I’m Giving Them $125

Bumped. Time is running out to donate.


More information here: FrackNation

You can contribute there.

I was made aware of Kickstarter as a fundraising platform when cartoonist Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary fame used it to finance his upcoming board game project.

OK, we’re tired of leftist propaganda, time to put our money where our mouths are. It worked with the Starbucks Buycott, Bill Whittle thinks it will work with Declaration Entertainment, I think it’ll work here. We need fracking. I’m getting my wallet out.

Quote of the Day

I believe it is now time for Western Christians and non-Christians alike to acknowledge that men such as Alexis de Tocqueville were correct and various concepts such as free expression, freedom of association, and other hallowed concepts of Western civilization simply do not translate outside of Western Christian culture. What was once theoretical is now empirical thanks to more than sixty years of evidence that strongly suggests conventional Western views of human liberty are simply not compatible with non-Christian, non-Western cultures.Vox Popoli, The chickens begin to roost

Once again, I’ll point you to my October, 2006 post The United Federation of Planets.

Walt Kelly Was More Right Than He Knew

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” – Pogo
In the comments to Tam’s Thursday post, The Truest Thing On The Internet, Tam said:

I know a bunch of people who seriously believe that we are on a collision course with Destiny. Unfortunately, they’re only a plurality of the people I know.

I don’t think that the people who don’t know these things are “sheeple” or “useful idiots” (and I’ve been mulling a post on that topic, actually; I had planned to post it this morning) but I think that a large percentage of people are invested in one sector or another of the status quo.

Being too tightly focused on women’s reproductive rights or racial injustice or the defense against Muslim terrorists or the protection of America’s economy against immigrants, or whatever, can blind a smart and well-meaning person to broad and overarching trends…

To which Justthisguy asked:

“broad and overarching trends…” Oh, do you mean all those guys in positions of authority who get a charge out of minding other peoples’ business and telling them what to do?

And Tam responded:


I mean all those guys who want to fix the problems their constituents beg them to fix. The problem is from the bottom up, not the top down.

Yes, exactly.

And it’s not a new problem. It’s the reason our Founders set up our Federal government as a Representative Constitutional Republic of limited and defined powers – they looked at history and knew what democracies become.  My regular readers – an admittedly tiny, self-selected group of people who are by definition paying more attention to the world around them than the ordinary person – will be familiar with this quote:

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.  —  John Adams

And possibly this one:

Tyranny naturally arises out of democracy.    — Plato

This one was new to me:

Our country’s founders cherished liberty, not democracy.  — Ron Paul

Can I get an “AMEN!”?

But here’s the key quote:

Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education. — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

That’s a tall order, and one never yet met.

So our Founders designed a system to circumvent that particular weakness.

And failed.

By the time FDR ran for office, our government was essentially no longer a republic.  Passage of the Seventeenth Amendment (direct election of Senators) in 1913 destroyed the last vestiges of our republican form of government in favor of a representative democracy wherein “the people” elect representatives  to “fix the problems (their) constituents beg them to fix” in both houses.  The freedom to make “wise” (and therefore possibly unpopular) choices in the upper house of Congress had been removed by the 17th Amendment.  Now running for Senate didn’t mean you needed the respect of your peers in the House, it meant you needed to promise whatever it took to the populace to get their votes – just like every other politician.  Thus Mencken’s observation:

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.

And since then our government has been the battlefield between two completely incompatible philosophies, one of which has captured the halls of academe, and through that vector, the public education system and popular media, and through those vectors, the voting public – the “us” in Walt Kelly’s classic line.

I’ve harped on the topic of philosophy before, too.  The best explanation of the importance of philosophy remains (IMHO) Ayn Rand’s speech to the 1974 graduating class of West Point, Philosophy, Who Needs It?  Excerpt:

As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation — or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears….

Philosophy is not a subject formally taught in American primary or secondary schools, it’s something one can study on one’s own or take as an elective in college.  Regardless, our system of education still teaches philosophy, producing subjects with “junk heap(s) of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears” that are reinforced by the popular media that surrounds us.

And we vote.

I don’t believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again.  — Anne Frank

And instead of penning another 5,000 words, I invite you to (re-)read The United Federation of Planets on the topic of philosophy.

Objective reality is coming, fast. The collision isn’t going to be pretty.


Sorry about the lack of content. I’ve been a bit busy recently, and when I do get home blogging has not been high on the list of “things I want to do.” I’ve had some nibbles from people wanting to go shooting (one of them being my niece), so I may be doing a range trip for that soon. My next Bowling Pin match is three weeks away, and I need to build some new tables, or at least one.

I did manage to get a chance to eat lunch in a sit-down restaurant today. I went to the local Cheesecake Factory, which as far as I can tell is never slow. I ate at the bar, since I was by myself and didn’t want to wait for a table. While sitting at the bar, I noticed a sign propped up on one of the shelves, kind of off to the side. It was partially obscured by glare from a nearby window, but I could see it had the international “NO” symbol – circle with a slash – on it, but it was black. When the light changed, I saw it said “No Firearms Allowed pursuant to A.R.S. section 4-229” with the “NO” symbol over a pistol.

After lunch (I’d already ordered, and I wasn’t carrying. I prefer to remain employed) I talked to the manager about it. I noted that while I normally do not patronize establishments that don’t want me, the sign was not conspicuous and that had I not been sitting at the bar I’d have never seen it. He stated that he thought that the placement of the sign was per company policy, but he understood my concern. While there’s a “No Smoking” notice on the front door, there is no “No Firearms” sign, and anyone coming in would not know that the establishment doesn’t want its customers to be armed. When I got home, I checked the regulations:

4-229. Licenses; Handguns; Posting of Notice
A. A person with a permit issued pursuant to section 13-3112 may carry a concealed handgun on the premises of a licensee who is an on-sale retailer unless the licensee posts a sign that clearly prohibits the possession of weapons on the licensed premises. The sign shall conform to the following requirements:

1. Be posted in a conspicuous location (It wasn’t.) accessible to the general public and immediately adjacent to the liquor license posted on the licensed premises. (It was.)

2. Contain a pictogram that shows a firearm within a red circle and a diagonal red line across the firearm. (It was a black & white photocopy. The circle with diagonal was black, not red.)

3. Contain the words, “no firearms allowed pursuant to A.R.S. section 4-229”.
B. A person shall not carry a firearm on the licensed premises of an on-sale retailer if the licensee has posted the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section.
C. It is an affirmative defense to a violation of subsection B of this section if:

1. The person was not informed of the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section before the violation. (I wasn’t.)

2. Any one or more of the following apply:

(a) At the time of the violation the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section had fallen down.

(b) At the time of the violation the person was not a resident of this state.

(c) The licensee had posted the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section not more than thirty days before the violation.

So the sign was posted next to the liquor license, but it failed the “conspicuous location” requirement, and it didn’t have the mandated red circle-with-a-slash symbol, so it was an improper sign. As I explained to the manager, they can certainly invite anyone open carrying to leave, but no one carrying concealed would have any way of knowing that it was company policy to prohibit firearms on the premises, the Cheesecake Factory would have no way to know they were carrying, and they were not in compliance with the law anyway.

He thanked me for my input and said he’d be contacting Corporate. I harbor no illusions that this Cheesecake Factory in particular or the chain overall is going to change their policy (so I don’t intend to eat there again), but if they’re going to make a stupid decision, they ought to at least follow the damned law.

Hornady Ammo Recall – .500 S&W

If you’ve got one of these cannon, you might want to check your ammo stash:

Hornady Manufacturing Company is recalling seven (7) lots of Item#9249, 500 S&W 300gr. FTX Custom Pistol Ammunition. These lots were shipped between September 9, 2010, and October 17, 2011.

Item number 9249, Lot Numbers:

Hornady Manufacturing Company ballisticians have determined that some cartridges from Lot #’s 3101327, 3110256, 3110683, 3110695, 3110945, 3111388, 3111885, may exhibit excessive chamber pressures. Use of this product may result in firearm damage and or personal injury.


$134 Billion? Chicken Feed!

Back in June of 2009, I linked to reports that $134.5 billion in U.S. bearer-bonds were seized by Italian authorities from two Japanese men on a train from Italy to Switzerland. Another $116 billion were seized in August of that year. Now the Italians have found another $6 Trillion in bonds in safe-deposit boxes in Zurich, Switzerland.

The bonds in these cases are fakes (which means they’re worth about as much as real ones today), but wow. It takes a lot of chutzpah to print six trillion dollars worth of counterfeits.

Almost as much as it takes to print sixteen trillion worth of real ones.

From the comments, if you want to take a fascinating trip down the rabbit hole, check out the Barking Moonbat Early Warning System post on the topic.  Fascinating.

Bill Whittle on Education

Hi!  Welcome to the Bill Whittle Fan Club!  Here’s Bill on the latest in the world of Public Education (where, as Tam has noted, “public” modifies “education” the same way it does “transportation” and “bathrooms.”):

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLRHZEhGWY8?rel=0]

tl;dw – “more tax dollars, less educating”