Thursday, March 31, 2011

Your not Paranoid if Someone is Really Trying to Get You

When a person speaks out against abuses and stupidity, like TSA's daily gropathons, as one example, it is expected that one will not earn friends in high places. When a person speaks out against the "religion of peace" as I have, it should surprise no one that I might have ruffled a few feathers here and there. I have been writing this blog for two and a half years now, and I note that my readership includes people from countries like Iran, Japan, South Korea, Great Britain (welcome), Germany (??) and a few others. But most of you are here in the USA. So, for my USA readers, the Survival Blog has an interesting piece by law enforcement officer warning to Beware of Homeland Security Training. This is what our local police are being trained in by our government. In other words, your and my tax dollars are being used to turn you and me into criminals.  Are you as offended by this as I am?

So how does a person qualify as a potential domestic terrorist? Based on the training I have attended, here are characteristics that qualify:
He goes on the list of number of items such as expressions of libertarian philosophies, Second Amendment oriented views and membership in the (gasp) NRA, stockpiling food, water, medical supplies and purchasing gold or silver, religious views concerning Revelations, fear of Big Government, and insistance on the Constitution as the basis for Government action. Now, while I am not a Libertarian, I do side with the libertarians on a number of issues. Of course, my Second Amendment advocacy is out there. Isn't preparation always considered a good idea? I thought FEMA encouraged people to stockpile stuff like food and water.  Do DHS and FEMA talk to each other?  Finally, any Christian who hasn't at least read Revelations and wondered what this apocolyptic book means, and doesn't want to make sure when the music stops that he is standing with God....just sayin's all.

Look, if a police officer buys into this stuff, he will be seeing Domestic Terrorists all over the place.  And, sure enough, they provide some helpful tips on how to make a criminal out of someone lawfully going about his business:

Methods of developing evidence of terrorist activity from virtually any search have also been discussed. Various common materials which may be associated with homemade explosives are listed, such as lengths of pipe, gunpowder, matches, flammable liquids and fireworks. Officers are told when these items are found, they can be listed as “bomb making materials”. The training even goes so far as to instruct officers that the items are cleverly disguised as legitimate, such as gasoline stored near a lawn mower, pipes stored in a shop building or gunpowder stored with reloading materials.

One course I attended used the example of a person employed as a plumber being the target of a search warrant. In this example, the officers were told how to use his employment as a plumber as further evidence of terrorism. The suspect’s employment would be described as an elaborate scheme to justify possessing pipes and chemicals so as to have bomb making materials readily available. Based on this example, all plumbers are potential pipe bomb makers. All gun dealers are plotting to provide arms to gangs or terrorists. All pest control companies are preparing mass poisonings. By using this logic, simply having the ability to do something criminal automatically makes the person guilty of plotting the crime. With all the various methods of manufacturing methamphetamine, it would also be easy to claim that a disassembled clandestine drug lab was located during the search. In other words, it is easy to frame anyone for possessing bomb making materials (or other crimes) if the officer knows what items to list in the report and how to link these items to terrorism.
So, the DHS wants to be able to turn virtually anyone they desire into a criminal. Once upon a time in the country, to insist that the Government follow Constitutional procedures, and that each person recieved those natural rights protected by that Constitution was considered a patriot. When I was a young man, such a person would have been considered simply a crank. To now be considered a domestic terrorist flips the system on its head.  Can anyone look at this and not think we are heading towards a Fascist dictatorship?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

So simple even a Progluddite can understand

In an earlier post, I pointed out that what the people who are creating the chaos, and the Islamists, who are doing the same thing, want to do is stampede the average American into capitulating to an old idea, the Strong Man, with them as the Strong Men, of course. It's all about power and control. In today's American Thinker, John Pechette has an article that looks at the issue from a slightly different angle, but ends up coming to the same conclusions. In Our New Age Saboteurs, Pechette takes the Leftists apart by creating a new word Progluddite Just as the original Luddites were afraid of the new industrial revolution that would make lives better, so the Progluddites keep screaming "Stop, go back! It used to be better."

Really? For whom?

Today's Progluddites have irrational technological taboos and preferences: they hate nuclear power and the internal combustion engine and love 'clean, sustainable' and inefficient energy sources. The taboo technologies are clearly more productive, and the so-called sustainable technologies are nothing but updated versions of the Medieval energy sources our ancestors discarded.

Progluddites, however, are not interested in productivity or efficiency. High productivity is conducive to individual liberty and free choice, whereas low productivity is more conducive to collectivism. Progluddites believe that individual liberty and free choice are dangerous. Progluddites believe that, if only our political and economic culture became collectivist, the modern consumerist society would cease to exist, all excesses and inequities would be eliminated, and humanity would save itself from a technologically-induced disaster.

The Collectivist Utopia envisioned by Progluddites is not modern in concept: it is purely feudalistic. In their Perfect State, a Progluddite Oligopoly, a cadre of Leftist experts, would have dictatorial powers and the vast majority would be vassals serving the interests of their self-anointed rulers. Our future under the thumb of the Progluddite Elites would be identical to the past in which our Dark Age ancestors suffered. Once again, the mass of mankind would be born with a saddle on its back, to be ridden by a favored few who are booted and spurred; once again mankind's lot would be one of tyranny, stagnation, poverty, drudgery, cold, and hunger. But Progluddites, because they exist on a higher moral plane, and rule by virtue of a New Age Divine Right, would be exempt from the rules that they force upon their inferiors.
If you didn't get it when I wrote about Mordor awakening, perhaps the Progluddite analogy will make more sense.  But make no mistake that these people mean to rule over you and me.

Mordor has Awakened

Thanks to Kevin of the Smallest Minority for point me to the Forbes piece by Jerry Bowyer entitled American Nomeklatura. The whole article is good, and you should read all. I wanted to highlight this though:

“The new order articulated in [the Pentateuch] stands in contrast to a primary socioeconomic structure prevalent … throughout … the ancient Near East: the divide between the dominant tribute-imposing class and the dominated tribute-bearing class… These two groups, the exploiters and the exploited, are opposite sides of the same coin. The dominant tribute-imposing class consists, in short, of the political elite…This class includes not only the nobility but all who benefited by association with it: administrators, military and religious retainers, merchants, and landowners who directly or indirectly benefited from state power. What all of these have in common is that they all participated in the extraction of produce, or surplus, from the dominated tribute-bearing class: agrarian and pastoral producers, slaves, unskilled workers … Their production was drawn as surplus in the form of taxation, slave labor, rent, or debt service…”

Reading about dominant tribute-imposing tribes and their exploitation of dominated tribute-bearing classes by means of debt, tax and mandated labor, seemed strangely similar to modern times. It seems that Washington is not as far removed from Ur, Nineveh, Cairo or Babylon as we would hope. It seems also that our emerging system of central control is not what its advocates claim: It is not new; it is ancient.
There is a point that I have been making as well: that far from being new and improved, original, fresh, innovative, the latest thing! and whatever other buzzwords you want to use, Marxism is just the same old dusty politics of the past dressed up in class envy clothing.  Tribal chiefs, kings, emperors, tyrants, dictators, and whatever title they ascribe to themselves have been around since man first walked the earth.  It is the strong man theory.  The strong man, no matter his initial intentions, always ends up taking your wealth and your freedom, but doesn't fulfil his end of the bargain, which is to protect the freedom of those under him.  Even the ancient tribes of Israel living under the Judges, did not achieve freedom and liberty for the people, though I suspect they had more of it than when they petitioned Samuel for a King.

The first "new thing" under the sun in terms of a system of governance was the Constitution of the United States.  It was the practical working out of nearly 1800 years of Christian philosophy.  For the first time in history, and apparently the last, the philosophical roots of the Constitution set the individual above the collective, and made the government the servant of the citizen.  But what we have going on today, and for almost a century now, is a reversion to older ideas.  Boyer points out that there is little difference between Socialism and Crony Capitalism in practice.  I would also note that there is little difference between these two systems and the old idea of the King's friends getting the Royal franchise, and everyone else gets out of the business.  These are not new ideas.

People are impressed by the Roman Empire.  My high school Latin teacher was mightily impressed, but should have known better.  People are impressed with the roads, the aqua ducts, the stadiums, the imposition of Roman culture, and the Pax Romana.  But if I were to pinpoint the time that the Roman Empire began to crumble, it would be when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon.  All of the wealth of Rome, you see, was stolen wealth.  When the Empire could no longer extract enough tribute, the Roman Empire began to die.  The truly remarkable thing about Rome wasn't the Empire, but the Republic that preceded it.

A somewhat longer, and I think somewhat angrier argument can be found at the American Thinker yesterday entitled Obama, Islam, and the Forcible Virginity Test by James Lewis. In the opening paragraphs, Lewis gives us some insight into the Egyptian revolution by noting that some of the unmarried women protesting were arrested, and then forced to undergo a "virginity test," without anything being said by various womyn's groups. There should be outrage, but there is not. Then comes this part:

The United States Constitution is still by far the most successful political outcome of the Enlightenment. Nothing else comes close. Constitutionalism is the only successful political tradition that has ever been designed to deal with the disease of abuse of power. If you want an image of raw abuse of power, think Tahrir Square and the forcible virginity test.

Apparently the White House and every liberal looneytunes airhead in the West is stunned, just stunned, m'dear, by the Muslim reactionaries who are grabbing power all over the Arab world. Who coulda thunk? Obama meant so well. All the good libs are eager to vote for him again in 2012, 'cause of all the good intentions and lovely words he has brought to our foreign policy. Liberal delusions are always stronger than reality. If reality had anything to do with it, they would have dumped their dysfunctional beliefs fifty years ago.

Conservatives have known about the threat of Islamic fascism for 30 years, ever since Jimmy Carter let "some kind of saint" Ayatollah Khomeini assume absolute power in Tehran in 1979. When Carter stopped Iran's military from supporting the Shah, Khomeini promptly had assassinated, imprisoned, and tortured the Shah's supporters, plus any democratic opposition groups, plus the Communist faction of the Mujahhedin Khalq, plus anybody else who stood in this way -- including those American diplomats he kept locked up at the US Embassy for a year until Ronald Reagan got elected.
Lewis is angry because time, after time, after time the Left attempts to put its schemes into place, and time after time, after time, they fail. But the Left never sees the failures as a reason to rethink their position. No, instead they begin working on the next moonbattery. They always think the last one didn't work because they didn't have the right people in power.  Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin and Stalin, Castro, Pol Pot, Mao-they all just weren't the right people, but this time we'll get it right.

No kidding. Really?  It is just the strong man theory wrapped up in appealing language.

Another thing Conservatives have known, and are constantly telling Leftists is there are no "the right people." Give a person power, and he will inevitably be corrupted by it. Give a person absolute power, and he becomes a tyrant, a "President for Life," a Dictator, or whatever he wants to call himself.

The New York Times reports that the Egyptian Bros and the military are now allied to take over. Right at the start the Bros called for war with Israel, because it was their enemy Mubarak who kept the Egyptian-Israeli Peace treaty going for three decades. The Bros also brought back from exile their own Ayatollah Khomeini, Al Qaradawi, and celebrated with their own Million Muslim March in Tahrir Square. They also threw out the Google twitter mobster who helped make the revolt happen.
Which brings us full circle. Let me ask this, have you ever wondered why a so called "Abrahamic Religion" which is founded on the same Pentateuch that Christians also use as the Old Testament, hates Jews? Not just hates them, but wants to savagely exterminate them? Are not the Jews God's chosen people to be a light to the nations? Note the word, Light. Christians are also called to be a Light? Islam? Not so much:

Islam came straight from the Arabian desert of the 7th century. It reflects the lives of desert pirates, robbers, rapists and genociders, which was perfectly suited to nomadic life in the desert. That's how tribes conquered each other, as Lawrence of Arabia found out again in World War I. Desert Arabs literally took no prisoners -- except for women and children, who became slaves. Lawrence was a British romantic who hero-worshipped the desert Arabs, and then, after putting King Faisal into power, he decided to disappear forever, in deep disgust with his own romance with murderous primitives.

Wherever reactionary Islam takes over it re-creates the 7th century desert. Since the breakdown of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, the Muslim world has been zig-zagging between modern values, like equality for women, and medieval desert values. Iran was a great victory for the reactionary throwbacks, and Obama has just tipped the balance in that direction again.
Something ancient is stalking the land again. Mordor has awakened.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Economic Terrorism: Look For the Union Label

Anthony Martin, the Columbia Conservative Examiner beat me to the punch. But I felt there was more to say. You can read his article over at the Columbia Conservative Examiner entitled Smoking Gun: Glenn Beck Exposes Plot of Economic Terrorism by Unions, Leftwing. Be sure to also listen to the tape, on the side bar. You should also go and see Mr. Beck's story at his site, A shorter version of the tape can be heard on the public site. If you are an Insider Extreme subscriber, you have access to the whole thing.

The rough outlines of the plot involve targeting JP Morgan Chase with a bunch of people protesting in the streets of New York and perhaps other cities in early May of this year.  SEIU would provide talking points, and these would be explained in the press, on blogs and talk shows before hand.  The people doing the protesting mustn't look like a typical rent-a-mob, but must seem to be ordinary "citizens."  Since Glenn Beck and others are onto the union printed uniform signs, they will have to revert to signs that at least look home made.  They hope to crash JP Morgan, and by extension, the rest of the banking system, and the markets.  This is, not to put too fine a point on it, the same thing the 9/11 terrorists were trying to do.  Take down Wall Street, and with it our ability to make and sustain the material goods needed for our modern technological society.  Now many have decried our "materialism," and it is easy to become ensnared in the idea of having the latest gizmo.  But how many people survived childhood to become adults, and potentially come to God because of that material wealth?  How many people have been saved because we had the wealth to be able to send a fleet around the world, and provide assistance in time of need?  How many people survived long enough to know their grand children?  How many?  All of that can be attributed to a single innovation in our history.

The one phrase that stood out to me was when he talked about "the corporations."  The phrase implies that all corporations can be lumped together as the same, and by implication, all are universally evil.  I have heard this phrase often when talking to leftists.  The notion behind it is that here is a bunch of money.  The corporation somehow stole it, and we want it back.  But that's not how it actually works.  In this day and age, when everyone from union pension managers, to mutual fund managers, to Grandma is invested in the stock market, there really is no excuse for such ignorance.  There is no excuse either for demonizing corporations as fat men, in top hats and smoking cigars, unless one has an agenda.  For in the end, corporations are you and I, and our money. 

Before you had the innovation of the capital corporation, if a person had a good idea, but could not fund it himself, the only thing he could do was seek a rich patron.  Such patrons might fund the idea, and allow the inventor to live well, but if there was any getting rich to be done, you can bet it would be the patron who got rich.  Such a plan surely did not get anyone too excited about inventing new things, or if they did invent them, it was only for themselves.  A study of technologies suggests that many of our modern inventions have been invented at least once before.  The thing that allowed them to be brought to a mass market was the development of the capital corporation.  The capital corporation existed in a limited way until the advent of the railroad.  Building railroad companies was such a huge undertaking that there were no patrons rich enough to fund them.  So, shares of the corporation were traded for money-capital.  In return, the shareholders got a say in the corporation, and got to share in the profits.  A market was established to trade the shares, initially under a tree on Wall Street in Manhattan.  The existence of a market for shares encouraged other corporations to be formed to pursue other lines of business.  Over time, the capital corporation has allowed people of very modest means to become wealthy by investing in businesses that were well run and consistently made money.  That is how the money got there.  They didn't steal it, and it belongs to the shareholders.

Now, consider how it was before the development of the corporation, and how it still is in Islamic societies living under Sharia.  The word to describe it is stagnant.  You have the rulers, either someone calling themselves "King," or a kleptocratic dictator who publicly styles himself as a "president."  In either case, the rulers take as much from the people as they can, and squirrel it away somewhere out of reach.  You probably have a small aristocratic class, members of the extended royal family and trusted henchmen, a small middle class consisting of merchants and tradesmen, and the vast mass of the poor, who live from hand to mouth.  Everyone basically stays in the class to which he is born, and everything seems to reinforce the notion that this is the natural law.  In the middle ages, the priest were largely taken from the aristocratic group, as parents sought to buy their way into heaven by donating what was, in essence, an extra son.  The church got an educated youth, and the parents didn't have to worry about one more son fighting to claim the family inheritance.  But as you can see, the sympathies of the church were with the rulers.

The capital corporation, together with a market for readily trading shares, upset the stagnant economic system that had been.  Suddenly, the economic pie became elastic.  With the railroads, came cheap transportation.  Goods could be sold to bigger markets, making innovations at the producer level as well as at the consumer level affordable.  That in turn spurred more innovations, with each innovation making the economic pie bigger.  Ford would never have revolutionized the assembly line process had he not had a nationwide market for his Model T.  Indeed, we would still be riding around in buggies.  The automobile would be a strange devise that only the very richest individuals could afford.  Did the existence of a nationwide market also spur some, shall we say, less uplifting innovations?  Surely.  But, Reagan was right, in that as each innovation comes to market, things generally become more affordable, and so a rising tide lifts all boats.

Remember earlier I said that the capital corporation allowed people of modest means to invest those modest means in larger enterprises that over time made them wealthy?  Let's explore that for a moment.  By making more people, if not independently wealthy, at least well off enough to allow them to pursue their own interests, corporations have also contributed to more freedom for more people.  When you are living hand to mouth, you do not have the resources to tend to your health, to travel, to educate yourself, or to contemplate how one might do better. Having some resources allows one to have leisure time, and to contemplate not only how to do things better, but the more importantly your place in God's creation.

Now, most union pension funds are invested heavily in capital corporations, i.e. in Wall Street.  Yet here are union leaders plotting to destroy that system.  They are plotting to destroy union members pensions, against the interest of the very members who voted them into leadership positions.  Why?  Frankly, I think the union leaders do not really care about their members.  The union members were always just pawns, to be used and discarded when their usefulness was done.  The union leaders are Leftists, who want power for its own sake, and will take it by any means necessary.   Union members are left to make their own deal.  Meanwhile, if you are looking to the Government to provide your pensions and healthcare, I've got news for you, the Govenment is broke too.  No, the only way to save something of your life is for union members to stand up with one voice and say to union leaders "Oh, Hell No!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Can't We Compromise on Gun Control?

This is too funny.

It is rare to find comedy in a publication like the Washington Times, but today I found comedy gold. Eric Gould writes a piece entitled A Gun Control Compromise for Everyone. Go read it for a great laugh. But be sure to put down the coffee or soda first. I'll give you a quote or two though to give you a little taste:

Until then, why can't we all just, to quote leftist union thugs trying to divide us, "come together?"

It is high time for a gun control compromise that will satisfy the philosophies of those across the ideological spectrum.

Since liberals favor gun control and conservatives are against it, just take away all the guns from the liberals. That way, if there is ever a conflict like the 2000 election that cannot be resolved peacefully, the right will win because we will have all the guns.
Wiping some coffee off the computer screen, I realized I just had to bring it to readers' attention.  Also read the comments to this piece.  In case you still don't get it, the answer is "NO." 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Of Nuclear Energy and Sidewalks

On March 16, 2011 Ann Coulter published an interesting article entitled A Glowing Report on Radiation at If you have to look it up later in the archive, that should give you enough to go on.

Earlier this week, Mrs. PolyKahr and I had a "discussion" concerning a woman who called into a radio station saying that she didn't want cancer and therefore she didn't want any nuclear reactors built within a thousand miles of her location. Mrs. PolyKahr kept saying that she had "valid" concerns while I noted that the risks may be valid, but her concerns were irrational. As it turns out, Mrs. PolyKahr was more right than I was. The validity of something has nothing to do with the truth of it, and more to do with what you can document. Perhaps this is why the alarmists are always emphasizing the validity of peoples concerns. If they can keep you focused on people's valid concerns, they can keep you from discussing the fact that valid or not, these people are crazy.

As for the rationality of these concerns, Ann Coulter does a wonderful service for us all by pointing out the many fallacies and myths associated with radiation, and nuclear power.  Early in my career as an environmental engineer, I was tasked with overseeing the radon program for the Navy.  While the Federal Government could not directly force everyone to test their homes (we were not far enough along on the progressive timescale yet) they could make the Department of Defense test all of its housing for both bachelors and married couples. Without getting into the details of the program, let me just say that some of the "reasoning" behind the EPA's "action level" caused me to begin to wonder about the motives of the EPA.  In any case, at one meeting involving all of the agencies working on the program, a man from the U. S. Geological Service pointed out that based on the EPA "action level," several counties in Iowa would have nobody left alive.  He reasoned that they would all be dead of lung cancer.  He must have seen Bernard L. Cohen's study:

Bernard L. Cohen, a physics professor at the University of Pittsburgh, compared radon exposure and lung cancer rates in 1,729 counties covering 90 percent of the U.S. population. His study in the 1990s found far fewer cases of lung cancer in those counties with the highest amounts of radon -- a correlation that could not be explained by smoking rates.
Nor could it be explained by the EPA.  There is a general principle of toxicology that says "the dose makes the poison." Any substance taken in small enough doses is probably safe, and any substance taken in large enough doses will kill you. Water, if ingested in high enough amounts will kill, though I would not recommend it as a way to commit suicide.  Alcohol is the classic case. In small doses it does no harm, either short term, or long term, and it may even do some good. In bigger doses, the ingester loses coordination and judgement is inhibited. In massive doses, it can kill. Caffeine is another such substance, as is nicotine. Many trace minerals are necessary, but too large a dose will kill. Knowing this, I have always found EPA's warning that there is no safe level of radon to be misguided, if not downright deceptive.

Then there is this study:

A $10 million Department of Energy study from 1991 examined 10 years of epidemiological research by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health on 700,000 shipyard workers, some of whom had been exposed to 10 times more radiation than the others from their work on the ships' nuclear reactors. The workers exposed to excess radiation had a 24 percent lower death rate and a 25 percent lower cancer mortality than the non-irradiated workers.

Isn't that just incredible? I mean, that the Department of Energy spent $10 million doing something useful? Amazing, right?
That study was news to me, but it certainly fits in with the idea that some substances may be necessary, while too much is toxic. Keep in mind that correlation does not indicate causation, and there may be confounding reasons yet to be found that may explain the study.  But I still have to ask, why does EPA ignore these studies, and instead scares people out of their gourds? I don't say that these are the definitive studies, but as things stand, we can't even have a rational conversation. Which may be the point. If people are as frightened as the woman calling into the radio show at the beginning of this post, we are never going to have significant nuclear power in this country. It means continued reliance on burning fossil fuel, which if the goofball wormenists are to be believed, is even worse.

Meanwhile, over at the New York Times, where every silver lining has a dark cloud, John Tierney has an opinion piece bemoaning the fact that many things are now done with greater energy efficiency. The net result is that the same amount of energy is used to produce more stuff. That in turn, tends to foil our betters, who wanted us using less energy. Cars, for example, get around twice the miles per gallon that they did in the 60s, but now we apparently drive twice as much. It's enough to make a member of the elite want to raise taxes.

Instead, they ought to seriously consider nuclear. I had a professor who taught transportation engineering. He was a commonsensical old coot. He was also the man responsible for sidewalks and parking lots at the University. He said one time to us students "You can put sidewalks where it is aesthetically pleasing, but if you wait, you will soon see paths through the grass. Put your sidewalk there. Works every time.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Power Corrupts

And the corrupt seek power for its own sake. Timothy Birdnow had a quick blog post up at the American Thinker yesterday that I didn't have time for, but which I wanted to highlight here entitled Power Corrupts. A quote:

His fundamental premise is but partially right; the inner core of liberals (as opposed to the useful idiots) don't fear breaking a few eggs to make an omelet, but rather understand that control of the populace can only be achieved by controlling their energy usage. The goal is to keep 'em poor, ignorant, and lethargic. Wind and solar and the menagerie of "green" power guarantee a low energy lifestyle, which guarantees the elites can turn off the lights when and where they choose. Without energy you have no water pumps, no farm vehicles, no heat, no refrigeration. You have no internet, no talk radio. Control the energy flow and you control the masses. It's why they oppose drilling for oil. It's why they oppose nuclear. It's why they oppose coal. Anything that brings the prices down, makes for easier access to energy, weakens their stranglehold.


That's not to say Mr. Smith isn't nearly right; liberals are a fearful bunch, and their lust for power bespeaks a lust for control of their own destiny. Liberals fear the chaos and uncertainty that freedom engenders; they want everything neatly pigeonholed. This desire for order, for control, drives their efforts to wrap the human spirit up in a tight, pretty package that they think of as compassion but which strangles. Liberals see security as the foremost virtue, and to get security they will bind everyone in a straightjacket.

Go read the whole thing. As usual, the truth is much easier, and takes less words to say than the lies you usually hear. Mr. Birdnow's sharply worded piece tells you all you need to know. When you see these people, this is what you are looking at. Pretty sad, huh?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is Islam a Cult?

I took this from a blog,, run by a journalist who occasionally writes for the American Thinker, Timothy Birdnow. It is the tale of a young black man who went off to college to acquire a degree in Business Administration. While there, he met up with some Muslims, who turned him against his family, his friends, his culture. He became radicalized, became a jihadi, and wound up in Yemen. You can read the story from his parents' perspective here.  Parents everywhere should view this as a cautionary tale.

If someone were to describe what happened to this young man, and didn't include the name of the so-called "religion," you would say that he had been brainwashed by a cult. So where is the outrage? If this had been done by any other group than Islam, thousands of people would be demanding that the fraudulent cult be put out of business, that its leaders be jailed, its meeting places be destroyed, its "cultural centers" be torn down and razed to the ground. Some might even suggest salting the ground, for those Biblically inclined.  But the cult would be hounded out of existence, or at least far underground.  This is what the British did to the Thuggee in the 1830s.

Now, I know at this point that some people who follow this blog will ask what they think is a telling question:  "But Poly, couldn't the same be said of Christianity?"  My answer may surprise you, but if certain interpretations of the Bible and the sayings of Jesus are emphasized, Christianity could indeed be a cult.  Certain denominations certainly seem to border on cult status.  But you don't see Christians killing and torturing their fellow countrymen.  You do see adherents of Allah killing and torturing their fellow countrymen, and others.  There is a huge difference between witnessing and proselytizing for your beliefs, and killing someone because he does not agree with you.  As a Christian, I know in my heart that God is Great, and I want to tell the world.  But God does not give me sanction to kill anyone who disagrees.  God will deal with those who do not agree at a time, and in a manner of His choosing, not mine.  On the other hand, Allah does apparently give these people sanction to kill the infidel.  Something is very wrong and twisted with Islam, and the sooner we wake up to it, the sooner we can do something about it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Winston Salem Journal Lies about HB 111

That there would be opposition to allowing carry in restaurants that serve alcohol is a given. That it would be so meretricious is not. The Winston Salem Journal has an unattributed editorial out entitled Hidden Handguns in Restaurants is a Bad Idea that hits all the typical, emotion laden arguments, while avoiding facts of any kind.

The editorial starts of by alleging that the law will allow people to purchase alcohol while carrying concealed. In point of fact, it is now, and will remain illegal for someone to be drinking and carrying a concealed handgun. This notion that suddenly you will have a bunch of drunk bubbas with handguns in restaurants is simply untrue. Look at the experience in Kentucky, in Tennessee, and lately in Virginia. Are North Carolinians a lesser breed? Do you really want to say that to your audience?  Because you are, you know.

Then there's the usual:

We support the Second Amendment on this page, and have long done so. We believe in guns for sporting purposes, and support the rights of individuals to protect their homes.
As soon as I see this sort of argument, I know what is coming next. The Second Amendment was not written to preserve hunting or target shooting. Indeed, the "sporting purposes" idea did not enter American law until 1968, and it should be yanked from American law with extreme prejudice. What they are really saying here is that is fine for Fudds to have weapons, because they aren't afraid of these types of people. They grew up with people hunting with expensive rifles and shot guns that cost as much as the plantation house. But handguns? It's bad enough that just anyone can have a permit to carry by applying for it, but now in restaurants (as Scarlett O'Hara faints)?  Oh my!

Then to get people really exited, they cite a 2007 case where a policeman was shot by a drunk outside a nightclub as an example. It is heart rending to be sure. But it is not obvious that it is relevant. First of all, (once again) the law will not allow people to drink while carry a gun, period. Second, I can find no evidence that Carter had a concealed handgun permit in any of the reporting. Indeed, I suspect if he did, that information would have been featured prominently in the news.  So if someone who wasn't supposed to be carrying in his car gets out of hand, how is that relevant?

Finally, they have a police chief who speculates that, just to make the point clear, alcohol and guns don't mix.  He further speculates that if the law is passed, we'll have more incidents like the 2007 case of Carter killing a police officer.  But factually, alcohol and guns can exist side by side in the same room.  It happens all the time in the homes of numerous people.  Factually, what should be stated is that someone whose perceptions and ability to react have been diminished by drinking alcohol should not be handling guns.  That goes for police, prosecutors, judges, as well as the citizen.  But again, the law does not allow people who are carrying concealed to "belly up to the bar" unless they are ordering coffee.  Frankly, I would be more inclined to listen if the police chief were speaking from actual experience, rather than just speculating.

If the paper wishes to have an agenda, they should none the less have to use facts to back up their arguments.  They shouldn't be able to lie, tell half truths, and create fear out of emotional stories and still call themselves a "journal."  That is not journalism; that's propaganda.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quantitative Easing Explained in English

I don't usually post on economic issues, instead leaving it to people with more knowledge of the economy and how it works such as Karl Denninger and Pete at the Western Rifle Shooters Association. But I found this piece at the American Thinker that is written know...actual English. Monty Pelerin writes Quantitative Easing: Our Tiger by the Tail. As I noted, it is not that most economic concepts are that hard to understand, but rather that the explanations are so obscured by jargon and deliberate obfuscation that I get a headache contemplating it.  But Pelerin explains "quantitative easing" and the consequences of it in simple terms that everyone can understand.

Pelerin's consequences look bleak, no matter how this ends.  On the one hand, quantitative easing has allowed the markets to remain propped up.  Thus, when the smiling happy face talking head on television reports that the Dow is up by some percentage, you can look at that news and figure that those in the know are getting out and some sucker like you or me is being saddled with a worthless investment.  Market prices should have collapsed long ago.  When I look at companies with P/E ratios of 20, 30, or even 50, there is no way I could recover my investment within a reasonable time.  Traditionally, a ratio of 5-7 seems more reasonable to recoup initial investment and begin earning money. Pelerin explains:

Economic and financial performance has been artificially inflated by QE. A bubble in both areas has developed as a result of QE. Chris Martenson explains:

The Fed has been dumping roughly $4 billion of thin-air money into the US markets each trading day since November 2010. The markets, all of them, are higher than they would be without this money. $4 billion per trading day is an enormous amount of money. As soon as the QE program ends, the markets will have to subsist on a lot less money and liquidity, and the result is almost perfectly predictable.
On the other hand, we have already seen just a little of what will be happening in every State, and at the Federal level when the effects of stopping "quantitative easing" start to affect governments.  The union thugs in Wisconsin howled, screamed, committed vandalism, issued credible death threats to lawmakers and otherwise threw a massive tantrum.  It will only get worse.  A lot worse.  Consider the evidence:  When Rand Paul came up with $500 billion in cuts, that even he says are not enough, and John Boehner and the Repugnican leadership rejected that and instead came up with $34 billion, does that sound serious to you?  As I understand it, we would need to cut $1.2 trillion from this year's budget just to break even, never mind tackling the debt.  According to Mike Vanderboegh, we can look for other betrayals as well.  And Boehner doesn't look all that ready to repeal ObamaCare, which means our deficits, and our debt, will only continue to grow.

Pelerin ends with this:

Their choice seems obvious. QE will continue until total catastrophe occurs in the form of a hyperinflationary depression. Politicians will then point fingers at everyone but the real culprits - themselves. In the enlightened era of alternative news, their strategy probably cannot work.

If I were a politician, I would resign immediately and head for safety before it becomes apparent to the masses what is going to happen.

A parting caution: While I expect QE to run until a hyperinflationary collapse ends it, an announcement that it has been terminated could cause a severe collapse in financial markets. Be aware of the possibility of this "Lucy football strategy" by a desperate and reeling Ben Bernanke. Expect QE to be reinstated quickly once some pain is felt.

It is not that they don't get it, but they fear the consequences, personally, too much.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gun Grabbers Search for the Philosopher's Stone

This is still not the Second Amendment article I was writing, but since it highlights a piece at the American Thinker, I thought it was worthy of bringing to readers' (both of you) attention. In the Second Amendment Culture Wars David Paulin attempts to highlight the current state of thinking on the Left for those who may not be following along with the New York Times on a daily basis. His take on the gun free zone issue is priceless:

Gun-hating liberals may be surprised to hear it, but it's virtually unheard of in Texas for people with carry permits to commit crimes or be involved in unnecessary shootings. They don't hold up convenience stores; don't get involved in shoot-outs at bars or after traffic accidents. Nor do they shoot people whom they feel have "dissed" them -- a common occurrence in gritty parts of Chicago and Detroit. It all underscores a fact that gun-hating liberals overlook: Culture plays a big role in gun violence. Switzerland, after all, is armed to the teeth, with members of its large citizen militia keeping military-issued weapons at home -- yet gun-related crimes in Switzerland are rare.

Yet at the University of Texas, professors, staff, and students with concealed carry permits are prohibited from carrying their guns on campus when, say, they must walk to and from a night class and a dark parking garage. The absurdity of campus gun-free zones prompts the National Rifle Association to ask: "Should you have less freedom and safety than anyone else simply because you go to college?" Besides personal protection, gun-rights advocates note that a person with a carry permit could stop a Virginia Tech-style massacre in its tracks.

Recently, legislative initiatives to abolish gun-free zones were the subject of an article in the New York Times, an agenda-setting paper for liberal elites. It soft-peddled the obvious: Gun-free zones don't make anybody safer -- except for gun-toting criminals. If the Times thinks otherwise, it should disarm the security personnel who presumably guard the New York Times Building. Then it should put up a sign that sanctimoniously proclaims: "Gun-free Zone." But don't count on that happening; even Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. wouldn't be so stupid. Yet gun-hating liberals nevertheless portray gun owners in fly-over country as bubbas and hayseeds: people who cling to their guns and religion as President Obama put it.
The emphasis is mine, and not in the original story.

This aspect of "liberal" behavior has always puzzled and amazed me.  I remember as a teen arguing with someone about the relative merits of living in the U.S. as opposed to the Soviet Union.  I finally blurted out that if my opponent thought the Soviet Union was so great, he should emigrate to that paradise on earth and leave the hell hole we lived in.  He mumbled something about having too many relatives and friends here.  I have never asked another person that question, but I do still wonder.  Then there was the (at the time) Goofball Wormening fanatic who insisted that we should all stop driving our automobiles now.  "Really," I asked, "And how do you get to work."  When he told me he drove his Ford Explorer, I was again floored.  He defended his choice of cars by saying that it wouldn't do any good unless everyone did it.  I pointed out that if he and others showed leadership by buying tiny vehicles, business would respond by making more of them cheaper.  He just wandered off.  So it is with gun control.  Many of the liberals I speak with have no problems with guns, just with OTHER people having guns.  They are comfortable with themselves, and their friends.  But they see you and me through the eyes of the New York Times as being a bunch of uncultured rubes who would kill at the drop of a hat.  I will admit that if I thought that, I would be frightened too.

Another thing that amazes me is how unexamined such ideas actually are.  If forced to confront and defend in a rational way such ideas, they could not do so.  That is one thing that seems to provide endless entertainment for gun rights bloggers, like this video that appeared several months ago. Of course, it is funny, and ridiculous, and even gun grabbers can see that. But it doesn't stop them in the eternal search for the magical incantation that will render guns useless, and cause the world to sing "Kumbaya" together. It would be like telling an alchemist to stopping searching for the philosopher's stone.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Mind of a Jihadist

With the Rep. Peter King hearings going on, it makes a certain amount of sense that Islam would be in the news, so here I am blogging about it today. I had planned a post on the 2nd Amendment, but then I read Mind of a Jihadist by Stephen Simpson over at the American Thinker and realized that it may be more important for the long term than another post on the 2A, important as that is.

The Mind of a Jihadist is a report on a new book by M. A. Khan, Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism, and Slavery. The book can be ordered from Amazon here. I plan to order the book soon myself.  M. A. Khan is an editor for the website Islam Watch, which is a group of apostate former Muslims who came to the realization that Islam is not a true religion.

Mr. Khan describes the concept of Jihad as "the foundational creed of Islam." And the author should know. Born a Muslim in India, Mr. Khan grew up in a conservative background, while still considering himself a liberal Muslim. The events of 9/11 changed him dramatically and led him on an odyssey as to question how his religion -- and co-religionists -- sanctioned, and even reveled in this atrocity. The author himself candidly admits that he too believed that America had justifiably gotten a bloody nose, though he felt that the victims died unjustifiable deaths. As much of a paradox as these views seem, many Muslims felt the same way. The difference is that Mr. Khan looked in the mirror, asked penetrating questions, and had the intellectual honesty to answer these questions.

In the ensuing years after 9/11, Mr. Khan did extensive research on Islam, Islamic theology, and the history of Jihad which is the driving force behind all of Islam's conquests. The results of his findings led him to the conclusion to leave Islam completely, and to write this most masterful and educational book on a controversial aspect of a most controversial religion.

It is a devastating indictment of a religion that is generally grouped with Judaism and Christianity. However, the commands of Jihad entail total war, are eternal, and cannot be revoked as they are enforced with absolute legitimacy by and through Sharia. The author leaves us with the question as to whether or not Jihad will return in the 21st century with a force comparable to previous centures. Islamic Jihad is a riveting book that will leave the reader armed with a knowledge he or she may never have had, and will also leave the reader with the disturbing question as to whether the religion of Islam can ever come to terms in a peaceful way with non-Islamic religions. Given the history of Jihad and the slaughter of 9/11, the reader can only come away with a pessimistic viewpoint.
Khan's book joins a growing list of people who have "come in from the cold" and reported on the horrors being perpetrated on them by Islam.  Like the Communists before, who would report occasionally to the West that life under the Soviets was a hell hole, you are being told not to believe these people.  CAIR spokesmen come out to say, in essence, that these are exaggerating sore heads, and that reasonably considered, Islam is a virtual paradise on earth.  Consider that in the 7th century, the West and Arab cultures were on a par.  But Arab culture has produced very little since, and indeed, must use our own technology against us.  In the The Victory of Reason Rodney Stark argues convincingly that Christianity was the spur for the West's great leap forward.  I believe God wants us to be prosperous, so that we can use our prosperity to help others.  Is it enough?  Well, no, it is never enough, though Americans have done more of it than any other country, as you would expect from her great prosperity.

I believe that Islam will only be stopped by a fight, God versus Allah.  Which side will you be on?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Submit or Die

It has been a while now since I risked a fatwa against me, so I guess it is time I did so again. Today in the American Thinker, Amil Imani has an article entitled Dear Rep. King: Forget 'Radical'-Islam is the Culprit. A quote:

The pundits, the analysts and the politicians are doing a great disservice to the public, each segment for its own expedient reasons, by parroting the mantra regarding the peaceful nature of Islam. As a matter of fact, the so-called small band of Islamic extremists is the true face of Islam. Admittedly, from time to time and place to place, Muslims have shown a degree of tolerance for non-Muslims. This tolerance dates back to the very early years of Muhammad himself. Early on Muhammad was meek and proclaimed, "For you, your religion, and for me, my religion." This assertion lasted but a few years until Muhammad's movement gathered strength and Islam became the only alternative to death or heavy taxation. The imposition of 'jizya' was a clever ploy for filling the Islamic coffer to support its armies and to finance its further conquests.

The liberal media and pundits engage in willful misinformation and deception when it suits them. Terms such as "Political Islam," or "Radical Islam," for instance, are contributions of this group. These terms do not even exist in the native parlance of Islam, simply because they are redundant. Islam, by its very nature and according to its charter -- the Quran -- is a radical political movement. It is the liberal media and politicians who sanitize Islam and misguide the populace by saying that "real Islam" constitutes the main body of the religion; and, that this main body is non-political and moderate.
Today, the Constitution has two enemies, whose goal is the same. The Left, meaning Marxism in all its faces, whether Communist, Fascist, or Socialist, and Islam. While the Left continues to be a threat, I think we have finally awakened enough people to, if not the evil, at least the impracticality of Leftist policies. Islam, on the other hand, is gaining strength in this country.  Both religions have a blood soaked history, and if they gain the upper hand, this country will be no different. 

I have wondered for some time about why Islam seems to be given a pass that Christianity never gets. It seems as if the news media, the schools, and Government bureaucrats and the Courts all have reached a secret agreement that Allah is the true god. Or, perhaps the Left recognizes in Islam the same hollow imitation of life that marks the existence of the Left. So, it was with interest that I read Anthony Martin's Conservative Examiner article today. Martin has an exclusive interview with an ex-CIA agent who warns us that various Islamic groups have penetrated our institutions and are feeding us a politically correct pablum about the true nature of Islam. Sounds like the Left's "long march through the institutions." And that maybe where they learned the strategy. In any case, read the article, and read the follow up whenever Anthony can get it posted. It is sobering.

I have read Revelations on several occasions. I never really understood all the symbolism. Some have said it is really about the dangers faced by the early church. Even if that is true, I think it has relevance today, or the early Fathers would not have been inspired to put it in our canon. In many ways it does seem to be coming true. Armageddon may be fought in the streets of this country.  I can only have faith that my God, the one whose ineffable name nobody can know, will see his will done. I pray I am on the right side, His.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

HB 111 Restaurant Carry Bill in North Carolina

HB 111, the Restaurant Carry Bill now sits in committee. I have written to my "representative" Deborah Ross, urging her to favorably vote it out of committee. My point to the anti-gun Ms. Ross was that States all around North Carolina have restaurant carry, and have had no problems with it. Virginia is the most recent, last year. Virginia has had no problems with it either.  So, what do North Carolina legislators think will happen differently here?

Meanwhile, it appears Ohio is going through the same thing this year. A piece by Gerald Valentino on the Buckeye Firearms site entitled The Biggest Myths Gun Control Myth is Trotted Out Again in Debate over Restaurant Carry in Ohio. explains how the discredited "blood in the streets" meme is once again being used to stop restaurant carry.  It is a good article, and I hope you will go and check it out.

Back here in North Carolina, it is sometimes difficult to determine before going in whether a restaurant serves alcohol or not.  Now, the big chain restaurants like Ruby Tuesday, and Applebees do serve alcohol, though to be honest, I have never seen anyone drinking it in one of these restaurants.  Most people are drinking Sweetened Ice Tea.  I have capitalised the words Sweetened Ice Tea because the drink is a sacred institution, and the State drink of North Carolina.  The mint julep, not so much.  In any case, most of the one off Mom and Pop barbecue stands and fish joints do not serve alcohol.  Most Mexican restaurants do, while the Chinese seem to be divided.  But Chinese also can easily fool you.  They usually don't have a bar, and the fact that they serve alcohol is often well hidden until you sit down.  So, is there blood in the streets outside barbecue joints?  Didn't think so.  So what is really going on here?  My guess is it is plain old hoplophobia rearing its head.  Some people are irrationally afraid of guns.  Like most irrational fears, as long as they don't see a gun, these people go about their merry ways unaware and unconcerned.  But when the legislature brings up a bill, these people suddenly are afraid they will see guns everywhere.

Of course, Ms. Ross is not hoplophobic.  Ms. Ross is a gun grabber who takes advantage of, and even stokes the fears of her constituents to get what she wants.  And what she wants to take away your guns.   

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Democrats should Impeach Obama Now

I don't usually play the Devil's advocate, and I don't usually help out the other side. But I am feeling devilish today, in part because of what I have been reading. In today's American Thinker, Jeannie DeAngelis has a good piece entitled The End Result of Obama's Logic. The piece combines the Obama foreign policy, specifically the START treaty with Project Gunwalker (not mentioned by name.) I'll provide a spoiler here:

If common sense demands a logical policy decision, Barack Obama chooses the opposite. The pattern is this: In a quest to attain an ideological goal, the president ties the nation's hands behind its back in an intentional contribution to America's weakened condition. Whether at the treaty table or making policy decisions that affect everything from the American economy to a porous border, Obama seems willing to sacrifice lives and our way of life to promote a liberal ideology that looks increasingly as though its end goal includes the destruction of America.
In the Mideast, Obama tells our faithful paid ally, Mubarack, to go, but doesn't think at least a little encouragement might have been helpful when the Persians were rioting against Amadinnerjacket. Why the seemingly illogical choices? Read above.

Then, there is the Wall Street Journal editorial that complains about the decline of the Navy, courtesy of Gun Rights 4 Us. Why, when the world is getting less stable, would a President of the United States want fewer aircraft carriers, less sea power, and less ability to confront an enemy abroad. Would Obama rather have to meet the enemy at our front door? Does he actually have anyone outside of the U.S. that he considers an enemy?  Read the above.

When a long train of abuses invariably points in one direction, you can only conclude incompetence by a sheer act of denial. Anyone looking at the current situation rationally would conclude the the President does not have the best interests of the American people at heart, and is actively working against them. It may be time to draft up Articles of Impeachment. Interestingly, it is not Republicans who should draft them, but the Democrats.

The Democrats?!? Strangely, yes, and I'll tell you why.

Obama is going down for the count in 2012. The Stupd Party could put up anybody, including the dead elephant himself (and they may. Never underestimate their ability to create a decisive defeat for themselves out of sure victory.)  By getting rid of Obama now, they will put the affable gaff-a-matic, Joe Biden in office to complete Obama's term. But Uncle Joe stands the proverbial snowballs chance of winning the Presidency. The most likely choice for Democrats would be Hilary, who wouldn't have any real opposition.  The Donkeys would perhaps give up some of their Black vote, but would gain a solid majority of the Soccer mom vote.  As for the Black vote, they can write off some of it, and tell everyone else the same thing the Republicans have been telling Conservatives:  Where are you going to go?  The other party?  Hahahahaha!  In addition, impeaching Obama would allow Democrats who would like to vote to repeal ObamaCare and otherwise vote with Republicans on some issues to do so with a clear conscience, and bringing back the idea that the country is being governed by a bipartisan majority.

With Hilary as the most likely new standard bearer, what would the Republicans do.  I think Romney, Gingrich, and especially Huckabee have been tried on the national stage, and been found wanting.  Rubio is an untried quantity, but shows a lot of promise.  Chris Christie also shows promise, though he is probably not a fan of gun rights.  Bobby Jindal has been laying low lately, but he also is a possibility.

Sarah Palin would be an obvious choice.  She is smart, attractive, and has a good story.  She has been collecting political chits from those she endorses.  Indeed, Sarah Palin can be said to have long coat tails without the usual requirement to be wearing the coat.  She has a nose for politics, which is an absolute must for anyone running for President.  On the other hand, she divides people like no one else.  About half the women I know love her, about half hate her.  She would also be facing a woman that the press loves, so they would be hiding anything that made Hilary look bad, and playing up anything they thought would make Palin unappealing.  Personally, I like Palin.  In the end, it would be a close match up, but Hilary would win.

Don't expect the Dems to actually pull this off.  The unions and others who have invested heavily in Obama would never let them do it, though it would be the smart move.  The Rs have their own reasons for not doing it.  They have already calculated that an opposition party attack would force the Dems to close ranks, so that a long floor debate would eat up time without any useful outcome, and distract from the job of getting our debt under some control.  So, our Country continues to sink into irrelavance, our enemies aboad and at home continue to administer the death of a thousand cuts.  From what I can see, they will not stop until we are bled out.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Project Gunwalker Gets a Mention

It is likely that readers of this blog are up to speed on the Gunwalker story if they have been keeping up with the links I provide on the side bar, but it is handy for us when it goes into primetime. T.L. Davis has a story up on American Thinker entitled Gunwalker Goes Primetime that gives cover to talk about it in public, and not be accused of spreading conspiracy theories.

Mrs. PolyKahr and I were riding to work Friday, when Gunwalker came up on the radio. Her first instinct seemed to be to side with the ATF. However, when I told her the entire sordid story, she at least shut up. I suspect she didn't agree with me, but she didn't argue either. So, thanks David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Drill, baby, drill!

You would think a television channel like the History Channel would be one place where you could go to get balanced information. However, sadly, you can not. I was watching a program from the Universe series this week, that showed how life might have spontaneously begun on Earth. Now, I acknowledge that the theory of spontaneous genesis is one possibility, but it is not the only one. The question not asked was this: if elements spontaneously combined to produce the first living things, why is that not happening somewhere in the world today? There could be a number of plausible reasons, but asking the question would have brought out the fact that in truth science has no idea how life appeared on this planet, or why. Other programs often present the current efforts, so far fruitless, to find life somewhere else in the Universe. What one never hears is why science seems hell bent on finding something out there. I think I know why, however. If they discover at some point that there is life elsewhere, then they believe they will be proven correct, that we are not the special creation of a loving God, but just one of many happy accidents in the Universe.

In any case, I was watching another History International Channel piece called Prophets of Doom the other night on television. The "prophets" all seemed to be unlikely experts. One was an ex-detective who had bought into idea of "peak oil" and combined this with neo-malthusianism. Another was a journalist who had covered the petroleum industry for most of his career and had bought into, you guessed it, "peak oil." The most down to earth guy was actually the former hedge fund manager, but he too had been infected with the idea of "peak oil" and neo-malthusianism. Of course, just to really scare the pants off of you, they had an environmental activist telling us that we were running out of water too.  Now, just so we are clear, the theories of Malthus have been thoroughly debunked by Economist Julian Simon (RIP.)

Peak Oil is the idea that at some point, a country will be pumping the most oil it will ever pump, and after that, it is all down hill. Malthusianism is the philosophy that, just like other species, humans will reproduce up to the point where they run out of resources, and then catastrophically begin to die off. You can guess where this program was headed. Of course, nobody seemed to question either assumption. Because the United States had pumped the highest amount of oil to date back in the 1970s, that amount was assumed to be "peak oil" for the U.S. Nobody knows for sure, but it is believed that the Saudis have reached their "peak oil," as have most of the oil producing nations around the world. Combine that with the fact that the population is still rising and you have your doom and gloom.  It is certainly one theory, but it partakes of the typical Malthusian conceit, that we will just continue doing things the way we have always done them.

Notice that no engineers, or scientists, or oil industry experts were consulted in the making of Prophets of Doom If the had, we might have gotten something like The Only Way Out for the American Economy by Steve McCann at the American Thinker yesterday.  McCann points out that through improvements in technologies on a number of fronts, America sits on an estimated 300 years worth of oil and natural gas.

The Bakken Fields in North and South Dakota. New drilling and oil recovery technology is making the capture of this oil feasible and some development is now underway. It is estimated that there is at least 200 Billion barrels of oil in this region. At a price of $100 per barrel the value of this find is $20 Trillion.

The Outer Continental shelf. It is estimated that around 90 billion barrels of oil sit beneath the ocean bed 50 to 100 miles off the shore of the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts. The value: $9 Trillion.

The Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. About 10 billion barrels are locked up here with a current value of $1 Trillion.

Tar Sands: Around 75 Billion barrels of oil could come from these areas which are similar to the Canadian tar sand fields and which now produce about 2 million barrels per day. The value: $7.5 Trillion

Oil Shale. This is the most massive area of potential oil production in the world with an estimated 1.5 Trillion barrel potential. The technology necessary to extract this oil is now in place and being operated on a pilot project basis. The value of this resource: $150 Trillion
That is just the oil. If we also take advantage of natural gas and coal supplies we may buy ourselves perhaps 400 to 500 years to find an alternative to oil.  Note too that oil and natural gas do not need subsidies.  People readily buy oil products because they are the cheapest available, and they work.  Solar and wind on the other hand are not reliable, and expensive, even with subsidies. As an example, the market for a car like the Chevy Volt is extremely limited. Even if one never takes cross country trips by automobile, and never has more than a few small items to carry, many people drive more than twenty miles from their home on weekends for various reasons. The only reason a person might settle for a Volt is if they believed oil would not be available. But we know it is available, and that the shortage is being artificially created to make certain constituencies richer, at the expense of everyone else.  We need to stop pandering to the Gaia worshippers, and start drilling.

Update: Right on que, Francis Porretto at Eternity Road has put it in a nut shell, as usual. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Collective Punishments

Courtesy of Tamara K from View From the Porch comes this priceless piece from Oleg Volk entitled Collective Punishments.

Bolsheviks and Nazis alike practiced collective punishment. The Reds would take hostages against “good behavior” of residents of a town and shoot them if any resistance was offered. Nazis would sometimes kill everyone in a town near which one of their troops perished. We look at such practices with abhorrence, though US and Allied bombings probably killed a few innocent bystanders of their own. As a culture, we don’t view collective punishments as acceptable…or do we?

When one insane man in the UK murdered a group of kids in 1987, hundreds of thousands were punished for his sins. British gun owners were deprived of their guns and not given a choice about it. That was collective punishment in its pure form, affecting only people who had no connection to the crime at all.

No doubt it would be sold here in America as making us all safer.


I have a cold, and like many men, I am a total baby about such things. You would think I was about to die. Since I am not running a fever, I am pretty sure I will live, but never the less, I feel a sense of ennui.

There is so much in the news to comment about, that keeping up with all of it, and making useful comments seems an overwhelming task. The unions protesting in Wisconsin against the Governor's plan to require that they pay some of the costs of their benefits is one that simply defies belief. Here we have teachers standing along side socialist and communist organisations, throwing a hissy fit because they are going to be asked to pay a part of their health plans and retirement. Everyone else does. Teachers felt it was OK to shut down the schools, and to use their students as props, and to get fake doctor's excuses to do so. What sort of ethical standard does that make for the children to emulate? What message does it send to have them standing with socialists and communists.  Communists and Fascist regimes were responsible for an estimated 130 million murders of their own people in the 20th century.  How do they justify standing with such people?  While the Left has been calling for "civility" from the right, where it has gotten nothing but civility, what message does it send to students to see their teachers making threats and rude comments to lawmakers on the television?  Perhaps they should all be fired, and Wisconsin should start over.

The Project Gunwalker scandal has reinforced for me my take on Government in general. Namely that it is the biggest, toughest bunch of thugs out there. You can find my personal beliefs about what government is at Of Government and Being Conservative. But the complete, and very public lawlessness of what ATF has done is staggering. In the process of sending guns into Mexico deliberately, they have violated our laws, violated international treaties, violated Mexican law, been responsible for one, maybe two murders, and that is just the start. The cover-up, as always, has led to violations of more laws. The DOJ looks to be running out the clock on Senator Grassley, and they just might succeed. Despite the heroic efforts of David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh to keep the story going, I fear the ATF will get away with it, which will embolden it to more thuggish behavior. I urge anyone who may be concerned to write their Senators ask them to hold hearings on Project Gunwalker. You can find the details at The National Gun Rights Examiner page.

Then there is the utter ignorance in Kaylee Dodson's letter to editor, found at Keep and Bear Arms. Ms. Dodson, writing to the Standard Examiner claims:
Elias makes a good obvious suggestion that would protect schools from such events as the Columbine shootings. The Second Amendment does protect the right to bear arms, but in it may also take away others rights to confidently attend school in safety. It could be argued that one might not see a 'Gun-free Zone' sign and therefore wander into that zone without being aware. How many times has a person been pulled over by a cop because they failed to 'observe' a stop sign or a red light? The warning is there, it's your job to see it. Much like a No Smoking sign, I feel that setting up gun-free zones can help protect those who do not wish to be subject to the dangers that come with the prohibited action. We don't all make the same choice to carry a weapon or smoke a cigarette and therefore shouldn't all be exposed to the fire that may follow.
The only way that a person can be confident of his or her safety is if he or she is prepared to enforce that safety against someone who might try to violate it. The putting up of signs, whether they are  "gun free zone" signs, or "no smoking" signs, only stops those inclined to obey them. But these are not the people you need to be worried about. The people you need to be worried about are the people who would violate those signs with the intent to do you harm.  I say this with complete respect for the tough job the police do, but if that day ever comes, when seconds count the police will be minutes away.  You may not like to be around people carrying guns, but if a criminal brings a gun on campus despite the signs, you wouldn't know it until he decides to draw and start shooting.  That's the reality.  So, your confidence in your safety is in fact only an illusion, smoke and mirrors to lull you into such a state.  You can remain in your state of arrested development, but I advise that you grow up and see the world as it truly is.  Begin looking out for yourself.  Buy a gun, learn how and when to use it, and carry it with you everywhere you go.  And stop putting up roadblocks to others who have already grown up.

Now, for those who have grown up, there was a post over at the Truth About Guns entitled Self Defense Tip: Just Because You're Shot Doesn't Mean You're Dead. It is definitely worth thinking about. What if you get shot in a confrontation?  According to Robert Farago, most people survive gunshot wounds, which means your assailant has likely survived and you need to keep an eye out not only for further assaults from him, but his possible friends as well.  Please read, and think about what you might do.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Castle Doctrine Passes NC Senate

An article in Sunday's Goldsboro News and Record by Mark Binker entitled Legislators Seek Wider Protections for Self Defense highlights a bill we here in North Carolina have been seeking for several years. The bill is called "Castle Doctrine" and would provide protections from frivolous prosecution and from subsequent civil lawsuits if the reason a person used their weapon was self defense.  A Castle Doctrine bill was originally passed in the Senate, but then tied up in committee by Democrat Deborah Ross in the House.  There it languished.  With 2010 elections, the NC Legislature changed parties, and Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) has a real chance of getting Castle Doctrine, as well as Restraunt Carry passed in this State.

Self defense is strictly defined in North Carolina law. You must be in fear of your life, or great bodily harm or rape. Right now you have a duty to retreat if at all possible. In addition, there are some strange things about the home invasion. If you happen to catch the invader breaking in, you can use your weapon, assuming you satisfy the other conditions.  Essentially, you need to surprise him, and he raises a gun to shoot. But once he is in, you can not, and you can't use it if he is outside your home either. Now, I agree that as long as he is outside, and you are inside, you have the opportunity to call the police. It's the inside the home part that has always confused me. When going through NC law while taking my Concealed Handgun License, it was explained that the intruder might be your teenage son, coming home late from a party. I thought that argument was pretty weak, and still do. The law now presumes that anyone inside your home belongs there, whereas the presumption should be that anyone uninvited into your home is up to no good.

That is what the Castle Doctrine bill that has just passed the Senate would do. In addition, it would allow you to stand your ground if you have a legal right to be where you are. Note that it doesn't change things for people for whom a shooting was not in self defense. What it does do is provide:
Presumption of reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily injury when an attacker makes an unlawful and forcible entry not only of a home, but also a motor vehicle and a workplace. Beyond including the carjacking protection long-sought by GRNC, this may be the first law in the country to include the workplace among protected areas.
as quoted from a Grass Roots North Carolina e-mail alert.

We still need to get the bill passed in the House, and signed into law by Democrat Governor Beverly Perdue, no friend to gun owners.  On the other hand, Perdue may decide not to pick a fight on this issue with a determined group.  Interestingly, Ms. Ross would have been better off with last year's bill, which was far weaker than this one.

At the Raleigh Gun Show Sunday, as we were talking up the Castle Doctrine, I made the point that under the current law, if you are forced to use deadly force to defend yourself, you will be revictimized possibly two more times.  The first will be when a zealous prosecutor takes you to trial anyway, and you must defend yourself again, and then in civil court.  It is deeply offensive to me that all this is done with the sanction of the State where I pay taxes.  Let us hope for a favorable outcome for this bill.

Update:  Brad O'Leary has an article today describing a recent poll taken on voter's attitudes toward gun control.  It can be found here on The relevant quote:

A majority of voters nationwide (61%) also support changing the law in many states to allow people to use firearms inside and outside their homes in self-defense, without any stipulation that requires they first attempt to retreat from their attacker. In Red states, 62% of voters support such a change to the law, as do 64% of Green state voters and 53% of Blue state voters. A 46% plurality of voters who have never owned a firearm also support changing the law.
NC is a Green State for purposes of the poll. If Ms. Perdue is reading the tea leaves, perhaps we just might win this thing.