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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

Read the whole piece before it drops into the bit-bucket.  It was hard to select just an excerpt.  I'm going with the part Gerard Vanderleun picked:
Middle class America is no less violent than any other people. They seem passive because they're results oriented. They rise not out of blood frenzy but to solve the otherwise insoluble. Their methods of choice are good will, cooperation, forbearance, negotiation and finally, appeasement, roughly in that order. Only when these fail to end the abuse do they revert to blowback. And they do so irretrievably. Once the course is set and the outcome defined, doubt is put aside. The middle class is known, condemned actually, for carrying out violence with the efficiency of an industrial project where bloody destruction at any scale is not only in play, it's a metric. Remorse is left for the next generation, they'll have the leisure for it. We'd like to believe this is merely dark speculation. History says it isn't.
Seriously, read the whole thing.

Monday, July 21, 2014

"One Small Step for a Man..."


I posted this a couple of years ago. I thought I'd drag it out and update it.

On this day at 02:56 UTC 45 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 three 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. At least two companies want to mine the moon. A proposal to colonize not Mars, but Venus has been proposed, and it actually makes better sense.

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 still not looking too good.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Read This

Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist by Danusha V. Goska at American Thinker. Excerpt:
How far left was I? So far left my beloved uncle was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party in a Communist country. When I returned to his Slovak village to buy him a mass card, the priest refused to sell me one. So far left that a self-identified terrorist proposed marriage to me. So far left I was a two-time Peace Corps volunteer and I have a degree from UC Berkeley. So far left that my Teamster mother used to tell anyone who would listen that she voted for Gus Hall, Communist Party chairman, for president. I wore a button saying "Eat the Rich." To me it wasn't a metaphor.
Also:
My favorite bumper sticker in ultra-liberal Berkeley, California: "Think Globally; Screw up Locally." In other words, "Love Humanity but Hate People."
Interesting read.  Pay particular attention to reason #1.

RIP Jim Garner

I've always enjoyed the film and television work of James Garner. He passed away yesterday.

Back in 2012, I posted this:
I watched an interesting interview of actor/producer James Garner from 1999 recently, and I've extracted three significant pieces from that interview that I wanted some feedback on.  Please watch the short (2:50) video, and give me your thoughts.  I'm really interested.

In the comments, TheGeekWithA.45 described it thus:
My initial thought was "cognitive dissonance". Giving it a little more consideration, I'm going to go with "the triumph of indoctrination over reason".

Aaaand Once Again Bill Whittle Does it Better

His latest Afterburner, Apogee:


Quote of the Day - Transformers Edition

Saw this one on Facebook.  It even got a laugh out of my wife, so I thought I'd pass it on:
My wife asked me why I carry a gun everywhere, even inside the house.

I answered, "Decepticons."

She laughed.  I laughed.  The toaster laughed.

I shot the toaster.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

5 Rounds of Full-House .454 in 3 seconds - On Target

Just... damn.


If you'd like to see the whole video, with some normal humans giving it a try, you can see it here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Edumacation

So the New Yorker magazine does an article about the recent Atlanta school system standardized test cheating conspiracy:  Wrong Answer.  This used to be the thing that would inspire hours of research and writing to create an ├╝berpost, but I'm going to resist that.  Instead, I'm just going to quote this little excerpt:
"Without even reading the question, I could tell you just by the shape of the graph, 'Oh, my kids know that,' " (Damany Lewis, a math teacher at Parks Middle School, in Atlanta) told me. He put the test in his fireplace once he'd confirmed that he had taught the necessary concepts. But he worried that his students would struggle with questions that were delivered in paragraph form. Some of his seventh-grade students were still reading by sounding out the letters. It seemed unfair that the concepts were “buried in words.”
Seventh grade.  They're 12-13 years old, assuming none had been previously held back.

And some can barely read.

But the tests are at fault.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

That's Funny, I Don't Care Who You Are


UPDATED TO ADD:

In reference to this comment below, is it really "bestiality" if both species are intelligent, self-aware and consenting?


Inquiring minds and all that....

Monday, July 07, 2014

Quote of the Day - Billy Beck Edition (Paraphrased)

It is training and doctrine that have stripped people of the power to reason to a moral conclusion on their own powers. They are forbidden to think, this is why they now exist on the same moral plane as abject animals.
From a Facebook comment to this story about police shooting dogs, but it's applicable pretty much to all "Zero Tolerance" and other "RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH!" B.S. foisted on us by our "Civil Masters."  The Book says "Do X," so that's what they do.  They can't get in trouble for doing what the book says, and it's easier than thinking.

What HE Said

This year I didn't repost my usual (In)Dependence Day piece because of my parent's 60th anniversary.  However, Wirecutter wrote one that's much more in-depth and up to date.

What he said.

Friday, July 04, 2014

60 Years

Happy Independence Day!

But that's not the point of this post.  Today is the 60th wedding anniversary of my parents:

 photo 60th_Anniversary.jpg

Here's wishing you and yours as much happiness as they have had.



Thursday, July 03, 2014

Quote of the Day - Just Ain't Getting It Edition

From another discussion over at Quora.com:
The NRA seems to care about the constitution more than public safety and the future of the nation.
To which I responded:
Uh, wow. That single sentence contains so much that is descriptive of the issues that it's almost meta.

RAIN!!

It's raining!!  First time since... hell, I don't remember!  Temperature has dropped from 107° to 86° in less than an hour, and then the rain hit.

 photo Weather7-3-14.gif


Small & quick.  Let's hope it takes another run at us.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Losing the Peace

Bill Whittle's latest:


The Philosophy Cannot Be Wrong!

Reason magazine reports:  LA Schools Realize Giving Every Kid an iPad Was a Costly Disaster, Will Give Every Kid a Laptop Instead

DO IT AGAIN, ONLY HARDER!! 

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

Quote of the Day - Damning with Faint Praise Edition

I'm actually considering the latest Transformers film. Howard Tayler, author of the webcomic Schlock Mercenary, says it "...fails to clear the Threshold of Disappointment."

But that's not the QotD. This, from the Road & Track magazine review of the film is:
The Wahlberg/Pelz/Reynor triangle, incidentally, is an exact clone of the Bruce Willis/Liv Tyler/Ben Affleck relationship from Bay’s Armageddon. He makes it work. At no point did I actively root for any of them to die as I did through three Shia LaBeouf Transformer movies.
Given that glowing recommendation, I think I may go see it!

Tidyville

Titusville, Florida is where I grew up.  My family moved there in 1966 when I was four, and we left in 1974 when I was 12, so if I'm asked, that's "where I'm from."  My father worked for IBM's Federal Systems Division as a quality engineer for the Saturn V Instrument Unit, the guidance system of the rocket.  We didn't see dad a lot during those eight years.  After the last Saturn V launch put Skylab in orbit IBM no longer had a contract, and Dad had to transfer back to the division that made commercial products - this time the first of the grocery store laser scanner cash register systems.  We relocated to North Carolina.

Titusville was a great place to grow up during that period, but since the manned space program has been shut down, it's fallen on pretty hard times, apparently.  I haven't been there since my wife and I honeymooned in Florida in 1995.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn there the evening of August 3 when Hurricane Erin came ashore just a few miles South of the hotel. 

Good times.