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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Indoctrination

I came across this the other day - the syllabus for a University of Arizona "Honors" English class, English 109H - in fact, the syllabus states:
This is an honors class with work and credit equivalent to a year’s completion of ENGL 101 and 102. Expectations are high.
This is a class for incoming Honors freshmen, straight out of high school.

Shakespeare? Milton? (*shudder*) Conrad?

Nope:
English 109H: Fall 2017

DAMN, We Will Never Know: Kendrick Lamar’s and Kiese Laymon’s Hip Hop Literacies

Course Description


Morally, there has been no change at all, and a moral change is the only real one.
–James Baldwin

On April 14, 2017, twenty-nine year-old Kendrick Lamar, an American hip hop artist known for his pop protest music, released his fourth studio album, DAMN. Four years earlier, thirty-eight year-old Kiese Laymon, an American writer known for his work on Gawker and ESPN, published his series of autobiographical essays on American racism, masculinity, hip hop, and the deep South.

Using Laymon’s essays as a framework, we will study Kendrick Lamar’s body of music to events which boomed his controversy, including #BlackLivesMatter and ongoing police brutalities, especially those publicized by social media. By studying American values connected to what we call blackness and whiteness, we’ll explore conflict, contact, and coalition and ask: How does black American and white American social media allow for critiques of race, gender, sexuality, and violence? What does it mean for a genre of music and its accompanying culture that, by "tradition," enforces heterosexuality and masculinity—in the name of legal murders?

The goal of this course is to improve your ability to critically think and write. In addition to contextualizing and reshaping the Kendrick Lamar and Kiese Laymon conversations, you will conduct library and field research on your own controversy, which will be integrated into a semester-long project consisting of a research essay, public argument, and literacy narrative. If we can listen and read carefully enough, we can occupy other subjectivities; that is, to say, we can improve our writings and civic lives, which are connected to what happens outside the classroom. We will return to the same question at the end: Can we really act as witness to another voice, even for our studies of language and its adaptations?

Course Goals
Goal 1: Rhetorical Awareness
Learn strategies for analyzing texts’ audiences, purposes, and contexts as a means of developing facility in reading and writing.

Goal 2: Critical Thinking and Composing
Use reading and writing for purposes of critical thinking, research, problem solving, action, and participation in conversations within and across different communities.

Goal 3: Reflection and Revision
Understand composing processes as flexible and collaborative, drawing upon multiple strategies and informed by reflection.

Goal 4: Conventions
Understand conventions as related to purpose, audience, and genre, including such areas as mechanics, usage, citation practices, as well as structure, style, graphics, and design.

Written Assignments
  • In the first unit of the course, you will study and respond to various contexts according to different rhetorical lenses and write a Contextual Rhetorical Analysis of Public Protest Spaces reframing Black lives politics re-envisioned by music videos from Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. You may defend, depart from, or combine his arguments to develop your own inquiry.
  • In the second unit, you will conduct both library and field research on an approved social justice controversy of your choice, which will culminate in an analysis of the issue, or a Rhetorical Analysis of a Controversy. An Annotated Bibliography, due before the big Essay 2, will complete the “Research Portfolio.” You will closely study U.S. state or Supreme court cases to develop your controversies.
  • In the third unit, you will use this research to support an argument of public interest, called a Public Argument. You will create a video catered to a mobilized audience and present it to the class.
  • For the final “exam,” you will write and curate your own literacy narrative, which you will publish on a class blog. The final project is semester-long and we will NOT spend time in class on it other than one session per month; you are expected to develop, collect, and write your materials throughout the course. Please start early and utilize the class resources and office hours.
  • In addition to these larger projects, you will complete a series of in-class and out-of-class smaller assignments which build into the four major assignments. Homework (readings, journals, smaller pre-essay assignments and discussions), workshops, and participation are often the decisive suasion points for borderline grades. Do the work, come to class ready and willing to discuss and participate, and you will see that reflected in what you earn.
I'm not going to go through the rest of it, but here's an example of Kendrick Lamar's art from his album DAMN:


I'm reminded of this national championship debate performance.

Just saying.

Kiese Laymon's collection of essays How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America is a required textbook. 

At least there's a textbookThe title essay is still available at Gawker.  It's prose, but I'm unconvinced that what's being taught in this class is "critical thinking" or "structure, style, graphics and design."  And since when is the purpose of an English class "problem solving, action, and participation in conversations within and across different communities"?

Oh, and remember we're paying (alot) for our kids to go to college for this.

The professor?  Sylvia Chan

The Long March through the Institutions has been completed for a long, long time.

Quote of the Day

New one on me:
Newsheimers, the media affliction by which you just can’t recall what you previously reported.  Especially when it concerns Democrats.
Heh™

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Right-Wing Media

I just got introduced to IntellectualFroglegs.com by a video over at American Digest.  The video is on YouTube - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Goolag - er, Google:


Watch that, if for no other reason than to appreciate the content creator's real mastery of the multimedia format.

If you had told me six years ago that the American Left would be self-destructing as rapidly and violently as they appear to be today, I'd have had you committed.  But bear in mind, their "long march through the institutions" has secured their (ever more tenuous) grasp on the reins of power.  They own academia, the media, and the entertainment industry almost completely, and that's still a lot of power, power they won't surrender easily.

The .25ACP and Defending Your Life

The third most popular piece on TSM is a reprint of an old Usenet post, written by a Florida pawnbroker who went by the handle Flimflam.  It's the story of how he was attacked in his store one day and had to defend himself from a sword-wielding nutcase.  He wasn't wearing his fully-loaded Glock, the backup .38 in his office was disassembled for cleaning, but while standing with a blade jammed through his abdomen he finally remembered the tiny Beretta .25 in his back pocket and it saved his life.

Well, yesterday someone emailed me a similar story of how a .25 saved another life:
While out walking along the edge of a pond just outside my house in The Villages with my soon to be ex-husband, discussing property settlement and other divorce issues, we were surprised by a huge 12-ft. Alligator which suddenly emerged from the murky water and began charging us with its large jaws wide open. She must have been protecting her nest because she was extremely aggressive.

If I had not had my little Beretta .25 caliber pistol with me, I would not be here today! Just one shot to my estranged husband's knee cap was all it took. The 'gator got him easily, and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace. It's one of the best pistols in my collection, plus the amount I saved in lawyer's fees was really incredible. His life insurance was a big bonus.
The .25ACP. It ain't much, but it beats harsh language!

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Another Update from the Gun Retail Front Lines

Tam posted recently on what she believes is at least partially the cause of the current glut on the firearms market:
(W)hile most firearms companies are privately held and therefore inscrutable on matters fiscal, the goings-on at a few are public knowledge because they are publicly traded.

The news from American Outdoor Brands Corporation (neé Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation) tells a tale that is probably all too common in the industry right now: Shelves groaning under unsold inventory that was churned out in expectation of the mother of all gun panics following a Hillary Clinton victory.
I sent this link to my favorite local Merchant O'Death, and he recently replied:
As I mentioned in an earlier email, and, as others have pointed out elsewhere, it is definitely a buyer's market in the firearms industry right now. The big name companies continue to offer almost absurd "deals" in the form of free gear, mail in rebates and the like. One company was offering a free pair of Oakley sunglasses with he purchase of one of their AR platform rifles. I do believe that particular deal has ended but several other companies have continued deals that were only supposed to last a month or two. Ruger is currently engaged in a program for gun store employees. Sell a certain number of new Ruger firearms, send in proof to Ruger that you have done so and, upon verification that no skullduggery is afoot, they will send the gun store employee a brand spankin' new Ruger firearm of the said gun store employee's choice (from a list of firearms posted by the company of course). . There are some pretty cool choices on the list. Now to the point: the program was supposed to last for a couple of months. It has been extended for a couple more. I suppose that is one way to move product out of the warehouse.

Our distributors call us Monday through Friday with "ganga deals" on firearms we don't need either because we have them on the shelves (and in back stock) or because we have no room for them. The only firearms we have a hard time acquiring are a handful of things that were announced at SHOT earlier in the year. The CZ P-10C is much sought after though availability is getting better. Colt announced the return of the Cobra revolver at SHOT this year. I have almost a double handful of customers with money down on one. I have yet to see one. The Kimber K6S, even though it has been out for over a year is still a scarce beastie on our shelves despite the fact that we are a "Master Dealer". With rare exception ammunition is not hard to come by at all (those rare exceptions leaning toward the "semi-obsolete" cartridges like 30-40 Krag and 348 Winchester etc.) We turn down 22 rimfire ammo every day.

We are still turning customers away with firearms for sale. We are still stacked to the gunwales with black rifles, Glocks, XDs, M&Ps, Sigs, 1911s, pocket pistols and small frame revolvers. We also have a glut of heavy barrel target/benchrest rifles of varying caliber. Had to turn a guy away today with a nice Sako single-shot, heavy barrel bolt gun in 222 Rem. He couldn't understand why we didn't want to buy it even after we showed him the eight other target guns we had that had been there for longer than we wanted them to be.

The old and collectable are still flying of the shelves. Had a non-military/police Sig P-210 come into our possession from an old customer that is getting out of the firearms game due to poor health. That gun never made it to the shelf. Customer saw it as we were buying it and said that he didn't care what the price was he wanted it. Same thing with a couple of semi-scarce Colt 1911A1 models. Same story with some older S&W revolvers.

Things are selling, just not things that are collecting dust on manufacturers'/distributors' shelves.
So, interesting things are happening in the used market, but the market for all that stuff sitting in manufacturer's and distributor's warehouses? Not so much.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Quote of the Day - Gunnie Edition

Paraphrased because I can't find the actual quote at the moment, but seen elsewhere:
Handguns put holes in bodies.

Rifles put holes through bodies.

Shotguns, at the proper range and with the proper load, remove significant portions of bodies and splatter those portions all over the ground.
I'm advised that quote is from Clint Smith, President and Director of Thunder Ranch. And I think that's a pretty fair assessment.

I Wonder What the Earworm from This Would Be?

Seen at the Book of Face, had to share:

Frozen 2:  Lethal Ice