Quote of the day—Robert Tracinski

If the whole focus of your life is on getting everybody else to agree with you on every detail of your politics and adopt your plans for a perfect society, then you’re setting yourself up to be at war with most of the human race most of the time.

Which means an awful lot for the Angry Left to get angry about.

Robert Tracinski
March 26, 2015
Why Is the Angry Left So Angry?
[While this is a good start I think there is more to it than this.

Having spent a lot of years dealing with someone and their family who were angry much of the time I came to realize that anger was the primary means of communication for them. If you didn’t get angry they would not pay attention to what you were saying. I remember an instance where I coolly and calmly told this person, probably a dozen times over the course of a few days, that what they were doing was hazardous. They would agree, say they wouldn’t do it again, then, frequently, within a few seconds do it again.

Eventually I lost my cool. I yelled. They apologized, said they wouldn’t do it again, and they didn’t. Within a year I found myself getting angry with them with almost no provocation. They taught me to get angry to communicate. I finally realized this and starting thinking about what was going on. I then thought back to the first time I met this persons family. I was at the front door and the living room was chaos. Various people yelling at the same time and no one appeared to be listening to anyone else. My friend, happy to see me, walked through the chaos with a big smile. They were oblivious to the yelling and anger of everyone else.

The entire family communicated via emotions. The actual words weren’t that important. There were many times I would see different people in a conversation were talking about entirely different things but didn’t realize the other party to the conversation was “on a different channel”. Other times what they said was self-contradictory. It didn’t even make sense. Pointing this out to them was interesting. They would laugh and say it didn’t matter. I became sort of a joke to them because I couldn’t understand them. They made no sense to me but they were entirely happy with their babbling to each other and didn’t see what why I had a problem with it. “Oh, Joe, we’re just talking.” is an actual quote which came in response to my confusion about something not making sense.

When the topic of discussion was something of significant importance and it involved me I would sometimes insist they pay attention to reality and make sense. This would result in a fight. The claim was that “I had to get my own way.” But it wasn’t my way. It was forcing them to be congruent with reality and the laws of physics.

We see similar things with the left/progressives. They think they have accomplished something by holding a candlelight vigil. They demand a higher minimum wage and higher employment rate no matter how many time it is demonstrated you can’t have both for very long. They demand enhanced background checks because President Regan, Jim Brady, and a bunch of kids were shot—even though the shooters did, or would have, passed the proposed background check.

They use “hash tag diplomacy” and declare victory when bullets are the only viable option to effect change. They throw “reasons” like, “stand your ground”, and “war on women” around because they know our society requires at least some lip service be given to “reasons” even if the facts don’t support their claims. They don’t understand reason and resort to making reasoning noises. They cannot even tell you how to determine truth from falsity.

Emotion is their currency and their reality. If they feel something is true then, for them, it is true. This was driven home to me when I extreme frustration I once demanded, “How do you determine truth from falsity?” They calmly told me, “It depends on how I feel.”

I have been repeatedly told and after many decades of trying everything else I’m beginning to believe the proper approach to these people is to not get emotional. That is their “battle space”. When you get emotional it makes them happy because you become one of them. Then any emotion they care to use is justified because you are already emotional. Insist they be rational. They can’t. They only have emotions. Point out their logical and factual errors and refuse to accept their emotions as currency.

We do not share a common basis for communication or for determining reality. We share the same planet but they are in a different world. So of course they get angry with us. In their minds we are aliens in a turf war with them.—Joe]

Ted declares his candidacy

The Democrats are totally ill-equipped to defeat him. He simply doesn’t fall for their game, and so it will require the combined efforts of Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, the American Communist Party, et al, plus Jihadists and other foreign interests, to defeat him. This will be interesting.

The predictable, or rather a common, outcome would be that someone would get to him and convince him (threaten, bribe, cajole, lie, intimidate, mesmerize, etc.) that “For the Greater Good of the Party” he should quit before he does too much damage to the 2016 prospects. That or they primary him right out.

The role of the government education complex

How much more clear can it be?

University of Michigan Activism class.

Just heard about it on Rush.

The university goes on to say that they’re not exhibiting any political bias. In Left-Speak that would be true of course, because “Bias” means any opposition to the Progressive authoritarian system.

Must be at least six inches

Height over bore, that is.

I’ve only half jokingly mocked other “future weapon” designs in the past, saying that the trend is toward an ever more clownishly high sight axis. My educated guess is that this is in fact a psychological problem.

With the lower velocity of the grenade/shotgun, it would make actual sense to put it on the bottom, with the flatter trajectory rifle barrel closer to the sight axis.

The new terms like “Soldier integrated such and such” (which obviously turn ordinary warfare into something totally new and different) are also the result of psychological problems. Years ago, while reading one of the supposedly big cheese U.S. military publications, I found that such a thing as an “army” is, technically speaking, no more. No, ladies and gentlemen; we now have a “Soldier-Centric Force Structure” instead, don’t you know, which no doubt changes EVERYTHING.

The advantage you see is that people who have actual experience in stuff are no longer needed, and can therefore be safely and conveniently brushed aside. Who needs an Army General when you can have a shiny, new, Soldier-Centric Force Structure Command and Control Engineering Specialist? Hmm? Was General Patton a Soldier-Centric Force Structure Command and Control Engineering Specialist? I don’t think so. All he did was lead an Army to kill a bunch of folks and break things. Feh!

And who needs a stupid old rifle when you can have something that looks like it came out of a bad Sci-Fi movie written by an ignoramus, and having the ergonomics of a cinder block?

Words still mean things

We all knew why the infamous H&K catalog depicted cartridges loaded backwards in a pistol magazine – photographers are not necessarily knowledgeable in the fields of their client’s businesses. In the gun industry however, we have Oleg.

I only bring this up to point out, once again, that a cartridge is not a bullet, any more than a tank of gasoline is an automobile.

The bullets shown on the catalog cover were not backwards. They were seated in the cases in the proper orientation. The cartridges however were inserted backwards into the magazine. Some people have loaded bullets backwards so as to achieve some desired terminal effect, as was explained in John Ross’ book for example.

If you walk into a gun store and ask for bullets, they’ll show you the bullets. If you ask for cartridges, they’ll bring you to the shelves of loaded ammunition. The standard, “Well you know what I mean so quit yer damn nitpicking” only comes after you’ve cleared up the misunderstanding that will certainly ensue when you use the wrong words.

Later I’ll post a story about my using one wrong letter in one word in a correspondence with a customer, and what happened because of it.

Anyway; many years ago we hired a sketch artist to depict a saxophone in a humorous cartoon advertisement. It was going to be an ad by a music instrument dealer, directed at musicians, so we wanted it to be accurate (we wanted our humor to be taken seriously). Since we knew the artist was not a sax player, we brought her in, showed her the various signature features of a sax, and then gave her one to study before doing the artwork. The ad also involved a dinosaur, so we had her look up that particular species of dinosaur and study it. That’s the kind of thing Walt Disney did for his cartoonists, and so it’s far from being a new concept. He brought a live fawn into the studio for his artists to study before doing the movie “Bambi”.

Achtung, Juden! Das ist Verboten!

In processing a customer order today, we got a “Service Not Allowed” message from our credit card merchant services bank. They’re the ones who handle all of our credit and debit card transactions. We called them to find out what this message means, because we’d not seen it before. Well, they were by this time quite familiar with the “problem”. The problem is MBNA, in this case, who issued the card to our customer, DOES NOT ALLOW TRANSACTIONS WITH GUN RELATED BUSINESSES.

If you’re doing any business with MBNA, you’d best give them a jingle, and DO NOT FORGET this. This sort of thing seems to be on the rise, and it will get worse unless we push back, soon.

Update, Jan. 7, 2015; The customer called his bank, assuming the “Service Not Allowed” was due to a late payment on his part. As I explained to him several times; we were told by our Merchant Services bank that it was due to MBNA policy, and that our Merchant Services people were quite familiar with said policy as they’d had to deal with such denials many times previous. The customer only repeated what he’d said about a possible late payment. In any case, the transaction, on the same card, was approved today. All I can make of it, given what we were told by Merchant Services, is that MBNA will cave without comment or discussion once they’re called on it. From what commenters are saying, the practice of denying transactions may be random, or it may be targeted toward individual customers or vendors. Without more information I have no way of knowing. This would all seem quite unbelievable, except for what we already know about the recent IRS targeting, Fast & Furious, the attempted intimidation of Sharyl Attkisson and others, and other insidious pranks aimed at the perceived enemies of Progressivism.

A story in one bullet

In 1860s America the percussion revolver was the prominent fighting handgun. The 44 caliber, or “44/100ths calibre” was so named at the time because of the gun’s bore. Today we tend to use groove diameter to define caliber, but then why does a modern 44 use a .429″ bullet and a 38 use a .357″ bullet?

Much of the answer lies in this one bullet. When the 44 caliber percussion revolver was converted to fire metal cartridges, it presented the following challenges. The cartridge case of course had to fit into the percussion cylinder chambers, and had to fire a bullet of around .452″ to fill the grooves in a 44 caliber bore. SO the metal case had to fit inside a .452″ or so chamber, and fire a .452″ or so bullet, AND therefore the bullet had to have a heel base of around .429″ to fit inside the metal case. Such is the 44 Colt cartridge. It was built for cartridge conversions of percussion cylinders. It’s a 44 caliber because of the naming convention of the time which went by bore, rather than groove diameter, it uses a .452″ bullet and has a .429″ heel to fit in the case.

From that transition cartridge we see the seeds of how a modern “44” came to have a .429″ bullet. A similar thing occurred with the conversion of 36/100ths calibre percussion revolvers, and that’s how a 36 used a .380″ bullet and how a modern 38 uses a .357″ bullet.

Quote of the day—Raúl Ilargi Meijer

The inequality that matters most is not wealth, but power.

Power buys wealth infinitely faster than wealth buys power.

Raúl Ilargi Meijer
October 18, 2014
Wealth Inequality Is Not A Problem, It’s A Symptom
[Those that seem to be most concerned with inequality of wealth advocate for giving more power to political elites. Which, of course, makes the symptoms even worse.

I do wish I could escape to Galt’s Gulch.—Joe]

Greatest danger to the world

I find this chart very odd (from Apart From Ebola (And Inflation), These Are The Greatest Dangers To The World):

20141016_worries1

In the U.S. and several Western European nations what people consider the “greatest threat to the world” is “Inequality”. While many of the nations where I envision “inequality” being the most obvious, like India, Mexico, and South America, other issues dominate. Is it an expression of envy by people with worthless degrees or unable to graduate from high school seeking “social justice”? Are these people willing to bring chaos to the world because they believe they don’t get what they deserve? Or is this some sort of guilt for living in a relatively free society?

If guilt then I guess I don’t have any because if I were doing such a survey it would not have even crossed my mind to have that as one of the options.

Inflation

The other day Kevin made a post about the inflated price of reloading ammunition.

Today I was looking at the price of Ammonium Nitrate which is the principle ingredient in Boomerite.

In 2005 I paid $0.14/pound.

In 2007 I paid $0.50/pound.

In 2012 I paid $0.99/pound (see also the pictures of it here).

Today it costs $1.06/pound.

The price of freedom supplies keeps going up.

Update: As requested by Paul Koning I have expressed it in ounces of gold per ton of AN:

  • 2005: 0.655
  • 2007: 1.525
  • 2012: 1.169
  • 2014: 1.669

Quote of the day—Doug Huffman

We were horrified, and rightly so, at Adolf Hitler’s solution to the problem. But we haven’t got a solution to the problem either.

Doug Huffman
August 16, 2014
[No. No any sort of mythical “Jewish problem.” The problem Doug was talking about was what to do with those people that are “unfit” to support themselves because they are too stupid, crazy, or lazy. In our society we are on track for an Idiocracy type “solution”.

Doug and I talked late into the night on this and other somewhat related topics.

The problem as I see it is that our ethics are appropriate for a tribe but they don’t scale to a population of a million people let along a population of 300+ million. When we see someone, children in particular, hungry or in need of care we help them even if they will never be able (or choose) to support themselves.

In a tribe of a 100 to 200 people everyone know everyone else and the peer pressure significantly reduces the freeloader problem. As soon as there is anonymity freeloaders become an essentially unsolvable problem. And with large numbers of people combined with a society in possession of advanced technology in the essentials of life it now becomes possible to support those that cannot support themselves as well as those who chose not support themselves.

And with that support of those who cannot and choose not to support themselves we end up, literally, breeding more of them. We are scared, perhaps even justifiably horrified, of the risks of the government assuming the power to mandate some people not be allowed to reproduce or to raise their children the way they see fit.

I see horrific outcomes in either of the two “solutions”.

There is at least one other potential solution. It is, as I see it, the least unpleasant of the available alternatives and as you might expect, the least likely path for our society to take.

That potential solution is for our Federal government to stay within it Constitutional bounds. If the individual states or counties or cities wanted to experiment with government welfare or “free healthcare” then those experiments could have run their course over the last 200+ years.

What I expect would have happened is with enough of these type of experiments being run that people would realize there are some people that we just have to let “nature take its course” with. We would have a lot fewer freeloaders. We would have a constant, but small, set of tragic cases of people that could not support themselves and could not convince family and/or friends to support them.

There would be heart wrenching cases and people would organize charities (Shriners, Elks Club, Eagles Club, Salvation Army, etc.). to help those for whom help was appropriate. The decision to help or “let nature take its course” would be done in more of a “tribe environment” for which our ethics were “designed” for.

I don’t see how our society can get from where we are now to the “least bad of the available options” without a lot of pain, suffering, and death. It’s like trying to solve a global optimization problem when the slopes of the sides of current local optimum are steep and high.

Nature is “going to take it’s course” with us. All of us. I’m certain many, perhaps even a large percentage of, people will survive the big “challenges” ahead. But I cannot predict if those challenges will send our descendants to the stone ages  or to a Star Trek universe. But one way or another this ethical problem will “resolve” itself if we don’t resolve it.

Nature is testing it’s own “solutions” right now. Ebola, economic instability, and even the immigration issue are in beta test now. They may not be released soon or even ever if people do the right thing. But if we don’t then full production of something awful is coming soon.—Joe]

Halbig vs Burwell

The DC Court of Appeals handed down it’s decision in Halbig vs Burwell, an ObamaCare challenge. The crux of the challenge is that the law, as written, says that people on exchanges established by a state can get the subsidies, people using the Federal exchange established by Uncle Sam cannot. This was done (they said at the time) as an incentive to encourage states to set up their own exchanges, and it was estimated that only a small number of knuckledragging states would fail to do so (so screw them)… (OK, so the last part was my words for their actions).

But when 34 states failed to set up their own exchange, it caused a problem. Millions of people don’t want to have their promised subsidies “taken away.” So, the HHS said “well, it really means any exchange, including the Federal one.” The DC Court of Appeals just said “No, state means state.” And, as an added bonus, just a few days ago the HHS itself said that in the ACA, “State” means “State,” not “state and/or territories.” A bit more than a week ago, Obama’s law professor said it would likely turn out this way.

This is potentially a nuclear bomb in the heart of the law. Next stop, en banc review on the (packed?) court, or the Supreme Court. Only downside is finding out how the Rs will manage to shoot themselves in the foot with this news (with the media’s willing help, of course.)

UPDATE: the 4th Circuit just ruled the other way on the same thing. Wow, that was timely.

Another good analysis.

Another one from Forbes. If upheld, it would cancel the subsidies, AND the tax for not buying insurance (i.e., kill the mandate).

Electronic Marques

Interesting idea. The US Constitution authorizes operations against pirates. Article 1,Section 8, Clause 10 “To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;”

It also covers issuing letters of Marque and Reprisal, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;”

Why not do the suddenly obvious and issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal to private corporations to go after international electronic pirates, foreign agents who are attacking our corporations and infrastructure electronically? Makes sense to me.

Quote of the day—smileycreek

Food, water, shelter, and basic medical care are all basic human requirements that should never be withheld in a civilized society.

smileycreek
July 2, 2014
Comment to Income Inequality: A Desperate Situation With Real Solutions
[In smileycreek’s universe a “civilized society” is one where the government takes from each according to his ability, and gives to each according to his need.

I’m reading about just such a place in The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (Volume One) and The Gulag Archipelago, Volume 2: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, 1918-1956. Tens of millions of people were murdered in an attempt to create such a society and it failed. And that is just one of many attempts that all ended in deaths of hundreds of thousands and in the case of the USSR tens of millions.

Even just this one sentence in smileycreek’s comment reveals the distortion required to believe lie of communism. The lie of communism is that people with no incentive to produce all they are able to will do so anyway. Who would willingly become a provider of “food, water, shelter, or basic medical care” if they could be forced to give it up without compensation by anyone?

The big distortion here is that is if I refuse to give my food, shelter, or (if I were a medical provider) my services to another unless I am compensated is considered “withholding”. That’s a warped definition. Yet that is also the basis of the current uproar about the SCOTUS ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. Nothing has been withheld. But the sound bite is better if it is phrased that way.

Communist like smileycreek can only win by lying. And they have lots of practice at it. It’s how government murder millions of innocent people.

Today people that openly support the beliefs of the Nazis are rightly hounded into silence and oblivion. Yet support for the beliefs of Communists is considered by nearly half of our country’s population to be the mark of decency, righteous, and “civilized society”. But the Communists of the 20th Century proved the Nazis were pikers in the game of governments murdering innocent people.

Perhaps that is the key to understanding those who advocate Communism and yet hate Nazism. To them the Nazis weren’t ruthless enough.–Joe]

Anti gun-rights Microsoft?

From the firearm blog.

This would help explain the trend toward cloud storage and toward not really owning, but renting your software. It appears that Adobe, for another example, now only provides the latest version of Photoshop as a monthly subscription service, so you’re not the owner, but the tenant, and they the property manager.

If you don’t have exclusive control of your software, user files, or your contact lists, etc., it could all be pulled out from under you, or used for other purposes via remote control by other people, at a whim. Same as your bank account now, by the way. The Endarkenment proceeds apace.

When insanity works, but not the way you expect

Sometimes insanity works… but not the way you expect.

Consider the Napoleonic Wars. Men in orderly rank and file marching into battle with rifle and musket, to face volley fire from opposing rank and file of uniforms. Were the men marching insane? Would not a soldier’s chance of surviving be greatly increased by running away from the line of men firing at his formation? Undoubtedly, yes, it would. Would his own formation have a marginally lower chance of winning if he were to do so? Yes, again. If the man next to him ran away, would he increase his personal chances of survival, too? While decreasing, a bit more, the chance of failure for their side? Yes, absolutely, to both. It is crazy to stand and fight, if you can increase your chance of survival by running away. But if enough people on your side choose to run and survive that fight, you also doom your side to total defeat, and being hunted down by the victors and having your land, property, and women taken, because they were collectively crazy enough to stand and fight. It’s a fine line between disciplined and insane. Continue reading

Productivism

I sometimes read or hear of people complaining our society is plagued by (spit, spit) consumerism. This always sounded like some sort of epithet but didn’t really have much meaning to me. It was just a word that every “right thinking” person knew was a “bad thing”.

It wasn’t until I read this article that things started to jell in my mind. It was this paragraph that really connected with me:

Humans are not merely consumers. Every consumer is also a producer as well, and production is how we have improved our standards of living from the dawn of man till today. Every luxury, every great invention, every work of art, every modern convenience that we enjoy was the product of a mind – in some cases, of more than one. It then stands to reason that the more minds there are, the more innovations we will have as well. A reductio ad absudum reveals the obvious truth that a cure for cancer is more likely to emerge from a society of a billion people than from one of only a handful of individuals.

The problem I have with people that whine about consumerism is that they are only looking at one side of the picture. In order for consumers to exist there must be producers. In a free market there tends to be more production capacity than consumer capacity. And that excess capacity makes things more affordable and available to everyone.

Production and market competition yields tremendous benefits to society. Extended lifespans and higher quality of life are just the most obvious. Entertainment via Netflix, MTV, professional sports, and concerts might be considered frivolous and a waste but it is an improvement in the quality of life that is a result of our being able to produce more than what we need for survival. It is our excess production capacity that makes it possible to earn our food and shelter in fewer hours per week than it would have 1000 years ago. Back then a similar amount of effort, unless you were royalty, nobility, or politically connected, would have yielded death by malnutrition, disease, or exposure.

Yes, there must be physical limits to human growth on a single planet. But we don’t yet know what those limits are on this planet. The barriers to interplanetary travel and exo-planetary living are high. But from a simple available energy balance sheet (do the arithmetic on how many Joules of sunlight energy fall on a 40 acre field on a summer day, then extrapolate to the vastness of interplanetary space) it doesn’t seem farfetched to claim that human expansion beyond this planet is feasible.

Continued improvements in the human condition depend on increased production. In a free market producers must always produce goods desired by the consumers. Some of the products will seem frivolous but the net result has always been progress in improving the lives of people and more productivity per person. Moving society toward greater productivity will yield far greater benefits than discouraging consumption. Just look at the benefits of increased productivity of the last 1000 years.

When you hear someone use the word “consumerism” in a disparaging way demand they look at the requirements for it’s existence and consequences of it. And that is “productivism” and vast improvements in the human condition. Demand they tell you what they have against increases in productivity and improved quality of life.

Quote of the day—Ludwig von Mises

The welfare of the nation takes precedence over the selfishness of the individuals … was the fundamental principle of Nazi economic management. But as people are too dull and too vicious to comply with this rule, it is the task of government to enforce it.

Ludwig von Mises
1949
Human Action: A Treatise on Economics (4 Volume Set)
[For more context see here.

“Dull and vicious.” That is what they think of you if you do not place the welfare of the nation above that of your own. When people tell you this today inform them there have been a lot of people in agreement with them. It was the fundamental principle of Nazi economic management.—Joe]