Election Day.

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable. – John Kenneth Galbraith

In our age there is no such thing as “keeping out of politics.” All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia. – George Orwell

Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we are paying for. – Will Rogers

A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker. – H.L. Mencken

There are two malign trends of the last four decades, and in the war on terror they’ve merged. For the far left, the issue is always America. So, if America’s destabilizing some Marxist-Leninist socialist utopia the left takes the side of the Marxist-Leninist socialist utopia. Likewise, if America’s at odds with misogynist racist homophobic theocrats, the left takes the side of the sodomite-beheaders and the freelance clitorectomy performers. That’s entirely consistent once you realize it’s simply a choice of United States vs [Your Name Here]. – Mark Steyn

Calvin: When I grow up, I’m not going to read the newspaper and I’m not going to follow complex issues and I’m not going to vote. That way I can complain when the government doesn’t represent me. Then, when everything goes down the tubes, I can say the system doesn’t work and justify my further lack of participation.

Hobbes: An ingeniously self-fulfilling plan.

Calvin: It’s a lot more fun to blame things than to fix them.
–Bill Watterson The Days are Just Packed, p78-2

Go vote.


I just today discovered this blog. I can see I’ll be spending some time there getting caught up. Her essays on “A Mind is a Difficult Thing to Change” especially. But I’ve found one piece in particular that rang the gong of absolute truth. From Condescension and leaving the political fold:

(A)t the time I didn’t see it coming, and it was extremely shocking and disturbing to me. But now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I think that I actually would have gotten a better response from them if I’d skipped the “I’ve always been a liberal Democrat” intro. Because there are few things more hated than an apostate, a turncoat, a traitor.

Someone who leaves the fold is much worse than someone who was never in it. There’s a special rage reserved for those who have rejected the ideas that others hold dear.

From Eric Hoffer’s book, True Believer on the difference between an army and a mass movement:

It is well at this point, before leaving the subject of self-sacrifice, to have a look at the similarities and differences between mass movements and armies.

The similarities are many: both mass movements and armies are collective bodies; both strip the individual of his separateness and distinctness; both demand self-sacrifice, unquestioning obedience and singlehearted allegiance; both make extensive use of make-belief to promote daring and united action; and both can serve as a refuge for the frustrated who cannot endure an automomous existence. A military body like the Foreign Legion attracts many of the types who usually rush to join a new movement. It is also true that the recruiting officer, the Communist agitator and the missionary often fish simultaneously in the cesspools of skid row.

But the differences are fundamental: an army does not come to fulfill a need for a new way of life; it is not a road to salvation. It can be used as a stick in the hand of a coercer to impose a new way of life and force it down unwilling throats. But the army is mainly an instrument devised for the preservation or expansion of an established order — old or new. It is a temporary instrument that can be assembled and taken apart at will. The mass movement, on the other hand, seems an instrument of eternity, and those who join it do so for life. The ex-soldier is a veteran, even a hero; the ex-true believer is a renegade. The army is an instrument for bolstering, protecting and expanding the present. The mass movement comes to destroy the present. Its preoccupation is with the future, and it derives its vigor and drive from this preoccupation.

Being an instrument of the present, an army deals mainly with the possible. Its leaders do not rely on miracles. Even when animated by fervent faith, they are open to compromise. They reckon with the possibility of defeat and know how to surrender. On the other hand, the leader of a mass movement has an overwhelming contempt for the present — for all its stubborn facts and perplexities, even those of geography and the weather. He relies on miracles. His hatred of the present (his nihilism) comes to the fore when the situation becomes desperate. He destroys his country and his people rather than surrender.

When I finally get around to updating the blogroll, she’s going on it.

First Handgun.

A reader asks:

I am planning to buy my first handgun in the near future. My main purpose for this is that I would like a side arm for when I am hunting to have some protection against rabid animals or snakes that would be hard to fend off at close range with a scoped rifle. Equally important to me is that I would like to have some sense of security and protection for myself and my family in case we were ever to encounter any trouble from an attacker. Problem is I can only afford one gun and I’m looking for one that would perform both duties well.

I have been looking around in my price range of $600 or less and I have found two guns that have caught my eye. The Glock 10mm model 20C and the Springfeild XD .357 Sig. I’m just looking for opinions from more experienced gun owners before I purchase and I am open to suggestions for other side arms that fall within my price range. If I was just using the gun to fend off animals I wouldn’t have such a problem, but I want to make sure that if I encounter a criminal element that I have enough fire power to sufficiently stop an attacker and protect myself and my family. Thanks.

I know what I’d recommend, but I will leave it to my other readers to respond first.

4th Annual National Ammo Day.

The 2006 edition of Kim du Toit’s National Ammo Day is again November 19 (or the week thereof). Last year the guys at AR15.com all attempted to make their Ammo Day purchases at their local Walmarts at precisely 3:30PM CST. Over 1,400 members stated that they would join in. The final tally reported that we bought 103,135 rounds that day, and that was just AR15.com members. Other gun boards, bloggers, and readers joined in, too.

Join us again, won’t you? On or near Nov. 19, buy at least 100 rounds of ammo from any source; local gun shop, big-box store, or mail-order.

Plainly and Clearly Stated.

(Via Insty.)

Orson Scott Card explains precisely why the Democrat Party should not win a majority in either house of Congress.


Wherever Islamicism has been tried, the result has been identical to Communism’s miserable track record. The people are oppressed; the worst sort of vigilantes and thugs terrorize the population; the new power elite, regardless of their supposed piety and dedication to a holy cause, is quickly corrupted and comes to love the wealth and privileges of power.

When there is no hope of deliverance, the people have no choice but to bow under the tyrant’s lash, pretending to be true believers while yearning for relief. In Russia it came … after more than seventy years. China and Cuba are still waiting — but then, they started later.

So it would be in the Muslim world — if Islamicism were ever able to come to seem inevitable and irresistible.

You know: If America withdrew from Iraq and Afghanistan and exposed everyone who had cooperated with us to reprisals.

As happened in South Vietnam. The negotiated peace was more or less holding after American withdrawal. But then a Democratic Congress refused to authorize any further support for the South Vietnamese government. No more armaments. No more budget.

In other words, we forcibly disarmed our allies, while their enemies continued to be supplied by the great Communist powers. The message was clear: Those who rely on America are fools. We didn’t even have the decency to arrange for the evacuation of the people who had trusted us and risked the most in supporting what they thought was our mutual cause.

We did it again, this time in the Muslim world, in 1991, when Bush Senior encouraged a revolt against Saddam. He meant for the senior military officers to get rid of him in a coup; instead, the common people in the Shiite south rose up against Saddam.

Bush Senior did nothing as Saddam moved in and slaughtered them. The tragedy is that all it would have taken is a show of force on our part in support of the rebels, and Saddam’s officers would have toppled him. Only when it became clear that we would do nothing did it become impossible for any high-ranking officials to take action. For the price of the relatively easy military action that would have made Saddam turn his troops around and leave the Shiite south, we could have gotten rid of him then — and had grateful friends, perhaps, in the Shiite south.

That’s just a taste. Read the whole thing, and pass it around the watercooler on Monday.

The election on Tuesday will affect a lot more people around the world than just us here in America. We must remember that.

Russians Jihadis.

In Europe and America, there’s a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets
Mr. Krushchev said ‘we will bury you’
I don’t subscribe to this point of view
It would be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russians love their children too

How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer’s deadly toy?
There is no monopoly in common sense
On either side of the political fence
We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

There is no historical precedent
To put the words in the mouth of the President
There’s no such thing as a winnable war
It’s a lie that we don’t believe anymore
Mr. Reagan says ‘we will protect you’
I don’t subscribe to this point of view
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me, and you
Is that the Russians love their children too

Gordon Sumner, aka “Sting,” put that on his 1985 album Dream of the Blue Turtles. This was at the height of the Cold War and Reagan’s presidency, after his 1982 “Evil Empire” speech.

I suggest strongly that you go watch the video linked at The View from North Central Idaho, the short version of the film Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.

Radical Islamists don’t love their children. They’re making weapons out of them. It’s a chilling thing to watch. It’s something we dare not deny is happening. It is something we dare not ignore.

“America is thumos”.
Or: “They have guns, you know.”

On a slightly more serious note, persuing my archive of stored articles I ran across one pertinent to that “metric” question, one reminiscent of That Sumbitch Ain’t Been BORN! It’s an OpinionJournal column from July of 2004 entitled Go Ahead, Call Us Cowboys, and I enthusiastically recomend you take a few minutes and read it.

A teaser:

We made this trip in the first week of July. The “Canada Day” celebrations that took place in Stewart on July 1 were very vanilla. They included a “jaws of life” rescue equipment demonstration, a Name the Babies Contest, and the Annual Community Potluck Dinner in the early evening.

Three days later on July 4, Hyder spiced its national celebration with dashes of politically incorrect cayenne. There was an Ugly Vehicle Contest featuring pickups held together with duct tape and decorated with moose antlers (unlike the shiny ones in the driveways). There were parades of children with pets, toy guns and cowboy costumes. There was a Wilderness Woman Contest. Contestants raced to split wood, wash clothes, shoot a bear, flip pancakes, change a baby, and put on lipstick. The winner did it all barefoot.

Even Hyderites recognize their limits–in an earlier year’s self-staged July 4 fireworks display, they had accidentally burned down their fire hall with the fire engine inside. So this year Hyder hired Canadian experts to stage the pyrotechnics. The show started around midnight, during the late evening barbecue. Stewart residents courteously joined in the fun, bringing new government trucks and a poodle.

The telling bit, though, is in the comments on the piece:

Running With the Right Team
Andrew de Villiers – Denver, Colo.

Thank you for such a well written article on a subject I hold dear to my heart. I immigrated to the U.S. 18 years ago, and your words painted a picture of all the reasons why I was so drawn to America.

There was no other country I wanted to live in, to be a part of, to create a family, to serve, to work and to promote. Growing up in Zimbabwe, I was a product of British colonialism and all its awkward stiffness.

How liberating it was for me, a bull-headed and confident 18 year old when I landed on these shores, alone but bold, totally unfamiliar with American society but confident I would be accepted.

I love this country, my country, where your attitude and desire to better yourself is rewarded. We don’t care where you came from, or where you started, we care where you finish. If life is a race, I’m on the right team!

Damned straight. Note the emphatic we. Cowboy up!

The best part? The authors of the piece are Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Justice Andrew Kleinfeld and his wife. Justice Kleinfeld wrote one of the excellent dissents in the Silveira v. Lockyer decision that I’m so fond of quoting.

Here We Go Again!.
And Something Tells Me This One’s NOT a Fan!

I’ve had another visitor from a British University server. Thirteen page views in about 18 minutes. Either a speed-reader or someone who was only skimming. Methinks this visitor wasn’t a friendly. Check the out-click:

Buh-bye! Come back and visit again when you have more time!