Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Friday, July 29, 2016

They've Done Their Job Too Well

Ran across this on Facebook:

 photo Insult_to_our_intelligence.jpg

I have news for you, son: The last several elections have been insults to our intelligence.

Back in 2000 when I was just really getting started on this internet thing, I wrote a post at a now-defunct site, Theamstream, that got picked up by somebody over at KeepandBearArms.com. (It was the post that eventually got me banned from my time at Democratic Underground for being Not Of The Body.) It was about the 2000 Bush v. Gore Florida fuckball. I titled it "An Uncomfortable Conclusion." Here it is in its entirety:
With the continuing legal maneuvers in the Florida election debacle, I have been forced to a conclusion that I may have been unconsciously fending off. The Democratic party thinks we're stupid. Not "amiable uncle Joe" stupid, but DANGEROUSLY stupid. Lead-by-the-hand-no-sharp-objects-don't-put-that-in-your-mouth stupid. And they don't think that just Republicans and independents are stupid, no no! They think ANYBODY not in the Democratic power elite is, by definition, a drooling idiot. A muttering moron. Pinheads barely capable of dressing ourselves.

Take, for example, the position under which the Gore election machine petitioned for a recount - that only supporters of the Democratic candidate for President lacked the skills necessary to vote properly, and that through a manual recount those erroneously marked ballots could be "properly" counted in Mr. Gore's favor. They did this in open court and on national television, and with a straight face.

So, it is with some regret that I can no longer hold that uncomfortable conclusion at bay:

They're right. We are.

Not all of us, of course, but enough. Those of us still capable of intelligent, logical, independent thought have been overwhelmed by the public school system production lines that have been cranking out large quantities of substandard product for the last thirty-five years or so. The majority of three or four generations have managed to make it into the working world with no knowledge of history, no understanding of the Constitution or civics, no awareness of geography, no ability to do even mildly complex mathematics, no comprehension of science, and realistically little to no ability to read with comprehension, or write with clarity. And we seem to have developed attention spans roughly equivalent to that of your average small bird.

After all, about half the public accepted the Democratic premise that we were too stupid to vote correctly because their guy didn't win by a landslide, didn't they? And the other half was outraged, not that they made such a ludicrous argument, but that they didn't want to play fair and by the rules that no one seems to understand or to be able to explain.

The other majority party isn't blameless in this; they like an ignorant electorate too. It's easier to lead people who can't or won't think for themselves. It took both parties and many years of active bipartisan meddling to make the education system into an international laughingstock.

However, the end result of this downward spiral has been an electorate ignorant in the simple foundations of this country and its government. Most especially the foundation of a rule of law in which EVERYONE is equal under the laws of the land. The Democrats have taken advantage of this general ignorance to its logical extreme. President Clinton, when testifying under oath, debates the meaning of the word "is", and essentially gets away with it. Vice President Gore, when shown to be in direct violation of campaign finance law states that there was no "controlling legal authority".

Laws don't MEAN anything to them. A law is an inconvenient bit of wording that just has to be "interpreted" properly to achieve their ends. When they file suit, they must shop for the proper judge, or they might not be able to get the "spin" they want. Like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, words mean just what they want them to mean, no more no less. And that meaning can change at any time.

What has this election proven? The system is broken beyond a shadow of a doubt. Humpty-Dumpty is smashed. Regardless of who wins the recount in Florida, we have a system that has abandoned the rule of law because the populace let it, not knowing any better. Everything is up for interpretation. We don't live in the United States of America anymore, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. We live in `Merica, land of the free to do whatever we please, with no adverse consequences to our actions because that just wouldn't be "fair". Ain't Democracy wunnerful? Let's just vote ourselves bread and circuses and wait for the Barbarians to come over the walls. Bet that'll get more than 49% of the vote, huh?
Here's another appropriate Facebook meme:

 photo So_much_for_the_Republic.jpg

And Now for Something Completely Different...

SF blending:

 photo SF_Blending.gif


I like the cut of this man's jib!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Quote of the Day - Woody Allen Edition

Never thought I'd be quoting Woody, but:
More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other leads to total extinction. Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice.
I don't think Woody had any inkling of how prophetic that statement would one day be....

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

One More Time

I posted this last year. Here it is updated.


On this day at 02:56 UTC 47 years ago, Neil Armstrong became the first human being to leave one of these on the surface of another astronomical body. Three years and five months later, Eugene Cernan became the last man to do so, so far.

The last Space Shuttle touched down for the last time on this day five years ago.

Elon Musk of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX fame has said that the impetus behind the development of SpaceX came when his son asked him, "is it really true that they used to fly to the moon when you were a boy?"

Now there are two-dozen or more private space ventures around the world. There is a plan to capture and retrieve an asteroid for commercial purposes. Two companies want to mine the moon.

If we can just hold it together for a couple more decades, humanity might get off this rock, and we might do it in my lifetime.

But it's looking less and less likely.

As someone posted on Facebook, "They promised me that by now we would have colonies on the moon. What did we get instead?"

 photo Pokeman_Driving.jpg

We got an electorate that put Barack Obama in the Whitehouse - twice - and has now given us the choice of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

I hate to say it, but the nation peaked in 1969, Viet Nam and all.

Friday, July 08, 2016

More on Destabilization

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams is often an interesting thinker (see his recent post on gun control).  Yesterday he opined on FBI Director James Comey's decision not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton in the wake of her email server investigation.  Adams made a good point in the opening paragraph:
The primary goal of government is its own credibility.

That notion needs some explaining.

Governments do many things, including building roads, providing social services, defending the homeland, and more. But no matter what the government is trying to accomplish, its macro-responsibility is to maintain its own credibility. Governments without credibility devolve into chaos. Credibility has to be job one.

Consider all the different government systems around the world, and all the different laws they created. The Chinese government is different from the United States government, which is different from Jordan’s government, which is different from Great Britain. But each of those governments is credible to its own people, and that’s the key. The specific laws and the specific forms of government don’t matter too much, so long as the public views its own local system as credible.
This is part of what I spoke of as "trust" in this morning's post. When society loses faith in its government and other institutions, when credibility is gone, societies descend into chaos. He's right about that.

The first comment on my post this morning was from DJ, who asked:
What happens when Hillary Clinton loses the election? Do we have the orderly transition of White House Occupant that we have always had in the past? Does the disorder begin election night, or does it begin when the Electoral Collage announces its results, or does it begin January 20th of next year?
This assumes that Hillary will be on the ballot come November. I'm not saying she won't, I'm just pointing out something. Adams' says that he believes Comey declined to recommend charges because:
The alternative was the head of the FBI deciding for the people of the United States who would be their next president. A criminal indictment against Clinton probably would have cost her the election.

How credible would a future President Trump be if he won the election by the FBI’s actions instead of the vote of the public? That would be the worst case scenario even if you are a Trump supporter. The public would never accept the result as credible.

That was the choice for FBI Director Comey. He could either do his job by the letter of the law – and personally determine who would be the next president – or he could take a bullet in the chest for the good of the American public.

He took the bullet.
I'd like to point out that the Democrats haven't held their convention yet. Neither have the Republicans. And while Comey's action may have deflected attention from Hillary's most prominent scandal, it might very well have instead illuminated it with an arc light.

As I have mentioned on this blog previously, the Democrats aren't shy about kicking anybody to the curb they think is a liability. The precedent for that was Robert "The Torch" Torricelli of New Jersey and the election of 2002. When it became apparent that scandal-plagued Torricelli wasn't going to win his seat in the Senate again, the Democrats kicked him to the curb and - illegally - replaced him on the ticket with Frank Lautenberg, who went on to win. (Hey, it's New Jersey. Whaddaya expect?) IF (and it's a big if) Hillary's numbers decline as precipitously as Torricelli's did, it's entirely plausible that she could be replaced on the ticket with Joe Biden or any number of other people, and it could happen as soon as the convention - which is looking to be as "spectacular" as the 1968 one.

Had Comey recommended charges (and the DOJ obliged), it's a near-certain bet that she would not have been on the ticket come November.  The Democrats would have dumped her like a stained blue dress.  Comey took no "bullet," but he did seriously damage the FBI's  and the Department of Justice's credibility.

But that was just one more straw on an increasingly stressed camel's back.

As Yuri Bezmenov stated in that video I posted this morning, the Left has been carrying out "de-moralization" efforts in this and other Western countries for literally generations.  Read up on The Frankfurt School.  Look into the roots of "political correctness," "critical theory," especially "critical pedagogy," and Deconstruction philosophy.  As Bezmenov noted in 1984, those efforts succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of the Left, and they continue unchecked today.  "Multiculturalism" is but the most recent "success" in the Balkanization of Western society.

The fact of the matter is, however, there's nobody leading these efforts.  The destruction of Western Civilization has taken on a life of its own, and destabilization will be the result of the Jenga-like random removal of the structural supports of our society in the mindless effort to bring about that promised Utopia and human redemption that is the promised reward for those who agitate for it.

Trust in government is at all-time lows:  trust in law enforcement, trust in courts, trust in legislatures, trust in executive offices.  Trust in media outlets?  It's been declining (along with newspaper circulation) for decades.  On top of that, trust in business (EEEEVIL CORPORATIONS!) is also pretty much gone.  And with multi-culti, trust in our neighbors is dwindling, too.

We're devolving to tribalism, where no one who is not a blood relative is "one of us" anymore.  E Pluribus Unum no more.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Destabilization

It has been said that Western societies are "high-trust" societies, that is, members of these societies trust their fellow citizens and the various institutions that keep the systems running.  We trust each other to (in the majority) behave honorably.  We trust the police to identify and apprehend the suspect when our fellow citizens fail our trust.  We trust the justice system to try and punish, if necessary, those suspects.  We trust the banks to hold our money and at least not lose it.  We trust our media to report the facts.  We trust our government to treat us fairly.

And how much of what I just wrote above is true today?  Not just here, but in Europe as well?

What happens when a high-trust society no longer is high-trust?

You get chaos.

I ran across the Yuri Bezmenov interview video several years ago.  Ignore the interviewer.  Ignore Bezmenov's background.  Ignore references to the KGB - they were supplanted by homegrown converts decades ago.  Ignore everything except for what he is saying.  Pay close attention to that.

Because it sure looks like we're moving towards the endgame right now.


  1. De-moralization - complete beyond anyone's imagination
  2. Destabilization - in progress
  3. Crisis - ?
  4. Violent change of power
  5. Re-normalization
Thoughts?

Oh, and BTW the actions we're seeing in Dallas are pretty much the definition of Pressing the "Fuck It" Button.

I've posted a follow-on piece.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Your Moment of Zen - Interplanetary Edition

After the last couple of posts, I need one of these even if you don't:

 photo Jupiter.jpg
(click to embiggen)

Congratulations to the Juno team for achieving Jovian orbit! That was a helluva shot!

Monday, July 04, 2016

Pressing the "Fuck It" Button

In December of 2003, just a few months after starting this blog, I wrote Pressing the "Reset" Button, my response to this question posted at Jay Solo's now-defunct Verbosity blog:
Question of the Week: Reset Button

I know, I haven't exactly been keeping up with the "of the week" part, but this one ought to make up for it. This question will require some explanation! First I will type the primary question. Then I will explain what the hell I am talking about, and ask any subsidiary questions that come up in the process. Enjoy!

Do you expect the "reset button" to need to be used in our lifetimes? For the sake of a common number, let's define "our lifetimes" as the next fifty years. Hey, I could live that long, given my genes and medical technology.

I was recently discussing with someone the concept of the Second Amendment as the government's reset button. Ultimately a major reason it exists is so the populace cannot be prevented from being armed, or easily disarmed through registration or excess regulation for that matter, in case we must ever take back the government and start again if it gets out of hand or something akin to a coup happens and the imposters must be reckoned with.

It says that the government provides for the national defense, but we retain the right to self-defense, and to keep and bear the tools needed for that, including defense against the government if it ever turns its might inward or ceases to represent us at all. It's not a separate entity, after all. It's us. If it ceases to be us, it ceases to be in our control, it needs to be taken back into the fold.
Do you think this will ever be needed? In the next fifty years? Do you think it will still be possible after another fifty years of those who want as much power, and helplessness of the populace against it as much as possible, chipping away at or disregarding our ability to reset things back to sanity? How about contrarians; do you think the reset interpretation is erroneous or, even if not, will never be needed?
I know I said that I was done writing überposts, but apparently I lied was mistaken. I ran across something earlier in the week that triggered in me the urge to write again. I fought it off valiantly but obviously lost. Either eject now, or go get yourself an adult beverage and settle in for another 5,000+ word wall-o'-text.

You can read my answer to Jay's question, but it boiled down to "Yes, but ineffectively."

In the intervening twelve-plus years I've done a lot of reading, observing, thinking and writing. I've currently got a bookmark folder entitled "Civil War" with about fifty links in it, and those are just the ones I knew I'd eventually want to go back to.  Apparently I've been ruminating on this particular essay for a couple of years without realizing it. The piece that finally forced me back to the keyboard is a year-old post over at Sultan Knish, No Truce With the Left. It echos a lot of the sentiments I have posted here over the years, but as Daniel Greenfield is wont to do, he says it more eloquently than I. A short excerpt:
The left does not care about gay rights. If you doubt that, consider how many of the left's favorite Muslim countries have gay rights. The left has recently divided its campaign passions between gay marriage and defending Iran. Iran denies the existence of gays and hangs them where it finds them.

The USSR treated homosexuality as a crime even while it was recruiting gay men as spies in the West. Cuba, the darling of the American left, hated both gays and blacks. The ACLU backed the police states of Communism. If the left supports an enemy nation, the odds are excellent that it is also a violently bigoted place that makes a KKK rally look like a hippie hangout.

To understand the left, you need to remember that it does not care about 99 percent of the things it claims to care about. Name a leftist cause and then find a Communist country that actually practiced it. Labor unions? Outlawed. Environmentalism? Chernobyl. The left fights all sorts of social and political battles not because it believes in them, but to radicalize, disrupt and take power.

The left does not care about social justice. It cares about power.

That is why no truce is possible with the left. Not on social issues. Not on any issues.
Do read the whole thing.

I was reminded of another old post, this one at a blog that still exists, though it hasn't been updated in several years. I've quoted from it before, and I shall here again. While the author, Glen Wishard, was obviously in error about the lifespan of "the Marxist ideal," (see: Venezuela) his warning preceded Daniel Greenfield's by more than a decade:
The rise and fall of the Marxist ideal is rather neatly contained in the Twentieth Century, and comprises its central political phenomenon. Fascism and democratic defeatism are its sun-dogs. The common theme is politics as a theology of salvation, with a heroic transformation of the human condition (nothing less) promised to those who will agitate for it. Political activity becomes the highest human vocation. The various socialisms are only the most prominent manifestation of this delusion, which our future historian calls "politicism". In all its forms, it defines human beings as exclusively political animals, based on characteristics which are largely or entirely beyond human control: ethnicity, nationality, gender, and social class. It claims universal relevance, and so divides the entire human race into heroes and enemies. To be on the correct side of this equation is considered full moral justification in and of itself, while no courtesy or concession can be afforded to those on the other. Therefore, politicism has no conscience whatsoever, no charity, and no mercy.
(Bold emphasis in original.)  Read that whole thing, too.  It's not long.  But remember this, as I'll be coming back to it - "The common theme is politics as a theology of salvation...."

Another bit I've quoted here repeatedly demands another airing. Ironbear of the also defunct blog Who Tends the Fires? wrote in 2004:
I have read a great deal of history. And I have read a great deal of past political debate and discourse. Like (Billy) Beck, the last time I recall that we were this irrevocably divided between major factions was in the 1850's and 1860's - and we actually went to war within ourselves over it.

The divide is once again that stark, and that bleak. It's not "1968 all over again", it's 1858.

Unlike the first one, the dividing lines don't cut across states. Like the first one, the dividing lines are drawn across views of the ownership of men.... of whether we are owned by ourselves or by The State.

It would be a mistake to paint the conflict exclusively in terms of "cultural war", or Democrats vs Republicans, or even Left vs Right. Neither Democrats/Leftists or Republicans shy away from statism... the arguments there are merely over degree of statism, uses to which statism will be put - and over who'll hold the reins. It's the thought that they may not be left in a position to hold the reins that drives the Democrat-Left stark raving.

--

This is a conflict of ideologies...

The heart of the conflict is between those to whom personal liberty is important, and those to whom liberty is not only inconsequential, but to whom personal liberty is a deadly threat.

At the moment, that contingent is embodied most virulently by the "American" Left. This is the movement that still sees the enslavement and "re-education" of hundreds of thousands in South Vietnam, and the bones of millions used as fertilizer in Cambodia as a victory. This is the movement that sees suicide bombers as Minute Men, and sees the removal of a brutal murder and rape machine from power as totalitarianism. This is the movement that sees legitimately losing an election as the imposition of a police state. This is the movement that believes in seizing private property as "common good". That celebrates Che Guevara as a hero. The movement who's highest representatives talk blithely about taking away your money and limiting your access to your own homestead for your own good. The movement of disarmament.

The movement of the boot across the throat.

Think about it. When was the last time that you were able to engage in anything that resembled a discussion with someone of the Leftist persuasion? Were able to have an argument that was based on the premise that one of you was wrong, rather than being painted as Evil just because you disagreed?

The Left has painted itself into a rhetorical and logical corner, and unfortunately they have no logic that might act as a paint thinner. It's not possible for them to compromise with those that they've managed to conflate with the most venal of malevolence, with those whom they're convinced disagree not because of different opinions but because of stupidity and evil, with those who's core values are diametrically opposed to what the Left has embraced. There can be no real discourse, no real discussion. There's no common ground. There can be no reconciliation there - the Left has nothing to offer that any adherent of freedom wants. The only way they can achieve their venue is from a position of political ascendency where it can be imposed by force or inveigled by guile.

And all adherents of freedom have far too many decades of historical precedent demonstrating exactly where that Leftward road leads - to the ovens of Dachau.
Billy Beck is the author of the quote up on the masthead of this blog that goes, "All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war."

Another of the things that has prompted me to write was the recent Brexit vote and the reaction that has inspired. The problem isn't limited to the US, it's worldwide. Charles Krauthammer once wrote, "To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil." It's become obvious that this is true not just in American politics. I did a Google search on the phrase "Conservatives ruining future." I got 881,000 results in 0.39 seconds. There's a Facebook Page. It's the #1 hit. It was founded March 11 of 2013. The page has 107,842 total Likes.

A search on "liberals ruining future" got 1,080,000 hits in 0.44 seconds. The #1 hit there? Liberals Are Ruining America. I Know Because I Am One. a New York Times Magazine article from June 8, 2012 by one Steve Almond - "famous" for resigning from his position as a non-tenured adjunct professor at Boston College for their selection of Condoleezza Rice as commencement speaker in 2006. Excerpt:
This, to be blunt, is the tragic flaw of the modern liberal. We choose to see ourselves as innocent victims of an escalating right-wing fanaticism. But too often we serve as willing accomplices to this escalation and to the resulting degradation of our civic discourse. We do this, without even meaning to, by consuming conservative folly as mass entertainment.

If this sounds like a harsh assessment, trust me, I’m among the worst offenders. Yes, I’m one of those enlightened masochists who tune in to conservative talk radio when driving alone. I recognize this as pathological behavior, and I always make sure to switch the station back to NPR before returning the car to my wife. But I can’t help myself. I take a perverse and complicated pleasure in listening to all the mean, manipulative things those people say.
Read that whole essay. I dare you.

Oh, there is a Facebook page for Liberals are Destroying Our Future as well. Apparently it was made in June of this year. It has, at the time of this writing, 132 Likes.

I came across the phrase "conservatives are ruining our future" in a piece about the Brexit vote. A few minutes of Googling and I felt like I needed to take a shower. And to finally write this essay.

"Those people," Professor Almond says.  The Other.

One thing that has, if not changed certainly accelerated since I wrote "Reset" Button has been the increasing "othering" by the two sides.  Just a few weeks ago I wrote Remember "Civility in Politics"? That piece was the motivation for putting Beck's quote on the masthead.  As Roberta X noted, also in 2012, othering is the necessary prerequisite that justifies violence and murder.  It only takes one side to do it, but it doesn't have to be a one-way street.  The Sultan Knish post referenced above is one such, obviously.  Another is Admit It: Decent Folks No Longer Have a Place in the Democratic Party, a piece written by Steve Pauwells and published at Clash Daily in February of 2014 (I told you I've been working on this piece for a couple of years.)  Excerpt:
With so much to choose from in the political/cultural Left’s fetid trove of ludicrosities and obscenities, I’m not sure why this particular outcropping of obnoxiousness set me off so sharply – but it did. And reminded me of a harsh truth that simply must be acknowledged once and for all: these are bad people– the Democrats, I mean.

I know, the frontliners in the GOP too frequently are prodigies of gutlessness. Boehner and company? An embarrassment of don’t-create-a-ruckus, go-along-to-get-along accomodationalism, for sure.

But Democrats? They’ve nakedly, ineluctably morphed into the party of evil. As I said, harsh; but undeniably true.

Along with leading the charge in bankrupting America fiscally, Dems have gone whole hog in ransacking the soul of her citizens, as well. These towering disgraces have nailed their colors — Pink? Lavender? Red? Mortuary Gray? — to the mast of legalized baby-killing, perversion of sex and genuine marriage, institutionalized envy and victimhood. Defecating on our military and law enforcement is a party-wide pastime for these wretches — cloyingly using cops or troops as political props when convenient, otherwise icily cutting their legs out from under them at virtually every juncture. This braying Donkey caucus thrives on distorting facts and debauching history — that is, lying — and turning American against American: black or Latino versus white, woman versus man, young versus old, taker versus producer. Since God specifically clues us in that He “hates” those last two bits of odiousness (Proverbs 6:19), are we allowed to call their proponents what they are: wicked?
Another, also from 2014, is The Fascist States of America, posted at the Zman blog,  Excerpt:
Way back in the olden thymes, I got a close up look at the Cult of Modern Liberalism. This was back in the early Reagan years when I was a part time employee for the Congressman Clarence Long. I was just a kid and a nobody, but Susanna, his wife, took a liking to me and that gave me the run of the place, so to speak. I used to have lunch with the Congressman two or three days a week. He was a nice man, but about as interesting as vanilla ice cream. That’s true of every elected official I met in Washington. privately, they were very dull.

The interesting people were the aides and activists. The ones on the Right were full of excitement about finally turning back the liberal tide. Even as a kid, I thought they were delusional, but they were fun. On the other hand, the old liberals defending the status quo were scary. They were deadly serious and ideology was everything. These were not people interested in free and open debate. They were not all that interested in the free market of ideas. They wanted to win and they were not interested in deviationists in their midsts.

The lesson I have carried with me ever since is this. Unless and until the Right comes to terms with what they are facing, America is doomed. These are not people with whom you can reason or compromise. They are fanatics. To quote myself, “The Liberal is out there! They can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”
Psychologist Robert Godwin over at the blog One Cosmos wrote How I Cured Myself of Leftism in 2005.  Pertinent excerpt:
At this point in time, I am more inclined to think of leftism as an intellectual pathology rather than a psychological one (although there is clearly considerable overlap). What I mean is that it is impossible to maintain a priori that a conservative person is healthier or more emotionally mature than a liberal. There are plenty of liberals who believe crazy things but are wonderful people, and plenty of conservatives who have the right ideas but are rotten people. However, this may be begging the question, for it is still puzzling why people hold beliefs that are demonstrably untrue or at the very least unwise.

One of the problems is with our elites. We are wrong to think that the difficulty lies in the uneducated and unsophisticated masses--as if inadequate education, in and of itself, is the problem. As a matter of fact, no one is more prone to illusions than the intellectual. It has been said that philosophy is simply personal error on a grandiose scale. Complicating matters is the fact that intellectuals are hardly immune to a deep emotional investment in their ideas, no less than the religious individual. The word "belief" is etymologically linked to the word "beloved," and it is easy to see how certain ideas, no matter how dysfunctional--for example, some of the undeniably appealing ideas underpinning contemporary liberalism--are beloved by those who believe them. Thus, many liberal ideas are believed not because they are true, but because they are beautiful. Then, the intellectual simply marshals their intelligence in service of legitimizing the beliefs that they already hold. It has long been understood by psychoanalysts that for most people, reason is the slave of the passions.
Read that whole thing, too.  Of course, the Left tried to "prove" that Conservatism was a mental disorder.  Turns out, not so much.

The thing is, the more I study the more I agree with Godwin, the Zman, Daniel Greenfield and Steve Pauwells.  And the more certain I am that the Left concluded long ago what Charles Krauthammer says they did.  Zman characterized the "aides and activists" on the Right as "delusional, but they were fun."  The old liberals were "scary.  They were deadly serious and ideology was everything."

And that's the difference.  For one side it's a competition.  For the other side, it's a war.  A holy war.

When Barack Obama was running for his first term as President, his wife told us:
Barack Obama is the only person in this race who understands that, that before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.
Hillary Clinton in her 1969 Commencement address at Wellsley said:
What does it mean to hear that 13.3% of the people in this country are below the poverty line? That's a percentage. We're not interested in social reconstruction; it's human reconstruction.
Al Gore in a 2010 New York Times op-ed wrote:
Some news media organizations now present showmen masquerading as political thinkers who package hatred and divisiveness as entertainment. And as in times past, that has proved to be a potent drug in the veins of the body politic. Their most consistent theme is to label as “socialist” any proposal to reform exploitive behavior in the marketplace.

From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption.
What is socialism if not an attempt at human redemption?  Remember, "The common theme is politics as a theology of salvation, with a heroic transformation of the human condition (nothing less) promised to those who will agitate for it."  Not achieve it - agitate for it.  Outcome doesn't matter, only intent.

In 2008 I wrote The Church of the MSM and the New Reformation, a book review of sorts of Brian Anse Patrick's The National Rifle Association and the Media:  The Motivating Force of Negative Coverage.  It was a bit more than that, more like an exposè of the media's statist orientation, but the pertinent portion for this essay is this excerpt from Patrick's book:
They (journalists) truly seem to believe this, that they have access to information to which philosophers and scientists have been denied. I spoke once to a journalist who worried out loud about "compromising" her objectivity when covering a story.

The claim being advanced here, by assumption, is that journalists can truly convey or interpret the nature of reality as opposed to the various organizational versions of events in which journalists must daily traffic. The claim is incredible and amounts to a Gnostic pretension of being "in the know" about the nature or reality, or at least the reality that matters most politically.

An ecclesiastical model most appropriately describes this elite journalistic function under mass democracy. Information is the vital substance that makes the good democracy possible. It allows, as it were, for the existence of the good society, a democratic state of grace. Information is in this sense analogous to the concept of divine grace under the pre-Reformation Roman Catholic Church. Divine grace was essential for the good spiritual life, the life that mattered. The clergy dispensed divine grace to the masses in the form of sacraments. They were its intermediaries, who established over time a monopoly, becoming the exclusive legitimate channel of divine grace.

Recollect that the interposition of intermediaries, the clergy, along a vital spiritual-psychological supply route was the rub of the Reformation. The clergy cloaked themselves in the mantle of spiritual authority rather than acting as its facilitators. Many elite newspapers have apparently done much the same thing, speaking and interpreting authoritatively for democracy, warranting these actions on the basis of social responsibility.

It is not accident, then, that the pluralistic model of social action largely discounts journalists as an important class. In the same way the decentralized religious pluralism generically known as Protestantism discounts the role of clergy. This should be expected. Pluralism and Protestantism share common historical origins. American pluralism particularly is deeply rooted in the Reformation's reaction to interpretive monopoly.

Journalists, particularly elite journalists, occupy under mass democracy this ecclesiastical social role, a functional near-monopoly whose duty becomes disseminating and interpreting the administrative word and its symbols unto the public. Democratic communication in this sense is sacramental, drawing its participants together into one body.
I would go so far as to include public educators in this ecclesiastic order. It is their job to indoctrinate each new generation in The Word, The Light and The Life. After all, human redemption is the goal, and Government is The Way. 

By way of example, look at this piece - an April 14, 2014 New York Times column by the Times' token "conservative*," David Brooks entitled A Long Obedience
The Israelites in Exodus whine; they groan; they rebel for petty reasons. When they are lost in a moral wilderness, they immediately construct an idol to worship and give meaning to their lives.

But Exodus is a reminder that statecraft is soulcraft, that good laws can nurture better people. Even Jews have different takes on how exactly one must observe the 613 commandments, but the general vision is that the laws serve many practical and spiritual purposes. For example, they provide a comforting structure for daily life. If you are nervous about the transitions in your life, the moments when you go through a door post, literally or metaphorically, the laws will give you something to do in those moments and ease you on your way.

The laws tame the ego and create habits of deference by reminding you of your subordination to something permanent. The laws spiritualize matter, so that something very normal, like having a meal, has a sacred component to it. The laws build community by anchoring belief in common practices. The laws moderate religious zeal; faith is not expressed in fiery acts but in everyday habits. The laws moderate the pleasures; they create guardrails that are meant to restrain people from going off to emotional or sensual extremes.

The 20th-century philosopher Eliyahu Dessler wrote, “the ultimate aim of all our service is to graduate from freedom to compulsion.”
Which would explain why the US Code of Federal Regulations sections concerning handrails run to nearly 1000 words.  Same for doors.

Statecraft is soulcraft!  Nothing compels like fines and jail time.  It's spiritual!  Submit, heathens, or face the Inquisition!  It's for your own good!

Now, look at how heathens and especially apostates are treated.  Brendan Eich gets forced out of his CEO position at Mozilla for contributing to California's Proposition 8 supporting a ban on gay marriage.  Larry Summers, President of Harvard was forced out of that position for various apostasies.  Columnist Mark Steyn is currently fighting a lawsuit over his Global Warming heresy.  Scientist Matt Taylor was forced to verbally self-flagellate for wearing a sexist shirt during a television interview after landing a probe on a comet.  The list goes on.  And now it's becoming  instiutionalized - the new Democrat Party platform includes a plank calling for the investigation and prosecution of Global Warming skeptics, a tactic already embraced by a number of Attorneys General in fifteen states, Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands.

The Gun Rights movement has managed to get a couple of outdoor magazine journalists fired for supporting bans on semi-automatic rifles, and the rightwing internet did manage to cost Dan Rather and a few others at CBS their jobs over Memogate, but our track record is nothing compared to the Left's.

Oh, wait.  We made Piers Morgan go home.  But then Jeremy Clarkson has actually punched him. We're not a patch on that.

However, it appears that the only place where we've held off the Left has been on the topic of gun control. Why is that?

I believe it's because that's the only topic on which we have a consistent, coherent and widespread philosophy.  It may be as simple as "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!" but it is shared by a large number of people who may otherwise be politically apathetic.  The Left is made up of a gigantic mishmash of self-contradicting ideologies and agendas, but they all share one underlying belief:  The political Right is evil, intolerable and must be - not defeated  - but destroyed if the Future Is To Be Saved.

Eric Hoffer in his 1951 book The True Believer:  Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements wrote about the rise of the mass movement WWII was fought against.  (Strongly recommended, if you've never read it.)  I wrote about this in my 2005 essay Reasonable People, and this excerpt is again pertinent:
Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents. It pulls and whirls the individual away from his own self, makes him oblivious of his weal and future, frees him of jealousies and self-seeking. He becomes an anonymous particle quivering with a craving to fuse and coalesce with his like into one flaming mass. (Heinrich) Heine suggests that what Christian love cannot do is effected by a common hatred.

Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil. Usually the strength of a mass movement is proportionate to the vividness and tangibility of its devil. When Hitler was asked whether he thought the Jew must be destroyed, he answered: "No.... We should have then to invent him. It is essential to have a tangible enemy, not merely an abstract one." F.A. Voigt tells of a Japanese mission that arrived in Berlin in 1932 to study the National Socialist movement. Voigt asked a member of the mission what he thought of the movement. He replied: "It is magnificent. I wish we could have something like it in Japan, only we can't, because we haven't got any Jews."
For the Left, any not part of The Body are the new Jews, and I think we understand that - some of us at least subconsciously.  Estimates are that about 100 million new guns were purchased by individuals since 2006, along with a LOT of ammunition, mostly handguns and semi-automatic military-pattern rifles.  This was not done in anticipation of handing them in at some future date.  So, we have the numbers to thwart them in the legislatures and for now the courts are going our way, but pretty much nowhere else are we making headway because they're True Believers and we (mostly) still think of the Left as the Loyal Opposition.  We don't want war.  We, after all, have a lot to lose.  But as long as they're fighting a war and we're not, we're going to be on the losing side.

In 2010 Angelo Codevilla  wrote a very influential piece, America's Ruling Class and the Perils of Revolution.  This was one of the first mainstream pieces I can remember reading that expressed the idea that our government was not divided by the Democrats and Republicans, but it is instead occupied by what Roberta X refers to as "the two halves of the Running Things Party" - as Codevilla calls them, "the Ruling Class" - and they aren't interested in listening to us.  Pertinent excerpt:
Important as they are, our political divisions are the iceberg’s tip. When pollsters ask the American people whether they are likely to vote Republican or Democrat in the next presidential election, Republicans win growing pluralities. But whenever pollsters add the preferences “undecided,” “none of the above,” or “tea party,” these win handily, the Democrats come in second, and the Republicans trail far behind. That is because while most of the voters who call themselves Democrats say that Democratic officials represent them well, only a fourth of the voters who identify themselves as Republicans tell pollsters that Republican officeholders represent them well. Hence officeholders, Democrats and Republicans, gladden the hearts of some one-third of the electorate — most Democratic voters, plus a few Republicans. This means that Democratic politicians are the ruling class’s prime legitimate representatives and that because Republican politicians are supported by only a fourth of their voters while the rest vote for them reluctantly, most are aspirants for a junior role in the ruling class. In short, the ruling class has a party, the Democrats. But some two-thirds of Americans — a few Democratic voters, most Republican voters, and all independents — lack a vehicle in electoral politics.

Sooner or later, well or badly, that majority’s demand for representation will be filled.
Apparently not this year.  Read that piece if you haven't already.

So one third of the nation is politically engaged.  Two-thirds of us feel ignored and abused.  Now a chunk of those who feel that the Democrats don't represent them are the really hardcore Left who are angry that Obama didn't implement whole-scale Socialism upon his inauguration, but most of the disenfranchised are pissed at the government's profligate spending, reckless abuse and accumulation of powers and complete lack of accountability.

The aforementioned Billy Beck in a 2005 post, "A Pack, Not A Herd", said: 
Carol Ann Rand, of the Georgia Libertarian Party, once pointed out to me that the commies have it all over us when it comes to organization, because they're the ones who are built for "unity". "Trying to organize libertarians," she said, "is like trying to herd cats."
He also said in a lead-in piece entitled Coming Distractions:
Here is the central problem surrounding what you people are talking about:

There is no coherent and cohesive philosophy underpinning it.

--

But you people are talking about blowing the place up, whether you know it or not. That's the only way it can go, as things are now, because there is no philosophy at the bottom of what you're talking about. Once the shooting starts, all bets are off.
Which echoes what I said in answer to Jay Solo's question two years earlier, though perhaps more apocalyptically.  That's what happens when individuals press the "Fuck It" button.

It is generally accepted that two hundred and forty-one years ago, a year before the Declaration of Independence was signed, about a third of the population was loyalist, a third neutral, and perhaps a third in favor of revolt.  In January of 1776 Thomas Paine published his magnum opus Common Sense.  By July it had sold over 150,000 copies, and changed a nation.  Created a nation.  The people had a philosophy behind their rebellion, even if it was "FUCK KING GEORGE!"  We have no such unifying philosophy.  "Treat me with benign neglect" is not a philosophy.

They've got hate, and a holy mandate to build Utopia - on our corpses, if history is any guide.  We've got a populace that knows something is wrong, but has been robbed of the education necessary to grasp exactly what and then reason themselves out of the problem.  Robbed by the same forces that are intent on building that Utopia.  Instead, a significant portion voted for Donald Trump, mostly out of sheer frustration.  Another example of pressing the "Fuck It" button.

This does not bode well for us.



(*David Brooks is "conservative" for a New Yorker.  That puts him to the left of pretty much anybody in Texas outside of Austin.)

Happy (In)Dependence Day.

UPDATE:  Gerard Van der Leun reposts a 2010 piece on this topic you should read..

Thursday, June 23, 2016

“Put down your gun so I can shoot you.”

Oh.  My.  God.  Scott Adams (author of the Dilbert™ cartoon) knocks it out of the park in his blog post Why Gun Control Can’t Be Solved in the USA.  The title of this post comes from that one.

Go.  Read.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Report from the Trenches - "Apparently Hysteria has a Price Tag"

My local Merchant O'Death reports:

Six working days after Orlando and I feel slightly vindicated in regard to my earlier prediction. After a SLOW start to the week, we are now out of "cheap" ARs. We had eight or nine Ruger AR556s and a couple of 1st Gen S&W M&P-15 Sports all of which are gone as of close of business today. We still have four Daniel Defense rifles of differing models as well as a couple of higher end Colts and a lone LWRC model. Apparently hysteria has a price tag and it is under a grand. We are out of 30-round P-Mags but still have some 20-rounders and a truck load of 40-rounders left. Had a guy come into the shop today in full blown panic mode wanting to buy 30-round mags "before thy are banned again!!!" I informed the gentleman that all we have left are commercial, steel mags. He looked at me like a monkey doing a math problem and then asked if we were getting any more P-Mags in. I replied that I wasn't 100% certain as there had been a run on them. He then asked how much the steel mags were. I gave him a price of $17.99 and then he asked how much the P-Mags would cost. $15.99 was the reply, $16.99 if he wanted windows. He looked at me like a dog does when it hears a weird sound and then said he would wait for the P-mags. Apparently hysteria has more than one price tag. Got lots of phone calls today asking about our existing stock of ARs. When told that all we had left were the DDs, LWRC and Colts, the response was almost a universally despondent: "Okay, thanks."

Had lots of calls about lowers as well as parts kits. We still have a good supply of both. Same for ammo. We still have AKs, M-1As and AR-10 platforms on the shelves. Interest in pocket pistols and revolvers have picked up a bit but only just. Same with reloading components. Our distributors haven't been totally cleaned out but rifles and mags are leaving their warehouses with much haste.

I did notice a large number of phone calls from women asking about ARs today. The rest of the crew commented on this as well. A couple of the calls were from women who were calling for their husbands/boyfriends as evidenced by the fact that I could hear the lazy bastards in the background correcting the female caller when she misspoke. I have no doubt that those dudes will last a long time if things go sideways. (I do wish someone would invent a sarcasm font)

Can't wait to see what happens next week.
So they got off to a slow start, but things are picking up as Congress starts making "BAN 'EM!" noises again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

George? Meet Ben.

So George Takei, the guy who votes for the party that actually put him and his family in a concentration camp, asks:
It’s safe to assume none of us actually wants to see ISIS-inspired terrorists armed with semi-automatic rifles, able to attack at will within our own borders. But to prevent that, we must address a rather tricky question: How much liberty must we concede?
George, meet Ben. Ben Franklin:
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
The answer to your question, George, is NONE.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Frying Pan, or Fire?

So the 9th Circus says "No," the D.C. District Court says "Yes." Not exactly a circuit split, but Scalia's still dead and there are 4 vs. 4 Justices on the Supreme Court at present given Heller and McDonald.

Think it doesn't matter who ends up in the White House in January? I gotta go with Michael Bane:
(I)t is my opinion (and the opinion of some of the finest activists and Second Amendment attorneys — people who have been on the front lines for DECADES) that there is a good chance the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms cannot survive a Hillary Presidency with taking some brutal hits, or be destroyed altogether. Should she be elected, we will be facing an Executive, a Judicial (remember, Scalia's gone, along with the 5-4 stand on the Second Amendment) and probably a Legislative attack. Secondly, with Obama's successes in weaponizing Federal agencies, we can expect attacks from those agencies, including the IRS, the EPA, Homeland Security, TSA, not to mention a reinvigorated BATFE.

"Those agencies along can do staggering damage to the gun culture without any vote in Congress. All it takes is a willingness to wield them against us.

"In the face of what I know to be a guaranteed attack from a blood enemy, I do not give a DAMN what Trump said or did years ago, or whether Ted Cruz says this or that, or whether any of the Republican weasels in Congress, who have turned their back on us for years, have to say! If Trump turns on us — which I do not believe will happen based on my own research and my own conversations — so be it. We will face that and deal with it. And we'll likely be able to deal with it from a position of strength. But with Hillary it is all-out war from Day One.
I don't "Unconditionally support Donald Trump," but when I leave the voting booth in November, his name will have the blackened oval next to it.

And may Dog have mercy on us all.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Stereotypes

I know some of you enjoy these, so here's the latest free content from my fishing over at Quora.com's well-stocked pool.

Back in October of last year I answered this question: "What are the most practical and effective steps we can take to reduce gun violence in the US -- mass shootings, domestic violence and gun crime generally?"

Here's my answer:
You are aware that the United States has experienced about twenty years of DECLINING violent crime - including homicide?

Table 1

Homicide has declined from 8.2/100,000 population to 4.5/100,000 since 1995.  That's a 45% drop.  Whatever it is we're doing, we should keep doing it.  Oh, right - with respect to gun laws, we're making it easier for people to get concealed-carry permits.

And the number of people with permits is increasing.

Report: Number Of Concealed Carry Permits Surges As Violent Crime Rate Drops

And, of course, we've had record shattering gun sales numbers over the last decade.

What The Left Won't Tell You About The Boom In U.S. Gun Sales

So apparently More Guns = Less Violence.

Now if we want to address the "non-mass shooting/gun violence" we really need to identify where it's happening and who is doing the shooting and getting shot, and contrary to popular opinion it's not Joe Average "just snapping" and killing his significant other.  Yes, that does happen, but it's the exception rather than the rule - unless Joe Average has a long rap sheet and is involved in the drug trade along with his significant other.

People who commit murder overwhelmingly fit into a small, easily identifiable demographic:  They have a fairly long history of interactions with law enforcement, usually with an escalating level of violence, and the majority of them live in urban areas.  And not only urban areas, but specific neighborhoods of urban areas.  And they tend to be young and male.  And, yes, I'll say it because facts are not racist:  young black men are disproportionately both the victims and the perpetrators of homicide. 

Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008

In fact, if homicide was actually treated as a disease, epidemiologists would call this "a clue," and would work aggressively to reduce deaths among this relatively small demographic that skews the national statistics so very badly.

Instead, we talk about passing "gun control laws" that only affect the people who AREN'T out there murdering.

With respect to reducing mass shooting incidents, in a nation of 300,000,000 people these events are about as common as people getting killed by lightning strikes.  Yet in almost every case they share these commonalities:

  • They occur in "Gun Free Zones."
  • The perpetrator has a known history of mental issues and likely has been treated with psychotropic drugs, but has never been involuntarily committed.
  • The perpetrator only stops when he decides he's finished, or when confronted by someone else with a gun.
  • They want attention, that's why they do it.

So if we want to lower the number of these incidents, first I recommend that we stop putting the names and pictures of the perpetrators on TV, magazines and newspapers.  Second, I recommend that we stop thinking that "Gun Free Zone" signs have any effect on criminal activity.  If someone's willing to rob you, rape you, and/or murder you, do you think a SIGN is going to stop them?  And honestly, with ten people dead and seven injured, would a defender with a gun, right there right then, actually have made the situation WORSE?  This guy was willing to risk his life to protect others, but was disarmed by those "Gun Free Zone" signs.
I got a few positive responses, but just this Tuesday it was discovered by someone new. Here's that exchange:

Dimitrios Tolios:
Your whole post is listing facts but fails to avoid deductive fallacies.

There is no correlation of concealed weapon licences and reduction in homicides, as in “bad guys think twice before committing a crime”. None whatsoever.

You can quote mine statistical data for a lot of things that increased since 1995, and then attribute the reduction in violent crimes to…say, cellphones. Vast increase in cellphones, the probability of a “victim” or someone in the vicinity having a cellphone and calling for help - and as of lately recording you too - is insanely more probable to deter a “baddy” vs. the fear of a vigilante shooter. Its a loose probability, but still far more plausible than the fear of “the white hat gunner”.

For the biggest part of the late 90s and early 2010s there was a huge % increase of MP3 players…with your deductive logic I could correlate the decrease in violent crimes to listening to good 90s music…but that again would be a deductive fallacy.
Me:
“There is no correlation of concealed weapon licences and reduction in homicides, as in “bad guys think twice before committing a crime”. None whatsoever.”

No, the correlation exists. As you note, increases in “smart phones” and MP3 players also correlate. It is causation that cannot be proven statistically. (Incidentally, your use of the word “vigilante” says a lot about your personal bias on this topic.) Yet if the worst thing you can say about the massive increase in concealed-weapons permits nationwide is “It may not have contributed to the dramatic decrease in violent crime,” then I submit that “More guns = more crime” has been decisively dis-proven, no? And hasn’t that been the chant of gun-control forces forever?
Dimitrios Tolios:
The definition of vigilante is irrelevant to personal biases: “A member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate.”

If you don’t like the use of this word that describes nearly perfectly the way legal possession of concealed weapons would deter crimes with the implied threat of capital punishment without due process, well, tough luck.

Now, for how many guns are “too many” according to people, or when a critical mass is reached after which adding more is irrelevant, or which chants touch which simpletons on one side and which on the other, makes no difference. Its another fallacy to think that a popular belief has any merit “ad populum”.
Me:
“If you don’t like the use of this word that describes nearly perfectly the way legal possession of concealed weapons would deter crimes with the implied threat of capital punishment without due process, well, tough luck.”

So do these meet your definition of “the way legal possession of concealed weapons” deters crime?

Felon with gun killed by man with concealed carry permit, Orlando police say

Police: Customer with concealed carry license kills robber; 6 more people shot

Fatal stabbing near Oceanside motel

Man with concealed weapons permit shoots, kills robber in double-shooting, Grand Rapids police say

Police: Concealed permit holder stopped armed robbery of Vernal restaurant | KSL.com

Man With Concealed-Carry License Shoots Would-Be Robber, Police Say

Man with concealed-carry gun permit foils Akron robbery attempt

Now in a few cases above we won’t be seeing any recidivism from the perpetrators of the crimes since they’ll be pushing up daisies and not contributing to future violent crime, but in each case crimes were deterred with either implied or actual deadly force, what you term “capital punishment.”

Here’s a clue as to the difference: “deadly force” is legally authorized - to anybody - in the immediate defense of life and health of oneself or others. The threat of deadly force is legally valid to stop the commission of a felony involving deadly force (see the fifth example - robber had a knife, defender had a gun, nobody got killed). Cops have that power as do private citizens. Capital punishment is punishment carried out by the State only after due process of law. The two are not equal.

Vigilantism as you express it involves the use of deadly force not to stop a felony in progress, but one or more persons being “judge, jury and executioner” after the fact. That’s why vigilantism is illegal. It's literally outside the law. Self-defense and defense of others is well within the law.

Your personal bias seems to indicate that you believe self-defense is “vigilantism,” or you cannot tell the difference between them, because the word not only isn’t “nearly perfect,” it’s completely wrong.

Now, for how many guns are “too many” according to people, or when a critical mass is reached after which adding more is irrelevant…

And again, you misinterpret. If your theory was correct and we reached a “critical mass” at some point in the past “after which adding more is irrelevant” then violent crime would have reached some plateau that, at best, would have remained constant with respect to population. But that’s emphatically not the case. Violent crime has been on the decline for the better part of two decades while the “number of guns” in private hands has skyrocketed, especially over the last decade. Thus the argument you hand-wave away as irrelevant is, as I note, disproven. Yet it’s the fundamental one on which “gun control” arguments - and you admit this - are based: “There are too many guns.” You just suggest that adding more hasn’t had any further deleterious effect.
Dimitrios Tolios:
I did not put out the argument more guns = more crime. You did. And you swiftly rushed to say it is dis-proven, not based on scientific research, just by arbitrarily pairing statistical facts: Fact 1) A has gone up, Fact 2) B has gone down, thus A lowers B.

Also the # of legal guns out there is irrelevant out of context, as for example a single gun owner might own hundreds. % of people asking for stricter gun control is going up. That’s a statistical fact. The sales of guns are statistically rising far beyond population growth. Thus it is not a “A equals B” type of a stretch to think that gun ownership could be going up overall, but a large % of those guns go to the same people. Good, law-abiding people that want to have guns and don’t feel satisfied with one. Or ten. Much like I like to have many photographic lenses & cameras for example “just to be ready”.

All these are a matter that needs serious studies and research to produce any significant findings. All the links you’ve posted are no “Studies”…are - again - by definition anecdotal. Even when something is based on a true account, it is still of not scientific significance in itself.

As for the vigilantism and what is after the fact and what before the fact, well, I hope you realize that this is out of the control of any individual, police representative etc. It is not the time of Minority Report (yet), the “offence” has to come before the 3rd party responds, with deadly force or not. It has to be after the fact.

Also, if “trained” police officers clearly & often misjudge situations that “threaten” them, and automatically warrant the use of deadly force, giving to all individuals the right to “hold their ground” and do the same, is a recipe for more and not less grief for all parties involved.
Me:
“I did not put out the argument more guns = more crime. You did. And you swiftly rushed to say it is dis-proven, not based on scientific research, just by arbitrarily pairing statistical facts: Fact 1) A has gone up, Fact 2) B has gone down, thus A lowers B.”

No you didn’t. You didn’t have to. It’s been the mantra of the gun control side for decades - and one you appear to agree with when you stipulate to a “critical mass” argument. And you misunderstand the argument. It isn’t that “1) A has gone up, 2) B has gone down, thus A lowers B” it’s that the argument is that 1) if A goes up then 2) B must also - and it hasn’t. Dodge that all you want with your “critical mass” argument, but it’s 3) C a fact. It hasn’t gone up, it hasn’t remained level - it’s gone down.

“Also the # of legal guns out there is irrelevant out of context, as for example a single gun owner might own hundreds. % of people asking for stricter gun control is going up. That’s a statistical fact.”

Is it now?

Gallup: Only 2% Say 'Guns/Gun Control' Among Nation's Most Important Problems

Poll: More Americans oppose stricter gun control

Despite lower crime rates, support for gun rights increases

Why Are Americans Buying So Many Guns?

That’s Gallup, CNN/ORC, Pew and Rassmussen. All of them disagree with your “statistical fact” concerning the percentage of people in favor of stricter gun control going up, and at least one details an increase in the number of new gun owners in the U.S.

All the links you’ve posted are no “Studies”…are - again - by definition anecdotal. Even when something is based on a true account, it is still of not scientific significance in itself.

Yet you’re in favor of disarming those people so that you feel safer.

Tell each of them that they’d have been better off unarmed.

It is not the time of Minority Report (yet), the “offence” has to come before the 3rd party responds, with deadly force or not. It has to be after the fact.

Care to parse that sentence so it makes some kind of sense? I don’t want to misinterpret it.

Also, if “trained” police officers clearly & often misjudge situations that “threaten” them, and automatically warrant the use of deadly force, giving to all individuals the right to “hold their ground” and do the same, is a recipe for more and not less grief for all parties involved.

And THAT is the “more guns = more violence” argument. “Oh noes! If mere citizens are allowed to carry guns, there’ll be shootouts over fender-benders and Wal*mart sales!” We heard that in each and every state contemplating “shall-issue” concealed carry legislation, and it never happened anywhere.

Cops walk into situations in progress. Citizens are the ones the situation is directly affecting. They’re pretty damned sure whether there’s a crime going on and who the assailant is. The cops have to figure it out when they get there.

Are you advocating the disarmament of police so that there will be “less grief for all parties involved”?
Dimitrios Tolios:
Your links are not relevant, much like your imposed correlation between more guns being bought vs. violent crime going down.

People have more disposable income in shear numbers, they buy lots of pointless consumer goods, some buy guns.

Very few people consider gun ownership being a OMFG most important problem…gun owners that identify themselves as little more than gun owners are those making a big deal out of it.

And that is the reason you are so obsessed with your totally inconclusive and uncorellated discovery, and you quote-mine headlines that inside the text or the actual polling number speak of fluctuations that happen between 1–2 years, and ofc is something totally natural given the small actual # of people being polled. You are so invested in this Truism tho, that you are committing all logical fallacies in the book, talking in circles and destroying one straw-man after the other.

You want trends: Gallup historical data on Guns. Like, google search #1…it is not in favor of your arguement.

And Gallup is not the only polling organization.

 photo Gun Ownership in America.jpg

Give or take the % of people with guns in their homes are the same or slightly declining. If it is true that more and more guns are being sold, it has to be true that the same people are buying them

 photo Estimated sales.jpg

Meanwhile:
 photo mass shootings1.jpg

 photo mass shootings2.jpg

You devolved this ad nauseum to a personal arguement starting from the point that I am your stereotypical gun-control arch-enemy. Something that was never stated or implied.

As for the “dissarm police” thing, again, another strawman that was never implied. What was said is that policemen prove themselves too often to be applying excessive force…are you arguing that the Police doesn’t need more training?

“Citizens are the ones the situation is directly affecting. They’re pretty damned sure whether there’s a crime going on and who the assailant is. The cops have to figure it out when they get there.”

Thats hillarious…exaclty the “vigilante” stereotype that I did not mean to imply but you accused me of: the “citizen that is pretty damn sure” that whomever wronged them (according to their own account) should pull a gun…

Sorry mister, you are hopeless…good luck.
With all the typos, I could almost see the foam at the corners of his mouth. So I had to get in one last shot:
“Your links are not relevant…”

Because you say so, right? You made an assertion - the percentage of people in favor of stricter gun control was growing. I gave FOUR DIFFERENT POLLS that refuted that assertion. But they’re “not relevant.” Check.

“…much like your imposed correlation between more guns being bought vs. violent crime going down.”

Once again, with feeling: You’re misunderstanding (deliberately?) my argument. MORE GUNS DOES NOT MEAN MORE VIOLENT CRIME. And your counter argument was that some “critical mass” of guns had been reached at some point in the past. If that were true, then VIOLENT CRIME SHOULD BE STABLE. But it’s NOT. It’s been trending down for the better part of two decades. I’ve repeated myself twice now. Perhaps this time you’ll get it?

People have more disposable income in shear numbers, they buy lots of pointless consumer goods, some buy guns.

Right. More people are in favor of stricter gun control, but they go out and drop several hundred dollars not on a new HDTV or computer, but a gun. Pointlessly. Just because. When was the last time you spent $300–$500 on something that didn’t really interest you? Grasping at straws much?

And Gallup is not the only polling organization.

No indeed. Which is why I included Pew, CNN and Rasmussen.

“Give or take the % of people with guns in their homes are the same or slightly declining. If it is true that more and more guns are being sold, it has to be true that the same people are buying them.”

Obviously math is not your strong suit (much like understanding the difference between correlation and causation). I’ve addressed this question of DECLINING GUN OWNERSHIP!! before. If you use the General Social Survey results the percentage of households containing a firearm has dropped from 50% in 1970 to 35% in 2012. If you use the Gallup numbers

Self-Reported Gun Ownership in U.S. Is Highest Since 1993

the percentage has declined from 50% in 1991 to 47% in 2011.

According to this site:

Total Number of U.S. Households

the total number of households has increased from 63.5 million in 1970 to 114.8 million in 2010. In either case, that's a net increase of 8 million households in which there is a firearm over those two periods. Assuming one firearm owner per household, that’s minimum 8 million NEW firearm owners. And there’s reason to believe that this number strongly under-represents reality.

And now you shift the goalposts to “mass shootings”? I think we’ll skip this one and move on.

You devolved this ad nauseum to a personal arguement starting from the point that I am your stereotypical gun-control arch-enemy.

Oh no! You give yourself far too much credit. Stereotypical, yes. Arch-enemy, no. You’re the average, everyday gun control supporter. You’re absolutely sure of your “facts” and completely unaffected by anything that contradicts them. When confronted by someone who can refute you, you bob, weave, obfuscate and move the goalposts. Commonly the next step is reasoned discourse

Thats hillarious…exaclty the “vigilante” stereotype that I did not mean to imply but you accused me of: the “citizen that is pretty damn sure” that whomever wronged them (according to their own account) should pull a gun…

So if confronted by an armed robber, they should….?

Sorry mister, you are hopeless…good luck.

Pot? Meet kettle.

Understand, I don’t write these things to change your mind. I do it so that the truly undecided can read what people like you have to say and what I have to say and perhaps look into the facts for themselves and make up their own minds. Judging from the polls, this has been pretty effective! ;-)
No further replies today, but the thread is still up.  "Reasoned discourse" has not yet been implemented.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Remember "Civility in Politics"?

Wandering around on Facebook today I ran across a golden oldie from Roberta X, the meat of which was this quote:
What is clear is once anyone has become so convinced that one of the two halves of the Running Things Party comprises every human vice and ill (and no few I had previously thought limited to the animal kingdom), then there's no further reason to talk. The attitude itself is what gives rise to purges and pogroms, killing fields and death marches -- no matter who espouses it or what virtues they ascribe to themselves and their supposed peers, or even practice. Persons who speak like that will murder you -- or hand you over to be used up and killed -- if they even suspect you might be a member of a group they loathe; and they will sleep soundly that night. Left, right, center; amoral and "practical" or rigidly moral and unworldly, it doesn't matter: once that level of dehumanizing rhetoric has infected someone's mind, they are like an armed landmine.
That was in reference to this particular little screed at DailyKos which I won't bother to excerpt from.

I'll quote the whole fucking thing, but not the overwhelmingly supportive comments:
Murdering, Lying, Thieving, Rat-F*** Republican Pieces of Sub-Amphibian Sh**...

...mendacious, death-loving, frothing, lamprey-mouthed, inhuman, abominable, atrocious, verminous, rapacious, sadistic, bullying, invasive, grasping, psychopathic, twisted, warped, animalistic, belly-crawling, mouth-breathing, illiterate, innumerate, know-nothing, imbecilic, sheep-raping, horror movie extras masturbating into wads of money while fantasizing about war collateral damage...(inhale)...puppy-torturing, vacuous, mindless, nihilistic, evil, diseased, soulless, morally bankrupt, greedy, insecure, envious, kleptomaniac charnel-house mascots stewing in universal hatred for all life...(inhale)...toxic, ugly, bestial, humorless, loveless, compassionless, demonic human-shaped ruins forever slouching toward Bethlehem in search of some fresh nightmare to wreak on the defenseless via other people's money and heroism...(inhale)...Satanic monkey-shit-throwing, cowardly, chickenhawkish, parasitic, baby's-candy-stealing, wife-beating, minority-purging, syphilitic Confederate poltergeists with erectile dysfunction...

...perverse, prurient, crocodile-eyed, necrophiliac mass-producers of human misery and gleeful destroyers of truth, justice, and the American way...sepulchre-hearted human deserts walking the Earth only to look for more victims...silly, stupid, ignorant bastards proud of every good thing they've never done, every person they've never been considerate toward, every fact they've never learned and will never acknowledge, and every virtue they will never possess or even attempt to comprehend...preternaturally drunken, bleary-eyed, zombie-like, empty vessels who wander aimlessly until given instruction by their masters...unthinking, unquestioning, unfeeling diabolus ex machina mockeries of the human condition, perpetually acting out a burlesque of the basest and least interesting psychological dysfunctions...

...face-chewing, self-devouring, medieval barbarian museum dioramas and depraved Nazi homunculi preserved in formaldehyde to frighten children...sick, ominous, loathsome, Nosferatu-impersonating Gollum-acolytes feasting on the flesh of our society while complaining about its taste...tax-evading, sommelier-abusing, election-buying, yacht-aficionado hemmorhoids flying flags of convenience and berating their six-year-old Chinese employees for requesting bathroom breaks...

Republicans, you vile, repulsive, scum. You're not leading this country. You're not contributing to this country. You're not even part of this country. You are the maggot-ridden rot that arises in this country's damaged flesh; you are the vultures constantly picking at us to see if we're weak enough yet to become your next meal; you create problems where none would otherwise exist, just to further weaken America and quicken your own insatiable appetites; you are garbage, and you are traitors. And you are not welcome in this country anymore.
Note that this was during the 2012 election cycle.  As I asked back then, what happened to that "New Civility" thing we were all supposed to be supporting after the Gabby Giffords shooting here in Tucson?

Now we have the Left making excuses for physical assaults on Trumpists.

So I've added a fifth quote to the masthead of this blog, a proclamation by Billy Beck made several years ago and obviously prophetic.

Yup.  Our "austerity riots" are going to be spectacular.

ETA: Scott Adams, author of the comic strip Dilbert and predictor of a Trump presidency for months now, has come out to endorse Hillary for his own personal safety.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Quote of the Day - Truth in Fiction Edition

I just finished reading CTRL ALT Revolt! by Nick Cole, the novel self-published by the author when his publisher refused to release it. (Read the link.) It's set in the near future, somewhere between now and when Idiocracy is set. I picked it up on Kindle for $0.99.

It was way underpriced.

Now I get the excuse he was given as to why they wouldn't publish, but in reality the entire book is about as un-PC as it can be, and often hilariously so.

It must have made his editor cringe. (Or projectile vomit, I'm not sure which.) Either way, I'm sure he/she was running for their "safe space" with their blankie.

But near the climax of the book there's a few paragraphs I want to share with you under the heading of "Truth in Fiction" again:
(T)he truth is the most valuable thing in the world. It's, in fact, the only thing that has value and provides value for everything else. Everything that's false can't be relied on and is therefore actually worthless. Therefore, there's no sense in having it. But if you have the truth, well then, you've really got something there, don'tcha? See, with the truth you can really do anything. The truth makes you very powerful, especially if you own it.
--

The truth was important. But for a long time, a very long time it really hasn't been trading real high in the marketplace of ideas. What's been more important these days is how people feel about things. Regardless of whether they're true or not. For example, you've all taken your social media etiquette classes since elementary school, right? And what's the one thing you learn in those classes? 'The most important thing is not to offend anyone.' Isn't that right? So, you don't tell someone the truth, because, after all, what is truth? Isn't it whatever we decide it to be? Whatever we want it to do? Whatever we want it to be regardless of history, culture, and the belief systems of anyone who doesn't agree with the popular zeitgeist?

--

No, kids, that's incorrect. The truth isn't just what we want it to be. The truth is just so.
And once again, I'm reminded of this.