Looking carefully at that which is unseen.

Category Archives: Thinking about

Thinking about: Cognitive dissonance

Naked Capitalism and Corrente are a couple of my favorite blogs (and I mean that in all seriousness – I generally enjoy what the hosts write and link to) lean decidedly leftward. Nothing wrong with that, per se, since everyone is entitled to his own view of the world, no matter how wrong or unrealistic it may be. But that being said, one of the areas of the Left that always leaves me puzzled (not that the Right doesn’t have it, the Left just has MORE of it) is the “it’s for thee, but not for me” syndrome.

Take for example this recent bit. It’s a computerized system that knows your birthday because you have to give that birthday in order to obtain an account. Because, you know, rules and stuff. The writer makes some generally excellent points, but what I don’t understand is the final bit of “PROACTIVE mass surveillance is not our friend!” It leads to two questions – first, is “REACTIVE mass surveillance okay?” Along with a side order of “is it ‘mass’ surveillance when it’s just directed at one person?” Me, personally, I’m not happy with ANY surveillance, mass or otherwise, pro-or-reactive, public or private. The right to be left alone to conduct one’s affairs as one sees fit, absent inflicting harm on others, just seems to me to be a basic human right. But the second question is more interesting: I have been assured by one of the World’s Serious Lefties, Ms. Clinton, that “it takes a village to raise a child.” Combined with all of the Left’s burning desire to regulate and surveil (if that’s a word) and incarcerate for no end of harmless issues, it seems that the writer’s complaint is not with surveillance … just with surveillance of her, when she doesn’t want it (or actively notices it) because she doesn’t personally approve of the organization conducting it.

I know, I know. “Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” Still, though, I can’t help thinking that in some areas – like human rights – some consistency in belief, and application of the Golden Rule, would go a long way toward making the world a much smoother and nicer place to live in.


Thinking about: Good Conversation

John Adams reportedly said that a good argument is the best kind of conversation, or something like that. Or somebody said it. If nobody else, I said it, and hereby adopt the sentiment for my very own.

Wanna argue about it?

Anyway, I found myself in a rare moment of light disagreement with HobbitFave Jim Bovard in regard to his recent posting on taxation. The disagreement is more in the nature of ways and means, maybe some semantics, than anything truly substantive. I’d characterize it as something along the lines of Blind Jim feeling up Tantor’s trunk and stating that an elephant is long and snake-like, with me a step back saying, “Jim, it’s a monstrous huge beastie, almost the size of a politician’s ego and rounder than I am.” He’s not wrong, per se – part of the elephant IS kind of snakelike. I’m just not sure he’s getting the whole picture.

But he knows where my blog is, he’s free to come over and have an argument on the issue, ‘because argument or not, serious or not, ANY conversation with Jim is a delight.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

Thinking about: Veterans

I’m just an ordinary veteran, not a retired one. But I am a veteran with a degree in history.

As a student of history, I’m firmly in the “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme a lot” camp.


How does that old song go, second verse same as the first? Little bit louder, little bit worse?

What’s going to happen when the members of the Entitlement Generation don’t get their goodies, while the minders of the purse continue to reward their cronies?

Got popcorn?

Thinking about: Domestication

There’s a Russian experiment on domestic animals that demonstrates how, over generations, domesticated animals undergo physical changes. Presumably they may well undergo mental changes as well, a theory that Oleg Volk hits on in his post.

Are thoughtfulness, initiative, and a taste for freedom versus a willingness to be kept nature? Nurture? Difficult to say, but it’s an issue also being discussed over at Claire’s blog. And, I’d say, one worth being discussed among the freedomistas.

Thinking about: Wrong handers

Apparently I am not alone in the world in regard to shooting with the wrong hand and writing etc. with the good hand.

Tam agrees.

Thinking about: Disparity of force

So if Syria destroys its chemical weapons, but the theocratic rebels keep theirs … I guess the Syrian army needs to heavily upgrade its NBC warfare skills (defense).

Of course, that just means that the next time the theocrats use theirs, Obama will argue that the Syrian government did it and hadn’t bargained in good faith to avoid a brutal kicking by the US … and will use that alleged lack of good faith to finally launch its long desired assault.

Thinking about: Zimmerman

I think there’s a law requiring all blogs – even cobwebby ones like this – to post up something on Zimmerman. Ergo:

“I am only required to accept the Zimmerman verdict. I am not obligated to agree with it.”

Of course, what most on the Right demand is that I agree with it, that I bow to it being correct. It is legal. I am not convinced it is right, but my conviction regarding “right or wrong” is irrelevant. Needless to say, the Left gets all fuzzy when I say that I accept it, since clearly one is not allowed to accept things that are legal – yet wrong.

That’s part of what’s fun about being a libertarian – I can honk off BOTH sides with one short sentence…. πŸ˜‰

Thinking about: Difference in attitude

Whether you believe they’re serious or not, gun boards are filled with writers who claim they’re going to look to take up arms to defend their right to keep and bear arms. All well and good. The interesting difference is that you don’t see anybody on the freedom-loathing anti-gun side offering to personally go out and disarm gun owners. They all expect to farm it out to underpaid state workers, while sitting back and basking in the glory of their self-righteousness.

And that says so much about the attitudinal differences. Gunnies come from more of a “do it yourself” mindset, while Liberals are much more in the “Somebody needs to do it for me” camp. Even when it comes to killing those who would trample your rights, whether those rights are real or imagined.

Got popcorn?

Thinking about: Gun bans

Legislation to ban or severely restrict the possession of firearms by law aiding citizens due to the aberrant behavior of one nutball is, of course, back in the news. The usual blood dancers – and some new ones – are in the streets demanding that people who’ve done no harm to anyone should nonetheless be prevented from exercising a constitutionally protected right.

I wish to join with a number of other bloggers and say simply, “Bring it. But don’t send some poor underpaid bureaucrat-with-a-badge-and-a-gun to do your dirty work for you, Mr. Moyers, Ms. McCarthy, Ms. Feinstein. Man up. Gear up. Get your own hands dirty and bloody in the fight to trample on the rights of Americans. And absofreakin’LUTELY don’t plan for the ultra-hypocritical sneering trust that the law abiding are just going to hand them in when you say so. Bottom line – do it your own damned selves.”

But, that’s an ideal world. In reality, the tyrants and despots will have plenty of helpers and minions working for them. Sauron only had to direct the orcs, not actually march with them. So to the helpers and minions, to the orcs and goblins of the world … let me direct your attention, and the attention of others, to this quote:

β€œAnd how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

Thinking about: Aurora

Everybody has to have an Aurora Shooting Post – it’s in the guild rules somewhere. Anyway:

There’s an older story about a gathering of gunwriters, self defense gurus, industry people, for … I don’t remember, some shoot or something. Anyway, during lunch the conversation turns to the merits of various firearms for self defense and, after awhile, one of them pipes up with “a .38 J frame.” The rest of the room is aghast, and, sputtering, demands an explanation. He crosses his leg, taps his ankle, and replies, “Because apparently it’s the only gun in this room.”

Other writers and trainers have talked about going to police meetings and being surrounded in a sea of gunlessness, and plenty of applicants for CCW licenses will say, “It’s only for when I feel like it” or “It’s just so I can have something in the glove compartment.”

Which brings me to the point of today’s cogent observation – I am amazed at the number of guys on various gun fora who are now piping up with some form of “I’m going to have to start carrying again.” This leads to two points – “WTF???? You mean you WEREN’T????” and “I wonder how long before the ‘I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to dress to carry today’ becomes the mindset again.”

It would not surprise me to find that there were people in the Aurora theater who HAD licenses to carry – and who didn’t even have the “I left my gun in the car because the theater said ‘Gun Free Zone'” excuse.