You can fool most of the people most of the time, but you can’t fool reality any of the time.
The reigning chaos reflects perfectly what passes for thought in millions of minds. Minds that have been taught that reality is whatever one believes it to be. That reason is a superstition and is inferior to random feelings and emotions. That observation, hypotheses, experimentation, discovery, and science itself are akin to voodoo rituals. That consumption precedes production and is morally superior to it. That anyone’s work, income and wealth are subject to anyone else’s proclaimed need. That actions have no consequences.
Rioters and looters are faithfully adhering to the distilled essence of what our rulers and intellectuals have been telling them for decades: If you need it, or just want it, it’s yours to have or destroy. They are simply eliminating the government middleman. The only surprise is that it didn’t happen long ago.
The Age of Chaos has arrived. Violence is accomplishing what violence always accomplishes—destruction, ruin, and death. The only theoretical justification for government is that it employs force to protect its citizens from violence—invasion, violence against persons or property, and the indirect violence implicit in procuring and keeping value through fraud or extortion.
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Modern governments don’t protect their citizens from violence, they subject them to it and are its chief instigator. The latest outrage is coronavirus totalitarianism. It is nauseatingly hypocritical for politicians to ritually and halfheartedly denounce looting and destruction after they’ve spent the last three months destroying millions of businesses and jobs.
There are other killers lurking out there: crime and mass unrest. The statistics for the former and the probability of the latter will only increase with the duration of lockdowns. Police are already reporting an uptick in crime. The death toll from a week of widespread urban rioting could easily surpass that of the entire coronavirus outbreak. There’s no mystery why President Trump has called up a million military reservists, and no assurance they will be able to prevent sporadic riots from deteriorating into total chaos and pandemonium. No mystery, either, why sales of firearms and ammo have jumped. By the way, rioters and looters don’t always social distance, so they may spread the coronavirus.
SLL, “Surrendered Without A Shot,” April 6, 2020
Let’s reach a conclusion that lockdown proponents will reflexively deny: the lockdowns have made the rioting worse. It’s not implausible to suggest that people stuck in their houses for three months might have joined in simply because they were going stir crazy…or were desperate and angry because they lost their jobs and can’t pay their bills.
Government now does everything except the one thing it’s supposed to do—protect the citizenry from violence. Some of the government officials who tossed people into jail for letting their kids play in parks or opening a barbershop are now assuring rioters and looters they feel their pain and are doing little to stop them. It’s the perfect inversion: persecute the innocent, succor the criminals.
Politics is an exercise in criminal demagoguery, the promise of something for nothing in exchange for votes and power. That something has to be stolen from someone by the government. Governments don’t protect against the criminal element because they are the criminal element. Theft, extortion, and fraud can’t produce wealth. They only redistribute and ultimately reduce or eliminate it by destroying the rights of those who produce it.
Rioters have screamed, “Eat the Rich!” and have looted high end stores as an appetizer. To the extent that they’ve announced a program, this appears to be it: install a government that will eat the rich, and by implication anyone who produces wealth. Left open is the question: after they eat the rich and productive, where does their next meal come from?
The present government is already devouring producers and its debt is extortion, theft, and fraud all rolled into one. The full faith and credit of the United States is the full faith and credit of its present and future producers, whose production is and will continue to be extorted and stolen under threats of fines and imprisonment. Creditors are holding debt the value of which the government will do everything to fraudulently undermine via debt monetization, inflation, and currency depreciation.
You can fool most of the people most of the time, but you can’t fool reality any of the time. Reality never grants something for nothing, not even on credit. To get something out, you have to put something in.
The utterly incompetent and incoherent response by government officials to the nationwide rioting, in both word and deed, was inevitable. They can neither speak nor act with intellectual, philosophical, or moral clarity given the dominant political creed—that reality can be subverted, something can be had for nothing, and the rights of some are justifiably destroyed for the benefit of others. That creed obliterates the concept of individual rights and the principles that logically flow from that concept. Yet, only the intellectual vantage point afforded by that concept and its concomitant principles offers clarity.
A policeman in Minneapolis knelt on an already-subdued and handcuffed suspect’s neck for approximately eight minutes and the suspect died shortly thereafter. Three other police did nothing to either stop the policeman or aid the suspect. Based on the video evidence, which will probably not be the complete evidentiary record, the kneeling policeman should be charged with murder and the three other police should be charged as accomplices. All four should have the legal protections afforded all criminal defendants and receive a fair trial before either a judge or a jury. Verdicts would then be reached and any defendant who was found guilty, punished.
Anyone enraged by the police’s behavior, or by the way police treat people or specific groups of people, or any other conduct by the government or its agents has the right to peaceably protest and take other political action, either as an individual or as a member of a group. The key word is peaceably. Nobody has the right to initiate violence against anyone else or their property. The government’s duty is to protect its citizens from such violence and destruction. When it erupts en masse, as in a riot, the government must stop it, with force if necessary, up to and including deadly force. The motivations or justifications of those engaging in the violence and destruction are irrelevant.
Every year governments steal trillions of dollars from their productive citizens. Some of it remains with governments or their agents, some of it is bestowed as unearned largess to the politically favored. Foreign and military policy has degenerated into nonstop war whose only purpose is to feed the military-industrial-intelligence complex and enrich it’s contractors. People can be tossed in jail if they refuse to accept as legal tender a fiat-debt currency backed by nothing, one which the government’s central bank continuously debases, in part to reduce the real value of the government’s debt.
Industry after industry has been turned into government-sponsored predatory cartels, with the military-industrial-intelligence complex and the financial-banking complexe at the head of the pack and the medical-pharmaceutical-insurance complex coming on strong. Regulation is an instrument of government extortion and a means for the cartels to exclude potential competition by making entry into cartelized industries prohibitively expensive. No industry is so inconsequential that it can escape regulation; the government has its arbitrary and grasping fingers in every pie.
Under a contradictory-on-its-face rationale of “equality,” governments have created unequal-by-law quotas, preferences, and set-asides for favored groups. Taking the next giant step towards the eradication of whatever remains of individual rights, governments have locked “unessential” people in their homes and prevented them from opening their businesses or working at their jobs. Virtually every government activity and job has been deemed “essential.” There are no individual rights when inequality is written into the law.
Adding insult to injury, attending schools, gathering in groups, or even breathing clean air have also been prohibited in response to a dramatically and intentionally overblown medical danger. When government destroys rather than protects individual rights, its law enforcement arm inevitably does the same. Enforcement becomes a matter of caprice, whim, and the personal predilections and prejudices of its agents. The multitude of laws give law enforcement virtually unlimited power to harass, arrest, brutalize, incarcerate, and kill. The coronavirus measures only increase that power.
There are so many laws and regulations that no person can possibly be aware of or comply with them all, yet government exempts law enforcement from even the most basic strictures against criminality. Under asset forfeiture laws, it can steal property arbitrarily deemed to be involved in the commission of a crime and it is then up to the owner to prove that it was not. Incidents like the one in Minneapolis are commonplace, but the chances the police who commit crimes will be imprisoned, or even lose their jobs, is minimal. The glaring inequity of a system in which innocent citizens are routinely treated as criminals but government exempts itself from justice has not been lost on the citizenry. It has not been lost on police forces, who have been militarized not to protect themselves and the government from criminals, but from an increasingly subjugated and enraged citizenry.
To believe that a government that has destroyed individual rights while enshrining its own criminality can speak or act with any kind of moral authority towards criminal rioters and looters is absurd. The apex of absurdity—so far—is the Minneapolis police force’s abandonment of its own precinct station to rioters. Criminals will attack soft targets, and those who agree with them in principle are soft targets. If a government won’t protect its own property from criminals, it’s certainly not going to protect law abiding citizens’ lives or property.
The rioting makes a mockery of arguments that the government should control or eliminate citizens’ right and access to firearms, which would make them soft targets. A government that refuses to protect individuals and their rights hasn’t a leg to stand on when it tries to restrict individuals from defending themselves. Such restrictions are clearly seen for what they are: another government destruction of individual rights.
How long can governments that outlaw businesses, jobs, and education—in short, production—and engage in and legitimize theft, fraud, extortion, vandalism, violence, and murder—in short, destruction—survive? Reality cannot be fooled. Production is survival—for both producers and the governments they support—destruction its antithesis. The bell tolls.
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, 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.
The Declaration of Independence, 1776
Our government effects only terror and misery. To effect our Safety and Happiness, it’s past time to withdraw “the Consent of the Governed” and “to alter or to abolish” it. That is our right, enshrined in our Declaration.
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SUPERB WORK SIR!!
Further to, all spontaneous coincidence, happenstance, or not??
Thanks and thanks for sending along the link.
Very good article, Robert!! Linked as usual @https://nothingnewunderthesun2016.com/
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The saddest part is that Americans are unaware or incapable of perceiving the truth. The virus is unlikely to kill you and there is no genocide on black people. The country is effectively being destroyed by lies.
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Thank you for that clear analysis.
It goes without saying that in the United States it is the police that are the biggest gang of lawless thugs about. Acting on behalf of a ruling class of parasites and racketeers.
When it comes to conducting protests though Americans are utterly inept. Proper organization and planning are non-existent. Nothing needed is provided for. Demonstrators are left without guidance or resources and so at the mercy of the armed people.
Where are the parade marshals? We had legions of them, clearly identified who had trained beforehand. They kept up a picket line between the crowds and the police.
Why has medical back up not been provided? There should be teams of lawyers on hand. Notables, religious leaders, an organized press corp. There must be food and water available. And relief for those exhausted – children and seniors especially. Emergency transport on hand. Designated parties should be systematically scanning with serous live cameras. The cops should know they are dealing with folks that know what they’re about and able to respond quickly.
In Toronto, Canada it was routine that such measures were in place. And all are welcome to the ranks if you can help out. We owe this to the security of the protesters and to the honour of our cause.
We routinely had St. John’s Ambulance on scene. Contingents from the university medical and nursing colleges and volunteers from hospitals. We had off duty security guards, retired police and military in our ranks. Off site phone banks and people designated to stay with all media present and to to liase with major media.
We met beforehand with city works, transit and emergency officials, lined up support and presence from city councillors and other elected officials.
Also, as many actors, theatre personnel as possible putting on beautiful skits and displays about. It’s hard for the cops when they are facing a troupe of clowns. And everybody like this. It heartens the crowd.
So, maybe it would be a good idea if Americans got their act together better when going out to protest.
Call the local trade unions and ask them to participate with their colourful banners. Oh, and would you also provide a hundred or so marshals. Cops think twice when they are confronted by burly union boyos with helmets.
Contact the local media schools. Get a website and Facebook sites up which can happen pronto. I once went to the Anglican Diocese and asked if they would turn out ministers in full regalia. They were like pigs i n mud. They gleefully called up their buds from every faith in numbers. Cops won’t attack such on scene. Make a very positive media impression.
And organize a ‘passing of the hat’ in the crowd to raise money for expenses. It would take no time to find accountants to take proper charge of this. Call for donations from businesses and the like and see their donations are given due publicity.
You don’t tell any party what to do. They already know what to do. Give them their commission and let them just go to it. Get to where you need to be and we’ll sort things out on scene.
Sport teams, dojos, athletic clubs. Bring yer gear brothers and sisters. Student unions. Go nuts. More the merrier.
That’s how it’s done. And a good time will be had by all.
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Well reasoned. Are you and Objectivist?
I admire the works of Ayn Rand and agree with her philosophy, although I reserve judgment on some issues. My criticisms of her are mostly literary. However, I am not an Objectivist because I shun labels for myself and that label often stops conversations before they begin. That’s not because of any shortcoming in the philosophy, but because many Objectivists are insufferable outside of their circle of Objectivist friends. I shun them and I imagine a lot of other people do as well. Regardless of my differences with people, I don’t want the label to preclude conversations in which I might either learn or teach something (or both). If I must be labelled, I think the best term would be “Individualist.”
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I’m a fan of your work. First time posting. Just wanted to share some thoughts…
Certain parties in position of authority determine the rules by which people live. (These people come in all nationalities, races, genders.) When dealing with particular segments of society, these authority figures decide whether they want to uphold those standards or not. Theses decisions are often politically based. Subsequently, certain groups (deemed special) are not held to the same standards or expectations as the rest of society. When people who are not in those certain groups (the general public) point out he disparity, those people (the general public) are then labeled racist. Those same people (the general public) are held up as the poster children for all of the racial disparities that are present in society today. So the authority figures pit the special groups against the general public. And some members of the general public, uncomfortable under the microscopic glare placed on them by the authority figures, declare that they realize the plight of the special people and stand by the special people, whatever their grievances may be.
This is what is at the heart of the (intentionally) politically charged circumstances that exist currently.
The challenge of discussing racism , whether it’s achievement, crime, or anything other thing, is that the focus is on the actions of the party who is white (part of the general public) and how wrong those actions are. The one detail that is taboo, however, is the agency of black people (the special people.) Nobody is allowed to bring up the idea that black people have a responsibility to abide by the rules of the communities in which they live just as they are bound to the same standards as everyone else. Nobody can mention this (without being called an Uncle Tom if they’re black and a racist if they’re not) and yet it’s a crucial component of any conversation about racism. Additionally, if a black person breaks the rules and some authority figure makes excuses for that behavior, the message being sent is that black people do not, in fact, have to follow the same rules as everyone else. It is precisely this all too common habit of having a different set of rules for different sets of people that has created conflict for those tasked with keeping peace on the streets today. It also practically guarantees that any recommended solution(s) will not only fail but instead cause more animosity in its wake.
When Barack Obama was elected president, many people saw this as a turning point in history. It was, but not in the way most people would like to remember. He was the first black president and many people, especially in the black community, believed it would be a turning point for black people. Barack Obama turned out to be a politician (a person in a position of authority) like many before him. During his presidency, as with most other presidents, some people (both from the general public and from the special people category) advanced. Many others (also from both categories) did not. However, he had a platform that others (presidents and other authority figures) before him did not. He could speak directly to black people and create a lasting impression. Instead, he chose to address the general public and chastise them for preventing black people from succeeding. (I can’t recall any of his policies helping the black community, nor can I come up with any examples of his fellow black people of authority addressing any of the issues that affect the black community such as high rates of black children being raised without fathers and high rates of black on black violence to name just a few. These statistics tend to be more closely linked to future success than most other metrics.) Instead, as an authority figure, he did what all authority figures do and deflected attention to police, educators, and other members of the general population to say that they were and continue to be responsible for the ‘systemic racism’ that was keeping black people from achieving success, when in fact it was the authority figures that created the dual standards to further their own political agenda who created the problem.
And these authority figures have no interest in actually finding a solution. It’s the ‘divide and conquer actions’ that have kept the authority figures in their positions of authority and financially secure. They can’t very well get paid to speak at various venues (colleges and forums and such) and continue to collect money from political rallies, churches , etc., if they actually fix the problem. It’s ‘systemic racism’ that allows many authority figures to buy expensive homes (in Martha’s Vineyard) far from the communities they supposedly care so much about.
As for the government, it is not a static institution. It is comprised of many different factions, often at odds with one another, as they recognize the (economic) pie is shrinking and they want to make sure they get ‘their share.’ They’re likely quite desperate , but not necessarily strategic. I’m sure some of those authority figures will fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo but then we haven’t had a war on American soil for over 150 years. Even if those (unhinged) authority figures are willing to go to that extreme, I don’t believe their hired mercenaries will go along with it, especially if they have to go up against the more (patriotic) Americans who have been waiting quietly and patiently for the authority figures to stop throwing their collective tantrums.
May we live interesting times, indeed…
Thanks for the thoughtful and insightful post.
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”–Isaiah 5:20, New American Standard Bible
The type of behavior described in the article above has been around for a long time, probably from the very beginning of humanity. Notice, though, that the verse cited doesn’t say “Woe to those who do evil”, but rather to those who CALL evil something which it is not. This is an indictment on those who deliberately encourage and exhort others to practice evil in all its manifestations, too numerous to list here.
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I appreciate your position regarding labels and was asking only in reference to Rand’s philosophy which runs through your argument.
I agree with your point that our culture doesn’t respect, or even consider the sovereignty of the individual as the Founding Fathers intended. This erosion of ethics has been slow but steady since the country’s inception, accelerating once the Progressives came to prominence (John Dewey e.g.). Individualism is a critical component of a proper social system. Any other ethical standard eventually leads to a form of tribalism, as we’re seeing play out today.
However, what impressed me most about your post was the emphasis on man’s mind, which is rare. Most people fail to understand that a culture’s ethics are a consequence of its metaphysical and epistemological ideas. Your opening – that there is one reality and man’s means of knowing it is through his reasoning mind – is a critical philosophical foundation. Reason is man’s primary tool of survival, or destruction as evidenced by the anti-reason Dark Age. The pro-reason Industrial Revolution resulted from the rediscovery of reason’s efficacy. You simply can’t get to the ethics of individualism and, subsequently, to it’s political expression, Capitalism, without this foundation.
I also agree that in today’s anti-intellectual environment, labels are dangerous. Properly understood, Objectivism provides the philosophical foundation our Founding Fathers were unable to articulate at that time. Rand’s ideas are important in this regard, which is apparent in your post.
From my perspective you are not primarily an “Individualist”, but a “Radical for Reason”. Individualism can not survive long without grasping the significance of this philosophical foundation.
Thank you for this much needed post.
Thank you, and thank you for your trenchant post. You make the paramount point: that man must be guided by reason. Rand has extended reason in the realm of philosophy (and other related realms) farther than it’s ever been extended. I will accept the term “Radical for Reason,” it’s implicit in the name of my blog and is of course also consistent with individualist. An individual without reason cannot be an individualist. I look forward to the day when reason is not radical.
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Mr. Gore, Your articles are like a rush of fresh air in the putrid stench of what passes as intellectual discourse in today’s world. I would totally agree with your assessment of Objectivists. I had a neighbor who was a staunch Objectivist. We had some incredible philosophical discussions, but eventually I found him to be unbearable and concluded that his behavior was that of a sociopath. In looking at Ayn Rand’s life, my guess is that she was a sociopath too.
Thank you. I’ve said that being in a position where you’re never challenged is not healthy. Objectivists, like most groups, tend to self-select and thus shield themselves from intellectual challenge. From what I’ve read, Ayn Rand had an intimidating personality and could be verbally ruthless when challenged. I wouldn’t characterize Ayn Rand or Objectivists as a group as sociopaths, but there is a tendency to believe they’ve discovered Absolute Truth and they’re going to give it to the rest of us good and hard. A little intellectual humility stemming from the self-evident fact that the range of everyone’s ignorance is far greater than the range of his or her knowledge would be welcome. So too would a willingness to ask questions, engage in debate rather than one-sided diatribes, and treat intellectual opponents with basic civility.
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I don’t know if you are aware of the cause of George Floyd’s death. At first viewing of the video I was appalled at the action of the police officer. The first question was why was he not responding to the man in distress. Kneeling on the side of someone’s neck can collapse the trachea, distress breathing and collapse the carotid artery and any of these failures could cause death.
Then I read the coroner’s report, not someone else’s interpretation on the internet, the report. I had to consult with some physicians I know to be certain I was understanding it correctly. I also read the police report, what they were doing and was thought the best course of action.
George Floyd had three times the fatal amount of fentanyl in his system plus amphetamine, alcohol and THC (marijuana). George Floyd began complaining of an inability to breath when he was handcuffed and in the back of the patrol car. People who overdose on fentanyl often complain that they cannot breath, their body is failing to deliver oxygen to their cells because of the poisonous drug and they think they are unable to breath.
The police questioned his inability to breath because he was seated in a car and nothing should have been obstructing his airway or compromising his ability to breath. He then told them that he had consumed a large quantity of drugs. The police removed him from the car and placed him on the ground, turning his head and placing a knee above (not on) his neck to prevent him from vomiting and inhaling the vomit and possibly drowning or developing pneumonia from inhaling vomit. This procedure is taught (and documented with a Minneapolis police training video) to save an overdosed victims life. An ambulance was ordered to take him to a hospital for treatment, the procedure to arrest him for an earlier crime became secondary concern as it should be. As he complained that he couldn’t breathe one of the other officers radioed that the ambulance should go to code 2; which means use all out effort to safely get to the scene and take the victim to the hospital.
The autopsy also revealed that there was no distortion of the neck vertebrae, ligature or bruising of the muscles. This indicates there was no pressure on the neck whatsoever. When a person dies their ability to resist force is reduced and eventually compromised completely and even light pressure will cause distortion, dislocation and bruising of the muscle tissue. Without medical training and tools to assist the victim there was nothing that could be done by these police officers to save his life. They were doing exactly what they had been trained to do, not applying force when it wasn’t required and calling for help to save the mans life.
After speaking with several doctors anyone at this stage of collapse from the amount of fentanyl he had taken, even if he was in the hospital emergency room, his life could not have been saved. The poison had already destroyed his body’s ability to function.
If George Floyd has not passed a counterfeit $20 bill causing an alarmed clerk to call the police he would have had no interaction with them and he would still be dead. No one would have called for an ambulance nor placed him on the ground to prevent his possible drowning in his own vomit.
A man who had made poor choices in his life and was living with the consequences has been lionized as a victim while those who were trying to help him have had their lives destroyed by a media and an organization (BLM) who are not interested in reality (the truth) but what can they gain from perception and escalated fear and emotion that is not validated by what is. It is still an unfortunate event for those involved in George Floyd’s life and it will be difficult and likely impossible for them to accept what is rather than what they now believe.
Now a misunderstood event is promoting hatred, violence against others, destruction of property around the world and emotional injury against those who would have protected him. I know if I were a policeman now, had arrested a black man who then told me that he was feeling the effects of overdosing on drugs I would be sorely tempted to quickly put him out of my car, un-handcuff him and drive away. I would not because that is not who I choose to be. I would be very aware of the destruction that could descend on me and would be reluctantly doing what I thought was best hoping that no one misinterpret my behavior.
The prosecuting attorney has all of this information and he still attempting to prosecute the police officer. I believe he is filing charges in hopes that he can make some infraction of a law or failure to “do enough” be admitted to, for he does not want another riot and destruction of the city. He also wants to appear on “the right side” of morality even if it means the destruction of someone else’s life for conducting himself appropriately for the circumstances and information he had. This way if the attorney fails he can claim that he did his best and never thought he would fail. If he had any courage he would submit the information he has to the public, try to control the destructive reactions he would get and drop the charges against the police officers. It is unlikely that it will end this way. Any jury will be afraid to rule on reality and will also try to discover a way to persecute those who have been charged. Unfortunately trials in court are not about discovering truth but about convincing the jurors of pre-conceived notions. Perception is more important than reality for the mob. They will cling to it no matter what the consequences for their behavior regardless of what may be incited.
Excuse me for getting carried away with the reaction and consequences of George Floyd’s death. I forgot to comment on your article in general. Very succinct and well described as usual. Politics is the art of lying and thuggery and politicians are the practitioners of the art.
The idea that the US constitution was a contract to control the government has devolved to the idea that it is a contract for the government to control the people and inform them of how that will be done. All must comply even if it violates the original contract and violates morality and reality until the failure results in absolute destruction of those enslaved.
I think your comments were trenchant and well-written. Thanks for the comment on the article, especially since its been up for over nine months. It’s gratifying to know my articles have some staying power. I put up articles about George Floyd’s death and the medical examiner’s report. Paul Craig Roberts was courageously out front on that, and I posted several of his. “Perception is more important that reality for the mob,” is, unfortunately, the theme of my next article, which I’ll put up tomorrow.