Quote of the day – Roy Masters

“Liberty lives in the hearts of men and women. If it dies there, no constitution, no law and no court can save it.” — Roy Masters, June 29, 2015

To that I would add “no military and no armed citizenry” can save it.

I heard him say it while listening to his radio program on internet re-feed on the way to work. He may have been quoting someone else for all I know, so don’t hold me to the attribution. It’s the kind of thing he’d blurt out spontaneously anyway, so I figured it was his.

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]

Some writers can write

Well no duh! I can hear you say. Every different community has its issues, events, and disputes. Being somewhat more than a mere spectator but less than a main combatant is an odd and interesting place to be.

The recent and ongoing kerfuffle in the sci-fi community between the SJW’s and and the Ilk of the Evil Legion of Evil has been educational, and many fascinating words are being spilled. Take, for example, Brad Torgerson, one of the principals in the whole Sad Puppies affair. His recent post titled Flaming rage nozzles of tolerance is great. Kind of long, but he does a good job of breaking down the current “we must blame ourselves for everything” SJW narrative-driven mindset as a modern secular take on Original Sin, and the competing with the free minds of people responsible for their own actions and nothing more. Well worth the read.

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.

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.

Responsible Body Armor Possession Act

HR 378

The title is of course misleading, as is all the speech of authoritarianism. Is it to protect the possession of responsible body armor? But an inanimate object can be neither responsible nor irresponsible. Is it to protect responsible bodies with armor? If so, why does it limit said armor? Is it to protect the responsible possession of body armor? How then would body armor be possessed in an irresponsible manner? Are there hoards of people possessing their body armor in some obnoxious fashion, say, wearing orange body armor with red clothing? One is given to wonder.

With all the Progressives pretending to be concerned, to the point of hyperventilating, about all the carnage carried out with guns, you’d think the one thing they’d want to see, besides a monopoly on gun possession for criminals, is more people wearing more effective body armor. Oh wait…

Authoritarians are of course insane, so in that sense there is nothing to see here.

One has to wonder what the authoritarian Republicans will do with this. My gut tells me they’ll be very much in favor of it, but will at the same time feel uncomfortable about letting their support be known. How that will manifest itself in their political actions I cannot guess. This sort of thing is an on-going problem for them (damn those liberty-minded little Hobbits!).

Please try to avoid getting caught up in the matter of the technical details of the various classes of body armor. This has nothing to do with any of that you know.

If the truth be known (perish the thought) this is one of many signs indicating that Congress is preparing for war with the American people. Many of them are no doubt blissfully unaware of that prospect, but it must be understood that blissful unawareness, and the vehement defense thereof, is a key component of such campaigns, right up to, and through, the the very end.

Kafkatrapping

I came across a great new word today at ESR’s blog. “Kafkatrapping

The term Kafkatrapping is based on the story “The Trial” by Kafka. (whole story here)

The definition: a form of argument that, reduced to essence, runs like this: “Your refusal to acknowledge that you are guilty of {sin,racism,sexism, homophobia,oppression…} confirms that you are guilty of {sin,racism,sexism, homophobia,oppression…}.”

There are several variants of it explicitly discussed and described in the blog post. Well worth reading. We run into it a lot from the left, and among anti-rights activists generally.

A Southerner Repents

Fred’s confession.
Good point, and if I may be so bold, it is right along the lines of what Cliven Bundy tried to say, but stumbled in his inability to articulate and was then pounced upon by all sides. Thomas Sowell said it too, as have many others who never got accused of racism for it.

The truth is a hot-button issue. You have to know what you’re doing when speaking it. It’s not for everyone. Fred can handle it fine.

Organized thought of the day*

Regarding the “packing” of courts (with judges sympathetic to one’s cause), which has been in the news recently; our U.S. constitution, very specifically and strenuously, demands “court packing”. It demands that ALL judges, justices, politicians and law enforcement be committed to the American Founding Principles. It is designed specifically to be as“Unfair” as possible.

When we’re talking about “court packing” then, we must be very specific. Are we talking about packing the courts with people unwaveringly dedicated to liberty, or are we talking about packing courts with people who are open to the idea of coercion?

Historically, this country was already “done in” in that regard by the end of the Woodrow Wilson administration. By 1945 the destruction of America was generally embraced. By 1970 there was so little America left that hardly anyone remembered the difference. So this has been a long time coming, which is what Progressivism is all about.

*Poking fun at Joe’s recurring “Random thought of the day” post title (if one may have random thoughts, surely one might, potentially, on occasion, have organized ones).

Calling it ‘Ignorance’ is being generous

I had thought it was well understood that one of the tactics of the anti rights movement has been to blur the distinction between fully automatic and semi automatic firearms (the former being ultra-restricted and therefore ultra-expensive and prohibitive and the latter being widely available and affordable). Apparently I’ve been very wrong.

Coyness apparently remains one of the most successful ruses for the anti liberty movement, even today when we have so much information at our fingertips that ANYONE who cares enough to jiggle his fingers over a keyboard for a few seconds can learn just about anything that is known by anyone.

That proves that most of us in the pro-liberty camp still fail to understand what we’re up against.

KNOW THY ENEMY!

It has been well-documented that anti-rights activists have spoken about, and organized efforts aimed at, confusing the issue of full verses semi auto, and yet we still would rather have fun pointing out the “stupidity” of people like Don Lemon. Well the joke’s on us, people.

More to the point though; if we were standing on principle, the distinction between full and semi wouldn’t matter. The Progressives have had most of us cowed for generations into accepting the NFA, and “defending” ourselves by accepting THEIR premise that, “Oh, well yeah– NO one wants machineguns ‘on the streets’! No-no-no-no!”

And so it’s an interesting play we’re in. The antis are using our own faults against us, by fooling people into making a distinction (which they’re trying to blur now) that only matters because they’ve been successful in fooling or intimidating us.

It’s the very definition of Progressivism. Get us comfortable with one outrage (in this case the NFA) and use that as a stepping stone to the next outrage (conflating semis with the already successfully demonized autos).

Far from calling Don Lemon an idiot or an ignoramus then, I’d say he’s pretty damned clever. So far he appears to have fooled 100% of the commenters on that Beck article.

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]

If it’s not true it should be

Dan here at UltiMAK told me recently that the word “understand” comes from building, or dwelling construction, long ago. If you were going to add a floor atop an existing structure, you would need to “understand” the structure so as to prevent catastrophic failure (that is to say; support with additional stands underneath). If your building collapsed, you failed to “understand”.

That would make our current usage another of the many euphemisms that we no longer know to be euphemisms (at least I never knew – maybe you all heard it before, or maybe it’s not true). It would also add a layer of perception to the word. If you fail to “understand” you failed to acquire, or to take the time to construct, the requisite foundation and lower level structure to support what you just saw or heard, and so it collapses in on you.

All guns are always loaded

That’s gun safety rule one. Cooper said that it’s not a guide to behavior but rather a statement of condition. (For those unfamiliar, “condition” in this sense refers to the status of the gun, whether it’s loaded, or cocked, whether the safety catch is on, etc.)

That’s the problem with weapon “safety” isn’t it? If you keep a gun for self defense, and you treat all guns as though they’re always loaded, and it turns put that the one you need to defend your life is unloaded, you’re not at all safe. A gun is supposed to be dangerous! but only to your chosen target.

As a matter of personal taste I prefer the NRA rule “Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use”. The guns I keep for defense are “in use” all the time and so they are loaded, whether on my hip or leaning in the corner.

I showed a couple how to load a percussion revolver the other day, by “loading” it with powder and bullets, but since we never applied caps to the cones, it still isn’t “loaded” because I won’t fire without caps. I’ll twirl it if I want to, and you can’t stop me, but I generally won’t twirl a loaded gun even it is single action with the hammer down and nothing you do to the trigger alone can ever make it fire.

We’ve come to a point where we’re making too big a deal out of “safety” and admit it– That’s because of lawyers and politicians (two of the more dangerous kinds of people on Earth if we take them too seriously).

Ultimately, “safety”, to the extent that it exists at all, is between your ears. You’re certainly going to die no matter what though, so cheer up! When people, perfectly well-intended, tell me to “stay safe” as an alternative to “goodbye” or “see you later” it sort of disappoints me. “Have fun” or even “be cool” would be better advice. None of the really fun and memorable, or productive, things I’ve done in life were particularly safe, but they always came off better in a state of coolness.

Here’s another important “safety” rule;
“All lawyers and all politicians are always loaded”

I do like that one. As Cooper said; “It is not a guide of behavior, but rather a statement of condition”, and furthermore it would explain a lot.

At least read the book…

…before you attempt to discredit Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Darwin’s theory is an excellent example of conroversy created out of nothing but gossip, speculation and misinformation.

Oleg Volk reintroduced me to Fred on Everything recently. Fred has some very good and provocative essays. This one however seems to have been written in a vacuum.

I think nearly every question or concern in the essay is addressed carefully and in detail in “On the Origin of Species”.

Also, Darwin was a religious man. I don’t understand the conflict between religion and science. It seems to me that they have the common goal (ostensibly at least) of furthering the cause of general understanding. The only way that conflict makes sense is if those individuals fomenting the conflict are more concerned with power and control than with the process of enlightenment (one cancels the other).

The Progressive’s prayer

Our Government in Washington,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on all the U.S., as it is in Washington.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into responsibility,
but deliver us from the constitution.

Psalm of the Progressive

Obama is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Government maketh me to lie down in green pastures: case-workers leadeth me beside the still waters.

Government restoreth my self-esteem: bureaucracy leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for its name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no tea-bagger: for government art with me; government’s rod and staff they comfort me.

Government preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: government anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely welfare checks and subsidies shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in public housing for ever.

(OK, now I feel kinda icky)

Others could do better with the wording, but you get the point.

Extermination Order in Missouri

There was an extermination order against the Mormons in Missouri. It was an executive order by Governor Lilburn Boggs in 1838 and it was technically in effect until 1976.

More on all that here. Something leads me to believe that the story of the Mormon War is relevant to today. Anyway, you might want to read up when you have some time.

Maybe you all knew about it, but I was unaware of that executive order until recent months. Hat tip; Glenn Beck