Friday, August 28, 2015

I'm sorry

(Via the Drudge Report)

Actually, I'm not, not even a little.  I'm enjoying the show way too much.

Today, it's time for Peggy Noonan, once-upon-a-time speech writer for Ronald Reagan, to take a turn trying to figure out the phenomena that is The Donald.

"One is the deepening estrangement between the elites and the non-elites in America."

Really?  What was your first clue?  The fact that the alleged "base of the Republican Party was staying home in droves on election day?  Good lord woman, we've done everything except take out billboards.

I stand corrected.

Mr. Trump’s supporters aren’t just bucking a party, they’re bucking everything around, within and connected to it.

Well derp.  The GOP (Greatly Ossified Party) has proven time after time that, once elected, its members cannot be identified from the members of that other party.  Why shouldn't we be bucking at any and everything in it or its near its vicinity?

The people hate the elites, which is not new, and very American. The elites have no faith in the people, which, actually, is new. Everything is stasis. Then Donald Trump comes, like a rock thrown through a showroom window, and the molecules start to move.

I don't buy the elites having no faith in the people as being new.  I seem to recall certain members of the Founding Fathers who didn't have a lot of faith in the simple man.

I do, however, love the line likening Trump to a rock thrown through a showroom window.  He is causing that sort of mass upset.

I'm just waiting for him to start up one of those expensive cars in the showroom and start driving it like he stole it.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

"They don’t realize how the grassroots have abandoned them."

(Via the Drudge Report)

Man, if that isn't the money quote from an article, I've never seen one.  Let's have an instant replay:

"They don’t realize how the grassroots have abandoned them."

Can we have that a little louder?

"They don’t realize how the grassroots have abandoned them."

That is GOP pollster Frank Luntz talking about Donald Trump in an article from The Hill, Pollsters dumbfounded by Trump.  Of course, the fact that the grassroots have bailed on the Godawful Old Party isn't news to the sort of folks who stumble in the door here, nor is the notion that the discovery of this would confuse the professional political pollsters.  Hell, we've been leaving the GOP in droves for years.  How the hell do they think the current turd in the punch bowl got elected?  Well that and a good dose of election fraud, probably.

I'm telling you, buy stock in popcorn producers while Wall Street is still reeling.  This is shaping up to be a fun show. and you don't want to miss a bit of the action.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Yeah, about those disruptive forces

It seems that Drudge has a lot of articles talking about this very thing on this fine Sunday morning:

  • Trump as the warrior male:  Paleo this and that seems to in these days, so why no paleopolitics?
  • Why Donald Trump Won't Fold:  The New York Times thinks its a cult of personality.  People like his in the face attitude.  Hmm...kinda sounds like the first article, now doesn't it?
  • The Bernie Boom:  The Wall Street Journal issues a report on a man who seems to be a likable grandfather-ish candidate, who seems to be a bit surprised at his own success as a candidate for president.
So we have The Donald as this larger-than-life, can say just about anything without getting into hot water candidate, and Bernie as this lovable but slightly eccentric grandfather that representatives of the other side can't bring themselves to criticize.

You know, I hope this is the 2016 election.  Not only will it be the most fun thing to watch--EVER!--but it will absolutely confound the hell out of the rest of the world.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Disruptive influences

Sorry for the lack of posting--you work in "higher education" and the start of fall semester is a killer.  At least we now have all the baby darlings back and ensconced in their dorms, er, excuse me, "residence halls".  Now they can spend the next few months drinking, screwing and getting tattooed safely out of sight of the parental units, and maybe, just maybe, getting something that looks like an education in the process.  No, I'm not cynical at all.

I haven't been so busy that I can keep up with the news.  While I am watching with no small interest the economic gyrations involving China and it's Amazing Disappearing Economy, the thing I'm finding the most interesting is our current political scene, and the presidential candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Bless their hearts, these two may be the best hope the country has had in years.  If they keep it up, they may give a large fraction of the professional political class in the United States a well deserved massive myocardial infarction.  They are upsetting the carefully laid plans of the political establishment to run Hillary Clinton against Someone Marginally to the Right of Hillary Clinton, and the professional political class is absolutely at a loss at what to do about it.

Of course, Hillary isn't helping them much.  Her bathroom email server escapade just isn't going to go away quietly.  It would have been better if she's just come out and said she was a lesbian or a transsexual.  She would have been a hero.  But running a insecure server in a bathroom and larding it up with over 60,000 classified messages?  Even a Clinton is going to have a hard time with that one.

The cast of characters auditioning for the Someone role is pretty uninspiring, and was likely to lead to the largest election lack of turnout in recent history.  I know I wouldn't go to vote for any of the losers candidates.  And when you can't get someone like me, who votes out of this idiot feeling of duty to go vote (Good grief, I held my nose and voted for McLame, fer Pete's sake!), the Professional Repblicans had better start being concerned.  Hrumph, hrumph.

But then our boys Trump and Sanders throw their hats into the ring, and Oh Emm Gee.  Bernie the Unrepentant Socialist is energizing the Far Left Crazies in the Democrat Party like no one since Stalin.  Trump is being his usual brash self-promoting self and fed up alienated former middle class people are loving his illegal alien rants.

Republican and Democrat political operatives are buying antacid by the case.  The media is trying to help both parties out, but when Megyn Kelly flopped miserably in attempt to snare The Donald during the first Republican debate on Fox, then was pretty nastily put down by Trump the next day and all the vindictive spew aimed at Trump to "apologize" only made him triple down...well hell, those former middle class folks only cheered him that much more.  He's just doing what they'd like to do and don't have the opportunity to do--stick it in the face of the people who hold them in contempt.

In the meanwhile, Sanders is making the Democrats sweat blood, because he is saying all the things in public that they speak of in private.  My God (well, if they believed in one), can't somebody shut that guy up?  He's spilling the beans!  Pretty soon everyone is going to know our cunning plans!

These two have taken the normally predictable political landscape of the primaries, tossed it into a blender and turned the thing up to "puree".

While I'm not sure I want either one of them for President (I sure as hell don't want that assclown Sanders.  Trump...well, he can't be much worse than Obozo.), they do say we get the government we deserve.  After the stupidity we've exhibited in the last few elections, maybe that's exactly what's going to happen.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Book Review: Makeshift Workshop Skills and More Makeshift Workshop Skills

We're going for a two-fer this time.  This pair of books may or may not merit a place on your preparedness bookshelf. We'll discuss them and you decide for yourself.

The two volume "Makeshift Workshop Skills for Survival and Self Reliance" and "More Makeshift Workshop Skills" are probably not what you think they are going to be from their titles.  Neither is really a book of projects, although there are projects in the books.  The author does devote time in volume one to the subject of makeshift tools, for example.  Also, I particularly enjoyed the foot treadle machines in the second volume.  I've always been interested in the concept of a spring-pole lathe, and this is the first book I've bought that really speaks to them as a buildable project.

Neither are they "how to" books in the traditional sense.  Author James Ballou does not really go into any great depth on woodworking, forging metal or any of the other skills that many in the preparedness community speculate will be necessary after an "event".  It is taken as a given that you already have the basic skill sets down.  He does, however, devote time to more advanced subjects, such as the types of adhesives and their uses and the various types of welding.  He also devotes time in volume one to the effective use of the makeshift tools he has advised you how to make.  Being makeshift, some allowances have to be made.

At the end of it all, what these books really about is more about a way of thinking.  How do you look at that scrap pile and see raw materials for that spring-pole lathe rather than a bunch of  kindling wood?  Do you know the many uses for old tires, and can you think of new ones?  When you run out of twine or rope, can you find the raw materials and build the necessary fixtures to make more?  Can you build a forge, fuel it, and reforge found metal into something new and useful?

Ballou also makes sure that you understand the properties of the materials.  When would you use osage wood rather than hickory?  What is the difference between high carbon steel and cast iron?  Do you understand how to get mechanical advantage from pulleys--and when enough is too much?  What is the melting temperature of various metals you may encounter?

These two volumes will not make you an expert in any of this.  What they can do is set you on a path.  You can start learning look at things differently.  Rather than running to the hardware store for a shovel, maybe you fix the broken one--or fashion a new one from materials at hand.  Maybe you seek out specialty books on the subject of metalworking and learn the craft. Or perhaps you decide that you  want to take up leather working as a hobby that can pay its own way.

Or maybe you decide to stick with the flock.  Baa-a-a.

Makeshift Workshop Skills for Survival and Self-Reliance:  Expedient Ways to Make Your Own Tools, Do Your Own Repairs, and Construct Useful Things Out of Raw and Salvaged Materials by James Ballou
ISBN 978-1-58160-705-5

More Makeshift Workshop Skills by James Ballou
ISBN 978-1-58160-746-8

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The media was finally successful

In their quest to gin up another warped individual determined to win his 15 minutes of fame, the media finally found a taker today in Tennessee.  No word yet on why the police were there in record time, but the fast reaction of a good guy with a gun prevented a bad guy with a gun from doing any serious damage.

This time, it was fortunate the police were on the scene.  Normally, this won't be the case.  As the old saying goes "I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy."  We are our own first responders, and the sooner we realize that and start acting upon the realization, the better off we'll all be.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Why Johnny can't read

(Via The Smallest Minority)

Why can't Johnny read--or write, or carry on an intelligent conversation, or build a proper English sentence?  Hell, why can't Johnny even think for himself?  Why does Johnny have to have assistance with the most mundane tasks of daily life?  Why is Johnny so upset about the death of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe but so oblivious to a myriad of critical problems washing up on his front doorstep?

Because Johnny has been educated in the state schools to be a proper drone in the service of the state, that's why.

I work in private higher education now, and I see it in our incoming freshman class every year.  They are not stupid--they are intelligent and capable of learning--but they are ignorant.  They know nothing of history, of literature, of the arts or of science.  Their idea of culture is a 24 pack of Bud Light and all the porn they can watch on the weekend.  They don't have bad morals or poor morals--they have no morals.

When confronted with the fact that they are ignorant--when their noses are rubbed into the smelly puddle of their own lack of knowledge of anything that hasn't happened in the last 8-10 years--the reaction is usually one of hostility, because they've always been told that they're special.  Just show up and you'll get a ribbon, a certificate of attendance, a trophy.  Now they're told that they aren't special and that they are in fact less than special.

It certainly doesn't help their world view to find this out.  And you can't fix in 4 or 5 years the failures of the past 12 or 13.  So we drag them through every process, from registration and financial aid through showing up for classes and laundry, and the fortunate ones who take direction well are eventually shepherded down the aisle and handed a degree that is likely worth less than my father's high school diploma that he earned in 1940.

Why am I bothering to tell you this?  Well first of all, because they breed and they vote.  Some of the ones I see are accompanied by their parents, who are just as bad.  They are a large part of the reason why things are going to pieces around here.

Second, because if/when our system breaks down, this is who will be making up that "Golden Horde" we've all heard about.  Amoral, ignorant, special people.  Some among the prepping community think we should all be ready to hand out rations to them--some beans, leaflets on how to make water safe to drink and so on.

You want me to let amoral, ignorant and special (as in "entitled") people know that I have things they don't have when everything around them has gone to hell?  Even if it is done through a local church they're smart enough to put 2 and 2 together and hang around for the next handout, even if you tell them that's all they get.  They'll get angry, mob up and take what they feel they're due.

There are thousands of ways you can die after things go bad.  You don't need to add to that list.