Wednesday, December 22, 2004

And we're supposed to like socialism because?

"In January 1849, months before he migrated to London, Karl Marx published an article by Friedrich Engels in Die Neue Rheinische Zeitung announcing that in Central Europe only Germans, Hungarians and Poles counted as bearers of progress. The rest must go. "The chief mission of all other races and peoples, large and small, is to perish in the revolutionary holocaust."

Genocide arose out of Marx's master-theory of history -- feudalism giving place inevitably to capitalism, capitalism to socialism. The lesser races of Europe -- Basques, Serbs, Bretons and others -- being sunk in feudalism, were counter-revolutionary; having failed to develop a bourgeoisie, they would be two steps behind in the historical process. Engels dismissed them as left-overs and ethnic trash (Voelkerabfall), and called for their extinction.

So genocide was born as a doctrine in the German Rhineland in January 1849, in a Europe still reeling from the revolutions of 1848. It was to become the beacon light of socialism, proudly held and proudly proclaimed."

Found at Dissecting the Left

When is it time to be scared?

Smallest Minority has a piece on 'thought crimes', and ramifications thereof. And it's worrisome.

A few years ago I would not have been really worried about it; concerned, yes, but not worried. But things have changed. In all too many places- in this country- you can wind up being arrested for saying or doing something that hurts someone's feelings; that's a hate crime, now. Point out a few inconvenient facts, speak on opinion that's not PC, and you just might go to jail.

Over the years, now, official attitudes toward criticism have gotten worse. You could almost always get in trouble for actually threatening the government, or an agency, but now... say something someone decides is too critical, and various initial-agencies are looking into your finances, what letters and e-mail you send, what groups you belong to.

And I'm worried about it.

Government has become more, almost immune, to action by people who have been wronged. How may cases have we heard of over the last couple of years where some law enforcement agency raided the wrong house and killed someone? and then everyone involved walked away from any official action because 'departmental guidelines were followed '. The family may be able to sue, but it'll cost a fortune, and drag on... and in some cases, you may have to get a judge to give you permission to sue.
And, if you become a pest, the agency may decide that something they saw while they were ransacking your home(that they broke into by mistake) is enough to charge you with something. And so forth.

Add to that the fact that more and more, some people become actually scared at the thought of finding themselves on some government watch list because they said, or wrote, something some beaurocrat or law enforcement type objected to.

Sir Robert Peel wrote his Principles of Policing (scroll down a bit) in what was a fairly homogenous society, but the priciples worked pretty good here, too, for quite a while. Read Mr. Copper's whole post; what's gone wrong in Britain is wrong here, too. The biggest one, maybe, being the extent of the "Us-Them" attitude. It means people are less likely to cooperate with an officer/s who obviously hold them in contempt; it makes it a lot easier for a bad cop to get away with things, and makes a good cop more likely to do bad things. And a follow-on, judges who, more than ever, see themselves as Holy Men of the Law giving the peasants the word on how to behave.

This rambles on a bit, but it's connected. When various government reps feel they can put you on a list for saying something objectionable; when cops feel they can treat anyone like crap for what boils down to 'because I feel like it'; when judges can basically say the Constitution says what they think it does; when government agencies can make law with elected officials either not having say in it or not caring; and when all the above think that as soon as they show their ID you're supposed to abase yourself before them, no matter what, then we have some very big problems.

It remains to be seen whether enough of we the people care enough to use our votes to straighten it out.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Ignorance of this country

As in ignorance of what this country is and where it's been. Smallest Minority links to an article by a university professor about the truly abysmal ignorance of most of his students of American History. It really is appalling.

My daughter brought this to my attention when she was in eighth grade. That was when I found out she'd had Chinese, and African, and all the PC history, but not a single American history class. I was really pissed of by this, and proceeded to remedy it by telling her some things- over time- and showing her some materials I had. One advantage of messing with Buckskinning was having had a subscription to 'Muzzleloader' and 'Muzzleblasts' magazines; lots of articles on early U.S. and colonial history, generally told with good style, and she ate them up. Same for my son.

Another problem; she had a history teacher who was dismissive of anything he hadn't heard of, and if shown the proof got downright hostile. A teacher should be glad to learn of new facts, new stories, not mad about it.

I really don't understand how someone can look at this country, warts and all, and not like it. Especially I don't get those who speak of how awful we are and then heap praises on people like Fidel Castro. (and they get really hostile when you point out what a bastard he is. They also don't like it when you point out that the British and Canadian healthcare systems are pretty bad; they're FREE! and that's all that matters, apparently) Criticize problems, yes. Want to fix them? Sure. But to condemn everything about this country because it doesn't meet some intellectual definition of 'perfect' is a load of crap.

What do you want to bet many/most of those students in the article saw 'Farenheit 9-11' and believed it? And probably never saw any of the listings of falsehoods in it?

One of the things that struck me in the article was how the students thought having to open a book 'is an exotic and particularly cruel form of punishment'. Oh, God, how can you NOT like to read?!?!

If I didn't have to go to work I'd head for the range.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Some years have gone by when... refer to a new music release as an 'album' and people look at you funny. of your daughters high school friends is dancing in a nookie bar to help pay her tuition. notice some of your favorite music is only played on 'classic rock' stations. look under the hood of a car and think, "Jeez, what is al this crap?" first hear the word 'blog' and think it's some D&D critter. realize many of the Saturday morning cartoons were made for adults, not kids.
...somebody tells you you dress 'retro'.
...somebody freaks out because you carry a pocketknife.
...they'd REALLY freak out if they knew about the .45.
and so on...

The San Francisco idiocy

in wanting to ban handgun ownership and forbid transfer of other firearms has been well and truly whacked on by a number of people. Alphecca not only does that, he ties in a lot of other news, including a really flawed study on firearms ownership. Read it, I'll not try to condense.

Smallest Minority hits on the issues, too. Including the memorandum from the Justice Department affirming that the 2nd Amendment right to arms is, indeed, an individual right. As a lot of people have pointed out for a long time, there are two dangers with the 'collective-right' argument; first, that somehow language that speaks of individual rights in all other amendments somehow morphs into a 'collective' right in this case; and second, that the same arguments could be used by others to trash our other rights as only being 'collective'.

I still find it amazing how people who call themselves 'progressive' seem to think that means 'we are for all freedoms(except the one's we don't approve of, bacause they don't really count, you see)'.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Cat as alarm clock

If I could put a timer on the little furball, she might actually come in useful. As it is, when she thinks I'm about to wake up- or thinks I should- she jumps up on the bed, sits by my head and starts patting me on the eye.

The patting beats the other thing, though. If a hand or shoulder is showing, she starts ticking at it with her claws. Which does wake me up, and also causes her to levitate when I yell and jump.

Let's see, a nice purr instead of paws/claws, timer so you can keep her from starting this crap when you don't need to get up ("I'll feed you when I'm awake, dammit!").

Or I could get a water pistol.

I hate wrapping Christmas presents

One of the things I picked up is going to be hard to wrap, and I'm about out of paper anyway, and I hate winding up with rolls of the stuff to put away 'till next time...

Crap on that. Some of this stuff is going in bags. Brown paper bags. Or something simple.

Also, it's about to get cold again. Which has nothing to do with wrapping paper, but Steve was bitching about how cold it was in Florida a couple of days ago. "It's only 50-something, I'm freezing!" Suck it up, man! Our HIGHS the last while have been 40's & 50's. For Thursday & Friday this week they're saying highs in the 20's. Why don't you pluck Marv and stuff the feathers in your shirt? That'll give you some insulation. Although with all the habeneros you eat, I'm surprised you can get cold.

Last time I went to the range I discovered that the ventilators blow out from the firing line toward the range. Therefore, in December, you get a damn cold draft into the back of your neck and head. That does not aid in good shooting.

I will, however, stop saying nasty things about Steve if he invites me to ManCamp. Sounds kind of like what my great-uncle used to do with a fish fry on occasion.

I now have to find enough paper to wrap one thing, it's too small for the paper bag, and leaving it in a glorious wrapping that announces "Wal-Mart" just doesn't seem right.