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

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Even Scott Adams Gets It



Beans, bandages and bullets. Trade goods for the coming zombocalypse!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Government Mandated Light Bulbs,

...government mandated clean-up.




Your .gov at work. Inspiring, ain't it?

From Black&Right.

Well, Limbaugh Got What he Wanted

A while back, Rush Limbaugh was excoriated for saying "I hope Obama fails."

Looks like he got it:
Singer Harry Belafonte, subject of an upcoming HBO documentary about his political activism, was asked what he would say to the White House and Congress about the gamesmanship in which they are engaged over the national debt.

“My question would be, to Congress and the president: What happened to moral truth? What happened to moral courage?” Belafonte said.

He’d also like to tell them: “Politics without moral purpose, really more often than not, winds up as tyranny.”

“Barack Obama and his mission has failed because it lacked a certain kind of moral courage, a kind of moral vision . . . a kind of courage we are in need of,” said the King of Calypso.
When you've lost Harry Belafonte . . . .

Friday, July 29, 2011

Quote of the Day - Thomas Sowell Edition

All the overheated political rhetoric about needing to tax "millionaires and billionaires" is not about bringing in more revenue to the government. It is about bringing in more votes for politicians who stir up class warfare with rhetoric. -- Ideals Versus Realities, Townhall
For the first time I don't agree with Sowell's conclusions, but on this he's still correct.  Incomplete, but correct.  It's also about "fairness" as defined by President Obama - in other words, "redistribution of wealth."  Bringing in more votes is the byproduct, not the goal.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Repeat

This is all I've got to say about the current budget / debt ceiling debate, and it was already said in February.  Remember this?




Well, Chris Muir took the the meme and ran with it:




Really, it's not an unreasonable question: If Obama actually was intent on the destruction of the Republic, how could you tell the difference?

I'm wondering if I should cash in my 401(k) that has finally recovered to what it was in 2001 before that crash.  The kleptocrats in Washington will be coming after that pot-o'cash soon, I'm sure.  You know, in the interest of "fairness."

Here We Go Again

So earlier this week I write my post Defending the Weak, and it drew a link from my old friend James Kelly at Scot Goes Pop. Apparently I offended his sense of propriety. So, in my usual style, I left a comment which has inspired yet another post by Mr. Kelly.

As I've noted before, we don't have discussions. Our worldviews are so divergent we simply talk past each other.

Now, James has commented on my emphasis on statistics and their meaning before, yet I note that this time James goes straight to statistics which, I am forced to assume, he believes proves his point. You see, in Scotland, they don't kill each other as often as we here in Arizona do. And when they do, they hardly ever do it with firearms, whereas here firearms are the preferred method.

I think what you're supposed to gather from this (remember, I've been doing this sort of thing for years now, so I have experience at it) is that, since they don't have guns, they can't kill each other as much.

And this is based on one year's data - 2009.

The logic is staggering.

His source states that in 2009 there were 79 homicides in Scotland, versus 324 in Arizona. Scotland and Arizona have roughly equivalent populations. I believe we've danced this dance before, however.

Once again, here's a graph of Scotland's homicide statistics from 1945 through 1997:




And here's a homicide rate comparison table (in deaths per 100,000 population) I worked up using that data, along with data for the entire U.S. and also England & Wales (a separate single political entity):


Year US England & Wales Scotland
19466.4 0.81 0.72
1947 6.1 0.86 0.59
1948 6.1 0.78 0.66
1949 5.4 0.68 0.47
1950 5.3 0.79 0.68
1951 4.9 0.75 0.41
1952 5.2 0.91 0.53
1953 4.8 0.74 0.80
19544.80.700.63
19554.50.630.68
19564.60.710.57
19574.50.710.51
19584.50.580.82
19594.60.590.66
19604.70.620.68
19614.70.570.71
19624.80.641.12
1963 4.90.650.88
19645.10.630.98
19655.50.681.21
19665.90.761.65
19676.80.861.35
19687.30.871.40
19697.70.811.57
19708.30.811.59
19719.10.931.38
19729.40.971.62
19739.70.941.47
197410.11.211.49
19759.91.031.49
19769.01.142.03
19779.10.982.03
19789.21.081.59
197910.01.271.56
198010.71.251.73
198110.31.121.70
19829.61.251.70
19838.61.321.86
19848.41.371.77
19858.41.281.64
19869.01.241.62
19878.71.312.08
19889.01.421.73
19899.31.331.98
199010.01.311.68
199110.51.421.72
199210.01.332.68
199310.11.312.22
19949.61.412.18
19958.71.452.67
19967.91.312.30
19977.41.411.72


You can go to the old post and get the later data, I'm not really interested in reproducing all that here, nor in updating it, really, but the point I want to make - again, since James seems incapable of understanding it - is that as far back as 1945, when neither country had much in the way of firearms laws, the homicide rate in the U.S. was 8.8 times the rate in Scotland.  As time has progressed, and the UK has instituted stricter and stricter laws against firearm possession (promoted in every case to make the UK "safer"), the homicide rate trend has been converging

James likes to point out that the U.S. - with all of its privately possessed firearms, spreading "right to carry" laws and all - has a homicide rate that is - let me find his number, oh yes - "more than two-and-a-half times greater" than Scotland's. But sixty-five years ago, it was eight point eight times greater. Scotland's homicide rate in 2009 was 1.52/100,000, (down from 1.9 in 2008). The U.S. homicide rate that year was 5.0/100,000. The ratio was therefore 3.2 to 1.

Now, I ask you - what does a trend from 8.8:1 to 3.2:1 indicate to you? Especially bearing in mind that gun laws here are "lax" and in the UK are "the strictest in the world" by their own admission?

But hey!  At least they're not killing each other with GUNS!  Because somehow that makes a difference.

And lastly, there's this:  Scotland has been called "the most violent country in the developed world." The UN said it in 2005, and yes, that includes the U.S. They might not kill each other at anywhere near our rates, but they violently victimize each other far more often. In 2010 the Scottish Labour party bemoaned the fact that the violent crime rate in Scotland is "four times the rate of England and Wales." That polity ranks #2 in the world.

And remember, the crime statistics in the UK aren't exactly reliable.

Back when I wrote What We Got Here is ... Failure to Communicate, I noted that Thomas Sowell pointed out one major difference between those who believe humans are perfectible and those like me who believe human nature doesn't change.  Those who believe in human perfectibility believe in solutions.  Those like me see trade-offs.  James believes the solution is to disarm everyone.  I believe otherwise.

Hey, maybe he's right.  Maybe if the Scots had guns they would kill each other at astronomical rates.  Given their obviously hyper-violent culture ....

Then again, there might be a few more deaths but a lot fewer Glasgow smiles.  And if the potential victims are armed ....

It's an Honor Just to be Nominated

I knew my NRA Patron membership would be good for something!

Sean Sorrentino suggests that perhaps the NRA needs another "Cincinnati revolution" where the hoary old-guard is thrown out in favor of more fire-breathing rights-defenders. He lists 14 possible nominees, of which I am one. I had to laugh out loud at his description of me:
Kevin will be prepared at any time to drop 100,000 words of extensively footnoted explanations on one of two subjects. How gun control is racist, sexist, immoral, and fattening. And how American schooling is designed by socialists to teach conformism and government control to kids in an effort to demoralize future generations and make them less likely to try to control their own destiny.
Yeah, that about covers it.

The others are just as amusing.

More Panem et Circenses

I received an email yesterday.  Season three of Top Shot (aka:  As the Cartridge Turns) will premiere on August 9. 

The new season of Sons of Guns has already started.

Look, I'm a gun-nut. I like the fact that television has discovered that guns are fun and the people who like them are not all knuckle-dragging neanderthals with the IQ of a rotting rutabaga. I get the fact that those of us who collect guns and/or shoot a (relatively) lot are a pretty small minority of the total national population. (There very well may be 80+ million gun owners in America, but I'm willing to bet that 70 million of them don't take their rifle or shotgun out of the closet more than twice a year, if that.) I just wish Top Shot focused more on shooting than on drama-llamas. And I wish Sons of Guns didn't have a cast of rutabagas.

OK, that's not fair. They're not really that bad, but as representatives of the "gun culture" I enthusiastically belong to, I can and do wish they were better than The Discovery Channel portrays them.

So a new season of gun-centric television is starting up. Hooray for the re-normalization of the good "gun culture."

Discuss.

Oh, and BTW, here's a link for the new cast for Top Shot.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"We could try liberty."

Jerry Pournelle points out what we all know:
Budget Cuts: we will increase spending, but we will reduce the rate of increase. We just spent $9 Trillion we didn’t have, but we will make a $1.1 Trillion cut – over ten years. Which is to say we will cut $100 Billion a year, having spent $9 Trillion. The deficit will continue to grow. So the only choice is to raise taxes or the nation is finished, the elderly will not get their Social Security checks, the Veterans will not get their benefits. Inspectors in the Department of Agriculture will continue to get “cost of living” raises and step increases in their civil service ratings. Department of Education SWAT teams will get their raises including full health and pensions. The deficit will grow, and there will be another financial crisis. The EPA will continue to impose regulations, the courts will continue to accept lawsuits to harass anyone who intends to open a mine, drill an oil well, or create a business.

The only remedy will be to raise taxes. We must have shared sacrifices so that the Washington elites can go about business as usual. Washington public schools will continue to deteriorate but none of the elites will send their children to those public schools so that won’t be a problem.

In other words, the Dance goes on, and we are being played.
The Geek with a .45 said it best some time back:
"Entire Societies Can and Have Gone Stark Raving Batshit Fucking Insane."
The raving hasn't really started yet, but it's coming.  The wheels are coming off the trolley, and the trolley off the tracks, and We the People are powerless to stop it.

Where's my soma?

Monster Hunter: Alpha

I finished Larry Correia's latest, Monster Hunter: Alpha last night about 10:20.  I picked it up from Barnes & Noble on my way home from work Monday evening.  I read from the time I got home until about 10:45, taking just enough time out to post yesterday's car/gun porn.  I dog-eared the book at Chapter 14, page 223 (do you think he planned that?) and went to sleep.  When I got home last night, I picked it up again and read until it was finished.

Larry's Best.  Book.  Yet.

Non-stop action, great characters, rollicking storyline . . . just, DAMN!

No spoilers, but I will say one line from the book had me laughing until I hurt: 


"Love what you've done with the place.  Very industrial."


You have to read it to understand.

And yes, I'm a sick puppy.

Two thumbs WAY up.  Go get it.  Today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Smedley, Bring Me My Four-Bore

OK, I haven't seen this elsewhere on the gunblogs, and it's kinda unique for Wired, but how would you like to own your very own Rolls-Royce set up for hunting tiger and elephant?
A vintage Rolls-Royce festooned with weaponry and upfitted for off-roading to hunt tigers and elephants may be the definition of automotive grandiosity, but it also could be yours for a mere $1 million.

This preposterous 1925 New Phantom was built as a dedicated hunting car by Rolls-Royce with coachwork by Barker & Company in 1925 at the request of Umed Singh II, Maharaja of Kotah. Apparently Raj-era Kotah was similar to modern day Wasilla, overrun with both wild animals and politicians who like to shoot them from moving vehicles.

On board is enough firepower to blow away the Bronx Zoo including a double-barrel howdah pistol and a mountable Lantaka cannon used for hunting elephants. There’s also a rifle stand in the rear seat and, especially for Bengal tigers, a machine gun that can be trailered from the rear of the car. Rifles and bird guns are stored in the rear of the car.



Here's the towed machinegun:




And here's the auction video:




I don't think it has air-conditioning, though.

And I see that Sean Sorrentino beat me to it.

Now I'm going back to reading Monster Hunter Alpha.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Defending the Weak

Unless I'm very much mistaken, the "Grim" who penned the recent Blackfive piece, Defending the Weak is the very same Grim who said "It's most important that all potential victims be as dangerous as they can."

Commenting on the recent mass-murder in Norway, Grim reiterates:
When (the shooter) began shooting, everyone ran.
 
That last factor alone is responsible for almost all of the dead.  A tight group of young men taught to run at danger instead of away from it could have overpowered him almost at once.

As that did not happen, he had a clear field of fire and a target rich environment.  As that started a panic, probably some were trampled and others drowned.  The police did not arrive for a long time, giving him time to finish what he had begun -- but the police will never be around when one of these mass killings happens, unless it is targeted at them specifically.  It is always easy to find a soft target if you want one, even in a police state.

The key lesson to mass shootings is that the whole of our societies must remember their duty to fight for the common peace and lawful order.  We must all do it.  We must train for it, and we must equip ourselves as well as the law and our natural abilities permit.  This is the duty of a citizen.  It is a duty that cannot be delegated to the police or to the military.  It must be borne by all of us.  We must train our sons for this duty also.  In a dangerous world, this alone is what makes civilization possible.
I refer once again to Sir Robert Peel's Nine Principles of Modern Policing, specifically Rule 7:
Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
Western civilization has abandoned the idea that the safety of the public is incumbent on the public itself.  It's not just the police who should maintain that relationship.  Relationships go both ways.

Yes, had a group of young men charged the shooter, some of them would have been wounded or killed.  But no one charged the shooter, and literally dozens are dead.

Edit:  It would appear that I've disturbed James Kelly again.   Good.

Panem et Circenses

As the accelerates towards destruction, at least Hollyweird is putting out stuff to entertain distract us.

Season 2 of Walking Dead is coming:


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Abandonding the God Complex - Why Central Planning Fails

Worth your time:

Quote of the Day - Inevitable History Edition

There are any number of significant contributory factors to the societal collapse now looming in front of us. Ken Royce and L. Neil Smith both make a compelling case that this all started with the Federalist's Constitutional coup, but I think there are three things that inevitably doomed the USA.

1) the establishment of centrally controlled, state funded, mandatory public education, (AKA the Prussian system, or Progressive education) which got into high gear around the turn of the 20th century. This system was overtly designed to indoctrinate the young and to prevent the propagation of unwanted memes infiltrating from Eastern Europe. Our modern education system is designed to teach conformity and obedience, and it largely works as intended.

2) the establishment of the Federal Reserve Bank, the final and successful attempt to give control of the money supply to the ruling oligarchy, and thus to confer control of the economy to the Fed.

3) the amendment to allow personal income tax, which required a heretofore unheard-of intrusion into private affairs, and allowed enormous transfers of wealth to the government.

After those three events had occurred, we were doomed.
By "Historian" in a comment to Welcome To The New Captain Tammany H. Plutocrat Seawater Economy. I can't say that I disagree with any of that, except to say that the public education system - established as noted for the reasons noted - was suborned by people who had absorbed the very Eastern European memes that it was established to prevent.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

It is said that the average person can go only three days without outside resources like grocery stores. You’ll soon realize that the average person can’t read this sentence without a support team.

-- Adaptive Curmudgeon, Things You Need to Know Before You Buy the Farm
This is especially true if the average person in question is a recent graduate (or drop-out) of the Atlanta Public School system.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What HE Said

Sippican Cottage says what I've been feeling.  Too good well said to quote from.  RTWT.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

IOUSA

This morning, while making biscuits and sausage for breakfast, I watched the 2008 documentary I.O.U.S.A. on Netflix. It tells the story of the national debt up through 2008, noting that in 2000 that debt was about $5.6 trillion. By 2008 it had rocketed to just over $10 trillion.  We're now arguing about raising the debt ceiling above its current limit of $14.294 trillion, because if we don't, the government will "run out of money" on August 2 of this year.

The projected national debt for 2012 is in excess of $16 trillion dollars - 100% of the GDP.

In the eight years of the Bush (43) administration, our government managed to not quite double the national debt, adding nearly $5 trillion.

In less than three years of the Obama administration, our government has added over four trillion dollars more.

It's an exponential, unsustainable curve.

Tam is quite right, Obama is "the biggest threat to American civil liberties since... since George W. Bush!"

The documentary is available for viewing on YouTube and BlipTV. An updated 2010 YouTube version, IOUSA Solutions, is also available - and rings the warning bells even louder.

Here's the first piece of that later update:



Friday, July 15, 2011

Quote of the Week - Budget Deficit Theater Edition

From Van der Leun:
In case you haven't noticed, none of this current Fart Festival is about actually "reducing" the size of the government. It is about reducing the rate at which government will grow. The Republican plan is "Same shit. Smaller cups."
Yup.

RTWT.

And Now for Something Completely Different

Haven't posted in a week, and now I'm going to rant about a crappy product.

I bought a Logitech Harmony One universal remote control back in March from Amazon.  Somehow, one of my grandkids broke it earlier this week.  Not a mark on the casing, but the LCD screen is broken.  I contacted Logitech's Customer abuse Service department via email, and followed their instructions to the letter, going so far as to take a picture of the display and attaching it to an email for their study:





Here's their response:
Dear Kevin,

Thank you for contacting Logitech Customer Care.

I understand that it can be frustrating when the screen on your Harmony remote is damaged. I am glad to have something to offer you.

Thank you for providing the photo of your remote. Unfortunately, this does appear to be physical damage to the screen, which is not covered by the hardware warranty. Also, Logitech do not provide repairs.

However, as an existing Logitech Harmony customer whose remote is experiencing a hardware issue that is not covered, you are eligible for a 50% discount** on a brand new Harmony remote from our online store.

If you are interested in this offer, please let me know and I will issue you a promo code that can be used on Logitech.com.

** Valid only for a new Harmony remote. The code is not valid for refurbished units, sale prices, bundles or any other Logitech products, and will not apply to taxes or shipping costs. Valid for 30 days, for a single use. It will not work if you add anything else to your shopping cart, and it will become invalid if you choose one remote, apply the code, then change your mind and go back to choose a different remote.

Thank you once again for contacting Logitech Customer Care.
Here's my response:
Let me see if I understand this offer.

My LCD display is, obviously, broken.  However, there is no damage to the touchscreen nor to the opaque portion of the remote housing indicating how the LCD screen was broken.  This however, is NOT covered under warranty, nor does Logitech offer repair of this remote at any price. 

The price I paid for this remote through Amazon.com back in March was $167.52 -  no small amount for a remote control.  You offer me 50% off a NEW unit, but only if I purchase through your online support center - where the list price is $199.99 (plus freight).

So you want me to pay an additional $100+ for another apparently over-delicate, irrepairable piece of crap with a useless warranty?  This one lasted just over three months.  I don't think I want to drop $100 four times a year, thank you very much. 

Perusing the one-star reviews at Amazon I discover that mine is by far not the only unit to suffer a similar fate.  I think you need to look at redesigning the mounting of the LCD panel so that it can take some shock.  My review of your product will be going up at Amazon shortly, and also at my blog.
Which I've just done.

Strongly recommend against the Logitech Harmony One.

Anybody got a suggestion for a replacement?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Match Report - Bowling Pins, 7/10/11

Turnout today was, to put it mildly, light.  That's too bad, because while the humidity was up, the temperature just wasn't that bad.  Five people showed up to join me, and between us we had thirteen guns - six of them .22 pistols.

Last month's centerfire winner John Higgins took it all this month, going undefeated with his Mk II and his 9mm Witness.  Cliff Reed was the Major caliber winner with his Norinco 1911, but he couldn't outshoot John, and lost the final match, two to one.

At the urging of the few who did attend, next month we'll have a separate revolver class - .38 Special (or .357's shooting .38's) will be Minor caliber.  .357 and larger will be considered Major.  I'll be bringing my Model 25 Mountain Gun in .45 Long Colt.  Hopefully there will be at least three other shooters with wheelguns.

The next match is August 14.  Signup at about 8:00 AM, first rounds downrange by 8:20.  See you there!

Friday, July 08, 2011

RENDEZVOUS!

It is now precisely two months before Gun Blogger Rendezvous V6.0. This one promises to, once again, top all previous versions.

This year's festivities run Sept. 8-11, once again in Reno, Nevada, and once again the official hotel for the event is the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino, which happens to be physically connected to Circus Circus and the El Dorado.

I've attended all five previous events, and I enjoy the hell out of them. Some of the previous attendees include:
Guest of honor this year will once again be Alan Gura - yes, THAT Alan Gura.  And there may be other celebrities as well.

Rendezvous sponsors have included:
And, as has been the tradition, the swag promises to be epic.  The raffle Saturday night promises to have at least three and possibly four firearms.  There will be t-shirts galore (Eric Field donated two Kalashnikitty shirts for this year's event, and I'm pitching in a Sellier & Bellot shirt, still in its unopened bullet-shape), AR-15 magazines, and many, many other really neat items.

But the main reason to go is the reason I go:  To talk to the people I read, and who read me.  This isn't like the NRA annual convention where every moment of every day is tied up with events.  No.  While there are daily planned events, the majority of your time is available to just shoot the breeze with the other attendees, whether in the hospitality room or on the firing range.

Oh, and there will be shooting.  An open range day, a Steel Challenge day, and a Cowboy Fast Draw day.  Everything I bring will be available to anyone to shoot.  I'll bring plenty of ammo.

Finally, we do this every year to raise money for an outstanding charity - Project Valour IT.  Your $30 registration fee and anything you spend on raffle tickets goes to buy voice-activated laptops and Wii video games for our wounded soldiers.  Last year we raised $5,100.  This year I hope we do better.

So scrape your pennies together, send in your registration form, make your travel and hotel reservations, and join us for a terrific weekend of gun-nut goodness!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Ideological Subversion

In a follow-on to Monday's post, TL;DR comes a column from Townhall from June 24 entitled Don't Know Much About History

There's a world-class understatement.

Excerpt:
First, the good news: The nation's eighth-graders are doing better in history class. Now, the bad news: They're not doing much better. Gains in test scores are small, made by the lowest performers, and only 17 percent of those tested are "proficient," or competent.

It gets worse. Only 12 percent of high-school seniors, who are getting ready to vote for the first time, have a proficient knowledge of history. If you're looking for a tinsel lining, you could point to 20 percent of fourth-graders who are described as proficient, but that means eight of 10 haven't learned very much during their tender years in the classroom

The standardized test results known as the "nation's report card," issued by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, are based on tests taken by thousands of schoolchildren in both private and public schools. Such dismal percentages once sounded alarms for parents and teachers, but now mostly get a bored yawn. What else is new?
The next paragraph give us the Quote of the Day:
"We're raising young people who are, by and large, historically illiterate," says historian David McCullough in The Wall Street Journal. "I know how much these young people -- even at the most esteemed institutions of higher learning -- don't know. It's shocking." McCullough, who has lectured on more than a hundred college campuses, tells of a young women who came up to him after a lecture at a renowned university in the Midwest. "Until I heard your talk this morning, I never realized the original 13 colonies were all on the East Coast."
This, from a high school graduate - not one of those who dropped out.

And this ignorance is no accident:
McCullough has learned first-hand how formidable the obstacles have become. Emotional appeals in politically correct courses -- women's history, African history, environmental history -- take the place of chronological and conceptual study across the educational arc from tiny tots to graduate students.

From the early grades, our children learn how horrible slavery was, but spend little time studying the how, why and when we righted that wrong and the wrongs that followed. Who we are comes from what we reject as much as from what we embrace.

The problems with our schools run deep, not only affecting how the next generation is learning to make reasoned choices in determining public policy, but how ignorance undercuts pride and patriotism, the sense of America's core identity. It's not merely academic.
Indeed not. Nor is it unintentional. Another recent story tells us that Independence Day is now a "rightwing" holiday. A July, 1 Hoover Institute column, American Amnesia expands on this:
For the past ten years or more, virtually every glimpse into American students' views on citizenship has revealed both a lack of understanding and a lack of interest. An American Enterprise Institute study earlier this year found that most social studies teachers doubted that their students grasped core U.S. citizenship concepts such as the Bill of Rights or the separation of powers. A recent Department of Education study found that only nine percent of U.S. high school students are able to cite reasons why it is important for citizens to participate in a democracy, and only six percent are able to identify reasons why having a constitution benefits a country. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) has reported a decades-long, step-wise decline in interest in political affairs among college freshmen—from over 60 percent of the population in 1966 to less than half that percentage in our current period.
Remember, it was award-winning educator John Taylor Gatto who said that the education system changed radically beginning in 1965. There was a goal:
For the past ten years, our research team at Stanford has interviewed broad cross-sections of American youth about what U. S. citizenship means to them. Here is one high school student's reply, not atypical: "We just had (American citizenship) the other day in history. I forget what it was." Another student told us that "being American is not really special….I don’t find being an American citizen very important." Another replied, "I don’t want to belong to any country. It just feels like you are obligated to this country. I don’t like the whole thing of citizen...I don’t like that whole thing. It’s like, citizen, no citizen; it doesn’t make sense to me. It’s like to be a good citizen—I don’t know, I don’t want to be a citizen...it’s stupid to me."

Such statements reflect more than an ignorance of citizenship—though they may provide us with clues about the source of students' present-day lack of knowledge. Beyond not knowing what U.S. citizenship entails, many young Americans today are not motivated to learn about how to become a fully engaged citizen of their country. They simply do not care about their status as American citizens. Notions such as civic virtue, civic duty, or devotion to their country mean little to them. This is not true of all young people today—there are exceptions in virtually every community—but it accurately describes a growing trend that encompasses a large portion of our younger generation.
And it has been going on long enough that it affects not only the current generation, but their parents. By all means, please read my April, 2006 essay, RCOB™.  Salon.com contributor Nina Burleigh was shocked, shocked to discover that the Narrowsburg, NY public school she enrolled her five year-old son into taught patriotism!
I cringed as my young son recited the Pledge of Allegiance. But who was I to question his innocent trust in a nation I long ago lost faith in?
Shocked and upset to the point that she felt it necessary to indoctrinate her five year-old herself:
...to counteract any God-and-country indoctrination he received in school, we began our own informal in-home instruction about Bush, Iraq and Washington over the evening news.
Nina was relieved when she moved away from Narrowsburg:
Now it has been almost a year since my son scampered down the steps of Narrowsburg Central Rural School for the last time. We've since returned to the city, driven back to urban life more by adult boredom than our children's lack of educational opportunities. Our son is enrolled in a well-rated K-5 public school on Manhattan's Upper West Side;not surprisingly, the Pledge of Allegiance is no longer part of his morning routine. Come to think of it, and I could be wrong, I've never seen a flag on the premises.
No, I imagine not.

Is it any wonder that our public schools are turning out this product?  They've been at it since 1965.  In 1985 Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov named it "ideological subversion:"
To change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite of their balance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community and their country.

It's a great brainwashing process which goes very slow, and it is divided in four basic stages. The first one being demoralization. It takes from 15-20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years it takes to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy.

--

In other words, Marxism-Leninism is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students, without being challenged or counterbalanced with the basic values of Americanism, America patriotism.
It's been forty-five years since 1965, and it's still ongoing with no end in sight. More Bezmenov, and remember this was twenty-five years ago:
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, with pictures; even if I take him by force to the Soviet Union and show him [a] concentration camp, he will refuse to believe it, until he [receives] a kick in his fat bottom. When a military boot crashes his... then he will understand. But not before that. That's the [tragedy] of the situation of demoralization.

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.

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. 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. with benevolent dictators like Walter Mondale, who will promise lots of thing[s], never mind whether the promises are fulfillable or not. He will go to Moscow to kiss the bottoms of [a] new generation of Soviet assassins, never mind... he will create false illusions that the situation is under control. [The] situation is not under control. [The] situation is disgustingly out of control.

Most of the American politicians, media, and educational system trains another generation of people who think they are living at the peacetime. False. [The] 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 are not scared by now, nothing can scare you.

But you don’t have to be paranoid about it. What actually happens now [is] that unlike [me], you have literally several years to live on unless [the] United States [wakes] up. The time bomb is ticking: with every second [he snaps his fingers], the disaster is coming closer and closer. Unlike [me], you will have nowhere to defect to. Unless you want to live in Antarctica with penguins. This is it. This is the last country of freedom and possibility.
It hasn't gotten to everyone, but it's reached enough so that now our country is more divided than any time since 1860.

That was the goal.  We're "enjoying" the results, and they're worldwide.

Time's up.

I Think it Pretty Much Works This Way

Scott Adams ran a short series of Dilbert strips beginning February 24, 1992 that I want to reproduce here because I think they nailed the 2008 election in a rather prophetic manner:








And the Joe Biden pièce de résistance:


"Social" Justice

A few months ago, I printed what I thought was a pretty good description of the concept of "social justice":
(J)ustice is justice, whereas "social justice" is code for one set of rules for the rich, another for the poor; one set for whites, another set for minorities; one set for straight men, another for women and gays. In short, I pointed out, it's the opposite of actual justice. -- Burt Prelutsky, Me and the Rotarians.
Wandering through the archives of YouTube the other day, I stumbled across a different definition - this one by former "Green Jobs Czar" Van Jones:




Transcript:
Here's how you know if you live in a society where there's social justice: Would you be willing to take your life, write on a card, throw it in a big pot with everybody else, reach in at random and pull out another life with total confidence that it would be a good life?

In other words, I'm not saying that you'd wind up exactly where you were before, but that you'd be able to have a good life, that you'd be able to put it together, figure it out. If you don't have that confidence, you don't live in a country where there's social justice. Because in a socially just - as opposed to a legally just - in a socially just world, since we're all pretty much born equally ignorant, we should have roughly equal chances to have good lives.

You didn't do anything particularly spectacular at the point of birth, such as you deserve all this. And so, that's a high standard. What it means in a country like ours is, we will constantly be striving. We won't ever arrive there, in all likelihood. We will have a more perfect union - we won't have a perfect union, but it can be more perfect. And each generation has to figure out a way to move us closer to the reality of liberty and justice for all, and not just the rhetoric.
Damn, that sounds so . . . nice, doesn't it? Throw your life in a big pot, draw out another, and be totally confident that life will be a "good" one!

Wow! Sign me up!

Not.

True, we are all "born equally ignorant," but we don't stay that way.  Were I, an engineer, to throw my life into the pot and draw out the life of, say, a tailgunner on a Miami garbage truck, I'm fairly certain that I could go on and make a "good life." Were I instead to draw the life of, say, a brain surgeon, my life might be "good," but the patients of that surgeon would certainly suffer.  What if I were to draw the life of someone with a degenerative disease?  Would my life be "good"?  By what measure?

You see, that's the question - who defines "good"?

In my world, I define it - for me.  No one else gets to do that.  And I don't get to do it for anyone else.

But Van Jones has taken it upon himself to define it for everyone else.  He notes that the people he's addressing, students at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, don't "deserve all of this" - that is, the college education they are getting (and, one assumes, paying for.)  Apparently the society they live in gave it to them by virtue of their birth, not because they or their parents worked hard for it.

But, somehow, they do deserve "a good life."

And it's the job of "social" justice to ensure they get it.  What is the mechanism with which this will be accomplished?  Well, he doesn't tell us, but you pretty much have to assume that it is government. And that means that someone must be put in charge of determining who should have what.

And that always leads to this:




Welcome, Comrade, to where we are all equal, but some are more equal than others!

Bowling Pin Match, Sunday July 10

Berm work at the Tucson Rifle Club action range is still ongoing, but the short bays are available for matches.  We're still on! Registration begins at 8:00 AM. Sign in at the range office, but if all you're going to do is shoot the match, you don't need to pay the daily use range fee - it's part of the match entry fee for non-members. $10 for the first gun, $5 each for additional guns. First round downrange (hopefully) by about 8:45.

We're still shooting Major (.40S&W and above), Minor (9mm and below - minimum .38 Special), and .22 rimfire as separate classes, in a double-double-elimination contest.  Hollowpoint and flat-point bullets work better at carrying pins off the tables than round-nose or FMJ bullets do, regardless of caliber.  Line up three abreast, whoever wins two rounds takes that set.  Lose two sets, you're eliminated from that class.


You'll be paired off against other shooters for head-to-head competition, again, first person to win twice wins the set. Whoever's left at the end of the match with no more than one loss is the winner for that class. Bring enough ammo! (I recommend 100 rounds.)  Most tables take well over five shots. Even if you lose the round, you can keep shooting until you've cleared your table if you want to. Consider it practice for the next round.

The last match of the day will be a best two-out-of-three competition between the top Major and Minor shooters (unless, of course, it's the same person). Your only prize: the accolades of your peers.

Everyone who hangs around until the end of the shoot will be put in for a drawing. $1 of each entry goes into a pot. A drawing from the names of those present will be taken, and the winner gets the whole pot.

See you Sunday, July 10!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Get a Load of THIS Racist!

I'm on a video spree!

Found over at Black & Right, you've got to watch this pollster get schooled.




I think I love this woman.  Bless her racist little heart.

Global Cooling Warming Climate Change

So, Instapundit links to a study that says, contrary to the received wisdom of the Warmists, the more people know about science the (slightly) less likely they are to buy into the idea of anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

I wonder why?

For example, we're told - on the one hand - that the last decade is "undoubtedly the warmest 10-year period since the beginning of weather records in 1850." Then we're told - with equal sincerity - that every year since 1998 has been cooler than that "peak" year.

So, which is it?

The promoters of AGW say "both!" The earth hasn't heated up since 1998, despite massive CO2 emissions? Well, there's (always) a simple explanation! Asian pollution!
A new study demonstrates why global surface temperatures defied a decades-long trend and didn’t continue to rise between 1998 and 2008: Pollution-spewing, coal-burning power plants in Asia, while emitting warming greenhouse gases, simultaneously sent cooling sulfur particles into the atmosphere.

During that decade — sometimes cited as evidence to deny global warming — these Asian emissions mostly balanced one another and dampened the effects of natural cooling cycles associated with the sun and ocean temperatures.
But never fear, the thermostat's ready to be cranked up again!

I recommend you spend nine minutes and watch this:






It's worth your time.

UPDATE: From Watts Up With That comes the Quote of the Week from Minister of Parliament Graham Stringer from the investigation into ClimateGate:
"When I asked Oxburgh if [Keith] Briffa [CRU academic] could reproduce his own results, he said in lots of cases he couldn’t," Stringer told us. "That just isn't science. It's literature. If somebody can't reproduce their own results, and nobody else can, then what is that work doing in the scientific journals?"
It's getting more funding and ginning up enthusiasm for more government power.

The Republican Candidate for President You've not Heard About

Yes, there's someone besides Mitt & Michele running for Prez on the Republican ticket.  (And no, I'm not talking about the imploded campaign of Newt or even Herman Cain.)

Thaddeus McCotter.

Who?

Thad McCotter.

McCotter is the five-term Representative for Michigan’s 11th District, and filed his paperwork on July 1 to the collective yawn of the legacy media. Want to know a little bit about him? Watch the videos in this March 2010 post. Then watch his announcement:





He's also on Red Eye a lot.

But hey, what do I know? I gave $100 to Fred Thompson last time around.

Unpaid Promotional

Well, it came with a holster, so perhaps unpaid is a bit of a stretch, but . . .

A bit over a month ago, Dennis of Dragon Leatherworks offered to send me a sample of his wares; in my case, a Talon holster for the 1911.  All he wanted from me in return was a review.  To quote:
I am offering the holster with the full understanding that if you find it to be junk, you'll say so. I'm not offering a product in return for a good review....I'm offering it for an *honest* review.
Having heard good things from other bloggers such as Weerd, Robb, Jay and Breda, I agreed, and my example showed up on June 2.

First impressions: It's very well made, with thick, stiff leather, uniform stitching, and a beautiful finish. Mine is burgundy with the "black burst".  My first-gen Kimber Classic Stainless fit it tightly, and the trigger is completely covered by the holster.  In fact, my Kimber fit it a bit too tightly.  Some time back I gave it a two-tone finish by having the slide Gunkoted black.  The combination of the unfinished interior of the outer panel of leather, tight fit, and Gunkote made for very positive retention.  Even after following Dennis' break-in instructions, two weeks later the holster still wanted to hold with a death-grip.

Dennis says that his holsters need to absorb some moisture to loosen up a bit, but this is Arizona where the relative humidity is in the 'teens unless there's been a recent storm.  I didn't go so far as to actually wet the holster, but it did take a good three weeks for it to finally be willing to give me back my gun without a (major) fight.  Had the gun been in its original bare-stainless finish, I'm certain retention would have been good, but not that good.

Needless to say, the pistol isn't going to fall out of this holster should you take a short jog.  Or a long fall.

Now, Arizona has always been an open carry state, but I haven't practiced it much.  I have a CCW, but again, Arizona in the summer limits your choices in concealment garments.  Normally I carry a Kel-Tec PF9 in a pocket holster in the summer.  In cooler weather I carry my Kimber Ultra CDP II in a Comp-Tac Minotaur IWB holster, with a shirt over it to conceal.  Toting a Government-sized 1911 on my hip in public was a new experience, and not a negative one.

My belt is a Beltman 1.5" with velcro loop strips on the inside.  The loop strips lock to the Minotaur's hook strips on the belt loops, positively securing the holster in place.  They also add stiffness to the belt.  The combination of my belt and Dennis' Talon holster was every bit as solid and fixed, though I've come to the conclusion that I really ought to go to a 1.75" belt.  The weight of a Government-sized all steel pistol is, well, noticeable after awhile.  The inner panel of the holster does an excellent job of isolating the hammer, grip safety and thumb safety from rubbing against my body.

So my honest opinion is, Dennis makes a damned nice holster!  Now I want one with the Vicious Circle logo stamped into it!

Monday, July 04, 2011

TL;DR

One year prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the overwhelming majority of colonists considered themselves loyal subjects of the Crown, full British citizens with all the rights and privileges that citizenship entitled them to.  Yes, there were problems with the way the Colonies were being administered, but these were largely misunderstandings and could be worked out.

One year later that attitude had changed.  The colonies were ripe for rebellion.  In honesty, not much had really changed in the way the Crown treated the colonies, the difference was that the ideology the colonists lived under had changed.

The cause of that change was Thomas Paine's Common Sense, a 46-page pamphlet published January 10, 1776.  In the first three months, 120,000 to 150,000 copies sold at 2 shillings each, the rough equivalent of $15 today.  In the first year after its initial printing, 500,000 copies sold in a nation of only about 3 million people.  By July, 1776 it had had its effect, and the colonists by and large no longer considered themselves Britons, but Americans.

In 1776 it is estimated that 90% of the population was literate - and not just literate, but at a fairly high level. I've quoted this before, but Thomas Sowell on literacy and education:
A recently reprinted memoir by Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) has footnotes explaining what words like "arraigned," "curried" and "exculpate" meant, and explaining who Job was. In other words, this man who was born a slave and never went to school educated himself to the point where his words now have to be explained to today's expensively under-educated generation.

There is really nothing very mysterious about why our public schools are failures. When you select the poorest quality college students to be public school teachers, give them iron-clad tenure, a captive audience, and pay them according to seniority rather than performance, why should the results be surprising?

Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children. In an age of artificial intelligence, they are creating artificial stupidity.

In a democracy, we have always had to worry about the ignorance of the uneducated. Today we have to worry about the ignorance of people with college degrees.
An excerpt from Common Sense:
Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.
THAT is the expression of the minarchist, or "small-L" libertarian.

Back when I wrote True Believers, I quoted Glen Wishard from his Canis Iratus post, A Thumbnail History of the Twentieth Century:
The rise and fall of the Marxist ideal is rather neatly contained in the Twentieth Century, and comprises its central political phenomenon. Fascism and democratic defeatism are its sun-dogs. The common theme is politics as a theology of salvation, with a heroic transformation of the human condition (nothing less) promised to those who will agitate for it. Political activity becomes the highest human vocation. The various socialisms are only the most prominent manifestation of this delusion, which our future historian calls "politicism". In all its forms, it defines human beings as exclusively political animals, based on characteristics which are largely or entirely beyond human control: ethnicity, nationality, gender, and social class. It claims universal relevance, and so divides the entire human race into heroes and enemies. To be on the correct side of this equation is considered full moral justification in and of itself, while no courtesy or concession can be afforded to those on the other. Therefore, politicism has no conscience whatsoever, no charity, and no mercy.
(Emphasis in original.)  Other than disagreeing with Glen's contention that the end of the Twentieth Century marked the fall of the Marxist ideal, I think his observation is spot-on - and it illustrates the polar opposite of the minarchist ideal espoused by Thomas Paine in which government is a necessary evil.  I think proof that Glen's thinking was wishful is easily illustrated by former Vice-President and nearly President Albert Gore's contention that the purpose of Rule of Law was "human redemption," or Barack Obama's declaration that his election meant "fundamentally transforming the United States of America," that the rise of the oceans would slow, and the planet would begin to heal upon his ascension.  There are more, but those two scream for themselves.

The Nineteenth Century was a century of struggle between the old feudal, colonialist paradigm and the new individualist, capitalist, democratic one. Feudalism and colonialism lost. At the start of the Twentieth Century "the sun never set" on the British Empire. England had colonies in India, Asia, Africa. France in Southeast Asia and North Africa. Spain, Portugal, Holland, Germany and Italy all had colonies in Africa and Asia. South and Central America were overrun with colonies.  And all of these polities were monarchies.

By the middle of the Twentieth Century, colonialism was over, and England, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany were representative democracies of one form or another. England may still have a reigning Queen, but she has very little actual power.

But while the Nineteenth Century was a battle between the ideologies of monarchy and democracy, the Twentieth Century was a struggle between democracy and "politicism."  The outcome of the Ninteenth Century's conflicts were not fully felt until the end of the Twentieth.  The outcome of the Twentieth Century's struggles, I think, will be felt much sooner.  As with everything else, political change moves faster as time progresses.

As others have noted, Marx predicted that the proletariat would overthrow the capitalists in the industrialized world, but it didn't happen.  The question was "why?" and the conclusion was that capitalism made too many people comfortable.  In order for the revolution to succeed, it would be necessary to change the culture of the people.

To change the culture as Thomas Paine had done in a few short months in 1776.

However, the ground in which Thomas Paine sowed his seeds of rebellion was already rich and prepared for his ideas.  Near universal literacy.  Exposure to and understanding of the philosophy of John Locke versus that of Thomas Hobbes.  A firm faith in a Higher Power.  That soil is not a good one in which to plant the seeds of politicism.

Politicism requires a different fertilizer mix.  Ignorance. Illiteracy.  Illogic.  Envy.  Dependency.  Despair. Apathy.

To surrender completely to the control of others - either a secular government or a religious one - control that invades every waking action, requires people unwilling to do for themselves. The first step is and must be the destruction of education. People must be prevented from thinking for themselves, from reasoning. George Orwell explained it with "Newspeak" in his novel 1984:
NEWSPEAK was the official language of Oceania and had been devised to meet the ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism. In the year 1984 there was not as yet anyone who used Newspeak as his sole means of communication, either in speech or writing. The leading articles in the Times were written in it, but this was a tour de force which could only be carried out by a specialist. It was expected that Newspeak would have finally superseded Oldspeak (or Standard English, as we should call it) by about the year 2050. Meanwhile it gained ground steadily, all Party members tending to use Newspeak words and grammatical constructions more and more in their everyday speech. The version in use in 1984, and embodied in the Ninth and Tenth Editions of the Newspeak Dictionary, was a provisional one, and contained many superfluous words and archaic formations which were due to be suppressed later. It is with the final, perfected version, as embodied in the Eleventh Edition of the Dictionary, that we are concerned here.

The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought—that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc—should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever. To give a single example. The word free still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as ‘This dog is free from lice’ or ‘This field is free from weeds’. It could not be used in its old sense of ‘politically free’ or ‘intellectually free’ since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed even as concepts, and were therefore of necessity nameless. Quite apart from the suppression of definitely heretical words, reduction of vocabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that could be dispensed with was allowed to survive. Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum.
That preparation started in the early years of the 20th Century.  Thus today we have "politically correct" speech.  With destruction of language skills comes the destruction of logic skills - if you can't read, you can't integrate ideas new to you.  In fact, new ideas are gibberish - words that have no meaning.  "Politically free" is a null value to someone planted in the fields of politicism.  It's a weed.

A free society requires an informed and virtuous citizenry.

"Free," "informed" and "virtuous" have become null terms.

The 21st Century will be a century of struggle between freedom and politicism. Polticism has two competing versions - Marxist and Muslim. Freedom?

Null term.
When in the course of human events . . . .
Happy (In)Dependence Day.

UPDATE:  Christiane Amanpour uses the word "perspicacious."  ABC has to edumacate its audience. At least the ones in the "dance of the low, sloping forehead" country.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

What HE Said!

Doubleplusundead responds to a US News report that a Harvard study finds that the celebration of Independence Day has become a rightwing holiday.

I find I can add nothing of value to Edward von Bear's stirring retort.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Lend Me Your Ears!*


I come not to praise the Constitution, but to bury it.

The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones. So let it be with the Constitution. The noble Progressive hath told you that the Constitution was outdated. If it were so, it was a grievous fault, and grievously hath that document answer'd it.

Here, under leave of the Progressive and the rest - for the Progressive is an honourable man. Woman. Gender-neutral being.

So are they all, all honourable beings. Just ask them.

Come I to speak at the Constitution's funeral.

It was my friend, faithful and just to me. But the Progressive says it was outdated, too rigid, too difficult to understand.

And the Progressive is an honourable being.

The Constitution hath brought much freedom to America, which benefits did the general coffers fill. Did this in the Constitution seem outdated?

When that the poor have cried, the Constitution hath left their succor to the Citizens, who violated that document to provide that succor.

A rigid contract should be made of sterner stuff. Yet the Progressive says it was too rigid. And the Progressive is an honourable being.

I speak not to disprove what the Progressive spoke, but here I am to speak what I do know.

You all did love it once, not without cause. What cause withholds you then, to mourn for it?

O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts, and men have lost their reason. Bear with me. My heart is in the coffin there with the Constitution, and I must pause till it come back to me.
Recently, the Washington Post sold its interest in Newsweek for $1.

Time must be worth all of 12¢.


(*With all apologies to the Bard.)