Friday, December 13, 2019

From the Writer's Studio: What We've Learned So Far From "Star Wars: The Mandalorian"

Well, it's been quite a while since I reviewed any media here on the Gauntlet of Balthazar, so as a follow-up to my previous deep forays into the Star Wars universe, i.e. and, I think the debut of the first ever live action Star Wars series, "The Mandalorian", on Disney+, deserves some attention.

 So let's dispense with formality and get started with the deconstruction, shall we.

Episode One: The Creative Team

I believe I should start with a mention of the two brains behind the operation; which are Jon Favreau and David Filoni.

The prior is an able comic actor as well as a swell action writer who has penned several Marvel films. The latter has been the guiding hand of pretty much all of the Star Wars animated series. While I'm no animation buff, I can not offer enough praise about the writing merits of both "The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels" series.

As an aside I should mention that I have never commented on the most recent of the Filoni-driven animated series, "Star Wars Resistance", because it deserves as little commentary as possible, as it is one of the most unbearable pieces of writing I have ever seen in my life.

In brief, "Star Wars: Resistance" features a so-called "protagonist" who is by far the least interesting character ever designed in the Star Wars universe, and certainly within the series, with events occurring around him, or in hearsay, and happening to much more compelling individuals. Now I know that one might contest my critique by pointing out that Filoni's goal of that particular series might have been to illustrate that even "an average Joe" could contribute to the cause of fighting against the evil Galactic Empire, but this is just not enough, for me at least.

Missing is writer Simon Kinberg, whose even darker sensibility flavored Star Wars Rebels, as well as "Legion", and the X-Men franchise including the downright dismal "Logan".

But onto brighter pastures as the Mandalorian is a very, very, different sort of tale.

Episode Two: The Structure

Firstly, The Mandalorian is structurally a classic Western...full on.

The protagonist is a gun slinging bounty hunter for hire, and as such, the modus operandi for him interacting with other characters is built into his lifestyle and occupation, as is his anti-hero moral dilemma. Apprehending criminals, even violently, doesn't really make him a bad guy, but then again, he has no issues with, well, murder.

Secondly, like many classic westerns, the series is written in a fairly minimal style, and is lite on dialogue. To that point, as of episode six, we have only learned about three character names, not including the protagonist, who is referred to by others only as "The Mandalorian", or by the seemingly racially pejorative "Mando".

Likewise, the protagonist's facial appearance is obscured by his helmet, and his back-story has as of yet only been related in brief snippets, most of which are set in his childhood, during, we suspect, the Clone Wars - if only judging by glances of Battle Droids wreaking havoc on his town, thereby also explaining the main character's disdain for all things robotic.

Episode Three: The Appeal

Admittedly, the Mandalorians have always held a special place in the hearts of hardcore Star Wars fans ever since the first appearance of Boba Fett (who I'm told dons Mandalorian armor but is not ethnically Mandalorian). In fact, Mandalorians have been featured in many episodes of the Clone Wars, and one of the ensemble characters of Star Wars Rebels, Sabine Wren, was a Mandalorian.

I think the adoration of the Mandalorians is similar to that of Star Trek's Klingons, in that they are a race whose warrior caste appears to be dominant in their society and culture and their martial ethos is synonymous not just with their political outlook, but with their religious faith. They are within reason a race of knights, though surely, there are Mandalorian doctors, lawyers, and garbage collectors. Psychologically, I believe the appeal of the Mandalorians is not so much their "bad ass-ness" but rather the presentation of a group whose unwavering adherence to "difficult", often uncomfortable, principles are out of reach for our pleasure-driven and compromise-ready contemporary culture.

Episode Four: Setting, Era, and Connection to the Rest of the Canon

At first I must admit I was guessing that Favreau and Filoni were throwing us an "era" curve, and that the series was actually set a millennia earlier than the feature films and series. But the events of the series do seem to be taking place just after those depicted in "The Return of the Jedi". The Empire is recently defunct, and the "New Republic" is weak, ineffective, and apparently, broke. This only makes sense of course, since under the Empire the Trade Federation, the Banking Clan, and the Techno-Union Guild, were all under direct Imperial control.

This holds true to the clever economic underpinning paradigm of the Star Wars universe as established by George Lucas starting with the mostly atrocious "The Phantom Menace", and expanded on in the Clone Wars animated series. Thus, within reason the Western motif of The Mandalorian is even more visceral as law and order is presented as all but illusionary, with might making right in far off settlements, or, one speeder towns, culminating in episode four, "Sanctuary", which serves as an overt homage to Akira Kurosawa's classic film "The Seventh Samurai". 

Episode Five: The Social Circumstances

With the conquest of Mandalore, and the destruction of it's moon, outposts of warrior caste Mandalorians have been scattered throughout the former Empire and have chosen to cluster together in secretive cult-like pods, not unalike the first Jewish refugees arriving in neighboring Middle Eastern and Southern European lands in order to escape the genocidal ravages of the Roman-Judean Wars of the first century C.E.

Rather than embracing the more esoteric or artistic aspects of their previous culture, it seems that a fair number of Mandalorians apparently feel that the reason they lost their political autonomy was due to the fact that they were not true to their warrior ethos. So, rather than thinking outside of the box, they're pretty much set on working the box harder. Fair enough, especially in light of the fact that the main character, and we can assume many others, are presented as "foundlings", or rather, war orphans. The Mandalorian's "pod" seems to be controlled by an equally helmet obscured female blacksmith, who serves as the "Fagan" to theses martial Oliver Twists.

Episode Six: Enter the Moral Dilemma (Spoilers)

So, got it so far?

Gun-slinging bounty hunting warrior wanders into town after town in search of quarry in order to accrue "Beskar", which is the special metal that Mandalorian armor is cast from. The condition of a Mandalorian's armor dictates, or rather, reflects his or her "station", and as we must recall their society was a global, or rather trans-global, or ethno-feudal state (run by a Duchess) which had gone space age technology happy.

Anyway, inevitably, the protagonist is enlisted to his potentially most profitable gig, ever, paid for by a group of disenfranchised former Imperials who want him to bring them a highly protected person. No details, no questions, just a location and the age of the target. Needless to say, this turns out not to be a criminal, but rather a orphan. As an orphan himself, the Mandalorian just can't bring himself to turn this little force-wielding tyke over to them, and thus, this starts their life on the run, and the inevitable reciprocal emotional and dependent relationship between the two characters.

As I mentioned earlier the child bears a striking resemblance to Jedi Master Yoda in infant form, and he even wields the force at times. Thus, if the series is indeed set when it seems to be set, then either members of Yoda's species are like the Zombie Jellyfish and reform anew after death, or the child is a clone of Yoda, or merely, that the similarity is uncanny, down to the mini Jedi robes. Nonetheless, the mystery hook is, "Why do former Imperial officers want the child, and for what purpose?"

The Bonus Episodes: The Review

All in all, I really enjoyed the first five episodes of the series, and I find it incredibly consistent with not only the Star Wars film universe, but the extended franchise as well. I find it highly unlikely that it will contradict anything in the J.J.Abrams or Lukas outings, though I don't feel as confident that the variant content in Star Wars novels will be so sacrosanct.

While I occasionally feel like I'm watching a really expensive fan-fiction film (as I did with Rogue One), the series is fully believable (for a Space-Fantasy), is adequately gritty and dark, is not fully dualistic (i.e. is anti-hero driven), and is rife with almost lovingly nostalgic homages to scenes in the original films. I mean, the Mandalorian even stops off on Tattooine and visits the same watering hole where Luke and Obi-Wan first met Han Solo and Chewbacca, and he even sits at the same table where Han shot Greedo. Nice little touches, and rendered loyally, or at least loyally to the images as they existed prior to the Lukas re-releases and added CG generated wildlife minutia.

I have to say that I am eagerly waiting to watch episode six, and I recommend that if you are a Star Wars fan, that you do so too...not just episode six of course...don't be weird, start from the pilot.

Anyway, I assume I'll have to pen a follow-up to this post as the series evolves, but that's for another day.

Till next time.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Republicans Versus the Race Party...I Mean the Democrats: Part II - 1854-1921

Salutations and welcome to, or back to, the Gauntlet of Balthazar for Part II of "Republicans Versus the Race Party...I Mean the Democrats (1854-1921).

I'm guessing that if you did read through the last post in this series, you either fully take my point, or are in such a state of left-right partisan denial that you either perceive the facts, yes facts, presented here as "fake news" or "lies", you have rationalized that "it was all a very long time ago", or that there was such a mythical occurrence often referred to as a "party switch".

I know that unlike real liberals, or I guess I should say, moderate Democrats - an ardent Marxist might even add that it all of this history stuff really doesn't matter because it's all about the post-modern "now' and that all truths are subjective, and besides, both of the major political parties of the United States were founded on an oligarchic and exploitative racist premise rather than a set of lofty philosophic and Constitutional goals, so it's all moot, and the entire system should be destroyed a.s.a.p - ideally replaced with a Socialist "utopia"...that they of course will run.

Well, pull up a chair and stay a while because in this installment the march of history will take us from the founding of the Republican Party in 1854 till the end of World War I and Woodrow Wilson's presidency in 1921. Surely the same rebuttals to this overview can and will be logged, but I believe that by the end of the series you will see that my central thesis will be fully illuminated: which is, that the Democratic Party has for the most part consistently focused on a lurid race-based platform through its history. I will show, and have shown, how from the DNC's founding that Democrats sought to pervert a liberal aspect of Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party in order to bolster not just the continuation of African-American chattel slavery, but to encourage it's growth in newly acquired states.

In the aftermath of the Civil War we will see how this Anti-Republican / Anti-Northern sentiment contributed to the founding of ethno-identitarian movements such as the Klu Klux Klan, and the diminished rights of free African-Americans under the Jim Crow laws through the "Gilded Age". I will then show how the Progressive Movement in the early twentieth century was forced to find a home almost exclusively among Republicans due to the bane-fullness of the Democratic platform, while contrarily in Great Britain, Progressiveness was clearly a left-wing phenomena. Lastly, we will examine period movements that the Democrats did indeed come to embrace and fuse into their platform in the WWI era - these being namely Trans-National Globalism and the highly questionable Eugenics Movement - a precursor of German National Socialist race theory.

Looking forward to the next part of this article to the 1921-1974 time period, we will look at Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and the emergence of the Military-Industrial Complex, the so-called "party switch", President Lyndon B. Johnson's "Great Society" program and Nixon's "Southern Strategy", and eventually, we will look at the current year - where we can now all plainly see the Democratic Party platform rife with the "woke" politics of racial identity - wrapped in a nauseating veneer of Socialist class, race and gender warfare.

Whether being hawkish on appropriating Native American land after the War of 1812, to seeking to keep Catholic immigrants out of America, or oppressing blacks in the nineteenth century, enfeebling them in the urban ghettos in Civil Rights era, and plying Marxist race, class, and gender warfare theory in order to exacerbate victim-hood identity and racial animosity - this, is par for the consistent course of the left, or I should say, the Democrats.

So let's get started, shall we.

Part Three: 1854-1877 (The Civil War Era and Reconstruction)

As previously mentioned in the prior installment many Southern Whigs, reflecting the adversarial underbelly of the party among it's Anti-Masonic constituents, rather than joining one of the two parties straight out opted to join the xenophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic American Republican Party (not to be confused with National Republican Party of John Quincy Adams). Perhaps to forgo confusing the populace with a similarly named entity, it was soon renamed the Native American Party - as in Native-born Americans, not Native Americans as in indigenous Indians. The party was soon after renamed the American Party (in 1855), but was commonly referred to as the Know Nothing Party (1844-1860). They even had a oath-bound secret wing know as the Order of the Star-Spangled Banner created by Charles B. Allen in New York City. Conflicts involving the Nativist movement and their adversaries took place in major US urban areas, and can be seen in historical dramatic form in films such as Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York".

I find it highly ironic (or is it a telling precursor?) that this movement was based in otherwise free-wheeling, liberal New York. Perhaps what is even more ironic was that the Know Nothing Party was founded by a man who holds the distinction of being the first American Jewish Congressman - Lewis Levin; often referred to as "Uncle Sam's youngest son" and "Citizen Know Nothing".

Born in 1808 in Charleston, South Carolina, Levin was quite the unusual character - an activist, a lawyer, a congressman for the First District of Pennsylvania, a frequent duelist, anti-alcohol crusader, clearly not a religious Jew who intermarried, and spawning from a family rife with mental illness. While Levin himself did not seem to possess particular personal animus toward Catholics, he nonetheless appealed to those who despised them, and it was this ethno-religious identitarian constituency that served as his power base. If I had to find a current parallel for the Know Nothing's it would probably be the "Alt-Right", though generally speaking, Alt-Righter's are not really best described as "right" as they are anti-Constitutional, economically Socialist, Ethno-Fascists.

But, carry on...

Of the somewhat collectively unremarkable mid-nineteenth century U.S. Presidents who served in the period following Andrew Jackson up to the Civil War, their names, states of origin, and party affiliations are as follows: Martin Van Buren 1837-1841 - New York (Northern Democrat), William Henry Harrison - Virginia (Southern Whig), John Tyler 1841-1845 - Virginia (Southern Whig), James K. Polk 1845-1849 - North Carolina / Tennessee (Southern Democrat), Zachary Taylor 1849-1850 - Virginia (Southern Whig), Millard Fillmore 1850-1853 - New York (Northern Whig / Know Nothing Party after 1856), Franklin Pierce 1853-1857 - New Hampshire (Northern Democrat), and James Buchanan 1857-1861 - Pennsylvania (Northern Democrat).

As you may note, these officials were for the most part Southern Whigs or Northern Democrats (and one Southern Democrat and Know Nothing switcher) with not a single Republican in sight. On some level this only made sense as Washington D.C. was firmly in Democrat establishment territory (Virginia) since Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican days, and as slavery was "their" issue, their base was fired up to hold onto the institution. Republicans had been pretty much "pushed out", and their increasing abolitionist sentiments garnered quite the adversarial response from their Democrat opponents.

As I pointed out in Part One of this article, the Democrats did indeed absorb many of the Libertarian notions that were part of Thomas Jefferson's Anti-Establishment derived party, but while Jefferson held a firm disdain for religious authority, Democrats of the mid-nineteenth century period utilized their Protestantism to bolster the moral justification of holding other humans in bondage. If you are unaware of this phenomena, I'll explain just how they managed to do this, philosophically. You see, in their reading of the bible, or more specifically the "Old Testament", otherwise known as the Jewish Torah, they observed that slavery among the Jews of ancient times was sanctioned - as long as the Jewish slave-holder did not hold another Jew as the slave. Islam later incorporated the same motif, and thus, Muslims were quite eager about slavery in the Middle Ages, as long as their slaves were culled from Pagan (Sub-Saharan African and Eastern European) stock.

Anyway, in one tale (in Genesis 9, I believe) regarding the descendants of Noah, his three sons - Japheth (the Aryans - such as Greeks, Persians, Anatolian's, etc.), Shem (the Semites - such as Jews, Arabs, Assyrians, the Ethiopians, etc.) and Ham (the Hamites - such as the Egyptians, Berbers, Nubians, etc.) are catalogued. As punishment for a frankly obliquely mentioned infraction of "mocking" his father's nudity, God declares that the progeny of Ham (the Hamitic peoples) would be forevermore forced to serve his brother Shem's progeny. As Christians, the mantle of being a Semite through philosophical emanation or transference via Jesus Christ was a common notion, and thus, Hamites were destined to serve as slaves, by the order of God. As an aside I feel I should mention that in a very real historical way this did indeed become a truth in that the ancient Egyptians, after falling to the Islamic conquest, had undergone the slow process of Islamization starting in the eighth century, and could be views as a Hamitic population "submitting" to a dominant Semitic language and religion.

Be that as it may, these post-colonial goyim were no Semites, nor were their African slaves of Hamitic background as they were prior to their importation to the new world, predominately of West African (Bantu) origin. Regardless, this was the applied religious thinking utilized to philosophically fortify the institution of slavery, and thus, the more religious the better. In fact, it almost goes without saying that convincing your slaves to buy into this religious paradigm was ideally the first order of business.

And so, with a bible in one hand and a sword in the other, this same rational fueled the Indian Removal Policies of Andrew Jackson's Democrats onward, and bolstered white ethno-identitarianism, anti-immigrant xenophobia, and anti-Catholic sentiment. It was this thinking, most earnestly expressed in the ranks of the Southern Democrats, that urged those Northern Democrats and Southern Whigs who sought to temper the slavery issue, to  create a number of Pro-Union parties that came about immediately predating the outbreak of the American Civil War.

It should be noted that the abolitionists - embodied almost exclusively in the ranks of the Republican Party (and their allies among disenfranchised "Barnburner" Democrats), held the reins of state almost exclusively from the Civil War onward in the 1861-1933 period. Turnabout being fair-play and all that. The only exceptions to this golden age of Republican dominance was the National Unity Party Democrat Vice-President Andrew Johnson - who finished out and followed Abraham Lincoln's term after his assassination (1865-1869), Grover Cleveland's two interrupted stints (1885-1889, 1893-1897), and Woodrow Wilson's two terms (1913-1921). Needless to say this only made sense, as the Federal government was after the war firmly Republican ground, and Democrats had to slowly gain Republican trust in order to be part of the national government and dialogue once again. 

But let's get back to the years immediately leading up to the Republican-Democrat / North-South fracture that broke the Union - otherwise know as the American Civil War.

While many citizens aligned with either the Anti-Slavery Republicans or the Pro-Slavery Democrats there were indeed many smaller parties that hoped to forge a compromise between the two, or in some cases to push the envelope further. One such third party came into existence solely to push the extreme wing of blatant Pro-Slavery thought. Known simply as the "Opposition Party", the OP was exclusively represented in the south from 1858-1860. However, their fire was short-lived, and they, as well as the American Party (or Know Nothing Party) soon fused with many Southern (Cotton) Whigs and Unionist Democrats and became know as the Unionist Party (1852-1866).

Strange bedfellows they may seem, but as all were Pro-Slavery, but also Pro-National government, and Anti-Republican, the old civic nationalism of Thomas Jefferson persisted and molded all three into the core of the the successor of the Unionist Party, know as the Constitutional Union Party (1860-1861). In many ways the CUP was the last entity that sought a true compromise between Northern Republicans and Southern Democrats in a final effort to avoid the increasingly clearly forthcoming war between north and south. However, it can't be mentioned enough that Jefferson's libertine values were largely lost on these fallen Whigs, who had become little more than slavery apologists. In fact, their party can only be described as a Southern Unionist religious center-right party - far more Conservative than a libertine like Jefferson could envision.

Perhaps members of the Constitutional Union Party thought that the imminent war could be averted, and that tempers would cool and the status quo of ignoring the slavery issue would be the order of the day once more. After all, there was indeed a "stall" embedded in the US Constitution deferring the legislature from confronting the contested issue of slavery for fifty years from the signing, so perhaps they weren't completely unrealistic, only if not for retrospect. But this compromise codicil was specifically included by both sides as a balm for the nation to come into existence as one unified entity, capable of focusing on forging a nation free from the British yoke rather than immediately fighting a Civil War at the founding. Surely, that would have only supplied the means by which the British would re-take their lost colonies.

As the war increasingly took it's bloody toll and compromise fell away, the only third party to survive was the successor of the Unionist Party, re-dubbed the Unconditional Union Party (1861-1866). Formed in Missouri, the UUP was ideologically Classically Liberal as well as being both Federalist and Pro-Union, so it should come as no surprise that in the aftermath of the Civil War their members merged into, you guessed it - the Republican Party. Once again the push and pull of Jefferson's Libertarian civic nationalism and John Adams' Federalism was firmly represented an internal counter-point within the Republican camp - not on the Democrat side of the aisle. 

Thus, as we can plainly see, the majority of those holding abolitionist, pro-union thought invariably ended up Republican, while the majority of Democrats through the nineteenth century firmly held to secessionist thinking and race politics - endorsing the aggrandizement of slavery, the diminishing of Native American territory, and thereafter adding a pinch of Nativist anti-Catholic immigrant sentiment to their repertoire.

Obviously the war served to crystallize the Republican party, and ever since the GOP has been referred to as "the party of Lincoln", but for the purposes of this article, Lincoln's well-known life, and minutia about Civil War combat is fairly superfluous. So, I'll just press fast forward...  

After the War, only the two familiar parties survived the once fractious American political landscape - the Republicans and the Democrats. This period, know as the Reconstruction (until 1877), could easily be described as the "de-southification" of the South. In essence the national government - almost entirely dominated by Republicans, administered the South as a territory of conquest. For thirteen years Republican's sought to mold the eleven former Confederate states back into Union states, meanwhile insuring the rights of newly freed African-Americans.

The more radical the Republican Senator, the more extreme those rights were sought to be insured and implemented. The more earnest the Democrat the more those rights were sought to be undermined.

On July 9th, 1868 the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution was ratified as thousands of Northerners still flooded into the south in order to build schools for the freed slaves, as well as to fill government posts and Church pulpits, while others assisted the U.S. Army administration and the Freedman's Bureau in re-shaping the African-American community. These Republicans, often pejoratively called "carpetbaggers" by the "occupied" Southerners, often promoted and elected freed blacks to local and national government offices, much to the chagrin of the humbled secessionists who lived below the Mason-Dixon line. Boo-the freak-hoo!

Part Four: 1878-1900 (Jim Crow Laws, Immigration, and The Gilded Age)

With the unionization of the Confederate States complete (i.e. the withdrawal of Federal troops) the south gradual reincorporated home rule, and the Democrats quickly got back to work on their "race problem". Their solution (aside from forming groups like the Klu Klux Klan), was of the legislative sort, and starting in the late 1870's southern state governments got busy passing a series of race-based parameters designed to keep freed African-Americans in a position that the former slave holders were comfortable with. This legislation is now collectively known as the "Jim Crow Laws", and these retro-medieval practices were enforced until 1965 - the year of my birth. Ouch, I'm dating myself!

It should be pointed out here that while the former slaveholders, as wealthy persons, had almost as much control of the economy and culture of the south as they did before the war, they accounted for only about 6% of the total southern population. Forgoing any modern leftist notions of collective onus, or "privilege", and all that, I would be remiss if I did not point out that this of course means that 94% of all southerners did not own slaves, and that many very well might have been well-meaning folk. Adding to that slavery was almost non-existent in the north, this brings the percentage of slave holding families in the Civil War period down to about 1.4% of the total white population. That might sound  like a diminution of the matter, but in a society where 90% of all blacks were enslaved and only 10% were free in the north, the fact remains that some 4,392,000 African-Americans had been slaves less than thirteen years earlier.

Sadly, an often ignored fact that speaks volumes about human nature is that the same percentage of southern blacks owned other southern blacks as did whites, and often served as "breeders". This had become much more of an important aspect especially once the federal government passed the Act Prohibiting the Importation of (new) Slaves in 1808, under President Thomas Jefferson - ironically a conflicted slave holder himself.   

Honestly, a survey of the Jim Crow Laws could account for an article (or book) all of its own, but the main thrust of the laws were to rob the vote from free blacks, and to segregate them from whites in public schools, as well as in a number of other public forums, such as eateries and the like. Add to it that share-cropping basically hoisted economic serfdom on blacks, it seems not a great advance from full chattel bondage. But I guess the alternative would have been for the north to indefinitely occupy the south with Union military for the next eighty years, or to not recognize the former Confederate States as U.S. States and keep them as "administered territories", but that sounds like a literal alternate-history dystopian nightmare.

Regardless, the first true chinks in the armor of Jim Crow occurred in the mid 1950's with notable Supreme court desegregation cases such as Brown vs. the Board of Education, and of course Rosa Parks choosing to sit in an undesignated section of her local bus, culminating in the Civil rights movement of the 1960's.

But more on that later.

While the south grasped at simulating a romanticized antebellum culture, their waning agrarian economy was being put to shame by what was happening in northern cities. While this had pretty much been the same disparity since colonial times, industrialization, advances in technology and the creation of huge industries, as well as the arrival of waves of immigrants to work in those industries was changing the north in an increasingly dramatic fashion. Tapering from the "traditional" source of colonial immigration, i.e., the English, Welsh, Scottish, Scots-Irish (Protestants), French Canadians, Irish (Catholics), Germans, and Scandinavians prior to the 1850's, a new wave of immigrants to the US started to come in large numbers starting with the Chinese. They were soon followed by large groups of people hailing from Southern and Eastern Europeans, specifically Poles, Greeks, Jews, and Italians. These numbers eventually softened by 1910, but these millions changed the nature of northern cities, and new states, particularly in the west, all the way to California. Sea to shining sea and all that.

With the Whigs gone, and Southern Democrats firmly associated with slavery and segregation, this meant that Northern Democrats were desperately scrambling to find constituents, and constituents they did find in these mostly poor immigrants. After all these newcomers required representation, and well, what better way to pull them aboard than by distancing yourself from the fact that your party was the pro-slavery party that started a civil war than by telling them that you represented them as disenfranchised "others". After all, this wave of immigrants, even the white ones, well, they weren't quite as white as the previous white settlers. They didn't speak English, or they were swarthy, or both, or they were members of "wrong" religions". So, racial politics it was for the Democrats, and they would be in it for the long haul. Trade Unions, aid societies, and convincing entire ethnic groups to exclusively vote for them was on the agenda, and I must say, they did a remarkably bang up job of it. Even today, some 40% of Irish-American Catholics, 57% of Chinese / Asian Americans, 65% of American Latinos, 75% of American Jews, and a whopping 89% of African-Americans, routinely describe themselves as, and vote almost exclusively Democrat.

So, how did this happen? How did, say, the African-American community, which once voted 100% Republican, and voted 44% Democrat for Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, only voted 11% Republican in 2016?

Well, I would suggest that this shift was completely due to public relations and perception, and a premeditated pattern of consistent messaging designed to specifically change a narrative from the truth, to what I see as a big lie. The Democrats might as well have followed the later advice of Adolf Hitler, who once famously said, "Never get caught telling a small lie, because once it comes time to tell the big lie no one will believe you." Truly, the series of untruths that they have hoisted upon their constituency over time can be at best only described as reprehensible. But I must say that the biggest culprits here are the Republicans themselves, simply because they consistently failed to offer the alternative, they never spoke up, they never refuted or argued. They bore the yoke of the Democrat's depiction of them with polite silence and temperate joviality for upwards of 75 years. For some reason they failed to realize that their opponents were playing for keeps, and would do and say anything to get and keep power.

I believe that this paradigm led to a comfortable situation wherein the Democrats felt entitled, and "tolerated" the Republicans - as long as they just rubber-stamped whatever entitlement program whims they wanted that quarter. This was the case, until the Tea Party and Trump, when the Libertarian, or Neo-Whig / Anti-Neo-Con faction of the GOP broke free from their Federalist chains and issued the DNC a grand ole politically incorrect slap on their increasingly Socialist kisser.

But I'm getting ahead of myself once again, so it's time to go back to the origin of the Progressive and Conservation Movement in the United States prior to World War One. 

Part Five: 1900-1921 (The Progressive and Conservative Movements versus Eugenic "Science" and Globalism)

Admittedly, the Republican love of trade and commerce assisted in the emergence of a gaggle of Gilded Age robber barons such as J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, Charles Schwab, and John D. Rockefeller, among others. These oligarchs pretty much ran America on the Republican's watch, and the Grand Ole Party pretty much facilitated these monopolist's unfettered growth. Hey, J.P. Morgan once even paid off the US governments deficit, out of his own pocket, cuz, you know, he could do that, and they would owe him later, of course.

Needless to say graft and corruption was endemic in Washington D.C. from the 1880's to the 1930's (like it's not now, right?), and at the tail end of the this period we had President Warren Harding and the Tea Pot Dome Scandal (1923) for example, which, if anything, only aided the Democrat premise that "Republicans only cared about themselves, and not the common man".

Their immigrant base, many of whom were exploited by these magnates, were increasingly joined by blacks moving north in search of new lives and employment, and both were fed a steady diet of resentment from the DNC, and step-by-step Marxist Socialist class warfare elements were incorporated into the Democratic Party platform.

But as I mentioned, while the Democrats have always played a race game, the Republicans still had the two philosophic threads at odds with one another in their party ethos. The old Federalism versus Libertarian push and pull was still there, and it served as rocket fuel for a renewed wave of anti-corruption, anti-trust, pro-worker, pro-infrastructure activism that called for the creation of government bureaus designated to deal with economic, environmental, and pressing social issues.

These ideals were embodied in New York Republican President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt (in office 1901-1909) and his Bull Moose Party (1912-1918), otherwise known as the Progressive Party. T.R. busted monopolies, created the FDA, the EPA, passed child labor legislation, and as a Conservative, (i.e. Conserving stuff) he is credited as being the father of the American Conservation movement, (now called being Green I guess), all the while being hawkish on American military involvement in foreign wars. I think it's this list of accomplishments that is the reason why Teddy Roosevelt is one of the four heads on Mount Rushmore aside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.

Shortly after taking office T.R. dined with African-American orator Booker T. Washington at the White House - much to the outrage of Southern Democrats. While Roosevelt had always been a supporter of Black Republican candidates, such as John R. Lynch, dating back to the 1880's, he afterward only met with Booker T. during morning office hours in order to sooth southern tensions. Regardless, his support was almost exclusively in the north, but unlike in the south he was on favorable terms with many Northern Democrats. In the South many Republicans preferred William Howard Taft as the candidate, and so his support base was quite similar to Lincoln.

While I personally have issues with some of the points of the 1912 Progressive Party platform, such as support for national income tax and inheritance taxes, the rest of it is just grand and will seem very familiar to current readers.

So, let's look at a few points, shall we...

Campaign contribution limits, registration of lobbyists (Trump just did this), no secret congressional committee proceedings (Congressman Adam Schiff IS doing this). A Federal securities commission (got it), a National health service (still working on it), and items that have come about - woman's suffrage, unemployment insurance, workers comp, minimum wage, an eight hour work day.  In general, T.R.'s program, dubbed "New Nationalism", promoted a strong federal government (Federalism) which regulated industry, protected the middle and working classes, and took on great national projects. It went against Democrat Woodrow Wilson's individualistic "New Freedom" platform, as that platform relied heavily on the civic responsibility of the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican's - finally an actual Democrat belief in the Democrat party! But also unlike Wilson and like Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt also favored a vigorous foreign policy, including strong military power, which alienated Progressive pacifists. Then again this was a Progressive movement in the hand of Conservatives, unlike in Britain where Progressiveness was decidedly leftist.

I feel that the appeal of Progressive principles in the period was perfectly suited to a Republican "resistance", much in the same way that the Tea Party had it's place resisting Neo-Con dominance over the GOP prior to Donald Trump's election. Meanwhile, what was on the mind of Woodrow Wilson and his Northern and Southern Democrat friends?

I must say that Wilson is a thoroughly unlikable character, to me. A Virginian who became the governor of New Jersey, he almost reads like an Presbyterian rehash of Know Nothing Party founder Lewis Levin. He lowered tariffs, set up the Federal Reserve System, the IRS, and Income Taxes. While he was also against monopolies, and did pass some good legislation, this full house of economic, and maybe treasonous, sins are far too much for me to tolerate. Add to it that he was both a globalist and eugenicist, we can see the precursor of elitist Democrat "soft bigotry of low expectations" racism we see in them now.

Just as today, so-called "liberals" and "Progressives" claim that they are "for" people of color. When asked why they feel this way, their answers are invariably enfeebling, and they speak about the various "oppressed" groups they advocate for as if they are retarded children at best. This is the kind of thinking that forges a Lyndon Johnson - who intentionally ghettoizes a population and then claims that hooking them on government aid is the only solution - just to keep them voting Democrat.

Wilson was no different. He claimed he wanted justice and equality for "the negro", but he believed in eugenic science, as Margaret Sanger did. Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, is still a hero of Neo-Lib's like Hillary Clinton, and regardless of any aid her institution has provided to innumerable women, she did indeed create the organization for the purpose of eliminating a greater number of black, immigrant (Jewish and Italian), and poor white babies. Now before you get too ruffled, she states this in her own writings. So horse's mouth and all that.

Anyway, eugenicists believed they could strengthen the species by selective breeding, and as elites, they could make the choices of what was the best stock. This is what Wilson, Sanger, Henry Ford, and Adolf Hitler all share in common, and thus, Wilson, seemingly the least offensive of the bunch, is still unbearable.

Regardless, Wilson did eventually get the United States into the closing overs of World War One, but sadly he didn't use American might to temper the Treaty of Versailles from the ire of the allies. As such, the treaty imposed an overly harsh peace on Germany, which most likely contributed to Hitler's meteoric rise.

But I guess hindsight is 20/20, and how could Woody have know?

Then again, his "League of Nations" plan set the ground work for the creation of the United Nations - an organization that in my opinion has achieved very little except in the name of it's own aggrandizement, and the concept that it seeks to oversee the demise of the sovereign nation state. This prospect didn't work really well if one was a civic nationalist as propounded by both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams way back in 1789, and thus, Wilson has been traditionally reviled by Republicans.

While Wilson was in office until 1921, political perceptions in the north shifted slowly throughout the decade and culminated in 1932 where we can see the visceral effect of Democrat tactics in the sudden dramatic shift in Jewish and African-American voting patterns from predominately Republican to predominately Democrat.

Prior to F.D.R.'s landslide victory, regardless of the candidate's party affiliation Democrats were still only dominant in the former Confederate slave states, while Republicans were dominant in the Union northern states. But, the shift had begun, and Northern Democrats and their immigrant race politics shared a party rife with eugenicists and white supremacists in the South. Either way, the contention remains that the Democrats have and did, and do, focus on primarily on race, one way or the other, while the Republicans have consistently focused on the only color they ever cared about - green (as in money).

Till next time.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Electronic Music Album of the Day Release: The Space Force EP

Hola, Shalom, Wie Gehts, Bonjour, Konnichiwa, and Jambo - Welcome to the Gauntlet of Balthazar for a delayed old school New Release Tuesday, appearing here on a Wednesday - depending on your time zone of course.

Anyway, I am proud to introduce a new four track EP (Extended Play Single) by 391 & THE ARMY OF ASTRAEA that I have titled "SPACE FORCE".

As it say on the posting sites: "SPACE FORCE" is a November 2019 "funky" four track industrial-electronic extended play single by 391 & THE ARMY OF ASTRAEA designed to be a trolling love song (or is it an homage?) to the foibles, conspiracies, and bluster surrounding contemporary space exploration.

I think the "record" came out pretty much as I intended, capturing a certain comedic flair that aids in the conflation of the polar extremes of admiration and mockery. Regardless, I am quite happy with the result, and if I do say so myself, I think the audio production quality is really solid particularly on the many-layered Space Force (One Small Step Instrumental Remix), otherwise known as track number four.

Needless to say, please listen in stereo or on headphones for the best result.

As an aside I must add that I appreciate all of your recent comments regarding the electronic music give-away posts on this blog, and while I am sometimes unsure of the ulterior meaning or subtext of some comments I imagine that other creative people, like myself, too ponder what the ultimate intention of why to create art, what they want to do with it, and what the endgame of releasing it online is.

I think for me it's pretty simple. I write books and scripts, make films, record electronic music and write songs, sculpt, paint, and create graphic design simply because that is WHAT I DO. In other words, I don't think I have much choice in the matter, and I feel, or know, that I am merely a conduit for some artistic impulse that comes from "without" me. Make of that what you will, but saying that, it is always nice to receive validation from others that the result of such endeavors is in some way appreciated.

So, keep listening, watching, and reading, "like", "share", "follow", etc., and I hope that as my projects aggrandize in scale that you, the audience, will likewise do the same.

Till next time.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Republicans Versus the Race Party...I Mean the Democrats: Part I - 1789-1854

In the age of legacy media and alternative information fighting for segments of political narrative dominance, if not serving as press arms for the dominant political parties of the US, it is illuminating to study how these structures came about, what they stood and / or stand for, and how they evolved over time.

As a person who was firmly on the left as a very young man, and has leaned right since about the age of twenty, I have come to feel that many of us accept certain narratives and doctrines based more on our perception of the parties that claim to represent them, and our self-images of course, rather than by identification with specific platform points and philosophies.

Growing up in New York City, the all but overt messaging I received as a general sensibility was that the Democratic Party was, well...they were "normal". They were clearly the "good guys", and certainly, one should only vote for them, because to not - was just crazy. I mean, the Republicans were just horrible, horrible people (don't you know?). It was an unspoken truth that they were thoroughly deplorable, in every way, long before Hillary Clinton deemed everyone to the right of her position as such in the 2015 election cycle.

Ironically, what many fail to understand is that the corrupt Madame Secretary had long since gone through her own political evolution - not unalike millions of others in her generation and since. From a Goldwater Republican as a teenager, Miss Rodham fell under the spell of Socialist agitator Saul Alinsky, and as she drifted into the Democratic Party, she, like many other liberals of her generation, brought far left radicalism into the establishment.

This toxic combination of Marxist-tinged leftist ideology being baked in a slow admixture with the military-industrial complex, led to the creation of a type of creature that is now commonly called a "Neo-Liberal", or "Neo-Lib" in contemporary social parlance. This concoction of victim politics and Corporatism created a bi-polar dissonance (i.e Woke CEO's) that achieved a kleptocratic high point in the 1990's - as many former hippies traded in their moccasins and hoodies for patent leather shoes and Chanel business suits. It is no coincidence that this high point matured during the Clinton administration, and was paralleled on the right side of the aisle by, you got it, the "Neo-Conservatives", or in short, the "Neo-Cons".

For those of you who I might have lost in the last passage I must explain that these euphemisms do not simple refer to renewed ("Neo") waves of Liberal and Conservative ideals - they instead refer to a new set of ideals, much in the same way that breeding a horse with a donkey creates a mule - it doesn't make a horse-donkey, or donkey-horse.

So we have Neo-Libs and Neo-Cons, as well as traditional Democrats and Republicans, as the dominant forces in America's two-party system. But where do these ideologies originate from?

In this post I will attempt to encapsulate in a very abbreviated form (but hopefully thoroughly and scholarly enough) how these ideas came into being, effected, and responded to one another over time.

My thesis in short will illuminate how the two major and recurring themes of American politics: Federalism and Anti-Federalism (i.e how much or little control the government has over individual, local and state issues) has really only been a debate within the Republican camp from 1789 until the present, while a platform primarily built upon ethno-identitarianism and Marxist identitarianism (i.e. race) has always been the purview of the Democratic Party, from its founding until now.   

If we are able to recall our early school days, we  might remember studying the founding fathers and their nascent political alliances. In that, two particular opposing streams of thought stand out - Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans and John Adam's Federalists. While it would be very easy to picture that our current RNC and DNC and the direct heirs to these two parties, it is by no means that simple. In fact, I would argue that the notion that such is the case is a retro-active deception and a century old historical re-write created in order to clean up the sordid origins of the Democratic Party.

So let's go back to the very start and see how we got here.

Part One: 1789-1824 (Republicanism versus Federalism)

In the aftermath of the ratification of the US constitution and of George Washington's "independent" or at least "non-partisan" presidency, the Democratic-Republican Party was founded by President Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1792. It found support mostly in the southern states, and was in essence the successor of the Anti-Administration Party which had formed in 1789 and was dissolved in 1794. The party reflected the core beliefs of "Jeffersonian Democracy" (Jeffersonian Era 1801- 1817), which prized above all civic service.

The values of Republicanism opposed aristocracy, monarchy, central banking, the religious authority, and corruption. Within reason, it can be described as a socially center-left form of Classical Liberalism (i.e. the liberal ideals of the Enlighten- ment), and if we attempt to find a contemporary political parallels to it, I would suggest it maintained many common- alities with Libertarian thought, if not the current Libertarian Party - which in my opinion, has not yet adequately pieced together an holistic platform that would appeal to both right and left Libertarians.

The counter to both the Anti-Administration party and to the Democratic-Republican party was John Adam's and Alexander Hamilton's Pro-Administration party, better known as the Federalist Party, or simply, the Federalists (Federalist Era 1788-1801). The Federalist Party also formed in 1789, but unlike the Democratic-Republicans it found most of it's base in the chilly states of New England. The Federalist position was that government was innately an evil, but a necessary one, and thus, it should be regulated by a strong legal framework. Within reason, as a party the Federalists relied on traditional family and religious values and centralization of power and finances. Philosophically, it was both socially and fiscally more Conservative than the Jeffersonians, and would be best described as a center-right wing branch of Classical Liberalism, placing it firmly in the arena of most of today's Neo-Con's.

From the beginning the debate was always between how much, or how little, the newly created national government of the United States would, well, govern. States rights and the individual rights of man versus how much power the national government could, would, or should exert. I guess it was, and is, a bit of a pickle.

Both sides promoted their doctrines and opinions with the passionate zeal of devotees to a new faith, and before long the rivalry between the two parties became so extreme that duels in the name of the argument were taking place. The most epic and notable of these decades-long grudges was a pistol face-off between Federalist Alexander Hamilton and Jefferson's second Vice-President, Aaron Burr, who shot the prior to death in 1804. Burr was never charged, but it should be added that the duel ended his political career.

At the time, and until the Civil War, we must recall that often the President and Vice-President represented the opposing parties, with the loser of the electoral college taking the lesser seat. In a mythical construct where political civility reigned this sounds idealistically non-partisan and just wonderful. But in reality, this was not possible after the bitterness brought on by the north-south / Republican-Democratic schism and the Civil War that grew from it. But more on that later.

Regardless, the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican parties were both dissolved in the election of 1824 and morphed into very different creatures. However, the threads of their philosophy and streams of their thought both persisted and can be traced in some way until the current day.

Part Two: 1825-1854 (Republicans, Whigs and the Pro-Slavery Party)

The first great internal watershed of doctrinaire proportions that shook the political landscape of America was the election of 1824 - which pitted an ardent Federalist, John Quincy Adams - the son of parties founder, against a southern populist and war hero known as Andrew Jackson.

Reformulated themselves into the National Republican Party, and headed by J.Q. Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay, the NRP was initially referred to the Adams-Clay Republicans in order to differentiate themselves from the Jeffersonian Republicans - but these were clearly Federalists. The National Republican Party was in essence the fusion of the earlier Democratic-Republican party and the Federalist party - the once bitter rivals agreeing on one thing: that Jackson and his ilk had to go!

While Adams won the 1824 election, he savagely lost the election of 1828 election to Andrew Jackson. The Jackson camp (the Jacksonian's) quickly adopted the moniker "the Democratic Party", and the origin of the current political party of the same name dates from that year. If we are to believe their rhetoric (and wikipedia) there is an unbroken line of thought here, or at least that is what we are led to believe. True, Jackson attacked the institution of central banking as an evil, and in that he was largely correct, and within reason the DNC did indeed inherit many of the socially left ideals of Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans. But more so the Jacksonian's utilized the individualism of the platform and states rights sovereignty to justify and support the continuation of their most prized issue - the institution of slavery in the south (and Native American culturcide and genocide, if we're being fully forthcoming).

Having lost to Jackson in the 1828-1837 period, The National Republicans went into a tailspin, but in the long run the defeat galvanized them into a stronger platform, gathering their former members together with disaffected Democrats, as well as the Anti-Masonic Party - which supplied a strong third-party alternative to Jackson in the 1828 election. Honestly, by today's standards the Anti-Masons would frankly seem at home with the conspiracy theorists and the soft Alt-Right, or at least "Alt-lite". Nonetheless, these three streams all coalesced into what was called the Whig Party, which formalized itself in 1833. Indeed, such was the appeal of the party that four US Presidents after Jackson were Whigs.

As a party the Whigs (or "Clay" Whigs) took their name from the powdered wigs that the colonial founders sported, belying their pride in the revolution and their patriotism. They were a center-right party, which favored economic interventionist policies such as protective tariffs, national infrastructure development, and an "America First" outlook (sound familiar?). Unlike the earlier regional divisions of the parties, the Whigs had supporters in both the north and the south, notably from the entrepreneurial class. Due to this, or maybe because of this, the Whigs opted to not have a strong platform regarding slavery, either way, and chose to kind of ignore it.

By today's standards I feel that the closest parallel to the Whig Party of the 1840's would be to that of the Tea Party movement of the early 2000's. Both were Federalists, but not extremely so. Both were Classical Liberals - with a Conservative streak. And both prized Entrepreneurial Capitalism but not war- mongering and Corporatism, and I like to imagine that the Whigs and the Tea Party would have shared a similar heartfelt disdain for Neo-Con's (and Neo-Lib's).

I personally like to think of myself as a bit of a Whig, and if President Donald Trump thought about it, he would too, even though his brand of populism has had a similar divisive effect on the opposition party and the media-indoctrinated partisan populace as Jackson did in his time.

As you might have premeditated, I'm about to talk about Whigs "chicken's coming home to roost" effect due to their avoidance to taking a stand on the slavery issue. And if you did guess that, you'd be absolutely right.

You see, it was due to, or maybe because of the neutral approach the Whig's took on the issue of slavery, that several single-issue abolitionist splinter parties came into existence in the 1840's - such as the Liberty Party (1840-1848), who responded to southern Democrats (and somewhat northern Democrats) who were pushing for the expansion of slavery in the newly acquired south-western territories. Ironically, Southern Whig's leaned to being even more pro-slavery than their Democratic Party counterparts in either the south or north, while Northern Whigs tended to being more anti-slavery than Northern Democrats. However, as Southern Democrats started to suggest the concept of secession over the issue of slavery, Southern Whigs moved away - their Federalist-born national patriotism being more important than what was in many ways seen as a "regional issue".

However, slavery was of course not just a regional issue, it was a moral issue. So, in the end, morality caught up with the Whigs, who promptly divided into two major factions: the anti-slavery Conscience Whigs and the Pro-Southern Cotton Whigs. While the Conscience Whigs were noted for their opposition to slavery on moral grounds, the Cotton Whig's association with the New England textile industry led them to consistently downplay the slavery issue. During the 1850s, several Conscience leaders played an important role in the founding of the Republican Party - displaying the abolitionist stream of Republican thought even prior to the technical founding of the party.

It should be mentioned that the Whigs and their denial of the issue of slavery first led to them loosing elections, and finally to a collapse, and then dissolution in the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This led to a reunification or a re-absorption of their party back into the National Republican Party. Likewise such were the times that the Liberty Party, the Conscience Whigs, and many Barnburner Democrats (who left the DNC), soon formed the Free Soil Party in 1852 - a centrist anti-slavery political party. No shock here - the Free Soil Party and the NRP then merged on March 20th, 1854 to form the GOP (Grand Old Party) then as now known simply as the Republican Party.

I should make it clear that the Democrats were not immune to the push and pull of the slavery issue, and at least in the north, a radical anti-slavery wing of the Democratic Party called the Barnburners, or Barnburner Democrats came into being. They were opposed within the party by a group called the Hunkers. The Barnburners (like current fiscal Conservatives) while not against large entrepreneurial businesses, opposed expanding the national debt and aggrandizing the power of large state-subsidized corporations. They also stood for local control, as did the Jeffersonian's. The Hunkers also wished to minimize the issue of slavery, like the Northern Whigs, but unlike the Federalists they favored state banks rather than a national bank.

While Democrats of the time insisted they were still less socially Conservative than Republicans, and reflected some of the leftist leanings of Jefferson's original Democratic-Republican Party (minus the moral qualms over slavery), just as at it's inception under Jackson, the issue of race (and pro-slavery) became the purview of the Democratic Party leading up to, and after, the Civil War.

In retrospect it is clear that the Democrats of the 1824-1854 period only supported states rights in order to insure that African-American's would not be freed, and that Native American land could be freely confiscated. Add to that their Anti-Catholicism, and it should come as no surprise why the DNC would later come to be the home of secessionists, anti-de-segregationists, eugenicists, and the KKK until the 1980's, and is in my opinion a political party that is currently still obsessed with race in the form of post-modern language deconstruction, Marxist intersectionality and identity politics.

But that's for the later posts in this series.

Till next time.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Electronic Music Give-Away of the Day: The Entire Catalogue Thus Far

Welcome back Gauntletarians, or maybe it's better as Balthazarians - I don't know, so shoot me your opinion if you'd like.

Anyway, I must confess that I did a little "internet presence" clean-up in aftermath of releasing the most recent 391 & the Army of Astraea's Re-Mix extended play "False Flag" (in my last post) and in anticipation of a forthcoming Soundtrack EP titled "Sovereignty". I must admit that overall I'm I'm quite please with it and the script it was inspired by. Regardless, that audio release will be holistically accompanied by a concept video which will find a home on the Nevekari Enterprises YouTube channel, and both will be embedded on a Nevekari Enterprises web page dedicated to this new hard-sci-fi series pilot script. These releases will also be featured on the Nevekari Enterprises and Stubborn God Productions Facebook pages. But, more on that on release day.

As far as today's post goes, it revolves around the fact that at this point the entire 391 & the Army of Astraea industrial-electronic "Give-Away" catalogue from 2016-2019 has been placed on Bandcamp and secondarily (and partially) on Soundcloud. These releases do not include any electronic or soundtrack releases Stubborn God Productions took part in from 2012-2015, nor any of my recent sixty or so compositions in the Singer-Songwriter Folk-Rock vein, nor as well as any of the hundreds of archival recordings (in multiple genres) made between 1983 (yes, even the most craggy Punk demos) to 1998 (by that time mainly ethnic recordings).

The recordings are, in chronology:

Battle and Realms: Catalogue Volume I (2016-2017)
The Dark Wood: Soundtrack to the Motion Picture (2017)
Sweetmeats For Little Turks (Best of Compilation 2016-2018)
Battle and Realms: Catalogue Volume II (2018-2019)
Scrimshaw: A Dark Tale of the Sea Soundtrack (2019)
False Flag Re-Mix EP (2019)

The Bandcamp embeds for your easy access to all of the albums are below.

Happy listening.

Till next time.