Strakon Lights Up, No. 100

Calamity salad


No exhaustive (or exhausting) analysis this time, just a collection of observations that I've got to vent if I don't want steam to start coming out my ears.


In the run-up to Timothy McVeigh's execution, the Hive — to steal Joe Sobran's apposite term — started making a big noise about how McVeigh's attendance at gun shows had bent the killer's mind. Hive members claimed they'd gone undercover to personally check out some shows, and had spotted anti-Semitic tracts, copies of The Turner Diaries, and T-shirts festooned with rough-and-ready black-humor slogans. They said they'd even heard some "anti-government" rhetoric! That's particularly horrifying, because as we now know — having been instructed at length by the Hive over the past six years — "anti-government" is just another way of saying "child-killer."

Leave aside the fact that only a tiny minority of gun-show visitors can have read The Turner Diaries. What's interesting is how the Red Guards — to revert to my own term — are adducing forms of expression they find repellent as a new justification for banning or strictly regulating gun shows. It's not the horror of gunfolk freely trading in guns they're talking about here; McVeigh, after all, didn't use a gun to blow up the Murrah building. No, they're talking about the horror of gunfolk freely talking. It's a good example of how the Left no longer even tries to disguise its contempt for free expression (and freedom of assembly). Too bad the First Amendment lives right next door to the Second; I guess it's just a case — as McVeigh himself might put it — of "collateral damage."

Speaking of that phrase, I'll go on and point out that there's one part of McVeigh's past that the Red Guards don't seem to consider nearly as mind-bending as his attendance at gun shows. Namely, that period of several years when he was trained to be a professional killer by the U.S. Army.

But, really, now, was it at gun shows that Timothy McVeigh learned to think in terms of "collateral damage"?


I live on the recently developed outskirts of my little town, Roanoke, Indiana. Although my house is situated within the town limits, I am required to buy my electricity from the local REMC, which — I should explain to my city-slicker readers — stands for Rural Electric Membership Corporation.

REMCs emerged from the Franklin Roosevelt regime in 1935, when Roosevelt created the Rural Electrification Administration by imperial fiat, otherwise known as an executive order. The REA was designed to loan out taxpayer-extorted money for the development of electrical cooperatives in order to subsidize the farm sector and make sure rural people didn't have to buy their power from Evil, Greedy, Grasping, Fat-cat Capitalist investor-owned utilities, which I suppose either hadn't offered the regime sufficient boodle during its election campaigns or had been chosen by Roosevelt's fascist cronies on Wall Street to take a bullet for the greater good of the System. Naturally, one effect of snatching huge numbers of potential customers out of the reach of entrepreneurs was to disrupt and delay technological innovations that would have permitted the efficient, dependable, affordable delivery of electricity to rural areas as a free-market phenomenon.

Roanoke residents who live in the older part of the town have to buy their electricity from the sneering, chortling, top-hat-wearing, waxed-moustache-twisting moguls of American Electric Power (AEP), an investor-owned utility giant. How I wish I could join them. If I must be exploited by an official monopoly, I'd much rather be exploited by AEP than by my REMC. Here on the fringes of Roanoke, as well as out on the farms, when it comes to dependable power it's a bit like living in a socialist Third World country. California, for instance. The power goes out every time it storms — and sometimes when it doesn't. But the lights always seem to stay on in the old town.

So you'll understand when I say that I grit my teeth whenever I hear a big ruckus being raised over "electricity deregulation." Until I can make one phone call and switch my electrical service to AEP as easily as I can switch my long-distance service to Sprint, I have about as much use for the much-touted "electricity deregulation" as I have for a burnt-out light bulb.


Some years ago when I worked on the newsdesk of the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, I regularly rotated into the position of makeup editor, which put me in close and sustained contact with the union printers in the composing room. It was the era of the Sean Connery movie "Rising Sun," that is to say, it was just before the Japanese started to subside as the Yellow Peril of choice in favor of that even more traditional American standby, the Chinese. And the printers liked to grumble and grouse about "the damn Japs" who were coming to manufacture and own and control everything in sight.

Now, it's pretty well-known where I stand on the white West, but I also suffer from glaucoma and high blood pressure. So I used to tell the printers that, while I sympathized, they shouldn't forget that darned few young white Westerners were studying science or engineering any longer. "Hey," I said, "when America goes out of business, I may need those Japs to manufacture my eye drops and Accupril." (I would have gone blind or had a stroke, though, before I'd have let the grinning devils make me eat sushi.)

These days the Japanese are dealing or trying to deal with a whole flock of their own fascist chickens that have come home to roost. But it's looking more and more likely that we're going to have to find somebody to make those eye drops and blood-pressure pills for us. And if the latest shocker is accurate, we'd better not lay all the blame for that on the dazed rap-dancing Nintendites of the Whateverrrr Generation.

The generator of the shock is John L. Hublsz, a professor at North Carolina State, who has conducted — as he writes — "a recent study of the 12 physical-science textbooks most commonly used in middle schools around the country." He discovered that "the science textbooks found in most American classrooms are, in a word, atrocious. They are riddled with errors, sloppy thinking, and glitzy illustrations that illustrate little in the way of actual science."

Hublsz goes on to say: "None of the books — not a single one — was deemed adequate by nine primary reviewers and a host of other experts.... Each contained hundreds of factual errors, as well as experiments that couldn't possibly work and diagrams and drawings that represented impossible situations."

One book, Hublsz reports, shows the Equator running through Texas, but "far more serious are the routine garblings of basic science: misstating Newton's laws; claiming that no solid substance can contain a plasma; and on and on."

And then comes the part that shocked me the most and that, at first, I thought had to be a misprint: "Four out of five science teachers at the middle school level have never taken a physical-science course." ("Science textbooks are riddled with errors," [Fort Wayne] Journal Gazette, May 30, p. 6A; originally published in Industry Standard. Hublsz's full report has been posted.)

American state schools didn't amount to a hill of beans even before the centralization of education really took off a few decades ago. But just look at what all that centralization — and the concomitant spending of billions upon billions of taxpayer-extorted dollars — has done for us. After George W. Bush of Equatorial Texas gets done flushing another few billion bucks down the state-school toilet, I wouldn't be surprised if the Nintendites started telling us that water runs uphill.


I don't claim that the ruining of the American mind is a grand unitary conspiracy run out of the 53rd floor of some building in Rockefeller Center, but as Sobran once said, "Substitute 'tendency' for 'conspiracy,' and the Birch view of things acquires a surprising cogency." It is amazing how many social, cultural, economic, and political phenomena seem to fit together as exquisitely as tongue-in-groove furniture built by painstaking Amish craftsmen. Just consider the extent to which American state schools' abandonment or corruption of the "hard" disciplines advances the underemployment of white Outer Party members in scientific or engineering fields, in favor of Oriental imports who are better trained and capable of linear thought. That, in turn, efficiently advances the general project of the ruling class — one might even say its grand project for the new century — of replacing or radically humbling the traditional white core of the American population.

Hoping to reach my "paleo" cousins who want the state to get even more deeply involved in managing immigration, I wrote a column last year arguing that leviathan doesn't merely permit but actively promotes nonwhite, non-Western immigration: SLU #27, "The myth of immigration laissez-faire," March 21, 2000 [not yet posted to the archive]. And earlier this year I wrote a piece dealing partly with government financing of the big charities: SLU #99, "The Ministry of Faith," March 6. In that column, I mentioned that Catholic Charities USA is the top recipient of Central Government swag, which accounts for a stupefying two-thirds of its total take.

How pleasant it is to see an organ of the established media connect the dots for me.

I refer this time to Fort Wayne's afternoon paper, the News-Sentinel, which is "wet" conservative — mostly neocon — in overall orientation, in contrast to the Journal-Gazette's status as one of the shrillest left-wing papers in the country. A couple of months ago, the Sentinel ran a front-page feature, cheery yet heartwarming, about how another Burmese family had come to Fort Wayne to live. In passing, the writer mentioned that Fort Wayne already had the largest Burmese population of any Indiana city, including Indianapolis, which is three or four times the size of Fort Wayne. Two of the newly arrived family's children, according to the story, had been born while the family was subsisting out in the Burmese jungle. (If the story had appeared in the Journal-Gazette, that would have been "Myanmarese rain forest.") It sounded as if the family were a desperately poor bunch even by Third World standards.

I'd often wondered how the oncoming, unremitting horde of Third World immigrants — earning the equivalent of $2 a year in their native hell holes — could afford such things as apartment and utility deposits as soon as they hit American soil. More puzzling still, how could Third Worlders from other continents possibly afford the air fare in the first place? I can't afford the air fare to fly out and see my friends in Washington City, and I make $3 or sometimes even $4 a year.

Well, the punch line of the Sentinel's story is that Fort Wayne's new Burmese residents had been "resettled" by ...

... Catholic Charities.

Tongue in groove.


I'll wind this up with a quickie from a CNN broadcast of March 31. Some cans of Marie Callendar's Soup already in the distribution chain had been found to be tainted, according to the network, and the newsreader warned shoppers to be on the lookout for cans stamped EST. P-91.

What is EST. P-91? As the newsreader explained with her sober, sincere, straight little face, it's none other than the USDA inspection stamp!

Compassionate readers who'd like to help stop the heartbreak should immediately send any $20 and $50 bills they find lying around to the National Campaign to End Irony-Deafness, P.O. Box 224, Roanoke, IN 46783. No checks, please.

June 12, 2001

© 2001 by WTM Enterprises. All rights reserved.

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