Quote of the Day – Politics Edition

Important as they are, our political divisions are the iceberg’s tip. When pollsters ask the American people whether they are likely to vote Republican or Democrat in the next presidential election, Republicans win growing pluralities. But whenever pollsters add the preferences “undecided,” “none of the above,” or “tea party,” these win handily, the Democrats come in second, and the Republicans trail far behind. That is because while most of the voters who call themselves Democrats say that Democratic officials represent them well, only a fourth of the voters who identify themselves as Republicans tell pollsters that Republican officeholders represent them well. Hence officeholders, Democrats and Republicans, gladden the hearts of some one-third of the electorate — most Democratic voters, plus a few Republicans. This means that Democratic politicians are the ruling class’s prime legitimate representatives and that because Republican politicians are supported by only a fourth of their voters while the rest vote for them reluctantly, most are aspirants for a junior role in the ruling class. In short, the ruling class has a party, the Democrats. But some two-thirds of Americans — a few Democratic voters, most Republican voters, and all independents — lack a vehicle in electoral politics.

Sooner or later, well or badly, that majority’s demand for representation will be filled.

American Spectator – Angelo M. Codevilla, America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution

Quote of the Day – Education Edition

Never has there been so little diversity within America’s upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America’s upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter. The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another. Few had much contact with government, and “bureaucrat” was a dirty word for all. So was “social engineering.” Nor had the schools and universities that formed yesterday’s upper crust imposed a single orthodoxy about the origins of man, about American history, and about how America should be governed. All that has changed.

Today’s ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits.

American Spectator – Angelo M. Codevilla, America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution

And the rest of us are the products of public schooling and everything but Ivy-League higher education.

As though that was the entire purpose of the educational system.

RTWT. It’s worth your time.

Quote of the Day – Locke v. Rousseau Edition

From The Geek with a .45 (who really needs to blog more often, ’cause he’s friggin’ brilliant):

A generation before the American Revolution, the English philosopher John Locke dug a deep well from which the waters of liberty are drawn, laying out the manner in which explicit, finite, enumerated Powers can be delegated by the People to government, while reserving all other prerogatives to themselves.

A generation later, the French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau poisoned, pissed and shat into that well, restating the social compact with key bits sabotaged to support collectivism and the oppression of the individual by the allegedly infallible democratic will of the people.

The refutation of this point is a simple question: “Is there any process of democracy that will justly allow you to rape another against their will?”

If the answer is no, then there are limits to what the democratic will of the people can justly enable, and the remainder of the argument is about where those limits are, and by what process/axiom/principle they are discovered or established.

If the answer is yes, I don’t want to know you, it’d be best for you never to encounter me.

Eight Hour Meeting

I got to work today at my standard 6:30AM starting time. (Normal work-week is 7-4:30 M-Th, 7-11 on Friday. I generally work 6:30-5:00 M-Th, 6:30-11:30 on Friday.) At 9:30 AM we started a vendor meeting. I didn’t get out of it until 5:30. We even had lunch delivered and kept on working.

I’m burned out. No blog for you.

Another Target-Rich Environment

I use as my homepage a text-only page resident on my hard drive that was authored by PC Magazine contributor John Dvorak. In it, there’s a link to his blog, which is authored by a number of contributors. I check it from time to time because the writers there are uniformly Leftist and often amusing.

Well, I’ve been amusing myself over a recent post there. Seems one of the contributors picked up on the recent Politico piece about the hard Right giving the NRA grief for being the NRA.

I’ve left a few comments. We’ll see if this leads anywhere.

How Far We’ve Come

I stumbled across something today that I found fascinating, an April, 1981 Time magazine article, Magnum-Force Lobby. How many clich├ęs can you spot in just this one paragraph:

Among the nation’s hyperactive special interest groups, from doctors to dairy farmers, none is as effective as the gun lobby in combining slick organization with membership zeal to create the perception of power on a single issue. For nearly 13 years, the N.R.A. and compatriot gun groups have successfully fought every attempt to strengthen the feeble Gun Control Act, passed after the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Now, in the wake of the shooting of President Reagan, the lobby is ready to ward off another wave of proposed gun laws. Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Congressman Peter Rodino of New Jersey last week introduced a bill that would ban the import, manufacture and sale of cheap, easily concealable handguns, known as “Saturday night specials,” and require a three-week wait between the purchase and pickup of any handgun. Not only does the gun lobby have its cross hairs set to shoot that bill down; gun lobbyists even hope to pass a gun bill of their own that would riddle existing federal firearm regulations with as many holes as a road sign used for target practice.

This is the kind of coverage that Professor Brian Anse Patrick studied for his book The National Rifle Association and the Media: The Motivating Force of Negative Coverage that I wrote about in The Church of the MSM and the New Reformation. This is a little time-capsule of what it was like thirty (30!) years ago.

Oh, and the author of this antique? Evan “Obama is sort of God” Thomas, who now is the Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton.

And the beat goes on . . .

Quote of the Day – Another Reason to Attend GBR-V

One of the things the Gun Blogger’s Rendezvous does is raise money for a very deserving charity – Project Valour-IT. For today’s quote of the day, some words from the founder of that charity, Maj. Chuck Zeigenfuss, who does not care for journalist Michael Yon all that much:

You recently said you couldn’t adopt a kid because you couldn’t return to war. Guess what, Mikey? I go to war because of my family, because I want them to live in a better world. This is me after 34 reconstructive surgeries (and more to go.) Guess what else, Mikey, I am going back to war, Again. I am going to go back to Iraq right before Christmas. How do you think the kids will enjoy that, considering last time daddy went away, he died several times before coming home? I know sacrifice, but not like they do. You, mikey, have no idea what personal sacrifice means. If you write her a nice letter, maybe my 7-year old daughter could explain it to you.

THAT left a mark! There’s very much more, along with some pretty graphic graphics, but I strongly recommend the entire piece. I’ve met the Major at GBRs II, III and IV. He is a very no-bullshit guy. He and his family are currently stationed in Hawaii as he prepares for his upcoming deployment to Iraq, living in insufficient housing, and unable to get sufficient housing before he ships out. Anybody over there able to help him out?

The Bowling Pin Shoot was a Success

It took a while to get the thing off the ground (where hopefully it will stay) but I had eleven people show up to shoot it, and it ran from 8:00AM until after 1:00PM. We had shooters of all different skill levels, and everyone shot a LOT and (I think) had a good time. The overall winner was a fifteen year-old kid shooting a Sig, who started off slow, but got FAST towards the end. To add insult to injury, he won the drawing for the prize pot, too! If anyone took video of one of the head-to-head matches and wants to forward it to me, I’ll post it.

I need new tables now, though. I think they took more hits than the pins did!