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The crazy, the crazy, it burns …

Many times over the last two weeks I’ve attempted to blog. Each time, useful thought gets blocked by the same perception: The crazy; it’s just too thick.

Each day I think I’ve processed the latest craziness enough to blog something coherent. Useful even. But then new waves of craziness wash over the world. I don’t know what to say. I can’t write good sense against the onslaught of the crazy. I don’t know how civilization is holding together under tsunamis of crazy.

But then, of course civilization isn’t holding together — and I’m not just talking about the one-two punch of totalitarian don’tleaveyourhouseism followed without pause by riotandlootallyouwantism.


Early on in the protests against George Floyd’s murder, some Authoritah spokesthing from Minnesota pleaded for angry, fed-up people to “let the system work.”

But everybody (including millions of the formerly oblivious) saw the system working. The system is Derek Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck. The system is a harmless drunk pleading for his life while cops consider his ongoing torture-murder to be business as usual. The “system” now arrests the cops because public pressure demands scapegoats, but the everyday workings of that same system protected Chauvin against 18 previous complaints and the system still hides the nature of those complaints with the justification that a government-paid thug’s privacy trumps all public interest.

Eventually, the system will get yet another cosmetic reform or two, then go on as usual. Because the system works for those who own it, and that’s not only not ordinary black people, that’s also not the rest of us.

At least this time there have been calls to disband or defund police departments and undo the power of the unions that dedicate their existence to protecting the worst cops from consequences. It’s just talk, but at least it’s talk in the right direction.

But the dictatorial governors and mayors who’ve found totalitarianism to be such a delight during the Covid crazy need harsher enforcement than ever if they’re going to continue to enjoy the fun of one-man (or one-woman) power. So no. Derek Chauvin may go to prison (though for a much shorter time than you or I would for kneeling on someone’s neck until he died), but nothing substantial is going to change.


One of those Minnesota authorities also called the early-but-increasing riots an attack on civil society. And so the arsons and looting have become, without a doubt. Some of the non-governmental violence is just human nature unleashed after being long pent up. But some is the real deal, a vicious death wish toward humanity.

But at the point the spokesthing spoke, his idea of “civil society” was most vividly represented by … Derek Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck.

And if that’s what you’re trying to protect, Mr or Ms Authoritah, you can keep your version of civil society. Nobody else needs it inflicted upon them.


And how about the bizarrity of arresting people for playing in parks or opening businesses while applauding large street gatherings, even when said protests devolve into arson-and-loot fests?

We not only have bold-faced politicians perpetrating such nonsense, but now we witness over 1,000 alleged doctors and “public health experts” coming up with the strangest justification for supporting this month’s often-violent protests while condemning last month’s non-violent anti-lockdown protests (because last month’s protests, you see, were “white supremacist”). These docs say they still advocate “social distancing,” though it’s okay for protestors not to … oh well, read the letter yourself.

If you can make sense of their so-called science and reasoning, you’re a better man than I am.

Or maybe you’re crazy.


And the crazy literally does burn. It burns black-owned small businesses in the name of helping black people. It burned — and this enrages my bibliophilic heart — the most iconic science-fiction bookstore in America, and its companion mystery store. Goodbye, Uncle Hugo and Uncle Edgar.

Left wingers rant that the damage is being done by “white supremacists” or Russians. Right wingers counter that it’s Antifa’s doing. My co-blogger Silver told me months ago that we’d see riots in this country before the end of May, and the core cause would be the craziness, despair, desperation, and sheer boredom of those shoved brutally against the wall of poverty by the idiotic Covid-justified crashing of the economy.

I don’t know who’s at fault. Probably all of the above (though I really don’t think any Russians have anything to do with it, and if any supremacists are involved, most likely they either aren’t white or, of they are white, they’re ballsy to the point of suicidal insanity to be in those places at these times).

But when I read that Uncle Hugo’s was gone, I grokked the real attack on the real civil society — and on civilization itself. What kind of savage would break the windows of a bookstore, pour in accelerant, and torch any sort of books — let alone precious first editions and autographed copies in the genre that’s so marvelously envisioned great futures and so presciently warned against terrible ones?

This is savagery beyond the worst stereotypes of primitive cannibals. This is the deed of people who’d cut the very source of life out of the veins of civilization.


And cops? Except for a few who’ve spoken, or even marched, in solidarity with the peaceful factions of demonstrators, and a few who are trying to do a tough job in tough circumstances, they seem mostly to be showing (as if further evidence were needed) exactly why they’re increasingly loathed by those with open eyes.

Seriously? “Lighting up” people on their own porches? Blasting a mother of a dead son between the eyes with a rubber bullet, simply for filming them? Shooting pepper spray or tear gas directly and deliberatedly into the faces of people who’ve done nothing more than be in the wrong place at the wrong time? Destroying a medical aid tent?

Yes, you vicious bastards. Thanks for showing us so graphically who you really are. Your concept of “civil society” we don’t need.



Who’s worse? The arsonists and looters? Or the “protectors”?

Oh wait; they’re one in the same. Different employers. Different uniforms. Same disregard for individual liberty and the true fruits of civilization.


The crazy, the crazy. It burns. It’s not possible for a sane person to comprehend it (or at least not this sane person).

Yet it’s easy to see that the crazy is erupting now from atop a very stable, deliberately constructed platform that’s been built to support it.

The platform has been patiently constructed for decades from deconstructionism and intersectionality and the well-tutored belief that reality is whatever any (politically favored) individual imagines it to be, and that no culture or idea (except of course those of the holder) is superior to any other. It’s been constructed on a belief that brute force (i.e. government) can accomplish anything, while individuals are stupid or evil. Constructed by putting faction loyalty over principle. Constructed — literally — out of “money” created from nothing.

As Silver could tell you, creating money from nothing is in fact probably the most dangerous force, the one that makes all the other “from nothings” possible.

But however it was created, and by whomever, the platform from which crazy now gushes like oil above a derrick in an old-time Hollywood movie is elaborate, sturdy, and not easily torn down.

In fact, we no longer have the intellectual or moral tools for tearing it down at all.


Even the last remnants of our iconic belief in free speech are blowing away in tatters. And it’s not only social media pecksniffs who’ve decided they’re entitled to do our thinking for us. Now WordPress, the blogging platform, has joined the mob.

For now, at least The Western Rifle Shooters Association is no more. And it’s the usual reason: some unspecified violation of some unspecified standards.

I’ve met “Concerned American,” who owns WRSA. He’s a good guy. Sure, his commitment to a free-for-all comment section frequently confirmed what the enemies of gun owners say about us and sometimes got exceedingly gross (one creepazoid, whose comment CA ultimately removed, managed to insult Kit Perez, her husband, me, Jews, Mexicans, and all women in a compact — and really amazingly horrible — 12 words). But it was all part of the great freedom marketplace of ideas. WRSA did not deserve to be guillotined in the cause of groupthink.

The crazy. It not only burns, but it burns like a wildfire across the Internet and the entire culture.

This goes way beyond the newsworthy craziness of the Covid lockdowns and the madness of applauding arson and looting. This crazy destroys the foundations of liberty, of free thought, of genuinely civil and civilized society.


Many hopeful libertarianish commentators have predicted that in the long run the current chaos will produce good — because it will inevitably lead to decentralization, greater distrust of authority, the collapse of urbanization, etc.

Maybe. Maybe not. But it’s what we’ll have to go through to get there that scares me.

The crazy, the crazy. And the tyranny, intellectual darkness, and violence that go with it.

Gods help us all. And until the gods act, let us all help ourselves and our neighbors.


  1. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge June 4, 2020 4:42 pm

    Wish you were wrong but you are right again Claire. As a now retired teacher with 30+ years of teaching in a “hood”, I found it ironic that many of those who promoted videotaping cops (and I wholeheartedly support that) were aghast when I wanted to videotape my classroom as documentation of both mine and their lil’ darlin’s behavior. All of a sudden I was “invading their privacy”.

  2. Jorge
    Jorge June 4, 2020 5:17 pm

    I sincerely hope that the crazy stays far away from you and anyone you care about. I am thankful that I live in a place that is very boring in that respect. I won’t write “stay safe” or any other trite nonsense as I know that the world will do what it wants to. I do hope that you stay alert and prepared. I do hope that things remain peaceful in your neck of the woods.

  3. Comrade X
    Comrade X June 4, 2020 6:16 pm

    If this is not proof that two wrongs don’t make a right methinks nothing is.

  4. John Wilder
    John Wilder June 4, 2020 7:46 pm

    A-men. I was so mad on Wednesday after WRSA went down I know it percolated through my writing. But, deadlines. If I don’t post by deadline, I won’t get paid.

    Oh, wait . . .

    Still, you’re right – so much coming at us all at once. Which I’m sure is by design.

  5. Claire
    Claire June 4, 2020 8:11 pm

    Your post about WRSA was definitely angry as hell and different than your usual wittily sarcastic takes on current events. It was also eloquent and righteous.

    It was through you that I learned about WRSA’s destruction and I was proud — and outraged — to use your link.

    The censorship of WRSA and the burning of Uncle Hugo’s say as much about our current state as did the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd.

  6. StevefromMA
    StevefromMA June 4, 2020 8:34 pm

    Claire, I don’t know if you will feel better or worse after watching this but I would avoid any city when they “get off” as they are apparently innocent of what they are charged with.

    Optics, not facts, will drive this case as the Marxists who lead BLM will use it to torch America.

  7. Pat
    Pat June 5, 2020 7:56 am

    I ask these questions for honest debate from anyone on the subject — NOT for libertarian soundbites.

    If police departments were defunded or dismantled (as Minneapolis lawmakers have “vowed” to do this a.m.), what do you think might be the result?

    If TPTB *at any government level* decided to use force for anything, any crime at all (and we know that they will), who would they turn to? Local vigilantes? National Guard? State Bureaus of Investigation? Homeland Security? U.S. Military?

    Surely the use of force, the ability to bypass laws, the inclination to apply the knee to the neck on a daily basis would increase proportionate to the lack of accountability. Wouldn’t it be better to keep a local police force rather than eliminating or incapacitating police departments entirely?

  8. Owl
    Owl June 5, 2020 8:20 am

    I hope folks do not conflate the looters with the protesters. There’s been a lot of that going around. There will always be those who take advantage of a situation.
    Most, if not all, of the time when a protest descended into chaos, it was because of police being the initiators of violence, escalating rather than de-escalating. Greg Doucette has a growing collection of over 300 videos of America’s Finest doing what they do best:

  9. Claire
    Claire June 5, 2020 9:50 am

    Agreed about not conflating, Owl. Important point.

    However, with looters and rioters taking advantage of protests for their own purposes, I wouldn’t blame cops for every initiation of violence. Seems to me there’s plenty of agenda-driven cruelty to go around on both side.

  10. Owl
    Owl June 5, 2020 10:18 am

    Cops are to blame for the overwhelming majority of violence initiations. Cops are also to blame for some of the property damage (as shown on a number of videos) blamed on looters, in an attempt to justify their attacks on protesters. Saying “there’s plenty of agenda-driven cruelty to go around on both sides” is a false equivalency – cops are supposed to be professionals. Property damage is not the same as beating, gassing, dog-piling, and shooting in the face protesters and reporters. Watch the videos Greg Doucette has collected, all of them, then please give us links to videos of the agenda-driven cruelty from the other “side.” We can then weigh the evidence.

  11. Comrade X
    Comrade X June 5, 2020 11:09 am

    The left is hollering for us to unite now.

    BTW you Do know who the person is that will unite us all is don’t ya? That the left and media (with their useful idiots like GWB) are setting up to be VP and then President, her name starts with M for a hint.

    Wait……. it is only a matter of time when she enters the scene with GWB, Mad Dog and Kelly by her side, she is their ring of power;

    One ring to rule them all,
    one ring to find them,
    One ring to bring them all
    and in the darkness bind them.

  12. larryarnold
    larryarnold June 5, 2020 1:48 pm

    If police departments were defunded or dismantled (as Minneapolis lawmakers have “vowed” to do this a.m.), what do you think might be the result?

    I think laid-off cops will hire on to beefed-up security companies protecting gated communities and other affluent areas. The rest of the neighborhoods would revert to protection rackets run by the strongest gang. Sorting out the strongest gangs won’t be pretty, and gangs aren’t known to be socially inclusive.

    Reference Minneapolis: Lisa Bender, a few hours later, issued her own tweet repeating that message and adding that they will “replace it with a transformative new model of public safety.”

    IMHO police brutality is a symptom, but not the root cause of what is happening in cities.

    Police chiefs are hired and fired by city councils. City councils issue the chief’s marching orders. The councilmembers looking for the new chief, whatever they rename the position, however they re-frame the new “peacekeepers,” will be looking for someone who follows the same policies as the chief they hired the last time. If they want a police force that beefs up the city budget by enforcing petty rules that winnow heavy fines, they’ll reinvent what they already have.

    If a city council has been promising to clean up city government since the 1968 riots, nothing will change until it’s replaced. The protests need to occur not on the streets, but at polling places.

    But they won’t, because the crazy is all somebody else’s fault.

  13. Comrade X
    Comrade X June 5, 2020 2:46 pm

    People will protect their communities whether with public or private cops and if they can’t have either what other choice do they have; will vigilantism be the answer. Do you really think vigilantism justice will always be righteous?

    Of course we can all just get alone and be nice people;

  14. Joel
    Joel June 6, 2020 7:36 am

    I understand a reluctance to write about the crazy through an inability to process it. I’ve been watching it in dismay and am seldom even tempted to write about it. Both sides of the (acknowledged) ideological war have descended to rhetorical tactics Orwell would immediately recognize while angrily accusing the other side of owning the tactic – a longwinded way of saying there are so many lies and NOTHING but lies available. Anybody who claims to fully understand what’s going on is probably kidding himself or – well, lying.

    One side wants the police backed up with the military, a tactic that worked so well at Kent State I don’t think it’s been used since. One side claims to want the police disbanded. NOBODY is advocating for what seems to be the more rational course: For the police to be demilitarized, and for the blue wall of silence to be broken by any means necessary to hopefully (here’s my own utopian fantasy) foster a genuine meritocracy of corruption-shunning peace officers who are honored and respected because they EARN honor and respect, not because they’ll break your head if you don’t sufficiently kowtow.

    The civilly responsible angel on my shoulder tells me I should be trying to find ways to engage with all the crazy I see out there. The “screw them all” devil on my other shoulder is getting his way, though: I’m living as far from it as I’ve been able to get, physically and mentally.

  15. Owl
    Owl June 6, 2020 9:40 am

    “I’m a cop. I won’t fight a ‘war’ on crime the way I fought the war on terror. . . .
    For decades, the United States has funded and created police departments that resemble occupying military forces, unable to protect and serve. We armed ourselves literally and spiritually for a war on crime, and to quote Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, “And the war came.” What we now see deployed in many cities and towns is anti-policing. It’s the death of true community police work and, too often, the death of our neighbors. The well-documented militarization of American police departments has inevitably produced officers who see themselves and their roles as “warriors” or “punishers” or “sheepdogs.” Much of what our society finds so distressing and unacceptable in police interactions with their neighbors — disrespect, anger, frustration and violence — is not a result of “flawed” training; it’s a result of training for war.”

  16. Comrade X
    Comrade X June 6, 2020 12:50 pm

    To have civility IMHO you need a rule of law and no one should be above it, cops should not have immunity, if they behave illegally they should get punished as anyone else would and those who loot or break the law in a protest should pay the full price for their actions.

    That requires jury trials in the communities where the wrong doing happened, not internal investigations nor a slap on the hand with a warning not to do it again.

    Bad behavior increases when there is little penalty for one’s actions.

  17. Tahn
    Tahn June 6, 2020 3:32 pm

    Comrade X, you mentioned “The Rule Of Law”. It is important to distinguish between “mala in se” (Laws against true evil such as murder, robbery, rape etc.) and the “laws” bureaucrats make up (mala prohibita”) that make other actions punishable, such as buying beer on Sunday, self medication etc. These actions violate no victim and have led to a diminished “Respect For The Law”. Mr. Jefferson make the correct observation that “..laws are often but the tyrants will and always so when they violate the rights of the individual”.

    I will maintain my respect for those who obey or enforce all “mala in se” laws but regarding the “mala prohibita” arbitrary rules of conduct, I cannot but castigate those who promote them or enforce them. .I have no respect for such totalitarians.

    Civility begins when people are actually “civil” to one another, not throwing them into the work camps for smoking a joint or carrying a hidden firearm, while harming no one.

  18. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge June 6, 2020 4:11 pm

    Tahn – I’ve always found the boys and girls in blue quite numerous when it came to enforcing mala prohibita and nowhere to be found when it came to mala in se. Coincidence? I think not.

  19. Comrade X
    Comrade X June 7, 2020 8:13 am

    Thanks Tahn for your clarification which I agree with.

    Also letting public officials be above the law destroys the rule of law, having one set of laws for one group and not another destroys the rule of law too.

    In addition maybe I should further clarified that IMHO there are so many laws on the books today how can we have a rule of law when one can not see the forest for the trees?

    “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness(property)” wasn’t that the foundation of this government, that is to enhance it not restrict it?

    That is a failure today however I just don’t see where destroying small businesses, looting them or burning them is a solution to that failure.

    But with some isn’t it part of their belief that there should be no private property? So taking what is not theirs is justifiable in their minds methinks. That can go for TPTB as much as it can go for an individual IMHO.

    Isn’t some of what we are witnessing now just more proof of two wrongs not making a right?

  20. Owl
    Owl June 7, 2020 1:43 pm

    “That can go for TPTB as much as it can go for an individual IMHO.”

    It should go more for TPTB.

    “Isn’t some of what we are witnessing now just more proof of two wrongs not making a right?”

    Considering that the collection by Greg Doucette* is now approaching 400 instances of police brutality caught on video, the authorities seem to have the overwhelming number of wrongs on their side.
    It’s not even close. I’d say they’re trying to run up the score.

    * At , and in databases at

    and at

  21. Owl
    Owl June 8, 2020 8:39 am

    “One example of police brutality is too much just as one example of mob brutality is also.”

    That makes it sound like there is some equivalence. Have you watched the now over 400 videos of police brutality? If there is a similar collection of mob brutality, I would like to see it.

    “The question is where do we go from here.”

    Some ideas here:

    “There are those who say no cops and see what happens, will that make things better;”

    Things could always get worse if you don’t do it thoughtfully.
    Camden, NJ dismantled it’s city police force, replaced it with a county police organization. Folks say it was an improvement.

  22. Comrade X
    Comrade X June 8, 2020 10:24 am

    Methinks every community should have what ever law enforcement they chose just as I have the right not to chose to live there if the law enforcement and government that allows it is crooked;

    A must see while it is allow;;topicseen

    This is what we should be focused on more than anything else IMHO! Don’t get caught looking for the right cross when they really are throwing a left hook.

  23. Pat
    Pat June 8, 2020 10:25 am

    “There are those who say no cops and see what happens, will that make things better;”

    Those are the people who do not understand (or WILL NOT understand) “unintended consequesnces”. And the rioters, looters, socialist/leftist destroyers will move in fast.

    I don’t know the answer, or if a solution is even possible while TPTB are in control.

    Larryarnold gave a comprehensive response at the local level. (Thank you.)

    “IMHO police brutality is a symptom, but not the root cause of what is happening in cities.”

    I agree. But not just cities — it happens everywhere.

    Everywhere that “elitists” and bigots are present. For elitism and bigotry are a part of human nature. It’s not nice, but it exists, and is a part of the social ladder. Hubris, ambition, and snobbery go hand-in-hand with bigotry and even tribalism. It can make leaders, and it can make bullies. Every profession, every social institution, has it, and the hangers-on are the worst of every group: because their ambition will never take them to the top, they climb as far as they can, then take it out on the ones below.

  24. Comrade X
    Comrade X June 8, 2020 10:53 am

    Too many things going on today so I posted the wrong link in that last one, my bad, here’s the right link;

    I am not an info wars fan per se but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  25. larryarnold
    larryarnold June 9, 2020 12:40 am

    my bad, here’s the right link
    “VIDEO UNAVAILABLE This video is private”

  26. JS
    JS June 20, 2020 11:14 am

    Agree on the demilitarization of police departments and a complete reform of qualified immunity, application of laws equally and elimination of mala prohibita rackets.

    But disagree on a collection of videos equalling proof that all cops are bad people. Millions of encounters with citizens each year are very much appreciated. Millions. But if something isn’t recorded and posted online or in the media, did it really happen? Yes, … yes it did.

    Can’t get on board with any blanket statements directed towards a group of individuals who share something in common. Be that by skin color, gender, religion, gun ownership or being a police officer.

    Probably unpopular opinion, but could some of the problems arise from many officers making a crap salary for the risks they take? I never understood why the government office bees who watch YouTube all day make 6 figures while our front line of protection (including fire and ems) is on the other end of that deal.

    My wife now works for the state of CO after years in the private sector. This do-nothing behavior is confirmed. They come in late, have a couple breaks before a long lunch and bail at 3:30. And then find a way to be sick at least once every other week and are very difficult to fire. A circus, a joke, an endless money-suck with most states in debt and looming pension issues.

    Maybe we make becoming a peace officer a lot more attractive with higher prerequisites for employment consideration. And higher continuing education requirements. Let’s make these the sought after jobs instead of the guy clipping his toenails in his office with his computer off. (real person making 6 figures at the state of CO) Maybe that would reduce many mala prohibita laws that bring in revenue.

    I have two officers in my family. One has served for over 20 years, volunteers at a local soup kitchen regularly and just received an award for saving a life. You should see his home. Every day average Joe in lower-middle class. Raised 3 kids along the way.

    Never understood why first responders are always having fund raisers. Pass the boot? How about the fire department be properly funded instead. The Mayor doesn’t need that many tax payer funded staff members. Priorities.

    Also have a hard time blaming the police when a person throwing a brick stands behind a mother and child who are peacefully protesting. The rioters turned that scene into a war zone and I can’t imagine trying to determine who is who. So if you go into a war zone, even as a peaceful protester, be prepared to take a few.

    My relative worked the first nights of riots in his city. He had gasoline poured on him and then they tried to set him on fire. So how does he approach the second night?

    Rioters have said they’ll do it again if Trump wins. Is this now the acceptable behavior? If so, I’m particularly grateful for the officers in my neighborhood so I can at least walk the dog before sunset.

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