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

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

This Blog is Old Enough to Drive

Sixteen years ago on this day I hit "Publish" on my very first blog post:
Is this thing on?

Apparently so. Too bad I managed to lose the opening essay it took me an HOUR to compose. Oh well. I'll reconstruct it and put it back up later.

Welcome to The Smallest Minority, so named because most of the really good names Eject! Eject! Eject!, USS Clueless, Instapundit, Acidman, and so on were already taken. And while not a Randian, I accept a lot of Ayn Rand's observations as accurate, and it was she who wrote: "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."

This blog is about the rights of individuals, that smallest of minorities, so it seemed apt.

More (hopefully MUCH more) to follow.
And MUCH MORE did follow, damn, did it ever.  6950 more posts, plus this one.  Three of the four links above are now defunct, but this one soldiers on.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

"That America will return one day, I know it will."

Digging through the archives looking for something else, I stumbled across this old post. I liked it so much I thought I'd repost it here:

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Quote of the Day: Larry Corriea Edition

From his Monster Nation post The 2nd Amendment is Obsolete, Says Congressman Who Wants To Nuke Omaha:
In something that I find profoundly troubling when I’ve had this discussion before, I’ve had a Caring Liberal tell me that the example of Iraq doesn’t apply because “we kept the gloves on”, whereas fighting America’s gun nuts would be a righteous total war with nothing held back… Holy shit, I’ve got to wonder about the mentality of people who demand rigorous ROEs to prevent civilian casualties in a foreign country, are blood thirsty enough to carpet bomb Texas.

You really hate us, and then act confused why we want to keep our guns? But I don’t think unrelenting total war against everyone who has ever disagreed with you on Facebook is going to be quite as clean as you expect.
RTWT.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

May Victims of Communism Day


Today is the 12th annual Victims of Communism Day, a day to remember the people murdered by their own governments in their quest to achieve a "worker's paradise" where everyone is equal, where "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" is the beautiful dream lie.  R.J. Rummel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, calculated that the total number of victims of Communism - that is, the domestic victims of their own governments - in the USSR, China, Vietnam, North Korea and Cambodia is 98.4 million people.  For all Communist governments during the 20th Century, he puts the estimate at approximately 110 million.  And this wasn't in warfare against other nations, this was what these governments did to their own people - "breaking eggs" for their utopian omelette that never gets made.

Six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, and another six million people the Nazis decided were "undesirable" went with them.  "Never again" is the motto of the modern Jew, and many others just as dedicated.  But "again and again and again" seems to be the rebuke of history.

The Communists are hardly alone in these crimes.  Rummel estimates that the total number of people murdered by their own governments during the 20th Century is on the close order of 262 million, but the single biggest chunk of that truly frightening number is directly due to one pernicious idea:  That we can make people better.

Why do I own guns?  For a number of reasons, but one of them is this:
And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?  --  Alexandr Solzhenitzyn, The Gulag Archipelago

--

The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed - where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once. -- Judge Alex Kozinski, dissenting, Silveira v. Lockyer, denial to re-hear en banc, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 2003.
I intend to repeat this post each May 1 that I continue to run this blog. 

Several years ago, Sipsey Street Irregulars had a post to go along with this one.  STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

In 2013 Not Clausewitz also made a worthy addition.

And for those who insist that "That wasn't real Communism" -

Monday, April 15, 2019

QotD: Civilization Edition

Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted for one century, civilization would die, and we should be savages again.  —  Will and Ariel Durant
 I don't think it takes a century. Just a couple of generations.

Friday, April 05, 2019

OMFG

Just ran into this over at Quora.  Had to share.  Or run around screaming. The question asked was "Why is the US Federal Government incompetent?" Just read this answer:
US federal government programs are NOT incompetent. They are UNDERFUNDED.

What I mean is this. When the government first initiates a new program—any program—the program has to be written into legislation. That’s how it gets funded in the Congressional budget. Normally, when a new program begins, it’s given the funding (or most of it) that was estimated it would need to run the program. But every Congressional budget cycle thereafter has a tendency to trim the budget.

The problem is that the program’s charter is defined by law, which means the program’s management doesn’t have the ability to cut back services to match the cut they received in the budget. The program is still expected to perform all of the services they’re required to by law. It’s not like a private corporation that can make cuts in products or services until they become profitable. The government programs have to perform all of the services they are chartered to perform, UNLESS they are specifically given reprieve in the law. This does happen sometimes.

So as the budgets get trimmed year after year, these government programs will INEVITABLY become dysfunctional. They can no longer perform their services with the funding they receive. That’s why federal programs are so challenging.

The answer to this would be to require Congress to cut services as they cut the budget. This is happening more frequently these days, but it hasn’t always been the case.
(Bold my emphasis. ALLCAPS and italics, his.)

"Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for." - Will Rogers. Only in Washington, D.C. is a 5% increase in a budget a "cut" when that program or department expected a 10% increase.

But this is how too many in the voting public THINK. This guy? "Campaigned (his) ass off for Bernie, from New York to Las Vegas."

My shocked face is worn out.

Your 38 Seconds of Zen


Friday, March 29, 2019

You Need to Read This

Duncan v. Becerra, United States District Court, Southern District of California.

When the decision begins:
Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts. “The judiciary is – and is often the only – protector of individual rights that are at the heart of our democracy.” --Senator Ted Kennedy, Senate Hearing on the Nomination of Robert Bork, 1987.
you KNOW you're in for a good read. Hat tip to Joe Huffman.

Edited to add this excerpt from page 62:
Ten years of a federal ban on large-capacity magazines did not stop mass shootings nationally. Twenty years of a California ban on large capacity magazines have not stopped mass shootings in California. Section 32310 is a failed policy experiment that has not achieved its goal. But it has daily trenched on the federal Constitutional right of self-defense for millions of its citizens. On the full record presented by the Attorney General, and evidence upon which there is no genuine issue, whatever the fit might be, it is not a reasonable fit.

vi. irony

Perhaps the irony of § 32310 escapes notice. The reason for the adoption of the Second Amendment was to protect the citizens of the new nation from the power of an oppressive state. The anti-federalists were worried about the risk of oppression by a standing army. The colonies had witnessed the standing army of England marching through Lexington to Concord, Massachusetts, on a mission to seize the arms and gunpowder of the militia and the Minutemen—an attack that ignited the Revolutionary war. With Colonists still hurting from the wounds of war, the Second Amendment guaranteed the rights of new American citizens to protect themselves from oppressors foreign and domestic. So, now it is ironic that the State whittles away at the right of its citizens to defend themselves from the possible oppression of their State.
It's good before page 62, but it just keeps getting better.

I can't imagine what the 9th Circus will do with this decision when it's inevitably appealed.

District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez for either the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Why You Need a Gun

From Facebook:
A couple years ago I was working security at a bar in northern Virginia. I overheard a table of college kids arguing about gun rights and gun control and it was getting far too emotional so I did what any sane combat veteran would do and attempted to exfiltrate. I must not have withdrawn as surreptitiously as I intended, because I was stopped in my tracks when a 5-foot-nothing brunette seemingly leapt in front of me and blurted out "excuse me, can you help us?"

I'm sure I must have looked irritated as I cycled through the possible quips and excuses I considered available to me but being uncertain that she wasn't some Senator's daughter, I caved: "What's up?"

She basically leads me to this table of 2 other females (probably both named Karen) and a very soft looking male.

Becky: "So, we were just talking about current events and, you know. So, you look like you're probably in the military, right? Like the Army?"

(When you accuse someone of being in the military you probably don't need to give an example)

Me: "Similar.. yea"

Becky: "Right. Okay. So, do you think civilians should be allowed to own guns?"

Me: "Most of us. Yes."

Becky: (clearly not happy with my answer) "Okay, so, why do you think you need a gun?"

(At this point it's almost 2am and I've just given up on patience. Hold my beer)

(With intentionally overt condescension): "Oh, honey, I don't. I don't need a gun."

Becky stares at me blankly, so I continue, but with a more serious tone:

"I could follow you home, walk up your driveway, and beat you to death with the daily newspaper.

I could choke you to death with that purse.

I could take a credit card, break it in half, and cut your throat open with it.

With enough time and effort I could beat your boyfriend here with a rolled up pair of socks.

I could probably dream up six dozen other ways I could easily end your life if you gave me an hour or so.

If I wanted to, I could wrap my hand around that beer mug and kill all four of you before you could make it to the exit. The worst part is, in your utopian little fantasyland, there ain't a thing any of you could do about it.

I don't need a gun.

You need a gun.

You need a gun because of men like me."

Call me a jerk, but if you want to keep your guns, these are the conversations we all need to start having.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Meanwhile in (Formerly) Great Britain...

Turn off your sound (fvcking autoplay...)  Defence secretary Gavin Williamson says military 'ready to respond' to knife crime crisis
The UK armed forces “stand ready” to intervene in the knife crime epidemic, the defence secretary has said.

Gavin Williamson said military personnel “would always be ready to respond” to calls for help while the Ministry of Defence “always stands ready to help any government department”.

No request has yet been made, Mr Williamson said during a question-and-answer session on Tuesday night.

He added: “I know that the home secretary is looking very closely at how he can ensure that everything is done to tackle this problem at the moment.”

Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, had said she would be willing to bring in troops to support her officers as they battle a spate of stabbings.
So, after making possession of pretty much any weapon for the purpose of personal defense illegal, after making it legally risky to actually defend yourself or someone else, even with nothing more than your fists, serious violent crime in the UK has risen to levels requiring ARMED MILITARY TROOPS ON THE GROUND.

This is my shocked face....

Friday, February 22, 2019

Quote of the Day - Education Edition

Victor Davis Hanson from his recent speech Two States of California (worth your time BTW):
When I went in (to the California State University system) in 1984 as a professor of Classics, the remediation rate - that was a fancy term for those who are admitted into the CUS system, the largest university system in the world, well over a quarter-million students - was 32%, and the graduation rate in four years was 51%. When I left 23 years later the remediation rate was 55% and the average for SIX years graduation was 49%.

How did California solve that problem? They just got rid of the word last year called "remediation." So rather than saying 60% of the students who entered the CSU system cannot take a college class because they don't qualify to be there in the first place and therefore you have remediated class - we used to call them "Bonehead English" and "Bonehead Math" - and you don't get college credit for it, we don't call it remediation anymore and they solved the problem. There's zero remediation now.

But believe me, if we're going to build a high-speed rail, who is going to pilot it? Who is going to engineer it? Somebody who is remediated?

So after saying that, to emphasisze this idea of schizophrenia, I go over to the coast and I'm at Stanford University. Last year the London Times Higher Education supplement - and was confirmed by the University of Tokyo - rated the greatest universities supposedly in the world. You'd think they'd all be Japanese and British since they were doing the surveys. Number one - CalTech. Number two - Stanford. Number four - Berkeley. Number ten - UCLA. Number fifteen - USC. FIVE of them were from California. California had more top universities than any other NATION except the United States, and yet it has a public school system where just 60% of people can't read or write. It's the same state, believe me.
See also this post from December of 2004.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Health Update

I meant to do this a while back, but I've been busy and not particularly motivated to write.  Because so many of my readers obviously are interested in my health - you guys overwhelmed me with your donations - I thought I'd let you know how things are going.

I had my four month, 4,000 mile lube, oil change and tire rotation at Mayo earlier this month.  My A1C (90-day average blood sugar) was 4.2 - the minimum "normal" range - so I'm no longer diabetic.  My cholesterol, both good and bad, is excellent.  So is my blood pressure, though it drops pretty low from time to time when I'm standing and not moving around much.  My weight has stabilized at about 210lbs., a weight I haven't seen since I was about 19.  And my "low-mileage pre-owned Lexus" liver is functioning perfectly. 

That's the good news.  The bad news is, my kidneys are running at about 20% efficiency, and they don't appear to be coming back.  I'm anemic, and apparently will remain so until I get a functioning kidney.  Until then, I'm on dialysis 3.5 hours a day, three days a week.  I'm going to have fistula surgery on March 1, and about 6-8 weeks later it should be usable.  Some time after that, the catheter in my chest will be removed, and I'll be able to shower again without having to put a tarp over it.

My medical insurance company has approved me for a kidney transplant.  Now I have to go back up to Mayo for two or three days for further tests as part of the transplant evaluation.  However, because I recently received a liver, this moves me up the transplant priority list.

If this keeps up, I'm going to be the Six Million Dollar Man without the super-strength or the telescopic eye.

Anyway, there you go.  Thanks for being interested.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Quote of the Day - Sarah Hoyt Edition

I think the vast majority of people don’t feel the need to work above a subsistence level and that those of us who do are the mutants. - The Right to Go to Hell

Friday, February 15, 2019

Arguing With a Leftist

The writing bug is starting to bite again, so you may see some new content here, including (eventually) a mega-überpost I started back in October of last year, but for now just this little piece.

A few days ago someone at Quora tagged me with the question:
If both conservatives and liberals love USA, why there are such hostility and lack of trust towards each others?
I left an answer, but someone else left this one:
As a former Right turned Left, I assure you all there are smart and well educated people on each side. The difference is largely in an assumption or two.

The Right assumes people deserve and have a right to whatever assets they have, whether earned or given by prior generations. And this includes land, food, natural resources, water, etc.

The Left believes luck plays a big part in how wealth is currently distributed. They believe every human deserves some minimal share of water, food, clean air, and resources required to live. They point out that every business owes some of its success to the hard and soft infrastructure provided by governments.

I think I am being fair to both my former and current views here. All differences in political philosophy derive from the above.

I changed because I figured out I am a Liberal. Imagine a game of Monopoly where one player is given a pile of money, properties, houses and hotels by his father, along with some good game advice. The other players start with a few bucks and don't know what the rules are when they start out. Liberals don't think this is fair, Conservatives do.
I left this comment with the (forlorn) hope that it might generate a debate:
“Liberals don't think this is fair, Conservatives do.”

I disagree. We both agree it’s not fair. The difference is that Conservatives understand that the world is not fair.

“(Liberals) believe every human deserves some minimal share of water, food, clean air, and resources required to live.”

Conservatives know that the world owes us nothing. Liberals think they can make the world fair. All they need is the power to make it so.

Conservatives understand that the kind of power needed to “make the world fair” always ends badly.

Always.
Result? Crickets.  But I'd like to go ahead and unpack this - fairly accurate, I think - definition of the modern-day "liberal," née "Progressive."

The progressive complains that the world is not fair. They're absolutely right - it isn't. They believe that the Right thinks it is fair - we don't, but we understand that all the wishing in the world won't make it fair. Because they think the unfairness can be corrected, and the Right is opposed to making this correction, we're evil. That's where we part company. (There's more to it than that, but this I think is the fundamental disagreement.)  There's a disconnect at the very foundation of the ideological split between the two philosophies, and it goes back decades if not centuries.  After all, Kipling's The Gods of the Copybook Headings was published in 1919, just shortly after the Russian Revolution.

The fundamental split is that one side thinks that - given sufficient power (in the right hands, of course) - the world can be made fair.  That there doesn't need to be winners and losers. (Thus "participation trophies" and sports "games" where no one keeps score.) That it is the job of "society" to make everyone absolutely equal.  The other side believes that the world is fundamentally unfair and it's up to the individual to overcome that inherent unfairness.

Let's look a the literature throughout history.  Kipling in 1919.  Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron from 1961.  George Orwell's Animal Farm (1945) and 1984 (1949).  The Greek fable of the Procrustean Bed from ancient history.  They're all warnings about trying to build Utopia.  What does the Left have?  So far as I can tell, Star Trek from 1966 where they don't use money, everyone has their needs met, and anyone can pursue whatever they like or do nothing at all.  Exactly what Karl Marx promised would be the outcome of Communism in The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Das Kapital (1867) - two other fantasies.   We saw this most recently in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (AOC) "Green New Deal" where she promised "Economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work." (My emphasis.)

Remember Kipling?
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.

Let's return to our new Leftist's assertion:
The Left believes luck plays a big part in how wealth is currently distributed. They believe every human deserves some minimal share of water, food, clean air, and resources required to live. They point out that every business owes some of its success to the hard and soft infrastructure provided by governments.
And:
The Right assumes people deserve and have a right to whatever assets they have, whether earned or given by prior generations. And this includes land, food, natural resources, water, etc.
What are you to assume from this? That the "hard and soft infrastructure provided by governments" unfairly benefits some, no? And therefore those beneficiaries then owe some of their unfairly gained wealth to those not so fortunate. Am I misunderstanding the "logic" here?

As economist Walter Williams has asked, how much of someone else's property is "your fair share"?  Who decides?  As others have asked, why is robbing someone at gunpoint illegal, but threatening someone with arrest by an armed agent of the government if they don't cough up money not?

This goes back to my constant harping on education.  I ran across this cartoon Facebook today:


Between 100 and 200 million, in point of fact.

Like they teach that these days.

Hell, they don't even teach about the Holocaust these days.  Why would they teach about socialism's other lethal failures?  Instead the schools indoctrinate students in Leftism and the result is that a majority of young people today view socialism favorably.  WaPo columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. recently wrote "Trump's War on Socialism Will Fail."  Of course it will.  The Long March Through the Institutions has worked out wildly better than either Rudi Dutschke, Antonio Gramsci or any of the members of the Frankfurt School could have imagined. (Two people and one organization that the Millenials don't know anything about, either.)

And we're paying for it now.

Many years ago Chris Byrne wrote "There can be no useful debate between two people with different first principles, except on those principles themselves." As illustrated above, our first principles are completely divergent, and there is no debate - useful or otherwise - anymore. Charles Krauthammer's observation that the Right thinks the Left is stupid, but the Left thinks the Right is evil was correct when he made it back in the 1990's, but today the Right is beginning to wake up to the fact that what the Left wants to accomplish - and is willing to use violence to achieve - is evil. When both sides "other" their opponents, can open warfare be far behind?



Quote of the Day - Stephen Green Edition

Once you’ve convinced yourself that your job is to protect the proles from themselves, any foul action you take becomes excusable, or even noble. That’s progressivism in a nutshell.
Yeah, I'm still here.