Today a convention begins in chaos, amid cries of law and order, that classic killer of freedom. Today, the media mourns three blue lives, as if the murder of armed agents of the state is worse than decades of police murders of the less politically protected.
Archive for the ‘Mind and Spirit’ Category
Elicitation. Kit Perez wrote an article about it last week. Every one of us should read it. If you haven’t, I’ll wait while you do.
I hadn’t heard the term, but anybody who’s been around the Outlaw scene knows the tactic. It’s a way of getting us to snitch on friends, give away secrets, or incriminate ourselves without us fully realizing what we’re doing.
And it works off our ordinary personality traits — anything from a desire to be polite and helpful to a desire to show how smart and “with it” we are. Which is what makes it so insidious.
Here we are, less than 250 years after one of human history’s most glorious moments, the supposed beneficiaries of that glory, watching our country crumble. Economic ruin and stagnation. A police state obsessed with surveillance and control. Even formerly all-holy free speech under relentless attack from glassy-eyed apparatchiks.
And even the most unaware among We the Ordinary are beginning to wonder, “How did we get here?”
- How J.R.R. Tolkein found Mordor on the Western Front. Simplistic. But with the 100th anniversary of the unthinkable Battle of the Somme, apropos.
- Bill and Loretta. Yeah, I suppose it’s possible that they really did talk about their families, as Lynch insists with a wink-wink, nod-nod. If so, the conversation probably went like this.
- The icky privacy news. And the somewhat better. (H/T jc2k in comments)
- What a cesspit and an illegal tavern tell us about American revolutionary history.
- Anybody here still living in California? Plan to continue there after this? And how on earth is that background-check-and-registration-for-ammo going to work? Well, of course ultimately it’s not going to work (except in the sense of keeping people from buying cartridges, which is surely the real point). But I’m trying to think of the costs, the backlogs, the bureaucratic screwups, the unwillingness of FFLs to want to bother, the entirely new bunch of tax-suckers this will require. (It’s not clear from what I’ve read whether the b-c-a-r-f ammo provision will ultimately go into effect.)
- And after that load of disgustingness, we close — and cleanse our spirits — with some beautiful courage and inspiration from Mike Vanderboegh.
Thomas Paine wrote those words after the shooting had already begun at Lexington and Concord, after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a fact that always surprises me. We tend to think that by that time, the game was on, lines were irrevocably crossed, and everybody who was going to take a side and get involved was already committed. But not quite so.
We of course haven’t even had our Lexington moment yet and frankly I pray we never do. Even in the best cases (and the American Revolution was certainly one of those), shooting wars ultimately play into the hands of the most wily statists. Who shoots first, shoots straightest, has the biggest weaponry, or has “God on their side” doesn’t always determine how free people are once the smoke has cleared.
Because the MSM (and of course most of the gunblogosphere) is currently “all murder, all the time,” I thought a bit of good news was in order (courtesy of MJR).
Seems recently the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife “requested” access to a creekside property to survey for some frog you’ve never heard of.
The homeowners said yes. That is, they said yes … BUT.
I think their response will cheer you.
(And if you need a laugh booster shot later in the day, come back to the blog after noon. Got another funny queued up for you.)
I was thinking this morning about risks — about the chances we take … or don’t take. Not so much risks like whether to shoot for that Xtreme skateboard move or play it safe. But the big, potentially life-changing risks.
Oh, sure, the skateboard move or the jump out of the plane or whatever can also be life-changing. It could squish your ribcage or your pelvis, not to mention your brain. Or it could tell you you have more courage than you knew, courage you could use for good in the rest of your life. But I’m thinking more of the risks where you realize at the time, “If I do this thing, my life will be on a different path.”
So today’s Friday Freedom Question asks What was the biggest risk that you didn’t take (but wish you had) and what was the biggest risk you did take that altered your life?
For me, the biggest risk I didn’t take (and now regret) was that I didn’t drop out of high school and leave home at the earliest opportunity. Sure, it could have ended up as a dead end or with the humiliation of crawling home to “I told you sos.” But looking back, I think it would have shown me I was actually a more courageous and visionary person. It might — who knows? — have led me to opportunities I’d have been confident enough to explore, once I knew I could survive beyond family and
It’s harder to pin down the biggest risk I did take because the things outside observers told me seemed risky to them never seemed risky to me: leaving a place I was secure and moving across the country to a place where I knew nobody and had no connections — because that place called to me; or quitting corporate communications to be a freedom writer. These seemed less like risky choices than inevitabilities to me (at least once I’d reached the decision-making moment). So it’s hard to say.
But what about you? What was the big risk you turned away from and now regret? What was the big risk you took and what were its results?
- Sigh. It had to happen. One faction in the cannabis legalization movement sics the cops on another faction that it perceives as cutting into its profits. Piggery all around.
- “But we’re different, right?” asks Y.B. ben Avraham, on the subject of hating Jews.
- Well, yes, that’s almost exactly how it is being a writer. Except they forgot to add smoking three packs a day* and finding clever strategems (like counting the perforations on the acoustic tiles in the ceiling) to avoid actual, you know, work. (H/T jed in comments)
- Seventeen movies that bombed at the box office then went on to become big cult hits.
- While this article leans anti-Peter Thiel and I’m way more inclined to think the world owes Thiel a debt for his creative thinking and his billionairish backing of it, it’s still a decent look at the man.
- This is so cool! Completely fake, mind you. It’s a conceptual art project, not a real thing. But still … so weirdly, imaginatively, creepily cool: The Merrylin Cryptid Museum. (Best viewed by allowing all three scripts, if you happen to be browsing around with NoScript on.)
* No, the smoking and drinking are NOT ME. I have been known to count holes in ceiling tiles, but that was actually in the fifth grade, when I was trapped in class. These days I have more wide-ranging and interesting ways of work avoidance.
I awoke a few days ago to a project list longer than any I’ve had since before JPFO got sold off to Gottlieb.
It was the premise of the Politico article that drew me in. It was the claim that politics of 2030 would be shaped by the ghastly presidential election of 2016. There would be big changes to come.
Given the tumult of the times, I don’t doubt that one bit. The contest between The Hillary and The Donald, and all the odd and shifting v*ter alignments and policy preferences around it, is bound to reverberate into the future. It’s something I’ve thought a lot about. I wondered if others were coming to similar conclusions. So I read.
And read. It’s quite a long article.
- The barefoot one didn’t manage to freeze Mama. Reading this article, I’m not sure whether Colton Harris-Moore is a naive young kid or a crass hustler who’s going to head right straight for trouble again when they release him from prison this summer.
- “This Bud’s for you, America.” Another one to read mainly because it’s by George Will, who writes like a barbed angel. The whole business with Budweiser’s temporary name change is as pathetic as it is cynical.
- Why are house prices soaring across this Great Land of Budweiser? One guess.
- When headlines lie: “American Airlines is fed up with the TSA and taking matters into its own hands.” Don’t we wish? But no, American Airlines is scared of losing money and having its service and employees reviled because of the TSA’s bad behavior. So it’s enabling the TSA in exactly the same sense a co-dependent enables an alcoholic.
- Anybody up for 13 solid minutes of Hillary Clinton lies? No? Me, neither. Twenty years of them is enough, already. But for you who have stronger stomachs, here’s the video.
- The bigotry continues. House v*tes to ban Confederate flags at V.A. cemeteries. Presumably even on the graves of men who fought for the Confederacy.
- Not news to most here. But it’s been downhill since Jefferson wrote those famous words. Downhill as a nation, anyhow. As a government. But not all downhill for individuals determined to remain free.
Deciding when and whether to give trust is one of those endless dilemmas of the freedom movement. Well, of life, too, of course. But the decision to trust — or not — becomes a lot more vital when you might be doing something Authoritah disapproves of.
On the Internet, you’ll find a lot of pat advice about how to bestow trust — or not. Tell people only what they need to know. Isolate suspected informers. Etc. I’ve written some of that advice myself and read more of it. Some of the advice is sound, some stupid.
Ahem, mine of course is always of the sound variety. But speaking of stupid …