Saturday, January 05, 2019

Never again?

(Inspired via a link from the Drudge Report)

Much has been written of man's inhumanity to man during the Second World War. Historians have attempted to quantify it with numbers-so many Jews killed, so many dead on the Eastern Front, this many died in bombing raids.  While the numbers are, to the best extent possible, true, there's a problem with them. When you say 5-6 million Jews died, it's a number. The human mind had a difficult time dealing with such a number. A quote has been attributed to Stalin: "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." Five or 6 million deaths is, to "normal" people, beyond compression. It's a number, a statistic, rendered meaningless by it's scale.

What about smaller numbers? Can the human mind deal with a smaller number, still in the thousands, more readily? Say, 10-15,000? That's still a little hard to deal with.

What if we can liken it to a town? "It's as if the entire population of Someplace, USA died." Does that help the human mind comprehend the number?

What if I told you a small city, say Traverse City, Michigan, was going to see every person who inhabits it die today. Maybe 1 person would survive, but even that is doubtful. How about then?

What if I told you that man's inhumanity to man was so great that a Traverse City would die today, and tomorrow, and the next day, for the next three months? That in 19 months, the rough equivalent of  113 Traverse City's would die? And that in all cases the deaths would be cold, calculated and carried out with industrial efficiency? Can you believe that any subset of our race is that...casually evil?

Well, it happened in Poland between February, 1942 and November, 1943. The Third Reich sent 1.7 million Polish Jews to their unmarked graves.

"But that was an exceptional period in history." "Can't happen again," you say? I'm calling bullshit on that. The human race is not improved that much in 75 years. In Rwanda,, 800,000 died in the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. In Cambodia, communists killed 1.7 million, give or take, in the years 1975-79. 1,000,000+ Germans will killed in the aftermath of World War II. I could continue on with smaller instances of 500,000 or less, but hopefully you get the point of these numbers.

It can happen again, and it likely will. Don't think that the US is immune-we aren't. We have, as stains on our history, instances where our country's government pursued genocidal efforts right here. Thankfully, there have been none recently.

But given the ever-declining tone of what passes for public discourse in this country, we are laying the foundations for it. As Michael Bane has noted in his podcasts, gun owners are constantly being "othered" by liberals and their allies in the press. There are groups who seek to other white males, conservatives, libertarians, rural residents, members of the military and police and probably people who wear white shoes after Labor Day.

There are a lot of things to be concerned about these days. The economy, politics, our future as a nation and world power. But spare some time to consider genocide and what leads up to it, and watch for the signs here.

You're going to be very disturbed if you do.

Friday, January 04, 2019


In the Woodpile Report #560, Ol' Remus opines

"Guys went hunting in their work clothes, with maybe a vest for ammo and sundries. In cold weather a Woolrich coat was standard."

Yeah, that takes me back. None of the men of my family ever, to my knowledge, went hunting in camo, more or less spritzing deer whiz on themselves. This included game from squirrel to wild turkey and deer. Given the right weather, I've went hunting in blue jeans and a dark t-shirt. Being that this was approximately 1 day before dirt, there was no blaze orange to be found. Of course, we all had this thing about identifying our target drummed into us from birth. We also usually got our game, even though, this being hunting, we didn't get it every time we went out. Then again, it wasn't all about busting a cap into Turkey-lurkey or Bambi in front of a video camera back then, either.

I remember my Dad warning me about wearing a bright-colored shirt when trout fishing. Oddly enough, I caught trout back then. Apparently the trout aren't members of the Fashion Police.

My Dad, who stopped hunting in his early 70s, was absolutely floored when he got cable and started watching hunting shows. Many a Saturday phone call was mostly taken up with him detailing the latest foolishness he had just witnessed, usually around hunting gear.

Sometimes, progress is just silly. Except to all those companies who have persuaded outdoorsmen that they need the latest camo, no-smell spray to mask your human-ness or deer whiz to make you smell like a 10 point trophy buck.

In a week when David (Attention) Hogg was admitted to Harvard

The adults in Florida come to the conclusion that education personnel who volunteer and are trained should be armed in schools.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why we have the traditional wisdom of "Children should be seen and not heard." They have neither the life experience or accumulated wisdom to opine on the large questions.