Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mellifluously Selling The Philosophy of Nihilism

I’ve been watching PBS Nature, which has been presenting David Attenborough’s film series Life Stories, in three parts.  Yesterday evening’s show was titled Understanding the Natural World, and, as with most PBS Nature shows, the cinematography was absolutely high definition stunning, and my hat is doffed to the talented individuals behind those cameras.

A portion of yesterday’s show, Understanding the Natural World, included a presentation on the human genome, the building blocks of life, which consists of something like over 3 billion chemical base pairs, and, when compiled in book form, looks like this.

image

Each of those books is about 3 inches thick, and if you open the pages, of any one of the books on those shelves, you will read a, c, t, g repetetively, though the sequence of those four letters will be constantly changing.  This is an amazing achievement of man, amazing, and from this work mankind has already reaped wonderful benefits, and, in all likelihood, will continue to reap wonderful benefits, and Attenborough alluded to this fact.

Unfortunately, though, Attenborough was more intent on pointing out, in soothing tones often reserved for speaking with children about difficult subjects, that the wonder of the human genome did not raise man up to a level of greatness and uniqueness in the universe, but rather, that man was some mere machine who shares portions of his genetic code, some 500 or so of those a, c, t and g’s with even the most humble single cell organisms emanating from the ground in Yellowstone Park’s hot springs, and thus man is hardly worthy of being considered as the master of earth and all its creatures.  Attenborough is mellifluously selling the philosophy of nihilism, whose themes are epistemological failure, value destruction, and cosmic purposelessness, wrapped in the theory of natural selection.

Image credit.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/31 at 01:39 PM
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The Closing of a Thunder Tale

With a heavy heart, I note that Ed Rasimus, of Thunder Tales, passed away yesterday, January 30, 2013, as noted in comments here, and in the link which is Ed’s name.

I wish him God’s speed, and pray for his family and friends.

The Fighter Pilot by Barry Thompson

Destiny chose me to fly the sky, since conception in the womb,
While nurtured by my mother’s breast, I had a duty to assume
For I have flown past heaven’s door, to places you’ve not seen,
Constantly lived my boyhood dreams, those places I have been,
I’ve flown the depths of darkness, by the light from stars alone,
I am utterly spellbound by that world, the World I call my own.

I’ve often soared and gaily danced, on a towering thunder head,
Swooped and zoomed and flown, just like an arrow I have sped.
I love flying those boundless skies, where bold eagles soar alone,
That place where a special few, can boast that they have flown.
Up in that peaceful remote world, far from the annoying crowds,
Honing deadly fighting skills, between stars and peaceful clouds.

My destiny has now come of age, and it’s time I forged my mark,
To fight the immoral evil foe, though impending days look stark.
The looming war clouds overhead, made me answer to the call,
To face the vicious wicked ones, with our backs against the wall.
I will fight for our harassed Country, and stem the vicious horde,
For the moment is now upon us, that future history will record.

Unswerving and strong-minded, gilded wings are shining bright,
We charge impatiently into battle, unafraid of the coming fight.
Like twin edged swords we fly, through fire and blinding smoke,
Resolute, committed and relentless, defiant with every stroke.
My agile craft pulls eager and hard, and into battle we commit,
Many countless horses strain as one, on a thundering single bit.

The battle’s now a rampant rage, but I approach serene within,
Raw excitement inundates my mind, and my body limb to limb.
Ignoring thoughts of hasty death, the enemy’s fear we’ll invoke,
Until he drops or scurries for home, dismayed with spirit broke.
But if I’m not here at battle’s end, and I don’t return to home,
I’ll be flying through these azure skies, eternally free to roam.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/31 at 08:03 AM
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Faith in Action

A masked gunman who attempted to rob a group of women inside a Lake City home Friday night may have got more than he bargained for.

Lake City police say Derek Lee, 24, entered a house on Lakeview Avenue where the homeowner had 14 women over for a jewelry party.  Police say Lee was wearing a dark ski cap on his head along with a bandana across his face. He allegedly showed a gun and ordered the women to hand over their money and phones.

One woman who thought it was a party gag pushed his hand aside while laughing saying, “It’s only a water gun.” Police say Lee (pictured, right) held the gun to that woman’s head and said, “I’m not joking, I’m going to shoot someone, give me your money.”

Jacquie Hagler, who owns the house, says she then put her faith into action.

“When I realized what was going on, I stood up and said, ‘In the name of Jesus, get out of my house now.’ And he said, ‘I’m going to shoot someone.’ And I said it again, real boldly,” Hagler said. “Everybody started chanting, ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,’ and he did a quick scan of the room, and ran out the door as fast as he could go.”

Women order armed robber ‘out in Jesus’ name’

I very much appreciate these ladies’ display of faith in action, but I probably would’ve been reaching for my gun.

Via Weird Universe.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/30 at 07:55 PM
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Bold and Courageous Laws Won’t Cut It

Gabrielle Giffords made a statement, today, at the senate gun violence hearings.  A portion of Giffords’ statement follows.

This is an important conversation for our children. For our communities. For Democrats and Republicans. Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important,” Giffords said. “Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something. It will be hard, but the time is now. You must act. Be bold, be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Thank you.

There are few kernels of true truth in Giffords’ statement, but one must sift it well: “This is an important conversation…,” “Violence is a big problem…,” “Too many children are dying…”

While a converstation on gun violence and preventing children’s deaths is important, more importantly, as the NRA’s LaPierre argues, and the public at large must understand, more laws are not the answer, and if you go to the National Institute of Health’s website and research on the subject of Death among children and adolescents, you’ll note that the National Institute of Health’s position on homicides, as articulated in the following quote, makes no mention of laws being able to stem violence or prevent children from dying from the actions of homicidal individuals.

Homicide is a complex issue which does not have a simple answer. Prevention will require understanding of the root cause and a willingness on the part of the public to change those causes.

A few words put down on a piece of paper by a bunch of lawmakers in Washington D.C., which they will give some high sounding gun control nickname, then signed with a flourish by Obama while surrounded by children, before handing out the pens used to do the signing as souvenirs, will do nothing, nothing, to facilitate the understanding of the root causes of violence, nor will it end violence.  Each individual who makes up the public must change if a reduction in gun violence is desired in this country.  New laws will not do a dang thing.  It all starts with you.

Giffords quote obtained from here.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/30 at 01:50 PM
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An American By Choice Speaks on Gun Control

American, by choice, Mr. Henson Og speaks on gun control at a public hearing (5:10 video), and I salute him.

Via Theo Spark.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/30 at 07:41 AM
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DIY AR-15

As a commenter states, “knowledge is good.”

DIY AR-15 (4:31 viddie), legally and un-serialized.

Parts available via Ares Armor.

Via Curmudgeonly & Skeptical.

UPDATE (01.30.2013):  In comments to a recent post, a reader wonders if the manufacture of a DIY AR-15 could be a trap, as the legality of a DIY AR-15 seems too good to be true.  Well, here is the link to the ATF’s question and answer on the subject of a DIY AR-15 (you’ll have to scroll down a bit).  Here is the complete question and answer as it appears at the ATF site.  Do not take my word for it that a DIY AR-15 is legal, though it is, as this ATF Q&A clearly proves.

Q: Is it legal to assemble a firearm from commercially available parts kits that can be purchased via internet or shotgun news?

For your information, per provisions of the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, an unlicensed individual may make a “firearm” as defined in the GCA for his own personal use, but not for sale or distribution.

The GCA, 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3), defines the term “firearm” to include the following:

… (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive: (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.

In addition, the National Firearms Act (NFA), 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b), defines the term “machinegun” as:

… any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. This term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

Finally, the GCA, 18 U.S.C. § 922(r), specifically states the following:

It shall be unlawful for any person to assemble from imported parts any semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun which is identical to any rifle or shotgun prohibited from importation under the…[GCA]…Section 925(d)(3).as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes ….

Also, 27 C.F.R. § 478.39 states:

… (a) No person shall assemble a semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun using more than 10 of the imported parts listed in paragraph (c) of this section if the assembled firearm is prohibited from importation under section 925(d)(3) as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes ….

(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to: (1) The assembly of such rifle or shotgun for sale or distribution by a licensed manufacturer to the United States or any department or agency thereof or to any State or any department, agency, or political subdivision thereof; or (2) The assembly of such rifle or shotgun for the purposes of testing or experimentation authorized by the Director under the provisions of [§478.151(formerly 178.151)]; or (3) The repair of any rifle or shotgun which had been imported into or assembled in the United States prior to November 30, 1990, or the replacement of any part of such firearm.

(c) For purposes of this section, the term imported parts [tabulated below] are:

(1) Frames, receivers, receiver castings, forgings, or castings.
(2) Barrels.
(3) Barrel extensions.
(4) Mounting blocks (trunnions).
(5) Muzzle attachments.
(6) Bolts.
(7) Bolt carriers.
(8) Operating rods.
(9) Gas pistons.
(10) Trigger housings.
(11) Triggers.
(12) Hammers.
(13) Sears.
(14) Disconnectors.
(15) Buttstocks.
(16) Pistol grips.
(17) Forearms, handguards.
(18) Magazine bodies.
(19) Followers.
(20) Floor plates.

As a result of a 1989 study by the U.S. Treasury Department regarding the importability of certain firearms, an import ban was placed on military-style firearms. This ban included not only military-type firearms, but also extended to firearms with certain features that were considered to be “nonsporting.”

Among such nonsporting features were the ability to accept a detachable magazine; folding/telescoping stocks; separate pistol grips; and the ability to accept a bayonet, flash suppressors, bipods, grenade launchers, and night sights.

Please note that the foreign parts kits that are sold through commercial means are usually cut up machineguns, such as Russian AK-47 types, British Sten types, etc. Generally, an acceptable semiautomatic copy of a machinegun is one that has been significantly redesigned. The receiver must be incapable of accepting the original fire-control components that are designed to permit full automatic fire. The method of operation should employ a closed-bolt firing design that incorporates an inertia-type firing pin within the bolt assembly.

Further, an acceptably redesigned semiautomatic copy of nonsporting firearm must be limited to using less than 10 of the imported parts listed in 27 CFR § 478.39(c). Otherwise, it is considered to be assembled into a nonsporting configuration per the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 925(d)(3) and is thus a violation of § 922(r).

Individuals manufacturing sporting-type firearms for their own use need not hold Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs). (bold in this instance is by ed.) However, we suggest that the manufacturer at least identify the firearm with a serial number as a safeguard in the event that the firearm is lost or stolen. Also, the firearm should be identified as required in 27 CFR 478.92 if it is sold or otherwise lawfully transferred in the future.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/29 at 11:03 AM
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On The Problem of Knowing

What follows, was written in 1972.  The problem has only intensified since that time, as has the number of individuals inculcated.

Those who have been raised in the last couple of decades stand right here in the area of epistemology.  The really great problem is not, for example, just drugs or amorality.  The problem is knowing.  This is a generation of anti-philosophy people caught in an uncertainty of knowing.

Francis A. Schaeffer, He Is There And He Is Not Silent, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL, 1972 Chapter 3 - The Epistemological Necessity - The Problem, pg. 54

Posted by John Venlet on 01/29 at 07:46 AM
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Monday, January 28, 2013

No Longer Just a “Cool Tourist Story” but Real Time Prepping for Civil War

On May 10th, 2012, in a post I titled “Cool Tourist Story,” or Real Time Prepping for Civil War?, I linked to two stories, via Drudge, regarding recent military “training exercises” in the Miami area complete with military helicopters and explosions.

Evidently, this is going on once again, as a post at Blur-Brain titled Military Helicopters Buzz Downtown Miami Firing Machine Guns points out (post includes a news video with video footage shot by a private citizen which includes sounds of machine gun fire (I do not know if this is simulated firing but I would guess that it is)).

Another interesting thing to consider in regards to this, at least I find it interesting, is neither of the stories I originally linked in my May 10, 2012 post can be found at their original sources.  The first May 2012 story I linked, which was hosted at InfoWars.com, was titled Media Characterizes Military Invasion of South Florida as “Cool Tourist Story.  This story now returns a 503 error.  And utilization of InfoWars.com’s search feature returns a “403 Forbidden” error for a story of that title.

The second story I linked was hosted by The Miami Herald, and was titled Military training in the middle of Miami jolts residents out of bed.  This news story now returns a 404 Error, and utilization of The Miami Herald’s search feature returns zero news stories of that title.

What’s going on, here?  Are you prepared?

Link to Blur-Brain via American Digest.

UPDATE (01.28.2013)  Via Wizard, in comments, this is happening in Houston also.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/28 at 05:00 PM
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Freedom Dies With Your Neighbors’ Assistance and Whimpers

Joan of Argghh! responding to Ted Nugent’s Concord Bridge remark in a post titled Are You Waiting On the First Five People To Get Crucified?.

...here’s the thing: Obama won’t send an army, he’ll send your neighbor, the one with the IRS job. Or you’ll try to travel and a local NHS satrap will show up to investigate you, express serious doubts about your online comments, and ask you to get in his car, quietly please, as your wife and kids look on– and your neighbors whisper, “I always thought something was strange about him.” Some municipal quisling will bring four or five officers and arrest you for making a video, or for refusing a smart-meter on your home. You will be shamed in the local paper, not the New York Times.

Death-or-glory charges are for the fresh young recruits. Cannon fodder, sadly. But their story comes long after the thousand paper-cuts of the Diktat. The apparatchiks are your neighbors. And you won’t raise a gun to the man with whom you’ve shared a meal.

If Solzhenitzyn’s “how we burned in the camps later” essay doesn’t WAKEN us to the fact that it’s not “them” but it’s folks right here, next door in our communities, then we are doomed to lose this country. You have friends with public sector jobs who can’t afford to lose them. Hell, the garbage collector doesn’t want to lose his job. He’ll report you for not recycling if it’s required of him. Nice people will unwind the strands of liberty one “concern”  at a time.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 02:54 PM
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Rule of the Elite Gun Control

Democracy, according to Merriam-Webster, is government by the people, especially the majority of the people, though the U.S. Department of State seems unware of this, as the U.S. Department of State’s definition of democracy makes no mention of government by the people, but rather suggests that “democracy,” somehow, possibly magically, with the assistance of U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and with your bought and paid for participatory consenting vote, makes the world a beautiful place where all your needs are fulfilled and you walk the streets in safety, and only cops have guns, because a law was passed that states so and so and such and such a person cannot lawfully own a gun.  In other words, a democracy fairy tale.

Which brings us to rule of the elite gun control, versus the rule of the people.  Most individuals are aware that the highest halls of government desire to further restrict Americans’ inalienable right to bear arms, and while some few state and local governments are willing to listen to the voice of the people in regards to the right to bear arms, and make noises about defying the federal government, be aware that even the lowliest of city mayors, of the progressive bent, could care less what the rule of the people desire in regards to gun control, as Mayor George Heartwell of Grand Rapids, MI clearly illustrates.

I am not interested in finding a middle ground…  (on gun control - ed.)

I felt my position affirmed by my colleagues from every part of the country.

Heartwell feels that his position is affirmed by his “colleagues,” mayors of cities across America, rather than seeking, nay begging, the affirmation of the people.  This is the rule of the elite gun control, and it infects government from the highest form, to the lowest, in these here United States, and not simply in matters of gun control.

Heartwell quote obtained from here.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 12:43 PM
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Can You Kill American Citizens on U.S. Soil?  - I Need to Check with My Master

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, when asked by Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-KS) whether or not the “authority” for killing of American citizens overseas extends to and is allowable on United States soil, replies that he must check with the master.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 11:44 AM
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AR-15 30 Round Magazine Price Gouging - Where’s the Outrage?

Scooter Oi notes that the price of a used 30 round AR-15 magazine has reached $129.97, and asks the following.

Seriously? Do these come with solid gold followers or something? Or a 48 oz. ribeye and a bottle of Dominus?

If used 30 round AR-15 magazines were, say, a sheet of plywood, or a gallon of gas, badly needed and in short supply after a hurricane, politicians would be screaming about price gouging and instituting emergency price controls.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 10:09 AM
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Friday, January 25, 2013

God and Country - Comment of the Day

Bruce Lewis, in a comment appended to this post on the subject of women serving in front line combat roles.

...We are a Navy family going ‘way back, but my son is going to be the first male of the line who will, God willing, not serve in his country’s defense.

Why? Because his country—the United States of America—doesn’t exist anymore.

And the entity that has taken its place isn’t worth dying for. I’m not sending my kid into harm’s way to protect homosexual “marriage”, abortion on demand, or free phones for ghetto ghouls. Eff that.

I know a lot of conservatives still buy into that God & Country stuff. Hell, even I still stand when the flag passes, although I no longer salute or pledge my allegiance. But the plain fact of the matter is that the “country” in “God and Country” isn’t our country any more. The government in Washington no longer represents the interests of the parties it was created to represent: the American states. It is now a tyranny run by people who hate us and everything for which we stand, and I say to hell with it.

I’m loyal to the country, not the government. My allegiance is pledged to the old America, the America with the 48-star flag. That America was worth the blood of its sons. This one isn’t…

And as for the oath she took: she swore to defend the Constitution of the United States. Under the current political order, that document is no longer in effect. Therefore, no oath to defend it can have any meaning so long as the current political order exists.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/25 at 02:36 PM
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

What About Freedom? - Calling Prison Home

From a Robert J. Avrech post titled Welcome to Obama’s Sing-Sing.

There was one prisoner, a small-time thief, who told me that:

    …prison was kind of a relief. Look, I get clothing, three squares a day, and a roof over my head. I get medical and dental free of charge. I can even go to a shrink, a social worker, whatever. I can take college courses if I want—all fro free.  Outside, I gotta hustle day and night for stuff like that.

“What about freedom?” I asked.

“You know what we call prison?”

I shrugged. I had no idea.

“Home, we call it home.”

Are you a prisoner, or a free man?  The choice is yours.

Linked via Joe Huffman.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/24 at 02:47 PM
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hilarious Joy

Our home is not always filled with the sounds of hilarious joy, but during those moments it is, well, most everything else which may trouble me fades away.

Sweet Baby Girl Bath Time (1:06)

Posted by John Venlet on 01/22 at 09:35 AM
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