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.