Monday, February 20, 2017

Non Sequitur -- A Tanka

Nobody asked but ...

Non sequitur, does
Not follow, does not lead, it's
Not reality.
The Bowling Green Massacre
Was e'er last night in Sweden.

-- Kilgore Forelle

Sunday, February 19, 2017


Nobody asked but ...

If actions are not based on the NAP, peace, non-authoritarian, non-nationalist, anti-protectionist principles, indeed, they are just a patchwork of greedy impulses, non-libertarian to an extreme.

File under: why a POTUS can never be a voluntaryist or a libertarian.

Kilgore Forelle

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Words Poorly Used #77.1 -- Impeachment

This week, after reading Skyler Collins' offering in Two Cents, I came upon a new approach to Words Poorly Used.  I will gild the lily by running the words or phrases through, linking them, then commenting on the unusual that I encounter via that process.

"Impeachment" at OneLook
noun: a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office

Pretty simple, huh? But not quite. What leaps out to me is "charging ... with" not "finding ... guilty of ..." Was Bill Clinton found guilty? Was Dick Nixon found guilty ... or even impeached?

▸ Words similar to impeachment
prosecutionrecusalousterdisqualificationindictmentdismissalremovaloustingmotionaccusationrecalldestitutionindictedrebukeaccountabilityreproachnegligencearraignmentdepositionsegregationisolationappealaccusedaccusingaccusecarelessnesschargeisolatingchallengedefencelesschargedcontinuedperjurytreasoncensuredisbarmentreelectionjudiciaryconstitutionalsenatepresidencynullificationacquittalelectioncourt martialmalfeasancebriberycongressionalappeachimpeachabilitymonicagategovernorshipspeakershipfillibustercongressmengermanenesssenatorsfilibustercorruptioninterpellationadjournmentconstitutionalismquo warrantosenatorialclotureethics committeemisdoingwatergate scandallegesecessiondemocracycompurgationcontempt of congressexonerationsolonsrichard milhous nixonseditiondestabilizationlegislativechimangoinvestigatorybill of attainderdemocraticarrogationexecutive privilegenollelustrationobstructionismmonica lewinskyjudicial activismsubpoena ad testificandumindictmentslieutenant governorshiprecusationcandidacypardonprorogationstatehousedirect examinationdissolution (see more...)
Interesting entries here are:

  1. prosecution -- this does not always follow impeachment
  2. ouster -- Nixon was oustered, but not impeached, while both Andrew Johnson and Clinton were acquitted.
  3. The same sort of observation applies to similar words such as "disqualification" and "removal."
  4. There were cases of euphemism in drafting the constitutional language.
  5. Whether intended 0or not, all three of these episodes had many consequences, not the least of which was an equivalence to a bill of attainder.

▸ Words most associated with impeachment
impeachedimpeachproceedingswatergateperjuryjudiciarynixonacquittalclintontrialcomplaintconvictionacquittedconvictobstructionpickeringhastingsbriberysenate, ... 
 For example ...

▸ Popular adjectives describing impeachment
softpresidentialparliamentary, suchpossiblepublicattemptedcertainsuccessfulformalsubsequentdirectthreatenedimmediatefamouscollateralleastantiseriousproregularfuturecongressionalimpendingterriblenearabovegravevirtualfavoredintendedjudicialunsuccessfulactualeventualimproperslightestcelebratedimminentunusuallegislativecriminalsolemnproposedmemorablepotentialpostmadabortivefalsedeservedrecordedinsufficientconstitutionallibellousgrosspresumptuouspartisanimpliedjudgeviolentintermediatefraudulentpriorindirect
Got to love words like soft, serious, terrible, improper, mad, ...

▸ Rhymes of impeachment
preachmentbeseechmentappeachmenttreatmentagreementachievementin agreementdisagreementconcealmentbereavementpretreatmentvehementmaltreatmentappeasement,... mistreatmenteasementunderachievementretreatmentimpeachmentsuniquementpreachmentsbementaftertreatmentmalheureusementrevetementfeoffment, ...
Just for the fun of it.

▸ Invented words related to impeachment

Fun score
Input wordsNew word (click to hear)Pronunciation

Sh!ts and giggles (LOL) ...

Phrases that include impeachment:   impeachment of wasteimpeachment in the usimpeachment in ukraineimpeachment of bill clintonimpeachment trial of andrew johnsonmore... 

Now, let's check out the etymology -- from where did the word come?

impeachment (n.) Look up impeachment at

late 14c., enpechement "accusation, charge," from Old French empeechement "difficulty, hindrance; (legal) impeachment," from empeechier "to hinder, impede" (see impeach). As a judicial proceeding on charges of maladministration against a public official, from 1640s.
Isn't "(legal) impeachment" a redundancy?  Aren't "hinder" and "impede" obvious?  Oh, oh, oh!  Maladministration???  Never!!!

Kilgore Forelle

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Words Poorly Used #77 -- Impeachment

I saw my first instance of a partisan calling for impeachment (of POTUS) today.  When I was a kid, I thought impeachment was like drawing and quartering, and that only 1 POTUS had actually been thusly dispatched.  Nowadays, we only have to look back four decades, and change.  What about the Nixon Impeachment?  Never happened.  What about the Clinton Impeachment?  It happened, but nothing happened.  The impeachment, vis a vis POTUS, clause is just a pressure valve, for letting off steam, aka very hot air.  If you stand a few feet away, you'll be fine, just fine. 

Words Poorly Used #76 -- Communication

As we try to communicate, we frequently learn that communication is difficult.  Today, Kilgorette and I had the following push-me-pull-you:
  me:  And I will straighten the left side of the downstairs
her:  <stinkeye>
  me:  And I will straighten the north side of the downstairs
her:  <rolleyes>
  me:  And I will straighten the horse barn side of the downstairs
her:  OK!
Then I meandered off into a nerdy analysis of the foregoing.  I used the first reference, "left," as a very abstract locator that was dependent on Kilgorette knowing either my physical position or my mind position or both.  The second reference was much more concrete, "north," but still an abstraction created by geographers, in whom Kilgorette is not interested (relative to my extreme map-geekhood).  We finally had agreed on an abstraction, relative to "the horse barn," a thing fully within her wheelhouse.  She remarked that it was "reality."  Not really.  We were located, in two different places where we could not see "left," "north," or "the horse barn."  We could have gotten much more concrete by my saying "every space you can see, indoors, from the foot of the stairs, but that still would have referenced our memories of that visual space.  We could only get fully concrete by going downstairs, hand-in-hand (not a bad idea!) to look things over to agree on what constituted cleaning the space.  O, what a complicated web we weave, even when we seek NOT to deceive!

-- Kilgore Forelle

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Nobody asked but ...
To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. . .I place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared. 
– Thomas Jefferson 
Yet we bound ourselves, and continue to add more bindings, to a mechanism that is incapable of avoiding these perils and their consequences. 

As much of a Jefferson admirer as I am, I regret that he misunderstood the inevitability of the machine and his own naivete of trust in human reason as an antidote. 

But we must remember that Jefferson had little to do with the chains and bonds of the ruse that is called the Constitution of the United States.  His contribution was the soaring Declaration of Independence.  He was safely tucked away with the earthly delights of Paris, as President Washington's Minister to France, during the time that the Articles of Confederation were dying a predictable death -- the critical 5-year run-up to the Constitution's drafting and ratification.

It seems that Jefferson was still romantically attached to liberty; but his eyes and his dreams were on the arising French Revolution.  He must have assumed he had left the American experiment in good hands.  This is the nature of idea men -- they are great at founding dreams, but they are terrible at (if not entirely absent during) implementation.  They lack the patience for detail, they have scorn for micro managers.  We need only look at how Jefferson managed his personal life for vivid illustration.  He died deeply in debt, and unable to leave his dear Monticello to his family.

I'm not saying that Jefferson had his head in the clouds.  I'm saying he was a minarchist, at least, and an anarchist at heart, in my view.  The trouble of course was that Jefferson was patiently waiting for natural law to assert itself, while hotspur Alexander Hamilton was sucking all of the air out of the free-spirited new nation.

Hamilton was sharpening the politician's technique of the big lie -- tell the people what they want, then promise delivery of these things, then begin maneuvering to withhold exactly these same things, planning instead to give them to your cronies.

Hamilton was a master of distraction.  He established what the Constitution should do by tendering a draft that no one would like, which draft was almost casually laid aside by the deciders.  Then Hamilton even departed the conference without voting on the final version.  But his yes men whom he left behind at the conference knew precisely what to do.  

I have often said that the Bill of Rights was a direct distraction and even a kind of subliminal list of all of the rights of the people that were intended for subordination.  In its naked state, at drafting time, it looked like a list of things the government could not do.  It is entirely unlikely that someone who had a positive expectation for the Bill of Rights could foresee the contortions of rationalization that ill-intended bureaucrats could evoke to render the enumerated "rights" as a nest of statist vipers.

But I toiled in the ruined vineyards of statism for many years, where I could see the modus operandi. It was: build a cover of words, what words makes no difference, what context makes no difference.  Laws, legislation, regulations, interpretations are all clay in the hands of the seasoned bureaucrat.  Shape them as to meet the exigencies.  The oligarchy has every minute of every day to fashion schemes around what is naturally right.  The victims, who have their promised and inalienable rights alibied away, never see the lightening bolt that strikes them.

Words Poorly Used #75 -- Evolution

We make way too many assumptions about the nature of evolution, without questioning true, false, or irrelevant.  I will talk here about three:
-- humans are the focus of evolution.  Not!  In probability, as Verbal Vol wrote here, the water bear ( can survive far beyond homo sapiens, but there is no clue as to what it will become, or even in which direction.  Evolution is a random process.  In a complex organism, such as man, there are random genetic and memetic changes that may result in one effect or another.  It is not a compliment to say a human is "evolved."
-- the same rules apply to human behaviors as to human organisms.  We've seen the work of evolution physically.  Examples are the duckbill platypus, and elephants -- truly odd contraptions.  And, as well, we've seen the work of evolution behaviorally.  The process that built the platypus, also built war, the Macarena, and Congress (and legislation).
-- this is the best of all possible worlds.
There are many more that may expand the list, or be in subsets or supersets of the matters on this list.

-- Kilgore Forelle