Heterogeneous cultures

Reading through the comments on this post, which has a reference to a Fred blurb, I came across a very astute summary of the problem.

Reading Fred, I see by the very questions the culture shock.

Cargo culture shock. They want the cargo only produced by high-trust, long time preference, but not change their culture or virtue. DNA might deal them a bad hand, but human beings can bluff. Simply think a moment. So they build totem towers.

Both liberals and libertarians don’t realize the experiments in law will fail. The 55 page iPhone ToS isn’t read, and at some point Tim will be Cooked because law and force are the opposite of trust. The libertarians too design elaborate replacements – DROs, arbitration, etc. not realizing in a trust/posterity/K society they aren’t needed, and in a suspicion/me-now/r society they won’t work.

And that is the crux of the problem when trying to mix heterogeneous cultures. Cargo Cult culture cannot contribute to creation-of-cargo culture anything other than consumers. What is the term in biology for an organism that only consumes of its host and contributes nothing back?

The Gun State

Interesting. Idaho is state most dependent on gun industry, report finds:

Idaho depends more on the gun industry than any other state, according to a study by the financial website WalletHub. Idaho ranked No. 1 among states and the District of Columbia based on firearms industry activity in the state, gun ownership and overall prevalence, and gun politics — specifically, contributions by gun control and gun rights groups to members of Congress.

Idaho, The Gun State*. I could live with that.

* Idaho’s official nickname is The Gem State.

Quote of the day—Louis Pasteur

The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.

Louis Pasteur
[I can’t disagree with the conclusion. But I fear that particular derangement of the mind is so common that one would be hard pressed to prove it was abnormal. Hence my placing it in such a wide variety of blog post categories.—Joe]

Interesting times

From here:

As the chart below shows – which is disturbing without any further context – the 40 million ounces of gold open interest and the record low 74 thousand ounces of registered gold imply that as of Monday’s close there was a whopping 542 ounces in potential paper claims to every ounces of physical gold. Call it a 0.2% dilution factor.


Sharing the wealth

Being a software engineer for the last 30+ years means I have had opportunity to make a fair amount of money. I certainly didn’t do as well as I could have. I still regret declining the request for a job interview with Microsoft in 1985 but I’ve managed to do okay and with a little bit of income from Boomershoot I manage to adequately feed my gun, ammo, training, and explosives appetites. Currently I have a job I really like, I feel secure in (the last place I worked at just laid everyone off and is closing the Seattle office any day now), and am paid a comfortable amount. So for Christmas this year I decided I would share some of the wealth.

So it came to pass that it was with great pleasure I gave my three children, Barb, Barb’s two children, and Ry each fifty trillion dollars. Powerball winners have nothing to brag about when I get in a giving mood!

It was with great anticipation that I saw Barb select my present to her to open first:


But the first thing she said after looking at it was, “What am I going to do with this?”

Uh-oh! I didn’t have a good answer. I thought about, “Don’t spend it all in one place.” But decided that might not be wise in that context and told her there were other presents from me, maybe she would like one of them better.

Her children on the other hand thought they were awesome gifts and said they were going to take them to college and put them on their dorm room walls.

I was a little worried about my kids. What would they think? But they studied their gifts thoughtfully, considered their new status as multi-trillionaires and drew the appropriate conclusions about the hazards of hyperinflation, paper money, etc. Ry, of course, got it immediately and we drifted into a conversation about the worldwide economy, Europe, etc.

I don’t want you to think I gave away all my money last Christmas. I saved some for myself:


Yes. I kept 100 trillion back for myself and a “rainy day”.


I was rearranging some things and came across this brick of .22 LR with only four boxes left in it. I decided to throw the bigger box away and just stack the four boxes (of 50 rounds each) on the shelf rather than taking up all the space with the bigger box they were in:


I don’t recall when I purchased this. It could have been 15 or more years ago. But the point is the price. $11.99 for 500 rounds. That’s $0.024 per round. These days I think it’s great deal if I can find any brand of .22LR for under $0.10 per round.

I think we can blame the high price of exercising our specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms on the Democrats.

More on tightening threads

This is a deep, serious discussion of mechanical esoterica, with implications to life in general, so if you’re not interested in mechanics or in life lessons, go back to doing your nails, watching TV or stressing over your made-up relationship drama.

If you get the clamp screws tight enough, you probably don’t need the Locktite. If you don’t get the screws tight enough, the Locktite won’t help.

Thank you for sticking it out all the way to the end of this post, though if you needed to read it, you probably didn’t, and if you didn’t need to read it, you most likely did. I’m preaching to the choir then. Still it must be said.

Quote – dustydog

“One definition of a liberal, is someone who doesn’t understand the problem, or the history behind it, or the concept of consequences, but is arrogant enough to think that his off-the-cuff solution should be enforced with as much violence and as much of other peoples’ money as might be required.”dustydog on August 30, 2015

Many years ago I heard that the definition of a “liberal” is “someone who’ll give you the shirt off of someone else’s back”, but this one is much better. It sums up all the horror and mass death of the 20th century in one, concise sentence. Collectivists (Progressives, Fascists, communists, et al) are either extremely evil or blind, or both. In any case they must be kept as far away from government positions as possible.

Who pays?

Somebody always pays. ALWAYS. Maybe not now, maybe not in obvious ways with a bill in the mail, but there is always a cost when the government does something. Some spending is reasonable, the cost known, understood, and generally agreed to and agreed upon. We can quibble over particular programs or numbers or actions, but nearly all serious people agree that some government spending is a cost we should bear, and paying taxes for it is the way to get it done.

But virtually nobody in politics at the national level is addressing the big-picture elephant in the room. We have a huge official debt (national, state, municipal), staggering future obligations (SS, other retirement plans, etc), and are running an absurdly large annual federal deficit. Simple mathematics says it cannot continue. That which cannot continue, won’t. Continue reading

Quote of the day—Daniel Greenfield

These changes are a test of reason. If you can reason, you fail. If you can Doublethink, you pass.

Daniel Greenfield
June 30, 2015
No Truce With The Left
[Reason. I think of it as a test of someone trustworthiness. If they are unwilling or unable to reason I am uncomfortable being around them. I literally don’t have any idea what they might do or say next. Will they claim I attacked them when all I did was smile and say hello? Will they hit me in the head with a rock? I would rather be in the presence of a sociopath because I can model their behavior as looking out for their best interests and make it clear to them it would be irrational for them to cause me harm and in fact it would be in their best interests to have me as their ally.

But the irrational, non-reasoning, person is extremely dangerous. There is no loyalty. There is no mutual benefits. There is only unpredictability. There is only the prospect of chaos, suffering, and death.

Marxism, communism, socialism, whatever variety of leftism and you want to call it, has such a long proven history of poverty and death that only irrational people can support it. Venezuela is only of the most recent examples that went from an “economy was the strongest in South America” in the 1950s to the early 1980s to the massive shortages, unemployment, thriving black market, and the highest misery index score in 2013.

The USSR, mainland China, and many other countries learned their lesson the hard way with massive shortages, mind boggling corruption, and 10s of millions murdered by their own governments. Numerous experiments in the 20th century, on national scales, prove beyond any doubt the benefits of freedom and the hazards of adapting the ways of the leftists. How can anyone ignore the lessons of East versus West Germany? Or North Korea versus South Korea? China versus Hong Kong?

Freedom and capitalism has brought prosperity, and unbelievable technological advancement which benefits the entire world. Yet the political left continue to insist their way is “progress”. These are not rational people. They cannot be trusted. These people are incapable of rational thought and/or are evil. The correct diagnosis does not matter. Greenfield is right. There can be no truce with the left.—Joe]

It’s a symbol of responsibility

That’s why they’re afraid of it.

A fire extinguisher is made as a tool to be used by someone who can cope, to protect his property and protect those who cannot cope.

The university educated, the entertainers, and media personalities, leftists in general, tend to wear their inability to cope as a badge of honor.

We’ve all see it; the guy well into adulthood who cannot drive a car, for example, and is clearly proud of the fact. Driving is what servants do, for me– It is not something I do. He has his nose in the air when he informs you he doesn’t drive.

If you gave him the gift of jumper cables and a nice floor jack, he’d be offended and maybe even a little scared. If you required him to demonstrate a fire extinguisher on a network TV show? Same thing.

Only icky people can build things, fix things, cope with unexpected dangers, and use guns or fire extinguishers. Eeew!

The Special Little Snowflake, or as I call him, “Fragile Little Flower” gains his identity through his weaknesses. He has learned that his weakness is his power over other people.

Those of us who can cope are to blame for this situation, through our failure to correct and through our capitulation. The FLFs are in charge of much of society and culture as a result.

Someone recently brought up The Lord of the Flies to describe the world, and it fits quite nicely. When the adults fail in their responsibilities to encourage and guide the “children” into becoming capable and responsible adults themselves, then all hell will break loose. That describes world politics for the last 100 years quite well.

Quote of the day—Jon Gabriel

Instead of pointing fingers at the innumerates running Athens, they should consider our own situation.


It’s an imperfect analogy, but imagine the green is your salary, the yellow is the amount you’re spending over your salary, and the red is your MasterCard statement.

Jon Gabriel
June 30, 2015
Athens on the Potomac
[I am not the only one wondering if we are watching a version our future play out in Greece.—Joe]

It is axiomatic…

…among a certain personality type, that when faced with some problem serious enough to cause anxiety or other symptoms…how do I say this? The last place that person will go for help or advice is to those who are dealing with the same exact situation successfully and without stress.

Progressives, for example, behave that way all the time. They will not look to the more successful cities and states, to their policies and culture, seeking the path to the same success. Instead they’ll group up with other problem cities or states and impugn, malign and attack the successful ones.

This happens on a personal level, exactly the same way, because it is the same phenomenon.

I have two such people very close to me in my life, and it is getting to the point that something major (majorly bad, and expensive, and possibly worse) is going to happen. Things simply cannot continue as they are. It’s come to a head, as the personality type is always pushing for it. There is no talking to them about it either, because it causes a Ferguson/Baltimore type response. The resemblances are uncanny, actually.

It’s to the point where I’ll very likely be facing having my business (which I started) and my house (which I bought) taken away from me, or completely hijacked, which amounts to the same thing.

Beyond giving up the capital assets as the ransom my precious freedom I’m at a loss (and again, just like dealing with Progressives – such people are VERY dangerous). Maybe an answer will come along which, at the moment, I cannot see.

Quote of the day—F. A. Hayek

There can be little doubt that man owes some of his greatest suc­cesses in the past to the fact that he has not been able to control so­cial life. His continued advance may well depend on his deliber­ately refraining from exercising controls which are now in his power. In the past, the spontane­ous forces of growth, however much restricted, could usually still assert themselves against the or­ganized coercion of the state. With the technological means of control now at the disposal of government, it is not certain that such assertion is still possible; at any rate, it may soon become impossible. We are not far from the point where the deliberately organized forces of society may destroy those spon­taneous forces which have made advance possible.

F. A. Hayek
October 1, 1960
The Case for Freedom
[The size and scope of our government has penetrated to depth in our society far beyond what Hayek could have reasonably foreseen in 1960. The banning of certain toilets, shower heads, and light bulbs is just the tip of the iceberg. The use of “eminent domain” to take your property and give it to another, the banning of larger than average soft drinks, and the banning of firearm accessories are just the tip of the same iceberg. The thousands of pages of law and regulations churned out each year are just the tip of the same iceberg.

Our vehicles license plates are scanned by police cars as they drive by, our cell phone positions are tracked, our phone call metadata is stored for use against us, the IRS has been weaponized and is used against political opponents, and drone are ready and able to drop a bomb on your location if the administration believes you to be a threat to national security.

It is easy to argue that “the deliberately organized forces of society” will destroy, or essentially has destroyed, the spontaneous forces of which Hayek speaks. Furthermore it is not farfetched to claim the only viable option at this point is to protect yourself and those close to you as best you can and prepare to rebuild from the ruins of the coming collapse.

I hope we can learn from what I fear is a lesson of staggering magnitude. Then, if the time comes, we must rebuild upon a foundation of solid political and economic philosophical principles. The works of Hayek are almost certainly part of that foundation.—Joe]

Fail, fail, fail, fail…

I’m writing this after just getting off the phone with Great Big Gun Accessory Company That Everyone Knows. I’m not pissed, just a little disgusted. I got a 130 dollar tool made by that company, from an Idaho retailer, and the tool is defective.

I called the retailer about it immediately. After some vacillation (first fail) and some obvious back-and-forth amongst the person who took my call and someone else (second fail) they referred me to the manufacturer (third fail).

I then called Great Big Gun Accessory Company That Everyone Knows and got put on hold by a robot. OK; that’s sort of tolerable, as it’s a busy time of day for a busy company in a very busy industry. After only two or three minutes I got a person. I got directly to the point; I had ordered this tool and it has some bad threads.

She actually muttered under her breath at me, as though she’d been robbed few minutes ago and I had just threatened her for her wallet; “Oh, good God…” (fourth fail). She then had to put me on hold (fifth fail) to talk to someone else (sixth fail) after which she went on and on in her Eeyore/Marvin the Paranoid Android tone, (seventh fail) about oh, woe is us; we’re juuust swamped with customer service… (eighth fail) and that she’d take my name and number and someone would call me back, maybe today but probably tomorrow (ninth fail).

There’s a point to all of this, mind you. This isn’t so I can vent my frustration– I’m not frustrated. I got this tool on a lark, because I thought it would be something fun to try. Well, all the fun has been drained right out, but it’s not frustrating in any way because I really have no “need” for this item than can’t be served with tools I already have.

The point is; if you’re in business and you have a customer who has a problem, AND you’re capable of solving said problem, then DO IT, RIGHT NOW. Your customers will absolutely love you for it, and your service will have been so unusually simple and easy that they’ll tell everyone they know about you. That two or three dollars, to fifty or 60 dollars it actually cost you to SOLE THE CUSTOMER’S PROBLEM STRAIGHT AWAY will have been your cheapest and most effective advertizing ever!

The retailer could have solved my problem immediately, without even thinking about it, if they’d simply send me a new part. “No problem, Mister Keeney; we’ll get you another part out to you right now, and you’ll have it tomorrow. Sorry about the inconvenience.”

That is our goal, but we don’t always reach it (for one thing, there is internal disagreement on its merits, if you can believe that). It is an ideal, which will rarely be met in all cases, but it is none the less THE ideal.

This is so very simple, and so very obvious, that practically all businesses fail to consider it. The few who do will rule the retail world. All the rest will have every excuse in the book why they don’t do it, and they’ll all be very reasonable and thoroughly justifiable excuses.

If you HAVE THE ABILITY to solve the customer’s problem RIGHT NOW, that is an OPPORTUNUTY for you and your company. Don’t miss the opportunity.

Meanwhile, after talking to two people, at two companies, each of whom had the ability to solve my problem right then and there, each of whom had to talk to at least one other person who also had the ability to solve my problem right then and there, I’ll be waiting for a phone call (not a replacement part, mind you, not even a promise of a replacement part, but a phone call) that may or may not come in the next 24 hours.

The time it took either one of the two people I spoke with to hum and haw and consult with peers and finally get around to telling me to call somewhere else or to take my name and number for someone else to get back to me, THEY COULD HAVE SOLVED MY PROBLEM RIGHT THEN AND THERE, and so you see, it would be far MORE EFFICIENT just for them, which would free up more customer service representatives to help more customers.

This isn’t rocket surgery.

Quote of the day—Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.

Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.
October 7, 1952
Speech in Detroit
[At first glance this appears to be a decent one line definition. Some simple tests are as follows:

  • In some societies it is unpopular to be of a particular religion/ethnicity/sexual-orientation. But in a free society such people will not be harmed as long as they do not intimidate or harm others. In an non-free society they may lose their jobs, socially shunned, their property destroyed, or even killed for merely for being suspected of matching an unpopular attribute.
  • In some societies it is unpopular to be a gun owner. But in a free society such people allowed to go about their business without restraint as long as they do not intimidate or harm others.

It is clear that the U.S. is not a free society. It has various degrees of freedom depending on the relative popularity of the activities of the person. 100 years ago gun owners were relatively free but today in certain political jurisdictions we are at great risk of going to jail if we attempt to go about our business even though our actions harm no one.

100 years ago to be homosexual in many locations in the U.S. was very risky and Christianity very low risk. Today homosexuality is much lower risk and Christianity is at some risk.

Stevenson definition is a pretty good for those issues. But as you dig into things more your realize Stevenson definition is not really adequate. What about alcohol production? Beer and wine are quite popular but highly regulated. Cars are very popular but highly regulated.

I have a half-baked hypothesis that total freedom in our country is a near constant. As it increases in one area it decreases in another. People demand control over something.

In the beginning it was black slavery, indentured servants and intolerance of non-Christians. Then as those went away it was regulation of things like alcohol, guns, drugs, business, tobacco, and a million little things. It doesn’t seem to have any relation to public safety, economic prosperity, or anything of importance. It’s just control.—Joe]

Quote of the day – me

“I don’t see it like that. The way I figure, the various anti libertarian government entities are violating my rights three times per day, and more. Don’t tell me I’M the felon, see. That puts the attention in the wrong place.”

Seen over at Uncle’s.

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.