Thursday, October 22, 2015

Manufacturing Consent

Over at Ammoland Dean Weingarten published a graphic you need to see

Click on over and read all Dean has to say on this subject.  He has links to a twenty-year-old study by Clayton Cramer on the disproportionate amount of coverage given to mass shootings: 

I have not seen a recent study of the amount of time that the old media devote to mass shooting.  But the stated desire of President Obama to politicize the shootings, and the response of the old media to facilitate his desires, is clear.

One of the major reasons that we seem to be having more mass shootings during this administration, is the administration’s and the media’s desire to use those shootings for political purposes.

Progressives call this “manufacturing consent”.   Cramer, in his paper, notes that disproportionate coverage of certain crimes changes the public perception of how much of a danger they are.

No one is going to try and dismiss the evil and insanity of mass shootings nor are we about to discount the tragic and senseless loss of life or the sufferings of the victims and their loved ones.  It is an indictment of the state of our society that (mostly) young men murder the innocent, whether it involves multiple victims in a single instance or single victims in multiple instances, as is the case nightly in our urban centers.

The truth is that life is neither safe nor certain, that tragedies and loss occur on a personal level everyday.   Everyone, though, wants to see a fire, a train wreck, an automobile accident, and any other spectacle.  The media sells its soap on the fact that humans seem to be wired to stare at carnage.  That is bad enough.  It is even worse when our freedoms are threatened on the basis of the media spectacle and the emotional vulnerability it creates.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Corn Squeezin' Not So Pleasin'

Surprise, surprise!  Corn ethanol is not a clean or efficient fuel "... even after an estimated $50 billion in subsidies, in part because of some of the ‘hidden’ costs of ethanol production".

A few years ago, there was much opposition to a proposed ethanol plant a short distance from where I live because of the pressure it would have put on the water table.  Older, shallower wells (mine is fairly deep, partly due to state DNR requirments) would have likely have had to be re-drilled.  The plant would have drawn millions of gallons out of the aquifer every year ("I drink your milkshake").

Corn production itself is fuel and petrochemical intensive.  The linked article cites a study by the University of Tennessee which says:

From an environmental and energy independence perspective, the subsidies and mandates for corn ethanol would have been better and more effectively used had they been directed towards advanced biofuels.   

The other biofuels lack the corn states' lobby in Washington, D.C. 

We can't end this travesty soon enough.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Direct Democracy vs. Lawyer-archy

 Vox Day speaks of dealing with our problems in the West and one recommendation is direct democracy.  A quote from VD down in the comments: Mob rule is better than corrupt, self-interested elite rule.

There is a lot of rowdy exchange in the comments.  Everybody understands that central governments, national or multi-national like the EU, have far too much power.  Once bureaucracies and regulatory agencies get started, voting actually has very little effect on daily activities.  The courts become more of a problem than the legislatures. 

We have too many lawyers.  You know why you need lawyers?  To defend yourself against other lawyers.  It is not, generally, a productive profession.  It is parasitical.  It can be symbiotic if there aren't too many, but, in most of the West, they are slowly killing the host.  Mob rule, anarchy, vigilantism, I'm starting to think all of them are better than "lawyer-archy". 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Where Have All The Psychopaths Gone?

I am so not surprised by any of these.  Though I am a  follower of Christ, I have had far too many encounters with wolves in sheep's clothing -- of which the Lord Himself warned, by the way, to question #8.

As far as surgeons and chefs, my response is, who cares?  Police and other uncivil servants, including politicians, are obvious hot spots.  Note that politician isn't on the list but lawyer is.  From which profession are most politicians drawn?

But, of course, they are all from the government and they are here to help you -- like all psychopaths. 


A while back I watched the Charleton Heston/Laurence Olivier film "Khartoum" on my computer.  I don't think a BluRay or anything on a small screen would do justice to the theatrical release in Cinerama -- similar to IMAX.  Still, the story is a good one that will call for comparisons to "Lawrence of Arabia".  Heston plays General Charles Gordon sent to Khartoum in the wake of a massacre of a British-led colonial force.  The enemy, depicted by Olivier, is Muhammad Ahmad, the Mahdi, a Muslim fanatic who leads a war of religious cleansing against the Sudanese and Egyptians.

"Lawrence" is an epic film and always worth watching.  Lawrence built a legend for himself with The Seven Pillars of Wisdom which is rightfully one of the great books of the 20th Century.  The book, in particular, gives some insight into the political maneuverings that underlie much of the modern Middle East chaos.  "Khartoum", on the other hand, is less an epic than a study in the politics and personalities of the conflict at its center.  Olivier gives us at least a glimpse of the psychology of the fanatic in his portrayal of the Mahdi.

While neither film is perfectly historical -- as if there were such a thing, we can still learn from them.  If you are wondering about the mindset of the people we are fighting in the Middle East, see if you can find a copy of "Khartoum".  That is not to say it will make a viewer an expert, but it is a thought-provoking introduction to some of the issues we face today.

Gordon, while he had some heterodox beliefs, was essentially a Christian, and, back in 1966, filmmakers were less antagonistic, in general, to positive Christian characters.  The Madhi's campaign, much like that of ISIS today, was aimed largely at slaughter and terror to win the allegiance of the fearful.  Gordon understood that the killing would end only with the Mahdi's death.  He was willing to give his life to stir popular support for a war against the jihadis.  

We need to see that we are in an ideological war.  As a foundational belief system, secularism is poorly constructed, weak, and already crumbling.  It will collapse in the face of an Islamic onslaught.  Only Christianity is sufficiently complete and deeply grounded enough to prevail against, as Jesus said, "the gates of hell". 


Friday, October 16, 2015

Illinois Cannot Pay Its Lottery Winners

Zero Hedge reports on this issue.

I can't tell everything I know about this, but in the realm of publicly available information, Illinois was one of the first states to go with privatization of its state-run lottery.  The privatization produced significant increases in revenue.  However, the increases were less than the increases promised by the private contractor.  This allowed Illinois to void its contract and return control to the state lottery commission.  As far as I know, that has not helped revenues. 

Knowing how this is supposed to work, I can only assume that money from ticket sales has been diverted from the jackpot payouts to other expenditures.  They are essentially breaking their own law and, if it were any other state, the state's attorney general would already be indicting people.  Since it is probably the most corrupt state in America, no one will be indicted unless the Feds step in -- not likely under Obama's Department of Just-Us. 

When I heard about the state reneging on privatization, my first thought was that it was less about the revenue shortfall than the loss of opportunities for graft.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Murder, Media, and Race

I've been out on vacation so I had time to think about the recent mass shooting in Oregon but no opportunity to comment.  Larry Elder on RCP takes on the media's apparent confusion about the murderer's race

There are a lot of murders in America committed by white people.  There are a demographically disproportionate number of murders in America committed by black people and, mostly, other black people are the victims in those cases.  Killings in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and other urban centers across the country are what cause the U.S. to be listed near the top in terms of murders.  Murders and other violent crimes happen daily in the black neighborhoods of our large cities, but the squawking-head journalists on television aren't particularly interested.  Those incidents rarely go national -- unless a white cop shoots an "unarmed (black) teen". 

The only time the media gets excited is when the body count piles high in front of a young, white man.  They wanted the Oregon shooter to be a white supremacist.  He was not.  His mother is black.  Where is his manifesto?  I saw the worthless little punk that shot those folks in the Charleston church with his Confederate flag and heard all about his animosity toward blacks.  Why haven't we heard about this punk's motivation?  Does it not fit the preferred narrative?

Admittedly, I have had better things to do, so maybe I missed it, but it sure did quiet down quickly -- except for the calls for "sensible gun control".

I was in the car listening to Mark Levin when Obama did his bit about the shooting. For the first couple of minutes, I actually had hope the petulant scumbag would act presidential and be focused on the pain of those who lost loved ones.  Then, of course, he started his snarky little attack on liberty.  And that's what it is.  Obama and his ilk hate freedom.  I suppose that is only just.  Free men and women hate tyranny.

"The right to buy weapons is the right to be free" -- A.E. van Vogt 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Religious Freedom Under Pressure

You mean like Christians being forced to bake cakes for the Gaystepo?

Oops, no, that doesn't appear on the list:  the report seems focused on Islamic blasphemy laws and European anti-Semitism.  Those are certainly problems that are going to get worse as long as the U.S. is backing Sharia law advocates in the Middle East while Merkel & Co. allow Muslim invaders free access to the pseudo-states of the EU conglomerate. 

Islam in most of its forms does not appear to be compatible with our historical western values, our respect for individualism, and our concepts of freedom.  The Euro-weinies are anti-Christian, as is the American ruling elite, whatever public face they put on.  Christianity is not compatible with the Borg mindset of the collectivists.  They believe they will have an easier time assimilating the followers of Mohammed than the followers of Jesus.  In this, they are correct.

I do not know if the ruling class is aware that they are fomenting a "holy" war.  It seems intentional, but they could really be too stupid to grasp the consequences of their actions.   

Friday, October 2, 2015

Russian Roulette

The Russians are bombing anti-Assad forces in Syria.  The US and its European allies that have been trying to overthrow Assad for the last couple of years, since the start of the "Arab Spring", are pleading with the Russians not to bomb "the good rebels", i.e., the non-ISIS forces.

Now we have the various presidential candidates and dolts like McCain calling for a "no-fly zone" to protect our "allies".  Dolts be doltin'.  The anti-Assad forces are like the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda elements in Egypt and Libya.  It's Assad who has been allied with the Russians and Iran.

Caution: unorganized ramblings ahead.  I am just thinking out loud.  

So, we just negotiated a ridiculously stupid deal with Iran because we want Iran's help against ISIS.

We wanted to overthrow Assad because he added stability to the region and didn't bother Israel?  I don't know, but we wanted him out.

We want to "degrade" ISIS after we abandoned Iraq and continue to refuse significant aid to the Kurds.

We went after Al-Qaeda because they were responsible for 9/11, but we supported Al-Qaeda affiliates in Libya against a non-threatening government under Khadafy and now in Syria because they are fighting (maybe) ISIS.

In Libya, our "allies" turned on us and brutally murdered our ambassador and three other Americans while we refused to send a single A-10 to help.

If the military hadn't taken Egypt back from the Muslim Brotherhood, God only knows what kind of a mess we'd be seeing there.

We may have been involved in arming what are now ISIS forces in Iraq.  Certainly we have done nothing significant to disrupt them,and our bombing runs there are a joke.

Is it just me or is this the most FUBAR approach to Mid-East foreign policy imaginable?

If we arm anti-Assad rebels and help them take down Russian planes, or, if we try to impose a no-fly zone against the Russian Air Force, we are a frog's hair from a very big, very hot war.

Give the impending global depression, the governments of the world may have decided that is the only way out. 

Adding this worthy commentary on Putin's UN address from David Stockman.