What if the whole purpose of the Constitution was to limit the government? What if Congress’s enumerated powers in the Constitution no longer limited Congress, but were actually used as justification to extend Congress’s authority over every realm of human life? What if the president, meant to be an equal to Congress, has become a democratically elected, term-limited monarch? What if the president assumed everything he did was legal just because he’s the president? What if he could interrupt your regularly scheduled radio and TV programming for a special message from him? What if he could declare war on his own? What if he could read your emails and texts without a search warrant? What if he could kill you without warning?

What if the rights and principles guaranteed in the Constitution have been so distorted in the past 200 years as to be unrecognizable by the founders? What if the states were mere provinces of a totally nationalized and fully centralized government? What if the Constitution was amended stealthily, not by constitutional amendments duly passed by the states, but by the constant and persistent expansion of the federal government’s role in our lives? What if the federal government decided whether its own powers were proper and constitutional?

“What if sometimes to love your country, you had to alter or abolish the government?”

What if you needed a license from the government to speak, to assemble, or to protest the government? What if the right to keep and bear arms only applied to the government? What if posse comitatus—the law that prohibits our military from our streets—were no longer in effect? What if the government considered the military an adequate dispenser of domestic law enforcement? What if cops looked and acted like troops and you couldn’t distinguish the military from the police? What if federal agents could write their own search warrants in defiance of the Constitution? What if the government could decide when you weren’t entitled to a jury trial?

I just drove to Kansas and back, 2600 miles listening to the radio and pondering American industry, the heartland, affairs of the heart, and other organs.

On either side of the road were billboards advertising psychological release—deferred (up in heaven) or immediate (down at the Adult Superstore). This partly explains the problem: intense belief in the deferred and intense practice in the immediate.

The intense belief in competition coupled with the intense practice of monoculture led to the Dust Bowl. The fervent belief in monogamy wed to the fervent practice of adultery leads to a whole lot of D-I-V-O-R-C-E, as Tammy Wynette sings.

“It’s hard to conjure a more purely competitive entity than the human spermatozoa,” write Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá in their book Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray and What It Means for Modern Relationships.

Well, there’s American industry. That’s a purely competitive entity. Or at least it used to be.

“When a wanton lady shifts her favors, only egos get bruised. When Congress does, it can lead to crisis.”

What happened? Bob Lutz, former executive at Chrysler, Ford, and GM, offers an explanation in his new book Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business.

According to Lutz, American industry’s demise can be blamed on acronyms—“the MBA bean counters” and the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) regulations Congress passed after the 1973 oil crisis mandating automakers to reengineer for higher fuel efficiency.

In Lutzian mythology, before the fall came the Golden Age when car designers such as Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell let their imaginations and their flamboyance run wild, before management started meddling with design and government started meddling with engineering. Before the Japanese penetrated the market.

In Sex at Dawn, the Golden Age was the time of the hunter-gatherers, when roots and grains grew wild, before humans started meddling with the soil and men started meddling with women’s wombs. Before outside influences penetrated our natural drives.

Agriculture brought private property, which brought monogamy: “Because of private property, for the first time in the history of our species, paternity became a crucial concern.” Vegetable seeds in specific furrows led to human seeds in particular burrows.

Religion enforced the fall from sexual innocence, but Ryan and Jethá’s thesis is that science only reinforced the same old story. The research universities preached the same faith as the cathedrals. The numerals concurred with the cardinals and the lab rats with the church mice:

Writing in the prestigious journal Science, anthropologist Owen Lovejoy suggested, “The nuclear family and human sexual behavior may have their origin long before the dawn of the Pleistocene [1.8 million years ago]. Well-known anthropologist Helen Fisher concurs, writing, “Is monogamy natural?” She gives a one-word answer: “Yes.” She then continues, “Among human beings…monogamy is the rule.”

From black robes to white coats—different garb, same theory. Matrimony is the way to go because it is sacred. Monogamy is the way to go because it is natural—which is the new sacred.

The latest flap over a Benetton ad campaign is far from the first in that notoriously tasteless company’s history. Obama is shown kissing the President of China, French chief of State Nicolas Sarkozy liplocks with German Kanzlerin Angela Merkel, and the pope swaps spit with some imam (though the latter image was dropped after legal threats—one wonders whether Netanyahu and, say, the President of Iran were considered, but never mind). Each couple is accompanied by the word “unhate”—which my Microsoft Word program keeps redlining.

Benneton’s Mad Men are no strangers to annoying or disturbing images. The fact that such stuff continues to sell rags says as much about the purchasers as the purveyors. Whenever I see these sorts of images, I begin to speculate as to what might shock the modern sensibilities—as I do when contemplating offerings such as Piss Christ. A picture of Anne Frank smeared with dung? A photo of a grinning smoker in a cancer ward surrounded by the dying? A stuffed baby harp seal? It is hard to figure, because without a sense of the sacred in a society, it is difficult to drop below merely disgusting to blasphemous.

“Those on what is called the ‘left’ favor the state, those on the alleged ‘right’ pander to the market, and both ensure the political class retains its power.”

Except, perhaps, in one area, which this latest campaign perhaps unconsciously touches: the “democratic” political process itself. Tellingly, Oliviero Toscani, the photog responsible for most of Benetton’s grosser ad pictures, is displeased with the company’s current campaign. For him, it is “pathetic and the product of a beginner’s art class.” Having been subjected to Sig. Toscani’s work, I might say that it takes one to know one. Both the campaign and the furious reaction to it suggest that a modern sacred icon has been desecrated. One may attack this or that political figure, but the campaign’s subliminal message—politicians are all the same—is surely the closest this age can come to its own brand of blasphemy.

The truth is that for many in the West the act of voting is a sacramental act. While with one side of our brain (and in so much of our humor) we recognize that the political class consists mostly of jackals, the other still clothes them with the holy mantle of “representatives of the people.” The ritual of electoral politics consumes an incredible amount of money, and the citizen is expected to give over his heart to one or another party, as Byzantines once did for the Blues and Greens in the circus of Constantinople.

Why is there ALWAYS a big screen tv?

That was Saskatchewan blogger Kate McMillan’s one-line post about Canada’s “First Nations communities” last Friday night. So she noticed that, too—Canada’s presumably oppressed “natives” always own big-screen TVs.

Ten months ago, New Democratic Party—that is, socialist—Member of Parliament Charles Angus was campaigning to keep right-leaning Sun TV off the airwaves, calling it a threat to “human health or public safety.” Yet he was in their Ottawa studios on Friday, sucking up those precious first five minutes of airtime to push his latest cause: the “shameful” living conditions on the Attawapiskat reserve.

Angus has literally traveled a long way since I met him in the ’80s. He was “Chuck” then, a punk musician who “ran” (although I doubt that’s the acceptable anarchist term) Toronto’s Catholic Worker house. When thankless voluntary poverty got stale, Angus moved back up north to Timmins, ran for public office, and won. I may be an evil, warmongering, right-wing capitalist, but this is Canada, so the former anarcho-pacifist now makes more money than I do. Living in North Bay’s wilds and all, he probably owns more guns, too, even though his party wants them banned. He’s also a “devout Catholic” who voted for gay “marriage.” (That’s why I could never be a progressive. Too much damned “nuance.”)

Aikin gravely warned viewers that the footage they were about to watch “may be disturbing,” and it was—but not for the reasons he or Angus supposed.

“They gave us cigarettes. We gave them booze. I call it even.”

Shot by Angus, the video showed First Nations families living in shacks. Viewers were told that residents were forced to use buckets for toilets.

Angus’s voiceover echoed the statement on his official website:

Temperatures have dropped 20 degrees and are likely to drop even more very soon. Families in makeshift tents and un-insulated sheds with no hydro [electricity] or water are facing immediate risk.

Perhaps aboriginal televisions run on some mystical power other than electricity, because I noticed that the numerous children in two of the shacks were staring at working TVs.

And I’m pretty sure Attawapiskat residents already know about Canada’s winters. After all, as we’re never permitted to forget, this land comprises the ancestral First Nations territories of “Turtle Island,” with which these deeply spiritual peoples boast a symbiotic bond no white man could possibly comprehend.

The fact is, all this “shocking” footage of “life” in Attawapiskat was virtually indistinguishable from that taken in Natuashish in 2003, when suicidal, gas-huffing Innu teens and their shiftless parents vandalized their “own” (that is, taxpayer-funded) new homes. (That was after their second relocation; they’d done the same thing at their old settlement.)

Commenters at McMillan’s blog chimed in with similar situations they’d witnessed in their travels across Canada:

Some years back, the [Newfoundland] govt [sic] built modern, warm bungalows in Nain, I think it was. Within days, people had torn out the main living room window and the back patio door from some houses so that they might drive their snow machines up into the house and unload their game, wood, etc.

Of course, the gaping holes meant snow getting into the houses.…And so you’d have an $80K home that would last 100 years if maintained properly being condemned five years after its construction.

This has been the Year of the Vermin. With the Arab Spring, the black flash mobs, the London riots, and the OWS camper babies, we’ve had an eyeful of what “the people” really look like. It ain’t pretty. They don’t look nearly as glamorous in real life as they do in the revolutionary paintings.

America’s annual post-Thanksgiving Fatso Stampede known as Black Friday was more chaotic and violent than usual this holiday season, which doesn’t speak well for the notion that the nation’s huddled masses are wallowing in abject poverty. These weren’t food riots. They were toy riots. This wasn’t Wall Street. It was Main Street.

And for the most part, Walmart is the only store left on Main Street. Though there were no reported fatalities to match the Long Island Walmart employee who got trampled to death during a Black Friday mob crush in 2008, Walmarts this year were bursting with fracases, frenzies, fisticuffs, and imbroglios from coast to coast.

Around 10:20 last Thursday evening, a woman described as short, squat, and Hispanic—and reportedly accompanied with two children—pepper-sprayed a crowd of shoppers jostling one another in line for Xboxes at a Walmart in the San Fernando Valley. An LAPD sergeant said the woman sprayed the crowd “in order to get an advantage” in line. Another policeman called it “customer-versus-customer shopping rage.”

“These weren’t food riots. They were toy riots. This wasn’t Wall Street. It was Main Street.”

Early Friday morning, a man was shot outside a San Leandro, CA Walmart after leaving the store and refusing to surrender his goods to a pair of armed robbers who were bold enough to attempt a stickup in a bustling parking lot patrolled by multiple police cruisers. Later on Friday, robbers shot a woman in the foot after she left a Walmart in Myrtle Beach, SC.

A gun was reportedly waved during a dispute over a video game at a Walmart near Toledo, OH. There were brawls near the jewelry counter at a Florida Walmart and in the electronics section at a Walmart in upstate New York. A teenage girl was knocked down and trampled at a Michigan Walmart. A baby was punched in the face at a Texas Walmart.

A mini-riot erupted over $2 waffle-makers at a Walmart near Little Rock. If you have the stomach, watch that linked video and pay attention to the fat slob monster woman’s ass crack. Her ass crack summarizes America late in 2011. Her ass crack is the 99%.

The boys in blue kept busy pepper-spraying a crowd outside a North Carolina Walmart, foot-sweeping a suspected shoplifter at an Arizona Walmart (and knocking him unconscious in the process), tasering a man who threw punches while waiting in line for video games at a Connecticut Walmart, and stun-gunning a reportedly intoxicated shopper at an Alabama Walmart.

In most of its manifestations, the detective story is a modern morality tale with the heroes of good battling the forces of evil. The detective story is the conservative literary genre par excellence, which is why it has appealed for decades to readers across the world.

The genre’s critics say its conservatism is tied to an outdated, class-ridden structure as well as a reluctance to embrace modern ideas or left-wing points of view (loosely referred to as “social justice”).

Consider what happens in a detective story, even a modern one that purports to have a leftward (or “enlightened”) leaning: A crime, probably murder, is committed, possibly followed by similar crimes. The world is turned upside-down as a result. Together with the detective, we cannot rest until the perpetrators are discovered and brought to justice. The perpetrator is at the very least prevented from repeating the crime. Human life is sacrosanct. Murder is wrong, no matter how you look at it. It is the ultimate crime. It destroys nature’s balance, which can be restored only by the culprit’s discovery and his or her punishment. In a century that saw the casual elimination of millions of people, this highly moral attitude became and remained attractive to many people. This has continued into the new century, which has not started off too well.

“The detective story is the conservative literary genre par excellence, which is why it has appealed for decades to readers across the world.”

Dame Agatha Christie knew there is evil in all of us that we must control but sometimes cannot. Modern detective stories and thrillers try to ignore this by somehow assuming that nobody with the right—or, rather, left-wing—point of view can be a criminal and if they are, it is somebody else’s fault. These are aberrations. In the genre as a whole, anybody can be a killer for any conceivable reason, just as anybody can lie, cheat, or steal. What prevents most of us from doing so is our ethical understanding and the social structures that have been built on that.

There have been stories of Nazi concentration-camp inmates performing Christie’s plays. Her books were read whenever possible in communist countries. It is not only the attractive, orderly, cozy world she describes that appeals to many—it’s the assumption of human fallibility. When you read her books carefully you realize the world is not all that cozy and violence can intrude at any time. Anyone can be a criminal, she says, but no criminal must be permitted to get away with it. This underpins all detective stories, which even in their more violent modern versions remain the most moral of all genres.

The Sherlock Holmes stories have followers in every part of the world and were avidly read in the Soviet Union. They spread an admirably fascinating message in a society that denied there is a definite right and wrong: Crime is not to be tolerated, order is an accepted form of life that must be restored when it is broken, and the police are not all-powerful but subject to the same rules as the rest of us.

P. D. James, considered by some to be the modern Queen of Crime, once caused a stir for emphasizing the detective story’s moral and conservative underpinnings. The media twisted her words to mean that she did not think any interesting crime could happen on a council estate and that the latter’s denizens did not have enough moral understanding to be of any value to a detective-story writer. She said that for crime and detection to be interesting, there had to be a moral understanding first. Where this happened did not matter, but mindless violence did not interest her. It had to be an orderly society broken up for her to investigate the crime and its consequences.

The millions of detective-story readers understand this. They may want a good page-turner or they may want to see a wrongdoer punished. But mostly they want to lose themselves in a modern morality tale, which is conservative by definition.


About a hundred miles south of the smog-choked, rust-eaten city of Cleveland quietly sits pristine Ohio hill country, home to one of the nation’s largest concentrations of Amish people. Down there amid the hex signs and distelfinks where the Ordnung reigns supreme, nestled betwixt the small communities of Scroggsfield and Wolf Run, is the village of Bergholz, population 769. A splinter—some would say heretical—Amish sect known as the “Bergholz clan” led by 66-year-old Bishop Sam Mullet inhabits a compound near Bergholz.

Early Wednesday morning as the Mullet compound’s men slept peacefully, their full-length traditional Amish beards intact, federal authorities raided the premises and arrested seven male sect members. The accused—including patriarch Sam Mullet, his sons Johnny S. Mullet, Lester S. Mullet, and Danny S. Mullet—were connected to a series of four violent nighttime attacks starting in September wherein the Bergholz clan would set upon Amish rivals, forcibly restrain them, and hack away at their beards with garden shears and battery-powered clippers. In one case, a woman received a forced haircut that left her scalp bleeding.

“To federal authorities, the clan’s motives—rather than the crimes themselves—were the real crimes.”

On September 6, an estimated six men and six women stormed into a house in Mesopotamia, OH, knocking a married couple to the floor and furiously chopping away the man’s beard and his wife’s hair. The victims were former associates of the Bergholz clan—so closely associated that among the attackers were the victims’ sons.

Two more assaults came the night of October 4, as five members of the Bergholz clan hired a non-Amish driver—later turned state’s witness—to spirit them from one crime scene to the next and then back home. Two of the victims are thought to have been attacked for providing “aid and counseling” to one of Mullet’s sons after he’d fled the group years ago. Victims were left shorn and bleeding, and the Bergholz clan triumphantly returned home with photographic evidence of their escapades.

Then on November 9, even after five of the Bergholz clan had been arrested on state charges and the case had been nationally publicized, clan member Emanuel Schrock lured more ex-Bergholzers to his house after promising them in a series of letters that they’d be safe from harm. After having his beard whacked away with shears that were sharp enough to cut leather, one of Schrock’s victims confronted him about his false promise. Schrock reportedly shrugged and said, “I guess I lied.” Again the Bergholz clan had photographed their handiwork as a perverse sort of religious hunting trophy.

Sacred Amish tradition forbids women from cutting their hair and married men from shaving their beards. Patriarch Sam Mullet freely admits—these humble hillfolk are apparently so cloistered from the modern world, they never heard of the Fifth Amendment—that the attacks were conducted for religious reasons to purposely humiliate rivals after years-long doctrinal squabbling over who exactly had the right to shun whom. To federal authorities, the clan’s motives—rather than the crimes themselves—were the real crimes. In Ohio state court last month, authorities had charged five members of the Bergholz clan with literal crimes related to the attacks—namely, kidnapping and aggravated burglary—but they eagerly dropped all state charges and handed the baton to the feds, who on Wednesday filed an affidavit claiming probable cause to arrest Mullet and his minions for violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

The federal affidavit claims Samuel Mullet acted more like a depraved cult leader than a humble butter-churner:

In disregard for Amish teachings and scripture, SAMUEL MULLET, SR. has forced extreme punishments on and physical injury to those in the community who defy him, including forcing members to sleep for days at a time in a chicken coop on his property and allowing members of the Bergholz clan to beat other members who appear to disobey SAMUEL MULLET, SR. Moreover, SAMUEL MULLET, SR. has been “counseling” the married women in the Bergholz clan and taking them into his home so that he may cleanse them of the devil with acts of sexual intimacy.

A few years ago I received a telephone call from a college fundraising creep looking for a handout. I don’t have any money to spare, but I innocently inquired how they’d use my hypothetical contribution. The first thing that came to her mind was their new Hindu Department. Since I’m still annoyed I never learned the Latin and Anglo-Saxon my parents were taught in high school, that wasn’t much of a selling point for me. She pointed to a glorious new program where one could text-message questions to a physics lecturer, “like Twitter.” I couldn’t see the purpose in this unless the Physics Department was afflicted with quadriplegic mutes unable to raise their mitts in the air like we did in the old days. They’ve never called me back. 

Perhaps I am a greedy grouch who should fork over my hard-earned dough to perpetuate the rich marbling of useless administrators at my old university. Maybe I should fork over some payola for professors of make-believe subjects who are hostile to everything I hold dear. Possibly I really should pay for the mute flipper babies in my old Physics Department who can’t raise their hands to ask a stupid question. You’re never going to get me to willingly pay for fl”neurs who pretend to be scientists. Those guys really harsh my hairdo.

“I’m not sure what ‘sustainability’ actually means, though in the common usage it seems to have something to do with eating gruel and driving a lousy car.”

A couple of perfumed princes of academia made the news a few months ago for publishing the idea that space aliens might cross the vastness of space to blow up the Earth because too many rednecks drive big trucks. The authors are from the Penn State Geography and Meteorology Departments and a NASA planetary-science division.

This paper’s authors seem to have gotten their ideas from one of the later, preachier Star Trek franchises. In fact, the authors of this paper explicitly and repeatedly reference Star Trek in their paper, along with other pop-culture sources such as District 9, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Independence Day, War of the Worlds, and the deservedly obscure movie K-Pax. The wacky idea that aliens might wipe us out because we don’t listen to the dire warnings in The New York Times’ editorial page is admittedly only one of this paper’s several peculiar speculations, but the entire thing is polluted with the same sort of mush-headed thinking one finds in popular science-fiction television. The paper’s authors seem to think a hypothetical spacefaring race of all-powerful aliens would also value “diversity” (yes, they use the word—four times) as highly as modern white American academics. They think it unlikely that spacefaring races of alien beings would not be terribly aggressive—except when it comes to people polluting the ecosphere. These learned men also suppose that aliens are concerned with SWPL virtue words such as “sustainability.” This vacuous word is used a whopping 30 times in a 33-page paper. I’m not sure what “sustainability” actually means, though in the common usage it seems to have something to do with eating gruel and driving a lousy car.

During this cozy holiday season it’s worth taking a step back from the football game and having a good hard stare at the baby boomers who made you. What is with these people? They live in giant McMansions but make sandwiches that are just a bun with some margarine and a slice of baloney. They say we’re slaves to our phones, but they leave the TV on in the background all day. Oh, and their jeans don’t fit. Here are 10 other things I’ve noticed about your in-laws:

What’s with all the THEs? Hey, old people, when you call them “The Gays” you sound as clueless as George W. Bush when he said he pulls up maps on “The Google.” I can’t confirm this because the Internet sucks here (yes, I’m at my in-laws, too) but I’m almost positive I heard John McCain refer to Pakis as “The Paks” and could swear I heard Obama discuss “The Twitter.” I know for a fact that Donald Trump got in hot water recently for saying he’s good with “The Blacks.” It’s an annoying habit of which I’d like to see “The End.”

Boomers are rich now, but they grew up poor under the tutelage of feudal taskmasters who had just survived the Depression. Leaving the door open for half a second too long meant you were heating up the entire street, and using air conditioning in the car was tantamount to throwing money out the window. Some are looser with money than others, but not a single old person in the world will allow you to leave the lights on at night. Why? It costs about ten cents. I’d gladly foot the bill if it didn’t mean I have to feel around the house like Helen Keller for the two hours I’m awake after you go to bed.

“They break their toes and fall down stairs to save pennies on electricity.”

Their parents scarred them into thinking any big machine that does your work for you kills starving children all over the world. So they sit slumped over the sink using more hot water and energy than the dishwasher sitting at their feet.  Even worse, when you physically force them to use their own dishwasher, they cannot figure out how it works and lay the dirty plates facing away from the jets. Why do I know how to do this and they don’t? I didn’t take a night course in dishwashers. I didn’t even grow up with one. I just saw where the jets are and figured it out. How is it they can design an optics system for military helicopters but they can’t figure out the “regular wash” button is what you push for a regular wash?

It’s the same with the TV remote. Hey, mom, you know how you get to the On Demand channels? You push the giant green button on the remote that says “On Demand.” They ask you how to use the DVR because they want to record The Amazing Race, but they obviously haven’t even looked down because there’s a big red button that says “REC” on it. That’s short for “Record.” Nobody told me that. I sussed it out using my gigantic brain.

Maybe they’re obsessed with this game because it helps them gauge their impending senility. If they find the advanced one harder this week than they did last week, the decline has begun. Same goes with the crossword puzzles. Do you know a five-letter word for “The first name in eroticism”? Me, neither. Who cares? I’d rather use my brain for figuring out real things in real life that I can really use. To putt facts around in my head and lay them out on a grid that gets tossed in the garbage is the kind of hobby I’ll get to about 2,000 years after I’m dead.

Before he was known as the bane of the FARC guerrillas, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos had a reputation as a neoliberal apparatchik. Acting as Finance Minister during a 2001 debt crisis, he imposed a budget of “sweat and tears.”

But as president—when he’s not planning bombing raids against Marxist insurgents—Santos has been expanding the state bureaucracy’s size and scope to the extent that many of his former critics in Colombia’s soft-left-dominated media now praise his governing coalition.

Not wishing to disrupt the Latin American practice of generously distributing state-sector posts among supporters, Santos faced the challenge of satisfying the bureaucratic appetites of his “government of national unity,” which consists of all major parties except the far left Polo Democrático. Santos’s coalition rules as a de facto single-party government with no visible opposition.  

Since single-party states are, in Evelyn Waugh’s words, “supported by a vast ill-paid bureaucracy whose work is tempered and humanized by corruption,” the first step toward finding suitable employment for thousands of cronies was the creation of three new ministries.  

The Ministry of Justice is now carrying out functions previously performed by the Ministry of the Interior, albeit in a new headquarters and under a new minister.

“One of Colombia’s redeeming features had been that the multiculturalists had not taken over.”

The new Ministry of Work is headed by Rafael Pardo, a social democrat who until recently chaired the Liberal Party, a main pillar of Santos’s coalition. His task will be to “improve labor and union rights” in Colombia, a land where the union presence is so strong that Angelino Garzón, a former general secretary of one of the largest labor unions, is currently serving as Santos’s vice president.

The third new ministry is by far the most bizarre. While George Orwell’s Oceania had the Ministry of Plenty and a single party whose slogan was, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past,” the Colombian version of the Big Brother state contains the Ministry of Social Prosperity, which will soon employ 11,000 bureaucrats in charge of “eliminating extreme poverty.” The ministry includes the Center for Historical Memory, which aims to “investigate, elucidate, and reconstruct historic events.” Meanwhile, the Commission of Truth, apparently founded in place of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, is in charge of “configuring a historical memory.”

Santos has also created a special Commission for Territorial Legislation; four High Councils within the presidency’s Administrative Department; a Presidential Program for the Integral Development of the Afro-Colombian Population and of the Indigenous Population; a Special Administrative Unit for the Restitution of Divested Lands; and an Adaptation Fund to finance reconstruction efforts after natural disasters.