Monday, December 31, 2012

“Check Your Road” in the Coming New Year

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all.  Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.  Check your road and the nature of your battle.  The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.

Atlas Shrugged

Via Joe Maurone.

Live.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/31 at 06:01 PM
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

“There will be no “winners””

Prediction of future events is quite difficult, and, quite often, incorrect.  With that in mind, I point you a piece penned by Bob Owens titled What you’ll see in the rebellion.

Americans’ best interests are best served by preventing a rebellion, but it is judicious to be prepared for rebellion, because those individuals currently holding the reins of power in America have only their interests and power in mind, and not Americans as a people.  Material preparation is important, but one must also be mentally and emotionally prepared.

Link to Owens piece via Doug M at Sondrakistan, via KaChing.

UPDATE (01.01.2013):  Three interesting posts to consider in relation to Bob Owens piece, linked above, at the blog Summer Patriot, Winter Soldier, which I was unfamiliar with until this morning, when I was pointed to it by Theo Spark’s Overnight News….

what will be the likely model of american insurrection, if “gun control” doesn’t “go well?”

the american insurrection .... where it will be fought ....

the american insurrection .... can the “elites” take refuge in “hiding” ....

Posted by John Venlet on 12/30 at 05:28 PM
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Zero Defects and Sandy Hook

The idea of zero defects in manufacturing is attributed to Philip Crosby, who penned the book Absolutes of Quality Management.  The idea has been implemented by many manufacturers over the years, including Ford Motor Company.  While the idea of zero defects, and quality control, have merit in the world of manufacturing, in practice, zero defects in manufacturing are unattainable, as the search term zero defects+Ford Motor Company illustrates.

The idea of zero defects, and humans’ inability to achieve zero defects, is what came to mind today when I read the following words of Obama outlining his desire for more restrictive gun control during his appearance on Meet The Press.

“I’m going to be making an argument to the American people about why this is important and why we have to do everything we can to make sure that something like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary does not happen again.”

Unfortunately Obama, like most gun control advocates, does not seem to comprehend that it is not guns that are the problem, nor that more restrictions on guns will in no way “make sure that something like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary does not happen again.”  It is a zero defect dream.  It is not a gun problem.

Quote obtained from a The Hill blog post titled Obama hopes to enact new gun-control measures in 2013.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/30 at 01:52 PM
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The “War on Poverty” is Simply Conspicuous Beneficience

Peg at what if? links to an interesting piece in the City Journal written by Peter Cove, founder of America Works, in which Cove details why the “war on poverty” is not just a dismal failure, but almost a planned and systematic method of creating a dependent class of individuals.

Cove’s article, which is well worth taking the time to read, answers the question of what does work in lifting individuals from poverty in just the title to his piece; What I Learned in the Poverty War - Work, not welfare, uplifts the poor.; but notes that the answer, work for the poor, is, in large part, fought by the powers that be and those who financially support them, which goes far in explaing why the following quote from Edward C. Banfield on conspicuous beneficience is so apropos to this subject.

In reality, the doing of good is not so much for the benefit of those to whom the good is done as it is for that of the doers, whose moral faculties are activated and invigorated by the doing of it, and for that of the community, the shared values of which are ritually asserted and vindicated by the doing of it. For this reason, good done otherwise than by intention, especially good done in pursuance of ends that are selfish or even “nontuistic,” is not really “good” at all. For this reason, too, actions taken from good motives count as good even when in fact they do harm. By far the most effective way of helping the poor is to keep profit-seekers competing vigorously for their trade as consumers and for their services as workers; this, however, is not a way of helping that affords members of the upper classes the chance to flex their moral muscles or the community the chance to dramatize its commitment to the values that hold it together. The way to do these things is with a War on Poverty; even if the War should turn out to have precious little effect on the incomes of the poor—indeed, even if it should lower their incomes—the undertaking would nevertheless represent a sort of secular religious revival that affords the altruistic classes opportunities to bear witness to the cultural ideal and, by doing so, to strengthen society’s adherence to it. One recalls Macaulay’s remark about the attitude of the English Puritans toward bear-baiting: that they opposed it not for the suffering that it caused the bear but for the pleasure that it gave the spectators. Perhaps it is not far-fetched to say that the present-day outlook is similar: the reformer wants to improve the situation of the poor, the black, the slum dweller, and so on, not so much to make them better off materially as to make himself and the whole society better off morally

Banfield quote obtained from Keith Burgess-Jackson.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/30 at 12:05 PM
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Oliver Stone(d)

For a man who was unable to “see” the evil of the Stalinist state of Cuba in 2004,

But I do maintain that if it were a Stalinist state … they certainly do a great job of concealing it.

and found it hilarious that Fidel Castro was counseling political prisoners while Stone recorded them as “actors” in a film,

Anne-Louise Bardach: Did it strike you as interesting that at one point in the scene with the prisoners, Castro turned to the prisoners’ defense lawyers, who just happened to be there, and he says, “I urge you to do your best to reduce the sentences”?

Oliver Stone: I love that. I thought that was hilarious. Those guys just popped up.

ALB: Is there a show-trial element here?

OS: Yeah. I thought that was funny, I did—the prosecutor and Fidel admonishing them, to make sure they worked hard. There was that paternalism. I mean “father knows best,” as opposed to totalitarianism. It’s paternalism, that’s what I meant. It’s a Latin thing.”

Stone all of a sudden can see with clarity.  Oliver Stone to RT: ‘US has become an Orwellian state’

Useful idiot.

Quotes taken from a 2004 Slate interview with Oliver Stone, which I previously mentioned here.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/30 at 11:20 AM
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Friday, December 28, 2012

Beauty in Living

Take 2 minutes and 47 seconds out of your day and go watch this video.  Enjoy beauty in living.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/28 at 07:01 PM
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Perhaps, David Sirota, You Should Assume the Role of A Responsible Parent

David Sirota is upset about Chick-fil-A’s children book The Jolly Barnyard, and while not throwing a temper tantrum, per se, about the alleged pernicious effects Chick-Fil-A’s book has on his child, and by extension all the children of the world, none-the-less he considers the book a “horror.”

As you read through Sirota’s rant against the “controversial” Chick-Fil-A book, titled Chick-fil-A’s latest horror, you learn that the book is in his house, though he doesn’t know why (a bit of parental fail), that his son loves the book, and this.

...I’m too much of a pushover to say “no.” I’m also thankful that he wants to read anything, so I go ahead and read it to him.

Perhaps David Sirota should assume the role of a responsible parent and learn to say no to his son rather than going off on rants against Chick-Fil-A, because if he cannot say no to his son now, while he is still just a child, I don’t hold out much hope for Sirota’s ability to say no to his son when he reaches his teenage years, and instead of being a pushover, Sirota will simply be bowled over.

Linked via The Corner.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/28 at 05:18 PM
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Do You Ever Wonder Why…

Do you ever wonder why people are willing to kill for a pair of Michael “Air” Jordan shoes, but not Michael “No Tags” Jordan Hanes underwear?  Just wonderin’.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/28 at 03:37 PM
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

“Nihilistic Insouiance” Writ Large

In an Atlantic piece titled More Guns, Less Crime: A Dialogue, Jeffrey Goldberg asks Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor of The Atlantic, the following question, amongest others.

Jeffrey Goldberg:  ...If you were confronted with an “active shooter,” do you think, in that moment, you might wish you had a gun?

Coates’ response.

Ta-Nehisi Coates:  I actually wouldn’t wish I had a gun. I’ve shot a rifle at camp once, but that’s about it. If I had a gun, there is a good chance I would shoot myself, thus doing the active shooter’s work for him (it’s usually “him.”) But the deeper question is, “If I were confronted with an active shooter, would I wish to have a gun and be trained in its use?” It’s funny, but I still don’t know that I would. I’m pretty clear that I am going to die one day. That moment will not be of my choosing, and it almost certainly will not be too my liking. But death happens. Life—and living—on the other hand are more under my control. And the fact is that I would actually rather die by shooting than live armed.

Linked via a post at View from the Right titled Liberals Would Rather Be Killed Than Defend Themselves.

Nihilistic insouiance writ large.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/27 at 12:12 PM
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Teach Your Children Well - “Tools for Vigilence” Edition

Brigid, at Home on the Range, has a wonderful essay up titled Tools for Vigilence - What My Parents Taught Me, which, as I read through it, made me think that my parents would have gotten along, quite well, with her parents, as the similarity of the lessons Brigid was taught, while growing up, appeared to be much the same lessons I was taught.  Well, except that when my Mum washed my mouth out with soap, for swearing, it was not washed out with so mild a bar soap as Ivory, but rather with a golden bar of Dial soap, authoritatively scraped for accumulative effect.  From Brigid’s essay.

You can say all you want about what our youth are exposed to, violent video games, bloodshed, sex and violence on TV. But I truly believe that as children, what moral imperatives initially form in us are in response to parenting, not society or entertainment…

We were children, but we knew there was a moral code to this world and that the world as well, did not revolve around our every need and happiness. It was how our parents were raised, and how we were raised. Our parents clothed us, loved us, praised us and punished us, not without thought and not with unwarranted decree, but in a manner firm enough it definitely got our attention.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/26 at 02:16 PM
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Breeding Defiance, One Gun Law At A Time

Interesting article at Reason.com, written by J.D. Tuccille, titled Gun Restrictions Have Always Bred Defiance, Black Markets, which ends this way.

Given a choice between complying with restrictions on firearms ownership and defying the law, a clear majority of people in most jurisdictions have chosen rebellion. The tighter the law, the more obvious the rebellion, to the point that the vast majority of firearms in civilian hands in Europe are owned outside the law.

If history is any judge, that’s probably a good thing. But even if you don’t agree, this is a world in which civilians are well-armed, and intent on staying that way.

The article runs 7 pages.  All are worth reading.

Linked via Claire Wolfe.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/26 at 11:43 AM
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Statist Conservative Lemmings

Almost without exception, calls are being made throughout the conservative media and blogoshpere for the prosecution of NBC correspondent Dick Gregory for “brandishing” a 30 round AR-15 magazine clip on the teevee news, and the DC police are the case.

William A. Jacobsen, who runs the blog Legal Insurrection, has a post up which stresses The importance of prosecuting David Gregory if he violated D.C.’s gun law.

These statist conservative lemming calls for the prosecution of Gregory for having a 30 round AR-15 clip in his hand are as ridiculous as the “law” which allegedly prohibits an individual from owning a 30 round AR-15 clip in the jurisdiction in which the alleged “crime” took place.  Both the calls for prosecuting Gregory, and the “law” prohibiting ownership of a 30 round AR-15 clip, should be mocked unceasingly.

Link to Jacobsen’s piece via InstaPundit, whom also toes the statist line.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/26 at 10:38 AM
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Lamed Vav

Roger L. Simon has a piece at PJ Media titled ‘The Last of the Just’ in Belgium, which includes a video of a Belgium town hall meeting in which one man, and one man only, stands up to denouce the installation of two new town council members who are Islamist and proponents of Shariah Law.  As Simon notes, and as the video illustrates, not one other individual stands to support this man’s denunciation.  Not one.  In fact, all those attending appear to be as docile as sheep, while the president of the council orders the man to “Shut up!,” “Get out!,” and one spectator avows to the man ““Sir, this is democracy.,” as if, because it is “democracy,” it somehow justifies majority mob rule.

Simon wonders if this Belgium man is one of the Lamed Vav of Jewish talmudic tradition, one of the thirty-six.  I don’t know the answer to Simon’s wondering, but I do think that this Belgium man is one of “The Remnant,” as described in a story by Albert J. Nock titled Isaiah’s Job, which I previously mentioned here.

The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either.

I do not know if this Belgium man is one of the Lamed Vav, or “The Remnant,” but I do know, that like this Belgium man, I will stand in defiance and speak boldly against those attempting to restrict my freedom, and yours.

More on the Lamed Vav here.

Link to Simon’s piece via Neanderpundit.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/26 at 09:20 AM
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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

From my family to yours; we wish you a Merry Christmas.

image

Posted by John Venlet on 12/25 at 07:57 AM
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Stanford’s Absurd Higher Calling Just in Time for Christmas

If Stanford University’s higher calling Christmas present to atheists could be anymore absurd, I do not know how.

Stanford Hires Atheist Chaplain, originally reported here.

Via John J. Miller at The Corner.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/24 at 04:52 PM
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