Venison Steak Pie

Inspired by the earlier discussion of venison recipes, I decided to make a great big steak pie this morning. This one features venison browned to a light sear in iron with salt and pepper, then added brown mustard and Worcestershire, then a bunch of mushrooms and onions that survived a cube steak meal earlier this week, then some leftover Guinness gravy from the same cube steak meal. To this I then added chunks of sharp Cheddar, so they would melt into gooey sections of cheese without becoming homogenous with the gravy and venison. The pie is short crust, high protein whole wheat mixed with reserved bacon grease and suet for the fat. Spring water dough, as our water comes from one of the springs here on the mountain.

A Healthy Conversation About Free Drinks

Now I've bought many drinks for others in my lifetime, but mostly these were rounds for the boys, or occasionally a girl who was there as part of comradery. These are not the free drinks that Ms. Brown wants to talk about. She wants to talk about the ones that are purchased as a sort of cheap courtship. I found the discussion somewhat astonishing, as well as a welcome reminder that getting older is not all bad because it excuses us from this sort of thing.

On the one hand, gender justice!
On one hand, accepting a drink can be a no-brainer — especially for women. In a country where female employees are paid just 89 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn, why wouldn’t you take a free drink from a stranger you hardly know? “Men spend more on drinks than women because women are, a lot of the time, getting bought drinks,” says economist, influencer, and self-described “financial pop star” Haley Sacks (better known by her alias Mrs. Dow Jones). “Which I’m all for because there is a wage gap. As long as you feel comfortable, I think that’s totally fine.”
So it's women, then, who get bought drinks? These champions of human equality don't buy men drinks? 
In a VinePair study that polled dozens of subjects across the gender spectrum about their experiences buying and receiving drinks at bars, 83 percent of women and gender non-conforming respondents said they’d never bought a potential romantic interest a drink. When asked the reason, responses ranged from “drinks are expensive and I’m a girl,” to “because the patriarchy owes me” to “I hate men.”
If I'm following this discussion, 'gender non-conforming' has just been admitted to be a synonym for 'women,' and a large number of them don't buy drinks for potential romantic partners because they hate the entire opposite sex. That ought to work out well.

Lest you think this economic justice issue resolves the matter, though, there remains the injustice of the men thinking they might be buying a chance at some interest from the women accepting their free drinks. Well, "women" turns out to need more elaboration in the eyes of the author.
In a sense, accepting these drinks without reciprocating can act as a way for femme-presenting individuals to take power back.... With that in mind, a “free” drink can always come with a price — even those that haven’t been altered in any way. Some folks may see the act as a transactional one and therefore expect something in return, whether that be sex or simply prolonged chatting. “Just because you bought me a drink, I still don’t owe you a conversation,” Cockson says. “But there’s this weird pressure that sets in.”

Our poll respondents tended to agree. “It just seems to place a weird expectation — even though I know I don’t owe the person anything in return beyond a ‘thank you,’ I’m never sure if they’ll be thinking the same way,” one woman commented. “It just feels awkward to carry on a conversation with a stranger out of obligation.”
Two things that strike me immediately about this bit:

1) "Femme-presenting" sounds like it entails a different set of ethical issues, especially insofar as this is seen as being a precursor or preliminary to some sort of romantic or sexual relationship. You may not be obligated to go down the path at all, not even as far as conversation; but some of you in the 'femme-presenting' category are going have an additional set of discussions you need to have with the man from the bar somewhere along the way.

2) Carrying on awkward, obligatory conversations with people who won't go away is one of the more difficult parts of life, but strangers are the easiest variation. Wait until it's your neighbor who just loves to bend your ear for hours at a time while not leaving your front porch, or that cousin you were trying to avoid who also wants to borrow more money.

The piece goes on after this to explore the duties of bartenders towards their guests and more fretting about feminism. It does end on some sensible advice, though:
If your gut is telling you “no,” consider heeding Cockson’s advice: “Pay for your own drinks.”

Generally you can't go far wrong in life if you're figuring out how to pay your own freight. 

On the Passing of Elizabeth II

Tolkien in his later years professed that he had become, in his political philosophy, either a monarchist or an anarchist. I am obviously not inclined to monarchy. Few among us living today can even rule himself: who among us is fit to rule another, let alone all others? The British would do well to cast off the monarchy rather than to go along with the farce of King Charles III (the first of whose name got himself killed by his own people, recall, though the second did fairly well), though perhaps for them there is something in Tolkien's wish, and they might yet hope for better kings again.

Sic transit gloria mundi, but even after the pageantry is gone there is something worthy to remember about this one. On her 'Diamond Jubilee' I tried to express what it was.

Is the FBI Using the Patriot Act vs Donald Trump?

In the ongoing J6 trial of the Oath Keepers, a striking admission has come up.

The government has obtained, and of course leaked, a list of 38,000 members of the Oath Keepers. Only around 500 of these are current police, law enforcement, or politicians -- and that includes aspiring politicians. (A politician who kept his oath would be rara avis indeed.) Their lawyer was arrested this week in Texas, but will be prosecuted in D.C. in accord with the standard practice for all of this J6 business.

Of greater interest is that the warrant to search her phone was obtained via the Patriot Act, which allows the DOJ to seek such warrants from magistrates anywhere in the country, which in this case also means in DC.
Federal investigators probing the extremist group Oath Keepers on charges of seditious conspiracy last year invoked the provision that permits the government to obtain a search warrant from a U.S. magistrate judge anywhere in the country rather than one located where the search is to be executed in a domestic terrorism investigation, according to the newly unsealed court records.

The 18-page opinion revealed that in July 2021, prosecutors asked a U.S. magistrate judge in D.C., rather than one in Texas, to approve a court-authorized search of a cellphone owned by a person who appears to match the description of an attorney for the Oath Keepers, Kellye SoRelle. The lawyer was arrested last week in Texas and was with the group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Emphasis added. Now one of the subjects of significant commentary since the Mar-a-Lago raid was the use of a magistrate rather than an Article III Federal judge to obtain a search warrant. The Federalist says such magistrate-issued warrants are a late 20th century practice, without support in most of American history.
The problem is that Reinhart is a so-called magistrate judge. Many commentators have focused on his personal history and political leanings, but much more significant is that he is not really a judge. 

To be precise, he is not a judge of a court of the United States. The judicial power of the United States is vested in its courts. In the exercise of this power, judges of those courts can issue search warrants. But a magistrate judge is just an assistant to a court and its judges. Not being a judge of one of the courts of the United States, he cannot constitutionally exercise the judicial power of the United States. That means he cannot issue a search warrant.

The Patriot Act does state that magistrates -- and anywhere -- can issue search warrants, and those warrants can be quite broad like the one the FBI executed here. That raises the question of whether the investigation into Trump is a "domestic terror" investigation, as the Oath Keepers are being treated as domestic terrorists and seditious conspirators. 

Trump's fundraising arm has recently received several subpoenas, indicating that the DOJ is looking into his whole organization as conspirators of some sort or other. Ty Cobb, who served under Trump, thinks the whole investigation is ultimately about January 6th (and, it should be noted, thinks Trump is guilty and should be disqualified under the 14th Amendment from seeking the Presidency). This is also coherent with Andy McCarthy's general theory that the M-a-L raid was a J6 fishing expedition. 

That's swinging for the fences, though. I guess if you hate a guy enough to impeach him twice after failing to get him with a Special Counsel, the Patriot Act and the 14th Amendment are not unthinkable escalations. Trying your political opponents as domestic terrorists is new, but as the Alien & Sedition Acts show, treating your opponents as more-or-less traitors is almost as old as the Republic. 

Best Practices for Military-Civilian Relations

For all that military leaders talk about the importance of keeping out of politics and allowing the elected civilian leadership to serve, the sight of an open letter signed by many former generals or admirals has become a standard part of our politics. This happens on both left and right, though the left is generally able to organize larger numbers. Just a brief survey of some recent ones:

So today's letter signed by multiple former Secretaries of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff is an escalation, but it is not a surprising one. The tactic is well-known and at this point well-worn.

They lay out sixteen 'best practices' for civilian control over the military, including when and how it is appropriate for the military to challenge civilian officers. I think everyone should read what they have to say. 

This is a critical topic, and one that has been much in absence of late: the Afghanistan debacle was occasioned in part by military leaders not challenging their elected leadership, but instead blithely ignoring every lesson of military strategy (along with the intelligence community lying, perhaps to itself but certainly to the rest of us, about the Taliban's evident strength). 

Civilian leaders 'have the right to be wrong' the document says, and that's true: but notice that it's true about policy. Bad strategy -- abandoning Bagram, trying to run the evacuation off of Kabul's single landing strip, ceding control of Kabul to the Taliban while attempting to evacuate (now under enemy guns and mortars) -- is not outside the military's professional duty to object. If the policy objective is 'abandon Afghanistan, even if it means abandoning American citizens,' there are still right ways and wrong ways to do that. The leadership's failure to take responsibility for this is a continuing poison in our veins.

So consider what these former top leaders have to say about the situation they presided over creating. A lot of it is good insight, even if their collective records might give you reason to doubt their commitment to the principles they advocate here.


H/t Instapundit:

Pot Smokers for Guns

Speaking of the latter, the Biden administration's DOJ is also trying to ensure that legal medicinal marijuana patients in Florida can be disarmed -- like Catholics

Or Native Americans. No, really, that's their own argument, except they said "Indians."
In England and in America from the colonial era through the 19th century, governments regularly disarmed a variety of groups deemed dangerous. England disarmed Catholics in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Many American colonies forbade providing Indians with firearms…. During the American Revolution, several states passed laws providing for the confiscation of weapons owned by persons refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to the state or the United States. States also have disarmed the mentally ill and panhandlers.

I wonder if they're planning to get back around to 'confiscation of weapons owned by persons refusing to swear an oath of allegiance' to the government.

There is a difference between a historical tradition and a thing that was actively set aside on purpose. Georgia's original charter banned three classes of persons: slaves, lawyers, and Catholics. (Two out of three ain't bad.) Clearly a lawyer who wanted to move to Georgia would today not be barred from doing so, as that charter was set aside by the Revolution and the US Constitution which allows such movement if the person is a US Citizen. Slaves, meanwhile, were clearly allowed by positive action of the legislature later; but that, too, was formally set aside by the 13th Amendment. Religious equality was enacted by the 1st Amendment. It no more makes sense to appeal to the disarming of Catholics by England in the 17th and 18th centuries than it would make sense for someone to argue that the Confederate tradition of slavery justified the current practice as if there had not been a formal, constitutional process -- backed in both cases by the successful prosecution of a war -- precisely intended to override those traditions and replace them with a charter of liberties.

A Bias Towards Unconstitutionality

In the wake of this summer's Supreme Court ruling on firearm rights, various states and the Federal government have been trying to find new ways to do what the court said they cannot do. In New York, a revised law has been declared by a judge to be 'probably unconstitutional' -- but allowed to go into force anyway.

This bias towards allowing the unconstitutional is also in evidence at the Department of Justice, where new 'rules' governing the 3D-printing of so-called 'ghost guns'  have gone into effect. 

Though manufacturers sell full kits for firearm enthusiasts, the recent rise of 3D printing has allowed tinkerers to create their untraceable lower receivers, which until recently was what legally constituted the “firearm” component of a gun.

The DOJ’s updated language, which it refers to as the “Frame or Receiver” Final Rule, tries to address this issue by explicitly stating kits capable of being converted into functioning firearms are subject to the same regulations as more traditional guns. Prior to this week’s update, realtors were relying on language written in 1968 and 1971 to determine what defined firearms.

A problem with this approach is that the 'language written in 1968' -- in the wake of the MLK assassination -- explicitly defines firearms differently from how the new rule does so. The new rule usurps the authority of Congress, having an executive office by mere internal rule-making alter the meaning of a Federal law. 

The term 'firearm' means (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.

You can see the problem: the only way this definition admits of parts is if there is already a 'weapon' that 'may be readily converted' into a working firearm. But a bunch of parts are not a weapon, except in that vague sense that literally any physical object can be used as a weapon. The vagueness doctrine exists for attempts to assert powers, even under actual laws and not mere administrative rules, that make it unclear what exactly is and is not banned.

It allows the frame or receiver to be regulated, but not (say) a thing that is only more-or-less shaped like a frame or receiver. For many years now, 80% complete lower receivers have been sold unregulated because they are not, in fact, receivers. The DOJ rule asserts that these just are receivers even though they cannot be used as such; but that also implies unconstitutional vagueness in the law. Why would anyone think that a thing that is 80% X is in fact X? Further, if a thing that is 80% a receiver is a receiver, what about a thing that is 79%? How do I tell the difference, as an ordinary citizen, between a 79% one and an 80% one? 

How about 70%? Two percent? Just a block of aluminum? A dumpster full of aluminum cans that might be recycled into a block of aluminum? At some point the regulation would not apply, and there's no logical reason why it should be either here or there. 

The government's position is consistent, though, in wanting people to have to fight in court every inch of the way. Draining private persons' resources while defending objectively unconstitutional laws with taxpayer money, the governments at both the state and Federal level are working hard to get away with encroaching on what is clearly improper conduct.

A Knightly Hound

A good story about a dog from the age of chivalry. 

‘Epigenetics’ gets Clearer

‘Epi-‘ is sort of a universal preposition in Greek, meaning ‘near’ or ‘next to’ or ‘around’ and the like. For a long time the field of epigenetics has been like that; it was a term that implies “we think it’s something to do with the genes, but not the genes, but it’s gotta be around there somewhere.”

Things are clearing up

Deerslayers II: The Venison

In the comments to yesterday's post, Thomas D. sensibly asks after venison recipes. This is a practical and excellent question to have asked. Thos. suggests this one, adding that he likes to make a paste of the onion on the purée setting of his food processor in order to give the food a silky texture.

Thomas asked for book recommendations as well as recipes. The very best one I know is Dressing & Cooking Wild Game: From Field to Table: Big Game, Small Game, Upland Birds & Waterfowl, a product of The Complete Hunter. The material is exactly as advertised. It covers how to skin and dress an animal you've just killed if you don't happen to know, how to butcher, bone, and portion various parts, and includes many recipes that are a good start for learning how to turn it into excellent food. No fish are included, as the title indicates clearly: this is about hunting, not fishing, and even though the distinction between those arts is somewhat technical the latter has plenty of its own material to learn independently.

As for recipes, the first thing to recognize is that the deer has all the same parts as the bovine and the pig. Roughly speaking, and with some adaptations, you can do with one whatever you can do with the other. Pork shoulder makes excellent barbecue; you can barbecue beef chuck or venison shoulder with additional fat using otherwise the same techniques. Lard and suet, that being pork and beef fat respectively, are both good choices for the additional fat. Ribs can be barbecued like beef ribs, low and slow in the smoke. Smoke them at a lower temperature than usual to avoid cooking out fat for two hours, then wrap them tightly in aluminum foil and bring them to 205 degrees internally to kill parasites and bacteria and break down connective tissue.

(You will notice that all venison is to be grilled to 165 degrees internally, or else cooked at ~205-212 degrees if it is important to break down internal fibers to tenderize it. The latter process is easier to manage, as water boils at 212 F, and the temperature will not rise beyond that as long as water remains to boil: the extra energy will be used to convert liquid to steam instead of raising the heat. When you are grilling, you'll want to check regularly to be sure you don't overcook.)

The steaks come from exactly the same parts on a steer as on a buck. Your steaks will need to be cooked more thoroughly, however: 165 degrees, which is far too done for beef, in order to ensure food safety. A good marinade of red wine, red wine vinegar, and spices you like will help prevent this from drying out the steaks too much. Salt and some sort of pepper are the most important.

One thing that is different from meat that you buy at the store is that you will have all the organs to use if you want to do so. There's a great recipe for heart in the aforementioned cookbook; the stomach and such you can use for venison haggis, using due care to clean them properly before cooking and cooking them to boiling for an hour or more to ensure everything is thoroughly cooked and softened.

Much of the deer carcass will not be steaks, just as much of the steer is not. You will be left with a lot of what is usually turned into burger on a steer: possibly the chuck/shoulder, although that includes some of the best cuts of the steer for many great meals; certainly the round, or muscles of the rear end. Venison burger can be cooked like regular burgers, except that it is usefully wrapped in bacon for extra fat and cooked a bit more slowly to, again, 165 degrees internally. Salt and pepper -- I like chilies more than black pepper, but most people prefer black pepper. 

Some of this can be mechanically tenderized, either by a butcher who will turn it into "cube steak," or by yourself using a sharp knife that makes cuts across the muscle fiber. This is done at right angles, so that you are cutting across the grain first one way at about 45 degrees, then again at 90 degrees to the first cut. If there's a butcher nearby who specializes in game, he or she can run it through a machine much more quickly to accomplish approximately the same thing. Venison cube steak comes out very well. 

Perhaps the best way to cook any sort of venison is to braise it. That is a term of art that lots of cookbooks assume you will know without explanation, which is mysterious to younger people trying to learn to cook who have no idea what it might mean, so I will explain it thoroughly. To braise meat is to cook especially tougher cuts of meat in an appropriate amount of liquid -- possibly water but more wisely stock or beer, my favorite braising beer by far being Guinness -- so that it softens. Cooking is done at the low boil, as at just above 200 degrees muscle fibers and soft connective tissues like tendons begin to break down. It takes time, but the result is a very tender piece of meat as well as a broth that is enriched by the flavor of the process.

A good venison braise takes a minute to set up because there are several steps, but in the end it is fantastic. You start by taking an iron Dutch oven and getting it smoking hot. Then you add fat to the bottom -- lard or suet, but you can use a vegetable oil like avocado or even olive -- and brown the salted and peppered meat in it. (With cube steak, I sometimes like to put it in a plastic bag with some white flour as well as salt and pepper to coat it first: 'country fried' or 'chicken fried' steak, as we called it when I was young.) As soon as it is seared brown on each side, remove it and set it aside.

Next, add chopped or sliced onions, and cook them into the hot oil until they begin to brown. Then add garlic, and any sort of other vegetables you want -- potatoes, tomatoes, whatever you think you want. Cook these until they show browning signs as well. 

Now return the meat to the pot, and add your beef stock or beer or whatever you choose. I said to use "an appropriate amount," and that amount is just enough to cover it and no more. Bring it to a boil on the range, adding aromatics like sage or oregano or rosemary once it is boiling. Then transfer it, covered with the heavy iron lid, to an oven between 300-350 F for an hour or so. After this it will be ready to eat.

Braising is basically also how a crock pot works. You sacrifice the good that comes from the multiple steps in return for the relative ease of just adding everything to the crock pot and leaving it for many hours. At minimum you should brown the meat on the range before you add it to the crock pot, though, or you will lose much of the flavor. 

Another excellent recipe for venison burger is Scottish steak pies. Scotland has its own deer, and venison recipes run deep in the culture there. Any of the several excellent Scottish meat pies can substitute slow-cooked venison in a brown gravy for beef steak. The Forfar Bride ("bride-ee") is especially good because of the onion adding moisture and softness in the cooking -- Thos. idea again, but this time trapped in by the pastry. Traditionally this is short crust, but a lot of people now substitute puff pastry because it's readily available in sheets from the local grocery's frozen food section. It's easy enough either way, but the grocery option saves time and adds butter.

Additional recipes are very welcome in the comments below.

FBI Pressured Citizens to Sign Away Gun Rights

Now, just to root this discussion on the right ground, let's review the Declaration of Independence's statement of the only legitimate purpose of government.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...
Which goes on to add:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.... when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
So, to be very clear about what this says, the only just reason for a government to exist is to secure the natural rights of the people. A government that begins to be destructive to that end may morally be dissolved and replaced; a government that persists in a long train of abuses on the matter must morally be dissolved. It is not merely the right but also the duty of the citizen.

The FBI secretly pressured Americans into signing forms that relinquish their rights to own, purchase or even use firearms, according to a trove of internal documents and communications obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The forms were presented by the FBI to people at their homes and in other undisclosed locations... At least 15 people between 2016 and 2019 signed the secret forms, which ask signatories to declare themselves as either a “danger” to themselves or others or lacking “mental capacity adequately to contract or manage” their lives.... 
“We’re into a pre-crime, Minority Report type of world where the FBI believes it can take constitutional rights away from anyone it thinks possibly might pose a threat in the future,” said Robert Olson, GOA’s outside counsel who specializes in firearms law. 

Now, the number here is tiny: 'at least 15 people' in a field of 330,000,000. Presumably these are cases where the FBI was convinced that there was great good reason.

On the other hand, the purpose of government is to secure and not 'pressure people to sign away' their rights. At this small a number, it surely does not trigger any duty; but it has to be added to the ledger of the ways in which the government has become an enemy of, rather than the guarantor of, the natural and ancient rights of the People.  

An Escalation

 A judge has for the first time ruled that January 6th was an insurrection and on that basis removed a pro-Trump elected official from office. The office is a county commission seat, and the elected official was present on January 6th. 

The specific act of "insurrection" of which he was found guilty was misdemeanor trespass. He entered parts of the Capitol grounds and, by his own admission, led a prayer rally there. He is now barred for life from holding any office under the United States by the Constitution's 14th Amendment, assuming that this ruling withstands review. 

Danger and Parenting

A study regarding the psychology of political inclination made AVI's place last week. It draws into question what has now become a standard idea in the field, to whit, that conservatives are especially those who think the world a dangerous place, whereas liberals tend to think of it as safe. The research suggests -- as I read what I've been able to read of it -- that conservatives are instead those to whom it seems intuitively proper to read a natural order into the world, and to accept that order as basically just and acceptable. Liberals are more likely to reject both the notion that it is proper to read a natural law out of nature, and that any one that might be read out of it is either decent or acceptable.

Some anecdotal support of that can be found in this article about letting (or even forcing) children to play outside unsupervised, which many a conservative parent I've known regards as the sin qua non of good parenting. This author in fact appears to regard a protective attitude from parents as dangerous precisely because it might lead the children to become conservatives (which, I think, misstates the findings: the issue is that these political divisions are often primal, pre-political, and pre-rational, and thus not very subject to change by any sort of external influence).

You can see the effects of all this worrying in modern parenting behavior. According to a 2015 report from the Pew Research Center, on average, parents say children should be at least 10 years old to play unsupervised in their own front yard, 12 years old to stay home alone for an hour, and 14 to be unsupervised at a public park. It also shows up in what parents teach their kids about the world: Writing in The Journal of Positive Psychology in 2021, the psychologists Jeremy D. W. Clifton and Peter Meindl found that 53 percent of respondents preferred “dangerous world” beliefs for their children.

No doubt these beliefs come from the best of intentions. If you want children to be safe (and thus, happy), you should teach them that the world is dangerous—that way, they will be more vigilant and careful. But in fact, teaching them that the world is dangerous is bad for their health, happiness, and success.

Once they digest that this is not actually going to make the children into conservatives I suppose it will seem less unsafe to keep them safe. In the meantime I have known some quite progressive parents who would never dream of letting their children just wander away unsupervised into the forest with their dogs and a Buck knife, as mine used to do in the brave old days of yore. They'd think of that no more than they'd let their children ride bikes on the road, and without helmets; nor drink out of a water hose on a sunny day; nor ride in the back of a station wagon without seat belts, all piled together with the dogs as we go down the road.


In an excellent account of why the establishment narrative on fascism is backwards, Lance Morrow -- apparently a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center -- gives also an account of what he takes to be the place where Trump comes apart from his supporters. Of the latter, he says: 
As for Mr. Trump’s followers, they belong to the Church of American Nostalgia. They are Norman Rockwellians, or Eisenhowerites. They regard themselves, not without reason, as the last sane Americans. You might think of them as American masculinity in exile; like James Fenimore Cooper’s Natty Bumppo, living in the forest has made their manners rough.
One rarely encounters literary references to Fenimore Cooper these days. American manhood is hardly 'in exile' in the forest, though; as the reference suggests, the forest was its natal ground. American masculinity historically eats lots of venison, as indeed I do myself. (It's not clear that Fenimore Cooper was actually all that familiar with it, as Mark Twain suggested in a rather scathing review of the Leatherstocking Tales.)

He goes on: 
If there are fascists in America these days, they are apt to be found among the tribes of the left. They are Mr. Biden and his people (including the lion’s share of the media), whose opinions have, since Jan. 6, 2021, hardened into absolute faith that any party or political belief system except their own is illegitimate—impermissible, inhuman, monstrous and (a nice touch) a threat to democracy. The evolution of their overprivileged emotions—their sentimentality gone fanatic—has led them, in 2022, to embrace Mussolini’s formula: “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Or against the party. (People forget, if they ever knew it, that both Hitler and Mussolini began as socialists). The state and the Democratic Party must speak and act as one, suppressing all dissent.

Yes, I suppose, on all three counts: Trump is doing something quite different from what most Americans who support him are doing; what those latter Americans are doing is aligned with the foundations and traditions of America in a sane and deeper way than almost anything else going on right now; and the left is embracing the all-inclusive, all-directing state. 

Indeed, if he misses a beat it's in failing to add that the corporations -- Facebook and Twitter especially -- are also being brought into alignment with the state's will to suppress its opponents (in light of last week's speech, one might even say 'its enemies').

The headline suggests that the regular meetings between the administration and social media were designed to suppress COVID misinformation, which might possibly be defended as necessary for public health. Yet if you read even briefly you realize that something much more sinister was going on.

Federal officials in the Biden administration secretly conspired and communicated with social media companies to censor and suppress Americans' private speech. This is revealed in a new lawsuit brought in a joint effort by The New Civil Liberties Alliance, the Attorney General of Missouri, and the Attorney General of Louisiana against the President of the United States. The suit is brought under the first amendment right to freedom of speech. The lawsuit seeks to identify among other things "all meetings with any Social-Media Platform relating to Content Modulation and/or Misinformation."

The discovery shows that there was "A recurring meeting usually entitled USG – Industry meeting, which has generally had a monthly cadence, and is between government agencies and private industry. Government participants have included CISA’s Election Security and Resilience team, DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the FBI’s foreign influence task force, the Justice Department’s national security division, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Industry participants have included Google, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Microsoft, Verizon Media, Pinterest, LinkedIn and the Wikimedia Foundation. The topics discussed include, but are not limited to: information sharing around elections risk...

Emphasis mine. Those aren't public health officials, they're security state operatives. They aren't aiming at public health, either: they're aiming at influencing -- at least -- elections. 

They aimed to do so via censorship and information operations targeting the United States citizenry. The first of these is unconstitutional even for private companies if they are doing so at government instruction. The second is illegal, at least for the CIA and the US military's professional information operations community. The presence of the Director of National Intelligence's people at these meetings raises big red flags.

Deer season is coming up. It's a good chance to practice some of those exiled masculine virtues, such as riflery, living off the land, and food preservation. You can tan a deer hide -- 'a buck' being the nickname for a dollar because for so long the one was approximately valued at the other -- using the brain mixed with just a little water. There is just enough brain in every mammal to tan its own hide. Lots of little things like that will be rediscovered by those who are so inclined.

Send Me

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” “Here I am,” I said; “send me!”

 Isaiah 6:8

When the Nation calls, “whom shall we send?”  A Spartan will respond, “Send Me!”

2nd Armored Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, "Spartans"

"Send Me" is also the title of a new documentary featuring former US Special Forces Operator, and Task Force Pineapple member, Tim Kennedy. Task Force Pineapple, you will recall, was a volunteer effort by some of us to rescue American citizens and allies from the collapse in Afghanistan. My own role was stateside and limited to facilitating international negotiations and trying to help set up a private airline to move refugees. Kennedy went on the ground. 

He was there to do what the US Government failed to do, then refused to do, then actively blocked attempts to do. If there were any justice, the new documentary ought to bring down the government -- and not violently or through insurrection, but by their heartfelt and proper rejection by the American people.

A US Army colonel turned away busloads of Americans, allies and orphans trying to flee Afghanistan during the chaotic evacuation of war-torn country last August, a new documentary claims....

They were met by an unidentified official from the 82nd Airborne Division who would not let the buses through.

“There was a colonel that who came out and wanted to show that essentially he was the one that could decide whether or not somebody could get on a plane or not,” said a member of the team whose identity was concealed by the documentary’s producers.

The colonel made the call to ‘put everybody back out,” MMA fighter turned-solider Tim Kennedy said.

“‘I don’t care who they are, they get back on those buses and those buses go back into Kabul,'” he said, according to Kennedy — even after the team explained their bags had been screened and were already in the airport.

The colonel could not be pleaded with, and would not even make an exception for people with US passports because he didn’t know “if that’s fake or not,” the anonymous team member recalled.

He then ordered the refugees back into the bus and off the base at gunpoint, where they would pass through a vengeful Taliban security force.

No one in the military or the administration has paid any price for this betrayal of duty, of country, and of countrymen. Fourteen thousand Americans were abandoned; only God knows how many finally made it out.