Addendum: Kavanaugh Hearings; or, RIP the Democratic Party

I know was going to bring you some readings again tonight, but I can’t help myself.  The Kavanaugh hearings from today had some next level stuff on display.  Regardless of your feelings about Kavanaugh, or where you sit on the political spectrum, just sit back and think about this for a second:

A woman who can’t remember relevant conversations or correspondence from three weeks ago claims to remember Kavanaugh molesting her when they were both teenagers at a party thirty-six years ago.  This same woman confirms that she can’t remember where the house this happened in was, whose it was, who else was there, how many other people were present, or when this was supposed to have happened.  This same woman, who is so convinced of Kavanaugh’s guilt—100% sure, by her admission—refused to raise these allegations at any point in the last three decades of Kavanaugh’s career as a lawyer and judge working in and around Washington, D.C.

The surreality of the entire extravaganza remains baffling.  Every democrat on the committee began their remarks the same way: thank you for coming forward, you’re a great inspiration to other victims of abuse, you’re so brave for being here today.  Every single one of them.  Most of them also spent more time talking about abuse than any of the specifics of the case and few bothered asking her questions at all, much less relevant ones.

Then Kavanaugh’s turn in the hot seat comes up.  This man’s opening statements are going to be remembered for a long time.  This entire sham is going to be remembered for a long time.  The transparency of the Democrats’ angle on this is so obvious, so poorly hidden, it baffles me that it could go on for an entire day.  They hammer at the lack of an FBI investigation—an FBI investigation which, it turns out, would yield exactly the same information that the congressional investigation has already yielded.  It’s purely to delay and obstruct for as long as they can.  Delay the confirmation.  Delay the confirmation.  Anyone who believes that this hearing was done in earnest is clueless.

This one hearing, more than anything else from the past couple of months, has guaranteed a red wave in November.  Whatever hope for a blue wave the Democrats were banking on this year has been washed down the drain with this embarrassing display of political tactlessness and personal belligerence.  If you still support any Democrats on that committee, I’d love to know why.  This sort of politics is beyond the pale.

A whole afternoon was spent by congressmen reading a fifty-three year-old man’s high school yearbook and asking about what kind of beer he drank and, maybe, possibly, if there’s any chance he could have raped a few girls while he was in school.  The absolute STATE of American politics, friends.

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Daily Thought: This Kavanaugh Crap Is Already Done

Does anyone believe this Kavanaugh stuff?  The entire news cycle has been distracted with “allegations” as to sexual misconduct on the part of Kavanaugh dating back to the 1980s.  Does that seem weird to anyone else?

It should, because the allegations have zero substantiated evidence, zero credentialed reports, and man, it’s been occupying the news cycle for how long now?  Certainly more than a week.  What aren’t they covering by keeping this in the public consciousness?

Oh right, Project Veritas confirmed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the deep state’s existence and its interest in subverting presidential administration over the nation.  But why would anyone at the Times bother reporting that?

No, it’s more important to focus on relevant matters, like ambiguous accusations against a candidate for Supreme Court Justice who might end up tipping the balance such that Roe v. Wade gets overturned.  I still doubt his willingness to take such drastic action, but it’s certainly possible.  What the Democrats hope to get out of all this, however, I have no idea, given that Amy Barrett seems to be the next best fit—a woman whose general stance is even more radical than Kavanaugh’s—a woman who, it turns out, is more likely to overturn Roe v. Wade than Kavanaugh himself, by my estimation.

The motivation behind this entire escapade is transparent: obstruct, obstruct, obstruct!  Were the Democrats in charge, fielding their own nominee, and this had shown up?  It’d have been over in an hour and the guy would be on the bench by now.

Daily thought?  This is the one thought that I had all day.  The single one.  The only one.  Look forward to some actual reads tomorrow.

From the Shelf: Barren Metal chaps 18-20

Tonight, we’re pick up our adventures into economics and usury with a few chapters from Dr. E. Michael Jones’ opus, Barren Metal—specifically, chapters eighteen through twenty.  The massive tome heretofore covered the economic history of Florentine Italy during the Renaissance.  For those of you who played the Assassin’s Creed games, the region, setting, and key players should ring some bells, though the historical absurdity on display with Ubisoft’s illiterate team of storytellers remains wonderfully absent.

The Dominican Friar Savonarola, a key player in much of the events leading up to this point in the book, has found his earthly luck run out.  Pope Alexander VI—perhaps better known to popular history as Rodrigo de Borja—has had enough of Savonarola’s reactionary preaching, penchant for prophecies, and altruistic extremism.  It was under Savonarola’s guidance that the Florentine state and people managed to give Lorenzo de Medici the boot and institute an elitist republic; the debaucheries of Lorenzo’s circuses, such as Carnival, the Bonfire of the Vanities, and the accompanying rampant spread of sodomy and pederasty among the merchant and elite classes of Florence were stopped dead in their tracks.

When his luck ran out, however, it ran out quickly.  He was imprisoned, tortured, and forced into confessing to have invented the prophecies which had stirred up so much trouble in Florence.  He, along with several of his confidants, were hanged, burned, and had their ashes scattered into the Arno in order to prevent the collection of artifacts for reverence.  Nonetheless, Savonarola, despite some popular depictions of him in contemporary media, remains a powerful figure for good who preached against institutional corruption, sexual misbehavior, and usury.

His establishment of a Florentine monte di pieta, in fact, proved to be one of his most lasting achievements.  Dr. Jones spends the greater part of a previous chapter explaining the purpose and function of monte di pieta; essentially, they were charity-run pawn shops which extended loans in exchange for property at zero or near-zero interest.  This is in contrast to the standard interest rates for loans at the time which were frequently around or well above forty or fifty percent.  The existence of monte de pieta, which were run by the Florentine government itself, helped maintain the working and subsistence classes who often had only barely enough wages to survive the years.  Meanwhile, as he explains, it also served as an addendum to the Florentine treasury, so long as it wasn’t pilfered or misused.

From this epilogue to his history of the finances of Florence and the grand drama involving Catholic extremists, the Medici, the Borgia, and common human vice, Dr. Jones turns his attention to north-central Europe: the Holy Roman Empire and, specifically, the Fugger family.  We will return to the Fuggers in a while, but in the meantime, Dr. Jones addresses the economical differences of  Florentine Italy with Germanic Austria, and in particular, the degree to which guilds influenced, regulated, and decided the economy.

There’s a longer post buried in this information, but the important parts can be found in Barren Metal.  Essentially, the guilds existed to protect the dignity and importance of labor, which remains the foundation upon which wealth can even be conceived, much less created.  Dr. Jones explains how the Hellenic conception of labor was skewed in antiquity due to the presence of slavery, which contorted labor into an unpleasant endeavor from which no man could derive satisfaction or fulfillment; any self-respecting man of Rome could only pour the labor of his person into intellectual affairs, since labor of the ground and the hands remained the work of slaves.

This should get you thinking, particularly about the position of labor in the contemporary culture.  Who do the elites push as those we should hold the most reverence for?  What are we told, from childhood, that we need to get in order to succeed in life?  What sort of work is discouraged, or ignored, or caricatured as ignorant, futile, and idiotic?

The Nightly QNUW

This site serves as a sort of expansion to my main blog, QNUW.  That site has morphed into essentially an essay dump, where I can post longer-form pieces on a variety of philosophical, moral, and political subjects.  Sometimes that includes current affairs, sometimes it includes book reviews or highlights, but the common thread has been my interest in exploring these subjects at somewhat moderate length.

Unfortunately, given my own schedule, this means I’m usually only capable of pumping out a single piece per week.  My interest in writing more, as well as tackling my reading list, has prompted the creation of The Nightly QNUW: a daily or near-daily post of shorter length where I cover a wider range of topics.  Sometimes it’ll be a brief thought on a lecture or a reflection of something I’d written before, and sometimes it’ll be a brief synopsis or exegesis of whatever happens to be on the top of the book stack that night.

As Mount Everest’s height inches upward at about four millimeters a year, so too does my stack of unread books increase by probably fifty times that amount.  I’m sure many of you can relate.  Part of this experiment is to see if I can blitz through more of that stack while sharing the best parts of it with all of you.  Look forward to it!