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, July 28, 2010

Yuri Bezmenov was Right

Back in 2008 I posted a video of Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov discussing the tactics of "ideological subversion" as executed against the West by agents and followers of communism. A bit of the transcript of that video:
Ideological subversion is the process, which is legitimate, overt, and open; you can see it with your own eyes. All you have to do, all American mass media has to do, is to unplug their bananas from their ears, open up their eyes, and they can see it. There is no mystery. [It has] nothing to do with espionage. I know that espionage intelligence-gathering looks more romantic. It sells more deodorants through the advertising, probably. That’s why your Hollywood producers are so crazy about James Bond-type of thrillers.

But in reality, the main emphasis of the KGB is not in the area of intelligence at all. According to my opinion and [the] opinion of many defectors of my caliber, only about 15% of time, money, and manpower [are] spent on espionage as such. The other 85% is a slow process, which we call either ‘ideological subversion,’ or ‘active measures’—‘[?]’ in the language of the KGB—or ‘psychological warfare.’ What it basically means is, to change the perception of reality, of every American, to such an extent that despite of the abundance of information, no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interests of defending themselves, their families, their community and their country.

It’s a great brainwashing process, which goes very slow[ly] and is divided [into] four basic stages. The first one [is] demoralization; it takes from 15-20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years which [is required] to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy, exposed to the ideology of the enemy. In other words, Marxist-Leninist ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students, without being challenged, or counter-balanced by the basic values of Americanism (American patriotism).

The result? The result you can see. Most of the people who graduated in the sixties (drop-outs or half-baked intellectuals) are now occupying the positions of power in the government, civil service, business, mass media, [and the] educational system. You are stuck with them. You cannot get rid of them. They are contaminated; they are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern. You cannot change their mind[s], even if you expose them to authentic information, even if you prove that white is white and black is black, you still cannot change the basic perception and the logic of behavior. In other words, these people... the process of demoralization is complete and irreversible. To [rid] society of these people, you need another twenty or fifteen years to educate a new generation of patriotically-minded and common sense people, who would be acting in favor and in the interests of United States society.


--

The demoralization process in [the] United States is basically completed already. For the last 25 years... actually, it's over-fulfilled because demoralization now reaches such areas where previously not even Comrade Andropov and all his experts would even dream of such a tremendous success. Most of it is done by Americans to Americans, thanks to [a] lack of moral standards.

As I mentioned before, exposure to true information does not matter anymore. A person who was demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him, even if I shower him with information, with authentic proof, with documents and pictures. ...he will refuse to believe it.... That's the tragedy of the situation of demoralization.


--

Most of the American politicians, media, and educational system train another generation of people who think they are living at the peacetime. False. United States is in a state of war; undeclared, total war against the basic principles and foundations of this system. And the initiator of this war is not Comrade Andropov of course - it's the system. However, ridiculous it may sound, [it is] the world Communist system, or the world Communist conspiracy. Whether I scare some people or not, I don't give a hoot. If you're not scared by now, nothing can scare you.
OK, got your tinfoil hats on nice and tight? Did you see this bit today?
Socialst "JournoListas"

The now closed down JournoList, has caused considerable controversy in recent weeks. According to its opponents, JournoList, teamed up some 400 prominent "progressive" journalists in an effort to smooth Barack Obama's path to the White House.

There have been accusations that "Journolitstas", deliberately sought to downplay Obama's association with the marxist Rev. Jeremiah Wright and tried to smear conservatives, or opposing journalists as "racists".

This post looks at 106 reported "Journolistas" to look for connections or common threads.

Of the known "Jounolistas" and organizations listed below, many can be linked back to two interrelated groups Democratic Socialists of America, the U.S.'s largest marxist based organization and D.S.A.'s "brain" the Washington DC based, far left "think tank" the Institute for Policy Studies

Between them. D.S.A. and the I.P.S. dominate or influence several organizations affiliated to JournoList
And then it goes on to list the members and their affiliations. With links.

Newsweek was pretty much right:

It's been twenty-five years since Bezmenov delivered his warning, and his recommendation to escape what was coming:
So basically America is stuck with demoralization and unless... even if you start right now, here, this minute, you start educating [a] new generation of American[s], it will still take you fifteen to twenty years to turn the tide of ideological perception of reality back to normalcy and patriotism.
Instead, we continued along the same path he warned against for another twenty-five years - another generation. Not all of us are Socialists now, but we have apparently reached the critical number of the ideologically subverted. Enough people have absorbed the "beautiful idea" that no external agents are required. We have a supersaturated solution that results in the spontaneous organization of the faithful.

After all, it's for our own good!

And Bezmenov's warning?
The next stage is destabilization. This time [the] subverter does not care about your ideas and the patterns of your consumption; whether you eat junk food and get fat and flabby doesn’t matter any more. This time—and it takes only from two to five years to destabilize a nation—what matters [are] essentials: economy, foreign relations, [and] defense systems. (My emphasis.) And you can see it quite clearly that in some areas, in such sensitive areas as defense and [the] economy, the influence of Marxist-Leninist ideas in [the] United States is absolutely fantastic. I could never believe it fourteen years ago when I landed in this part of the world that the process [would have gone] that fast.

The next stage, of course, is crisis. It may take only up to six weeks to bring a country to the verge of crisis. You can see it in Central America now.

And, after crisis, with a violent change of power, structure, and economy, you have [the so-called] period of normalization. It may last indefinitely. Normalization is a cynical expression borrowed from Soviet propaganda. When the Soviet tanks moved into Czechoslovakia in '68, Comrade Brezhnev said, 'Now the situation in brotherly Czechoslovakia is normalized.'

This is what will happen in [the] United States if you allow all these schmucks to bring the country to crisis, to promise people all kind[s] of goodies and the paradise on earth, to destabilize your economy, to eliminate the principle of free market competition, and to put [a] Big Brother government in Washington, D.C. (My emphasis.)
Never mind. Everything's fine. Go back to sleep. Your Government-Issued unicorn will be delivered in the morning.

Unless there's another "unexpected" downturn in the economy.

Quote of the Day - Clever Wordsmith Edition

The people on JournoList claim they were just social networking, so let’s start calling it SociaList -- Jim Treacher, Daily Caller
(Other than that, I got nothin' for you today. I'm working 6:30AM to 6:00PM, and when I get home I read the blogs and the 'toons, and I go to bed.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Quote of the Day - Gun Review Edition

Even unfired (by me, at least) out of the box, racking the slide was like rubbing snot on glass. -- Day at the Range, SVI Infinity – Initial impressions and first 1000 rounds
Or, as they say where I grew up, "slicker'n snot on a glass doorknob."

Hat tip to Uncle for the pointer.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sorry About the Hiatus

Saturday I made a trip to the range with the M25 and the 5R, and today was my 15th wedding anniversary.

The reloading problem is taken care of, as is the scope mounting issue, but my first handloads for the M25 weren't all that stellar. I also tried out some new handloads for the .38 Super. Berry's 124 grain hollowpoints don't work very well with the feedramp on the Witness. 1,300fps though, and nice, tight little groups when it did feed.

I did Vicious Circle Thursday night, and got all gun-geeky afterward with Aepilotjim discussing handloads. I'm a little concerned that the loads I'm testing are a bit too stressful for the M25. I started off with 45.5 grains of Reloder 15 in a Lake City "LR" case - the case used for the M118LR round - under the Lapua Scenar 155 grain BTHP, touched off by a CCI #34 military primer. It's a very slightly compressed load, and if my chronograph is to be believed it yielded an average velocity of 2890fps and a standard deviation of 16.4 out of the M25, and 2920fps and a standard deviation of 10.8 out of the 5R.

My standard load for the 5R is 46.4 grains of RL-15, same bullet, Lapua case and CCI benchrest primers. THAT load over the same chronograph, produces 2790fps out of the 5R with a Sd of less than 10fps. The difference being that the latter load out of the 5R typically groups well under 1MOA at 200 yards. (I busted some rocks out at a laser-measured 650 yards just for fun with that load.) The Lake City-cased load grouped about 1.75MOA. Out of the M25, a bit over 2MOA.

Part of the performance difference, both velocity and accuracy, may be reduced case volume due to the use of a small-base sizing die and military brass (the M118LR brass is not supposed to be as thick as standard Lake City 7.62 brass, but still). The smaller case dimensions after sizing may also adversely affect bore concentricity out of the 5R, too. The military "magnum" primer probably has some effect as well. However, Jim pointed out that Reloder 15 is a much slower powder than is normally recommended for the Garand/M-14 gas piston design. I did a little research previously, and the standard powder for the M118LR load is Reloder 15, but in the Sandbox they discovered that high temperatures were causing the standard load to be too hot for the M-14 based rifles, and this resulted in bent op-rods. The correction was to reduce the powder charge. The M118LR uses a 175 grain Sierra Matchking bullet. I'm using a 155 grain bullet, and pushing it a LOT faster. Hmmm....

The plan is to try to find one load that both rifles like. That might not be possible, I acknowledge, but it's my intention to try.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quote of the Day - Christianist Edition

Referring to yesterday's Pew Poll discovery, Iowahawk twitters today's QotD:
Poll: 1/4 of Dems See 2nd Coming in Next 40 Years; http://bit.ly/afVo71 Other 3/4 Believe 2nd Coming Happened in Nov 2008
I don't care who you are - that's funny right there!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quick! Somebody Tell the Cult™!

Instapundit links this fascinating news:
One-fourth of Democrats think Jesus will ‘definitely return’ in 40 years

Thanks to the Pew Research Center, we now may have an idea who is buying up all those “Left Behind” books. Many of them appear to be … Democrats?

Yes, that’s right. As part of a larger survey about Americans’ predictions for the next 40 years, just over 1,500 people were asked whether they thought that Jesus Christ would return to the earth during that timeframe. Interestingly enough, it is self-identified Democrats who appear to have more certitude that this will happen than Republicans.

According to the poll, 26% of Democrats believe that the Second Coming “will definitely” happen within the next four decades. In comparison 19% of Republicans believe this.
But, but, I thought it was the Republicans who were the Bible-hugging knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who clung to their guns and religion, and it was the Democrats who were all scientisty and stuff! (Read the whole thing. Really interesting.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

41 Years Ago Today



"One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."



And since 1974 we haven't done much more than bunny-hop.

I sincerely hope that Bill Whittle is right.

An Army of Martin Luthers

With apologies to Professor Reynolds . . . .

Over the weekend I read Angelo M. Codevilla's outstanding American Spectator essay, America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution. It is a detailed dissertation on the rise of the American "Ruling Class" and the majority "Country Class" that lives under their (*cough*) benign compassion. In the first QotD, I pulled this excerpt:
Never has there been so little diversity within America's upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America's upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter. The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another. Few had much contact with government, and "bureaucrat" was a dirty word for all. So was "social engineering." Nor had the schools and universities that formed yesterday's upper crust imposed a single orthodoxy about the origins of man, about American history, and about how America should be governed. All that has changed.

Today's ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits.
Just a couple of days before, as another Quote of the Day, I pulled a couple of paragraphs from a 1981 Time magazine article on the power of the National Rifle Association, pointing out the clichés and negative slant, and referred to both Professor Brian Anse Patrick's book The National Rifle Association and the Media: The Motivating Force of Negative Coverage, and the piece I wrote about it back in January of 2008 - The Church of the MSM and the New Reformation. If you haven't read my essay, I recommend you do, but I'll try to boil it down a bit here.

There is most definitely a bias to the way that members of the media treat news stories. That bias Professor Patrick says - and has evidence to back - is what he calls administrative control bias, defined:
Administrative control in this usage means rational, scientific, objective social management by elite, symbol-manipulating classes, and subclasses, i.e., professionalized administrators or bureaucratic functionaries. The thing administered is often democracy itself, or a version of it at least. Here and throughout this chapter terms such as "rational," "objective," "professional," and "scientific" should be read in the sense of the belief systems that they represent, i.e. rationalism, objectivism, professionalism, and scientism. Scientism is not the same as being scientific; the first is a matter of faith and ritualistic observance, the other is difficult creative work. William James made a similar distinction between institutional religion and being religious, the first being a smug and thoughtless undertaking on the part of most people, the second, a difficult undertaking affecting every aspect of a life. The term scientistic administration would pertain here. Note that we move here well beyond the notion of mere gun control and into the realm of general social control, management and regulation.
Compare this to Professor Codevilla's assessment of the "Ruling Class":
Its attitude is key to understanding our bipartisan ruling class. Its first tenet is that "we" are the best and brightest while the rest of Americans are retrograde, racist, and dysfunctional unless properly constrained. How did this replace the Founding generation's paradigm that "all men are created equal"?

The notion of human equality was always a hard sell, because experience teaches us that we are so unequal in so many ways, and because making one's self superior is so tempting that Lincoln called it "the old serpent, you work I'll eat." But human equality made sense to our Founding generation because they believed that all men are made in the image and likeness of God, because they were yearning for equal treatment under British law, or because they had read John Locke.

It did not take long for their paradigm to be challenged by interest and by "science." By the 1820s, as J. C. Calhoun was reading in the best London journals that different breeds of animals and plants produce inferior or superior results, slave owners were citing the Negroes' deficiencies to argue that they should remain slaves indefinitely. Lots of others were reading Ludwig Feuerbach's rendition of Hegelian philosophy, according to which biblical injunctions reflect the fantasies of alienated human beings or, in the young Karl Marx's formulation, that ethical thought is "superstructural" to material reality. By 1853, when Sen. John Pettit of Ohio called "all men are created equal" "a self-evident lie," much of America's educated class had already absorbed the "scientific" notion (which Darwin only popularized) that man is the product of chance mutation and natural selection of the fittest. Accordingly, by nature, superior men subdue inferior ones as they subdue lower beings or try to improve them as they please. Hence while it pleased the abolitionists to believe in freeing Negroes and improving them, it also pleased them to believe that Southerners had to be punished and reconstructed by force. As the 19th century ended, the educated class's religious fervor turned to social reform: they were sure that because man is a mere part of evolutionary nature, man could be improved, and that they, the most highly evolved of all, were the improvers.

Thus began the Progressive Era. When Woodrow Wilson in 1914 was asked "can't you let anything alone?" he answered with, "I let everything alone that you can show me is not itself moving in the wrong direction, but I am not going to let those things alone that I see are going down-hill." Wilson spoke for the thousands of well-off Americans who patronized the spas at places like Chautauqua and Lake Mohonk. By such upper-middle-class waters, progressives who imagined themselves the world's examples and the world's reformers dreamt big dreams of establishing order, justice, and peace at home and abroad. Neither were they shy about their desire for power. Wilson was the first American statesman to argue that the Founders had done badly by depriving the U.S. government of the power to reshape American society.

--

The cultural divide between the "educated class" and the rest of the country opened in the interwar years. Some Progressives joined the "vanguard of the proletariat," the Communist Party. Many more were deeply sympathetic to Soviet Russia, as they were to Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Not just the Nation, but also the New York Times and National Geographic found much to be imitated in these regimes because they promised energetically to transcend their peoples' ways and to build "the new man." Above all, our educated class was bitter about America. In 1925 the American Civil Liberties Union sponsored a legal challenge to a Tennessee law that required teaching the biblical account of creation. The ensuing trial, radio broadcast nationally, as well as the subsequent hit movie Inherit the Wind, were the occasion for what one might have called the Chautauqua class to drive home the point that Americans who believed in the Bible were willful ignoramuses. As World War II approached, some American Progressives supported the Soviet Union (and its ally, Nazi Germany) and others Great Britain and France. But Progressives agreed on one thing: the approaching war should be blamed on the majority of Americans, because they had refused to lead the League of Nations. Darryl Zanuck produced the critically acclaimed movie [Woodrow] Wilson featuring Cedric Hardwicke as Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, who allegedly brought on the war by appealing to American narrow-mindedness against Wilson's benevolent genius.

Franklin Roosevelt brought the Chautauqua class into his administration and began the process that turned them into rulers. FDR described America's problems in technocratic terms. America's problems would be fixed by a "brain trust" (picked by him). His New Deal's solutions -- the alphabet-soup "independent" agencies that have run America ever since -- turned many Progressives into powerful bureaucrats and then into lobbyists. As the saying goes, they came to Washington to do good, and stayed to do well.

As their number and sense of importance grew, so did their distaste for common Americans. Believing itself "scientific," this Progressive class sought to explain its differences from its neighbors in "scientific" terms.
And they still do. But what Professor Patrick explains is that the members of the media have done, in their self-appointed place as "rational," "objective," "scientific" professionals, assumed the vestments of the secular clergy:
Previous to objective journalism, baldly partisan news media were the norm; under objectivity news became a scientific tool of social progress and management. The elite press continues also to serve this function, connecting administrators and managers not only ot the world they seek to administrate but also to other managers with whom they must coordinate their efforts. So in this sense social movement-based critiques have been correct in identifying a sort of pseudo-pluralism operating in the public forum, a pluralism that is in reality no more than an exclusive conversation between elite class subcomponents - but this over-class is administrative in outlook and purpose.

We should not think of this way of thinking and interpreting reality as an entirely deliberate process. We are dealing here with the diffusion of a hermeneutic that accompanies an organizational and cultural style, a scientific management method of proven effectiveness, with wonderful social benefits and also terrible side effects. Journalists, like everyone else, steep in this hermeneutic throughout their education and upbringing; moreover they work in and serve organizations that arose in response to administrative needs. High-level journalists especially have survived a rigorous selection process that favors those who are most suitable and effective for this environment. Journalists are probably no more conscious of the hermeneutic that fish are conscious of the water around them.
And, again I will have to disagree with Professor Patrick on this point, as the recent Journolist exposés have vividly illustrated. The major players in major media have been actively organizing in order to sway public opinion. It's not a case of "Oh well, they all just think alike." It's a case of "We all think alike, and YOU'D BETTER TOO!" Their job, as they see it, is to tell the unwashed masses what they ought to know and believe, and keep from them anything that they shouldn't know or believe.

But they're rapidly losing control. Readership and viewership are declining. Alternative sources are slowly growing. The disaffected are getting informed. And pissed.

Bernard Goldberg nailed his version of the 95 Theses to the doors of the Wall Street Journal in 1996. Gutenberg's 1440 movable-type press was finally superseded by the Internet starting about 1995. Now there are thousands, tens, hundreds of thousands of people who bypass the traditional Gatekeepers of what is or isn't news, and more connect every day. We are Prof. Codevilla's "Country Class," the people despised by the "Ruling Class" who have been protected by the Media Clergy for the last ten decades or so while they grasped for the power to tell us how we ought to run our lives.

They wish to be our masters, but take it from a proud American redneck: those sumbitches ain't been BORN.

Another Reason to Attend GBR-V

I've attended all four Gun Blogger Rendezvous so far, and never won a gun there. I gave one away, but I've not won one yet. Maybe this year will be different.

Now I'm not a fan of Tactical Tupperware™ but neither would I turn my nose up at a free GLOCK. Mr. Completely has the details, but on this one you must be present to win.

I wonder if it will be one of their certificates for any standard Glock? I think I like the one Robb Allen just got, a Glock 20 in 10mm Auto. Ten millimeter speaks to me for some reason . . . .

I'll be present. Will you?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quote of the Day - Accurate Assessment Edition

In the short term at least, the country class has no alternative but to channel its political efforts through the Republican Party, which is eager for its support. But the Republican Party does not live to represent the country class. For it to do so, it would have to become principles-based, as it has not been since the mid-1860s. The few who tried to make it so the party treated as rebels: Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. The party helped defeat Goldwater. When it failed to stop Reagan, it saddled his and subsequent Republican administrations with establishmentarians who, under the Bush family, repudiated Reagan's principles as much as they could. Barack Obama exaggerated in charging that Republicans had driven the country "into the ditch" all alone. But they had a hand in it. Few Republican voters, never mind the larger country class, have confidence that the party is on their side. Because, in the long run, the country class will not support a party as conflicted as today's Republicans, those Republican politicians who really want to represent it will either reform the party in an unmistakable manner, or start a new one as Whigs like Abraham Lincoln started the Republican Party in the 1850s.

American Spectator - Angelo M. Codevilla, America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Separated at Birth

Now we know where Jeff Dunham came up with the idea for Walter:

Any idea where the inspiration for this one came from?

Quote of the Day - Politics Edition

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.

American Spectator - Angelo M. Codevilla, America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Quote of the Day - Education Edition

Never has there been so little diversity within America's upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America's upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter. The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another. Few had much contact with government, and "bureaucrat" was a dirty word for all. So was "social engineering." Nor had the schools and universities that formed yesterday's upper crust imposed a single orthodoxy about the origins of man, about American history, and about how America should be governed. All that has changed.

Today's ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits.

American Spectator - Angelo M. Codevilla, America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution
And the rest of us are the products of public schooling and everything but Ivy-League higher education.

As though that was the entire purpose of the educational system.

RTWT. It's worth your time.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Quote of the Day - Locke v. Rousseau Edition

From The Geek with a .45 (who really needs to blog more often, 'cause he's friggin' brilliant):
A generation before the American Revolution, the English philosopher John Locke dug a deep well from which the waters of liberty are drawn, laying out the manner in which explicit, finite, enumerated Powers can be delegated by the People to government, while reserving all other prerogatives to themselves.

A generation later, the French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau poisoned, pissed and shat into that well, restating the social compact with key bits sabotaged to support collectivism and the oppression of the individual by the allegedly infallible democratic will of the people.

The refutation of this point is a simple question: "Is there any process of democracy that will justly allow you to rape another against their will?"

If the answer is no, then there are limits to what the democratic will of the people can justly enable, and the remainder of the argument is about where those limits are, and by what process/axiom/principle they are discovered or established.

If the answer is yes, I don't want to know you, it'd be best for you never to encounter me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Eight Hour Meeting

I got to work today at my standard 6:30AM starting time. (Normal work-week is 7-4:30 M-Th, 7-11 on Friday. I generally work 6:30-5:00 M-Th, 6:30-11:30 on Friday.) At 9:30 AM we started a vendor meeting. I didn't get out of it until 5:30. We even had lunch delivered and kept on working.

I'm burned out. No blog for you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Target-Rich Environment

I use as my homepage a text-only page resident on my hard drive that was authored by PC Magazine contributor John Dvorak. In it, there's a link to his blog, which is authored by a number of contributors. I check it from time to time because the writers there are uniformly Leftist and often amusing.

Well, I've been amusing myself over a recent post there. Seems one of the contributors picked up on the recent Politico piece about the hard Right giving the NRA grief for being the NRA.

I've left a few comments. We'll see if this leads anywhere.

Monday, July 12, 2010

How Far We've Come

I stumbled across something today that I found fascinating, an April, 1981 Time magazine article, Magnum-Force Lobby. How many clichés can you spot in just this one paragraph:
Among the nation's hyperactive special interest groups, from doctors to dairy farmers, none is as effective as the gun lobby in combining slick organization with membership zeal to create the perception of power on a single issue. For nearly 13 years, the N.R.A. and compatriot gun groups have successfully fought every attempt to strengthen the feeble Gun Control Act, passed after the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Now, in the wake of the shooting of President Reagan, the lobby is ready to ward off another wave of proposed gun laws. Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Congressman Peter Rodino of New Jersey last week introduced a bill that would ban the import, manufacture and sale of cheap, easily concealable handguns, known as "Saturday night specials," and require a three-week wait between the purchase and pickup of any handgun. Not only does the gun lobby have its cross hairs set to shoot that bill down; gun lobbyists even hope to pass a gun bill of their own that would riddle existing federal firearm regulations with as many holes as a road sign used for target practice.
This is the kind of coverage that Professor Brian Anse Patrick studied for his book The National Rifle Association and the Media: The Motivating Force of Negative Coverage that I wrote about in The Church of the MSM and the New Reformation. This is a little time-capsule of what it was like thirty (30!) years ago.

Oh, and the author of this antique? Evan "Obama is sort of God" Thomas, who now is the Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton.

And the beat goes on . . .

Your Moment of Zen - Heatwave Edition

And now for something a little different. It's hot. Damned hot. Africa hot.

How hot is it?


AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Quote of the Day - Another Reason to Attend GBR-V

One of the things the Gun Blogger's Rendezvous does is raise money for a very deserving charity - Project Valour-IT. For today's quote of the day, some words from the founder of that charity, Maj. Chuck Zeigenfuss, who does not care for journalist Michael Yon all that much:
You recently said you couldn't adopt a kid because you couldn't return to war. Guess what, Mikey? I go to war because of my family, because I want them to live in a better world. This is me after 34 reconstructive surgeries (and more to go.) Guess what else, Mikey, I am going back to war, Again. I am going to go back to Iraq right before Christmas. How do you think the kids will enjoy that, considering last time daddy went away, he died several times before coming home? I know sacrifice, but not like they do. You, mikey, have no idea what personal sacrifice means. If you write her a nice letter, maybe my 7-year old daughter could explain it to you.
THAT left a mark! There's very much more, along with some pretty graphic graphics, but I strongly recommend the entire piece. I've met the Major at GBRs II, III and IV. He is a very no-bullshit guy. He and his family are currently stationed in Hawaii as he prepares for his upcoming deployment to Iraq, living in insufficient housing, and unable to get sufficient housing before he ships out. Anybody over there able to help him out?

The Bowling Pin Shoot was a Success

It took a while to get the thing off the ground (where hopefully it will stay) but I had eleven people show up to shoot it, and it ran from 8:00AM until after 1:00PM. We had shooters of all different skill levels, and everyone shot a LOT and (I think) had a good time. The overall winner was a fifteen year-old kid shooting a Sig, who started off slow, but got FAST towards the end. To add insult to injury, he won the drawing for the prize pot, too! If anyone took video of one of the head-to-head matches and wants to forward it to me, I'll post it.

I need new tables now, though. I think they took more hits than the pins did!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

T-Minus 60 Days and Counting

I'm making my hotel reservations today. Since Reno is just 15 hours away (and I'm bringing enough stuff to make a GREAT "junk-on-the-bunk" spread) I'm driving as usual, but getting to Reno isn't really that expensive if you must fly.

Dallas to Reno: $339

Knoxville to Reno: $440 (OK, that one's a little spendy)

LA to Reno: $169

Baton Rouge to Reno: $420

Cleveland to Reno: $324

Indianapolis to Reno: $358

Seattle to Reno: $234

Orlando to Reno: $328

Hey, if reader and commenter Phil R. can come all the way from Cambridge Oxford, England to attend, you can come from wherever you live! As Mr. Completely says:
The Gun Blogger Rendezvous is like no other event as it's all about the gun bloggers themselves. We don't have a big name celebrity speaker where the attendees sit in the seats and are basically spectators. That's not to say that there won't be some really interesting people there, though. Last year Alan Gura was there, and we all got to learn a lot about the legal stuff he's been up to lately from an insider's perspective.

The Rendezvous is not a side event for some other much larger happening like the NRA convention. No, at the Rendezvous the attendees themselves are the reason to be there. The discussions in the hospitality rooms go well into the night every night of the Rendezvous.

Sure, during the day we get in plenty of shooting, including rifles and pistols at targets out to 1,000 yards, Steel Challenge against the clock, even with a bit of coaching from Molly Smith, who's not only a blogger, but is also the Steel Challenge Pre-Teen World Champion! Plans are also underway for some Cowboy Fast Draw practice under the watchful eye of Quick Cal Eilrich. Quick Cal is the "Intergalactic Fast Draw" Champion (Not really, I made that up, but if it DID exist, Cal would win it!) in addition to numerous National and World Championships. I am also looking into some range time at a new indoor lead-free range in Reno that rents guns, including FULL AUTO goodies! Interested? I thought you would be!
So c'mon, make your plans now! I want to meet you, or see you again!

Quote of the Day - de Tocqueville Edition

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbours and ample rivers – and it was not there; in her fertile lands and boundless prairies – and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good – and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
This quote has been attributed to Alexis de Toqueville, but it's apparently apocryphal, like the quote attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler. It has become "an old adage" however, and remains true - as the "Tytler" quote remains accurate.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Quote of the Day - Education Edition

From Theodore Dalrymple's speech at the Harvard Club, November 2001:
One of the things that has happened in Britain, as I said, is that people are radically disconnected from their past - from the past of the country in which they live. To such an extent, as I've suggested to you, that the vast majority of people don't even know when the Second World War was. Out of hundreds of sixteen to twenty year-old patients whom I've seen, very few - in fact, I think about three - have known with any degree of accuracy when the Second World War took place, and they're not even capable of deducing from the fact that there was a Second World War that there was a First World War.

And in the circumstances, I regard it as a triumph when they tell me that the Second World War took place in the eighteenth Century, because that means that they know that there was another century. And quite often if I ask them anything about history, not just of their own country, but of the entire world, what they say is, "I don't know because I wasn't born then." As if one could not be expected to know anything other than by personal acquaintance. And our educators, I think, have a lot to answer for because they have suggested that education should be of relevance to the children's lives as they are lived, and of course the whole point of education is to make the world beyond that relevant, and of course interesting and important to them, otherwise they are utterly enclosed in the indescribably miserable world in which they find themselves.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

More Linkery: Compare and Contrast

Some people are just outstanding parents / grandparents. (Hat tip to Daphne) Others should never breed. (Hat tip to U.S. Citizen.)

Discuss.

Some Time Late Friday

. . . this blog will record its two millionth site hit. As of 9:30 this evening:

Thanks, y'all!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

For Your Reading Entertainment

Since I'm not currently holding up my end of the bargain here: The Best Blog Post and Comment Thread EVER.

It's a classic.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I Found Javier

Disgraced ‘Historian’ Michael Bellesiles’ Fishy War Story
In his Chronicle of Higher Education article he reports teaching a course in U.S. military history last semester, 18th century to the present, and the disturbing traumatic suffering of a student he calls Ernesto. Ernesto’s brother, Javier, had recently enlisted in the Army, and as the semester progressed was sent to Iraq, saw combat, was shot in the head by a sniper (too seriously to be evacuated to the Army’s medical facilities in Germany), and after some weeks died.
Wait, I thought it was Javier that was crying . . .

(For those who don't get it, you don't read the comments enough.)

Read the whole peice. Bellesiles really does have a teaching position at Central Connecticut State University, but the rest of the article is ... interesting.

UPDATE 7/7: Jim Lindgren follows up over at The Volokh Conspiracy

Monday, July 05, 2010

July 11 - Bowling Pin Match

Sunday, July 11. Tucson Rifle Club, Action Range. Classifying starts at 0800 (8AM).

Pistols only, .38 Special caliber or heavier.

Course of fire:
Five standard bowling pins placed on a 4' x 8' table approximately 42" high. For "Major" calibers (.40 S&W or higher) the pins are placed 12" from the front edge of the table. For less powerful calibers, they are placed 18" from the back edge. They are spaced 18" apart across the 8' width of the table.

The shooter starts from the "low ready" position, 25 feet from the front edge of the table. At the sound of the timer, shoot all five pins off the table.
Each shooter will have five timed solo runs to establish a handicap. After all shooters have been timed, shooters will be paired off in competition. Slower shooters will receive a handicap advantage. Two tables, two shooters. At the sound of the first beep, the slower shooter begins. At the sound of the second beep, the faster shooter begins. Whoever clears their table first, wins. Best three out of five determines the set winner. This way revolver shooters have a chance against semi-autos, stock guns have a chance against race guns. I determine the handicap delay. If I think you're sandbagging, I'll disqualify you or adjust your handicap to suit.

This is a double-elimination match. Losers from the first round will compete against each other, winners will compete against winners. Competition will continue until there is only one shooter left who hasn't lost twice.

Cost to shoot is $10 for the first gun, $5 for each additional gun. A dollar from each entry goes into a pot. At the end of the match, a random drawing will occur. Out of those still present, someone will win the pot. The winner of the match just gets to be king of the hill for the month.

If you lose both sets in three games each, you'll still have fired a minimum of 55 rounds. Trust me, you probably won't be clearing a table with only five rounds, so bring enough ammo.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Quote of the Day - NWO Edition

From reader GrumpyOldFart in a comment thread:
As I write this, a black President is speaking at the funeral for a Senator famous for his ties to the KKK. I, who have never been eligible for any of the adjectives used above, feel certain that each of them have firmly believed most of their lives that they were doing the best they could for this improvement of their country and the betterment of their fellow man. This even though not only were the differences between the two quite stark, but I have rarely agreed with either of them.

And in a multitude of ways both foreseen and unforeseen, we are both better and worse off for their efforts.

My how the worlds turns...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

It is well that war is so terrible

"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should get too fond of it." - Robert E. Lee

From the Navy Times:
But there are several things Petraeus can and should do as he takes command in Kabul to turn the corner in this war:

• Clarify the rules of engagement and ensure that the interpretation of those rules are consistent throughout the combat zone.

Troops from every service complain that the current rules tie their hands, put Americans and others at risk and are too easily exploited by the enemy.

Petraeus must seize the opportunity created by his arrival to craft clearer and more logical rules for how and when they can use lethal force — while still minimizing civilian casualties and collateral damage.

The current rules are simply too restrictive. Frustrations over those rules — which affect artillery fire, airstrikes and even mortar attacks — are intensifying as casualties rise. And in that department, June was shaping up as one of America’s worst months in Afghanistan.

Petraeus must walk delicate ground on this issue; loosening the rules of engagement will not play well with Afghan officials whose cooperation is essential to the war effort.

But that concern is overshadowed by the need to ensure that the U.S. troops putting themselves in harm's way every day have the confidence they need to do their jobs effectively.
I'm currently reading Bernard Cornwell's take on the King Arthur legend. I'm in book three of the trilogy, Excalibur. The protagonist of the series is one of Arthur's followers, Lord Derfel, and in a scene just before a major battle he has this to say:
Only a fool wants war, but once war starts then it cannot be fought half-heartedly. It cannot even be fought with regret, but must be waged with a savage joy in defeating the enemy, and it is that savage joy that inspires our bards to write their greatest songs about love and war. We warriors dressed for battle as we decked ourselves for love; we made ourselves gaudy, we wore our gold, we mounted crests on our silver-chased helmets, we strutted, we boasted, and when the slaughtering blades came close we felt as though the blood of the Gods coursed in our veins. A man should love peace, but if he cannot fight with all his heart then he will not know peace.
I think Cornwell has the right of it, and not much has changed in 1500 years on this topic.