Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Immigration, Population, and Government Jobs

When I was in college, back in the dark ages of the early 1970s, the big concern was the population bomb and a Malthusian fear of famine from trying to feed too many people.  We are still, nearly fifty years and three or four billion people later, running a food surplus in most of the world, most of time.  We owe that surplus to fossil fuels, petrochemicals, GMOs, and the dominance of agribusiness.  I'm not altogether sure that's a good thing, taken as a whole, but famine is, perhaps, the grimmest of reapers.

Now when I read about the dangers of declining populations, I have to wonder just a little.  Why would a more "sustainable" population be bad?  I tend to think it is for the same reason that immigration is heralded as a good, even when those immigrants are possessed of a vastly disparate cultural and religious background.  Most of the new immigrants and "refugees" pouring into the West are not assimilating or being altered by the culture.  The numbers are too large, the influx too rapid.

These immigrants are committing violent crimes.  They are putting a burden on the taxpayer who foots the bill for housing, welfare, health care, and education.  Governments are straining to handle and pay for the increasing numbers of unemployed and, often, unemployable foreigners.  Yet it is the government that allows immigration.  Are the people in power simply unaware of the problems and moved by compassion?

I think we all know the answer to that.  Could it be instead that more immigrants mean more votes for those who wish to expand the role of government?  Government, as I have said before, does not produce anything except more government.  Like the Blob, it exists to get bigger, more powerful, and more invasive.  Sure, there are some good people working in government jobs.  We don't deny that.  You can argue that some government jobs are necessary.  Firemen and police officers at the local level sometimes do essential and heroic work.  The guys down at the water treatment plant are saving lives every day.

So long as they are local and their jobs clearly defined, I have little problem with those who work for the city or the county.  Except for the teachers, but they aren't really local anymore.  And at the state and federal level, I'm obviously in favor of the Border Patrol and some degree of national defense.

The thing is that the political leaders in the West have no problem with an increase in crime or terrorism because it allows them to expand their control of the average citizen.  The NSA monitors all communications under the guise of the Patriot Act and the "War on Terror".  Despite the fact that drug prohibition feeds into gang violence just as alcohol prohibition did in the 1920s, the "War on Drugs" continues to enable police departments to expand, to militarize, and to excuse the routine seizure of property and assets without due process.

Government feeds on chaos.  More strain on the education system excuses and enables the employment of teachers and administrators on the government payroll.  The strain on health care justifies the government's push for more control of the health care system just as the increase in crime justifies the expansion of police departments and the prison system.  And the vast majority of those employed are now beholden to the great white father in Washington or London or Brussels for their paychecks, pensions, and lucrative benefits.

Eventually, who is left in the mobocracy to vote against such expansion?  The productive are now merely serfs in a vast fiefdom controlled by the political aristocrisy and their minions who now, more or less, vote for a living.

I can see where an end to uncontrolled immigration and a population decline would be seen as a threat.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Not All Coyotes

I read James Lileks' Bleat -- the one in question is here -- about every day that he writes it.  Lileks is a conservative and a newspaper man.  He might be called a humorist.  He is funny in a cerebral way.  I don't think I have ever laughed out loud at his writings, unlike, say, Dave Barry, but I am often amused and intrigued.

He has a bit in the linked Bleat taking offense at a Dennis Prager tweet: "The news media pose a far greater danger to Western Civilization than Russia does."  Lileks argues that this is equivalent to someone saying, "We must eliminate quadrapeds because they eat cats", when what they really mean is that coyotes are eating cats.

Lileks makes a couple of serious errors in this.  First, Prager's tweet makes no mention of eliminating journalists or the news media.  I can't speak for Prager -- though I agree with his statement.  I do not believe the media should be eliminated.  It should be honest about its biases.  No one is objective.  I'm not.  Dan Rather is not.  Walter Cronkite was not.  Fox News is not. CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, no one is objective.  A person or an organization is most susceptible to being led astray by their prejudices when they refuse to recognize them.

For example, I am bias toward beef, foxes, Chevrolet, Yamaha, Remington, Ruger, and, now Glock.  I am more or less neutral toward a bunch of other things, and I am bias against chicken, sushi, most "seafood", Democrats, copperheads, and coyotes.  But that's coyotes as opposed to foxes.  I am glad coyotes are in the world -- much more so than copperheads and Democrats.  Really, I wouldn't even want to eliminate copperheads from the planet.

Now if CNN, the idiots on the Today Show, the producers of sitcoms and cop shows, et al, would simply admit that they are leftists, socialists, anti-American and antichrists, I would be cool with them lying about whatever they want to lie about.  I don't want them eliminated.  I don't think Prager does either.  Thus Lileks' analogy fails on that point.

Second, the category should have been coyotes.  Quadrapeds is not comparable.  Prager wasn't saying screen writers, novelists, Youtube channels, or even opinion journalists.  He said "news media".  Not all coyotes, you see, eat cats.  Some coyotes have probably never seen a domestic cat.  For all I know, some coyotes may not like the taste of cat.  Some coyotes, though, live in or near suburban areas where small dogs -- or even large dogs, and pet cats may wander around unwatched and unprotected.  These suburban coyotes are going to eat those poor, naive creatures if they get a chance.  Again, it doesn't mean they should be eliminated, but their nature and presence have to be taken into consideration by pet owners.

It's the same with the news media.  They are a part of the information ecosystem, but they are a dangerous part.  They are most dangerous when they are not challenged, when we are not on our guard against their biases.  They are not to be trusted any more than a coyote in the brush is to be trusted with Fluffy.  Again, in that regard, it appears to me that Lileks fails in his analogy. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Charity and Where It Begins

I usually don't quote Scripture here, however sometimes we need the reminders.

But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household … for this is pleasing in the sight of God …But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.  1 Timothy 5:4,8

This is from the ESV.  You can read it in most any version and in context and the meaning is not changed.  First, you take care of your own.  Your family and your kin are the number one priority.  The same is true for everyone, not just Americans, and not just those of northwest European descent.  The same holds true in Mexico, Mongolia, and Mozambique.  If you won’t take care of your own people, why should I? 

One of the great errors of American foreign policy has been foreign aid, billions of dollars poured into third-world ratholes around the world that remain, surprisingly, after seventy years, third-world ratholes albeit with cell phones.  The aid that comes in funds corruption, for the most part.  Aid to Somalia funded the warlords who ravaged the country and led to the ‘Blackhawk Down’ episode.  It happens everywhere.  We feed people who cannot feed themselves, and yet we get more of them to feed.  Funny how that works.

The same in true of the “war on poverty” in this country – we give money to people for sitting on their butts and having babies.  We are then simply shocked and astounded when people sit on their butts more and have more babies.  We hand welfare to invaders and colonizers crossing our borders illegally and puzzle over why the influx of illegals continues. 

But Christianity requires us to help those in need.  Love thy neighbor.  The Good Samaritan.  Yeah, read what’s up above again.  Love your family first.  Put your own people first.  Then, if you want to try and give someone a hand up, do it, but do it with your own money and not mine.  Let’s all be Pro-Choice – as in, I would like to choose what I fund.  Let your compassion start from your own bank account.

Monday, May 22, 2017

CRKT Clever Girl -- A Biker Blade

I picked this knife up last fall at the Smoky Mountain Knife Works store in Sevierville, TN (childhood home of Dolly Parton) when we drove around through some of the Southeastern United States.  This was about the time they were having some of the big fires around there.  If you are ever in that part of Tennessee, it is worth stopping in Sevierville (which is apparently pronounced "severe-ville", instead of sev-e-Ya), and the SMKW store is like the Bass Pro in Springfield, MO.  It's cool.   

I was interested in this knife for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is the story behind it and the designer, Army veteran Austin McGlaun.  CRKT has a series of these Forged by War knives where some of the profits go the charity of the maker's choice.  

Another reason I decided to pick up this knife was the sheath.  It locks in solidly and can be attached to belt or pack in a number of configurations.  This high, haft-forward crossdraw works well for me.  If I wanted to conceal it -- not that I normally would, a loose-fitting, untucked t-shirt hides it adequately as long as I am standing.  I have to push it back on my ribs a little more when I sit down.

A third reason I decided on this particular blade is the size and construction.  A four and half to five inch blade on a belt knife is a good size for almost any task, neither too big nor too small.  Blade length on the Clever Girl is 4.6" and 10.125" overall.  The blade material of the factory knife is high carbon SK5.  It is hard and holds an edge well.  I worry just a little about brittleness, but I've had no reason to worry so far.  

The spine of the blade is about 3/16" (4mm) through the haft and at the base of the blade, tapering to needle point on the upswept end.  Again, an alarm bell sounds with regard to snapping off the tip, but I'm not going to be throwing it.

The blade shape lends itself to slashing, if I were going to use it defensively.  Upward thrusts in a hammer grip also seem a natural movement.  It looks deadly in an ice-pick grip as well.  From a more utilitarian, less deadly view, it would also make a nice skinner with that upswept tip, reminiscient of a classic Persian sword.  I'm sure it will peel potatoes and slice and dice all your camp and trail comestibles.

What it is NOT is a chopper.  The knife is handle heavy, with the balance point being a good inch behind the blade.  It will be a quick blade.  The pommel, meanwhile, has a "glass breaker" and is solid.  Carry something else to chop your camp wood.  Except in an emergency, I probably would be afraid to baton the knife, and even then I would be reluctant.  There just isn't enough blade out on the sharp end.

If you are looking for an all-around, do-everything camp/bushcraft knife, this is not, repeat, not it.  Again will work great for skinning and cutting up meat -- whether the object in question is alive or not.  Self-defense in extreme circumstances, such as occur in war zones abroad or at home, is clearly the intended purpose, and no one needs to apologize for that, any more than they need to apologize for making a Glock 19 or Smith & Wesson snubnose.

I called it a "biker knife", not, though, because I think Sons of Anarchy is representative of motorcycle riders or bike culture, but because, as bikers, we sometimes find ourselves in situations where a belt knife is handy.  Even a one-hand opening lockback can be a challenge to handle while wearing winter gloves.  If you need one in a hurry to cut something free from a belt or chain, for example, pulling a good cutting blade out of a tight-fitting Kydex sheath is faster than fumbling with a thumb stub or a retaining strap.    And, as bikers, we tend to be supportive of veterans.  This is an opportunity to show that support by paying a little extra for a quality product that helps out those who have earned our respect and gratitude.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The End of Innocence and Neutrality

Or maybe it's the end of the neutrality of innocence, but it seems to me that the left's voting bloc in America is rife with innocents -- people who have never, for various reasons, had to break a sweat except in a hot yoga class.  We have raised a couple of generations where people have little exposure to the real world, and it is only getting worse when you do most of what you do virtually while sitting on your couch.

It's not that I mind.  I take advantage of it, too.  It's convenient that you don't have to go anywhere, just order it off Amazon.  Doesn't matter what you need, you can get it delivered to your door.  Recreation is a video game for, apparently, millions of people.  Why go to the movies when you can watch it on NetFlix or Prime?  The stuff on there is better than most movies anyway.

The whole idea of "safe spaces" is an attempt to maintain an artificial innocence through denial.  Bullying used to mean a more powerful person abusing someone who could not fight back effectively.  Now it means saying something that another person chooses to find offensive, e.g., not using a pronoun of choice.

Even as the left side of the spectrum expands its bubble of ersatz innocence, many on the right find themselves losing their innocence with regard to the viability of the United States as a constitutional republic.  Those of us who have clung to our Classical Liberal values in addition to our guns and religion are being told that our skin and our sexual plumbing constitute our uniform in this new warfare.  Our brave new world has no place for neutrality.  Moderates will be fired upon by both sides.

I have seen and lived in the best of worlds.  Part of that was, of course, a function of my own youthful innocence.  Though I think we did live in a world of promise and hope -- not the bogus, socialist, utopian bullshit offered by the political class -- but a genuine hope that the world was getting better, life was getting easier, people were less fearful, and, to use a biblical phrase, knowledge was increasing.

The trouble is, to use a hillbilly expression, some people can't stand prosperity.  The story of the football player who committed suicide in his jail cell this week is one more stitch in the vast, tragic tapestry of human hubris that goes back to Eden.  We never know when we are well off and when we ought to leave well enough alone.

Technology can never eliminate the sinful nature of man.  Spiritual problems are not solved by material means.  Modern man believed he could conquer human nature as he had conquered the natural world, taming it and harnassing its forces.  Post-modern man is proof that modern man was an arrogant fool.

I leave you with this thought taken by von Balthasar from the writings of the Church father, Origen, "That which someone cherishes about all else, admires and loves above all else, this is that person's God ... what human beings love very much they want to be gods ...".  The gods of this world, of this age are many, and they totter upon their pedestals.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Woodpiles, Woods Cruising, and Woodsman's Rifles

I knew our Ol' Uncle Remus was a man of great wisdom and insight.  He proves it again:

I toted a rifle in .22 WMR, crank-action, topped with a low power scope. Sighted for ahunnerd yards with 40 grainers. Good for feeling dangerous. It carries well muzzle down. And a big ol' Schrade knife with a quarter-inch thick fixed blade sharpened to where its shadow alone will cut paper. My trusty Sunto wrist compass, natch. Around here compasses are like small town newspapers, people read 'em to make sure they got the facts right. North stayed just where it should be the whole time, a few degrees off the pointer. Check.

As readers know, I have a weird and somewhat inexplicable affection for and attachment to the .22 WMR.  I noted here almost five years ago that I had picked up a used Marlin 982 stainless .22 mag rifle.  It had a scope on it when I bought it, a Tasco 3-9x that I didn't really like, but it was functional.  I couldn't justify buying a new one for it.  However, I had the opportunity to help out a young man who was selling a nice Leupold scope, 4-14x, which I put on my Model 700 .25-06.  This left me with a Nikon 3-9x not attached to anything.  So I put it on the Marlin, and that gives me a happier setup.  

I imagine that Ol' Remus and I are in the last generation of those who appreciate both the strengths and weaknesses of the .22 magnum.  Another fifty years and it will be as obsolete and forgotten as something like the .25-20.

My older brother, many years ago, abandoned his .22 WMR for the .223 because, as he rightly claimed, he could reload ammunition for the centerfire as cheap or cheaper than he could buy rimfire fodder for the little magnum.  I could see his point.  Sometimes, though, I don't want to reload ammunition.  Perhaps when I retire and have less money as well as more time to fill with such activities, they will appeal to me more.   

For now, fifty rounds of CCI hollowpoints will fit in a pocket and, if it came to that, feed and defend me for a month or two.  The .223/5.56mm certainly outclasses the rimfire, especially beyond a hundred or a hundred and twenty-five yards.  That's part of the fun, I guess.  It's like going to the prom with the geeky girl when you could have gone with the most popular cheerleader.  You may lose style points, but you accomplish more or less the same end with a lot less fuss and trouble.  

It's not the most accurate round in the world, but it is accurate enough and more accurate than most who shoot it.  It is not particularly powerful, but it is surprisingly effective if the shooter knows both his limits and the limits of the round.  It is shootable by anyone, plus handguns -- mostly revolvers except fot the Kel-Tec PMR-30 -- are available in the same caliber.  Handguns in .22 WMR are great for small game, if the shooter does his part, and they will work for self-defense, though not everyone's first choice.  

From it's inception, the .22 WMR has been embraced by those who roam in places where ranges are mostly limited.  It's a woodsman's rifle.  I guess that makes me a woodsman.  

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Odd Numbered World Wars

Most of us know that the Great War, which the U.S. entered one hundred years ago, this past week, disrupted the map of Europe and finished off monarchy as a significant form of government.  A lot of us also know that the Treaty of Versailles set the stage for the failure of the Weimar Republic and the rise of National Socialism, and thus the vast destruction of the Second World War.  

Check out this piece from the Unz Report, posted on April 6, for a glimpse at the propaganda the newspapers fed American readers.  Some of it might sound a little too familiar.  I recommend reading the whole thing.

I used to believe Americans were the good guys.  The men and women who fill the ranks of the U.S. military are good people, for the most part.  I walked through a park in Fayetteville, AR recently that is named for Medal of Honor winner Clarence Craft and talked with a person who knew Mr. Craft from his volunteer work at the Fayetteville Veterans' Hospital.  He was a good man of great, self-sacrificing courage, but individual courage knows no race, religion, or nationality.

Tariq Aziz was the Iraqi foreign minister during the regime of Saddam Hussein.  He was being interviewed on television before, I suppose, the invasion in 2003.  When asked if he would fight if Iraq were invaded, he replied that he would.  When asked why, he said, "Because I am a patriot."  Even at the time, I admired that.  I thought he was in the wrong, but it seemed to me to be worthy of respect.

We need to ask ourselves, if we believe in liberty and self-determination for individuals, how we have a right to tell nations how they should be governed and by whom.  It's almost as if, in the age of the "United Nations", globalism, and one-world, we-are-the-world sentiments, we have decided that nationalism and love for one's people is the ultimate sin.

I am deeply disappointed in Trump's intervention in the Syrian conflict.  We destablized the region by removing Saddam Hussein then, even as the left protested Bush's action there, the left's president brought further chaos in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria.   I believe that the Syrian "insurgents" are ISIS or ISIS allies, and I believe further that ISIS is a creation of Western globalism.

The war is globalism versus nationalism, and the United States military is the primary force at the disposal of globalism, as has been the case for most of the last hundred years.  American interests were not at stake in WWI.  I am beginning to think they were not at stake so much in WWII -- but I confess to having been raised among people who loathed Franklin Roosevelt as much as the left reveres him and attributed Pearl Harbor to Roosevelt's machinations.  How was Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, or Iraq any of our business?

How much oil have we gotten from the region as a result of our invasion versus how much we have wasted rolling around the damn desert or versus the trillions blown away to bring "democracy"?  That isn't even to mention the blood spilled and the lives destroyed -- American, Iraqi, Afghani, Syrian, Libyan, et al.

As World War III heats up, I return to what I have said here from the first -- individual responsibility, loyalty to family, church, and community -- that's the hope.  Trump was never more than a gambit for disrupting the UniParty and buying time.  He may still do that for us, but he is not capable of really turning things around.  If he succeeds in limiting immigration, we still owe him thanks.  He is not our savior.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Harleys, ARs, and 1911s

I have been asked why I don't ride a Harley.  I've never ridden one, can't even remember throwing a leg over one.  That's not because they are not great, classic bikes, and it's not even because I'm a Yamaha fanboi.  My answer is usually something along the lines of "I like to ride bikes, not work on them."  If you don't "wrench", you're not a real biker, according to some.  I did do some mechanical work on my old two-strokes back in the '70s, cleaning carburetors or whatever.  Don't really care about doing it anymore, but maybe that qualifies me.

Most people who own a Harley for very long start on the path of customization.  They are always adding some performance enhancement, appearance enhancement, comfort enhancement, coolness enhancement.  I admit to replacing the stock muffler on my V Star with a Cobra bolt-on -- and I confess, I just did it to get a better exhaust note.  I added a modest, transparent bug deflector, passenger boards and a passenger backrest because the stock bike lacked those things, and my occasional passenger needed the boards and backrest.  I'm done.  For the FJ-09, I've done nothing.

Again, I have no problem with Harleys or people that ride them and modify them, and enjoy themselves in doing so.  When I see them out or at bike shows, I admire both the bikes and the people.

The point here is that AR-type rifles have a lot in common with Harleys, I think.  There are all kinds of aftermarket equipment, enhancements, and gadgets available for both.  It's the same with 1911 pistols.  You can just do all kinds of things to them.  And Ruger 10/22s, that's another one.  My 10/22 is box stock except for a top rail I added in case I ever want to (or have to) add optic sights.

I've had this Ruger AR now for several months.  I have said before that, though I once had to qualify with an AR, my first impression was negative, but that was 30-some years ago.  Times change.  Everybody loves ARs.  Clinton was going to be elected, and they would be banned.  I'm glad I have one in the safe along with a bunch of 30-round magazines.

I still don't like it.  First, the trigger is just horrible.  I'm not one of those shooters who has to have a minimal trigger pull.  Heavier triggers don't bother me much.  I'm always a little skeptical of a trigger being really light.  But the trigger on that Ruger AR-556 is absolute crap.

Of course, I can easily buy an aftermarket trigger and install it myself.  That's the AR mentality, the Harley mentality, the 1911 mentality.  I have a Remington 700 mentality -- not the lightest trigger in the world, but clean and functional.  I have a Yamaha mentality and a Glock mentality.  Why not just have something that works more than adequately as is?  Again, I'm not criticizing anybody for making a bike, a weapon or anything else "perfect" for them.  I'm just lazy and too average to worry about it.

Given that, here are my thoughts on black rifles in general.  For most hunting and shooting at longer ranges, beyond 150 to 200 yards, I would rather have something other than a .223/5.56.  A .223 is more than adequate for whitetail deer at limited ranges, with proper projectiles and good shot placement.  It's a good varmint round and will humanely put down a coyote out to 250 yard, maybe, if the shooter does his part and, again, with the right projectiles.  I have a single-shot .223 which is a lot more fun to shoot than the AR if I want to do that.

Yes, I know that ARs "own the 600-yard line" in target shooting.  I saw a video of Jerry Miculek breaking an 8- or 10-inch diameter balloon at a 1000 yards with a pistol.  But Mr. Miculek is some sort of benevolent, superpowered mutant sent by God to humble the ordinary inhabitants of this planet.  Also it's a balloon, fragile and with no negative consequences for projectile failure.

At closer ranges, say, inside a house or in the event of a serious social encounter on my property, I would much, much rather have my Remington 870, with the 18.5 inch, rifle-sighted barrel on it (AKA, Geraldean).  My second choice would be this stupidly fun-to-shoot Glock 17, my Springfield XDM or even my 10/22.

Oh, I modified my Glock.  I put a Clipdraw on it in lieu of a holster.  The Glock users' group on Fakebook chimped out.
There no trigger guard, which is completely unsafe.  When I responded that I never carry a round in the chamber, I received the usual arguments that I might as well carry a brick.  Is this the OK Corral?  Faced with an attacker who is too close to allow me to safely draw and rack the slide, I'm not going to be shooting anyway.  That's why I have knives in every pocket.  Currently the Clipdraw is attached for small-of-the-back carry and a right-hand draw.  A few days after I joined the users' group, I unfollowed it.  I like my Glock the way it is, and they were all about changing stuff.  More power to them -- I'm just not interested.  

Which brings us back to the AR.  I put a nice 1.5-4x variable-power scope on it.  That's probably all I'm going to do.  I'll take it out now and then, shoot it, clean it, put it back.  I don't figure on ever shooting anything live with it or even punching much paper.  Like the Glock users' group, it just doesn't interest me, which is probably a sign of some personality defect on my part.

I understand the military people who essentially learned to shoot with an AR.  I think they are great for new shooters.  The recoil is mild.  They can be adjusted to fit smaller or larger shooters.  They are great platforms for building whatever kind of rifle a person needs.  The applications and adaptions are almost endless.  Hunting, self-defense, competition, or just having fun, anyone can build an AR that is perfect for him or her, and perfect for whatever it is a person wants to do with it.

Except me.  It doesn't intimidate me or impress me.  I can see why other people like them, and I can't quite explain why I don't -- but I don't.  The rest of you have fun.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Educated in Public

Want to know why your local government schools consume three-fourths of your property taxes, plus lottery money and state and federal taxes and still cry for more dollars?  This was a comment from Vox Popoli that confirms information I've heard before:

dc.sunsets wrote Is this the Aussie version of Mainstreaming?
In US grade schools, a kid qualified one month to be INSTITUTIONALIZED for behavioral aberrations will sit next to your kid the week he or she is released. (This is not hyperbole, it's two anecdotes from my wife's grade school.) 
We see the news of St. Paul high schools being run by (minority) thugs, but it turns out that "Special Ed Inclusion" is near-universal K-5th or K-6th, and it's not just the 60-70 IQ imbeciles, it's the screamers, the furniture-throwers, the pencil-stabbers who all go into the pot with normal kids. 
No joke: <60 IQ kid gets a full-time paraprofessional, annual cost $10k, so said kid's total cost to the school dist for K-H.S. is easily $100,000 and likely three times the cost of future engineers, plumbers & electricians. 
Fake schools deliver fake educations.
This is public education in America.  Yes, there are good schools.  Yes, your school is different.  Yet standards continue to decline even as costs rise.  Teachers can't teach kids who do not have the capacity to learn or the willingness to learn no matter how much you pay them or how few kids are in the room or how nice the physical surrounding or how generous the pensions or anything else.

Public education is a failure.

The reason I don't care who heads the U.S. Dept. of Education is that it is just another spongy layer of useless bureaucracy soaking up money to line the pockets of bureaucrats and contractors.  I will support public education when local school boards have full autonomy on establishing curriculum, classroom discipline, pay, and whom to hire and fire.  Without all the paperwork, I have my doubts that essentially worthless administrators would be able to justify their six-figure incomes to the locals in rural school districts.  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Blinded by Science!

This post relates mainly to pseudo-science spokesmuppet, Bill Nye, and climate change.

This is the link to Ike's 1961 Farewell Address that the above references and links to, if you want to read it first.  Eisenhower was a pretty smart old boy.

The post reminded me of an exchange I had with someone the other day about spanking children.  There has been a study conducted, allegedly, over fifty years that shows how detrimental corporeal punishment is to children.  I said that 50,000 years of experience has proven otherwise.

The first challenger hit me about how I had lived so long.  My reply was that I had spoken with the gods of the copy book headings.  Someone else offered not so much an argument as a condemnation of my archaic attitude.  I pointed out that the same western civilization that had practiced disciplining children for all of its history had also provided the culture and technology that allowed him to condemn them on his smart phone.

A third person attacked on the basis of the advancement of science, saying that we have "progressed" because of the scientific method and thus the results of the study were better than the experience of millions of families over thousands of years, which brings me to the point of all this.

Science is not a unified disciplined.  Physics, chemistry, to some extent biology -- these disciplines are very different from psychology and sociology, for example.  We have advanced tremendously in our understanding of physical science.  Our engineering in electronics is far ahead of where it was fifty years ago.  Most of the advances in medicine are the result of improved technology -- engineering rather than biology.  We do know quite a bit more about genetics than we used to.  No one argues about the value of our studies in those areas.

However, I would like for someone to point out to me some of the positive improvements in my life as a result of advancements in sociology.  I'll sit here and wait if you need a few minutes.   ... Really, I rather think that I would not know if sociology ceased to exist as a "science".

With psychology and psychiatry, I could agree that there have been improvements in the treatment of mental illness, but some of the drugs being used can have frighteningly dangerous adverse effects.  People who commit mass murders are often found to be taking psychotropic prescription drugs -- omelets/eggs, I suppose.

Dr. Spock speculated -- and that's what it was, speculation -- that spanking should be avoided.  That was a lot more than fifty years ago.  A lot of children in my generation were raised by Spock's method.  I was not.  The good thing was, back in those days, you could still get away with punching an obnoxious kid in the mouth.  If his parents refused to straighten him out, there was a good chance his peers would teach him a lesson.  I'm afraid that is not the case anymore.

Aside from the contamination of science with politics and political power that Eisenhower warned about, some things, like the study on spanking, pass themselves off as science but are hardly in the same class as studying the properties of graphene, developing better lithium ion batteries, or building a liquid thorium reactor.

The argument from Science! is, thus, a logical fallacy.  If you have a good family, the odds are improved that it will produce good children, and disciplined, adaptive, socially well adjusted adults.  A good family, history and tradition -- which are at least as much science as is sociology -- tell us, is a mother and a father together in a loving, supportive, trusting relationship, teaching the child their values and passing on their traditions.

Physical discipline is a natural outgrowth of living in an unsafe world.  When failing to obey parents could easily mean death, a little bit of pain helps to inoculate the child against all the dangers that are out there.  We do it because it works.

Morality is pragmatic.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The NYT Fears For Democracy

Actually, the Times fears democracy.

The narrative must be protected.  Read the Neoreactionary analysis.  The NYT link is embedded there if you want to check the original.

Having no restrictions on voting in a representative republic is fine with the establishment power brokers.  Watering down a nation's culture and will through the mass importation of invaders who have no desire nor motivation to assimilate, who know nothing of its history, who share no values, principles or ideals with its native citizens is, in the estimation of the institutional wise men, perfectly in keeping with preserving the West.

The internet is not breaking the hold of the Ministry of Truth media, but it is forming cracks in the outer wall.  There are still people who think that anything on "Today", "The View", or the evening news is fact.  They trust in the "journalistic integrity" of people who hold Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, and Brian Williams as models to be emulated.

Television news is propaganda used to sell soap.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Price of Power

When a person has power, there is risk of corruption.  I find a quote I can connect with at the end:

I have a personal prejudice against tyranny.  I used to be in law enforcement.  I have seen what power can do to people with my own eyes.  I have arrested people and ticke[te]d them.  All power, even lawful power, degrades the person who wields it.  It is not just the victim who is abased.  The enforcer is also dishonored.  I simply will not be a party to authoritarianism anymore. 
If you think power is good I advise you to go out and get power as a cop or a jailer.  Find out what it is really like.  Then come back to your senses when you realize that all power is more or less evil.
As I have probably said before, I had a very brief stint in law enforcement.  I would not have made such a universal application, but I fully understood, even back then, the feeling expressed in the quote.  I am afraid I was not all that good at my job.  I let people slide.  I bent the rules.  I was chewed out more than once by my superiors.  

There is a way to avoid the kind of degradation that the writer talks about, and that is humility.  Oddly enough -- and I'm going to get all philosophical here, it can be frightening to be humble.  Humility requires courage.  I am going to suggest that true arrogance, as opposed to virtuous confidence, can be a function or expression of cowardice.

Humility and confidence are compatible.  Pride and humility are, of course, polar opposites.  In the First Epistle of John, we are told that there is no fear in love, that perfect, i.e., fully developed, love casts out all fear.  God's love makes us both confident and humble.   It gives us courage even as it preserves us from the corrupting influences of any power that might come into our hands, because, naturally, we are going to have power in some form over someone now and then.

This probably goes to why I harbor such a deep distrust of politicians and others who seek power.  It may even be why I have come to be fairly supportive of Trump.  He has a rather foolish, from someone seeking political office, courage.  Most seekers of power will never dare to tell the truth about what they want -- possibly even to themselves.

I believe that the real driving force behind the quest for power is often found in fear, and that fear is probably difficult to name -- something of an existential fear, the fear of meaninglessness.  

I think we can apply this to all the crap about triggering and hate speech and the protesting and rioting that is going on.  We just saw a violent and destructive protest at the University of California - Berkeley over a speech that was going to be given by the fabulous Milo Yiannopoulos.  Humble people would have listened to Milo without fear.  A speech, words, especially if they are not true, are not to be feared.

Humans have advanced, at least in part, because we are able to communicate with one another, record our words in some form -- including the earliest oral traditions -- and correct actions and adapt our behaviors based on our continuing interactions with reality.  As our interactions have now been recorded in written form across generations, we have a good basis for assessing the potential outcomes of a course of action.  If we are willing to make use of them.  This is called education.

Essentially this past week we saw a university, obstensibly engaged in education, violently blocking information that could prove vital to a generation's success and prosperity, if not their actual physical survival.  No one was going to be forced to accept Milo's conclusions or modify their behavior based on what he said.  His statements could have been heard, analyzed, debated, and considered.

The rioters, instead, acted as those under direct threat.  They acted in fear, fearing, perhaps, the potential loss of power that a contradiction to their narrative might entail.  What they lack is clearly humility.

Arrogance has become the hallmark of the modern world whether in science, politics, or religion.  A humble person fearlessly hears those who disagree with him.  He doesn't resort to disqualifying an opponent by labeling them as some despised thing in order to dismiss the other's opinion.  He doesn't appeal to his own authority or position, or that of another, in order to suggest that power or popularity defines truth.

Scientists used to be confident enough in themselves and in their methodology to accept challenges and debate on the basis of data and experimentation.  Now a computer model that has failed in predictive ability is upheld and defended by consensus.  Government funding rather than nature declares the winner of the battle for truth.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Maintaining a Grip

Monday, I did something I don't normally do.  I had a very brief exchange with a person in the comments section of a site.  The person, female, I believe, was ranting about Trump's "muslim ban".  She was questioning why he picked those countries.  The question was answered by another commenter.  She responded that he didn't answer her question.  I explained why he had indeed answered and offered a link to some additional information.

Fortunately, I went on about my business for a couple of days and didn't see her response until today.  It was unhinged.

Look, I hate Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.  I'm sorry.  I just can't stand them.  They may be nice people in private.  Al Capone was probably a nice guy to his friends and acquaintances.  Jesse James, Bonnie and Clyde, everybody, regardless of their crimes and atrocities, has some good points.  Hitler was kind to animals.

Obama is a petty, little affirmative-action tyrant, but he seems to genuinely care about his kids -- or whomever's they are.  As long as he isn't trying to run my life, I don't care.  I don't hate him the way I do the Clintons; Obama is an annoyance.  Like hemorrhoids.

The truth is that we all like to have our biases confirmed.  It's just human nature.  Alex Jones and World Net Daily make good money feeding the self-delusions of people on my side of the fence.  Not everything they say is wrong, but they aren't good sources.

It would be nice if, on the left side, we could point just to sites like the Huffington Post.  Sadly, the unreliable sources of the left include the New York Times, CNN, CBS, etc.  As has been evident throughout the campaign last year and in the two weeks since the inauguration, the media, in general, is aligned with globalism.

We need to stop thinking left and right.  It is nationalism versus a one-world, globalist vision that would eliminate national boundaries and national sovereignty.  The United States has bought into this vision more and more for the last seventy years.  It has not brought us prosperity or peace.

Invasion by "refugees" and illegals results in greater power for and reliance upon government by more and more people.  Crime goes up.  More people are on welfare.  There is a push for more socialism.  Consequently, socialism begins to eat away the country's prosperity.  If it is kept up, the end result is Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Greece, etc.

When a nation loses its culture through invasion, loses its identity, it is on the way to being made into the same kind of third-world hellhole that the invaders supposedly fled in the first place.

There are people who cannot accept this.  They have a worldview that we can all live together in harmony, that all people, regardless of religion, ethnicity, ability, or background are the same.  They believe that "experts" in the government can more effectively distribute wealth than the free market.  And, like the women I mentioned at the beginning, they are going to cling to that worldview no matter what facts or evidence they see to the contrary.  For every crime by an illegal, they will point to one by a native.  For every abject failure of socialism, they will scream "Sweden" at the top of their lungs while ignoring the demographics, resources, and history that enabled Sweden's socialist experiment.

Their grip will not be loosened by logical argument because they did not reach their position by logical argument.  They do not believe in their own depraved nature or their own capacity to be hoodwinked.

I say that not to disparage those who disagree with me, but more as a warning to myself to maintain a grip on self-awareness myself, to remind myself how easily I can be fooled,  deluded and deceived.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

It All Started When He Hit Me Back

I keep hearing how Trump needs to "change his tone", stop tweeting, start acting presidential, stop responding to his enemies -- you know, stop all the stuff that got him elected.

I have bad news for the left in America.  The nice conservatives are dead.  We're having the funeral tomorrow.  You might have heard about it.

It's not like there's a new utopia coming or anything like that.  Trump is talking about trimming 10 trillion in the next 10 years from federal expenditures.  Those sound like real cuts rather than cuts in increases, which is the usual political parlor trick.  Trump certainly knows how to negotiate.  Let's hope he puts that skill to good use.

The left and much of the "decent" right are unhappy because the rhetorical advantage has shifted away from them.  I don't claim to be Alt-Right -- I'm not entirely sure what constitutes that group.  There is a certain amount of right-libertarianism, at least a bit of anarcho-capitalism, and a sprinkling of white supremacy, or at least white separatism.  Primarily, though, it appears to be nationalist as opposed globalist, which is where I might come in.

The Alt-Right is about tactics and winning, which is why Trump became the Alt-Right candidate -- though Trump himself is probably more of a centrist on most social issues.  It is the hyperventilating, hysterical left that believes he is going to shut down abortion clinics, repeal the voting rights act, and jail opposition leaders, war against homosexuals and make sexual assault great again.

I do think the path ahead for this country is difficult and fraught with danger, but that's primarily the doing of the Establishment left and right and its media minions.  The Establishment Republicans are accusing Trump of being thin-skinned, while somehow failing to notice the constant petulance, pettiness, and immature responses of the half-Kenyan bastard for the last eight years.  The Ministry of Truth swings away at those of us who oppose the Establishment, calling us racists, xenophobes, islamophobes, misogynists, and anything else that is convenient.  They suggest that men who own firearms are "compensating" for sexual inadequacies.  They project their own evil onto us.  Yet when we dare to strike back, we are being "mean-spirited".  

As a Christian, I'm all for turning the other cheek in my own personal encounters, when there's nothing more at stake than an insult or minor humiliation.  Like acting in love and helping those in need, meekness is a virtue only when we practice it from the heart.  There is no virtue in forced charity or forced meekness.  In fact, one might even that forced meekness is a function of cowardice.  And keep in mind that courage and honesty are virtues, too.

This isn't about me personally.  This is politics.  Politics is war.  The battles are fought in the minds of the masses.  The weapon is rhetoric, because, honestly, most people are not interested -- if they are capable of -- following logical arguments.  The nice conservatives have tried logic, and they have lost.  The nation has moved left, hooked and towed by rhetoric.  Temporary blockades of logic and dialectic may have slowed the journey to the junkyard of history, but conservatism as a philosophy has failed to turn the country toward tradition and truth.

Rhetoric works because it appeals at an emotional level.  Yes, you had millions of Mexicans out in California still voting for socialism.  But to the American Midwest, Trump looked like a winner.  And he won.  He won despite a tape of him saying something shockingly vulgar.  He won despite his combativeness, his pettiness, his vulgarity, and his disdain for the elite.  He won because he fought back.  He called people out.  He won because he wasn't afraid to be called vulgar and petty.

To continue to win, nationalists must stop being afraid of being called names.  The proper response to being called racist is "I don't care."  Call me a redneck.  Say that I am xenophobic.  Call me a white supremacist.  Say that I hate Mexicans, Muslims, women, gays, whatever.  I don't care.

The word "satan", at its root, means an adversary, an accuser.  Satan's primary weapon is accusation with the intention of causing guilt.  Without the ability to invoke guilt and shame, the devil is essentially neutralized.

The Establishment or the "elites", if you prefer, are like Satan in this regard.  Their rhetoric is negative and accusatory.  The intent is to guilt us into acquiescing to denials of reality that would be ludicrous if they weren't so damaging to the social fabric.  If we don't submit and melt into piles of blubbering shame at their salvos, they have nothing.       

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

John Lewis Walked Across A Bridge

Segregation was an evil.  People who protested it did the right thing.  Some of them suffered greatly for it.  John Lewis was one of those people.  I respect what he did, just as I respect the service of John McCain as a Navy pilot and prisoner of war in Vietnam.

My dad kept hounds all his life.  Sometimes a dog would get too old to run coyotes with the pack.  I've seen those "retired" dogs -- blind, deaf, and stove-up, sleeping in the sun, being fed and cared for just like the young dogs that could still run a coyote down.  Dad would tell anyone who asked that such a hound had long ago earned his keep "for the good he had done".

America owes people like McCain and Lewis for the good that they did in their time.  Their time has past.  We are no longer in a cold war with the evil empire of the Soviets, nor are we living in the post-reconstruction, Jim Crow South.  John Lewis and John McCain are no longer serving America; they are serving themselves.  Both, and many others like them, need to retire and live out their twilight years in peace and quiet.

Like old dogs, they have gone blind and deaf.  They lash out instinctively at anything that comes near them.  They can no longer distinguish friend from foe.  Their instincts are not to be trusted, but they refuse to accept that.

They are not blinded by age but by their sense of entitlement.  Obama has the same problem, as do many of the celebrities and personalities with their exalted, vacuous opinions these days.  Though blind and deaf to the realities of life in post-empire America, of life in a post-global world, their sense of entitlement allows them to dictate to the rest of us -- the Deplorables.  That we gave them exactly the response they deserve seems to have enraged them.

It's unfair to compare someone like John Lewis to Meryl Streep.  Lewis, after all, was a part of the historic march in Selma.  His sense of entitlement was earned.  Being entitled to our respect does not make him right.  It also does not make him immune from criticism.

Selma has been under the political control of black people for decades.  It has declined economically and socially, just as have other cities that are majority black like Detroit, St. Louis, and Baltimore.  The leaders in those communities have gained and kept power and, in many cases, enriched themselves by stoking the greivances and the sense of entitlement of their constituencies.

Blaming racism for violence, crime, and poverty is a common theme that leads nowhere.  Another equally useless tack is demanding more expensive government programs.  Those programs, like most of the foreign aid given to third world countries, lines the pockets of the few and the connected while only appeasing pennies trickle down the people actually in need of help.  Thus, the money is never enough, and the victims remain continually aggrieved.

John Lewis and his kind are a part of that race and poverty industry.  Trump was right in calling him out about what is going on in the urban cores around this country.  Lewis could use his voice and his influence to call out the failures of city leaders instead of adding to the division and the very real potential for violence and strife.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Continued Push for War with Russia

I know I've talked about this before, but it is truly bizarre.  Never-Trumper John McCain was the one who turned the fake documents generated as a joke on Rick Wilson over to the intelligence community.  The media dutifully rolled it out because Russia is now the biggest threat to America.

I get confused sometimes.  When Reagan was president and called the old Soviet Union "the evil empire", the media lost their minds, screaming that Reagan was trying to start a nuclear war.  Now, Russia, which still has operable nuclear weapons and reliable delivery capabilities, is being vilified and attacked by leftist politicians, neo-cons, establishment Republicans, and their media minions.  The evening news might as well be the globalists' Ministry of Truth.

We know that the globalist financial situation is precarious, to say the least.  The central banks (ECB, BOJ, the Fed, etc.) have been working every angle and probably colluding with one another to keep the debt and equity bubble from bursting.  As a warning of what is to come, the Fed has ever so slightly bumped their rates.  If the rates go back to historic levels, government defaults become almost inevitable.  Even the U.S. government would have to make real budget cuts in order to continue to service its massive debt burden.

We have states there are in trouble due to pension funding.  A few months back, Illinois had a moratorium on paying winners of the state's lottery games.  The big winners are mostly paramutual, so you know the money had to be there at some point for that.  It's insane.  And it's probably going to get worse.

Trump's efforts are noble, perhaps, but a few thousand manufacturing jobs would seem to be a drop in the bucket relative to the global financial tsunami that threatens.    

However, a good war, that would change things.  Assets and resources would be up for grabs.  Defense spending would increase.  The Russians, so the neo-cons believe (I don't) would be brought to heel, and the nationalist Putin could be replaced with a more pliable, globalist puppet.

The population gets reduced.  Economies are boosted.  Central banks gain assets.  The debt defaults that need to happen would get covered up in all the excitement and fear.

War with Russia is immoral, unnecessary, and stupid.  Drowning men clutch at straws.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Best Defense Is A French Accent

By all means, don't call him Shirley.

The NYCHRL [New York City Human Rights Law] requires employers[, landlords, and all businesses and professionals] to use an [employee’s, tenant’s, customer’s, or client’s] preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.
Most individuals and many transgender people use female or male pronouns and titles. Some transgender and gender non-conforming people prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/hers, such as they/them/theirs or ze/hir. [Footnote: Ze and hir are popular gender-free pronouns preferred by some transgender and/or gender non-conforming individuals.] …
Examples of Violations
a. Intentional or repeated refusal to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title. For example, repeatedly calling a transgender woman “him” or “Mr.” after she has made clear which pronouns and title she uses …
Now, our good friend, Allena, is transgender, so we mean no offense, and I would certainly not call Allena "him/he" anymore.  If a person appears to be female, that person should be addressed as she/her and use the women's restroom.

But "ze"? Really?