Yes, "black guns" look mean. So do chopped, ape hanger, no muffler Harleys. So do lots of muscle cars. Lots of tattoos intentionally look mean. The list could go on.
As an owner of one full sized AR style gun, and one pistol style black .223, I can say that like a lot of "hot/mean" looking objects, these guns are both fun and functional. They are the most popular for a reason ... they are light, accurate, reliable, and maybe most importantly, readily customizeable. They are the "Barbie of the gun world" ... only they are real, and they really work. WELL.
The linked is worth a read.
The AR-15’s versatility and adaptability has made it the rifle of America’s militia, which is nothing more or less than America’s responsible gun owners. It is within the AR-15 cult that gun owners are likeliest to get the best education in gun safety, the best training for being a responsible gun owner at home, traveling, or on a range. It’s there that they may get the best understanding of where the gun fits into America’s tradition of republicanism. A country of determined men who have arms like the AR-15, or even significantly less-capable rifles, is almost impossible to rule without consent. Just take a look over at Afghanistan.
ARs, shotguns, and pistols are the core of America's "gun culture". In order to shoot, most serious gun owners are members of a gun club, which is a social activity.
One of the fastest growing shooting sports is Practical Shooting, a challenging and fun activity where you will really learn how to safely handle a gun around others.
American gun ownership is somewhat like golf ... although the adult beverages have to wait until after the shooting is done!
The linked is a rather good review. The book pulls together MANY threads on the origins and criticisms of the secular religion of "progress". The fact that our modern conception of progress is "more, more, more ... easier, more pleasurable, more choice, etc. An attempt to even sample the underlying material would be a work of a year or more even for a dedicated rapid reader.
The main assertion of the book is that "more, more, more" doesn't work because of limits ... specifically environmental limits. Curiously, Malthus, the secular god of limits is never mentioned.
The book does cover the now increasingly well known fact that the destruction of the family, church, community, etc, even with lots of wealth, entertainment and sexual pleasure is a hollow life that often leads to suicide, or addictions that have the same early death effect. (see numerous rock and other "stars" who follow the creed of "Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse").
Having seen too many young corpses, I can attest that young corpses are not beautiful. I'm not a mortician, so I really do not know why, but my guess is that the old corpse looks much more natural, since the body was getting close to death anyway. For the young, once the radiance of youth is extinguished, the remaining husk is rendered ugly.
I tend to disagree with Malthus and Lasch on the material limits. Human ingenuity is rather amazing, and necessity remains the mother of invention. This is covered rather well by Matt Ridley in "The Rational Optimist" which I have read, but for some reason failed to review and blog on. The linked Gilder review seems pretty accurate. I see the earthly limits of the human spirit without God to be much more troubling than material limits. Fusion, nanotech, mining asteroids, and probably much more mundane technological solutions have a way of "cropping up" ... see Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution.
The spiritual limits are much more problematic. It seems increasingly obvious that the "God is dead, let's kill the family and community as well, and then we will be free" idea has failed rather miserably, although bad ideas are a bit like zombies ... they often stagger along on momentum long after they should be in the grave.
The prohibition of teaching religion in in schools doesn't apply to pagan religions.
Students first clap and chant to the god Tezkatlipoka — whom the Aztecs traditionally worshipped with human sacrifice and cannibalism — asking him for the power to be “warriors” for “social justice.” Next, the students chant to the gods Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli, and Xipe Totek, seeking “healing epistemologies” and “a revolutionary spirit.” Huitzilopochtli, in particular, is the Aztec deity of war and inspired hundreds of thousands of human sacrifices during Aztec rule. Finally, the chant comes to a climax with a request for “liberation, transformation, [and] decolonization,” after which students shout “Panche beh! Panche beh!” in pursuit of ultimate “critical consciousness.”
In this Easter season, what is wrong with a little human sacrifice and cannibalism? After all, Christ was a willing sacrifice for our sins, and since we take the Body and Blood in Holy Communion, some would accuse us of the same.
However, some things that seem the same are actually different. A medical student dissecting a cadaver is different from Jeffrey Dahmer hacking up a victim. Although, the way this world is going, who knows? Things that seem "beyond belief" are now daily "news".
The linked is tragically important to read. If you are still somewhat sanguine about the destruction of Western civilization, perhaps this will at least raise an eyebrow.
It is interesting to see "epistemology" (the philosophical study of knowing and the knowable) in the context of paganism. The etymology of epistemology is a Scottish philosopher in 1856.
Without Western civilization, the very terminology used to attack it would not exist.
The linked is worth a look ... the Chinese, and the US media are certain the Wuhan Virus didn't come from Wuhan. Oh, and they believe Jeffrey Epstein killed himself.
As a former long time listener to NPR, I'm always impressed by how superb and reliable Communist governments are. It used to be the USSR and Cuba. "Everyone has wonderful free healthcare there! The people are well educated and happy! All they want is peace, the US is so warlike! "
Why in the world would anyone question these facts?
Now it is China that can do very little wrong. Clearly it is racist of me to have any questions here. The MSM, the WHO, and the US government bureaucracy are completely reliable.
At worst, it suggests that media outlets with millions invested into the Chinese media market do not want to jeopardize their bottom lines with even the mere suggestion that China’s COVID conclusions simply do not add up. Beijing has not acted like a government that is interested in transparency.
"At worst?" Compared to their huge military buildup, massive espionage activity, etc, a bit of media Chinese collusion is "the worst"?
Anyone who has lifted at all knows you have no need to put the collars on the end of bar unless you are benching over 300lbs, at which point the bar starts to bend and the weights can slide off. From personal experience I can attest that when that bar starts to bend, it is pretty cool.
Otherwise, the collars are off since there is no reason at all to have them on, and it makes it harder to add or subtract weight, which you do all the time. No collars, no "tragic accident" ... as soon as you start to fail and can't lift the weight, the bar becomes unbalanced and the weights slide off (with lots of noise).
John Ashe represented Antigua and Barbuda at the United Nations and at one time served as president of the General Assembly. In October 2015, the FBI accused Ashe of receiving at least $500,000 in bribes to benefit a Chinese businessman named Ng Lap Seng.
Ng isn’t a household name today but back in 1998, a Senate report identified him as the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars funneled through an Arkansas restaurant owner to the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton-Gore campaign in the mid 1990s. Ng visited the White House 10 times.
That is the known extent of any Clinton connection.
See, we don't KNOW of any Clinton connection, so there wasn't any! If you don't see a mouse in your house, you KNOW that there aren't any ... well, unless you are some crazy paranoid mouse conspiracy theorist!
For two years we DID KNOW that there was Russian collusion in the 2016 election with the Trump campaign ... it was a key part of the "news" for two years. Then, after the Dems took the House ... well, never mind.
The MSM and Communist countries have a sterling reputation. Almost as spotless as the Bidens and the Clintons!
We all love to remember when we were right, and hate to remember when we were/are wrong. As a moderate depressive, I tend to remember being wrong pretty well, and being right, not as much as your average bear. (being a moose, that is understandable).
So, I've been wrong about the coming massive financial crash since "1990" ... and have forgone a lot of market gains because of that belief. Fortunately not ALL of the gains, and my much more optimistic wife continues to beat me in the market like a rented mule.
The linked is a pretty good summary of what I've thought would happen for a long time ... but hasn't. I hope it doesn't happen at all. I don't speak Mandarin, I have grandchildren, and while I think I'm pretty well situated for "whatever comes", evidence shows that I'm frequently wrong, although for the last year or so, my TIPs investments have been looking not as wrong as usual.
Somebody needs to remind President Biden about the Golden Rule — the real Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules, and we are clean out of ducats.
Jim Rogers, the famous investor, offered a version of that golden rule when explaining why he decamped to the Far East and has raised his daughters speaking Mandarin: “You know where the assets are, and you know where the debts are.” President Bill Clinton, enraged at the way the financial markets constrained his grandiose ambitions, observed ruefully that in his next life he wanted to be reincarnated as the bond market so that he would finally know what it’s like to have some real power. Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht, goes the Yiddish proverb: Man plans, and God laughs.
The Jim Rogers linked article from 2010 is worth looking at as well. This part resonated with me ...
And that’s where Rogers’s start-a-farm pitch comes in. He pitches farming the same way he pitches Asia, like it ought to be obvious to you, but, because of some intellectual defect on your part, it isn’t: “It sounds radical, but it’s based on simple facts. Food inventories are the lowest they’ve been in decades — not months, not years, decades. And there’s a shortage of farmers. Japan has vast empty fields where all the farms have died, and the kids have all gone to Tokyo and Osaka. Japanese dislike foreigners, particularly Chinese foreigners, but they’ve started importing Chinese farmers to farm the fields in Japan that don’t have anybody to farm them. The farmers are going to have a future. Smart guys on Wall Street are going to learn to drive tractors, because the guys who can drive tractors are going to be driving Lamborghinis.” Foreseeing a unified Korea, he recommends buying now, just south of the DMZ: cheap land for hardy, self-reliant homesteaders looking to make their fortunes in a new world. Sound familiar?
Sitting here in Iowa, considering buying a couple acres of land so at least hunger would not be a problem. I don't fit in a Lamborghini, but I can drive a pretty sophisticated tractor, so there is that.
As Solzhenitsyn sadly said, "If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being".
Can mass shootings be stopped? Probably, at least private ones if we go totalitarian as we seem to be heading. Then the mass killings will be buried in trenches dug with backhoes, and the victims will just be "disappeared". So no outcry! Progress!
Humans have always killed each other, and always will until Christ returns. When we broke our culture in the 1960's, the mass killings increased ( although they are still a tiny percentage) ... most likely. as we continue break our culture, they will continue to increase.
The mission of the military used to be to protect the US from all enemies, foreign and domestic. What is its mission today?
To advance Wokeness
To advance leftism/fascism and attack conservatism/freedom.
To enrich the top brass, along with the wealthy
How might this work?
Last summer, during the civil unrest agitated in part by Antifa and Black Lives Matter, more than 280 retired military officials and diplomats signed a letter blasting the idea that Donald Trump might send in federal troops to restore calm. They claimed that the mere idea “risks sullying the reputation of our men and women in uniform in the eyes of their fellow Americans and of the world.”
Yet none of the signees voiced objections to the presence of some 30,000 National Guard troops in Washington, D.C.
Using the military to restore order in US cities being burned and looted would "sully the reputation of our men and women in uniform in the eyes of their fellow Americans and of the world". Turning DC into an armed camp under one party rule is fine as long as it is the "right" (left) party.
Yes, in the eyes of the US woke, the US media, and the Davos elite and their followers domestic and foreign.
The military has announced it is now conducting an internal probe to root out American soldiers suspected of harboring supposedly dangerous ideas.
If you want Stormtroopers, "crimethink" must certainly be removed from their minds before they begin to enforce "domestic tranquility".
Just go read the excellent article. Trust in elections is OVER!
Sovereign crime is not something we see a lot of in America as our governmental institutions are generally not organized to commit, support or hide a crime.
Most Americans have never seen an organized crime take place, in plain view, supported by or covered up by governmental institutions. But it happens all the time around the world, even in some countries that are quite Westernized.
Sovereign crime means your government was a participant, active or passive, enabling vote fraud.
Governors and secretaries of state refusing to cleanse voter rolls, refusing to check signatures for mail-in ballots – even during recounts, changing the voting rules weeks before an election, qualifies as your government messing with your vote.
The national government refusing to investigate the most egregious examples of voter fraud like hundreds of thousands of more ballots than voters in several states, that is a pretty good indicator that they are passive participants in industrial level vote fraud.
If you have read 12 rules, then reading this one is a good idea, but not an urgent one. I loved "12 Rules For Life", I really like "Beyond Order".
Rule V, "Do Not Do What You Hate", is a good one for our time. It opens with the story of a woman struggling with the daily idiocy of life in a large bureaucratic corporation in the age of Woke ... something I have lots of sympathy with after a 34 year IBM career. Her specific example was "Flip Chart" being banned in her workplace because it was problematic to Filipinos ... a claim supported here.
I personally know of a case where "blacklist/whitelist" had to be removed from a computer tool for racial concerns. In the age of Woke, EVERYTHING has racial, sexual, or God knows what hidden implications.
This makes it virtually impossible to not to end up stepping into a PC pothole -- as Dr Seuss, Pepe Le Pew, and unfortunately, Aunt Jemima have. Tragically, Aunt Jemima was once a great success story. Even if you ARE very careful, as was Amy Coney Barrett, when she said in her confirmation hearing in the AM that she had never discriminated on the basis sexual preference". Webster agreed that was fine in the AM, by the PM it was "offensive".
Corporate, government, families, and basically everything are becoming Woke minefields, and it is hard to love working and living in a minefield.
Rule X, "Plan and work diligently to retain the romance in your relationship" ought to be read by every couple, and especially by people considering, or avoiding marriage. The overarching of the chapter is NEGOTIATE! Which means you are both honest and you both talk rather than evade. It points out the now sad fact that virtually all women deep down want to be mothers, and sometime as they approach 30, their biological clocks start screaming. For the secular society that worships evolution, it is hard to understand why this is not obvious. Procreation is a MAJOR foundation for natural selection.
Perhaps nature is just weeding out those too blinded by ideology to figure that out? Rule VI, "Abandon Ideology" would aid in clearing this hurdle.
Like pretty much all of Jordan's (and the Bibles) or for that matter, Buddhist, teaching, the necessity of Rule XII "Be Grateful in spite of your suffering" is woven through the book. "Life is suffering" (Buddha), "Take up your cross" (Christ).
As with "12 Rules", being a practicing Christian would cover 90%+ of what Jordan preaches -- but the number of us practicing Christians is shrinking. Can Jordan "save" you / us / Western civilization ? I surely don't believe so ... we are in a condition where we require GRACE to save us. Even AA says one needs a "higher power" to escape addiction to alcohol. Alcoholism is just one form of avoiding the reality of suffering ... workaholism, video game addiction, constant entertainment distraction, and many others are other pitfalls.
I highly recommend both "Order and Chaos" ;-) for both Christians and secularists. The advice is good -- I'm just not sure you can keep much of it without the Holy Spirit.
"CRT" Is "Critical Race Theory" ... BLM, Intersectionality, "Be Less White". etc.
So we have a bill to attempt to make CRT the standard curricula for US students.
In effect, we are looking at an effort to impose a new federal Common Core in the politically explosive subject areas of history and civics. Worse, the program in each of these areas does more than just lean a bit toward the left side of the political spectrum. Instead, it sharply breaks with fundamental assumptions in American education, first by promoting illiberal Critical Race Theory, and second by turning what should be a politically neutral classroom into a training ground for leftist advocacy and lobbying.
Another term we need to understand is "Action Civics" ... essentially teaching how to protest America.
Action Civics conceives of itself as a living laboratory in which mere civic theory is put productively into practice. Students, it is held, best acquire civic know-how through direct political action, for example by protesting in favor of gun control or lobbying for legislation to address climate change.
You must "teach your children well" to hate their own country.
The title is over the top, as is the book. I do however love the title if the review, "Jung Love" ... just the kind of sophomoric humor that I know I'm not supposed to like, but do. Sort of like "Spinal Tap" ... whose appeal is becoming "more selective" ...
Much like Biden, who went to the basement to be on the same level as his core supporters, the dead, who don't care about energy, because they consume very little. At least they were really happy to mail in their votes.
The book is blatant hagiography fan mail ... much like the MSM "reporting", or lack thereof on the Biden "presidency". I hate the title, thought it is a proper warning -- Jordan is in no way a "messiah", nor does he claim to be. He is also totally not "savage" ... he is very compassionate and easily emotional.
Spectator is honest about the "fanboy" nature of the book, and the review is still useful as long as you keep that in mind. It does give some insight into the life of Jordan, his struggles both personally and publically as he fearlessly (and correctly) points out the dangers of the totalitarian left. Will that save us? No, but being aware of danger is better than being clueless -- even if you can't do much of anything to mitigate it.
We live in the age of one dimensional hype and marketing on all sides and everywhere. It is all leftist politics all the time. This book is on the other extreme.
Since I share Jordan's depressive nature, as well as to a lesser degree his drive (compulsion?) to read, study, and write, I somewhat share Prosser's possibly over compassionate and admiring view.
Prosser reminds me a bit of the Obama fawning groupies ... BO thought he WAS the "messiah" as did the MSM.
I hate it when they say "American Democracy". Yes it is true that we are sliding closer and closer to mob rule ("democracy"), however I'd really like more people to understand that we were founded as a REPUBLIC for very good reasons that I'm not repeating here, because anyone that wants to be an American, as opposed to a subject of Wokeistan (which we now all currently are), and as HR1 shows, we are probably going to take another step toward even more pure totalitarian fascism.
It would be an understatement to describe H.R. 1 as a radical assault on American democracy, federalism, and free speech. It is actually several radical left-wing wish lists stuffed into a single 791-page sausage casing. It would override hundreds of state laws governing the orderly conduct of elections, federalize control of voting and elections to a degree without precedent in American history, end two centuries of state power to draw congressional districts, turn the Federal Elections Commission into a partisan weapon, and massively burden political speech against the government while offering government handouts to congressional campaigns and campus activists. Merely to describe the bill is to damn it, and describing it is a Herculean task in itself.
Democrats are intent on cementing their policy of massive voter fraud by making it illegal to even marginally attempt to regain election integrity. (not that we have had any for a very long while)
State voter-ID laws are banned, replaced simply by a sworn voter statement.The dramatic expansion of mail-in voting during the COVID pandemic is enshrined permanently in federal law. States are banned from the most elementary security methods for mail-in ballots: They must provide a ballot to everyone without asking for identification and may not require notarization or a witness to signatures. States are compelled to permit ballot harvesting so long as the harvesters are not paid per ballot. Curbside voting, ballot drop boxes, and 15 days of early voting are mandated nationwide, and the bill micromanages the location and hours of polling stations, early voting locations, and drop boxes.
If this bill becomes law, we will have catapulted farther down the path where the 70 million people that loved what was once America and voted for Trump, will be further silenced to the point that the tiny number that courageously vote against fascism will be identified and punished up to and including incarceration and worse.
There are a lot of tabs in my copy, which means that Murray covered a lot of points that I find important.
As I got to the afterward, I was struck by Murray's observation that while he had stepped on some of the most contentious issues of our time (gays, women, race, and transexuality), he had largely been treated "fairly", and the book was popular. My view is that the fact that he considers himself to be gay is the reason for that ... as he covers in the first section of the book, gay is the "foundation" of Identity Politics -- a member of that identity can pass through the "minefield" of identity if they step carefully. Murray seems to have largely achieved that.
He does a good job of pointing out the absurdities of our age relative to his four categories. One of the themes is; what is "hardware" in humans ("nature" -- wired in, part of DNA); vs what is "software" ( "nurture", changed by environment, learnable, teachable).
The base of this discussion ... "hardware is fixed and therefore morally OK" seems fatally flawed. Certainly sexual drives are "hardware", however there is such a thing as celibacy, and monogamy, which are socially (imperfectly) standards. In the age of "if it feels good, do it", it seems that the "hardware vs software" a distinction without a difference. It seems applicable to many things ... obesity, addiction, pedofillia, ...
He arrives at essentially the same conclusion as Christ as in "man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God", ie, a fixed unchangeable morality is what we need. Nietzsche says we have culturally killed God, so we seek to create a new "god" via science, culture ... POWER. Thus the fight. From this review:
Murray spends a significant amount of time considering how we got to this stage and declares that it derives from an absence of meaning from the loss of “grand narratives.” Presumably, by this he means the loss of a conviction that our great, Liberal utopia is no longer worth saving, let alone maintaining. Tantalizing as this may be, the loss of this conviction is not discussed at much length in The Madness of Crowds, although it does feature extensively in The Strange Death of Europe.
On page 256, he takes a shot at this; "A sense of purpose is found in working out what is meaningful in our lives and then orienting ourselves over time as closely as possible to those centers of meaning".
Although he doesn't admit it, he is basically declaring what everyone since Nietzsche has discovered -- we try valiantly to pull ourselves up to meaning by our own bootstraps, and discover that it comes back to FAITH ... in something that we are going to make to be "transcendent" ... therefore an idol. This is covered very well in "Moral, Believing Animals".
His closing sentence is; "To assume that that sex, sexuality, and skin color mean nothing would be ridiculous. But to assume that they mean everything will be fatal."
Eternally, "sex, sexuality and skin color" DO mean nothing. We are all equally sinful, and equally redeemable in the eyes of God. There was even once a country called "america" that declared that:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
No creator, no "unalienable". Or on the terms of the "leader" of Wokeistan, "endowed by the thing" ... the once shining nation on a hill is gone.
If you haven't read lot of Churchill books, this is a good one to cover especially the early war years. Larson is very readable, and tends to approach things from somewhat of a "woman's perspective". Romances, affairs and unrequited loves are documented -- not the typical fare of such books. He also tends to go more into the relationships between the players -- in some ways it reads more like a novel than a historical book.
As in any decently written Churchill book, it makes it clear that Winston was the indispensible, very unique, and somewhat eccentric man.
Good description of the divided concerns in Wokeistan.
I happen to have just finished "Bully Pulpit". Sadly? Or happily? Things have not changed much since the early 1900's. Oh, the players may be somewhat different ... Republicans are now more "Free Traders", and while there are still political machines on both sides, the big ones are mostly Democrat. These days, "The Malefactors of Great Wealth" are now the Davos elite, mass media, world government bureaucracy, and the tech titans. The "bourgeois middle class" is now largely bureaucratic administors (in and out of government), + medical and some higher level tech rather than farmers, small business, etc.
"Division" has been baked into all human systems since we lived in caves. Sure, it ebbs and flows, but "Tom Brady, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates" sort of people are always going to make A LOT more than Benchwarmer Bob, the corner grocer, and your cleaning lady. Tools only make it worse -- the more powerful the tools, the greater the division.
Can you fix it? Sure! See Churchill!
‘The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.’
-Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 22 October 1945
Certainly a simplification (as he well knew), but totally true in general. Since Socialism inherently produces much less weath, there is less inequality. The elite will still be far more wealthy that the commoner, but except for imports, the goods will be of a lower quality.
The Internet is a tool that lets you be nastier, more isolated, and more tribal. We seem to be using it "well".