Monday, September 28, 2015

Signs of the Times

I did watch parts of the lunar eclipse last night.  The viewing conditions were excellent, and it was impressive.  But this isn't about "Blood Moons".

I bought another motorcycle to keep my FJ-09 company in the garage.  This one is a 2013 V-Star 1300 that had been sitting in the warehouse.  It's a cruiser, a little more laid-back than the FJ, but this isn't about the bike, either -- though it is related.

Vox Day posted about unrest in Europe.  The majority of Europeans consistently vote for more socialism, more globalism, more statism and more socially liberal policies.  It is not the majority throwing a fit right now.  It is the underclass that, perhaps, fears being displaced by the wave of third-world immigrants, that doesn't like Islam and Sharia, that isn't tolerant.  The European equivalent of redneck trailer trash is fed up and ready to protest.  Soccer hooligans will riot over a game that ends 1-0.  The state is powerful and better armed, possibly than the protesters.  We may get a chance to see modern riot control techniques in action.  The state, meanwhile, will mollycoddle the invaders.  I wonder how that will sit with the natives?

Oh, yeah, bike-related.  I bought the V-Star from a dealer in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Fayetteville hosts the 4th largest bike rally in the country the last weekend of September.  It's called "Bikes, Blues, and BBQ".  There is lots of live music, thousands of bikers, and lots of vendors down on Dickson Street pedaling their wares from tents to the biker community.  It's pretty cool.  I had never been before, but since I had the cruiser, I took it down there.

I was with a friend checking out the various things for sale, and I ran across a mechanics shirt printed with the Rebel flag.  I bought it, put it on, and walked around the rest of the day with strangers stopping me and telling me how much they liked my shirt.  The battle flag is extremely popular.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I Don't Always Agree With Gary North

But when I do it is because he's right.  Or close.

Follow the link and read all of what Mr. North has to say on secession versus revolution.  I think he is onto something.

I disagree with North's analysis on one point as I tend to think the American Revolution was more of a secession.  The French Revolution certainly was not secession and ended in empire.  One might say the same thing about the American Civil War, the Bolshevik Revolution, and others.  North says:

The essence of revolution is centralized power. Engels knew this early, [link in original] and reminded us of it for years. There is nothing more centralizing than a revolution. Every revolution in history has moved towards the centralization of power,  ...
We are at the edge of a non-revolution.
Revolutions seek only to move the locus of power from one group or individual to another.  Secession moves power out from a central source to multiple, more localized points.  North believes open source technology moves us in this direction:

The open source revolution is going to decentralize more of the world. Decentralization is not going to lead to revolution. Decentralization is going to lead to secession. I mean secession in Gandhi's way. I mean the withdrawal of support. You don't take up arms against the state; you simply refuse to cooperate with the state. You make it more expensive for the state to tyrannize you.

He is definitely right about one thing:  Until conservatives stop dreaming about capturing existing hierarchical systems of power, nothing is going to change.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Don't Start Believing

Trust in government is low but partisan, according to Gallup:

Almost half of Americans, 49%, say the federal government poses "an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens," similar to what was found in previous surveys conducted over the last five years. When this question was first asked in 2003, less than a third of Americans held this attitude.

The key thing to me is that, under Bush, mistrust was higher among Democrats while the percentage shifted when Obama took office.  Republicans are now the ones more likely to be wary of the power of the federal government. 

What I sincerely hope is that, having found my skepticism and cynicism toward government in general growing into an outright antipathy, I would "cling" to it still should "my party" be victorious in the next election cycle.  What I am seeing as regards the Republican-controlled House and Senate leads me to believe that my mistrust of the motives of all politicians will remain quite healthy for the foreseeable future. 

Government is bad.  There is no such thing as good government, only smaller, less powerful, less obtrusive government.  Keep it small and weak and it lacks the power to do serious damage.  We are in the mess we are in globally because too many people were far too trusting of central governments and their quest for power.

Republicans have ceased to be the small-government party; therefore, I have parted ways with the GOP.  Democrats are big-government advocates, and the debates have become about social issues that are none of the government's business in the first place.  It's a neat trick they have pulled such that Republicans can take a stand against Muslims and trannies while Democrats support them and keep the voters stirred up over non-issues.  Meanwhile the bi-partisan debt and the bi-partisan bureaucracies with their regulatory tyranny grows every day while we are fascinated by shiny objects on the news.  

The asteroid strike looks like our best chance at this point.

Monday, September 21, 2015


Back in the old days, the priesthood ordained the king, and monarchs ruled by "divine right" as God's choice.  Heretical rulers or those who offended the priests in some way were excommunicated.  No one pays any attention to what the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, or Billy Graham has to say about who should be elected to public office these days.  Cultural excommunication is a function of the news media. 

The media is trying to ostracize Dr. Carson at the moment for his remarks that Muslim Sharia law is not consistent with the U.S. Constitution.  So far, Ben Carson is holding his ground and refusing to retract his statements:

“I do not believe Sharia is consistent with the Constitution of this country,” Carson said, referencing the Islamic law derived from the Koran and traditions of Islam. “Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.”

Carson said that the only exception he’d make would be if the Muslim running for office “publicly rejected all the tenants of Sharia and lived a life consistent with that.”

“Then I wouldn’t have any problem,” he said.

Some of us are old enough to remember when John Kennedy was elected president, becoming the first Catholic to sit in the White House.  Many expressed concern at the time that Kennedy might be controlled by the Vatican, which turned out, as far as we know, not to have been the case. 

I would probably vote for a truly libertarian atheist or agnostic over some people who call themselves Christians.  If the media were interested in anything other than controlling the narrative they would ask if the candidates thought it would be all right to elect a snake-handling fundamentalist or someone from the Westboro Baptist Church or anyone who did not believe in the separation of church and state as president. 

That's really the question that Carson is answering.  He quite reasonably doubts that most Muslims are capable of separating and compartmentalizing the constitutional duties and obligations of the presidency from their obligations to the tenets and requirements of Islam.

Friday, September 11, 2015

No Dope Disaster in Colorado

Looks like they are trying to legalize reefer in Arizona so the Phoenix New Times talked to Hickenlooper about Colorado's experience.

Of course, we know that one of the reasons a big-government, anti-gun, control freak like Hickenlooper has decided legalization wasn't all bad is the tax revenue pouring into the state coffers.  More money means more power for the politicians. I think I wrote about my colleague who lives in CO telling me that revenues have increased to the point where the state is being forced to refund the tax surplus.

I think it would be nice if all the states joined in telling the federal government to pound sand.  I have no interest in smoking dope or drinking perfectly legal alcohol.  I just know that Prohibition was a disaster, and the War on Drugs has been possibly a greater disaster. 

If the government wants to restrict something, government restrictions might be a good place to start. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

From The "This Could Be Really Bad" File

According to this Zero Hedge piece, Putin is starting to step up his support for his ally, Assad.

Ostensibly, the Russians are there to fight ISIS.  This is a good thing, and necessary, given the West's tepid, mostly verbal resistance to ISIS.

One gets the feeling that Obama's (i.e., Jarrett's) strategy all along has been to overthrow the stable order in the Middle East and give control to the Muslim radicals like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State.

Prior administrations preferred stability and the status quo.  Bush was rhetorically crucified for overthrowing Saddam and, to a lesser extent, the Taliban in Afghanistan to destabilize the area around Iran.  I still tend to think, initially, the intent was to foment revolution in Iran. Twelve or thirteen years ago, I figured we were planning an invasion of Iran, at least via Spec Ops and/or drones, maybe take out some mullahs. Because of Iran's relationship with Russia, a full-on invasion might have been a problem.

What is being implied in the article is that ISIS grew out of the western support for the anti-Assad rebels, a group that may have been getting arms through their brother militants in Libya.  Now, a most interesting situation develops:

... not only has Putin not turned his back on Assad, or Syria, but the Russian reinforcements are well on their way. Reinforcements for what? Why to fight the evil Islamic jihadists from ISIS of course, the same artificially created group of bogeyman that the US, Turkey, and Saudis are all all fighting. In fact, this may be the first world war in which everyone is "fighting" an opponent that everyone knows is a proxy for something else.

The Ukraine mess was probably a huge mistake on the part of the Obama regime and the NATO countries.  Destabilizing the Middle East is no better an idea for Obama than it was for Bush.

If only I could believe in conspiracy theory rather than the innate stupidity and hubris of the ruling class, crap like this would be so much easier to explain.  What I can believe is that there is a lot of maneuvering behind the scenes, that nothing it what it appears to be, that it is all a great, bloody stupid game.