The Daily Snark

Guns, Dogs and Karl Marx

The past weeks have seemed so vitriolic. The endless gun control debate in the aftermath of the Margarie Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Florida, internecine squabbling in primary races, the pending SCOTUS hearing of Janus v. AFSCME and it’s potential outcome for both the First Amendment and the mid-term elections, the national news has spilled over on to social media and personal conversations and left me feeling that some unseen force is pulling ever more insistently at the fabric of our nation. I felt pretty sure that subversive element was Marxism, but to better understand that influence on our country, I decided a little research was in order. I started with The Naked Communist by former FBI agent, W. Cleon Skousen, who also authored The 5000 Year Leap. It biographs the lives of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels then follows the global advance of communism and its evolutions from bloody revolution to Cold War and on into a sneaky war of ideology in our country. I would absolutely rate it as a must-read and it is conveniently available on Audible.

To put Marxist ideology into dirt road context, I’m going to discuss it through two real-life small town scenarios that exhibit the innocuous ways Marxism is slipping into our culture without our even realizing it.

The first example is a local primary race for county judge. The incumbent is a lifetime resident rancher with a background in law enforcement running on his knowledge of the county and law enforcement experience. His primary opponent is a recent resident with a varied background and an interest in animal rescue and a proposed no-kill animal shelter.

“Good grief! What on earth could be Marxist in either of those candidates”, you are saying.

Individually, probably absolutely nothing, but let’s talk about property.

The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.

KARL MARX, The Communist Manifesto

 

I know- you are still scratching your head. How do you suppose Marx planned to divest the bourgeois of their property? By revolution of course! Yet, as Skousen reports, by the mid-twentieth century, the communist movement had experienced little success in violent overthrow of the property-holding bourgeoise in America. Peaceful take-over by political action seemed a more logical choice for a cultural revolution in the United States and countless organizations have popped up that hold significant financial means to wield a powerful political truncheon on the quiet behalf of communism.

By Sidney Joseph Greene
Originally published in The New York Evening Telegram 11/1/1919

One of these organizations is the Humane Society of the United States. Working hand-in-hand with other animal welfare groups, such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the Center for Biological Diversity, the HSUS has slowly pulled lands from private ownership to public or NGO holdings. The mechanism is to funnel money and public support using feel-good projects like animal shelters into law suits. Suits typically involve wildlife welfare and are filed against the United States Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act.

This behavior is not random. It serves two functions. First, under the Equal Access to Justice Act, a party bringing successful suit against the U.S. government is entitled to have the cost of the suit remunerated to them by the government, thus animal welfare groups are able to keep attorneys on staff at no cost to the organization and keep a machine of constant litigation in motion. Secondly, the suits are “friendly” in nature because the outcome is to invariably bring more property under the control of government agencies and resistance to the suit is nominal. The consequences are that access to public land is diminished or private landowners are placed in untenable situations with greatly reduced land values where the Center for Biological Diversity or another pro-Marxist NGO can snatch it cheaply. Slowly private property is being consumed by the Marxist machine wrapped in the soft sheeps clothing of animal shelters.

This mechanism of moving from furry animals to land grabs is pretty well understood in western states where there is a large U.S. Fish and Wildlife presence and in areas where there are larger cattle ranches, but it is a little less familiar to rural counties with smaller properties like our county.

The moral? Be extremely cautious of projects promising a positive social change unless you can clearly link that project to Constitutional guidelines and be especially wary of feel-good projects like animal shelters where any objections to the entity’s behavior makes you an animal-hater and easily discredits you as a social pariah.

The second scenario involves a la carte ordering off the political menu. I recently debated with a school teacher, who was adamantly in support of total gun confiscation and a leftist political agenda all the while proclaiming his Christian faith and decrying broken families and parent’s disinterest in their children.

Let’s talk about religion; Marx’s “opium of the masses”. Marx’s dialectical materialism philosophy leaves no room for God, hypothesizing instead that religion is simply another way for the haves to keep the have-nots in check, therefore any morality associated with Judeo-Christian values is also a version of oppression and should be removed. The only moral struggle is the struggle against class oppression and thus anything done in that pursuit is moral.

Our Constitution is as well thought-out a document as Man has ever produced to preserve what our Declaration of Independence describes as “unalienable rights” given to Man by God.

Under our philosophy of government, you are absolutely free to think however you chose; however, to maintain that freedom, you have an obligation to examine its mechanisms in order to function as a logical member of a representative republic.

The poor teacher in question had absolutely no idea how deeply Marxism was driving his politics. The decline in parenting he sees in his schooling is well described in this article in The Federalist .

His view on guns was an emotional reaction to the Florida school shooting, and a reasonable reaction, if the concept of warring political doctrines is removed from the equation.

In reality, gun confiscation in America without bloodshed is a unicorn dream. What is possible, if you are thinking as a Marxist, is to cause such a hue and cry over the danger of guns that Americans willingly surrender them. The teacher has all the American freedom to promote and vote for just that hue and cry, and yet he is unaware that he is fighting the results of the same philosophy in his classroom and had no answer to what would protect his First Amendment rights to worship God were the Second Amendment removed.

The moral? You can feel any way you like, but in a representative republic, you can not vote la carte choosing bits and pieces from opposing philosophies. In the end, when all politics are boiled to their driest bones, the only question that remains is what you think of God and Man, the relationship between them, and whether each are inherently Good or Evil.

For those of us who live on dirt roads and want to maintain our rural American lifestyles, we should be ever-vigilant to not only the overt and obvious attacks on our Constitution, but also the subvert ones that we may ourselves be accidentally executing. I would advise my country neighbors to be bold in resisting furry, feel-good projects that may conceal a hidden red agenda.  Be confident that our generations of living with livestock has prepared us well to respond with compassion and vision to the needs of our animals and not be afraid to speak up against kind people with less experience in animal husbandry. We should  lead them rather than be led by fear of them.

Clearly  define your allegiances. Write them down. It will help you separate emotions from politics and get you off the a la carte menu.

These are mine in hierachial order:

God/Freedom
Family
Texas
The Constitution of the United States of America

Another day, I will explain the rationale for the order, but I wonder who can be the first commenter to correctly state why God and Freedom are co-equals in my hierarchy?

The Daily Snark

.~ Snark Mark~.

“Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again
   The five unmistakable marks
By which you may know, wheresoever you go,
   The warranted genuine Snarks.
-Lewis Carroll The Hunting of the Snark

The Daily Snark is not so much a call to action, or even necessarily a statement of my political opinion. It is meant to be a rebuttal to the typical binary political arguments lead by a disingenuous mainstream media through the application of rural logic.
While I do not wholeheartedly prescribe to any particular conspiracy theory, I do embrace the concept that when a body of people hold a belief to be true, they behave according to the influence of that belief and those theories become part of the political mosaic, regardless of the factual validity of the hypothesis, thus I try to look at our political landscape through numerous lenses.

Personally, I am first and foremost a Texian and all the conservative values that historical construct of the term implies. I am a pro-property rights, free-market, Constitutional, American nationalist and vehemently opposed to socialism. My political remarks are sometimes serious and sometimes pure snark, but are always driven by those basic principles.

 

The Daily Snark

I Don’t Know Why You Are Confused…

Someone recently mentioned to me still being befuddled by why rural America voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. I rolled my eyes and chuckled, then considered the statement again with more seriousness. It is a valuable question. Valuable because if we are to avoid dissolving this nation into sovereign regions by political affiliation, or worse, erupting into a civil war, somehow we HAVE to find some way to consolidate our rural and urban views. For a rural American, the question has a laundry list of answers.

Photo credit to Ruby Jean Lingo

1). Gravy
I have spent a great amount of time in remote conditions and could tell countless stories where firearms were a tool changing the balance in life-or-death situations ranging from wildlife threat to the lack of law enforcement in rural areas. Anything Donald Trump could possibly offer after defense of the Second Amendment was simply gravy (that means extra goodie on top of the substance, for readers who don’t understand Southern colloquialisms).
Given the balance of power in the Supreme Court and the potential advances against the Second Amendment, I would have gladly voted for a wild Texas boar hog if I felt the porcine in question would preserve our uninfringed Constitutional ability to defend hearth and home and endured any other unsavory policy choices that might accompany that vote for the next four years. The choice between Clinton and Trump on the topic of gun control could not have been more clear to rural women. Were I an incurious sort, I would have pursued the examination of presidential candidates no further than this single issue, cast a vote for Trump and gone on with my life.
It was a clear, single-issue choice. No. Strike that. It COULD have been a single-issue choice, except there were so many more factors weighing in Trump’s favor.

2). Jerry Springer and the 90’s

I’m old enough to remember when you couldn’t tell the difference between Jerry Springer’s salacious afternoon TV show and the news:
Hillary’s questionable cattle trades, Mena Arkansas, Troopergate, Gennifer Flowers, Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Vince Foster, Whitewater, travelgate, Costco, Nukes and the Chinese, Waco and one Janet Reno fiasco after another, Monica Lewinski, the stolen White House china, sniper-fire lies just for the fun of lying, on and on it went through-out the ’90’s.

Later, I was not asleep during Benghazi and the ensuing questions about Middle Eastern gun-running through the Department of State, I didn’t miss the severity of Hillary’s criminal negligence with classified material, I didn’t miss right-hand-woman Huma Abadeen’s connections to a sexual deviant nor to the Muslim Brotherhood. I took in so many ugly facts and rumors about Clinton over the years, I lost track of some of them.

There IS one thing I missed…why in God’s Sweet Heaven did the Democratic Party think this rotten, corrupt hag with such a long and detailed resume of misdeeds and self-dealing was a viable presidential candidate? The choice indicates a complete disdain for the intelligence and integrity of the American populace.

3). The Republican Establishment
I am an American child of the Cold War. I was taught the Constitution of the United States of America in school and there is little political ideology I despise more than socialism; however, self-dealing, pseudo-conservative, establishment, Republican, American politicians run a very close second on my political shit-list. What an incredible gift to find a presidential candidate who was beholden neither to the Soros socialists in the Democratic Party nor to the spineless wonders of self-promotion on the right. I’d walk through burning coals to find such a man…

4). Buck up, Buttercup
I’m a powerful woman. I LIKE men more powerful than me. I will intimidate a thousand-pound bronc into submission with a dirty look, educate a child at the kitchen table, fix a leaking pipe, kill a rattlesnake and cook dinner in the course of an average day. The last thing I have any interest in is a pasty-white, beautifully coifed, skinny-jean-wearing she-male simpering and negotiating favor. Sycophancy revolts me. I expect national leadership just as I expect family leadership; from a testosterone-laden, success-driven male creature, and should that creature succumb to human fallibility or innate male in-opportunity, I have not the LEAST doubt or confidence in myself (or the American people) to correct him promptly and decisively. I am not frightened of strength-I DEMAND it. Trump was the first decisive male leadership I’ve seen cross a TV screen since John Wayne.

5). Make America Great…Again
The only question most rural citizens have about that statement is “How in the world has our leadership failed to KEEP America great in the first place?”

The solution is to weed out the failed leadership. That is no small job to be corrected with a check of a pencil in the voting booth. The failure has seeped in to the pores of American government. Judicial appointments, agency heads, staff, lobbyists and think tanks with too much pull…a daunting list of sated ticks slurping on tax payer’s blood. It seemed a pretty impossible task to rid the country of them. Then Donald J. Trump blustered on to the scene, a complete disrupter that everyone knew could say “You’re fired”.

6). A hundred years is a long time not to control a border…

Pancho Villa crossed the border in the year of ought sixteen
The people of Columbus still hear him riding through their dreams
He killed seventeen civilians you could hear the women scream
Blackjack Pershing on a dancing horse was waiting in the wings

-Tom Russell

I’ve lived most my life along the Texas border. It exists somewhere between a special blended culture and a bloodbath with the pendulum constantly swaying to and fro. When American politicians decide their best self-service is in erasing the rule of law along the border, those of us who have lived our lives here know they are peeling back the thin veil of civility and it will be our blood that will be shed on the other side of the curtain. Build the damn wall and return some sanity and balance to both sides before it is too late.
In truth, I don’t like the idea of a physical barrier, but I distrust the whims of our leadership so greatly that I think a physical barrier is more difficult to remove than the will of a politician who has already flirted with selling out American sovereignty. It isn’t the Mexican government it controls…it is American fickleness.

7). Globalism
All politics are local. The more remote the representation, the less caring and understanding it becomes. Private land ownership and maintenance of local governance and resource control is imperative. Rural America understands this. Trump understands this.

8). It’s the economy, Stupid

That was a Democratic slogan; how did the Dems forget this?

9). Media, Propaganda and Modern Communications
The media has become over-confident in its ability to sway opinions and consequentially power. In 280 characters or less, Trump has deftly swept that unconstitutional power away from the Fourth Estate. I wake up and turn on the TV first thing every morning just so I can chuckle at some pundit spluttering in rage at Trump’s most recent heavy-handed yanking of the bit through the media’s errant teeth and toast my morning coffee to @realDonalTrump.

 

What I don’t understand is how could intelligent Americans have so immersed themselves in echo chambers of socialistic identity politics that they now reject simple, pro-American, pro-Constitutional policies?

I would gladly have settled for a centrist Supreme Court nomination that would have bought us time to fight back this tide of socialism eroding our Constitution. Gorsuch exceeded my wildest dreams. This booming economy and exposure of the writhing swamp creature that is the Deep State is so far beyond gravy it seems surreal. Thomas Jefferson often alluded to the wisdom of farmers as a steadying force stabilizing the eclectic ideas of their urban brethren. Jefferson was right.

The Daily Snark

Burning Down the House

We recently were treated to a quail hunting weekend on a family property in far South Texas. It’s amazing how a little travel always gives you a fresh perspective, even if you are still in your own backyard. Our family gatherings usually involve some spontaneous adventures and this one followed true to form when some of the family decided the conditions were good for a prescribed burn. Now, country cell and data service can be fickle, and in this instance it managed to disguise an impending change in wind direction and velocity in the forecast that the fire-setters failed to add into their calculations and by the time we arrived on the scene, there was a rollicking range fire on, tensions were rising a bit and quick arrangements were being made for back-up equipment to set a wider fire-break around the perimeter. We were just in time to set off a few back-burns to help calm the beast. Always an adventure, I tell ya!

By the time the expected portion of the weather forecast arrived and it began to rain, the fire had exceeded expectations by perhaps a thirty percent increase in acreage, but was altogether a rousing success and sparked a lot of conversation about the management benefits of fire. Just as sure as we are likely to get into some excitement when my family gets together, it is just as inevitable that there will be lively discussions of the policies guiding our state and nation. No small wonder that fire policies in western states came under review, and in the course of the discourse, I connected some ideas differently than I had before.

Texans have long practiced controlled burning to eliminate dead grass thatch promoting new growth, open brushy areas to livestock and wildlife traffic, and prevent large accumulations of dead biomass fueling wildfires. The philosophy that the lushest pasture and most vibrant wildlife habitat is found in the path of a fire is universal in most Texas grazing communities, but that ideology is not necessarily shared by those managing public lands in states to our west.

While the campfire glowed and the wine flowed, our little controlled burn sparked conversations on the topics of fire suppression, the listing of the northern spotted owl under the Endangered Species Act in 1990 and the resulting devastation of the logging industry, the horrible wildfires in California this fall and the general decline of American families and communities, it occurred to me these were in fact NOT unrelated topics, but instead spelled the ties between land management and the quality of life on that land.

I came home and did a little reading and found a study done in 1998 predicting the decline in logging caused by protection of the spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest would result in “up to 28,000 jobs could be lost leading to increased rates of domestic disputes, divorce, acts of violence, delinquency, vandalism, suicide, alcoholism, and other problems” (Gonzalez-Caban). I was in Northern California not long ago, in a once-bustling logging and ranching community. The only two industries supporting the community today is the state prison system and the local gambling casino. A more resounding realization of the 20-year-old Gonzalez-Caban prediction I could not imagine. Not only was the economy struggling, the surrounding forests were choked as a result of anti-fire and anti-logging policies and suffering mightily from beetle infestations exacerbated by overcrowding. Ironically, the latest victim of the spotted owl protection craze are the barred owls, who are being eradicated to relieve competition for the spotted owl. The irony extends to the fire suppression policies that have allowed the accumulation of rank undergrowth that fueled the California mega-fires of 2017.

I am not opposed to the protection of a species, but I firmly believe we cannot protect either domestic nor wildlife species effectively without a robust human economy. I thank my lucky stars every day to be a landowner in the state of Texas where public lands are limited and private ownership flourishes and each landowner is free to experiment with his own management ideas and wildlife is free to migrate where those ideas have been the most fruitful. Nothing is more frightening than when land management is tied to intransigent political stances. There is a difference between a controlled burn and burning down the house!

 

Citations

González-Cabán, A. (González-Cabán) (1998). A willingness-to-pay function for protecting acres of spotted owl habitat from fire. Ecological Economics, 25(3), 315-322.