What is AgitProp?

It’s short for “agitation propaganda”, sure, but what does that mean?

For a good definition, this should be in textbooks.

All such assertions (in this case the assertion is “We’re jittery and dysfunctional, so we need more gun restrictions”) depend on one false premise, which says, in effect;

Human rights are subject to revision based on circumstance.

If that premise is true, then we should yield to the moment, we appease and give in. “There there, you can have what you want if you’ll only STOP CRYING…”

If the premise is false then we STAND for what we know is right, not for the moment but for all time. We prevent the emotion-driven from making mistakes harmful to themselves and others. We do them the favor of correcting them. It’s what adults do when confronted with irrational behavior.

You all know, even you leftists know, that the premise is a false one. Human rights are not altered by circumstance, statistics, emotions of the moment, nor by the way, are right affected by weather.

Rather than argue circumstances then, we must learn to reject the premise that rights are subject to circumstances, bring some very needed reason into play, assert rights, name their origin and stand up, faithfully and consistently to defend rights for all time. Do it for the children (to play on an authoritarian mind trick*).

Do it for future generations. Otherwise we fall down that rat hole wherein someone’s implanted, overwhelming emotions have the power, all by themselves, to force you to relinquish your rights and appease the sleaze. (Hey, that’s a slogan; “Relinquish Your Rights and Appease the Sleaze….”)

That’s the end game for the Dark Side, and it almost always works.

Will it work this time? How many of you, within a matter of hours or days, started, in your minds, bargaining away bump stocks, for example? Then one after another, like robots…”Bargain away bump stocks, bargain away bump stocks…” It was like a plague that spread via the airwaves, from coast to coast, in a matter of hours.

Who really needs a bump stock, after all, right? Not me, but that’s not the point.

At all.

Don’t participate in the insanity of the appeasement of the insane. That’s how they get you, and you even end up thinking yourself smarter for it. How deliciously evil is that? You’re smarter than those confounded “extremists”;
“Why, if it weren’t for them, this thing could be handled delicately and properly, and we could deal, and everyone would win…”
You’ve heard it all before. Eventually you’ll be saying it more and more.

Here’s an idea; the crazy people, no matter how frightened or offended they on the left act, no matter how they kick and scream and hold their collective breath until they turn blue, and no matter how they threaten or accuse, they aren’t your masters. They’re just sad, angry, confused people with nothing else to offer but more sadness, anger and confusion. Don’t feed the trolls.

Offer reason to the irrational. It’s the only possible way to help them. Don’t be that parent at the supermarket who’s giving in to the three-year-old just to make him SHUT UP. You idiots.

Who’s in control, the parent or the three-year-old? It can go either way, and you’ve all seen it.

Don’t pretend like their crazy assertions (“I’m so scared…we need a gun law to make me feel better– You bastards!”) have any validity, or guess what? You just put the crazy people in control, and you’d have to be crazy to do that. But you do it anyway, then you bitch and carry on about how the inmates are running the asylum. Well no shit Sherlock; you put them in charge.

It happens in your personal life. That’s where it starts. You start out walking on eggshells at home, or at school, and you end up walking on eggshells politically, then before you know it you’re trying to make other people walk on eggshells. Same causes, same effects. The Progressives know when they’ve got to you, just like a shark smells the chum-of-appeasement you’re throwing in the water, just like a dog knows when he has you upset.

AgitProp. That’s what it means. That which arouses emotion in you owns you.

*“Nothing is too good for the children”, we are told. Like most everything the left touches however, the definition of that phrase, when uttered by a leftist, is its own opposite. It means;

“Nothing is too bad for the children.”

For the left, rights deprivation isn’t too bad for the children. Abortion isn’t too bad for the children (except in the sense, “Too bad, children!”), nor is grabbing power from the People, nor graft, nor violating the constitution, nor are coercion and wholesale confiscation too bad for the children. None of the horrible things done by communist regimes, past or present, have been too bad for the children, and if that’s the case (and the left has always had love affairs with communist regimes), then truly, nothing is too bad for the children.

I thought you should know that. Carry on.

Prep-Check

It’s Gravity season. Time for things to fall. Things like leaves and branches. On power lines, naturally. And roads. Oh joy, be still my beating heart! Since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and Maria, I’d been meaning to dig out the generator for a test run, and do my other fall emergency checks. Thus begins a short story of preparedness and failure. Continue reading

Quote of the day—Sir Robert Peel

Sir Robert Peel’s Principles of Law Enforcement 1829

  1. The basic mission for which police exist is to prevent crime and disorder as an alternative to the repression of crime and disorder by military force and severity of legal punishment.
  2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behavior and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect.
  3. The police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain public respect.
  4. The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes, proportionately, to the necessity for the use of physical force and compulsion in achieving police objectives.
  5. The police seek and preserve public favor, not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to the law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws; by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of society without regard to their race or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humor; and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  6. The police should use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to achieve police objectives; and police should use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  7. The police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police are the only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the intent of the community welfare.
  8. The police should always direct their actions toward their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary by avenging individuals or the state, or authoritatively judging guilt or punishing the guilty.
  9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

Sir Robert Peel
1829

[H/T Windy Wilson.

Kevin Baker has been a big proponent of Peel as well.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ayn Rand

Contrary to the prevalent views of today’s alleged scholars, history is not an unintelligible chaos ruled by chance and whim—historical trends can be predicted, and changed—men are not helpless, blind, doomed creatures carried to destruction by incomprehensible forces beyond their control.

There is only one power that determines the course of history, just as it determines the course of every individual life: the power of man’s rational faculty—the power of ideas. If you know a man’s convictions, you can predict his actions. If you understand the dominant philosophy of a society, you can predict its course. But convictions and philosophy are matters open to man’s choice.

There is no fatalistic, predetermined historical necessity. Atlas Shrugged is not a prophecy of our unavoidable destruction, but a manifesto of our power to avoid it, if we choose to change our course.

It is the philosophy of the mysticism-altruism-collectivism axis that has brought us to our present state and is carrying us toward a finale such as that of the society presented in Atlas Shrugged. It is only the philosophy of the reason-individualism-capitalism axis that can save us and carry us, instead, toward the Atlantis projected in the last two pages of my novel.

Ayn Rand
1966
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Is Atlas Shrugging? Pages 181 and 182
[It is trivial to see the dystopia Rand wrote about in Atlas Shrugged in the world around us. It is also trivial to see her utopian correction to that path is not being, and probably could never have been, followed.

I’m usually accused of being too, if not insanely, optimistic. And even looking through those rose colored glasses I only see a tiny hint of a mirage that might be a path to recovery without going through an extremely dark place and time. I fear we went speeding past our exit years, if not decades, ago and our economic and personal freedoms will suffer violent abuse without realistic hope of recovery without extreme suffering and great loss of life.—Joe]

It’s the radiation, Stupid

They started with weightlessness as the reason, they did drop the R-word in the middle (can’t throw out all credibility), but only in passing, then reinforced the weightlessness meme again at the end.

I see it like this (because this is how it is); you can’t get the money if you aren’t offering the hope of something exciting (like a Mars colony) or something excitingly catastrophic (like the end of the world unless government has total control). Therefore you can’t come out and say that a Mars colony is a stupid idea because then you lose your funding.

In fact you’d have to live underground on Mars, or die of radiation. If you’re going to live underground, well, you can do that here on Earth much more easily and cheaply. AND…you don’t want to do that anyway, because living underground forever is boring, so forget the whole thing.

On second thought, no; I’m wrong about all of that so give me a hundred billion dollars and I’ll get you’re dumb ass to Mars. You’ll need to pay in advance.

Quote of the day—Sarah Hoyt

We women who grew up reading Heinlein are different.  We know that we are different, but know we are as capable as men of creating a future worth living in, and more important than men because only we can give birth to the future.

The women of feminist-offense can doubtlessly find something to complain about in everything Robert A. Heinlein – a man who loved women – wrote and said.  And I hope they enjoy it.  But only we Heinlein women are capable of giving birth to children who will take over the stars.

Sarah Hoyt
July 31, 2017
Robert A. Heinlein: The Man Who Loved Women
[Aside from some difficult to quantify genetic contribution, Robert Heinlein was probably a greater influence on my personal philosophy than anyone else in my life.—Joe]

Education quirk

Interesting. Short version: PISA is the “Programme for International Student Assessment”, it tests schools/kids from around the world. 65 nations entered. America ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math. Ouch. Nations that didn’t enter were mostly places like all of sub-Saharan Africa which routinely score badly on such tests; it’s safe to assume the US did better than Haiti, even if they didn’t take the test.

However… Someone looked at how kids performed in each nation by ethnic backgrounds within a country, and compared them across borders (i.e., compare American Chinese to Chinese in China, American whites to whites in Europe, Mexican-Americans to Mexicans in Mexico, etc). Quote:

Asian-Americans outperform all Asian students except for Shanghai-Chinese. White Americans outperform students from all 37 predominantly white nations except Finns, and U.S. Hispanics outperformed the students of all eight Latin American countries that participated in the tests.

African-American kids would have outscored the students of any sub-Saharan African country that took the test (none did) and did outperform the only black country to participate,Trinidad and Tobago, by 25 points.

Huh. That means that one (or both) of these two cherished narratives are false:
(a) American schools are abject failures for the amount of money we spend per student, and spending more money will fix the problem, or
(b) There are no real and significant racial /ethnic /cultural differences, and the low academic scores highly correlated with economic achievement of certain groups is the result of white racism, oppression,  discrimination, etc.

You can lead a horse to water… etc., etc.

You can’t have it both ways with this analysis of the data. Personally, I think we should treat all people as individuals, and do what we can with / for them. Move to an ability-based class-placement system for most things rather than age-based.

7 dead, many more wounded, it’s the internet’s fault

Predictably, another attack occurred in London this weekend. Theresa May did at least mention radical Islamism as a problem, but went on to call for more police powers, and to blame the internet.

Centuries upon centuries of Islamist aggression and murder, and it’s the internet’s fault. Your freedom, and mine, is to blame.

One report claimed some fifty shots were fired by police to stop three Muslims armed with knives. I could understand that number of shots if they’d been taking return fire, but against knife wielding punks it seems like an awful lot of shooting.

At least one person was wounded by police gunfire. When that happens (and it sometimes will) and it’s a police bullet, it is a footnote. If a regular concealed carry holder in America were to do the exact same thing, never mind that lives were saved; the howls of accusation would last for weeks.

Practice on moving targets. Aerial clay targets are good, if you can find a place to do it safely;

With only a knife, it is relatively easy to murder innocent, unsuspecting people, in a country that talks about freedom and rights but has forcibly disarmed its citizens and practically turned self defense into a crime.

The Brits have invited this upon themselves with their idiotic policies and their embrace of Progressivism, and we in America are not far behind. They’ll ramp up their police state, clamp down on the internet (control of which has been coveted by authoritarians since its inception) spend more of their tax payers’ wealth, and accomplish next to nothing.

Once again, as always it seems, at least one of the perpetrators was known to the British security network. The result of that knowledge was that they were able to say, after the fact, that they’d been watching that person.

The only way jihad will ever stop is if they’re all convinced that it is utterly hopeless, or foolish, or morally wrong, to continue. There are several ways to accomplish that end, only one of which involves a commitment to total extermination. Theresa May eluded to one of them, but I don’t believe that there is currently a government on this planet that is either principled enough or committed enough, or politically capable of any of those ways.

Maybe it’s not really a government’s problem to solve. What was that saying? Something about a people, or ideology, or process, which created a problem will never be the one to solve it.

The perfect problem

If you are a politician seeking power, and everything is going well, there isn’t any urgency to pass laws beyond those needed for the general maintenance of the status quo, because everything is awesome. You need an enemy or problem to rail against, to be the target of you legislation. You need a boogieman to scare people into supporting you. But what?

You want something that cannot fight back. If you demonize a group they will object.

You want something BIG, because sane people won’t get very worked up about the trivial.

Really big. So big that everyone must be involved, and any dissenters can be easily demonized.

You want something distant in time. You can’t use something that can be disproven next week, or even within the next few election cycles. It’s got to be an ongoing chronic thing hanging out in your children’s and grandchildren’s future.

…but not too distant. Immediate action must be demanded by the hugeness of the problem, not something that can be dealt with mañana.

Far reaching. It must impact every aspect of life, which in turn calls for regulating every aspect of life.

Have many possible parts to the potential solutions. If any one part of the “solution” appears to work it can never be enough, but if some other part doesn’t, it can be used as a call for more spending, more laws, more actions, more something. There isn’t any one magic bullet because the problem is so huge, but many parts that might help some, but they are individually so small that nothing can be proven one way or another. There is always another reason to demand more research, more knowledge, more data, and a reason to demand “doing something” in the meantime “just in case.”

Not an actual threat. If you don’t get everything you demand, no sweat: everything is still going to be OK. But you can always demonize others for failing to do enough, while excusing your own continued high-living lifestyle.

Sound like anything you’ve heard of before?

Global warming?

Yes, global warming, the perfect boogieman.

Mere practice does NOT make perfect

I learned that concept early on in the music business, from similar observation.

Although there is a small percentage of people who pick things up intuitively, most anyone will benefit from quality instruction. It applies to pretty much everything.

Then again; how did the instructor learn what he knows? Who taught his teacher and where did that person get the knowledge and insight? At some point someone had to figure things out on his own, we benefit from generations of those people’s combined knowledge, and ideally we can add to it. Competition or other direct comparison is the way to prove you know what you know, or to disprove that which you think you know but don’t.

Here is where I restate the side benefits of hunting (the primary benefit being the harvest of wonderful protein from wonderful nature by your own hand). You can do all the range shooting in the world, and even excel at it, and be under-prepared for “shooting for real”. Even though game animals generally don’t shoot back, if you hunt for several seasons you will realize this in ways you cannot otherwise imagine. Here’s another man who sees it that way;

I’m in a practical shooting match as I type this

Tam has a good funny.

I’ve said before that it would be cool to design an IPSC stage in which there are no “shoot” targets (only “no shoots”). Maybe even, everyone goes home without firing a shot that day, because that’s more “real life” than anything else you could set up.

The most unrealistic thing about a Practical Shooting match, then, is that you go to one knowing for a fact that shots will be fired, and you are thus prepared for it. In real life on the other hand, you never have that advance notice, there are no rules, no scratch lines on the ground, no range Nazis to correct your “mistakes”, no timers, no “walk throughs” prior to shooting your stage, and probably not even any safe places to shoot at all.

In that most realistic sense then, I’m in an IPSC match right now, as I type– I’m carrying a gun and assessing the environment, seeing no immediate threats. I’ve been in this particular “IPSC Match” for over 20 years already and have yet to draw my pistol, much less take a shot. This isn’t merely similar to real life; it IS real life. I only draw and fire my gun when I’ve decided to pause the “IPSC Match” for a while, and find a safe place to shoot.

The range mentality has gotten so insane that I’ve seen multiple gun demonstration videos in which the shooter loads five of six, in a percussion revolver (which is stupid right there if you understand how a percussion revolver differs from a cartridge gun), fiddle farts around trying to lower the hammer on the empty but inadvertently lowers it on a live chamber instead and has to fiddle fart with the gun some more to be sure it’s “safe”, walks five feet to the firing line, confident that he’s “being safe”, and then looks down and shuffles around a bit to make sure his feet are right on the scratch line. Stuff like that.

Don’t even try to talk to me about it. I’m just…not…listening…anymore. I’ve hear it all before anyway. Hell I wrote some of those the rules, literally– I was once the president of a Practical Shooting club.

Go ahead and call me crazy though. I’m accustomed to it, as you may well imagine.

Measuring success in one metric

For some things, measuring success is pretty obvious, and the metrics are nicely binary. e.g., “Did the boomer go BOOM after you pulled the trigger?”

In other things the metrics are either much harder to measure, or there are “good” reasons that the people measuring success don’t want a good metric; it would show they are failing miserably. Or, worse, they are no longer needed to “do the job.” Pick just about any political appointee and the example writes itself.

Anyway, the reason I ask is that I am, among other things, a teacher. Yeah, I know, taking one for the team here guys, leave me alone about that, will ‘ya? So in preparing for an upcoming interview, I started to think about what sorts of things I can ask them – that’s always a “fun” place for the interview to go, because it can’t be any trivia you can just read off the school web-site, but it also cannot be something that exposes glaring problems or hypocrisy in their system, because after they uncomfortably give you a non-answer you’ll not be offered a job. So it’s a balancing act.

So this question popped into my head, and I thought I’d bounce it off ya’ll to see what sort of trouble I might get myself into, but also maybe find some good follow-ups. I’ve got what I think it’s a pretty good measure of success, but it would likely open a huge can of zombie attack worms the size of anacondas, which I don’t want to deal with just yet. So, the question is: Continue reading

Expendable men

Times change.
But it ain’t all progress.

There has been a lot of social upheaval in recent years on the topics of equality, “equality,” women’s rights, men’s rights, patriarchy, the wage gap, marriage, MGTOW, misogyny versus misandry (I note the spell-checker has the previous but not the latter word), marginalizing men, etc. websites like Men of the West, videos like this Continue reading

Speculative thought

A thought occurred to me about all the Special Snowflakes in society today. Could it be in significant part the result of smaller families? In China the “One Child” policy has resulted in a generation plagued with “little emperors.” When you have a lot of children, even a good parent that loves all of them equally, and treats them all as fairly and equitably as possible will know they are not all truly equal, and not all as smart, or strong, or whatever, as anyone else. In short, you know some are more “valuable” or “expendable” on different measures because you confront it every day in your own home. Continue reading

They prove themselves unworthy

A thought occurred to me.

All the smartest people* in the nation -nay, the smartest people in the world- said two things over and over in 2016:
A) We plebs need to give more power and control to the government so all the really smart technocrats can make life better, more fair, safer, cleaner, more productive, and nicer for everyone because they were so smart and had all the data; and
B) Trump would never win.

It seems to me that (B) disproves the premise that they are the smartest people in the room, and further is a strong indicator that (A) should never be done because they just demonstrated they are clueless more often than not.

 

* we know they are the smartest people in the world because they tell us constantly.

Violence and the left – pathology and party

Interesting interview by Stefan Molyneux of an academic researcher. Dr. John Paul Wright is a Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati and the author of “Criminals in the Making: Criminality Across the Life Course.” More links and discussion at his youtube page.

Not a lot we here didn’t already know, but interesting. I like some of his observations about why this sort of connection are not normally the subject of research.

Quote of the day—Jeff Snyder

Although difficult for modern man to fathom, it was once widely believed that life was a gift from God, that to not defend that life when offered violence was to hold God’s gift in contempt, to be a coward and to breach one’s duty to one’s community. A sermon given in Philadelphia in 1747 unequivocally equated the failure to defend oneself with suicide:

“He that suffers his life to be take from him by one that hath no authority for that purpose, when he might preserve it by defense incurs the Guild of self murder since God hath enjoined him to seek the continuance of his life, and Nature itself teaches every creature to defend itself.”

Jeff Snyder
2001
Nation of Cowards pages 16 and 17
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

“Mad Dog” Mattis

This being a sophisticated and educational sort of blog, thought I’d post something about the likely next SecDef, General (ret) James “Mad Dog” Mattis. It’s an interview by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution from 2015. Mattis sounds like a very thoughtful sort that will bring some much needed clarity to the position. Continue reading

Sobriety check

I figure this is the appropriate time to bring it up (yes; I’ve been waiting for months now), what with some of the exuberance out there in response to DT’s election win.

Shall we start a betting pool regarding the exact date on which he blows up and shows anger and hate for conservatives who’re trying to hold him to it?

McCain and Schwarzenegger both did it, as have others. They run on a patriotic message because they know they need our votes, but they resent having to “lower” themselves to such a level, and that resentment will out itself. If I were a betting man I’d say sometime before the end of January. Maybe even before inauguration, but I figure he can control himself until after.

I would of course love to be proven wrong on this (feel free to jump on my case in four years, please), but it is nonetheless a good idea to have some guarded optimism, or hopeful skepticism, at this stage and save the heady exuberance for after the end of his first term when it turns out he actually didn’t ass-rape us after all.