If the government is cruel, the governor's life is not safe. If you tax too high, the revenue will yield nothing. If you make the criminal code sanguinary, juries will not convict. Nothing arbitrary, nothing artificial can endure. The true life and satisfactions of man seem to elude the utmost rigors or felicities of condition, and to establish themselves with great indifferency under all varieties of circumstances. Under all governments the influence of character remains the same;Another way, more appropriate for the soil conservation metaphor: Power, like any other resource, has to be used carefully. Overfishing and overhunting and overfarming and overpowering. Each form of overuse leads to the destruction of the resource and then the destruction of the users. Overpowering leads first to a bankrupt economy, then quickly to a totally dead land. Ruling people is fun when you can steal their money and punch them in the face and stomp on them and hear them screeeeeeeam for mercy. When there's no more money and no more faces, no more fun. Aw poop. Overuse isn't inevitable. It happens when each farmer or fisher or hunter or dictator feels alone and omnipotent. Cautious use happens when each user can see that others are competing for the resource, AND when each user understands that the others have guns. Both conditions are necessary. During the 1945-1989 Cold War, Russia and USA STRONG were cautious. Neither went wild with aggressive use of power, because both understood that the other guy had a gun. After 1989 when Sovietism moved to DC, USA STRONG felt alone and omnipotent. USA STRONG ran wild internally and externally, smashing normal economics and ruining civilization for the benefit of the Chosen, and killing millions for the benefit of Israel. During those years Russia still had guns but wasn't visible as a competitor. Now that Russia has recovered from our 1989 stomping and re-enters the fight, USA STRONG has gone into a hopefully terminal convulsion of stealing and punching and stomping. I'm praying hard. Hey you gods! Jehovah? Allah? Zoroaster? Sedna? No, not Jesus. We know which side she's on. Mostly Allah. Time's up. Close this bar. Now.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.