Washington, Connecticut. As I watched Senator Rand Paul slurp his dripping candy bar, a sinking feeling set in. This does not diminish his determined stance but one should rightly be filled with despair at the idea that a Senator must arise in the well of the Congress in order to question the right of the Executive to summarily execute whomever they please. What, pray God, have we come to?

Fear and Want govern this degenerating society and we are now so far removed from the wizened generation of the Framers that we are little more than a caricature of their brave intentions. Perhaps we can blame excessive carbohydrates.

The very idea that the Executive might retain powers to execute at will represents a de facto putsch. This is no crackpot idea. The Federal Government has already changed FAA regulations to allow a large number of drones over domestic skies. I read one report of 30,000 in our skies by 2015. The Republic is tottering, get used to it. Enjoy the debasement and violence.

Meanwhile, the scoundrels of Foggy Bottom cannot even manage to balance a check book. It is a relatively simple concept really, expenses vs. income, reconcile them and make your choices. Unfortunately, our erstwhile government thinks printing money or legislative legerdemain is an escape valve. This generally ends badly. Order your jackboots now as they will soon be hard to come by.

It is not courage that supports Senator Paul’s filibuster, it’s just simple common sense and an appreciation of our history. This seems to be lost on all.

A government that stresses its importance in protecting you will soon be browbeating both you and those you know. Last week, while enjoying the Red Tides along the Gulf, I caught a glimpse of a political cartoon on the op-ed pages of the local newspaper. It showed a bomb on the left, a McDonald’s stand on the right and above this duo was a question: “What should North Korea be Building?” As if this was the only choice. Our commerce has trumped our ideals.

These are perilous times. They are so only because the average citizen is largely oblivious to the velvet man-handling to which they are now subject. If we possessed a more active populace, we would not find ourselves so helpless in the face of partisan idiocy.

The bitter irony of it is that this erosion of faith in government is coinciding with an increasing need for consolidated, efficient government action in response to an increasingly aggressive climate. All bets are off; we are now simple victims of an unfolding theatre.

Meanwhile, in Washington, they claim bravery at dining on sea bass over partisan disagreement. By all rights, they should be eating crow.

Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture


  1. “The Republic is tottering, get used to it. Enjoy the debasement and violence.”

    You speak my mind here, sir. Senator Paul’s gesture, though noble, is far too little and too late; and you are right: the very fact that he was compelled to do so is beyond disturbing.

    In the mean time we all pretend we continue to be what we were, “the land of the free and home of the brave.” I used to say that the Republic and its constitution were dead in substance if not in form. Now, I believe even the forms are going by the wayside.

    We all need to wake up and realize the USA as we have known it (or thought we knew it) is gone; how do we in our localities continue to hold fast to what remains?

  2. “The very idea that the Executive might retain powers to execute at will represents a de facto putsch.”

    That’s all, not a de facto holocaust?

    The way I heard, there were three otions on the table for how to determine an extra-judicial Constitution: a) a death panel; b) crowd-sourcing; and c) the executive.

    Death panels caused such a ruckus back in 2010 those were dropped. Crowd-sourcing seemed promising until . . . well, did you watch Idol last year? So we were left with c.

  3. Ho ho Ho Mr. Hass but first things first. One needs the putsch to occur , then the program moves on to intimidation before any idle talk of Holocaust is placed on the agenda. Then again, with the sheep grazing these shores, one imagines extraordinary violence will not be required. A simple reality show will suffice. Properly marketed, many will line up for a chance at a trepanning performed by a celebrity .

  4. Well, if you’re reminding us that Ike is still right, that anything approaching “an alert and knowledgeable citizenry” is pretty remote these days, I’m not inclined to argue.

    As for this “putsch” we’re supposedly witnessing, Mr. Sabin, I’d say you’re a bit late to the beer-hall. We handed over to the president the power to annihilate hundreds of thousands without the pretense of a say-so from anyone many decades ago. A decision that would in most cases inaugurate a retaliatory chain of events in which hundreds of millions of Americans would die, also.

    Having given the president this unilateral death-dealing power, I suppose we also have to concede that, theoretically at least, we gave him all the powers short of death, to do whatever he wished with any citizens he wished whenever he wished.

    After all, isn’t annihilating thousands worse than taking out a car or a mosque with a drone? And isn’t getting getting zapped by a drone worse than water-boarding? If he can do the one he can certainly do the other. And, taking it a little further, if the president can order you to be water-boarded, can’t he also order you to eat seven pounds of broccoli a day? Surely the latter is less onerous than the former? (Actually, while I’ve never been water-boarded, I have eaten broccoli, and I’d hazard we have the makings of a debate there . . .)

    Despite having re-made the executive branch into an unaccountable world-historical death-dealing juggernaut rivaling Godzilla’s fondest dreams, somehow, the republic muddled through. Wars were launched, protested, lost, forgotten. Elections continued to be held. Journalists and politicians persisted in denouncing whoever the current occupant might be as everything from a fascist to a socialist to a promoter of Sharia. What went around came around.

    I suspect we’ll somehow learn to stop worrying and love the drone, too.

    What’s the alternative?

  5. Gentlemen,

    The union of constitutionally federated republics as well as the Constitution which compacted and expressed it died 150 years ago and was replaced by a consolidated and centralized, albeit, nascent Hobbesian state; that hatchling, a foul cockatrice, has become the bloated Leviathan which Hobbes “spoke into being.” The Leviathan is shedding his nationalist guise, a guise he used to destroy the union, and is now showing his globalist and tyrannical face. There are those of us who have long understood this; yet, I assure you that there is no Schadenfreude or “I told you so’s” forthcoming; merely sadness that the awakening which we have attempted to foster, sometimes in misbegotten ways, has come, if it has come, too little and far too late.

  6. I occasionally send a liberal friend some FPR links, and he recently said that while some points are made well, he doesn’t care for the overall tone of the site because it displays not just an attitude of negative fatalism for our country, but worse, a snobbish fatalism that pridefully avers the downfall of the society around it while it itself remains near enough to the top to enjoy the last comforts remaining. I like FPR but this essay displays the worst side of this attitue. What is the point of mere criticism but to raise oneself higher? I’m all for critcism but we then need positive suggestions for a path of hope. Why do FPR at all if it is not a hope that it might be a force for positive change? If it is simply a place for the dismayed to proclaim that disaster is inevitable, it is worse than worthless because it simply feeds our vanity.

  7. Mr. Cook, there’s always been a strand of gloomy pessimism in the conservative outlook. It’s not the only strand, but it’s a strong one. For most American conservatives, it tends to recedewhenever a Republican’s in the White House, and it waxes during Democratic administrations. In my opinion, FPR’s pessimism (such as it is) is rather more consistent than that of your conventional conservative, and that’s a virtue, I believe. On the other hand, there is a pointlessness to such spasms of gloominess as you note. I suspect it’s just a temperament thing: some folks get consolation from holding hands with others and moaning “woe, woe, all is woeful, and utterly woeful at that!” This can lead to interesting arguments about the degree of the woefulness that is upon us, disagreements over the peculiar character of the woefulness (is it more woeful for example that so many people want to do drugs, or that the Leviathan state arrogates to itself the authority to tell people what drugs they can do?), who is most responsible for our woeful condition, and when and where we went off the rails. This gives people something to do, and as I’m sure you know, people need things to do. As things go, there’s certainly many that are much worse. Look on the bright side.

  8. To alleviate the gloom Mr. Cook perceives (rightly enough, I say), I paraphrase a comment I saw attributed to Will Rogers to the effect that things sure ain’t what they used to be, and they never were!

    • Mr. Cook,

      The “sacrament of sin” comes before the “sacrament of redemption.” Put another way, someone said, “Smile! Things could get worse!” So, I smiled and sure enough they got worse!

  9. To quote John Derbyshire (and many of the people on this site), “We’re doomed!” Except, of course, we’re not (collectively, at least; individually, we are). It’s easy enough, and no doubt exhilarating, to write out phrases like “degenerating society” and “Enjoy the debasement and violence,” and to trot out the well-worn “These are perilous times”. What times weren’t perilous? We all like thinking that our era is world-historical, but it turns out life always goes on–until, I suppose, one day it doesn’t. Further, as a thoroughly “average man,” I resent being called “oblivious” or being compared to sheep (and I don’t think sheep appreciate the comparison, either). I applauded Rand Paul’s filibuster, knowing it to be a theatrical gesture but also knowing it was important. I oppose President Obama’s drone policy, which is a continuation of the Bush/Cheney drone policy which I also opposed. Regardless, the Republic is not “tottering”; perhaps D.W. Sabin is tottering, but life is not for the faint of heart, and never was. Have some faith, comrades, and some hope.

  10. Mr. Cook, and Mr. Shifflett, there are times that the Dog needs their nose rubbed in their mess. This is one of those times.

    Politely suggesting that the executive might not push the button on whomever it pleases seems a tad ridiculous gtiven their abilities promulgated by the Attorney General and their suited staff.

    I’d have more faith, Mr. Shifflet, if there was even a modicum of push back on the overt aggression against our free society….countered by a robust discussion of the profound and energetic obligations of said free society, a discussion that is now almost wholly absent.

    Slouching to Gomorrah seems more apt now than at any time since the 70’s.

  11. Perhaps I am missing something obvious but what is ‘citizenship’ got to do with it?

    Due process is a natural right and thus avaliable to non-citizens on American soil too. The fifth amendment says ‘persons” and not ‘citizens’.

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