Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Complete Guide to Home Canning Available Through Amazon

I saw on Ammo Land an article indicating that the USDA's 2015 edition of The Complete Guide To Home Canning is available on Amazon: $12 for the paperback version or $4 for the Kindle version. You can also download it as a PDF from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. The official print version is available from Purdue University in a spiral bound version, but it is $20 plus shipping and handling.

Video: "Video captures terrifying Washington state home invasion robbery"--INTERNATIONAL NEWZ


      The two burglars enter the residence (not sure if it is house or apartment), apparently by kicking in the front door (although one can be seen carrying a pry bar). The resident had locked herself in a closet, which the burglars also kicked in. As the description in the video indicate, the burglars also took jewelry from off the woman that had attempted to hide. As you can see from the video, the whole break-in (entry to exit) apparently only took about 2 min. (More information at the Daily Mail).

The Horror, The Horror ... An LDS Blogger Doesn't Like Rap

       An LDS blogger, Ayla (blogging at "Nordic Sunrise") has come under attack because she recently objected to a black rapper, who purportedly is also a Mormon, and his promotion of low or lax standards, other black celebrities that live degenerate lifestyles (or, at least, sing in praise of such lifestyles), and otherwise promoting "ghetto culture."

       Her article that raised the left's hackles is "Mormon 'Rap' and the Destruction of White, Western, Mormon Culture." The rapper in question calls himself, "James the Mormon." Ayla notes about him:
"... while James may not cuss or rap about sex (at least not yet) it was promoting violent, inner city thug culture and it’s lack of traditional values. It was also erasing our strong Mormon musical culture." She noted that he had, via social media and his videos, promoted Bayonce, supports immigration, promotes rap and ghetto culture (i.e., "gangsta" culture), "regularly tweets about his support of lowering modesty standards for women in the church urging them to show more skin...," has tweeted support of Black Lives Matter and condoned black violence toward whites. She goes on:
It’s not that I don’t think that James is a faithful member of the church with the best intentions, he probably is, but the problem is he promotes degeneracy of western values, morals and culture. And why not? James, like most of us, was raised in an education system and culture which told us all cultures are valuable. Thug, ghetto, rap culture is held up as being perfectly equal with white, suburban culture. We are told there is no difference and to see a difference is racist but I’m sorry there IS a difference!
So now the mainstream media is out to condemn her.

       The Daily Mail, for instance, has an article about her and her post entitled "Mommy blogger turned alt right poster girl: Mormon mom-of-six causes outrage by urging her thousands of followers to back her 'white baby challenge' and have children to stop 'black ghetto culture'." The article decries Ayla's defense of Western culture, and rejecting the cultural Marxist idea that all cultures are of equal worth. It also labels Ayla as a racist for calling on white families to have more babies. This, of course, is a horrible sin; although looking forward to the decline or death of White America is perfectly okay (see these articles from Newsweek, National Review and Salon), as, apparently, are calls to kill white Americans (see, e.g., comments from a BLM protester in Seattle, Oprah Winfrey calling for the death of "racists," Lena Dunham calling for the death of white men, or a retiring Mass. State Univ. professor). And let's not forget the similar sentiment from Hispanic leaders.

       Closer to home, the Salt Lake Tribune (a consistently left wing newspaper in Utah) has also criticized Ayla, claiming "Mormon blogger trumpets alt-right racial views, but is out of tune with her religion." The article then goes on in more detail in labeling Ayla as a racist and assuring its readers that she really is not representative of the LDS Church.

       The problem with all these articles, however, is that there really is not anything being stated in the cited post on "James the Mormon" that is racist. Ayla objects to lower moral standards and ethics of the "ghetto" or "gangsta" culture and it being accepted within the Church. So what. Ben Carson has opined that hip-hop is destructive, as have many other people. Thomas Sowell has blamed IQ differences between black and white Americans on black sub-culture. (He has also pointed to the negative impact of welfare on black communities). Are the Daily Mail or Trib suggesting that "ghetto" or "gangsta" culture are racial characteristics? They must be, in the minds of the left, if criticism of these sub-cultures are racist.

       What about Ayla calling on Utah Mormons to defend their native culture. Since most Mormon settlers in what was to become Utah, Arizona, Idaho, and Alberta were originally from New England, England, Sweden or Finland, there is a native culture based on white European cultures. Efforts of blacks, Latinos, or other people of color wanting to celebrate or preserve their culture is extolled as a virtue and even finds government sanction through the likes of pronouncements of "Black History Month," or the similar. So why not those of European decent? Are attendees of Renaissance fairs now racist? That seems the implication.

       And if demographics is destiny--including political destiny--why shouldn't a future minority work to change that destiny, even if entails calls to have more children. Asking whites to have more children is not the same as urging blacks or Hispanics to have less.

       What Ayla has demonstrated, in actuality, is how racist are journalists and those on the left. The left denigrates whites by calling anyone that likes Western civilization a "racist," while at the same time implying that deficiencies in black sub-cultures should be excused because of the implication that it is innate to the black race.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Congressional RHINO's Double Down on Stupid

They don't call the Republican Party the "Party of Stupid" for nothing. Following on Paul Ryan's insistence on a watered-down version of Obama Care instead of repealing the thing, Reason now reports that Congressional Republicans don't actually want to cut federal spending as Pres. Trump has requested in his proposed budget.  

March 29, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Jumping from a car, Russian weapons in the wild, the new civil war, and more....

"How to Jump From a Speeding Car"--The Art of Manliness.
  • "Gear Review: JMT Saber Single Stage Drop-in Trigger"--The Truth About Guns. The trigger retails for $100. The author provides a graph showing the pull and let off, and then compares it against other triggers. Basic point, however, is that the author believes it is a very good trigger, especially considering the price point.
  • Russian weapons in the wild. The Firearms Blog has a couple posts regarding Russian weapons in Syria based on social media photographs:
  • "VSK-94s Operational Usage By SSA"--the VSK-94 fires a 9 x 39mm cartridge, and was issued to Russian police forces. These examples, however, are various such weapons that appear to have been issued to and used by different Syrian units.
  • "Camouflage Paint Application….It’s the ‘Little Things’ that Really Hide You…OR Make You Stick Out…."--Defensive Training Group. Using photographs showing the good, the bad, and the ugly, the author offers tips and a few tricks for applying camouflage "paint" (i.e., make-up) to your face and hands, and some other tips to keep your visibility down. It must not be something taught very well in the military, at large, because his "ugly" example was a woman soldier at Ranger training school who had done a truly awful job of selecting colors that didn't blend in as well as failing to break up the shapes and shadows of her face.
  • I know I posted this a few months ago, but I felt impressed to do so again today: "Changing Buffer Weight on AR15s"--Rifle Shooter Magazine. A discussion of the different buffer weights, why you might want to change, and some other options. Must read for anyone building an AR or that might have problems after switching out the upper receiver.
  • "KDG Apparition Pack: A Discreet Option for Your Guns and Gear"--Tactical Life. Some people want their packs, bags, and gun cases to be tactical (or, at least, tacti-cool). Others want something more discrete, at least for everyday use. Discrete does not necessarily mean subdued colors, but something that does not advertise "gun" by its shape or configuration. This pack appears to be designed for the latter person. It is black and red, and designed for a rifle that either folds up or is broken down, with extra pockets for water bottles and a concealed handgun. According to the article, the length is 27-inches, but can be extended to 33-inches. The main thing, however, is that it doesn't look like a "tactical" bag.
  • "You Should Be Shooting Two-Gun"--Breach Bang Clear. As the author notes, one of the downsides of 3-gun is getting the shotgun. Not only because it is yet another weapon to buy and configure for shooting, but also because a good 3-gun shotgun is neither a self-defense shotgun or a field shotgun, but something that is purely for competition. He believes that a lot more people would be attracted to competitions if the shotgun portion was dropped, and it was just handgun and carbine/rifle. I agree. Unfortunately, it appears that the only competitions are in Arizona.
  • "Reconsidering the Revolver Tactical Reload"--Revolver Guy. We've all heard of tactical reloads on semi-auto firearms: switching out a partially fired magazine with one fully loaded so we aren't caught with an empty weapon. Apparently some instructors have tried to extend this to revolvers. While I can see it with single-action revolvers where the rounds are ejected or inserted one at a time through a side loading gate--during a lull, it would make sense to top off the weapon. I've never thought about it with double-action, swing-cylinder revolvers because it is much faster to load those revolvers with a speed-loader or speed-strip. The author of this particular article explores what else can go wrong if you are trying to eject and replace only a portion of the cartridges/cases in your cylinder, especially under stress with reduced fine motor control.
  • "Precision Rifle Chassis & Stocks: What The Pros Use"--Precision Rifle Blog. This article just summarizes a poll or observations of what some of the top precision rifle shooters have been using this past year, without discussion of the particular merits of each.
  • "Editor's Notebook: Targets"--The Tactical Wire. A bit of history of the targets used by police for practice/qualifying, and changes that have been adopted, including using targets with a "no-threat" indicator and "threat" indicator. Also, if you want to customize the standard cardboard silhouette target, the author notes that Patriot Stencils offers reusable stencils to paint indicators or other features onto a target. 
  • "Kershaw Barricade: The Emergency Responder’s Knife"--Tactical Life. This 3.5 inch folder comes with a bright orange handle, a seatbelt cutter slot, and a glass breaker. I had bought a similar knife a few months ago, but without really paying attention to blade length. It had a blade over 4-inches in length, which made it too long under state law to just carry in the glove-box of a vehicle (absent a concealed carry license). 
  • "US Military Buying Thousands More M68 Close Combat Optics"--Kit Up! These are the Aimpoint CompM4 sights.

Other Stuff:
       Authorities say the plainclothes officers, who are part of the Homicide Task Force Gang-Unit, were investigating at the Annie Coleman Apartments on the city's north side when around six men walked toward the unmarked car and opened fire.
           At least eight rounds struck their car, blowing out the front passenger window.
             At least one of the officers returned fire through the windscreen. John Rivera, president of the Miami-Dade police union, said.
      The suspect knew one of the detectives injured in the shooting, so it apparently was not his first interaction with law enforcement.
               Some civil wars happen when a political conflict can’t be resolved at the political level. The really bad ones happen when an irresolvable political conflict combines with an irresolvable cultural conflict.
                 That is what we have now.
                   The left has made it clear that it will not accept the lawful authority of our system of government. It will not accept the outcome of elections. It will not accept these things because they are at odds with its ideology and because they represent the will of large portions of the country whom they despise.
                     The question is what comes next.
                       The last time around growing tensions began to explode in violent confrontations between extremists on both sides. These extremists were lauded by moderates who mainstreamed their views. The first Republican president was elected and rejected. The political tensions led to conflict and then civil war.
                         The left doesn’t believe in secession. It’s an authoritarian political movement that has lost democratic authority. There is now a political power struggle underway between the democratically elected officials and the undemocratic machinery of government aided by a handful of judges and local elected officials.
                           What this really means is that there are two competing governments; the legal government and a treasonous anti-government of the left. If this political conflict progresses, agencies and individuals at every level of government will be asked to demonstrate their allegiance to these two competing governments. And that can swiftly and explosively transform into an actual civil war.
                    Read the whole thing. 

                    Tuesday, March 28, 2017

                    "The Bell Curve" In Action: Latino Students Call The Wearing of Hoop Earrings "Cultural Appropriation"

                    The Daily Mail reports that "White women criticized for wearing hoop earrings because the style results from the 'oppression and exclusion' of people of color as the jewelry is increasingly seen as a form of 'cultural appropriation'." (See also this article from The Blaze). Not sure that it is increasingly seen by anyone of any note as a form of cultural appropriation except for the leftist fascists (but I repeat myself). In any event, there is a rather glaring problem with the whole idea:  gold, silver and bronze hoop earrings were prevalent in the Minoan Civilization (2000–1600 BC) and in later Bronze Age civilizations (including Greece) around the Mediterranean. Also:
                    ... crescent-shaped gold hoops worn by Sumerian women around 2500 B.C.E. are the earliest earrings for which there is archaeological evidence. By 1000 B.C.E., tapered hoop (also known as boat-shaped) earrings, most commonly of gold but also of silver and bronze, had spread throughout the Aegean world and Western Asia. In Crete and Cyprus, earrings were embellished with twisted gold wire, clusters of beads, and pendants stamped out of thin sheet gold.
                    That took me all of about 30 seconds to find.

                    March 28, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                    Genocide in preparation in South Africa; the C-clamp style of holding a rifle; and more...

                    "Exaggerated C-Clamp Rifle Grip: Hype or Not?"--CaptainBerz (20 min.). The author of the video generally has a "live-and-let-live" attitude about handling the front end of a rifle: if it works for you, great. But he goes on to discuss some shortcomings to the "exaggerated C-Clamp" rifle grip because of the unnatural position for the arm and potential to block the view through an optic or of the front sight.

                    • "Did The Single Stack Nine Kill The Carry Revolver?"--The Captain's Quarters. Smith excerpts from a Shooting Illustrated article that suggests that the small 9 mm autos available now have eliminated any need for snub-nosed revolvers. Smith says "no," explaining: 
                    And I never worry about whether a round is chambered, or whether it will work when it’s supposed to.  A round is ready, and it will work.  I know that without a doubt.  The wheel gun will never go out of style.  
                    One thing that stuck out in the Shooting Illustrated article, and which I've seen other point out, is that the shape of the revolver lends itself to concealed carry more than an autoloader. The author of that article conceded that:
                    The thinner, slimmer design of the semi-automatic means it can slide into locations for concealed carry that aren’t available to thicker, bulkier revolvers, although, counter-intuitively, I’ve found that unless you pay attention to holster choice, a small .38 Spl. revolver forms an indistinct lump in a front pocket that’s easily mistaken for a wallet and keys, while the flatter, more angular form of a mini 9 mm sticks out and says “gun” more readily.
                    • A new Woodpile Report is out. Amongst other items, Remus discusses the surge in demand for luxury bomb shelters and retreats, including downsides, including that the person to whom you have outsourced your emergency shelter might not want to let you in, and once in, "[i]n any protracted catastrophe some bunkermates will do the arithmetic and expel the others."
                    • Rats abandoning the ship: "Rich Venezuelans Are Seeking Haven in Madrid"--Bloomberg. No surprise: those with the money are fleeing while they still can. 
                    • The elites are revolting: "Sanctuary city mayors fire back at Trump administration's threat to cut fed funding"--Fox News (warning: video starts automatically). They are confident, probably with good reason, that the courts will side with them in any legal battle with the federal government.
                    • A couple new articles on the impending white genocide in South Africa:
                           LAST month, British woman Sue Howarth and her husband Robert Lynn were woken at 2am by three men breaking into a window of their remote farm in Dullstroom, a small town in the northeast of South Africa, about 240km from the nearest capital city.
                             The couple, who had lived in the area for 20 years, were tied up, stabbed, and tortured with a blowtorch for several hours. The masked men stuffed a plastic bag down Mrs Howarth’s throat, and attempted to strangle her husband with a bag around his neck.
                               The couple were bundled into their own truck, still in their pyjamas, and driven to a roadside where they were shot. Mrs Howarth, 64, a former pharmaceutical company executive, was shot twice in the head. Mr Lynn, 66, was shot in the neck.
                                  Miraculously he survived, and managed to flag down a passer-by early on Sunday morning. Mrs Howarth, who police said was “unrecognisable” from her injuries, had multiple skull fractures, gunshot wounds and “horrific” burns to her breasts.
                                    “Sue was discovered amongst some trees, lying in a ditch,” writes Jana Boshoff, reporter for the local Middelburg Observer newspaper. “Her rescuers managed to find her by following her groans of pain and then noticing drag marks from the road into the field.
                                     “Her head was covered with a towel. Her eyes were swollen shut. She was partially clothed with just scraps of her shirt remaining. Her breasts and upper body was bloody. The plastic bag, shoved down her throat, took some effort to remove because her jaw was clamped down tightly.
                                       “How she managed to breathe with the bag in her throat remains a mystery. One of her rescuers later recalled how Sue was unresponsive except for the constant groaning. Whilst the man ran back to the road to see if an ambulance has not arrived yet, she managed to curl one of her arms around her breasts in a last attempt to protect herself.”
                                         She was rushed to hospital and placed on life support, but died two days later. ...
                                    Although the attention given to this brutal murder is unusual, the fact of the murder is not. The story goes on to report:
                                             In any other country, such a crime would be almost unthinkable. But in South Africa, these kinds of farm attacks are happening nearly every day. This year so far, there have been more than 70 attacks and around 25 murders in similar attacks on white farmers.
                                               Earlier this month, for example, 64-year-old Nicci Simpson was tortured with a power drill during an attack involving three men at her home on a farm in the Vaal area, about two hours drive from Johannesburg.
                                                   While sometimes farmers and their families are tortured to obtain information, such as the whereabouts of keys to the safe, human rights groups say the excessive brutality may be intended to send a message to the general farming community — get out of our country.
                                                     Victims are often restrained, harmed with weapons such as machetes and pitchforks, burned with boiling water or hot irons, dragged behind vehicles and shot. Female victims are often raped during attacks.
                                                       AfriForum warns that the attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, military-style raids, but says community farm watch groups and sharing of information on WhatsApp and Facebook were thwarting a “significant” number.
                                                         The three men responsible for killing Mrs Howarth — Themba William Yika, Nkosinathi Yika and Lucas Makua — were arrested soon after, and more than 150 farmers turned up to demonstrate outside court.
                                                           But any form of justice is incredibly rare, and white farmers are increasingly questioning their future. The number of white farmers in South Africa has halved in a little over two decades to just 30,000. Thousands more farms are up for sale.
                                                             “The farmers live in fear, because being a farmer in South Africa is the most dangerous occupation in the world,” Henk van de Graaf, spokesman for the TAU, told Swedish newspaper Nya Tider last year.
                                                               “The average murder ratio per 100,000 or the population in the world is nine, I believe. In South Africa, it is 54. But for the farming community it is 138, which is the highest for any occupation in the world.”
                                                                 Since 2007, at the direction of the government, South African police have stopped releasing statistics about the race of the victims. Monitoring group Genocide Watch says the cover-up has been exacerbated by American and European governments, which have “remained silent about the problem, reinforcing the campaign of denial”.
                                                          • "Targets In South Africa's 'Genocide' All White"--WND. This article also explores recent events in South Africa, but focuses more on the anti-White messaging from elected officials, including a call by South Africa's president to confiscate property from white citizens. The article goes on to relate:
                                                                   The security crisis is exacerbated by the strict gun control imposed by the country by the African National Congress’ government and the breakup of the collective self-defense organizations, the commandos, which once guarded farmers.
                                                                     “Many South Africans are still armed, although the government has worked hard, and is relentless, in trying to disarm law-abiding citizens,” said van Wyk. “It is difficult for a wicked government to wipe out tens of thousands of citizens opposing them, when those citizens are armed and prepared to defend themselves.”
                                                                       Van Wyk points to the nightmare scenario in Zimbabwe, where whites were ethnically cleansed and famine gripped the entire country, as the possible consequence of a successful disarmament policy by the South African government. However, he does not believe the South African government is capable of such an action.
                                                                         “Zimbabweans were disarmed by the Mugabe regime,” van Wyk observed. “A Zimbabwe-like operation like the Gukurahundi killings carried out by Mugabe’s Fifth Brigade between 1983 and 1987 and which killed tens of thousands of people, is unlikely with an armed populace in South Africa.”
                                                                           Still, the high crime and racial hatred directed against the Afrikaners raise the question of whether they still have a place in the country they largely created.
                                                                    I would close with the following observation from The National Review:
                                                                      It appears that South Africa is about the most dangerous place you can be outside a war zone. What’s more worrying is the chance that it might become a war zone. Nelson Mandela was able to hold the “rainbow nation” together, but he’s passed on. Now, according to the human-rights organization Genocide Watch, South Africa is at pre-genocide stage 6 of 8: “Preparation.”
                                                                        The National Review article is from two years ago.

                                                                        Monday, March 27, 2017

                                                                        Diversity is Our Strength: New York Drops Literacy Test for Aspiring Teachers

                                                                        The New York Times reports that "Regents Drop Teacher Literacy Test Seen as Discriminatory." The story reports: "The Board of Regents on Monday eliminated a requirement that aspiring teachers in New York State pass a literacy test to become certified after the test proved controversial because black and Hispanic candidates passed it at significantly lower rates than white candidates." The test only required an eighth grade reading level.

                                                                        Video: "1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed"--a presentation by Eric Cline, PhD

                                                                        (1 hour and 10 min.)

                                                                        Although Dr. Cline mentions that the Exodus occurred during this period, I suspect the Exodus was probably a key event. Egypt, in ancient times, was the breadbasket of the Mediterranean. If grain shipments from Egypt were keeping other nations afloat, and then suddenly the slaves that grew and harvested the grain suddenly up and left, what would be the natural result? In any event, Cline also wrote a book about this topic (which he discusses in the video), which I review here.

                                                                        March 27, 2017--A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                        This is a guest video by City Prepping produced in conjunction with Canadian Prepper that discusses some particular challenges facing Southern California (essentially the greater L.A. area, and south to San Diego), particularly based on new research and findings concerning earthquakes. The primary issue, though, is that faults could destroy not only east/west vehicular traffic, but destroy the aqueducts bring water into the region and natural gas pipelines. 

                                                                        • "Bicycle Powered Thresher"--No Tech Magazine. Explanation and link to plans at According to the article, Farmhack has plans for two other grain processing tools: a bicycle powered fanning mill and the bicycle powered de-huller/flour mill. It looks like it would be more fruitful to use an old exercise bike, rather than an actual bicycle.
                                                                        • "How To Fix Scratches On Your AR-15"--Captain's Journal. A link for a video about fixing scratches to the aluminum receiver or other aluminum parts. I would note that for steel parts, Birchwood Casey makes a pen for touching up bluing, and also offers a black touch up pen for anodized aluminum or black coated steel. 
                                                                        • "Quality Clothes"--Survival UK. Skean Dhude writes about how, with some items, you will be penny-wise and pound-foolish by purchasing low quality products, including clothing. He notes, however, "that simply paying a lot for some designer labels doesn’t mean that it is quality clothing."
                                                                        • Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness has had a couple recent posts concerning preparing for house fires, including smoke and CO detectors and having an evacuation plan. (See here and here). In the latter article, the author makes an important point: 
                                                                               First, during a fire, the hot, poisonous gases will rise to the ceiling of a room, so you and your family need to practice rolling out of bed when the fire/smoke alarm starts to beep, buzz, or sound.
                                                                                   If you immediately sit up and take a breath, you may breath toxic fumes causing you to become unconscious.
                                                                                     Next, once you, your partner, or children roll out of bed to the floor, they need to practice crawling out of the house, just in case the room has filled with smoke.
                                                                              I remember an instance of a woman who died as a result of being overwhelmed by toxic fumes from smoldering carpet in her car. She had driven onto a side road (really, nothing more than a dirt track) to rest a short while, and ran over a rock or some bump that smashed her exhaust pipe against the floor of the vehicle, which then heated it up until the carpet started smoldering. She lost consciousness as she was attempting to get out of the car. By that time, the interior of the car had caught fire and she burned to death before anyone passing by could do anything.
                                                                              Other Stuff:
                                                                                     Predictive policing, or the idea that software can foresee where crime will take place, is being adopted across the country—despite being riddled with issues. These algorithms have been shown to disproportionately target minorities, and private companies won’t reveal how their software reached those conclusions.
                                                                                       In an attempt to stand out from the pack, predictive-policing startup CivicScape has released its algorithm and data online for experts to scour, according to Government Technology magazine. The company’s Github page is already populated with its code, as well as a variety of documents detailing how its algorithm interprets police data and what variables are included when predicting crime.
                                                                                Anyone that has examined FBI crime statistics can tell you why predictive programs would "disproportionately target minorities." 
                                                                                       Banks, mostly small or midsize ones, have been raising record sums via NCDs [negotiable certificate of deposit], selling 4.4 trillion yuan ($639 billion) worth this year, 65% more than in the same period of 2016. They use the proceeds to buy higher-yielding, longer-term assets like corporate bonds or investment products issued by fellow banks.
                                                                                         NCDs initially offered banks the attractions of low cost and no collateral requirements, but since October the average cost of issuing the AA-rated three-month NCDs has risen ... [and] in some cases exceeding yields on AA-rated one-year corporate bonds.

                                                                                    * * *
                                                                                             As issuance costs rise, more Chinese banks are being forced to sell new NCDs just to repay old ones. “When your borrowing cost is getting close to 5% and your bond is yielding only a little over 4%, you must be borrowing money to prevent a liquidity crisis,” Mr. Wang said.
                                                                                               Even without the fresh pain of rising interest rates, the mismatch between the NCDs’ short lifespan and the bonds’ longer duration leaves banks with a liquidity hole needing constant plugging.
                                                                                                 The pressure is imminent: According to research firm Rhodium Group, 1.53 trillion yuan in NCDs mature this month, while calculations by analysts at China International Capital Corp. indicated that around half of the NCDs outstanding would mature between February and May.
                                                                                          •  "New Crude Found in UK Waters"--The American Interest. The newly discovered field, in the North Sea off the Shetland Islands, may hold as much as 1 billion barrels.
                                                                                          • "A theory, falsified, again"--Vox Day. A fundamental premise of evolution--that complexity increases over time--has been shown to false. Day summarizes:
                                                                                          In summary:
                                                                                            1. Biologists predicted genome size would increase over time, and that was wrong. 
                                                                                            2. Biologists then predicted that gene number would increase over time, and that was wrong. 
                                                                                            3. Biologists predicted that complex body parts would develop after simpler body parts, and that was wrong.
                                                                                            4. Biologists have now found that the oldest living ancestor of animals, comb jellies, already had brain, nervous system, and muscles, and that sponges later lost those genes. Complexity was there at the start. 
                                                                                            5. Biologists have also found, through experiment, that most mutations cause a loss of complexity.
                                                                                                      The latter is particularly important, because it renders evolution statistically improbable to the point of impossibility. ...
                                                                                                      • "National Review To Baptists – Help Muslims Build More Mosques"--Anonymous Conservative links to an article where certain Baptist ministers apparently believe that they can ensure their future survival under a future Muslim majority by supporting Muslims now. Anonymous Conservative explains how this attitude is an r-strategy, completely at odds with K:
                                                                                                      What they don’t realize is, if you are a K-strategist, your attitude would be “F[**]k the Muslims, and f[**]k anyone who f]**]ks with us one day too!” A K-strategist expects to face an angry mob one day, because that is the world they expect and what they are designed for. So when someone says, “If you don’t support the building of Mosques, one day others might fight with you,” the K-strategist fails to see why supporting the mosques now will avert what they view as an unavoidable conflict-circumstance later. Instead the K-amygdala will focus on the Muslim threat, and figure why not destroy it now while it is weak? That causes the whole argument to fail. ...
                                                                                                      Read the whole thing.
                                                                                                      Christians should be prudent, that is, not seek needless  career martyrdom in pursuit of principles where victory is impossible; they should save themselves for family and community. Where believers are driven out of certain professions by the new secular inquisition, Dreher says, they should instead be entrepreneurial. Christians should rediscover the trades, where the religious can make a living without signing on to secular ideology. They should buy from other Christians and help Christians find employment.
                                                                                                      He goes on to compare what Dreher is recommending against the experience of the Jews, particularly Orthodox Jews. He observes:
                                                                                                      ... Orthodox Jews succeed in keeping their children in the fold, to a greater extent, at least, than any other identifiable religious group in the United States. The survey data suggest that about two of three children born to observant families become observant adults. They do this by maintaining their own institutions and, where that is not practical, their own well-defined enclaves in such institutions as major universities. Observant Jews mainly attend Jewish day schools (I do not personally know any Orthodox home schoolers). They marry young, usually in their early twenties. Orthodox Judaism has one major university, New York’s Yeshiva University, but Orthodox students tend to cluster in other universities where they can find a daily minyan (prayer quorum), kosher food, and above all prospective Jewish mates.
                                                                                                      But he also warns:
                                                                                                             As a practical matter, homeschooling isn’t a good option for most parents, not only because they may not be qualified to teach, but because children learn more from each other than they do from their teachers. Dreher cites Jewish education and the diligence of students at Yeshiva University, but he does not mention how expensive it is to live the simple life outside the orbit of the secular world.
                                                                                                               Jewish education is costly because it requires the service of professionals. Modern Orthodox Jewish students tend towards well-compensated professions in anticipation of the high cost of educating their children. The Modern (or university-educated) Orthodox embrace secular education in parallel to Jewish learning, and are one of the most successful communities in the United States. They need to be. As noted, marrying young is the only reliable way to insulate a community against the temptation of easy hook-ups. But that requires parents to support their married children for a considerable period of time.
                                                                                                                 Among ultra-Orthodox Jews, the majority is composed of Hasidim, and most of them reject secular culture. Many speak Yiddish rather than English at home, and watch Yiddish soap operas, read Yiddish adolescent fiction, and so forth. Many of the Hasidim make do with purely religious education at low cost, but a high percentage of them are very poor. The Satmar Hasidic sect’s enclave of Kiryas Joel in Orange County, New York, had the highest poverty rate in the nation as of 2008. They are also heavily dependent on public assistance. The Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn is one of the highest recipients of rental assistance vouchers in New York City, with subsidized tenants making up half of all households in some census tracts.
                                                                                                                   This is an untenable (and in my view unfortunate) state of affairs. ...
                                                                                                            I am only about halfway through The Benedict Option, so I probably should reserve any comments in regard to Goldman's thoughts. However, I would note that I have yet to see anything that changes the opinions I expressed the other day--that is, that Dreher either can't see or won't acknowledge the connection between the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the destruction of the right of association, and the developing government persecution of Christians who do not want to be part of the societal and moral decay that the left calls "freedom." However, he does present some good ideas on developing one's personal faith and religiosity, and ideas that seem applicable to the Christian prepper. I am still on the fence as to whether Dreher's thesis is defeatist or not. There is a difference between withdrawing to lick one's wounds, and conceding the field to the enemy.
                                                                                                            • Quote of the day: "It take oppression and hardship to stiffen men's guts and put the fire of hell into their thews."--Robert E. Howard in his story, "A Witch Shall Be Born."

                                                                                                            Sunday, March 26, 2017

                                                                                                            March 26, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

                                                                                                            "Deputy Uses Distance to Stop Threat"--Active Self Protection (4-1/2 min.)
                                                                                                            Alternate title: a pistol beats a sword.

                                                                                                                   Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.
                                                                                                                     In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
                                                                                                                       When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
                                                                                                                Persuasion does not necessarily rest on reason: most persuasion is actually emotional. But it is otherwise a good essay. Read the whole thing.
                                                                                                                • I found the foregoing essay via a story of its practical application: "The Story of a Gun that Saved Two Lives"--Tin Can Bandit's Gunsmithing. An 87 year old man on oxygen used a revolver to defend he and his daughter from a meth-addled estranged son-in-law.
                                                                                                                • "Say 'Hello' to my Little Friend"--Telluric Group. A drill for the snubby revolver or other low capacity firearm, with downloadable target.
                                                                                                                • "Beyond the One Percent (part 1)" and "Part 2"--KR Training. Part 1 has some thoughts on firearm ownership versus the number of people that practice regularly or obtain additional training. Part 2 looks at the differing motivation and goals of many shooters, and discusses the various "tribes" within the shooting community. His take away, however, is that "motivating people that aren’t currently interested in doing more than the state’s minimum may require appealing to higher level needs as opposed to a fear-based approach that emphasizes 'safety' as the main reason to attend." There will be additional parts as this series is from a rather long presentation made by the author to the training community.
                                                                                                                • "Grip Adjustment"--Stuff from Hsoi. Thoughts on gripping the handgun, including concentrating on using the pinkie finger. 

                                                                                                                Other Stuff:
                                                                                                                This may become the photo of the year. (Source)
                                                                                                                • A recent counter-protest to a Trump rally didn't go so well for Black Bloc members seeking to disrupt the rally. The Black Bloc members attacked, and experienced what it is like when the other side punches back twice as hard and the police aren't protecting them. Several articles (many with some excellent photographs) follow:

                                                                                                                Saturday, March 25, 2017

                                                                                                                March 25, 2017--A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                                • "Skipping The 'OO' In OODA"--Gabe Suarez.  The "OO" in OODA stands for "observe and orient". However, if you arrive on a scene with some foreknowledge of what you will be encountering, you can significantly shorten the time for observing and orienting yourself to the situation. Suarez explains from an example where two officers had been called to the scene of a reported armed robbery. The robber presented himself, carrying a rifle with a 90-round drum magazine. According to the report, the officers fired a total of 13 rounds from their sidearms in 2.6 seconds, killing the robber. (That is considerable restraint compared to how police react in my neck of the woods). Suarez explains:
                                                                                                                       ... here is what I think the reality of the event really was - The good guys made up their minds that this was going to be a shooting when they got the call.  Thus the need to "Observe" and "Orient" was minimized to the point of having already been accomplished, leaving only the presentation of a target and the elimination of same.
                                                                                                                       In 2.6 seconds (I suspect less that that) there was no, "Is this my suspect?", "Could it be someone else dressed just like him with a rifle?", "Should I challenge him?", "What if its not him?", and so on and so forth.  And I doubt there was a great deal of yelling to drop the gun.
                                                                                                                         There was a description, a location, and a description of events that justify shooting.  The two "O"s are taken care it was simply a matter of visually locating him.
                                                                                                                  Although the term suggests the spontaneous and unpredictable transformation of an innocent into a kind of murderous beast, such wolves are actually "lone" only in a very limited sense. They differ from their background in degree, distinguished by critical extras such as 1) the willingness to use violence; 2) the training to employ it; and 3) the means necessary for an attack.

                                                                                                                  Other Stuff:
                                                                                                                           A SWAT team set up a perimeter in the neighborhood for hours, believing the man was barricaded inside. Police fired rounds of tear gas into the home, trying to get the man to come out, LAPD Capt. Paul Vernon said on Twitter.
                                                                                                                             Around 6 a.m. Friday, police entered the home and conducted an “extensive search” of the property, Eisenman said. The man was not found.
                                                                                                                               It was unclear when he left the house, authorities said.
                                                                                                                                 The dart from this secret CIA weapon can penetrate clothing and leave nothing but a tiny red dot on the skin. On penetration of the deadly dart, the individual targeted for assassination may feel as if bitten by a mosquito, or they may not feel anything at all. The poisonous dart completely disintegrates upon entering the target.
                                                                                                                                   The lethal poison then rapidly enters the bloodstream causing a heart attack. Once the damage is done, the poison denatures quickly, so that an autopsy is very unlikely to detect that the heart attack resulted from anything other than natural causes. 
                                                                                                                            (H/t Anonymous Conservative).
                                                                                                                            • "How to unlock your car in 30 seconds"--Roman UrsuHack.  (Video; 2 min.). The method uses a string with a loop in the middle. Introducing the string and loop by prying out the door slightly, you can then pull the string down until you get the loop over the knob for the lock, pull the loop tight, and then pull the knob up using the string. 
                                                                                                                            • The wages of sin socialism: 
                                                                                                                            • "Venezuela is out of food, out of medicine, and running out of gas"--Hot Air. Bakers being arrested if they use flour to make brownies instead of bread; seeking assistance from the UN for medical supplies (which are then apparently shipped to other countries); and running short of gasoline although sitting atop some of the largest oil reserves in the world.
                                                                                                                            • Armed heists in the news:
                                                                                                                                   This is the second shooting incident to occur in less than 24 hours in Sin City, as a gunman in a pig mask opened fire during an armed robbery at the iconic Bellagio hotel earlier in the day.
                                                                                                                                   Earlier on Saturday, a gunman opened fire during an armed robbery at the nearby Bellagio hotel, prompting terrified tourists to seek shelter amid a chaotic scene. 
                                                                                                                                   At least three people entered a high-end store, which is believed to be a Rolex store, inside the resort, including one who fired gunshots, police said.
                                                                                                                            • Fort Apache, Sweden. "Swedish Police Under Siege"--Anonymous Conservative. Rinkeby is one of those "mythical" no-go zones in Sweden. It is so safe and full of grateful refugees, that the police are spending $43 million to build a new police station in the suburb town, complete with "bullet proof windows, steel reinforced walls, and surrounded by security fence." Also, it is too dangerous for officers to go to work using public transport; instead, they "may have to be driven to the station daily for their personal safety." Anonymous Conservative comments:
                                                                                                                              Sooner or later the resources are going to contract suddenly. When they do, that neighborhood is going to become vastly more violent, and the residents are going to start flooding out to raid neighboring areas. After raiding, they will escape back into the neighborhood with their booty and try to keep the cops out. Since that raiding booty is all that will support the residents of the neighborhood, the residents will unite against all outside forces, from Swedish citizens to Police.
                                                                                                                                       During trials on mice, the team found that the drug directly repaired DNA damage caused by radiation exposure or old age.
                                                                                                                                         'The cells of the old mice were indistinguishable from the young mice after just one week of treatment,' said lead author Professor David Sinclair.
                                                                                                                                           Human trials of the pill will begin within six months.
                                                                                                                                             'This is the closest we are to a safe and effective anti-ageing drug that's perhaps only three to five years away from being on the market if the trials go well,' said Professor Sinclair.
                                                                                                                                        This should be interesting. Will it be considered a "right" to obtain the drug? Or will it be kept from certain populations? And , in either case, what social disruption might result?

                                                                                                                                        Discrimination and the Benedict Option

                                                                                                                                               Patrick J. Deneen discusses the current state of Christianity in the United States in his article "Moral Minority" at First Things. The title is a reference to Jerry Falwell's efforts in the 1980s to create the "moral majority": a political movement that sought to harness the political power of socially conservative Christians, which Falwell believed represented a silent majority of the electorate. The author, Deneen, argues that, whether or not there was a "moral majority" at that time, it certainly does not exist today:
                                                                                                                                        Thirty years later, the mood has changed. Three books have appeared almost simultaneously that assume the opposite of what Falwell believed: America is populated by an immoral majority. Not only is its leadership class dominated by progressive elites, but the American public more generally has been corrupted by constant saturation in a media of skepticism and irony, pervasive consumerism, unavoidable pornography, and incessant distraction fostered by entertainment centers in every person’s pocket. America has lost its faith, and so the faithful have begun to question their belief in America.
                                                                                                                                               Deneen then goes on to describe the three books: The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation by Rod Dreher; Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World by Charles J. Chaput; and Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture by Anthony M. Esolen. The common theme linking the three books is that Christians need to build sustaining communities and prepare to weather the end of our current culture and civilization and the new one to come.
                                                                                                                                               Deneen describes the current situation:
                                                                                                                                                 Yet over that same span [1970s to 2000s], the culture changed, and not in Jerry Falwell’s direction. Measures of community strength, volunteerism, neighborliness, and civil society declined. Family breakdown increased, especially among the economically disadvantaged of all races. Divorce rates skyrocketed, and though they later leveled off for the wealthy, they remain high, especially for the poor. At the same time, rates of marriage have declined, and American birth rates have begun to resemble those of an aging and childless Europe. A holocaust of unborn children continues unabated. Findings by both conservative and liberal social scientists such as Charles Murray and Robert Putnam show an extraordinary erosion of social norms and expectations—familial, educational, legal, and professional—especially among those who make up the working class of America. Social mobility has become a taunt rather than a real possibility for many Americans, replaced by a self-perpetuating new aristocracy that congregates in the wealthiest urban areas of the country. Trust in all the main institutions of American society—both public and private—has declined, as has trust of citizens toward each other.
                                                                                                                                                   Findings by the Pew Research Center about religious belief and practice show an ongoing decline in religious belief and membership, including a dramatic rise in nonbelievers, especially among the millennial generation. Even where religious faith persists, Christian Smith suggests that religion for many Americans is individualistic and therapeutic rather than a source of discipline and moral norms. For nearly thirty years, conservatives have triumphed politically amid a catastrophic breakdown of social and cultural norms, especially those that foster an ethic of self-sacrifice, commonweal, and practices that inculcate duty, discipline, respect, civility, and obedience.
                                                                                                                                            He continues:
                                                                                                                                                     And so here we are. The long-standing conservative narrative held that America is fundamentally decent but that those decencies are being eroded by an elite that subscribes to non-American, and even anti-American, values. The simultaneous political success of conservatism and ruination of American culture has made this view untenable. Now, a more radical possibility is opening up. Traditional Christians now wonder if a just and righteous society must be built in opposition to a national creed that has led inexorably to libertinism.
                                                                                                                                                       This conclusion has become harder to avoid. If the conservative political movement animated by a belief in a moral majority was born out of Roe v. Wade, it died with Obergefell v. Hodges. It died especially because, unlike Roe—which was decided while public opinion was divided, inchoate, and moveable on the question of abortion—Obergefell was decided with the backdrop of consistently growing popular support for marriage between homosexuals, with particular enthusiasm among a younger generation that will inherit the nation. Obama’s war against traditional Christians paid electoral dividends, supported all the while by the media, schools, universities, and even corporate America. This has caused a growing number of Christians to conclude that the nation is no longer a Christian nation, if it ever was.
                                                                                                                                                Dreher makes similar comments in his book, but places the tipping point slightly before the Obergefell decision. Dreher concludes, instead, that "[t]he steady decline of Christianity and the steady increase in hostility to traditional values came to a head in April 2015, when the state of Indiana passed a version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act." He goes on:
                                                                                                                                                       The law merely provided a valid religious liberty defense for those sued for discrimination. It did not guarantee that those defendants would prevail. Gay rights activists loudly protested, calling the law bigoted--and the for the first time ever, big business took sides in the culture war, coming down firmly on behalf of gay rights. Indiana backed down under corporate pressure--as did Arkansas a week later. 
                                                                                                                                                       This was a watershed event. It showed that if big business objected, even Republican politicians in red states would not take a stand, even a mild one, for religious freedom. Professing orthodox biblical Christianity on sexual matters was now thought to be evidence of intolerable bigotry. Conservative Christians had been routed. We were living in a new country.
                                                                                                                                                It was shortly afterward that Obergefell was decided; a decision that bluntly stated that opposition to gay marriage could only be the result of animus. Dreher astutely notes (although without awareness of the full import) that "[p]ost-Obergefell, Christians who hold to the biblical teaching about sex and marriage have the same status in culture, and increasingly in law, as racists."
                                                                                                                                                       It is interesting to me that Dreher, and I suspect all the authors cited above, would reject out of hand any explanation by the Alt-Right, yet surely the Alt-Right has the answer to what happened, that being that the Republican party is not and has not been "conservative," because they do not conserve anything. Their only principle is to cow-tow to big business.
                                                                                                                                                       This should not be too surprising, though, because the Republican party was not the party of social conservatism until the 1970s and '80s when social conservatives, disaffected by the Democrats, increasingly fled to the Republican party; a movement that showed most strongly in Reagan (himself a former Democrat) successfully bringing traditional Republicans and social conservatives under the same tent to win the Presidential election against Jimmy Carter. However, Reagan was unable to shift the soul of the party leadership, and habit, more than anything, allowed the two Bushes to claim the conservative Christian vote.
                                                                                                                                                       But Deneen and Dreher are both wrong as to when the Culture War was lost. Ironically, it is Dreher that gives us the answer to that question. To repeat from above: "Post-Obergefell, Christians who hold to the biblical teaching about sex and marriage have the same status in culture, and increasingly in law, as racists." (Underline added). And that--the racist part--marks the loss, because it was with anti-discrimination laws that the government took upon itself to destroy freedom of association, and tell us whom we had to hire, whom we had to work for, and provided the laws to punish any that objected.
                                                                                                                                                       Or, as Angelo Codevilla observed, "when the 1964 Civil Rights Act substituted a wholly open-ended mandate to oppose 'discrimination' for any and all fundamental rights, it became the little law that ate the Constitution." And, he adds: "Now, because the Act pretended that the commerce clause trumps the freedom of persons to associate or not with whomever they wish, and is being taken to mean that it trumps the free exercise of religion as well, bakers and photographers are forced to take part in homosexual weddings."
                                                                                                                                                        One could go even farther back, to Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333 (1890), wherein the United Supreme Court held that freedom of religion only protected one's religious beliefs, not one's religious practices. But I agree with Codevilla that the watershed was the various civil rights and anti-discrimination cases and laws that completely usurped the freedom of association (which is, in its negative--the freedom to not have to associate--is most valuable). After that, it was unacceptable to hold to any mores that did not have the tacit approval of the government.
                                                                                                                                                       This is not to say we should seek to discriminate against others because of their race, sex, or whatnot (although it certainly is appropriate under certain circumstances), but that we ought to have the right to do so, if we so wish. Discrimination takes thought--at least if one is to provide a rational for it--but indiscrimination does not. 
                                                                                                                                                       A couple weeks ago, I noted a speech by Evan Sayet that discussed this very topic. I'll set out again the relevant portion of his talk:
                                                                                                                                                        What happens is, they are indoctrinated into what I call a "cult of indiscriminateness." The way the elite does this is by teaching our children, start­ing with the very young, that rational and moral thought is an act of bigotry; that no matter how sin­cerely you may seek to gather the facts, no matter how earnestly you may look at the evidence, no matter how disciplined you may try to be in your reasoning, your conclusion is going to be so tainted by your personal bigotries, by your upbringing, by your religion, by the color of your skin, by the nation of your great-great-great-great-great grandfa­ther's birth; that no matter what your conclusion, it is useless. It is nothing other than the reflection of your bigotries, and the only way to eliminate bigot­ry is to eliminate rational thought.
                                                                                                                                                           There's a brilliant book out there called The Clos­ing of the American Mind by Professor Allan Bloom. Professor Bloom was trying to figure out in the 1980s why his students were suddenly so stupid, and what he came to was the realization, the recog­nition, that they'd been raised to believe that indis­criminateness is a moral imperative because its opposite is the evil of having discriminated. I para­phrase this in my own works: "In order to eliminate discrimination, the Modern Liberal has opted to become utterly indiscriminate."
                                                                                                                                                             I'll give you an example. At the airports, in order not to discriminate, we have to intentionally make ourselves stupid. We have to pretend we don't know things we do know, and we have to pretend that the next person who is likely to blow up an airplane is as much the 87-year-old Swedish great-great-grand­mother as those four 27-year-old imams newly arrived from Syria screaming "Allahu Akbar!" just before they board the plane. In order to eliminate discrimination, the Modern Liberal has opted to become utterly indiscriminate.
                                                                                                                                                               The problem is, of course, that the ability to dis­criminate, to thoughtfully choose the better of the available options--as in "she's a discriminating shopper"--is the essence of rational thought; thus, the whole of Western Europe and today's Democrat­ic Party, dominated as it is by this philosophy, rejects rational thought as a hate crime.
                                                                                                                                                        However, this stupidity has infected the Christian right. For instance, Deneen mentions that "[m]easures of community strength, volunteerism, neighborliness, and civil society declined." But does he ask why? Would he even admit that racial and ethnic diversity are one of the principal root causes of the decline he laments? How about the rise in single mothers and children born out of wedlock? Statistics tell us that "[a]mong non-Hispanic blacks, the figure [for out-of-wedlock births] is highest, at 72.2 percent; for American Indians/Alaska Natives, it’s 66.9 percent; 53.5 percent for Hispanics; 29.4 percent for non-Hispanic whites; and a mere 17.1 percent for Asians/Pacific Islanders." An inconvenient truth, indeed. 
                                                                                                                                                               Some of you reading this (assuming you have gotten this far) may think me racist for pointing out these facts; although I would contend that it is not racist if it is true. But that is not my intent. Instead, I use this as an example that we so desire the praise of man (or, at least, fear social approbation or ostracism) that we censor not only our very thoughts, speech and action, but seek to do so to those around us; and because of this desire (or fear), failed to object to the incremental broadening of anti-discrimination laws. Of course, under the 1965 Civil Rights Act and its progeny, it is more than just disparagement that one might face, but the force of law could then be brought down upon someone for expressing truths or opinions that were deemed verboten. 
                                                                                                                                                               Of course, once the government goes down the road of forcing you to hold an opinion with which you may not agree, and force you to associate with or provide labor or products to those with whom you do not want to, it is only a matter of time until the set of forbidden thoughts and acts begins to encompass more and more of other private conduct and association. It is a domino effect. And coupled with the goals of Cultural Marxism, its ultimate aim will be to destroy all conduct or associations not affirmatively approved of by the State.
                                                                                                                                                               Martin Niemöller is remembered best for the following quote concerning German acquiescence to National Socialism: 
                                                                                                                                                          First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.
                                                                                                                                                            Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
                                                                                                                                                              Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.
                                                                                                                                                                Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
                                                                                                                                                                 Something similar can be said about our society:
                                                                                                                                                                        First they came for the racial bigots, and we did not speak out--Because we were not racists or bigots, and did not like the bigots. 
                                                                                                                                                                        Then they came for those that said that there were material differences between races and cultures that made them incompatible, and we did not speak out--Because we wanted to be welcoming to all peoples and cultures and not thought of as a bigot. 
                                                                                                                                                                       Then they came for the clubs that were men-only, because we knew that the sexes were the same, and it was bigotry to think otherwise. 
                                                                                                                                                                        Then they came for those that were opposed to the sin of homosexuality and abortion, and we did not speak out--Because we believed in live-and-let-live, that a woman's rights were greater than a baby's, and, besides, we didn't want to be thought a bigot. 
                                                                                                                                                                       Then they came for those that defended Western culture and values, and we did not speak out--Because we did not want to be called a bigot, and, besides, everyone and every culture are of the same value and worth. 
                                                                                                                                                                       Then they came for those that wanted to preserve traditional marriage, and we did not speak out--Because we did not want to be thought a bigot, and besides, they just loved each other and lots of people cohabited without getting married, so what did it matter anyway. 
                                                                                                                                                                       Then they came for those that would not actively support gay marriage and transexuals, and we did not speak out--Because we did not want to be called bigots, although we could not think of any other valid reason.
                                                                                                                                                                       Then they came for whites and we did not speak out--Because, of course, all whites are bigots (even if unconsciously) and we do not like bigots. 
                                                                                                                                                                       Then they came for ...  
                                                                                                                                                                Where does it end?
                                                                                                                                                                        The Benedict Option will not withstand a system of law that is empowered to destroy any association that is not approved by the State, and will actively seek to destroy those associations. Yes, I suppose that Christians could develop a system of "house churches," always trying to skirt below the radar, but this will of necessity be a system similar to the cells in a guerrilla organization, not a civilization within a civilization for which the Benedict Option seems to call. The efforts of churches to accommodate the demands of the government and society are ephemeral, because there will always be more demands. But no church is going to run the risk of saying "enough is enough," and face the consequential bankruptcy and other government sanctioned attempts to dissolve said church. 
                                                                                                                                                                       Benedict was successful in large part because of the failing civil government, poor communication, difficulty in traveling, and lack of hostile surveillance that marked the dissolution of the Roman Empire. It is these same factors that allowed Christian communities to survive within the Islamic lands. But just as modern technology has allowed hostile Islamic governments and militant groups to destroy and drive out those surviving Christian communities over the past century, so too will churches in the West seeking survival under the Benedict Option be discovered and destroyed. 
                                                                                                                                                                       Moreover, those taking up the Benedict Option will need to reject the string of defeats I listed above in my paraphrase of Niemöller's poem, which won't happen. Trust will need to be paramount, but how many modern Christians are willing to say, let alone believe, that their culture is superior to all others; to reject admixtures that lesson trust and community cohesion; to turn out those that buck church laws and covenants? In short, what churches will allow discrimination, because there must be some discrimination to have a community separate from the world around it if for no other reason than to keep that world out. But all I see or hear from various churches are calls for inclusion that are incompatible with the separateness needed for survival. 
                                                                                                                                                                       In short, absent a collapse of general social order, the Benedict Option will not succeed. We can seek to ignore the world, but the world will not ignore us.

                                                                                                                                                                Wokeness is War

                                                                                                                                                                     I post a lot about the decline of our civilization, including topics about declining morality, the war on fathers and the traditional f...