Quote of the Day – Harshed Mellow Edition

By JamesR, from comments:

I’ve been reading your blog for about two years now and I must say that I’ve learned more here and in the links from here than I have during any history or political science class I’ve ever taken (I’m twenty years old). However, after reading your works and those of Thomas Sowell, who you and Bill Whittle opened my eyes to, my mellow has become almost irrevocably harshed. Not only did I learn great things about American civilization that I had not known before, but I also learned about how all those feats and accomplishments are being threatened. I look around at all the things I love about The United States and the people who make it up and who’ve made it up in the past and wonder, “What can I do to stop this from happening?” When the problem is essentially a cancer in the bones of our culture and way of life is there even a way for us to save what I believe is the greatest and most unique creation of mankind?


I’m too young to feel this old

I know exactly how you feel.

Quote of the Day

I’m not polit-blogging quite as much as I have in the past, largely because I think at the Federal level the system is unfixably broke, in both the “not working” and “no money” senses. Between the Party of Spending and the Party of Spending Even More,* the FedGov is at this point in time running on bad checks and (relatively) good reputation and as Larry Correia pointed out back on the 15th, the finances are so unprecedentedly far out of whack, there is no tellin’ how it (will) fall when it falls, let alone what form it will take. — Roberta X, Bloggage

I’m figuring hard, fast, and very, very far.  And in 24 months or less.

Book Review – Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles

I finished Hard Magic at 5:30 this morning, sitting on my john (lid down) wrapped in a towel, still dripping from the shower. I downloaded the ebook from Baen’s website thanks to friend and shooting buddy Dusty, and installed it on my iPod Touch a couple of days ago. I started reading it Saturday.  I couldn’t bring myself to go to work without finishing it first.

Zeppelins. Magic. Zombies. Ninjas. Teleporting magic ninjas!  Gun molls. John Moses Browning (PBUH). The obligatory honorable hero giant. A cute and spunky teenage heroine. Love.  Betrayal. Otherworldly monsters.  Death.  Mayhem.  Worldwide conspiracies. Did I mention Zeppelins?

This is the third book by John W. Campbell Award finalist Larry Correia I’ve read. I’m with him, it’s is best work yet. Larry writes page turners. You suspend disbelief and want to know what’s NEXT!

Damned fun read. Highly recommended. And I can’t wait for whatever’s next. Dead Six, is it?

If you want a taste of the Grimnoir world, Larry has posted a prequel short-story.

Quote of the Day – Underwhelmed Edition

What she said:

Basically it’s a Buchanan-esque populist conservatism with most of the Jesus trimmed off. In other words, Trump is aiming at what he thinks is the bullseye of the Tea Party: Flag-waving xenophobic National Enquirer subscribers who like the F-15 flyovers before football games and want lots of free stuff from the government but hate them some taxes.

I’m underwhelmed.

(*ahem*) Ditto.

B.A.G. Day 2011

Today, April 15, is Buy A Gun Day, a tradition going back at least eight years or so.

Here’s mine:

If you read this blog much, you’ll note that it looks an awful lot like my .38 Super Witness.  That’s because it is my .38 Super Witness – mostly.  I bought a .40 S&W conversion kit for it, plus six spare magazines (for a total of seven).  The conversion kit I bought direct from European American Armory.  The magazines I bought from U.S. Citizen.  I also bought 1,000 pieces of once-fired brass and 1,000 Berry’s 180 grain HP plated bullets.  I thought about buying a 10mm conversion, but the cost of brass decided it for me.  .40 S&W is ubiquitous and cheap.  10mm, not so much.  Everything’s here but the bullets.  I may have to break down and buy some factory fodder for a test this weekend.

It looks like the .40 will be MUCH less picky about what it eats than the Super.

Is Our Children Learning?

In 1983 a report commissioned by President Ronald Reagan was released by the National Commission on Excellence in Education entitled A Nation at Risk: the Imperative for Educational Reform. In that report was the following statement:

Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with only one of the many causes and dimensions of the problem, but it is the one that undergirds American prosperity, security, and civility. We report to the American people that while we can take justifiable pride in what our schools and colleges have historically accomplished and contributed to the United States and the well-being of its people, the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people. What was unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur–others are matching and surpassing our educational attainments.

If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.

I just watched a very important DVD on the subject of our public education system that was begun in 2008 and released in 2010. It is Waiting for Superman, and I strongly recommend you pick up a copy. It’s available via Netflix.

Mediocre?  I wish were were aspiring to merely mediocre.

If you’ve got friends with kids, invite them over for a viewing party.

2008 was the 25th anniversary of the release of A Nation at Risk. According to Wikipedia:

(T)he nonpartisan organization Strong American Schools released a report card of our nation’s progress since the initial report. The organization’s analysis said:

While the national conversation about education would never be the same, stunningly few of the Commission’s recommendations actually have been enacted. Now is not the time for more educational research or reports or commissions. We have enough commonsense ideas, backed by decades of research, to significantly improve American schools. The missing ingredient isn’t even educational at all. It’s political. Too often, state and local leaders have tried to enact reforms of the kind recommended in A Nation at Risk only to be stymied by organized special interests and political inertia. Without vigorous national leadership to improve education, states and local school systems simply cannot overcome the obstacles to making the big changes necessary to significantly improve our nation’s K-12 schools.

I have a few quibbles with the video, but they’re relatively minor. One, no effort was made to discuss or even mention the problem of disruptive children and the inability of staff to deal with them and their “my baby didn’t do nothin’ ” parents in this age of litigation at the drop of a hat. Perhaps I am mistaken, but it is my belief that such children can and their gamete-donors present a serious problem to public education. Second, no mention of homeschooling as an option is made. The only models pursued are the public education and private parochial education ones. Since the focus of the piece is about “fixing” the public education system, I suppose that’s understandable.

But the information that’s in this video is very important, and you’re not hearing it in the MSM. Please, if you have children or grandchildren, watch it. Educate yourself. Understand the unmitigated disaster we’ve allowed to develop. There are people out there with solutions, but enough people have to grok the problems before the solutions will be allowed to be implemented. Too many people have the wrong priorities.

And if I ever hear a NEA flak say “It’s about the CHILDREN!” in my presence, I think I’ll vomit on their shoes. It’s not about the children to the teachers unions, it’s about the adults. Period.