A History: “Dead Cats & Clippings”

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Two memories and a future

1)      The bike store owner on an Army base: I was about 13 years old and an army “brat.” I shopped for a workhorse two-wheeler that would help me deliver newspapers to the army community where I lived, about 20 miles south of Savannah. She grumbled about something or other (I forget what) and I still remember both my blurt, “The general better not hear you say that!” and her retort, “The goddam general can kiss my ass, I’ll say and do what I want.” I also remember my thrill … I had never before heard such a thing!

2)      In September 1960, Russell Porter at Denver University, delivered his “charge” to the class of 1964. A tiny segment of Porter’s speech still echoes: “…to value the life of the mind, to take the word of no man as final…” I did reasonably well in the honors program, earning a key from Phi Beta Kappa while saying quirky things and arguing for nearly the entire four years that I spent in the honors program.

Some of my graduate professors at Pitt had a different attitude toward students’ opinions. Nonetheless, in slightly less than four years, I achieved five publications and my Ph.D. My dissertation committee scorned my research proposal: “We’ve taught you nothing.” I returned in six months, having completed not one but five studies. One committee member, a distinguished, reticent, careful scientist, confided that I was perhaps the “finest student to ever come through the Department.” The usual dissertation at that time perhaps elicited ten requests for copies: mine brought over 1300.

I’m now 67 years old and after a full life, scheme the impeachment and removal of my president.

Complications at this time of our republic’s history

1)      My president is half black, admired and even loved by other blacks as well as by collectivist whites. Being black, however, does not excuse a socialist government.

2)      We face three infections. From the south and an hour’s wade across a shallow river. From the Middle East, Saudi-funded schools target against us the anger of impulsive youngsters. And redneck traditions, passed first from the British highlands to poor southerners, evolved into an urban culture whose practitioners thrive by entitlement, scams, and protest.

3)      A superstition – that of “global warming” – spurs hair-shirt collectivists despite bad data and America’s abundant sources of energy.

4)      Our nation has a decline in birthrate perhaps because of secularism and because of the good times that capitalism brought. Our culture also treats minds as empty things to be filled or reversed by lectures. The subtle truth, however, may be that individual heritability chooses environments and does so with increasing vigor after our eighth year. And that, regardless of schooling, the fundamental preferences for collectivism, relativism, or for individualism have propensities and affinities that becomes greater as we age. Satisfaction for either extreme in any election, therefore, lies with the middle third, the uncommitted that often does whatever is done by the neighbors.

The contest is holding that middle to the side of personal responsibility, choice, and the retention of personal gains; not for working as bureaucrats but, in Porter’s words, as “responsible individuals in a free society, in an expanding universe.”

Bottom lines

“Dead Cats” exists in the tradition pioneered by pamphleteers at the time of the American Revolution. I, however, remain a scientist and an agnostic but one who admires the awe and coherence of Christianity. I here tell one story in as many ways as possible and buttress it with as many contemporary sources as possible. As another rebel, but a very talented one, Henry L. Mencken, proclaimed, “The liberation of the human mind has been best furthered by…fellows who throw dead cats in sanctuaries.”

My president misrepresents himself and he misrepresents us, fails to protect our Constitution, and steals from our grandchildren.

This site is one stink’n big dead cat…


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