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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And This is Why I Read Crystal . . .

And This is Why I Read Crystal . . .
My last stop of the day was at the tanning place. I approached the oblivious toddler behind the counter and waited patiently for her to hang up her cell phone and acknowledge me. When she finally did so, she sighed impatiently and asked, "Last name?"

"McKnob. But, I have a question."

She raised her eyebrows at me to indicate her burning desire to know what was troubling me.

"I know jack shit about tanning, obviously. That's why people randomly take my pulse when I'm sleeping. But I spent a gob of money in here last week to do away with some of my sickly pastiness and I was advised to buy points. Then the other girl talked me into a lotion that has unicorn sperm in it because it's supposed to make me look like a Coppertone girl overnight or something. I use it as directed, climb in that bed that talks down to me in her snooty British accent and I wait. I've used it seven times and I found out last week that the points thing? Waste of money. Also, a girl that used to work here told me the bed I'm in is for maintaining color, not establishing, so I'm wondering why no one told me that and why I was coerced into spending four times the amount of money on points when a membership would have been cheaper."

She chewed thoughtfully on her gum. Finally, brow creased, she said, "What?"

"Let me try one of the beds that are bad for your skin and get a membership, please."

She visibly brightened. "Oh, okay! I'll set you up in bed three."

"Is there a fire extinguisher in there?"

"No...?"

"I need one." While she typed, I mumbled. "PETA has it all wrong. They need to be in here, saving us from ourselves."

Toddler looked up. "Did you say something?"

"Yeah, does it have stuff on your computer screen, like, 'Baste liberally and cook at 400 degrees for ten to twelve minutes'?"
RTWT. Both parts.

Brick & Mortar FAIL

Brick & Mortar FAIL

I received a gift card for the local Caveman's Warehouse for Christmas, so I went in to see what I could pick up. The barrel for my T/C Encore came today, so I thought I'd maybe get some .260 Remington brass, perhaps some loaded ammo for a baseline comparison, maybe a pound of powder.

I wish I'd brought a camera.

The shelves are empty. Well, not completely, but I think there's about six pounds of powder, total (what's left is shotgun powder), about 10% of the normal stock of bullets (what's left is premium hunting bullets), about 5% of the normal stock of brass (.204 Ruger, anyone?), and it appears that Caveman's doesn't stock .260 Remington loaded ammunition of any flavor to begin with.

The firearm section has a wall of pegs on which hang the majority of the handguns they have for sale, and there are usually a dozen or so in the glass display cases.

About half of the pegs are bare, and there's two (2) revolvers in the display cases.

I asked one of the sales guys about when they might be restocking. He didn't know. They get whatever's on the truck when it arrives. He asked if I was familiar with MidwayUSA.

Hell, I'm on a first-name basis with Larry Potterfield. Maybe next year I'll have to insist that I be given Midway gift certificates.

Tomorrow Caveman's is having a big sale.

I wonder what the hell they think they're gonna sell? Well, shotguns. They've got a lot of shotguns left.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
(B)rigid has some recipes on her blog. which is like saying there is some paint on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel - Reflectoscope (Jim) from the chat at Gun Nuts Radio tonight.

Monday, December 29, 2008

More Catch-Up

More Catch-Up

Well, the Christmas weekend was pretty relaxing. I didn't do much of anything but recharge my batteries. But I am reminded once again of stuff I wanted to post about but didn't get around to.

First up, Stephen Halbrook has an important book out that he (and the Independence Institute) want to drive to #1 on Amazon and beyond: The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms. The push started on the Bill of Rights day (Dec. 15), but Amazon ran out of stock when it hit #140 overall. Apparently it's back in stock (though Amazon is still quoting 3-4 weeks). If you haven't, buy a copy. Buy one for your nearest high-school library, if nothing else.

Next up, our buddy Saul Cornell. It appears that he's still living in his jabberwocky world where history says what he twists it to say. David Hardy has written an article published in the Northwestern University Law Review on the source material Saul Cornell used in pieces that were cited in both majority and minority opinions in D.C. v Heller. David's piece proves conclusively that Saul was, once again, exceedingly selective and misleading about what was in those source materials. As Clayton Cramer explained,
. . . as several reviewers of Cornell's most recent book have pointed out, Cornell's work is riddled with gross factual errors--and like Bellesiles, those errors are remarkably one-sided . . . .
He does seem to do that a lot.

And get away with it.

Here's the pertinent excerpt from David Hardy's paper:
One wonders how the Stevens dissent in Heller could have argued, from these lecture notes, that St. George Tucker, on whom the Court relies heavily, did not consistently adhere to the position that the Amendment was designed to protect the 'Blackstonian' self-defense right . . . or that the notes suggest the Second Amendment should be understood in the context of the compromise over military power represented by the original Constitution and the Second and Tenth Amendments.

The brief answer appears to be that the dissent relied uncritically on the portions of the lecture notes quoted by Saul Cornell in a 2006 article, which the dissent cites as authority. The article sets out the quotations cited by the dissent and argues that they reflect Tucker's earliest formulation of the meaning of the Second Amendment, and casts the right to bear arms as a right of the states.

In fact, the article's quotations are misleading; they come from Tucker's discussion of the militia clauses of the original Constitution, which predictably deal with military power and the States. Tucker argues that the States have the power to arm their militias should Congress not do so since such power is not forbidden to States by the Constitution and hence is protected by the Tenth Amendment, just as any arms given would be protected by the Second Amendment. When, less than twenty pages later, Tucker does discuss the Bill of Rights, the language he uses closely parallels his 1803 Blackstone's Commentaries, usually down to the word.
The 2006 paper was St. George Tucker and the Second Amendment: Original Understandings and Modern Misunderstandings, 47 WM. & MARY L. REV. 1123, 1129–30 (2006). The words that Saul Cornell left out of his paper?
The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed - this may be considered as the palladium of liberty. The right of self defense is the first law of nature. In most governments it has been the study of rulers to abridge this right with the narrowest limits. Where ever standing armies are kept up & the right of the people to bear arms is by any means or under any colour whatsoever prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated is in danger of being so. In England the people have been disarmed under the specious pretext of preserving the game. By the alluring idea, the landed aristocracy have been brought to side with the Court in a measure evidently calculated to check the effect of any ferment which the measures of government may produce in the minds of the people. The Game laws are a [consolation?] for the government, a rattle for the gentry, and a rack for the nation.
Can't have that when you're trying to prove that St. George Tucker didn't believe the right to arms was an individual one, independent of militia service! Best not mention it! Your Joyce Foundation monies might be cut off!

Keep giving him hell. Maybe Cornell can be disgraced out of his position like Michael Bellisiles was.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
Og and Billy have what amounts to a religious disagreement: Og figures we're too evil to endure without external govenment and Billy figures if we are bad, then our institutions will be bad, too. Pared down to that, it appears we're thermodynamically doomed: can't win, can't break even, can't quit the game. Life is, however, a local, short-term reversal of entropy: we keep tryin' stuff and in the long run, nobody is in charge of anything but themselves. Yeah, it's more fluff. Turtles all the way down. Go outside, reverse some entropy and, damn you, smile. - Roberta X in a comment to her own post, Manners, Customs, Anarchy and Me
It would appear that she has the same problem with Billy Beck's prickly personality that I do.

Something Tells Me . . .

Something Tells Me . . .

. . . that the creator of the comic strip xkcd isn't an Obama fan:



(Don't forget to click on the image and then rollover the cartoon for the popup comment.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

It's been done before, but I love this expression:
. . . a sudden and acute failure of the victim selection process. - Massad Ayoob, An urban gunfighter: The lessons of Lance Thomas
There was also this quote from Col. Cooper:
"It is not unusual for critics of the American scene to deplore what they hold to be an uncivilized toleration of personal violence in our society," Jeff Cooper once wrote. "Violent crime is not so much the issue, but rather the use of violence by socially acceptable persons in self-defense, in the righting of wrongs, and in meeting challenging situations. Such critics feel that Americans are too ready to ignore the police and handle their emergencies personally; and that, further, this barbarous attitude is encouraged, rather than inhibited, by our tradition."
Some time back in the Dangerous Victims trilogy I wrote:
(The) recognition of the difference between violent and predatory and violent but protective illustrates the difference in worldview between people like me, and the (we'll call it) pacifist culture.

Britain today represents a perfect example of the pacifist culture in control, because that culture doesn't really distinguish between violent and predatory and violent but protective - it sees only violent. Their worldview is divided between violent and non-violent, or passive. There is an exception, a logical disconnect if you will, that allows for legitimate violence - but only if that violence is committed by sanctioned officials of the State. And even there, there is ambivalence. If violence is committed by an individual there is another dichotomy: If the violence is committed by a predator, it is the fault of society in not meeting that predator's needs. The predator is the creation of the society, and is not responsible for the violence. He merely needs to be "cured" of his ailment. If violence is committed by a defender, it is a failure of the defender to adhere to the tenets of the pacifist society. It is the defender who is at fault because he has lived by the rules and has chosen to break them, and who must therefore be punished for his transgression.
It's nice to know I was channelling the Colonel.

Merry Christmas To All

Merry Christmas To All

Well, I'm back home for a few days. I don't have to be back on site until January 5, thankfully, but then it's crunch time, and I don't know if I'll have any free time at all until the end of the month. I certainly hope so, because on Sunday, February 1 I'm scheduled to appear on LibertyWatch Radio here in Southern Arizona at 1:00PM MST during the "America Armed & Free" segment. Host Charles Heller will be interviewing me about gunblogs and gunblogging. You can tune in via the internet at http://kvoi.com/listenlive.php

I've got a lot to catch up on, not the least of which is my reading. One oversight I want to fix right now: Carnaby Fudge, aka Ben, has taken up a side business of providing stainless 6.8SPC barrels for AR-15 rifles. He liked his K0-Tonics barrel so much, he bought the company! Or something. So if you're interested in one, he's the man to talk to.

I'm hoping to get a few posts written during the next ten days or so, but don't expect anything out of me during January. (Dammit.) I like to say that I do this not for you, but for me, and it's true. I blog because, for some reason, I need to. It's a bitch when I can't.

Ah well, on a lighter note, here's a lovely video Christmas Card for you to finish this post:


I do like to keep it classy!

Y'all have a good one!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ramirez is Still Rollin' 'Em Out

Ramirez is Still Rollin' 'Em Out

A few of Investor's Business Daily's Mike Ramirez's latest masterpieces:










And the latest one, now that Congress has given itself a pay raise in the wake of the stellar work its members have performed recently:


I'm telling you, Mike Ramirez is a national treasure.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
(Government) is an instrument of force and coercion. And there can never be an instrument of force and coercion which will consciously restrain itself. It must be restrained. Yet there is no tool capable of such restraint. For any type of tool, whatever its nature, which is allegedly formed to restrain and contain government, would, by its own nature, simply become a government's government.

In other words, the restraining tool for a compulsive instrument would have to contain a greater accumulation of power than the compulsive instrument or it would be ineffective. But this, in essence, would also be a government. It would simply be a larger, more compulsive, more dangerous and more mischievous tool and less subject to restraint than the original instrument of coercion.

The United Nations falls into this category, as does every other prior political organization aimed at universal peace. The United Nations is simply a government's government. The members of the United Nations are, by definition, not the peoples of the world, but the nations of the world, at present (circa 1959) eighty-two in number.

Individual people cannot belong to the United Nations. Only governments can belong. The delegates to the United Nations are simply politicians who have been appointed by the member governments. And it is in the nature of the United Nations that it will look after the governmental interests of its members. Hence, the things that the member governments desire to do will become the policies of the United Nations.

But the thing all member governments desire to do is to rule their own people and to collect money from them. This is inherent in their natures. So the United Nations, perforce, will aid and abet the member governments in their universal desire to maintain a coercive hold over their individual subjects.

Thus, the United Nations is a government of the governments, by the governments, and for the governments. And it cannot and will not restrain these governments, for the members support the giant, looking to it for backing, even as the individual citizen supports his own government and looks to it for backing. - Robert LeFevre, The Nature of Man and His Government
h/t to Billy Beck for the pointer from a comment to this post at Roberta's.

I, too, have always liked Professor Bernardo De La Paz's explanation of his political affiliation of "Rational Anarchist."

Perhaps "Pragmatic Anarchist" is a more precise term. ;-)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
I decided to tune into the Star Tribune's coverage of the deliberations of the Minnesota Canvassing Board in the Coleman-Franken recount. It is a strangely compelling artifact of representative democracy, but my observation is this: Al Franken's supporters display a bewildering inability to fill in bubbles.

I have long felt that some sort of familiarity with the mechanisms of American government should be required of electors. I support a policy that rejects the ballots of any voter incapable of filling the ballot in correctly, as a minimal test of electoral competence. - Jackalope Pursuivant, Counting to 1
Al Franken now leads Coleman by 262 votes. It would appear that every single mis- or un-counted vote went Franken's way. What are the odds of that?

Hugh Hewitt was right - If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
"I still believe in bipartisanship," Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said at a Capitol news conference. "But there is an even greater responsibility than practicing bipartisanship, and that is to govern. And that is what we intend to do here today." - LA Times: California Democrats devise plan to hike taxes
"In every generation, there are those who want to rule well - but they mean to rule." - Daniel Webster

(h/t - Firehand)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

From Tam in relation to the topic of Monday's QotD:

The most important word in "gunfight" is not "gun", it's "fight".

Monday, December 15, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
Now, most tactically-aware gunnies will be quick to tell you that the .38 Special is towards the low-end of the so-called "stopping power" spectrum. Matter-of-fact, most would tell you that .358 inches; 158 grains and 900 feet per second is the bare minimum.

Thing is, that old gentleman shoots a minimum of 200 rounds out of that pistol every month. He plinks dirt clods and charcoal briquettes with it; he hunts jackrabbits on his oil lease and turtles in his stock tank with it; he's taught his children, grandchildren and multiple acquaintances to shoot with it; and he shoots in several formal and informal matches each year with it.

That pistol is a part of him. He puts it on each morning, and takes it off each evening. The bluing has etched away from the thousands of draws from leather he's practiced; and the grips are worn to match his hands.

If the eco-friendly fertilizer hits the rotating, oscillating, vector-flow cooling unit that .38 is not going to be sitting useless in a gun cabinet: it's going to be where it's been for the past several decades -- because he carries it.

He's not going to flinch, he's not going to fumble his draw or muff his shot; and each round is going to go exactly where he wants it to -- because he practices with it.

That, Gentle Readers, is stopping power. - Lawdog, Meditations on Stopping Power

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
Government, it seems to me, is not a pack of wolves howling at your door, but a flood; and the question is not "How many wolves can you shoot?" but "How long can you stay afloat?" - Roberta X, Governments, Sandlines And Me
That post is one of the best stated I've read on the topic(s).

Roberta just went on my "Daily Reads" list.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
Look guys, if they don't obey what's there now, if they twist and pervert plain meaning to produce the exact opposite of what the Founders intended, what the hell makes you think adding new verbiage is going to make a damn bit of difference?

This action presupposes there's something wrong with the Constitution, as opposed to the criminals ignoring it.

And it further opens the door for just about damn near anything.


Dumb idea. Even dumber when you consider the Evil Party majority in the current congress, and then realize the proponents of this nonsense are Stupid Party members all. - David Codrea, Idiots
(My emphasis.) Amen.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Only Two (2) in Over Five Years

Only Two (2) in Over Five Years

Well, I just banned Billy Beck from comments here at TSM. While I generally respect the life he leads and the message he puts out, I cannot respect the messenger any longer. Billy is only the second person I've ever banned, and the other was JadeGold.

No, Billy, It's Off. You got the martyrdom you wanted. Consider your company.

I was right. I got a sh!#storm in my comments, but this isn't what I was expecting.

Again, I'm still out of town on business, and it looks like I will be at least five days a week through the end of January. In January, it may go to seven days a week, with even longer hours. I wish I could say that I'll have an ├╝berpost up tomorrow or the next day dissecting this whole thing, but I can't.

I will say that the rift exhibited here isn't good. (I'd like to accept the "Blindingly Fucking Obvious Award" in the name of H-S Precision . . .)

I will, however say something about this comment (not by Beck):
Not being satisfied with taking more than 50% of my earnings each year, the American government in a few short weeks will likely propose legislation to criminalize and then remove my firearms of military utility, along with their accoutrements.

There's a very low probability of defeating such legislation, which may include neither a sunset clause a la AWB I nor any grandfathering of existing weapons or accessories.

I and a whole lot of other folks will not comply.

At that point, the government will face a choice -- lose credibility by doing nothing, or begin the raids that will open a terribly bloody new chapter of our history.

A whole lot of folks are preparing for just that eventuality -- and are simply waiting for the government to make the first move.

When they kill Vanderboegh or other prominent folks...when the rolling roadblocks commence...when there's an obligatory "refinancing" of people's retirement funds into "government-backed retirement accounts"....when the alternative media are being squashed....when the homeschoolers are being raided "for the children"...a whole lot of folks will roll off their fail-safe points and go hot.

And it will be a bloody, tragic mess.
The operative word in these paragraphs being "When".

Not "If."

If what is predicted here comes to pass, then yes, there will be an armed uprising.

I'll make you a bet, CA: One year from now only ONE of your predictions might become fact. That would be reinstitution of an "Assault Weapons Ban."

There will be no general confiscation. None of the other things you predict will occur - UNLESS you and the "3%" start assassinating media figures, elected officials and agents of the Federal government (presumably by long range rifle shot) AS YOU HAVE STATED YOU WOULD DO IF AN ASSAULT WEAPON BAN WAS PASSED.

Is this how you intend to "force" the rest of us into revolution?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another Kind of Civil Disobedience

Another Kind of Civil Disobedience

(h/t to Irons in the Fire) Radley Balko has a very interesting piece on someone who is exposing cops who violate the law in the prosecution of the War on (some) Drugs™. Fine work!

Now I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Too Tired to Post, But Can't Pass This One Up

Too Tired to Post, But Can't Pass This One Up

I've got a childish sh!$storm in my comment threads, Rod Blagojevich gets arrested on corruption charges, and David brings us good news on how civil disobedience in California has brought change in that state, and looks likely to do it again.

Quote of the Day:
As I pointed out at Kevin Baker’s place, citing Jeff Cooper, IMO the supposed 3% is probably more like 0.03%, or an upper limit of 26,000 individuals across the US who are prepared to violently resist. In California, we didn’t see one such person. But with a few individuals laying the groundwork, you did see hundreds of thousands — maybe 2-3% of the entire state population — willing to risk an awful lot for less-than-violent action. And it worked!
I feel much better now.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

From comments:
Beck is right when he says that most people lack an underpinning of philosophy to support their arguments. The average American no longer understands what it means to argue from principle, to the point that when I make an argument explicitly based upon natural principles, I have to explain to people what I mean by "natural principles". They regard the idea of principled argument with distrust because the language around it has been twisted away from plain meaning. - The Bastidge
From a piece in the Sacramento Bee from 2003, French puzzle over why the U.S. got so angry:
"What is a little disconcerting for the French is an American president who seems to be principled," said Jean Duchesne, an English literature professor at Condorcet College in Paris. "The idea that politics should be based on principles is unimaginable because principles lead to ideology, and ideology is dangerous."
Well, we've certainly corrected that issue! No wonder the EUropeans are happy!

At least with respect to our President. However, our population remains as unruly and unrulable (we hope) as ever.

I will have more to say on this subject, but I have got to go to work.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Fantasy Ideology


In August of 2002 Lee Harris published Al Qaeda's Fantasy Ideology, an essay exploring the "root cause" of the 9/11 attacks. It made a fairly big splash in the blogosphere. Here, for the purposes of this essay, are the key graphs from Harris's piece:
My first encounter with this particular kind of fantasy occurred when I was in college in the late 1960s. A friend of mine and I got into a heated argument. Although we were both opposed to the Vietnam War, we discovered that we differed considerably on what counted as permissible forms of antiwar protest. To me the point of such protest was simple--to turn people against the war. Hence anything that was counterproductive to this purpose was politically irresponsible and should be severely censured. My friend thought otherwise; in fact, he was planning to join what by all accounts was to be a massively disruptive demonstration in Washington, which in fact became one.

My friend did not disagree with me as to the likely counterproductive effects of such a demonstration. Instead, he argued that this simply did not matter. His answer was that even if it was counterproductive, even if it turned people against war protesters, indeed even if it made them more likely to support the continuation of the war, he would still participate in the demonstration and he would do so for one simple reason--because it was, in his words, good for his soul.

What I saw as a political act was not, for my friend, any such thing. It was not aimed at altering the minds of other people or persuading them to act differently. Its whole point was what it did for him.

And what it did for him was to provide him with a fantasy--a fantasy, namely, of taking part in the revolutionary struggle of the oppressed against their oppressors. By participating in a violent antiwar demonstration, he was in no sense aiming at coercing conformity with his view--for that would still have been a political objective. Instead, he took his part in order to confirm his ideological fantasy of marching on the right side of history, of feeling himself among the elect few who stood with the angels of historical inevitability. Thus, when he lay down in front of hapless commuters on the bridges over the Potomac, he had no interest in changing the minds of these commuters, no concern over whether they became angry at the protesters or not. They were there merely as props, as so many supernumeraries in his private psychodrama. The protest for him was not politics but theater; and the significance of his role lay not in the political ends his actions might achieve, but rather in their symbolic value as ritual. In short, he was acting out a fantasy.

It was not your garden-variety fantasy of life as a sexual athlete or a racecar driver, but in it, he nonetheless made himself out as a hero--a hero of the revolutionary struggle. The components of his fantasy--and that of many young intellectuals at that time--were compounded purely of ideological ingredients, smatterings of Marx and Mao, a little Fanon and perhaps a dash of Herbert Marcuse.

For want of a better term, call the phenomenon in question a fantasy ideology--by which I mean political and ideological symbols and tropes used not for political purposes, but entirely for the benefit of furthering a specific personal or collective fantasy. It is, to be frank, something like the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons carried out not with the trappings of medieval romances--old castles and maidens in distress--but entirely in terms of ideological symbols and emblems. The difference between them is that one is an innocent pastime while the other has proved to be one of the most terrible scourges to afflict the human race.
There seems to be a lot of something much like that going around these days.

The topic of the "Three Percenters" has floated to the surface again. See here, here, here, and here. My previous posts on the subject are The Threshold of Outrage, Freedom, Hope, Outrage, Bright Lines, Revolutions and End Times, and Philosophy, Revolution, and the Restoration of the Constitution. And yes, the pieces are as long as the titles would suggest. You really need to read these links if (somehow) you're unfamiliar with the background of this topic.

SayUncle states:
I would try to engage them and point out that maybe scaring the white people isn’t the best policy decision. That their efforts are better spent being politically active instead of engaging in mental masturbation all over their keyboards. Or, as Sebastian said: If 3% of gun owners were as involved in political activism as they supposedly are at preparing for civil war, we’d be an unstoppable political force. But, like reasoning with the birds, it’s a fruitless endeavor. It will waste my time and probably annoy the birds. After all, these are guys who accuse other bloggers of cowardice for not drawing a clear line in the sand, while pointing out their own lines have been crossed while they do nothing but engage in a New World Order induced circle jerk.
Linoge says:
After wasting considerable amounts of time reading their writings, the only conclusion I can come to is that they do not give to farts about America's liberties and freedom - they only care about their own liberties and freedoms, and whatever perceived slights or affronts to them they see the government doing. They do not care that their writings (such as the letter to the editor) have almost undoubtedly done more harm than good by alienating readers. They do not care that there are political and social means and methods for airing their grievances, making changes in the governmental system, and making headway in terms of liberties and rights... and doing it all peaceably and without fomenting armed rebellion. They do not care that their proposed, poorly-thought-out actions have no clear-cut termination or resolution. They do not care that those actions would result in the deaths of many, many innocent people - people who had no interest in the situation, people whose choices were made for them by a merry band of "three percenter" misfits, people who might have supported them politically. They do not care that they do not have public support now, and they sure as hell would not have public support were they to follow through on their threats. They do not care that public support is the only way to make permanent, lasting changes in the American governmental system. They do not care that they appear to have absolultely no plans concerning what to do with the smoldering and shattered remains of the country after their glorious revolution (which indicates an admission of having no hope of success). They obviously do not care about standing up and fulfilling their useless promises in the past, when Americans' Second-Amendment-protected rights were being "further restricted" (much less other rights going out the window). They do not care about all this, and more.
They don't care, because they're taken with a fantasy--a fantasy, namely, of taking part in the revolutionary struggle of the oppressed against their oppressors. They want to take part in order to confirm their ideological fantasy of marching on the right side of history, of feeling themselves among the elect few who stood with the angels of historical inevitability.

The fact that it won't accomplish their stated goals - is antithetical to them, in fact - is irrelevant.

Fits pretty good, doesn't it?

Several people have quoted Sebastian on the topic, Uncle did so in the excerpt above. Let me repeat it:
If 3% of gun owners were as involved in political activism as they supposedly are at preparing for civil war, we’d be an unstoppable political force. There would be no need to argue about where the line is, because it would be political suicide for any politician to get anywhere near it.
I want to bring up Billy Beck again:
You know you're talking about Carl Drega, right?

Every now and then, I see someone going on about "totalitarianism". The misgrapplings surrounding this subject are rife. All the classic literature has gone far to foster them. (Arendt did damned fine work on it, but...) It just about never occurs to anyone that the root of that word can descend on any given individual, to the effect that "political scientists" always project over the whole culture, but without destroying the whole culture.

The destruction of Carl Drega was, nonetheless, "total", and it was only the logical end of the very first claim that the state ever laid on his life. After that, it was all only degrees of application until the end.

And what difference did it make?

I've been so near the end of my goddamned rope that, for years now, I've harbored a half-baked plan to set myself on fire on the steps of the Capitol. Go ahead and make fun of it. Am I any more far-gone than the rest of you? What difference would it make if I was? Here is the central problem surrounding what you people are talking about:

There is no coherent and cohesive philosophy underpinning it. Everybody's pissed off, but you all have your varying degrees of what you'll settle for. Someone like me comes along to suggest something like starving the Beast out of existence by not paying for it, or withdrawing the overt political sanction by not bloody voting -- like I've been doing for years to general laughter -- and, suddenly, nobody is so pissed off anymore. There is something everyone can agree on: "Beck's a kook."
Beck concludes (read the whole piece, it's worth your time):
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.

I'm pretty damned sure I'd rather not live to see that.
Realistically, neither would I. I'm not wrapped up in a fantasy ideology. Oh, I have my own personal line in the sand - my doorstep - but I don't believe that 3% of the gun owning population will rise up against the eeeevil Feds when the next Assault Weapons Ban is passed. Or the next Wayne Fincher gets arrested.

Are you familiar with the "Free Wayne Webring"? Members of this webring want to bring attention to the case of Hollis Wayne Fincher, a man who put his ass on the line for what he believed. Mr. Fincher now, I believe, 61 years of age decided that being a citizen of the U.S., and the Second Amendment to the Constitution meant that he should be able to possess fully-automatic weapons and a short-barrelled shotgun without having to jump through the hoops of the 1934 National Firearms Act. Mr. Fincher was a founder of the Militia of Washington County, Arkansas. He quite openly built up some Sten submachine guns and some Browning 1919 light machine guns and, as Syd at Front Sight, Press put it, "formally notified the governor of Arkansas what he was doing."

The BATF was not amused. Hollis Wayne Fincher was arrested for possession of post-'86 unregistered machine guns and an unregistered short-barrelled shotgun and was convicted in January of 2007, Second Amendment be damned. As I noted at the time, the verdict was completely unsurprising. Mr. Fincher made his argument in the 8th Circuit where there was already precedent on a similar case, U.S. v. Nelsen. Remember, this was long before D.C. v. Heller. So Mr. Fincher was convicted and sentenced to 6½ years. And, of course, the revocation of his right to arms forever.

This, of course, pissed off the gun nuts, and most especially the "Three-Percenters."

But nobody shot a Fed. After all, their doorway wasn't crossed.

Sebastian says that if he could get 3% of gun owners to become politically active - do the dull, grinding, irritating, necessary work involved in living in a Representative Democracy, then the possibility of this kind of thing ever occurring again would be nil.

OK, say you're just not into envelope-stuffing, knocking on doors, writing letters to your Congresscritters, writing letters to the Editor of the local birdcage liners, calling your local TV and radio stations, showing up at the local office of your Representative or Senator and asking questions (or volunteering to help their campaign - if they're on our side - or volunteering to help their opponent, if they're not) or even running for office yourself as Clayton Cramer recently did.

Change the paradigm.

We don't need a Free Wayne Webring, we need a JOIN Wayne Webring. Civil disobedience worked for Gandhi. It worked for Black civil rights.

I'll be right up front with you: I'm not volunteering, I'm just proposing the idea.

Hey, if 3% of the gun-owning population is willing to saddle-up and go kill (as Mike Vanderboegh puts it) "the bureaucrats and politicians who decided to start the war? And, like Clinton, should we target the media talking heads and newspaper editors who clamored for it in the first place?" wouldn't those same people be willing to clog the courts and even further overstuff our prison systems in the name of peaceful change?

I suspect not. After all, the point isn't to actually alter the minds of other people or persuade them to act differently. The whole point is what the fantasy ideology does for the three-percenters.

I now expect a comment sh!#storm of my very own.

UPDATE 12/7: Will Brown comments cogently. I'll have more to say about that post, if I have any energy left after work tomorrow.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
I suddenly realized that it was the .45 caliber ammunition I had fallen so deeply in love with, not the pistol I was using to shoot it. Now, we all have preferences as to what is most pleasing to our eye, that's only natural. I like paintings by Picasso, the color cobalt blue, guys with goatees, arts & crafts furniture, orange tabby kittens and pistols designed by John Moses Browning. So I will always love 1911s aesthetically - to me, they will always be the most well designed pistols and someday I will have a beauty of my very own. But to shoot? Doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's a .45. - Breda, Ruger P345 range report (finally)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Mike Ramirez's Next Pulitzer-Winner

Mike Ramirez's Next Pulitzer-Winner

Mike Ramirez, two-time Pulitzer-prize winner for political cartoons, formerly of the LA Times who just couldn't stand having a conservative on their staff a minute longer, now works for Investor's Business Daily, and is still knocking 'em out of the park.

Today's awe-inspiring example:


If there was any justice in the world, that would leave a livid mark on the forehead of every single member of Congress, House and Senate both.

OK, time to go to bed. I have to get up at 4:45AM. Again.

Quick Update

Quick Update

1) Twelve-hour workdays suck.

2) Good news! Bullberry called and my .260 Remington Encore barrel is in queue for production.

3) Even though I haven't posted a damned thing since Monday, TSM has received over 1,000 hits a day anyway. Thanks!

4) My absence must have affected Uncle, since he posted not one, but TWO pieces longer than three lines in total, and the second was mostly his own, not cut-n-paste! Way to step into the breach there, Uncle! That second one was 1,120 words!

5) The comment thread on comparative religion seems to have finally petered (no pun intended) out. I think that one's responsible for the 1,000 hits a day, myself.

And, finally:

6) Via Joe Huffman (via Ry Jones) I find out that someone in the UK has determined that the subjects there are not only too incompetent to be trusted with firearms, they're too incompetent to be trusted with fire extinguishers. The logical circle is now complete. No one but "professionals" - i.e.: someone drawing a .gov paycheck - should be allowed to do anything requiring interfacing with danger!

So when will the .gov there start issuing Nerf™ sporks, and collecting up all the flatware? Oh, and issuing pre-pureed foodstuffs to the proles? Someone could get hurt!

I get to go home tomorrow afternoon for the "weekend". This means I get home between 7-8PM, but I have to be back up here again Sunday evening for another week. In other words, I get to sleep in late Saturday in my own bed. This is week #6, and it looks like I'll be doing this (with a break over Christmas/New Years) through January and into mid-February.

Sometimes being an engineer isn't all it's cracked up to be.

But the pay's pretty good.

Monday, December 01, 2008

No Blog for You!

No Blog for You!

Sorry. Long weekend, long day, no bloggy. Maybe tomorrow.

Good night!