A Life’s Arc in an Instrumental Piece

Whatever David Gilmour’s thoughts were during the creative process, Pink Floyd’s instrumental composition “Terminal Frost” (1988) is expressive — in its musical narrative — of the arc of a man’s life over its natural stages.

The piece begins tentatively, evoking the delicate trials of childhood with each instrument testing its power. Virile youth bursts on recklessly at 2:00 and its harmonies crescendo at 2:45 with the saxophone solo. Those are a man’s best years, the intersection of peak strength and emergent maturity. Some men give up at twenty. Donald Trump’s peak years are right now, at seventy.

By 3:10, reflections toward wisdom begin but there is much more left to be done. Reaching his contemplative years, a man asks himself: did I give the important things everything I had? And what more can I do? After 4:20 the amplitude ebbs, yet the instruments are as familiar as they were at the beginning. Then the strains settle toward contemplation and peace, until shortly ahead of judgment only soft echoes remain.

Shots of Wisdom, Part 4

“A Real Man.” That’s what a woman of my acquaintance, whose writing I hold in respect, called Ted Cruz for breaking his vow to endorse Donald Trump. Her error lies in believing that it’s up to women to decide who is, and who isn’t a real man.

Aspiration. The Trump family presents itself as aspirational in looking like the best a man, a woman, and even a child can be — with Barron there as well. Melania walking on stage after Donald’s nomination acceptance speech was a vision. Many voters don’t like aspirational.

Barbarism. Omar’s relatives whoop with joy as the sentence is handed: two hundred hours of community service. Two months later, a knock on the door. A judge opens the door, clutching her bathrobe at the neck. A fist knocks her down. A kick breaks her rib. Petrol is poured, a lit match falls.

Dreamer. The following dialogue is loosely based on a real conversation. A young man stops me outside of a grocery store and asks:  “Excuse me, do you mind if I ask you something?
“Go for it.”
“So I have kind of a dream…” and he briefly described a career objective that is ambitious but not unrealistic “but my girlfriend tells me I need to get a regular job. Should I listen to her?”
I look at him with some curiosity. A type that’s common around here. Lower class kid, bright but a little goofy, hasn’t gotten his act in order yet. A lot fellows like him hang out as goths at the nearby dying mall. So I tell him:
“Sounds like you already have a job, which is to realize your ambition. But do you know exactly what you want?”
“Yes”
“Great. So you have a vision. Do you know how to make it happen, beginning with the first step today, then the second step tomorrow, and so on?”
He thinks before responding. This impresses me.
“Not one hundred percent,” he says.
“You need a plan that you follow every day. Otherwise you’re just a dreamer.”
“You gave me something to think about sir, thank you. And what about my girlfriend?”
“Her job is to believe in you. If she becomes demanding, get her in line.”

First Kiss. My first taste of pleasure with a girl was on the tennis courts nestled into the woods on the edge of our neighborhood. Christopher and I were middle schoolers, Jennifer was a year older than us (all names have been changed). She was in some kind of trouble, living temporarily in our community with her adult sister. Blonde feathered hair, strong perfume, tight jeans. The three of us are horseplaying and I pick her up and chase Chris to kick him in the ass with her feet. She’s laughing loudly and as I’m carrying her I notice that my left hand is cupping her breast. I look at her with raised eyebrows, she smiles with a knowing look I’ve never seen on a girl before.

We plop down against the tennis court fence and she sits on my lap. When a girl’s face is so close you notice things like the faint freckles around her nose. I lean in. She leans in too and we kiss. I had seen it hundreds of times before on television but I didn’t expect it to be this easy, with mouths fitting together and her tongue giving me spasms of longing. We break it off every once in a while to catch our breaths. I still remember her Polo shirt; it was light grey.

Christopher, meanwhile, is picking up heavy branches in the woods just behind us and smashing them against the ground. Jennifer winks at me, turns her head toward the woods and says “What’s the matter, Chris, you ok?” He casually replies “Yeah…” like he’s distracted by something important. I slide my hand up her shirt, up under the bra and she shifts herself to make it more comfortable. They are firm and beautiful, I cup and caress them until I am satisfied and then I ease my hand down her smooth skin, toward her jeans and the elastic band underneath. She blocks me. In the reel of my youth’s progress, girls I barely knew who liked what they saw still always drew the line at the southern border unless we were alone.

Freedom. So who is responsible for the wrecked state of our women? Whoever gave them freedom. Women can’t handle it. Men learn self-control because we are checked by other men through behavior-correcting violence.

Goethe: “Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.”

Heartiste: “Love is the only thing in this world that isn’t bullshit.”

Shaw, George Bernard:
TANNER. What! a man who idolizes women! who sees nothing in nature but romantic scenery for love duets! Tavy, the chivalrous, the faithful, the tenderhearted and true! Tavy, never marry! Why, he was born to be swept up by the first pair of blue eyes he meets in the street.
ANN. Yes, I know. All the same, Jack, men like that always live in comfortable bachelor lodgings with broken hearts, and are adored by their landladies, and never get married. Men like you always get married.
TANNER [smiting his brow] How frightfully, horribly true! It has been staring me in the face all my life; and I never saw it before.
ANN. Oh, it’s the same with women. The poetic temperament’s a very nice temperament, very amiable, very harmless and poetic, I daresay; but it’s an old maid’s temperament.
TANNER. Barren. The Life Force passes it by.

Surplus Men. A few weeks ago @ChateauEmissary tweeted: “Dark Thought of the Day: A cultural, institutional, & biological assault on boys is Nature’s evolved response to a sex ratio favoring women.” There is something to that observation. Women become hogs when their pick in men is overly generous and that has downstream consequences. Therefore, we have evolved to effect a rebalancing mechanism so that young men are always tested. Under current arrangements, those with will and smarts can beat the fix with Game.

War. The aural Guernica of gunfire with Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria below is the sound of Europe’s nightfall. Poland has revered the Virgin Mary, becoming Her beloved nation, protected by Her against the depravities of history. It is time for Europe to pray.

Shots of Wisdom, Part 3 takes a look at scenes from America.

A Push-Back on the Narrative at a Prep School

Upper class American families send their children to elite elementary schools for reasons that include an early start on networking with children of elites. Commenter Ryu writes: “What do they say the elites’ greatest fears are? I’d wager their greatest fear is losing their money and facing violence.” This rings true to me.

Let’s take a look at what the other classes fear before we get into the prep school story. The middle class fears slipping into the lower class, which in the United States means living near Blacks and their chaos, a condition that is dehumanizing for Whites. Middle class Americans don’t live in the suburbs because they like the commute.

What does the White lower class fear? Targeted by the neoliberal elite, they seem to have stopped fearing — they race-mix at a higher rate and blow out their brains with meth. Many deform themselves with obesity. Body size is now a class marker, with so much as token effort to remain in decent shape being what separates people who want to live from those who have given up. Handle writes:

[T]hose nations and sub-populations with low human capital are like canaries in a coal mine with rising Carbon Monoxide levels. Yes, they’ll succumb first, but as the concentration continues to increase, the rest will go in order of their rank of vulnerability. The least shall be the first, and the first in strength shall be the last, and few will be chosen to successfully hew to the old ways.

Handle’s allusion in “least” instantly reminded me of another New Testament passage, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” People should be free to fail, but when failure is this widespread and this sudden, then the fault may lie not entirely with them, but with irresistible and preventable man-made disasters.

Back to the upper classes and the prep school. The PowerPoint slide below is from a presentation shown to elementary school students in Manhattan’s elite Bank Street School for Children. At left, the slide lists goals for non-White students and at right it lists goals for White children.

NYsl2

Add that image to your collection of White Genocide-era memorabilia; nobody is going to believe this shit otherwise. Last week’s article in New York Post titled “Elite school’s ‘exceptionally racist’ diversity head will not return” gives the story:

The diversity director of an elite Manhattan prep school [described as “Ivy League-educated Anshu Wahi” — PA] who teaches white students as young as 6 that they’re born racist and benefit from “white privilege” will not be returning in the fall, the Bank Street School for Children confirmed.

Non-Whites, especially when in aboriginal costumes just like the Village People Injun, have become our mascots who like jesters, can get away with quite a bit. My guess on what happened — a presumably all-female school administration let the sanpaku Bindi do her thing and she took her role as child-abuser seriously.

Parents who complained to The Post […] revolted after “the exceptionally racist” diversity coordinator introduced increasingly anti-white propaganda into the private school’s curriculum.

Not even “reverse-racist.” The term “anti-White” meets polite company.

Some kids come home in tears, saying, “I’m a bad person,” according to parents.

When an upper class boy comes home feeling like that, his father lets him know that it’s about another class of people. The father of a middle class boy shows enough anger to reassure him that he’s got his back. A lower-class boy’s single mother turns up the television.

Last year in a meeting secretly recorded by parents, Wahi admitted, “We are definitely getting pushback” from white parents, as well as some black parents, regarding her “Racial Justice and Advocacy” curriculum. But she argued it’s a “brave step” that teachers, parents and students must all take to be more “progressive” in their thinking about race.

While I realize that it’s a conservative-leaning New York Post, I still find it interesting that the framing of the above sentence puts Wahi’s abusive actions on the defensive.

That thinking, as the Post first reported, indoctrinates white children into believing “systemic racism” still exists, and that they’re part of the problem and must hold themselves accountable even for acts of racism committed by others.

Outhouse league Struggle Sessions. One of the overarching themes of my blogging and commenting is that today’s neoliberalism is an adaptive mutation of Marxism-Leninism.

“One hundred percent of the curriculum is what whites have done to other races,” one parent said. “They offer nothing that would balance the story.”

Another recurring theme in my commentary is that Whites have the moral authority to push back. Moral authority is a necessary element in our perceived permission to act.

One parent maintained that some 30 families threatened to pull their children out of the school. The Bank Street spokeswoman said the school is experiencing only “typical attrition.”

Should I stay or should I go? For now, the school appears to continue to provide enough value to tolerate its history of child-abusive curriculum. For now, Western political arrangements continue to provide enough value to suffer their abuses.

Still, there are signs the administration has gone into damage-control mode. After the Post story, school officials “sent e-mails out asking parents to write testimonials as to the greatness of the school,” one parent said.

Re-read that last sentence and tell me what you think about the state of the system’s confidence in itself, at least on this representative microscale. In a not unrelated development, U.S. representative from Iowa Steve King tells a live MSNBC panel that Europeans and their Christian diaspora have contributed the most to civilization.

For truth to win, people have to start telling it. I wrote this years ago, and it’s a reflection of my own eyewitness to the fall of a narrative in another time and place: first, people stop believing the big lie. Then, people stop pretending to believe. And then it’s just a matter of how soon the stack of lies crumbles.

The Faces Of Neoliberalism

I addressed the following to neoliberals, members of a mobile-capital class that devours nations for short-term profit:

Thirty years ago you told them that they are a fungible commodity. You dumped monkeys, rats and snakes into their beds. You drugged them with corn, sold them brittle plastic trinkets, blew off their legs overseas and liberated their women’s gutter impulses.

In a short post about male archetypes, I wrote:

Jonathan comes from a line of men who live and die by the pride in their hearts and the fire in their guts. Quick to throw a punch, quicker to help a friend. His deepest desire is to serve and be needed and to see the fruits of his works. Men like him require a purpose and when they sense futility, they destroy themselves.

Below is an example of how that head-on collision with futility plays out. Men are judged on their decisions. Instead of blowing out their brains they could have played World of Warcraft, but their spirits required a stronger poison.

mth1

mth9

100th Post

This is my 100th post here. What I enjoy most about blogging — besides the satisfaction of pressing Publish on something that I think is my better work — is the comments section. I read every comment here; you keep me sharp. There is also the elusive peak experience of forcing myself to think out of my comfort zone and doing so trigger a process analogous to a runner’s high, watching the post write itself. It’s comparable to standing over the shoulder of someone more focused than I am and seeing him type it.

Why am I blogging? One, because I want my posterity to read the things I am thinking about and better understand the time I live in. How will they relate to much of this? That is an open question. Two, we are living in an interesting historic period. Few struggles have offered its belligerents such a clear-cut choice of truth vs. lies, and with enemies that are so gimped, each in his own way. Yet to tear victory away from the hands of those who’d blend out our civilization, this era calls upon the complete suite of talents every Western man has, as well as his ripping himself away from passivity, online and off.

There is a three-way intersection consisting of things I want to write about, things that blog readers want to read, and things that I think blog readers should read — and I aim for that center. Below are excerpts from a selection of my posts, chronologically with newer ones first:

Losing Their Cool:

Globalists were winning by boiling the frog — in other words, selling their program incrementally for decades — under the guise of high-minded progress. “It’s not bestializing man for profit; it’s separation of church and state!”

Racism is a Human Right:

As empire-builders have learned by observing racial relations in the United States, black people can be weaponized as universal solvent against every rooted social structure — family, community, nation —  and deployed as such under the state’s protection wherever something needs wrecking.

The Mudshark: A Comedy Or A Tragedy?:

The man is a tree, with women as vines wrapped around him, assuming his shape. Where there is nothing upright, the vine creeps along the ground. Woman — like any human being — has agency but she needs a man’s guidance to balance her sometimes conflicting instincts, and without that guidance she flails. This is why as men, we are responsible for directing women toward decisions that do not destroy their lives and snuff out our common future in the literal crib.

Walls Go Up, Walls Come Down:

The time has come to build new walls between us and them, between the home and the wilderness, between nations so that each can live the best way it can. It is also time to tear down the walls that imprison our minds as we now more unrelentingly reach through barred windows for the severed parts of our whole selves.

What is the Road to Hell Paved With?:

Diversity demoralizes because absent commonly agreed-upon norms, the public space favors the lowest common denominator in civic behavior.

Shots of Wisdom, Part 3:

Waiting for my food, I started composing that scene in my mind and the unifying theme of this post becomes clear. Sometimes yes, dulce et decorum est indeed.

Five Men:

Jonathan comes from a line of men who live and die by the pride in their hearts and the fire in their guts. Quick to throw a punch, quicker to help a friend. His deepest desire is to serve and be needed and to see the fruits of his works. Men like him require a purpose and when they sense futility, they destroy themselves.

Is Anti-Racism A Religion?:

[A] key difference between religion and Anti-Racism: religion is adaptive for its adherents and Anti-Racism is maladaptive. Rather than sustaining its people, it devours them. That makes Anti-Racism, like Communism before, not a religion but a psychotic episode that at best mimics the outward forms of religious practice.

Songs About Neoliberalism:

Thirty years ago you told them that they are a fungible commodity. You dumped monkeys, rats and snakes into their beds. You drugged them with corn, sold them brittle plastic trinkets, blew off their legs overseas and liberated their women’s gutter impulses.

Free Speech:

[George] Zimmerman’s ordeal taught me that there is no need to worry about the blow-back on our iconoclasm when there was this perfect New Diversity Man who likely never wrote a single racisss word in his life, and yet the entire U.S. establishment threw all it had at him in an effort to put him in prison for said racism.

It Is A Very Good Year:

Have you ever fucked a girl who squirmed “maybe we shouldn’t…” but her eyes burned? Have you cold-cocked an Antifa? Are you making money? When was the last time your arms gave out on that last bench rep as a stranger spotted you?

Marriage Advice to a Millennial:

A woman follows a man with adamantine principles. Girls on Tinder crave that too.

Confession: I Like Women:

Female nature is a wild landscape with its caprices and twisted laws, flashes of sublimity and capacity for self-oblivion, without which it would be uninspiring. The woman’s nature makes passion and man’s very will to live and strive possible. If you strike her hypergamous strings the right way, she really does love you for who you are. The flip side to her infuriatingly childlike whimsy and taste for cruelty is that when you play her right, she will be yours and devoted to you to the end, no matter if you’re a poor man or a prince.

Frolicking Fawns and Pink Gold:

Sort of slouched, legs relaxed. Tight jeans, her crotch is very warm. Those girls seem endearingly oblivious to the effect they have on older men because only two kinds of men live their world: hot guys their age and people dad’s age. And it’s not even a salacious effect they have on us; it’s more like a knowing and an appreciation on our part, like our ancestors’ smiling at the girls with wreaths of flowers on their heads dancing around the maypole.

Poles Apart: Nationalists and SJWs in Poland:

The Polish anti-racist should make a humbling effort to better understand the refugee influx and the state-enabled Islamic invasion of Europe. He should then extrapolate Europe’s — as well as Poland’s own — fate under the trajectory of those events. Then, as a collaborator with the Brussels-based empire, ask himself: Czy jestem dumny z tego, co robię?

We Don’t Have to Live Like This:

He understands that there is no turning back and that he is now a folk hero. The visitor is on the floor, blood spreading over the vinyl tiles. Stefan swings once more, and this time he splits the coconut. Then, it doesn’t matter what happens. He did what he was born to do. Peace, like he had never felt before, fills his heart.

Shots of Wisdom, Part 2:

Men generally enjoy meeting men from other nations and races. There is a lot that is interesting, even fraternal, in the crossing of cultures—so long as these three conditions are met: both parties are coming from positions of equal relative status, each man has a home of his own, and each man knows who he is. Even Pashtun tribesmen are famed for their hospitality toward strangers whom they do not perceive as invaders. But multiculturalism, by imposing strangers on another’s home and codifying this intrusion with the Marxist duality of oppressor and oppressed, precludes any such fraternity.

Freedom:

Yet right this moment, a pair of piercing blue eyes opens amidst the bustle of maternity ward’s nurses. A little wanderer cries, impatient to test his wings and to roam, maybe setting his aim on descending to the gutters of Hades or ascending the peak of Olympus—either way, forged to stand in radiance and despise chains, proof-enough that man has been created in the image of God.

The Age of Shivalry, or Goodbye jeb:

South Carolina loser jeb bush [sic] did his damned best on behalf of his nuclear family (the extended Bush family may be a complicated story here) and on behalf of every hill troll that wanted to grab a piece of your grandchildren’s birthright. Jeb bush is a good man by his lights, that awkward big galoot who wants your grandchildren to be brown, or never-born.

A Simple Advice to a Boy:

Fear God. Respect good men. Believe in yourself.

America’s Greatness:

“Liberty” means to have an undisputed dominion over your public space, keeping it in your own image to reflect who you are. “Community” means sharing that space with like-minded people.

Orwell on Leftist Media: “Once a Whore, Always a Whore”:

My message to today’s left-wing journalists: no one believes your story. […] You have placed yourself in service to lies in defiance of your code of professional ethics and common decency. But your name is on the bylines and history’s forthcoming judgment will be clear: Not only are you a whore, you are also accessory to genocide.

Is the Mulatto the New Superman?:

But then I saw three things in the real world: a young White woman one evening, she walked lightly. The streetlamp’s glow kissed her flowing hair and caressed her shoulder. A birthday party full of White children playing. Their bright faces were God’s own joy. A White man, his solid face and clear eyes, and I knew that I am looking at the only man in this world whom I can trust.

On White Knighting:

A reversal of our decline will begin when we White men affirm our responsibilities to our women and reassert our expectations of them, pulling together those scattered links of interdependence. The women of Europe are afraid and maybe Merkel’s deluge is Providence handing us an opportunity reclaim what is ours.

“Welcome to Hell, Stray Lambs”:

When you humiliate a man, he remembers it forever. The leaders of Western European countries are doing just that. In an unprovoked act of genocide-scale aggression, these governments and institutions are imposing on their people a fight-or-flight condition with nowhere to flee. People have picked up the scent of malice.

Assessing Your Place on the Hierarchy:

Which one of the following templates best describes people’s posture toward you?  Family and friends don’t count. An insouciant Gamma among lesser Gammas will strut like an Alpha but will still fold in any competitive social environment outside of his in-group.

The Year of the Shitlord:

We Shitlords suffer no liars, we countenance no shills, we humor no saboteurs of White children’s future. And we most certainly (ahem!) stomach no fatties.

The Year the Dam Burst:

Here is my take on the forecasting of historic events: change happens either much later — or much sooner — than expected. Rarely when expected.

Idle Thoughts on Popular Songs:

“Annie’s Song” by John Denver – It was a bright early spring day in Georgetown, Washington DC. I was walking toward the boathouse under the Key Bridge and a driver of a parked convertible car was playing the song very loudly, crystal clear from good speakers. Was it a vision, or a waking dream? Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?

A Thousand Doves:

Peace in this world is what we earn when we secure the space to live as our best selves. Eternal peace is what we earn when we leave this world, having lived as men and women in Christ our Lord.

What Have We Learned?:

History never ends and as human beings, we are bound to repeat our mistakes, over and over. Satan stands behind you in the shadow, always watching. But there is Truth that blazes our path through the darkness. Not losing sight of that light is our hope for making it through just far enough to let our sons and daughters, in turn, walk yet farther onward, straight and true.

Disgust:

It is not strong minds, but weak stomachs that destroy leftist regimes.

How To Help Prevent Mudsharking:

Three generations ago, fathers could afford to be remote protectors and providers because robust faith, extended family, and community were there to nurture a child’s identity and sense of purpose. But we are now atomized and under cultural and demographic assault on all fronts. The modern White father can no longer be uninvolved in his daughter’s emotional and intellectual development. He is the only thing that stands between her and the malevolent, child-destroying maw of moloch America.

Hospitality:

In no moral law is it written that asylum for refugees must become an open door to changing the national character of the host country. A good host will feed you and board you, not dispossess his son or give away his daughter for the guest’s sake.

No Allegiance:

Alexander Solzhenitsyn hated the Soviet Union but he always loved Russia.

All Saints’ Day:

[O]ur ancestors would be horrified by our problems. But our grandparents had their own problems, and they did what they could. On All Saints’ Day, we can clarify to each other that the wolf is always near. The beast takes different forms but it always seeks the same thing: our destruction, first moral and then physical. And we have to do what we can.

Be The Boss (Part I):

This post is not for those who seek to improve on their already-established effectiveness as managers. This post is for readers who struggle with the basics of being a boss.

The Cruelty Artist:

If you think you are a cruelty artist, are you the first kind (“takes two to tangle”) or are you the second kind (the gamma power trip)? With the former, the more you lay it on, the more she lights up. In the second case the more you lay it on, the more her light goes out.

Open thread.

A Few Words On Today’s Militant Blacks

The first word a Black baby learns is “mama.” The second word he learns is “racist.” That’s today. Before the Civil Rights coup d’état, Black men tipped their hats to White teenage boys. They helped White men track down and lay a beating on Emmitt Till, a visitor from Chicago who didn’t know that in the South of that day there were consequences to cornering and terrifying a married woman and then doubling-down on the churlishness when given an opportunity to apologize and go free. Since then, American Whites have been hog-tied by their federal government while Blacks have been liberated to follow their basest instincts and incited to violent anger by every one of their country’s institutions, now with the president of the United States telling them, in so many words, to go out and kill White policemen. They understand that the system stands behind them.

There are Black nationalists who want separation. But there are maybe four of them in the entire United States. Yet Black self-sufficiency was once a more serious movement, going back to the writings of Booker T. Washington. But today, what passes for nationalism among militant Blacks is nothing like what a White nationalist would recognize as a pursuit of sovereignty. Instead, militant Blacks see the country as a magic buffet that White folk are hogging for themselves. They see a nice park or a nice neighborhood, a nice school, a nice ratty flea market, or a nice restaurant without Blacks in it, and they feel robbed. So let’s say, Whites give it up to them via white flight; the place turns to shit instantly and the Blacks then look at the next nice White park, neighborhood, school, flea market, or restaurant and in a continuation of this cycle, they once again feel wrongly uninvited. They don’t want what nationalists have always fought for — land and its natural resources to hold as their own. They want the magic buffet that somehow always disappears the moment they touch it.

They want what commenter Thordaddy calls “liberation without separation.” And not even in the form of conquest or imperial dominion because they don’t want to rule over Whites, they want Whites to take care of them in perpetuity. It is a child’s worldview. Take a mentally retarded or a drunk White adult — but without the speech and motor impairment  — and you have the typical Black Lives Matter “nationalist.” There are, to be sure, militant Blacks among the talented-tenth but the animating spirit of their passion is the shame of being patronized by Whites, the shame of being in a superior station over their untalented 90% fellow-Blacks without much in the way of visible merit, the shame of having abdicated their responsibility for them, as well as the shameful and repressed thought that they are mascots, rather than players, in the shaping of their own people’s destiny. That compound shame, rather than being faced and reckoned with, is sublimated into one-part-toxic and three-parts-inane truculence like that which we see in the writings of Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Happy Brexit!

The American one of 1776, that is. Here, the clouds over the Chesapeake Bay are heavy but the water is calm. Cheers to this blog’s American readers. What is up next? That’s to be seen but there is one given: Donald Trump opened some doors that nobody can close.

You could say that I wrote the following two posts in the run-up to this occasion of United States Independence Day:

– My slightly off-center quasi-foreigner’s ode to the American people HERE.

– And HERE are the kinds of thoughts that people have about their political arrangements not long before they collectively remind themselves that they are free and brave.