Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Reformers Prevail At NRA Meeting

The legal troubles--including allegations of corruption--was apparently too much even for the proxy voters in the NRA. As The Reload reports, "Reformers Prevail at NRA Meeting, Elect New Leadership." From the article:

    On Monday, the NRA board voted to install reform candidates across three of its top four leadership positions. That includes the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President position filled by Wayne LaPierre until his resignation during the group’s corruption trial. Doug Hamlin, who ran the NRA’s publications and ran on a reform platform, defeated Ronnie Barrett in a 35-to-31 vote.

    “We want to welcome all of our members to the new NRA,” Hamlin told The Reload. “We want to welcome those that we’ve lost in the past five years to come back to us. And we want them to bring friends and family with them.”

    Reform candidates also won the first and second vice president positions, with Bill Bachenberg defeating Blaine Wade and Mark Vaughn defeating Tom King. That gives the reformers a significant say over the NRA’s day-to-day and strategic decisions moving forward. It comes shortly after a jury found the organization failed to safeguard its charitable assets as LaPierre and others diverted millions of NRA dollars toward their personal expenses.

    The fresh blood combined with a change in operations and legal tactics, which the reformers can enact now that they control two of the three positions on the committee overseeing legal strategy, could bolster their odds of avoiding a court-appointed monitor.

    Hamlin said the new NRA leadership will focus on providing more transparency to members, citing the open nature of the leadership elections as an example, and tightening up the group’s financial operations.

Change Is Coming ... Maybe

The New York Post recently published a piece by Victor Davis Hanson entitled "Institutions have violated the trust of Americans, and a new revolution is coming." It could have been about the 1 million members that left the United Methodist Church in a single day after the church's leadership approved having gay pastors and officiating homosexual weddings, but it was not. It could have been about how religiously affiliated NGOs such as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), Catholic Charities USA, Church World Services (CWS), Global Refuge (fka Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services), collude with the government and wealthy Democrats, and use our tax dollars to aid and abet illegal immigration into the United States, but it was not.

    Instead, Hanson discusses the role of the pro-Hamas/anti-Israel protests, together with Biden's handling of the southern border, are shifting attitudes toward immigration. Hanson begins by noting:

    Since the 1960s, universities have always been hotbeds of left-wing protests, sometimes violently so.

    But the post-Oct. 7 campus eruptions marked a watershed difference.

    Masked left-wing protesters were unashamedly and virulently antisemitic.

    Students on elite campuses especially showed contempt for both middle-class police officers tasked with preventing their violence and vandalism as well as the maintenance workers who had to clean up their garbage.

    Mobs took over buildings, assaulted Jewish students, called for the destruction of Israel and defaced American monuments and commentaries.

    When pressed by journalists to explain their protests, most students knew nothing of the politics or geography of Palestine, for which they were protesting.

    The public concluded that the more elite the campus, the more ignorant, arrogant and hateful the students seemed.

In not so many words, todays protests and protestors are just as stupid as those in the 1960s, except that those in the 1960s were led and organized by Jewish communists hating on the Christian controlled West, while those of today are led and organized by POC communists hating on the Jewish controlled West. 

    And combined with the de facto absence of a southern border, "Americans are reappraising their entire attitude toward immigration." Hanson concludes: "Expect the border to be closed soon and immigration to become mostly meritocratic, smaller and legal, with zero tolerance for immigrants and resident visitors who break the laws of their hosts." Yeah, I won't be holding my breath. As Peter Turchin has documented, what the majority of voters want has zero impact on the policies adopted by government.

    Hanson's second topic concerns the weaponized justice system, the FBI's involvement in suppressing conservatives, and DEI in the military, with Hanson asserting that "Americans are also reappraising their attitudes toward time-honored bureaucracies, the courts and government agencies." At least in regard to the military, due to declining enrollment figures, Hanson predicts that the military "will have to return to meritocracy and emphasize battle efficacy, enforce the uniform code of military justice, and start either winning wars or avoiding those that cannot be won." There is more money to be made in dragging out wars than winning them, so this is another area that I doubt we will see much change.

    Finally, Hanson addresses the rise of populism, explaining:

    Finally, we are witnessing a radical inversion in our two political parties.

    The old populist Democratic Party that championed lunch-bucket workers has turned into a shrill union of the very rich and subsidized poor.

    Its support of open borders, illegal immigration, the war on fossil fuels, transgenderism, critical legal and race theories and the woke agenda are causing the party to lose support.

    The Republican Party is likewise rebranding itself from a once-stereotyped brand of aristocratic and corporate grandees to one anchored in the middle class.

    Even more radically, the new populist Republicans are beginning to appeal to voters on shared class and cultural concerns rather than on racial and tribal interests.

Thus, he concludes, "we may soon accept the reality that Democrats reflect the values of Silicon Valley plutocrats, university presidents and blue-city mayors, while Republicans become the home of an ecumenical black, Hispanic, Asian and white middle class." 

    Contrary to what Hanson asserts, there is nothing radical about this. The Democrats have long been the party of billionaires while the Republican party that of millionaires--certainly for most of my adult life. The Reagan revolution was the result of Reagan appealing to shared class and cultural concerns of the middle class and working class, bringing them into the fold faster than Democrats could import new voters. Under the current immigration regime, that is no longer possible.

    More to the point, however, is that populism is anathema to the elites--it is the modern equivalent to a peasant uprising and will only serve to unite otherwise disparate groups of elites. The only potential advantage that we have is that the Palestinian protests are splitting the elites (see "Why Joe Biden Has Gone from Friend to Enemy"--Commentary Magazine). 

Gun Control In Action: Another Mass Stabbing In China

 The socialist paradise of China has experienced another mass stabbing according to the Daily Mail: "'Major suspect' arrested after four US teachers brutally stabbed in attack in China". The article indicates that the suspect brutally stabbed four visiting college instructors from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. The four were on a teaching exchange program with Beihua University in Jilin City. None suffered life threatening injuries according to Chinese officials, and the no motive was given for the attack. The article briefly describes the program in which the four were involved:

    According to a 2020 post on Beihua's website, the Chinese university uses American teaching methods and resources to give engineering students an international perspective and English-language ability.

    About one-third of the core courses in the program use US textbooks and are taught by American professors, according to the post. 

    Students can apply to study for two years of their four-year education at Cornell College and receive degrees from both institutions.

One way of looking at this is that it prepares the engineering students to steal technology from the United States and other Western nations.  

Monday, June 10, 2024

Well This Is Garbage--Prosecutor Tries To Reverse Pardon Of Daniel Perry

On May 17 I had linked to an article reporting on Texas Governor Abbot pardoning Daniel Perry of the murder conviction for killing a Black Lives Matter protestor that aimed a rifle at Perry. The article indicated that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles conducted a review Perry’s personal history and the facts surrounding the July 2020 incident and recommended the full pardon. Nevertheless, last week Travis County district attorney José Garza announced that "his office intended to file a writ of mandamus asking the court of criminal appeals to reverse the 'unlawful' pardon on the grounds that a process to support an innocence finding wasn’t followed and that Abbott violated Texas’ separation of powers clause." 

    I'm no expert at Texas law, but this seems baseless and I can't see this going anywhere. Rather, I see it is an example of the vindictiveness of the Left and how they use and twist the law and the legal process to punish their enemies. And at taxpayer expense, of course.

The Great Replacement As Shown By Federal Jobs Report

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' May 2024 Jobs Report has some interesting information in it for those interested in the destruction of the Republic via mass immigration. From the Fox News article, "LARRY KUDLOW: 'Look under the hood' of Biden's May jobs report and you'll see the problem" (underline added):

Once again, full-time jobs fell 605,000 in May. This is not a monthly problem — this is a long-playing record. It's mirror image: Part-time jobs gained 286,000. So if full-timers are plunging and part-timers are surging, that cannot be a healthy economic sign. Additionally, in just May alone, 414,000 immigrants, both legal and illegal, gained jobs, while 663,000 native-born Americans lost jobs. This discouraging pattern has been going on for quite some time, but the trend line has accelerated significantly during the Biden years. 

They--the Elites--hate you.

A Feminist Lie About Men and Gun Ownership Exposed

It is long been a truism among feminists and their boot lickers that men who like firearms are trying to compensate for other ... er ... deficiencies. So prevalent was this idea that it even had a formal name: the psychosexual theory of gun ownership. But the American Journal of Men's Health has published a study that not only refutes the feminist meme but actually shows the opposite is true. 

    The paper, "Size Matters? Penis Dissatisfaction and Gun Ownership in America," looked into the so-called "theory". The hypothesis, the paper explains, has four primary propositions: (i) that firearms are phallic symbols (obviously something that only the sex-obsessed left would think of); (ii) that "guns are symbols and instruments of masculinity because they are primarily used by men"; (iii) that "when men define their own penises as small or below average, they may experience psychological distress because these perceptions can undermine security, self-confidence, and masculinity"; and (iv) the conclusion "that men who are dissatisfied with their penises may seek to obtain guns to compensate for the distressing effects of any perceived deficits in masculinity or sexual potency."

    There has never been any evidence that the hypothesis was correct. For instance, the author's relate:

In our review of the literature, we could find only one previous empirical test of the psychosexual theory of gun ownership. Using survey data collected from a national sample of men, Hill, Dowd-Arrow, et al. (2021) examined the association between sexual dysfunction and gun ownership. The key finding was that men who reported experiencing sexual dysfunction exhibited similar rates of gun ownership as men who reported no experiences with sexual dysfunction. This association was replicated across several indicators of sexual dysfunction (performance anxiety, erection trouble, and erectile dysfunction medication) and gun ownership (personal gun ownership, purchasing a gun during the pandemic, and keeping a gun in one’s bedroom). Although this work is informative with respect to sexual dysfunction, the association between penis size and gun ownership has yet to be studied.

The study authors decided to rectify that oversight, using "national survey data to extend previous work by directly examining the association between penis size dissatisfaction and personal gun ownership in America"  examining "multiple indicators of penis dissatisfaction (size dissatisfaction and enlargement history) and gun ownership (personal ownership of any gun, personal ownership of a military-style rifle, and the total number of guns owned)." 

    Long story short, the researchers discovered "that men who are more dissatisfied with the size of their penises are less likely to personally own guns across outcomes, including any gun ownership, military-style rifle ownership, and total number of guns owned." (Italics in original). Moreover, "[t]he inverse association between penis size dissatisfaction and gun ownership is linear," meaning that the greater the dissatisfaction, the less likely a man would be to own firearms and vice versa. The authors also suggest that there is an association between higher testosterone levels and owning firearms of any type. Basically, the authors found that the more manly you are, the more likely you are to own firearms. 

Wilder On "Catabolic Collapse"

 Back in 2014 I posted a 6-part series summarizing the main ideas from Joseph Tainter's book, The Collapse of Complex Societies. (Here are the links to Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4, Part 5, Part 6). 

    One of his key points is that as a society grows and deals with problems and challenges, it will add additional layers of complexity. Complexity could be from a myriad of sources: more numerous or complex trade routes or relationships (read, e.g., Leonard E. Read's famous essay, "I, Pencil"), increased compliance costs with regulations and laws, introduction of a greater number of middle-men, etc. For instance, a rather primitive society might be comprised of a mixture of hunters and gatherers, but as they settle into agriculture and herding, it becomes necessary to create laws concerning property rights and land ownership, especially as people cluster together. Then comes irrigation works, protective walls, and professional armies with their concomitant taxes, bureaucrats, courts, etc., etc. And and the cost just goes up as the society becomes more complex. As an example, the Competitive Enterprises Institute relates: "In 1960, the [Code of Federal Regulations] contained 22,877 pages. Since 1975 until the end of 2019, its total page count had grown from 71,224 to 185,984, including the index—a 161 percent increase." The CATO Institute noted in 2012 that "[t]he Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) calculates that the federal government currently imposes more than 10.3 billion hours of paperwork compliance annually." And think of all the taxes, fees, and charges that you have to pay--not just to government but to businesses--just to live in today's societies. 

    Up to a certain point, the added complexity is tolerable because it brings a benefit in excess of its costs. Laws provide rules which make life predictable and provide recourse when wronged, boosting the willingness to trade and invest. Similarly, city walls keep out bandits and enemy armies. Soldiers can chase off bandits or raiders. Nice roads make it easier to travel. Sewers cut down on disease. And so on.

    But at some point, each additional layer of complexity brings with it a greater cost than benefit. For instance, the HOA rules that allow you to use Cinnamon but not Hickory paint trim; the city that won't allow a vegetable garden; standing in long lines in order to remove shoes and belts to go through an x-ray just to board a plane; using a $2,000,000 missile to destroy a $2,000 drone; spending $28 billion to develop and build littoral combat ships that have to be scraped within a few years; wasting trillions of dollars to win the "hearts and minds" of a barbaric culture in Central Asia for no discernable purpose. 

    While it is certainly possible that some great war or calamity might overwhelm a less complex culture, once a culture reaches a point of negative return on investment, that society is burning through the surplus that allows it to afford new complexity to deal with new problems or crises, until a crises comes along where that society no longer has the necessary excess to pay for the solution. That society will then collapse.   

    A second key point from Tainter's work is that collapse does not necessarily mean a return to the primitive. The Mayan collapse was an outlier. Rather, Tainter uses collapse to mean "a return to the normal human condition of lower complexity." This is generally accompanied by governments and trade networks becoming more local. The empire breaks down into individual states or city-states, for instance, as what generally happened after the Bronze Age collapse or the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Unfortunately, such collapses generally aren't peaceful and they can result in significant declines in population when they occur. 

    John Wilder recently published a piece entitled "Catabolic Collapse – Coming Soon To A Place Near You." In it, he argues that this devolution to a lower state of complexity is already occurring. 

    First he describes what he means by "catabolic collapse":

    Economic growth is anabolic.  Building a house takes a complex logistics chain of materials and manpower and creates a yet more complex outcome, assembled only with effort and time.  A house fire is therefore catabolic – it torches and burns the whole thing down, much faster than it took to build.  But allowing a house’s roof to fail and the house to rot is also catabolic – it just takes a lot longer.

    Just as it applies to houses and body shape, catabolic can also apply to economies.  Essentially every day after the paving of a road is complete, the road is rotting.  At first this happens slowly.  However, then, as water gets a chance to penetrate it and freeze and thaw, the decay happens much more quickly.

    What happens when we can’t afford to fix stuff?  It slowly rots.  Buildings slowly decay.  Street signs fade.  Water pipes burst.  Kardashians move in.

And while the last bit about the Kardashians moving in is meant as a bit of humor, there is a darker truth behind it: the collapse of borders means that the barbarians move in--the government either can't prevent it or doesn't care. 

    In one of his recent Weekend Knowledge Dumps, Greg Ellifritz linked to an article by Bendigo Strange called "Managing Expectations". While the article was ostensibly about how the author, armed with only a 5-shot snubby revolver, dealt with multiple armed men while investigating an illegal gambling joint in the Ozarks, one fact that caught my eye was that the men operating the place were Pakistani. In the backwoods of the Ozarks. Strange, himself, pondered the question: "How they ever ended up in this tiny town in the heart of the Ozark mountains running an illegal gambling saloon one could only wonder." The answer is that it is part of the rot. Foreign populations and the crime networks that accompany them are so widespread through the United States that you can literally run into them anywhere.

    But back to Wilder's article, he continues:

    Just like keeping a body from starving requires continual food, keeping a complex system operating and running requires continual wealth and effort.  Every bridge, unless maintained, will collapse.  A comment last week talked about a pullback of restaurants in their area, more in keeping with what was in place decades ago.

* * *

    It was mentioned that area was going back the earlier “norm” of restaurants, but the reason is because the middle class has been squeezed.  This squeezing of the middle class is catabolic and will destroy demand.  This is why, right now, the economy shrinking while stocks continue upwards.  A recession is occurring in the middle class even as profits are up.  This is the collapse, but as discussed last week, it’s not sudden, until it is. 

And that takes me to Wilder's article that elicited the comment about restaurants: "France, Spain, And The Fate Of The United States." There, Wilder comments about the retail apocalypse we are seeing as chain stores and restaurants are closing locations or, in some cases, completely shutting down. He notes that "our first world wealth is rapidly slipping away." And, he concludes:

The next twenty years will be, generally, poorer in the United States and in the West.  The good news, however, is poorer equals poorer, not necessarily unhappier.  Who knows, we might even be happier if we lose the Internet and can’t access TikTok© anymore.

This does not mean that there might not be opportunities. As Wilder notes in his conclusion to his Catabolic Collapse article, "we’re standing on the edge of a new land ready to be born, that will be far different from what we’ve seen in the past.  The things we’ve taken for granted will no longer be there in many cases." "What matters is the rebuilding.  There will be choices to be made – some that will lead to freedom, some to serfdom.  As we’ve seen that paths leading away from the True, Beautiful, and Good always end in failure, most often spectacular failure, I’m optimistic."

    And this is a point that comes up in Eric Cline's book, After 1177 B.C., describing the world after the Bronze Age Collapse. Some cultures, such as the Hittites, collapsed never to be seen again; some (like Egypt) declined and never fully recovered; some states broke apart and slowly reformed in new shapes and names over the next two hundred to three hundred years; and some societies, such as the Phoenicians, not only weathered the stormed but prospered in the bad times. They were what Cline termed "anti-fragile". 

Friday, June 7, 2024

Nashville Shooter Crazier Than You Probably Thought

More pages from journals written by Audrey Hale, the tranny that went on a murder spree at the Covenant School in Nashville last year, have apparently leaked. The FBI has argued that the journals shouldn't be released because of possible inaccurate information and/or conspiracy theories they might generate, and now family members of the victims are fighting to keep the journals from seeing the light of day. There must be something really bad in there--perhaps links to other persons or organizations--but so far nothing to support the FBI's arguments from what little information that has come out. But she was apparently even crazier than you might have believed, including having violent fantasies. She was receiving mental health treatment at the time, according to one of the articles. Here are the news stories I've found so far on this latest leak:

VIDEO: "President of El Salvador says M3-13 is performing Satanic child sacrifice rituals"

 Part of an interview of the President of El Salvador by Tucker Carlson posted on Rumble (7 min.).

A Majority of Women Would Rather Be Alone With A Bear In The Woods Than A Man

From the Daily Mail: "Woman, 71, mysteriously found dead at home was mauled to death in first ever fatal black bear attack in California." From the article:

    A 71-year-old California woman who was mysteriously found dead at home was mauled to death by a black bear - in the first ever fatal attack of its kind.

    Patrice Miller was found dead last November in her home in Downieville, a tiny town in the Sierra Nevada, two hours northeast of the state capital, Sacramento.

    Sierra County sheriff’s deputies were checking on the welfare of a resident who hadn’t been seen for a few days when they found a broken door and bear scat on the porch.

The reference to bear scat reminds me of the poem, "Reincarnation" by Wallace McRae:

What is reincarnation? A cowboy asked his friend.

It starts, his old pal told him, when your life comes to an end.

They wash your neck and comb your hair and clean your fingernails,

And put you in a padded box away from life’s travails.

The box and you goes in a hole that’s been dug in the ground.

Reincarnation starts in when you’re planted neath that mound.

Them clods melt down, just like the box, and you who is inside.

And that’s when you begin your transformation ride.

And in a while the grass will grow upon your rendered mound,

Until some day, upon that spot, a lonely flower is found.

And then a horse may wander by and graze upon that flower

That once was you, and now has become your vegetated bower.

Now, the flower that the horse done eat, along with his other feed,

Makes bone and fat and muscle essential to the steed.

But there’s a part that he can’t use and so it passes through.

And there it lies upon the ground, this thing that once was you.

And if perchance, I should pass by and see this on the ground,

I’ll stop awhile and ponder at this object that I’ve found.

I’ll think about Reincarnation and life and death and such,

And come away concludin’, why, you ain’t changed all that much.

*Hamster logic reference in headline.

Reformers Prevail At NRA Meeting

The legal troubles--including allegations of corruption--was apparently too much even for the proxy voters in the NRA. As The Reload report...