Defense of Garnax Prime: Part 1

I previously wrote a short story, The Defense of Garnax, that I ultimately wasn’t happy with. I’m going to take another try at it but do a little experiment. I’m going to try and write a little piece of it every day and post it here for your enjoyment for the month of March. We will see how far I get and what becomes of it. 

The 0500 alarm blared in one of the officer’s bunkrooms aboard the PSS Hornet, rousing Ensign Carl Anthony, the recent academy graduate and sensor officer and his three compatriots from sleep. As awareness returned to them and the lights in the room shifted into a morning setting. The group of four tore the sheets from their beds and placed them in the laundry chute in preparation for the next shift to arrive for sleep. As the young officers finished preparing for the day’s shift, they made their way to the mess one by one in order to have breakfast before their 0600 shift began.

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Legislative Wishlist for the Trump Presidency & The 115th Congress

Note: This letter can be downloaded in PDF format at this link. It can also be faxed to the member of Congress of your choice here.

To Members of Congress, The President & The American People:

For the first time in over a decade, Republicans have control of the Presidency, the House of Representatives and the Senate. This opportunity must be seized by the administration and members of Congress to protect the few remaining institutions that give America its strength and to degrade the institutions which are undermining the health of the Republic and historic American nation.

It should be no secret to anyone who seeks to understand the power dynamics of the modern United States that unelected institutions, unaccountable to the people, wield considerable political power. A republic where the people cannot hold power to account is no longer truly a republic. The founders of this great nation insisted that the people were sovereign, and that is no longer the case.

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US Military Officer’s Reading List Circa 1941

On February 15, 2016, a friendly twitter gnome  posted a set of recommended reading for military officers at various stages of their career. This list comes from the 4th edition of “The Officer’s Guide: A Ready Reference of Customs and Correct Procedures Followed Within the Army Which Pertain to Commissioned Officers”, published in 1941.  I didn’t want this great list and opportunity to pass by with the forgetfulness that normally accompanies tweets, so I made this post. This is a great opportunity for those of us who like to read old books, as it is nicely curated by people who can generally be trusted to steer the student in the correct direction.

Reading old books is an important thing to do as it enables us to strip away the conceits and influences on modern culture and look at how people from a different era viewed the world, including their own history. This helps to form a better understanding of not just of their era, but our shared past and culture.

I looked into finding the text itself, but I have been unable to find a copy of this particular edition or ones close to it available publicly online. Google Books has editions from throughout and after the war digitized that allows for the searching of phrases to find similar book lists to this one. However, this reading list seems the most complete and the only one readily available to me.

Given that the reading list was compiled before Pearl Harbor and the US entry into World War Two it represents the works deemed most useful to officers who were about to embark on the monumental task of winning a two front war against world powers. Considering the time it is from, it looks to provide a list of books which cover American history, world history and military history without the negative influence of modern historical scholarship. The works appear to be of the highest detail, scholarship and relevance. This extensive list is designed to be read over two decades over the officer’s career.

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Anti-Federalists Part 6: Brutus

Brutus is possibly the most famous of the anti-Federalist writers in modern times. While his arguments are not as thorough as the Federal Farmer, nor as impassioned as Centinel, nor did he stand the test of time as well as Cato, he is first in eloquence and quotability. He also delivers on all of qualities mentioned above at a more than satisfactory level, and so he is considered the single best Anti-Federalist author.

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Quick Thoughts on Aristotle and Vox Day’s 2017-02-18 Darkstream

Tonight, Vox Day talked about Aristotle’s Rhetoric in his darkstream, viewable on Periscope. As Vox explains, this is very relevant to fighting against the left, as they primarily deal with emotions, and Rhetoric has very specific prescriptions for dealing emotional damage.

One change that I am taking in this post versus the content of Rhetoric, is that this focuses on causing the audience to feel negatively towards you, rather than feeling negatively towards your opponent. So far, generating negative emotions in the left towards us has been more effective than generating negative emotions between members of the left. “Democrats are the Real Racists” falls in the latter, ineffective, category, while “Build the Wall, Deport them All” falls in the former.

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Anti-Federalists Part 5: Federal Farmer

The eighteen essays of the Federal Farmer are some of the most important of the Anti-Federalist works. While he is a proponent of federalism in concept, and agrees that the Articles of Confederation were insufficient for dealing with the issues that needed to be considered at the federal level, he has major objections to the formulation of the Constitution. He felt that power concentrates in capital cities, and therefore many capitals was the appropriate course. These essays were historically considered to be written by the last president under the Articles of Confederation, Richard Henry Lee. Modern scholarship identifies New York delegate Melancton Smith as the most likely author. His outlook on the purpose of government is well defined in the following quote:

Liberty, in its genuine sense, is security to enjoy the effects of our honest industry and labours, in a free and mild government, and personal security from all illegal restraints.”

The Federal Farmer’s overriding concern is in maintaining a proper balance of powers. He identifies that there is not just the problem of separating executive, legislative and judicial power, there is also a problem of separating state from federal power. Ensuring that this structure prevails is his major task. He feels that failure to lead the US to become a set of independent republics or a nation where states are meaningless administrative districts. His purpose is to ensure the notion of a federal republic is maintained. The specific issues the Federal Farmer takes with the Constitution are “too much power, undefined power and unsecured power”

The author adopts a conservative tone, believing that successful people in the current regime ought to be listened to most of all, while people hoping to gain power in the new system ought to be ignored. His main critique stems from the risk of the federal government becoming the only government that matters. He believes the current system will also tend towards de facto aristocracy over time due to ambitious, impatient and disorderly men.

Like previous authors, The Federal Farmer notes that it was somewhat duplicitous for the convention to be held on amendments to the Articles of Confederation only to be turned into a convention for a whole new government.

The Federal Farmer notes that preserving the union is a difficult task, and that the various states already have very different ideas on the proper role of government and their laws. He also notes the socio-economic differences, concentrated wealth in the South, getting more equal the further north you go and he separates the states into three distinct groups. Another example presented of how people are divided is that merchants prefer property taxes and farmers prefer tariffs

A point that the Federal Farmer comes back to over and over is that the character of the people involved in government are ultimately what decides how good it is.

“…as long as the people are free they will preserve free governments; and that when they shall become tired of freedom, arbitrary government must take place.”

A major objection of the Federal Farmer is the nature of Congressional representation. When the Constitution was written, Congress was a body which at the time had one member for every 50,000 citizens. Today it is one representative per 710,000, so many of his criticisms ring much more clearly. He felt that when 50,000 people chose a single representative, it would naturally be limited to current politicians, lawyers, and former military officers, as these people would consistently rise to the top. The Federal Farmer thought it was important that the House of Representatives, “The People’s House” ought to have members which reflected the nature of the people. He also makes an interesting note that the general population of each state is fundamentally more different than the elites they would elect, echoing modern criticisms of cosmopolitan elites.

While the Federal Farmer goes so far as to propose an alternative government based around state constitutions, eventually it became obvious the Constitution would be adopted and so the tone of the essays switches to making improvements to the new system.

After examining the Roman and British systems of government and reiterating his belief in the need for a Bill of Rights, the Federal Farmer lists specific concerns with the new constitution.

The potential for a standing army frightened the Federal Farmer like it did many Founding Fathers. A standing army limits the potential for the people to rebel against a tyrant.

The Senate earns the worst of the Federal Farmer’s scorn. It has powers that fall under both the executive (treaties, approving appointments) and the legislative branches of government. The Senate is too small to make a good legislature, but is too big to be helpful as the president’s advisors. The Federal Farmer also thinks it is odd that the state legislatures appoint Senators to six year turns instead of being serving at their pleasure.

As far as the House of Representatives, the Federal Farmer worries about the number of people each representative is representing. While the plan was already for the number of representatives to grow dramatically with America, he still opposed the 50,000 to 1 ratio. He is worried that without specific rules for choosing representatives, gerrymandering or worse would result. The Federal Farmer also dislikes that the House has both the power to tax and wage war, and that these powers should be held by separate entities.

When it comes to the executive branch, the Federal Farmer has some objections to the structure of Presidential power, but his other objection is more interesting. The Federal Farmer believes that there should be a formal advisory council to the President, described in the Constitution that was distinct from the heads of the departments and would take on many of the Senate’s roles.

When it comes to the judicial branch, two criticisms stood out. The first is that the Federal Farmer thought there should be several Supreme Courts, each with limited jurisdiction. He also repeatedly stated that only juries should judge facts and judges should only judge law. The Federal Farmer felt like the Supreme Court had too much ability to dictate policy and that a Judge’s decision was much easier to make than it was to overturn.

In his final essays, the Federal Farmer goes back to discussing things in the more philosophical realm. He considers the issue of building and maintaining a national culture of liberty, which yields no great answers for today. The Federal Farmer also goes into detail about the powers a federal government ought to have, and specifically, that federal laws should only apply to states, never to the people. The federal government is supposed to be for the benefit for the states, and therefore needs no larger jurisdiction.

Put together, the Federal Farmer lays out the most comphrensive Anti-Federalist work so far. At 180 pages of text, it represents a big push on my part to read through. Next time, I’ll be back to cover the last of the major Anti-Federalist essayists, Brutus.

Take Five Minutes to Fax Your Congressman

I don’t remember where I saw it, but I recently saw someone advocate for sending faxes to congress.  I initially ignored this, since I am under 30 and don’t own a fax machine, much less have a phone line I could use.

Fax is an interesting way to get through to Congress as it is relatively high effort, and therefore less likely to be used. It seems like a good way to send a friendly word to those in Congress who support us and a good way to troll our enemies.

It turns out that sending a fax to your representative is easier than I thought. Just go to FaxZero and click on the name of a congressman. This will take you to a form that is partially filled out with the information of the representative you picked. Fill out your information accordingly, I don’t think there’s any reason to use real information here, but you do need access to the e-mail to confirm sending the fax and receive an acknowledgment it went through.

Also on the form at the bottom is space for a message, which I encourage you to write targeted at the specific individual you are praising or scorning. I also encourage you to send two positive messages for every negative one, as bolstering spirits is needed more than infuriating the left at the current time.

The form also includes the ability to attach up to three pages for free. Rather than let this go to waste, I made a PDF with some Trump slogans for your use.

Here is the attachment I sent along to my congressperson’s office.

I encourage you all to send a few. This kind of stuff may not seem like much, but it all adds up in their mind. It is much more personal than polls and members of Congress try to gauge their district’s mood by the letters, e-mails, phone calls and yes, faxes, that they receive.