|The old Assayer's Office in Boise, Idaho|
- In case you haven't already been there, don't forget to check out Active Response Training's "Weekend Knowledge Dump."
- A few days ago, I published some thoughts on why the media was so incensed at Trump's comments that if Hillary attempted to do away with the Second Amendment, there might be something that "Second Amendment" people could do (see "Trump Reminds Liberals of Their Own Mortality"). I'm not the only one to catch the point. Raymond Ibrahim has penned an op-ed entitled "The Real Reason Trump’s ‘Second Amendment’ Comment Provoked Outrage" in which he observes:
Could it be that he [Trump] touched on the one option -- the one that must never be named -- that actually works against tyrants, including the domineering leftist crybullies currently entrenched in positions of authority: armed revolution?
You see, the one thing every American is indoctrinated in from cradle to grave is that “violence is never the answer.” And why should it be? If we want change, we have the right to vote, speak freely, and even protest peacefully.
But what happens when these rights slowly erode, losing form and meaning? When elections become a circus and the presidency something of an oligarchy; when the voting public has been incrementally dumbed down generation after generation and programmed to vote in certain ways (emotionalism, sensationalism) catered to by the media?
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After all, the true movers and shakers -- not the recyclable political puppets set before the public’s eye, but the social engineers, the special interests groups, those who know that disarming a nation is easy if you first disarm it of its reason -- have never been and are not now going to be “talked” or “demonstrated” out of power.
This is an historical, proven fact, and why liberal media and elite are, if only subconsciously, going crazy against Trump: he dared mention -- and thus legitimize -- the one thing that must never be mentioned, not even as a remote consideration, because it is the one thing guaranteed to overthrow them: rebellion.
Hence the media circus of shock, awe, and outrage: it’s all meant to quickly rebury this briefly exhumed and dangerous idea from the public’s eye.
- A theme I've often harped upon: "How Global Elites Forsake Their Countrymen"--Peggy Noonan at The Wall Street Journal. Noonan begins her op-ed discussing a conversation with a fellow German elitist about why Merkel can be so obtuse to allow--nay, encourage--the invasion of Muslim "immigrants" over the objections of the German citizenry. Noonan writes:
But, the acquaintance said, he believed the chancellor was operating in pursuit of ideals. As the daughter of a Lutheran minister, someone who grew up in East Germany, Ms. Merkel would have natural sympathy for those who feel marginalized and displaced. Moreover she is attempting to provide a kind of counter-statement, in the 21st century, to Germany’s great sin of the 20th. The historical stain of Nazism, the murder and abuse of the minority, will be followed by the moral triumph of open arms toward the dispossessed. That’s what’s driving it, said the acquaintance.
It was as good an explanation as I’d heard. But there was a fundamental problem with the decision that you can see rippling now throughout the West. Ms. Merkel had put the entire burden of a huge cultural change not on herself and those like her but on regular people who live closer to the edge, who do not have the resources to meet the burden, who have no particular protection or money or connections. Ms. Merkel, her cabinet an government, the media and cultural apparatus that lauded her decision were not in the least affected by it and likely never would be.
The larger point is that this is something we are seeing all over, the top detaching itself from the bottom, feeling little loyalty to it or affiliation with it. It is a theme I see working its way throughout the West’s power centers. At its heart it is not only a detachment from, but a lack of interest in, the lives of your countrymen, of those who are not at the table, and who understand that they’ve been abandoned by their leaders’ selfishness and mad virtue-signalling.
On Wall Street, where they used to make statesmen, they now barely make citizens. CEOs are consumed with short-term thinking, stock prices, quarterly profits. They don’t really believe that they have to be involved with “America” now; they see their job as thinking globally and meeting shareholder expectations.
In Silicon Valley the idea of “the national interest” is not much discussed. They adhere to higher, more abstract, more global values. They’re not about America, they’re about . . . well, I suppose they’d say the future.
In Hollywood the wealthy protect their own children from cultural decay, from the sick images they create for all the screens, but they don’t mind if poor, unparented children from broken-up families get those messages and, in the way of things, act on them down the road.
From what I’ve seen of those in power throughout business and politics now, the people of your country are not your countrymen, they’re aliens whose bizarre emotions you must attempt occasionally to anticipate and manage.
- For those of you interested in CQB, from Spotter Up: "Anatomy of the Room--Part 1" and "Part 2". There will be a Part 3, shortly.
- "Navy SEAL Kills Pirate with a Knife"--Load Out Room. Basic takeaway:
One of the operators noticed a pirate slowly open one eye to see what was going on. Knowing they could not put a round in the pirate for fear of the round going through the floor and hitting the team assaulting from the bottom up he decided to dispatch the pirate with his blade.
The one SEAL had his CRKT M-16 folder in the center of his plate carrier. He pulled the folder off and immediately ran into issues getting the blade deployed. After a few seconds of fumbling around with the blade he was passed a fixed blade by the other SEAL in the room. At this point this pirate and the other that were playing dead were now dead for real. I cannot go into detail on how exactly it was done, but this was considered one of the first CQB kills with a live blade. From that point forward the Navy SEAL who had the CRKT folding knife never carried a folder again.
The problem with the CRKT, and many other folders, is that the knob used to deploy the blade is small. Although this account does not describe the specific problem, I would not be surprised if the SEAL was wearing Nomex gloves, or something similar, which simply were slipping off the small knob. This is one of the reasons that I prefer the large opening hole used by Spyderco. However, there is another point, which is that a folding knife is the knife equivalent of a concealed-carry/back-up pistol. If you are going into combat, and you know it, use a fixed blade. A fixed blade knife is going to be quicker to deploy (if you have the right sheath), stronger, and gives greater reach and penetration.
- "Is ISIS Using Nazi Bombs?"--The Tower. The article indicates that ISIS-affiliates in the Sinai are digging up land-mines left over from World War II to use the explosives. The nice thing about the desert for archaeologists and, apparently, terrorists, is that it tends to preserve things much better than other environments.
- "UPDATE: ISIS TERRORIST Tells Feds He Has Jihadist Brothers in Mexico"--Gateway Pundit. From the article;
Earlier this year a top ranking Homeland Security official acknowledged that Mexican drug cartels were helping ISIS sneak across the southern border to scope out targets for terrorist attacks.
ISIS operative Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir has reportedly been training militants near the US border near Ciudad Juarez for the past year.
The article goes on to explain that this has been confirmed by statements made by an ISIS terrorist arrested in Ohio.
- "How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture"--Minding the Campus. The author, an Ivy League professor, laments the impending collapse of Western Civilization based on his observations of his students--representing the best and the brightest. He writes:
My students are know-nothings. They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent. But their brains are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation. They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten nearly everything about itself, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference to its own culture.
Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement. Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts — whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about — have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings. The pervasive ignorance of our students is not a mere accident or unfortunate but correctible outcome, if only we hire better teachers or tweak the reading lists in high school. It is the consequence of a civilizational commitment to civilizational suicide. The end of history for our students signals the End of History for the West.
Read the whole thing.
- "A Major Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest Looks Even Likelier"--The Atlantic. "There is a 17 to 20 percent chance that northern Oregon will be hit by a magnitude-8 quake in the next 50 years." From the article:
For about the last 30 million years, a small tectonic plate named Juan de Fuca has been sliding under the far vaster North American plate into the Earth’s mantle. Today, this mostly happens without anyone’s notice—even though it causes minor, near-undetectable earthquakes about every 300 days—but sometimes the pressure pent up is released suddenly and catastrophically.
This is what happened on January 26, 1700. The plate slipped, and a magnitude-9.0 earthquake resulted, devastating the coast of modern-day Oregon and Washington. According to one story, an entire First Nation on Vancouver Island, the Pachena Bay people, died in flooding overnight. And the quake triggered a tsunami that rode across the Pacific Ocean for 10 hours before slamming the east coast of Japan, where merchants and samurai recorded flooding and damage.
As hundreds of thousands of Americans now know, this could happen again—except now, millions more people inhabit the Pacific Northwest. ...
- "LGBTs vs. First Amendment: The Fight for Religious Freedom Ratchets"--The Blaze. LGBT groups have signed a petition calling on the Big 12 college football conference to refuse the admission of Brigham Young University into the conference, not because BYU discriminates against LGBTs, but because it's honor code forbids any of its students (including LGBTs) from fornicating. In other words, because LGBTs are not given a free-pass on morality, they are protesting. To me this is an example of the camel in the tent problem: once you let the camel push its nose into the tent, it will eventually force itself fully within.
- Related: "They’re Coming For Christian Lawyers"--The American Conservative. The American Bar Association has proposed changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct (the ethics rules that lawyers must follow) that would make "bad-think" grounds for disciplining a lawyer. Why does this matter? If you are familiar with Shakespear, you probably remember the ''Henry VI,'' Part II, act IV, Scene II, where Dick the Butcher proposes to disrupt the law and order of the kingdom by a plan to "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." They want to make it so lawyers will not even be able to defend Christians.
- "Of Course Clinton Will Be Very Hawkish As President"--The American Conservative. The author contends that Clinton will be Hawkish because the issues she will face internationally will call for force, and that the powers of the President make it easy for her to attempt to solve problems with military force. I say that she will be Hawkish because her history demonstrates it: her support of the war against Iraq, her taking the lead to attack and destabilize Libya, her support for assisting rebels in Syria, her support for extending our involvement in Afghanistan. She reeks of war. I don't see Trump as someone that would push for war with Russia over the Ukraine--he would probably come to some accommodation in which the Russians obtain a recognized right to the Crimea. But I can easily see Hillary sparking a war with Russia is she is elected.
- Related: "Trump lacks experience but his detractors lack common sense: Spengler"--David P. Goldman writing at The Asia Times. " Americans are willing to fight and die for their country, but revolt against sacrifices on behalf of social experiments devised by a self-appointed elite. That is why the only two candidates in the Republican primaries who made it past the starting gate repudiated the Bush administration’s foreign policy."
- Sometimes you come across answers in the most unusual places. For example, in "The U.S. Air Force Wants to Detonate Plasma Bombs In The Sky," at Digital Trends, the author describes the importance of ions in the ionosphere to radio communications (certain frequencies--such as short wave--reflect off the ionosphere, allowing beyond the horizon transmission). The article discusses a method by which the Air Force hopes to temporarily produce higher levels of ions in the ionosphere. However, the article happens to mention the purpose for the HAARP facility:
The idea of artificially ionizing the atmosphere to improve radio communications is nothing new and is already being used in Alaska. The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program uses ground-based antennas to bombard the ionosphere with radiation. This radiation produces radio-reflecting plasma that, in turn, improves radio communication. The plasma bomb idea builds upon the HFAARP program by modifying the ionosphere directly instead of relying on ground-based technology.