I've known about this developing situation for months and tried my best to get the parties to reconcile their differences. I have my own opinions on who and what is responsible for this, but I will keep them to myself for now. As certain folks have seen fit to begin the self-justifying character assassination (waged quite openly on Facebook) that usually comes out with such donnybrooks, the only thing I can do is shake my head at the folly of conduct that I have seen far too many times in the liberty movement since the 90s.
Friday, September 4, 2015
File this under: Nothing new under the sun. Subheading: failure to subordinate ego and poor leadership resulting in mission failure leads to another schism in the liberty movement.
While Xi touted China’s commitment to peaceful development and promises to “never seek hegemony or expansion,” the V-day cavalcade painted an entirely different picture. China now possesses much of the hardware and capabilities of any other modern military power. Without Xi’s planned restructuring, however, this cutting-edge hardware will be wielded by a bureaucracy stuck in the 1950s. The stakes are high for President Xi: with domestic challenges increasingly prominent, the military component of Xi’s “Chinese dream” needs to be realized in order for Xi to continue to maintain credibility, party legitimacy, and leadership of the Chinese armed forces.
What our would-be tyrants risk with their appetites. "Beyond anger lies fury... and beyond that ... lies the region of cold and utterly uncaring indifference."
"I have seen war as it actually is, and I do not like it. But I will go on fighting." -- Audie Murphy.
Art imitates life. Audie Murphy recreates his berserker moment in To Hell and Back.
There is a scene in Audie Murphy's autobiographical film, To Hell and Back, recreating his actions after his best friend Lattie Tipton (referred to as "Brandon") was killed by Germans faking a surrender in Southern France in 1944. In his rage at the Nazi treachery, Murphy takes his revenge on as many of the Germans he can reach, using a captured MG-42.
Murphy recalled later: "I remember the experience as I do a nightmare. A demon seems to have entered my body. My brain is coldly alert and logical. I do not think of the danger to myself. My whole being is concentrated on killing." He was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions, but that couldn't bring Lattie Tipton back to life.
I thought of Murphy when I ran across this passage in Alistair MacLean's South By Java Head, a twenty cent library sale paperback I picked up for my insomniac reading list the other day:
Beyond anger lies fury, the heedless ungovernable rage of the berserker, and beyond that again, a long, long step beyond the boundary of madness, lies the region of cold and utterly uncaring indifference. When a man enters that region, as few ever do, he is no longer himself, he is a man beside himself, a man outwith all his normal codes and standards of feeling and thought and emotions, a man for whom words like fear and danger and suffering and exhaustion are words that belong to another world and whose meaning he can no longer comprehend. It is a state characterized by an abnormally heightened clarity of mind, by a hyper-sensitive perception of where danger lies, by a total and unhuman disregard for that danger. It is, above all, a state characterised by an utter implacability. -- page 234.
This is what our would-be tyrants risk with their insatiable appetites for other people's liberty and property and lives -- creating a generation of implacable foes who will not stop until the tyrants and their appetites are food for worms. Something they should consider now, before going down that road.
LATER, MBV Note: MacLean, who also wrote Where Eagles Dare and the Guns of Navarone, was a keen student of men in battle. Here is one of my favorite quotes from The Guns of Navarone:“There are no brave men and cowardly men in the world, my son. There are only brave men. To be born, to live, to die—that takes courage enough in itself, and more than enough. We are all brave men and we are all afraid, and what the world calls a brave man, he too is brave and afraid like the all rest of us. Only he is brave for five minutes longer.”But my favorite line from MacLean, or rather, through MacLean, is this quoted Gaelic prayer:“As the rain hides the stars, as the autumn mist hides the hills, as the clouds veil the blue of the sky, so the dark happenings of my lot hide the shining of Your face from me. Yet, if I may hold Your hand in the darkness, it is enough. Since I know that, though I may stumble in my going, You do not fall."
"Now the time (sic) to fight tooth and nail for stronger, more intelligent U.S. gun control."("Man, this ain't no lullaby but it sure is boring.")
Don't look now, but despite your reflexive collectivism, the paradigm has shifted beneath your feet and made such tyrannical bleating moot. Let's start with "universal background checks" which is another way of saying "firearm owner registration." Not even King George the Third was so grasping and you may recall what happened to his ambitions.Your demi-god of citizen disarmament Mike Bloomberg bought himself a background check law recently in the state of WA. What happened? He managed to provoke a movement of armed civil disobedience. A couple thousand WA firearm owners met on the steps of the state capitol (having been denied a permit, as if that was going to keep them away) in defiance of the state law, transferred firearms one to another and dared the state authorities to do anything about it. They did nothing. Then they held a "background check free" firearms expo in Yakima. Again the authorities did nothing. Indeed, the "authorities" there don't know whether to defecate or go blind. All Bloomberg can do is tear his hair and rend his expensive suits in frustration at the wastage of his millions.The same thing is happening in neighboring OR, as well as in all the states that passed tyrannical laws in the wake of Sandy Hook -- NY, CT, MD and CO. Armed civil disobedients are flouting those laws with impunity, grimly determined, growling "We Will Not Comply." Again, the authorities, having passed a law, are at a loss to know how to enforce it upon hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of newly-created felons who refuse to act like criminals. So you want to take our armed civil disobedience movement and make it national? Cool. Thanks for the help in organizing. You obviously have never heard of the Law of Unintended Consequences.To "stop gun violence" by provoking a bloody civil war seems an odd way to go about it, but then you collectivist proto-tyrants never did make much sense to the rest of us. So kindly stop bleating "disarm the law-abiding" every time some evil criminal murders an innocent. We will not surrender our essential liberty upon the altar of your alleged good intentions. Until you have the courage of your alleged convictions and use state-sponsored violence to work your will upon us, just do us the favor of shutting up. You're boring the rest of us.Mike Vanderboegh, Pinson, ALhttp://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com
“This practice is exactly what they [Coalition to Stop Gun Violence] are doing,” said Erich Pratt, spokesman for Virginia-based Gun Owners of America. “It’s one thing if someone is using a gun in an illegal or unlawful manner. No one is questioning that. But this clearly sounds like swatting.”
See also: In 2010, 38-year-old Erik Scott was shopping in a Las Vegas Costco while legally concealing a firearm. A Costco employee noticed the concealed gun and called the police to tell them there was a man with a gun inside the store. The store was evacuated once the police arrived and Erik Scott was executed in front of swarms of Costco customers. Scott, a Westpoint graduate, was a former Army officer. It’s a miracle that only one person was murdered as this unfolded.
When you introduce deadly force into a situation there is no telling what might result. People are on edge, people with deadly weapons are on edge — it’s a powder keg. These horrible gun-control monsters do not care how these situations might escalate — and escalate they will when the police are informed someone has a firearm and innocent people are “in danger” and they show up to control a potentially violent situation.If any of these zealots call the cops on a law-abiding citizen and a deadly confrontation results, they should be named as an accessory to murder.
Polish small arms manufacturer Fabryka Broni unveiled its entire Modular Small Arms System calibre 5.56 mm (MSBS-5.56) assault rifle family, currently on order for the Polish Armed Forces, for the first time at the MSPO defence exhibition in Kielce. Equipped with a quick-release barrel, the MSBS-5.56 is small arms system chambered in 5.56x45 mm with a unique feature: a common upper receiver for both classic and bullpup configurations.
MBV Note: And if they think about it, the Poles had better hang onto to those SKS rifles for their militia as well, for when the neo-Soviets come calling. Or, hey, they could sell 'em to us recalcitrant American firearm owners along with some cheap 7.62x39 military surplus to fund their new acquisitions. Sigh. Remember the good old days when SKS's were $69 a piece and Chinese steel core in tuna cans was pennies on the round? It scared the bejeezus outta the Clintonistas, I can tell you that.
Besides, if those demanding it are really interested solely in background checks, and nothing else, they’d be pushing something like BIDS, the Blind Identification Database System, instead of NICS. That would identify firearms-disabled persons without creating any kind of transaction record that could then be used for registration purposes, and without compiling records of innocent gun owners. For reasons that should be clear by now, I’m not endorsing such a system, even though it would inarguably be an improvement. I merely point to its utility as a “poison pill” to prove those who say they only want background checks would be lying if they objected to BIDS, and to note all the major gun rights groups have been aware of – and deliberately ignored – this much less intrusive alternative for years.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Thanks to the generous readers of this blog, our A/C was fixed this week. Don't ever let anyone tell you that God doesn't answer prayer, for He certainly does. It turned out to require a new fan motor, among other things. Without it, this week would have been a greater struggle than it was, and it's been plenty challenging. I did finally get the MRI done yesterday morning, so I'm waiting to find out about those two pesky liver tumors. My anemia continues to dog me, but not to the point where the docs can justify a blood transfusion. Mostly I'm treading water on the other issues. The aggravating thing is that it has gotten in the way of continuing the fight on a number of fronts.
Events crowd in, threats to the cause of liberty multiply and I'm not the only one who believes that all of our times in this strange not-yet-war-but-not-peace -- in our country and the world -- are coming to an end more evil than we have seen in 70 years.
Yet, I am painfully aware that I'm closer to the end of my personal fight than the beginning, and I'm frustrated that the fronts grow in number even as my ability to assist in them decreases. I begin to feel hopelessly inadequate to the task at hand. I can't say that I've ever considered it that way before, even when they told me I likely wouldn't make it through the stomach surgery three and a half years ago. I've always had a deep belief that God wasn't through with me yet. I still feel that way, but I am afraid that I'm letting Him -- and you -- down by not accomplishing more with the time I have.
That said, I feel even more strongly that I have neglected my family in the process. Why Rosey has stuck with me these past thirty years with all the threats that I have invited into our lives is beyond me. I ache when I consider that I haven't even seen my son's new family in Germany and may never do so. I ache that Matt's first wife has largely prevented my oldest grandson from seeing his father and his grandfather, raising him without reference to his history, his blood -- breaking that mystical tie in a selfish bid to erase us from her own guilty memory. Rosey and I sit and talk nights about how we'll get out of this hole that my disabilities, physical and economic, have dug for us these past 15 years, about our dreams of leaving behind this ramshackle house and moving up to Chandler Mountain, to raise goats and keep bees, knowing all the time that events intrude and we're likely not going to make it.
But these are the trade-offs that I have made with my eyes wide open. Looking back on the years since Waco, there are things that I would have done differently, mistakes that I made that I wish I could unmake, but not the one decision that mattered then and still matters today.
The murder of the Branch Davidians and all their kith and kin by a feral federal government was evil of the sort that any thinking being with an ounce of moral feeling had to fight. I may regret some of the steps I took, but not the road I set out on. I could not do otherwise and look myself in the mirror. Even now, when I do look myself in the mirror, cognizant of my serial failures, it is with the sense that for all the costs I have not done enough.
And the tax-paid murderous criminals of Ruby Ridge, of Waco, of Oklahoma City and Katrina, of Fast and Furious and the perpetrators of the other wholesale depredations of liberty in the past three administrations have gone unpunished, hardly even inconvenienced by the evil they committed. "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord," and I believe that. But when I look at the even bloodier, ghastlier evils that are rolling inexorably downhill at us now, at innocent people who just want to be left alone to live their lives, to love and work and raise their families in peace, I cannot help but despise the tyrant wannabes who start the stinking wars with their own insatiable appetites for other people's liberty and property and lives. I despise them at the same time I chafe at the poor showing I have made in trying to oppose their designs. Always we fight, a despised tiny minority of us, with inadequate resources, against an enemy far more powerful, it seems, than we have any hope of successfully opposing.
And yet, we do what we can with what we have, for God commands us to stand. He doesn't command us to win, but he does expect us to fight. In the end, He will do the fighting and the winning of the ultimate victory. So, in the words of my son, quoting a maxim of his beloved 101st Airborne, we "drink water and drive on," through whatever the future brings until God calls us home. In the end, perhaps, my family, my friends, and you, my readers, will forgive my failures if I continue to try to do my best. I hold onto that thought. For your support, in your prayers, with your advice and your contributions, I thank you all. Please keep me in your prayers as I thankfully keep you in mine.
'Mad Max' battle buses and tanks built by Kurdish fighters to repel ISIS soldiers in Syria -- Peshmerga troops converted old tractors and lorries into military vehicles. They are badly out-gunned by ISIS who seized weapons from the Iraqi army.
The U.S. government is fighting to keep details of how its own federal gun agents let Mexican drug cartels buy rifles in Arizona illegally out of an upcoming murder trial in which two men will be tried for the killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry who died after he ran into men carrying those same illegal guns. In a court filing Monday, prosecutors are trying to keep some details about the guns found at the slain agent’s murder scene away from the jury.
Both Flynn and Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett are gun-control activists, and Barrett has explicitly blamed Wisconsin’s liberalized concealed-carry laws for the spike in murders, saying they’ve “put more guns on the streets of the city of Milwaukee.” There’s no evidence, however, that concealed-carry permit holders are responsible for any of the crime increase, much less the bulk of it. At the same time, Maryland has extraordinarily strict gun-control laws, including a new round of restrictions passed after the Sandy Hook massacre that include “fingerprinting and licensing requirements for handgun buyers.” Whereas Wisconsin recently liberalized its gun laws and Maryland tightened them, Missouri’s gun laws haven’t been materially changed in almost a decade. Milwaukee, Baltimore, and St. Louis have all seen dramatic increases in murders despite three distinctively different gun-law regimes. What do they have in common? They’ve all been at the center of the radical critique mounted by #BlackLivesMatter.
America now faces a very real threat to its ability to project power in the Asia-Pacific; and it’s a problem—considering how fast Beijing’s missile technology is progressing—that will likely only get worse as the years go by.
See also: Banks Are Perilously Exposed to China.
Has the Clinton counterattack against President Obama begun? The Clintons have never taken a political hit lying down. But given their weak and panicky reactions to Mr. Obama’s current, well-orchestrated hit on her — the FBI investigation into her alleged mishandling of classified material as secretary of state — they have appeared to passively absorb the escalating attack. Until now. As he presses his attack, Mrs. Clinton has two choices. Option one: fold early and negotiate a mild end to the investigation in exchange for dropping out of the race. But Mr. Obama is not a forgiving sort, and now that he’s drawn blood, he’s likely to go for the kill. That suggests that the Clintons are going with option two: fight him — as part of an elaborate, unspoken negotiation between them over their secrets and futures. That requires a plausible defense. Their go-to strategy has always been to blame others, or inanimate objects such as documents, servers, “processes” — and to designate a fall guy (or gal) to take the rap. This is the well-worn path they now appear to be pursuing to try to escape Mr. Obama’s ever-tightening political and legal vise.
“If you publicly call out our government they will use infinite financial and manpower resources with unlimited time in the courts to break your spirit and your bank,” Dobyns explained to this column. “They don’t win against us on truth or justice. They win because they get challengers to give up or go bankrupt.”
"So what will Ted Cruz do? How will he play this opportunity, and how will leadership respond? If the message leadership sends is that they care less about Planned Parenthood and will do anything to avoid shutdown, even fund a harvester of baby organs with your tax dollars, Cruz will have a golden opportunity to make his case that the Republican Party has abandoned not just fiscal conservatives, not just national security conservatives, but social conservatives as well. If there is ultimately no shutdown, and whatever step avoids shutdown is seen as a sell-out by pro-lifers, he could benefit significantly. But just about every presidential candidate will have to take a stand on this issue as well, and it’s in their interests to cater to pro-lifers, too – so what does leadership do if it is at odds not just with Cruz, but with several other candidates as well?"
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Having gratefully overslept (I needed it), I have to rush off to an MRI this morning that I was supposed to have yesterday (the machine broke down) which was itself a fall-back from a scan that couldn't be done last week because of possible dye damage to my kidneys (and they can't take any more). I will have a longer, more detailed update about my personal situation later today.