performance the next time the opportunity presents itself.

I do hope that Antifa realizes that he is actually attacking a mirror image of himself, and ceases his hostile action before he gets his brains bashed in. If not, I do hope that observers realize that Fash is really not the Cain to Antifa’s Abel.

A much more intellectual, refined, and cogent treatment of the true subject of this metaphor may be found in several articles (including the linked/current one) at The Declination — a blog which I heartily recommend.

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