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

Saturday, July 20, 2019

More

Bigger


Higher



Faster


Taller


More powerful


Happier


...Better

More.  It's a concept that defines human nature, makes us what we are.  We want more.

More of what?  That's one of the defining attributes of unique individuals - the what that we want more of.  The what that drives our own personal pursuit of happiness.  But now a growing contingent of The Anointed™ is telling us and the rest of the world, "You can't have more."

Fuck 'em.

(Another early draft dusted off and polished a bit.)

"We Have Met the Enemy, and He is Us."

The immortal words of the comic-strip character Pogo.

(Perusing my blog, I noticed that I had a half-dozen started essays that I'd never completed and published.  This is one of them from back in early 2016.  I thought I'd dust it off and hit "Publish."  Comments?)

Here we are in the early stages of the Run for the Presidency, 2016, and the most likely candidates at the moment are a lying, incompetent carpetbagger from Arkansas and a blowhard billionaire whose only principles seems to be "make money" and "promote myself."  The Vermont Socialist could still pull it out if he could get the Democrat Superdelegates on his side, but that seems unlikely at this point.  The Republican elite is shitting itself over the possibility that The Donald® might win the nomination, and the only other candidate with a chance is Ted "No Compromise" Cruz.  They could defeat The Donald® if they united behind Cruz, but as Rush Limbaugh keeps repeating, they hate The Donald®, they FEAR Cruz.

How the fuck did we get to this point?

Political commentator Henry Louis Mencken, an early 20th Century Cassandra wrote in 1920:
The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
So a low opinion of politicians and the electorate both is nothing really all that new, but I wonder if Mencken really believed what he was saying, or was he instead writing a warning?  Doesn't really matter now, though, because instead of electing a moron, we're looking at electing an entirely different kind of disaster.

In 2006 I pulled a Quote of the Week from an Orson Scott Card book I was reading:
(America) was a nation created out of nothing - nothing but a set of ideals that they never measured up to. Now and then they had great leaders, but usually nothing but political hacks, and I mean right from the start. Washington was great, but Adams was paranoid and lazy, and Jefferson was as vile a scheming politician as a nation has ever been cursed with.
...
America shaped itself with institutions so strong that it could survive corruption, stupidity, vanity, ambition, recklessness, and even insanity in its chief executive.
A couple of years later, I pulled that quote again for my post Restoring the Lost Constitution, and asked the question:

But can it survive enmity?

I don't have an answer to that question yet, but it may be coming sooner than anyone would like.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Monday, July 08, 2019

I'd Like to See That Venn Diagram

So Iran threatened to name Western politicians who took bribes to create Obama's nuclear deal.

It has been strongly suggested that the Justice Department bent over backwards to not pursue the Hillary Clinton over her private email server and possible pay-to-play abuse of her Secretary of State position because of the political fallout.

Now billionaire Jeffrey Epstein - a major Clinton and Dem contributor - has been arrested on child trafficking charges - and major political fallout is expected

You have to wonder what the Venn diagram of all those corrupt swamp-dwellers looks like, don't you?

Friday, July 05, 2019

Quote of the Day - Charlie Martin Edition

From his PJMedia column We May Consent to be Governed but We Do Not Consent to be Ruled:

...a whole wing of American politics right now is dedicated to the proposition that all men are not created equal; that the clerisy, the lettered, those with Ivy-League degrees and the right family connections, form a distinct and natural aristocracy that should by rights not just govern, but rule.
I wish I had written that.  I've been trying to get a piece out for weeks now on this.

Whoops! They Did It Again!

2002: Venezuela passes its first version of the Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law

2012: Venezuela bans private gun owners Version 2.0

2014: Disarmament Law in Venezuela Yields Near Zero Results

Not exactly:
Since the Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law came into force in June 2013, authorities have seized 12,603 illegal weapons, while only 37 guns have been voluntarily handed in, reported El Nacional.
Which still isn’t much from an estimated pool of perhaps *six million*, but still...

2017: Socialist Venezuelan Leader Steps Up Arming of Supporters After Outlawing, Confiscating Civilian Guns

2019: Venezuela's army death squads kill thousands

We were warned 100 years ago:
AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: *"Stick to the Devil you know."*

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: *"The Wages of Sin is Death."*

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: *"If you don't work you die." *

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
The Gods of the Copybook Headings - Rudyard Kipling, 1919.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

A Blast from the Past

From July 4, 2012, Walter Russell Mead's re-imagining of the "woke" Declaration of (In)Dependence:

The unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen Post-Colonial, Multi-Racial Societes of North America
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to strengthen the political bands which have connected them with the Global Community, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the cooperative and deferential station which a careful review of the relevant peer reviewed literature suggests is most appropriate for long term win-win outcomes, a decent and rigorously equal respect to the opinions of woman- and man- and transkind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the ever deeper union.
We hold these views to be consistent with the evolving cultural consensus, that all humans are equally obliged to the performance of certain Duties, that among these are the Participation in the Struggle against Racism, Economic Injustice, Genetically Modified Organisms, Homophobia, Nationalism and the Excessive Emission of Carbon Dioxide and Other Greenhouse Gasses. That to secure the performance of these Duties, Governments are instituted among humans, deriving their just powers from the considered Opinions of the Educated Classes, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Duty of the Enlightened and Credentialed Guardians of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect the Unquestioning Performance of their Duties by the Less Enlightened Members of the Public. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Change cannot come too quickly to suit the Convenience and the Predilections of an Enlightened Minority; Governments long established should be changed the Moment a Sufficient Number of Well Regarded Contributors to the New York Review of Books have determined that such Change is Morally Incumbent; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that intellectuals who have never run anything in their lives are the Fittest of all Living People to remedy virtually any evil by abolishing the forms of Government, Laws and Customs of Society to which the brutish and unreflective Common People are accustomed. And when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same Failed Dogmas of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy evinces a design to allow said Common People to evade all obligations to the Global Community, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide New and Expanded Regulations for the future better restriction of the Lower Orders as they deem Meet for the Purpose.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Why do Some Gun Owners Frown On Open Carry?

I'm still answering questions over at Quora, and - like blogging - it seems that you never know when a post is going to strike a nerve.  Right now, this answer has over 175k views, 1.5k upvotes, 10 shares and a shitload of comments.  It's currently the second-most popular answer I've given over there since I signed up.  Interesting.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Your Moment of Zen

Been too long since I posted one of these:

Hamnøy in Lofoten, Norway

Nice view, huh?

Friday, June 21, 2019

Quote of the Day - the Four Rules Edition

I spend 24 hours a day with the person most likely to inflict a gunshot wound on me.

The safety rules of firearms are what they are for a reason. - Jeff Brosius
Wisdom.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

It's a Feature, Not a Bug

I will not register.  Period.

Budget 2019: Money for gun buy-back scheme may not be enough (New Zealand):

Pullquote:
Police Association president Chris Cahill said it was a bit of unknown if the money would be enough because there had not been a gun registry.

"We really have no idea how many of these firearms are out there in New Zealand," Cahill said.

"Which really points to how bad our firearms legislation has been, that we have let this get out of control."
Hard to confiscate if you don't know who owns what. That's kind of the point.

UPDATE:
Once again, responding to a horrendous crime by inflicting knee-jerk, authoritarian restrictions on innocent people proves to be an ineffective means of convincing people to obey. Specifically, New Zealand's government—which also stepped up censorship and domestic surveillance after bloody attacks on two Christchurch mosques earlier this year—is running into stiff resistance to new gun rules from firearms owners who are slow to surrender now-prohibited weapons and will probably never turn them in.

Officials should have seen it coming.

"Police are anticipating a number of people with banned firearms in their possession won't surrender them," Stuff reported at the end of May, based on internal government documents.

As of last week, only around 700 weapons had been turned over. There are an estimated 1.5 million guns—with an unknown number subject to the new prohibition on semiautomatic firearms—in the country overall.

Traditionally relaxed in its approach to firearms regulation, and enjoying a low crime rate, New Zealand has no firearms registration rule. That means authorities have no easy way of knowing what guns are in circulation or who owns them.

"These weapons are unlikely to be confiscated by police because they don't know of their existence," Philippa Yasbek of Gun Control NZ admitted. "These will become black-market weapons if their owners choose not to comply with the law and become criminals instead."

Yasbek's organization advocates registering all guns in private hands. But that won't help with gathering guns already in the possession of owners appalled by the government's attack on the rights of innocent people—government attacks, it's worth noting, that come in response to the crimes of one man who explicitly anticipated just such a response.

"I chose firearms for the affect it would have on social discourse," the killer wrote in a document he released to explain his crimes. "The gun owners of New Zealand are a beaten, miserable bunch of baby boomers, who have long since given up the fight. When was the last time they won increased rights? Their loss was inevitable. I just accelerated things a bit."

Politicians fulfilled the murderer's predictions with panic-driven legislation.

That gun owners would, in large numbers, defy restrictions should have been anticipated by anybody who knows the history of government attempts to disarm their subjects—or who just glanced across the Tasman Sea to Australia.

"In Australia it is estimated that only about 20% of all banned self-loading rifles have been given up to the authorities," wrote Franz Csaszar, professor of criminology at the University of Vienna, after Australia's 1996 compensated confiscation of firearms following a mass murder in Port Arthur, Tasmania. Csaszar put the number of illegally retained arms in Australia at between two and five million.

"Many members of the community still possess grey-market firearms because they did not surrender these during the 1996–97 gun buyback," the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission conceded in a 2016 report. "The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission continues to conservatively estimate that there are more than 260,000 firearms in the illicit firearms market."
RTWT.

Quote of the Day - Democracy Edition

Via Instapundit:
In days gone by, superannuated elites refusing to accept defeat on existential questions of this type finished up with their heads on pikes. Democracy put a stop to that by doing what democracy does best: facilitating the peaceful and orderly transfer of power. But democracy means you elect a new parliament, not a new people. That, in truth, is the only deal that matters. - Helen Dale, Brexplaining the UK's Future
 Today only Democrats and dictators fear elections.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Meanwhile in Climate News...


National Parks Quietly Toss Signs Saying Glaciers ‘Will Be Gone’ By 2020:

The National Park Service has quietly removed all the signs put up by the Obama administration that told visitors that the glaciers would “all be gone” by the year 2020 due to global warming… because… it’s 2019, and the glaciers are all still there and have been growing.

Glacier National Park quietly removed a sign at its visitor center saying the glaciers will disappear by 2020 which were originally placed because former President Obama believed the predictions pushed by the left’s climate change hypothesis.

According to federal officials, several years in a row of high snowfall and cold temperatures totally obliterated a computer model that authorities relied on to claim that the glaciers would all be melted by 2020, Daily Caller reported.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Quote of the Day - Glenn Reynolds Edition

Like he needs a link from me, but I wanted to archive this one.  In response to the New York Times deputy managing editor Rebecca Blumenstein stating:

‘We are in no way anti-Trump.’

Glenn zings back:

ALSO, NO ONE IS STARVING IN THE UKRAINE

That ought to leave a scar.


Thursday, June 06, 2019

Comment Moderation

If you've been having problems posting or replying to posts, I apologize.  I haven't been paying attention to Disqus the way I should be, and the spam filters have been overactive.  I just approved several comments (and deleted a couple it caught).  Sorry about that.