Monday, July 19, 2010

“Corpse in Armor” in the Real World

Have you read Martin McPhillps’ counter-terrorism thriller Corpse in Armor?  I have, and most recently posted some thoughts on McPhillips’ book under the heading “Corpse in Armor” - Buy It, Read It, Understand It.

In a review just posted at the Western Rifle Shooters Association, you can read this.

A hell of a ride, placing the reader in almost the same position as the characters, as all try to anticipate the OpFors’ (no, that is not a possessive apostrophe fault) next moves, while at the same trying to determine just exactly what is going on.

In other words—a thriller, in the best sense of the genre.

And as such, a perfect stealth device to get people who should be thinking about bigger issues than beach novels to do so.

While in a recent review at RicketyClick you can read this.

The action is compelling, though, and the overall pattern is unmistakable to anyone who pays attention to news beyond the papers and cable TV; anyone who owns a gun for self-defense; anyone who refuses to believe that America is the worst nation ever to foul the planet. You find yourself nodding, time and again, but you wish you didn’t have to: the symptoms are dire, the diagnosis is clear, and the prognosis is not good.

This file presents a scenario that is perhaps somewhat outdated, even optimistic — for instance, the President is merely uninvolved, neither a serious suspect nor appallingly incompetent. Nevertheless, this is the war we’re in. You understand that in essence, the enemies of America are portrayed accurately; some aspects have played out in the news since this was compiled. (bold by ed.)

Pay particular attention to the words in bold, above, as you read the following, which is taken from a Washington Post piece titled TOP SECRET AMERICA - A hidden world, growing beyond control.

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

McPhillips book, Corpse in Armor, captures the essence of this “top secret America, hidden from public view,” and the unknown individuals moving sliently within.  The WAPO piece moans over this “alternative geography” within America and those traveling within, McPhillips’ book maps the geography, and brings the individuals hidden from view to life.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/19 at 12:37 PM
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A History “Discovery” While Off Grid

Over the past seven days, I have not read much beyond topo maps, and the lays of trout in small, fast streams while exploring the U.P. of Michigan.

What I’ve read since returning to the grid, deals with a bit of history, and this is because I “discovered” this.

image

The photograph is a bit difficult to view; I’m no photographer and one hundred and twenty-nine (129) years have weathered away the sharpness of the marks; but what the photo shows is the following carved into that rock:

Aug. 17 1881
Simon Denomie

What cannot be seen in that photo, are the words “Bayfield Wisconsin,” as they are carved into the face of the rock, and they have weathered more than the above date and name.

I had climbed over this particular rock four times, which is alongside a ten (10) foot drop waterfall, unawares that anything was carved on the rock, and upon climbing back down the fourth time, I noted what appeared to be a letter carved into the rock, and close examination revealed the above.

Since returning to my home late Friday, I’ve been researching this, and have found that Simon Denomie was a Lake Superior Chippewa Indian, former postmaster of Assinins, Michigan (1894), not far from where I was exploring in the U.P., and he was also a recipient of congressional legislation dealing with Indian affairs, amongest other bits and pieces of information.  I have also found out that this carving into the rock though “known” about, its exact location was unknown, as was what exactly was carved into the rock.

I’ve also reached out via email regarding this “discovery,” which has resulted in contact with the Chairman of the Mackinac Bands of the Chippewa and Ottawa Indians, and with Simon Denomie’s great-granddaughter, and they are very excited about this historical record of their ancestor, and that I reached out to inform them of this.

I, also, am excited about this “discovery,”  corresponding with Simon’s ancestors, and that I have been personally invited by the Chairman of the Mackinac Bands of the Chippewa and Ottawa Indians to the Rendezvous at the Straits this August.

Just thought I’d share this with you.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/19 at 10:05 AM
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Futility of Voting

I no longer vote.  Many individuals may state that because I do not vote my opinions do not hold water, or, that I am not allowed to register my disdain for governmental programs, politicians, or what have you in matters regarding the State.

I do not vote because, after much consideration, I have come to the conclusion it is immoral, but here is another opinion which notes the futility of voting.

There have been several occasions when the American people have voted for smaller government; most notably in 1972, 1980 and 1994. But it really doesn’t matter. You can vote for limited government, but you can’t get it; the political class won’t let you. This is not to assert the silly proposition that there is no major difference between Democrats and Republicans. The fiscal disaster that we have witnessed since the Democrats took control of Congress in 2007 proves the contrary. But still: experience shows that voting for Republicans hasn’t been enough to offset the power of the political class.

Historical, empirical evidence proves the futility of voting, and also supports the statement that Slaves Cannot Vote Themselves Free.

The quote in this post was taken from a PowerLine post titled A Dangerous Disaffection which I linked via InstaPundit.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/19 at 08:19 AM
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Off Grid

Venturing out, off the grid.  See ya in a week.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/11 at 06:29 AM
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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Oath Keepers and A Conversation with a Cop

I was just in a local eatery ordering a sandwich.  There was a line, when I entered, so I gazed around at the other patrons and noticed a lone cop sitting at a table, munching through a bag of chips.

Since I knew it would be a bit before I would be able to order, I stepped over to the cop’s table.  I took off my sunglasses, looked in his eyes, put out my hand, and said, “Hi, I’m John Venlet,” and sat right down.

The cop was somewhat taken aback by my abrupt introduction, and with my making myself immediately comfortable at his table, but he shook my hand and returned my greeting.  He didn’t have to give me his name, as it was on his uniform, but I will not state it here.

Anyway, after that brief introduction, I immediately asked him if he had heard of, or was a member of, the Oath Keepers.  The cop looked at me, a bit puzzled, and said, “Do you mean Promise Keepers?”

I replied to him, “No, the Oath Keepers.”  The cop shook his head, so I gave him a brief tutorial on the Oath Keepers, and their Declaration of Orders We Will Not Obey,” and then asked him, point blank, “If the government passed legislation ordering that the populace be disarmed, would you obey that law?”

I am pleased to report that the cop, without hesitation, replied to me, “If that happened I would immediately quit this job.”

Though that pleases me, it caused me to wonder if the message of the Oath Keepers, specficially in regards to the Second Amendment, is actually reaching those individuals acting as enforcers for the State, and whether the answer I received in regards to disarming the populace under orders from the State, would provoke as quick and firm a response from other individuals so employed.

Additionally, I determined that I need to be more proactive in disseminating the message of liberty and freedom out on the street, and not just at this blog.

That is all.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/10 at 12:47 PM
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Starve The Beast, Don’t Feed Off It

Mayberry, at Keep It Simple Survival, has a post up titled Where I Left Off…, which is an extension comment to this post, which was inspired by a post titled Revolution Weighs Heavy On My Mind, which is posted at The Elector Retards.

Mayberry’s primary suggestion, to take back the freedom wrested from individuals by the State, in the post Where I Left Off…, is to starve the beast.

“My suggestion, as always, is simply starve the beast. It’s the one thing we all can do that won’t make for a lot of unnecessary martyrdom. For now at least. Maybe concentrate on that aspect, starving the beast. What taxes can you minimize or avoid? What items can you make/grow/trade/barter for to avoid feeding corporate and government coffers? Reduce, reuse, recycle, it ain’t just for hippies anymore.Next, look for ways to circumvent draconian legislation. Think like a moonshiner. Bucking the law is a proud American tradition! Much can be simply ignored, but the most invasive laws require a little “creativity” to get around. Trust me, when enough people start doing this (besides CONgress, that is), the spark will be struck. CONgress hates “scofflaws”. They don’t like competition…. “

I have no argument with Mayberry’s suggestion, above, and I have reduced my feeding of the beast by reducing my income, over the past eight years, from over six figures, to just below 20K, in addition to other acts wherein permissions allegedly required from the State, are ignored.

Further into the post, Mayberry continues in this vein.

Emulate the government, steal all you can from them while you still can. Apply for every “program” under the sun. Cut every corner. Lie. Cheat. What the hell, CONgress does it! Get some of your money back. It will help implode the system faster. Use the collectivists’ Cloward Pivens Plan against them. Suck the beast dry, and use the proceeds to prepare. Bring the Ponzi scheme down by starving it of it’s fuel: your money. Our money.

This suggestion, which is discussed quite indepth in a Claire Wolfe post titled About those Cockapoos…, should be rejected.  I do not think the admonition to “emulate the government”  by “applying for every “program” under the sun,” is principled, regardless of the justifications offered by Mayberry.  In fact, I think that following this suggestion only further burdens and punishes each and every individual who actually desires that liberty, opportunity, and freedom be restored to America, and who may actively be working toward that end.

I know it sounds trite, but two wrongs do not make a right.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/10 at 11:23 AM
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Harden Your Hearts

It’s a beautiful morning here in West Michigan.  The temperature is a pleasant 75 degrees, the sun is shining, a light breeze caresses and individuals are walking their dogs, jogging, or sitting on their back porches enjoying a cup of coffee.  All seems well in the world, but this sense of wellness is a facade, and the facade is collapsing, though patches are daily made to make the facade appear whole.

Many individuals do not want to see, understand, that the facade is what it is, a facade, and this fact complicates the potential consequences of the facade’s collapse.  All seems well in the world, but it is not.

I think the time is coming when individuals are going to have to harden their hearts against their fellow humans.  I pray that it were not so, but my prayers, whether falling on deaf ears, or simply unanswered, seem for naught.

Francis W. Porretto instigates my above thoughts in a post titled Making Amends: A Mini-Manifesto, which is worth taking the time to read and ponder.  A portion of Porretto’s post.

When—not “if”—the Corporate Social-Fascist State exhales its bloody final breath, the economy that results will not have provisions for those dependents’ support. As they will be unable to support themselves, their continued existence will depend wholly upon the kindness of others. But, given the immense damage that’s been done to our economic foundations by Progressive policies, the crash is overwhelmingly likely to be massive. Many of us who can support ourselves on our own abilities will be hard pressed. Many others will disdain to succor of persons they deem complicit in their own fates.

There will be suffering. It will be massive. Some will die.

Yet the reckoning is at hand. It cannot be delayed much longer: even if the rising some foresee should fail to materialize, our current profligacy and laissez les bon temps roulez insouciance cannot last more than a year or so from here. No matter how well politically connected you are, you cannot consume what no one has produced.

Harden your hearts.  This sounds mean spirited and uncaring, but if you care for freedom and those you love, you will have to harden your heart.  As the character The Outlaw Josey Wales says,

Now remember, things look bad and it looks like you’re not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. ‘Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That’s just the way it is.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/10 at 09:27 AM
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“Kidulthood”

Do you tell your children what to do, or, is it the other way around?  I know at my house, I laid down the rules, which is not to mean that I would not consider my children’s thoughts regarding rules, as they were growing up, but if their thoughts were off base, they were told so directly.  There was no namby pambying in the Venlet household.

Oh that this were so out in the world of politics, but alas it is not, as this story plainly points out.

Consider Phillipsburg, New Jersey, where a classful of determined seven-year-olds started a campaign, which 19 months later convinced state legislators to ban the sale of novelty lighters. The kids, of course, are proud of themselves, and the politicos are behaving as though it’s reasonable and even admirable for middle-aged lawmakers to seek counsel from people who still worry about the monsters under their bed.

It all started when a woman took her three-year-old to a dollar store, and the toddler picked up a novelty lighter shaped like a lion. Her mom apparently bought the lighter, since it later became the mascot of the second-graders’ campaign to ban it.

Children definitely shouldn’t play with lighters; if your kid wants a plastic lion, don’t give her one that makes fire. But the New Jersey law doesn’t simply ban the sale of novelty lighters to children, or mandate stores display them on high shelves out of a toddler’s reach; the lighters are banned for everybody in the state, on the premise: “If kids can’t handle this, adults can’t have it either.”

Kids should not be telling adults what to do, and adults who allow children to dictate ridiculous ideas into legislation are worse than infantile.

From a Jennifer Abel story in the Guardian titled Welcome to kidulthood, linked via her website Ravings of a Feral Genius.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/10 at 08:53 AM
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Mild Mannered Photographs of Executioners - Uncanny Resemblance

Dr. Donald Berwick.

Adolph Eichman.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/10 at 08:47 AM
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A History of Aiding and Abetting “The Edarkenment”

Mike Soja points to a National Review (NR) piece written by Tiffany Jones Miller.  The piece is titled The Progressives’ Legacy of Bankruptcy.

Mike notes that the NR piece is subtitled “The roots of our current crisis,” and states,

That’s a keeper.

And indeed it is, and this brings to mind the strike the root quote from Thoreau.

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.

The NR piece should be read in its entirety, as it lays out the history of “The Endarkenment” of America quite clearly, and it also plainly articulates the progressive ideology which still, today, is turning individuals into mindless automatons of the State.

What follows, particularly those words in bold lettering, is the mantra of the State, whether the tail being worn is a donkey’s, or an elephant’s.

In a 1903 survey of the “recent tendencies” in American political thinking, Charles Merriam — founding father of the American Political Science Association and future head of FDR’s National Resources Planning Board — well captured the destructive aspect: “The individualistic ideas of the ‘natural right’ school of political theory, indorsed in the Revolution,” he wrote, “are discredited and repudiated. . . . In the refusal to accept the contract theory as the basis for government, practically all the political scientists agree. The old explanation no longer seems sufficient, and is with practical unanimity discarded. The doctrines of natural law and natural rights have met a similar fate.” Merriam’s conclusions, which are striking in their directness, were by no means unique. “Across the range of Progressive writings, and throughout this entire period,” as political theorist Eldon Eisenach observes, “one finds a persistent attack on rights and individualism as worthy foundations for American national democracy. . . . The rejection of natural rights as a foundation for moral or political reasoning was not even considered to require a defense.”

As Mike at Cold Fury notes in his post after reading the NR piece.

The noxious weed of Progressivism that is currently strangling our nation has deep roots indeed. It’ll take more than just a little pruning to disentangle ourselves from it.

Indeed, though more individuals are now awakening to the danger posed by the State to individual freedom, the alarm has been going off for over 100 years.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/10 at 07:23 AM
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Friday, July 09, 2010

Quote on Being an Effective Soldier

The effective soldier knows how to use words and ideas as well as weapons. (bold by ed.)

From an article titled Special Operations: Hidden Victory, as posted in full by Fred Lapides at his site GoodShit.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/09 at 07:03 PM
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NASA’s New Muslim Motivational Poster

Via Attack Cartoons, One giant fail for mankind.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/09 at 11:02 AM
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Thursday, July 08, 2010

God Is Not Interested in Economics

Jordan J. Ballor, in a post at the Acton Institute Power Blog titled Reflections on Christianity and Economic Research, points to an essay penned by Judith M. Dean.  Dean is currently employed as an international economist, working for the Office of Economics, Research Division, U.S. International Trade Commission, and the essay Ballor points to is titled Being a Good Physician - Reflections on Christianity and Economic Research.  The essay is posted at the Intervarsity.org Following Christ website.

Upon reading Dean’s essay, Ballor offers these closing words.

Note here the vigorous sense of Christian advocacy in the public square, and how it is to be informed by solid economic, social, and historical research. Note too that the advocacy described is generally not that which ought to be pursued by the institutional church, but by Christians organizing themselves organically in civil society.

As a theologian often writing on economic and public policy matters, I heartily endorse Dean’s call for more sustained, careful, and intentional engagement of Christian economists on these matters.

I’ve read through Dean’s essay a number of times, today, and while I found her thoughts on the subject of Christians and economics interesting, if considered from a dogmatic Christianity viewpoint, it fails to inspire me, as an individual of faith, to consider her admonitions for Christian economists to seriously be considered.

In a sidebar quote from within the essay, which appears at the top of the page, left, readers will view this question.

What differences should we see in work done by Christian economists vs. those who do not profess the Christian faith?

The answer is a definitive, and emphatic, NONE.  There should be no difference.  Economics is neutral, and belongs to each and every individual, though this fact is basically unknown today because economics has been forcefully wrested from its praxeological reality by the State and cloaked in polylogical hyperbole, resulting in the current economic mess with which the world is contending.  Appeals to Heaven do not make this statement any less true, but they do make this post ring true.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/08 at 06:41 PM
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I’ve Got A Freedom Attitude

Just the other day, I posted a link to a Lee Harris essay titled The Spirit of Independence: The Social Psychology of Freedom.  I titled that post “So Who Owns You?” - An Attitude.

This morning, stopping by Claire Wolfe’s, I read Claire’s most recent post titled Thinking free, in which Claire references the movie The Shawshank Redemption, and expands on the subject of a freedom attitude.  Both Harris’ piece, and Claire’s essay, are attitude provoking reads.  You are free to consider reading them.

From Claire’s post.

I’ve always talked about how freedom begins with an attitude — with thinking free. Some people just aren’t interested in hearing that because it means they have to shift the blame from other people (their parents, the cops, bureaucrats, Congress) and take charge of their own lives. Others dismiss it as nonsense on pragmatic grounds — because it’s ridiculous to say anyone can be free while stuck in a gulag or living in a police state. Others just think that action is everything and that thinking free is merely a form of idleness.

Even people who understand that you can’t live free unless you think free have a lot of trouble maintaining that belief, day to day…

Yet you know and I know that virtually the only thing that stands between us and the complete triumph of tyranny is our attitude — followed by our actions. We must think free — then act free — according to our own lights, no matter what the rest of the world does. That is literally the only hope for overcoming tyranny.

I’ve got a freedom attitude.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/08 at 07:47 AM
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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Tesla Hits The Wall of Reality of Question Number 4

The autoblogreen headline reads Tesla shares in freefall, now below IPO price.  Within the story we read these “expert” analyses of Tesla Motors.

...According to Josef Schuster, the Chicago-based founder of IPOX Capital Management LLC, “The company is a great concept with relatively weak fundamentals. Markets are weak and in a weak market right now this is hurting the company even more.”

Financial expert Michael Holland explains, “They brought this thing into a market that was not rewarding hype,... The stock did get its pop, and now it’s plagued by the reality of the marketplace. The reality of the marketplace is that people aren’t paying for dreams and visions.” (bold by ed.)

The reality of question number 4, which I noted in a post titled Reality for Tesla “True Believers.”

But question number four, “And do they offer the kind of basic, bottom-line transportation value needed to attract mainstream buyers in a tough market?”, is the most important question, and with a starting price of around 60K, running up to 130K, I think the answer to the question is a emphatic “No.”

As I have previously noted in regards to Tesla, Obviously, A Hand Out is in Order, otherwise Tesla Roadster to Go the Way of the Segway.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/07 at 03:16 PM
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