Archive for January, 2017
31 Jan 2017

Times Have Changed

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Bird Dog & Ace:

I remember back in the old days, public conversations between liberals and conservatives usually went something like this:

1. liberal: says something
2. conservative: responds
3. liberal: you’re a racist | sexist | bigot | pejorative du jour
4a. conservative: I am not a racist | sexist | bigot | pejorative du jour
4b. conservative attempts to give evidence for statement 4a.
5. liberal: not good enough
6. Goto step 3

The new, Trump-era “honey badger conservative” playbook appears to be this:

1. conservative: says something
2. liberal: you’re a racist | sexist | bigot | pejorative du jour
3. conservative: fuck you.

31 Jan 2017

Left Melting Down

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31 Jan 2017

Italian Partisan Air Rifle

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“Partisan Airgun” – fearsome anti-Nazi weapon clearly based on the Girandoni repeating airgun system. Courtesy of Beeman Collection

Made in the 1940s during WW2, this gun doesn’t look like a Girandoni, but examination shows that it clearly was built by someone familiar with the Girandoni repeating airgun system. The story is that this gun was built in Austria by a partisan bicycle maker during the Nazi occupation in WW2 . The repeating magazine is spring fed and on the left side of the barrel, for the convenient use of a right handed shooter. The gun was charged with the accompanying bicycle type pump. Smoothbore, as would be expected, but firing a 11 3/4 mm lead ball (.463″ caliber) (the very same caliber as the original Girandoni Austrian military repeating air rifles!), this would have been a fearsome weapon against sentries, drivers, military leaders, etc. at ranges up to perhaps 100 yards. To a freedom fighter, the lower discharge sound and the lack of flash or smoke would have been huge values. And it did not need powder, primers, or bullets – only easily cast lead or soft-metal balls! The builder surely drew his inspiration from an Austrian museum which displayed a Girandoni system airgun. The excellent quality reflects the experience of a perfectionist bicycle maker with considerable time on his hands – consistent with such a craftsman in an occupied area.

Note that this gun has a spring fed magazine, rather than the gravity fed magazine of the original Girandoni military air rifle. While a gravity feed mechanism might be simpler, and even more dependable, the spring fed magazine has great advantages for the purposes of this gun. It is more suited for operation from a vehicle or firing slot where it would be impractical to tip up the rifle for loading and it allows firing with minimal motion at the firing point – very important to a sniper.

Basic specs: A husky 12.2 lbs., 45″ overall, glare-free, w/ almost camo anodized type finish.

31 Jan 2017

East Asia & Australia

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(click on map for larger image)

30 Jan 2017

Natural Selection Foiled by Coast Guard in Northern California

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30 Jan 2017

Peter Fonda’s Certainly Sold Out

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Hat tip to Vanderleun.

30 Jan 2017

The “Niceness” of the Elite

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Acculturated:

Peter Augustine Lawler, a professor of government at Berry College, in the new edition of National Affairs. Lawler sees the Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton contest as in large part a tale of the brutish against the nice. Many a Clinton voter would enthusiastically agree. But while the dangers of brutish thinking are obvious, Lawler points out that there is also good reason for niceness to be rejected by Americans in large parts of the country.

Niceness isn’t really a virtue, Lawler says. It’s more of a cop-out, a moral shrug. “A nice person won’t fight for you,” he points out. “A nice person isn’t animated by love or honor or God. Niceness, if you think about it, is the most selfish of virtues, one, as Tocqueville noticed, rooted in a deep indifference to the well-being of others.” Trump’s lack of niceness, so horrifying to Clinton voters, registered to his acolytes as a willingness to fight for what’s good, particularly American jobs and American culture.

Niceness is paradoxically more selfish than undisguised selfishness to Lawler, because an openly selfish person at least signals to others what his intentions are. Niceness, however, means, “I let you do—and even affirm—whatever you do, because I don’t care what you do . . . Niceness, as Allan Bloom noticed, is the quality connected with flatness of soul.” Lawler goes on to remark that in an increasingly nice world, in which faking niceness becomes an important job skill, soldiers and police officers become part of the counterculture. Men, especially white men, especially working-class white men, are the ones who do the not-nice jobs in our country, are comfortable with brutishness, and see the global economy as a fierce struggle between “them” (the Chinese who are stealing our jobs, the Mexicans who are undercutting us on wages) and us.

The nice people, cocooned in wealthy coastal zip codes and doing service work that doesn’t require getting your hands dirty, don’t see any of this, but they’re happy to leave the struggling classes to their fates. For the upper echelons of society, this wasn’t always so; not long ago, in Britain for instance, the well-heeled felt a duty to lead, to provide cultural guidance. These were the aristocrats, and they ran the institutions—the church, the BBC—that were beacons for the aspirational. The bourgeoisie worked as one strongly to discourage socially destructive behavior such as raising children outside wedlock, drug or alcohol abuse, or idleness. Those who couldn’t speak proper English were encouraged to do so.

Today, in Britain as in America, the nice-ocracy simply shrugs as the struggling classes make terrible decisions. Who are we to impose our values on others, ask the nice-ocrats? Isn’t this or that regional patois just as good as standard English? If children in the poorer zip codes are getting a terrible education, the nice-ocrats don’t make a fuss. People are intelligent in their own ways, say the nice-ocrats. If testing doesn’t support this, we should cast doubt on the tests. Anyway, if the not-so-gifted people raise not-so-gifted children, there won’t be additional competition for those few spots on the best campuses. At Dartmouth, Yale and Princeton, there are more students from the top one-percent of the income scale than the bottom 60 percent. The nice-ocracy smiles and says, “Yes, but we voted for slightly higher taxes last time. Surely the poor unfortunates will see a bump in their welfare checks soon. Now excuse me, I have to take Emmett to his viola lesson and then his SAT tutor.”

30 Jan 2017

Trump’s Wall

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“Fixed fortifications are monuments to man’s stupidity. If mountain ranges and oceans can be overcome, anything made by man can be overcome.” –George Patton.

29 Jan 2017

“Pauline in the Yellow Dress”

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Sir James Gunn, Pauline in the Yellow Dress, 1944, Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston.

“Pauline was the artist’s wife. Her glamour and enigmatic smile caused a sensation when the portrait was first exhibited in London. The Daily Mail described it as the ‘Mona Lisa of 1944’. Gunn was Britain’s foremost portrait painter of his time. Amongst his sitters were two kings and three prime ministers. He painted Pauline many times.”

70 Years of Pauline

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

29 Jan 2017

Little Bighorn 7th Cavalry Colt

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One of the prizes at the upcoming James D. Julia Firearms Auction – April 11, 12 & 13, 2017:

Historic Colt SAA SN 5773 Picked Up By Captain Benteen After the Battle Of The Little Bighorn (1 of 3). This One is The Most Complete And Is Featured In Kopec’s Book.

29 Jan 2017

Exactly

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Deport these.


Keep these.

28 Jan 2017

The Triumph of Free Trade

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An elaborate allegorical illustration used as the frontispiece in Jane Cobden’s book The Hungry Forties (1904) which was part of the free trade campaign against Joseph Chamberlain’s pro-tariff movement in 1903. There is a very large sheaf of wheat (the “Fairy Wheatsheaf”) in the centre with the heads of Cobden and Bright near the base (other heads are visible in the grass beneath and around the sheaf but these are hard to identify); to the left is a destitute family which has been impoverished by tariffs; to the right is a prosperous family which has been enriched by free trade. The writing at the bottom of the page is hard to read but it is called “The fairy Wheatsheaf. Free Trade & Protection Contrasted”

Richard Ebling, at the Foundation for Economic Education, explains how free trade triumphed in the mid-19th century making Europe into a great and prosperous modern civilization.

Great Britain became the first country in the world to institute a unilateral policy of free trade. For the rest of the nineteenth century — indeed, until the dark forces of collectivism enveloped Europe during World War I — the British Empire was open to the entire world for the free movement of men, money, and goods.

Its economic success served as a bright, principled example to the rest of the globe, many of whose member countries followed the British lead in establishing, if not complete free trade, at least regimes of much greater freedom of trade and commerce.

British free trade policy helped to usher in the age of nineteenth-century free trade, and fostered what has been called the classical liberal era of “the three freedoms” which only came to an end with the First World War in 1914. The German free market economist Gustav Stolper explained these three freedoms in his book, This Age of Fable (1942), written while in exile in America during the Second World War:

    They were: freedom of movement for men, for goods and for money. Everyone could leave his country when he wanted and travel or migrate wherever he pleased without a passport. The only European country that demanded passports (not even visas!) was Russia, looked at askance for her backwardness with an almost contemptuous smile. Who wanted to travel to Russia anyway? …

    There were still customs barriers on the European continent, it is true. But the vast British Empire was free-trade territory open to all in free competition, and several other European countries, such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia, came close to free trade.

    For a time the Great Powers on the European continent seemed to veer in the same direction. In the sixties of the nineteenth century the conviction was general that international free trade was the future. The subsequent decades did not quite fulfill that promise. In the late seventies reactionary trends set in. But looking back at the methods and the degree of protectionism built up at that time we are seized with nostalgic envy. Whether a bit higher or a bit lower, tariffs never checked the free flow of goods. All they affected was some minor price changes, presumably mirroring some vested interest.

    And the most natural of all was the free movement of money. Year in, year out, billions were invested by the great industrial European Powers in foreign countries, European and non-European … These billions were regarded as safe investments with attractive yields, desirable for creditors as well as debtors, with no doubts about the eventual return of both interest and principal.

The nineteenth-century victory of free trade over Mercantilism and Protectionism represented one of the great triumphs in the history of classical liberalism. It was the achievement of the Scottish Moral Philosophers and those that are now referred to as the “Classical Economists” in demonstrating the spontaneous order and coordination arising from a free, competitive market system – Adam Smith’s “system of natural liberty” and the cooperative gains for all through a system of division of labor.

The momentous importance in human history of this triumph is not always appreciated for what it was: a crucial institutional transformation that heralded the beginning of the material and cultural improvement of mankind through the private and peaceful associations of humanity for the mutual betterment of the mass of mankind. This transformation continues today, even in the face of the reactionary return to paternalistic government and political interference with human life over the last century.

28 Jan 2017

Trump’s Wrong on This One

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27 Jan 2017

“Because **** These People”

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Open Blogger offers a pretty darn good justification for supporting Trump.

Personally, I don’t feel in any way responsible for Trump, nor do I feel compelled to defend him against attack.

Why? Because I voted for retribution.

“He’s think-skinned and petty!” shrieks the left. “He takes everything personally!”

Good, I say. I want him to take attacks personally and deal out payback. I know I won’t be the target, you will be.

“He’s unpresidential! He’ll destroy the integrity of the office!”

No, that’s already happened. Remember, you elected a shit-talking jackass who takes selfies at state funerals when he’s not giving stealth middle fingers to his opponents during debates. There is no dignity of the office, not after Clinton and Obama.

“He’s a narcissist! He’s got totalitarian impulses!”

Yes, he’s basically a mirror version of Obama. Except now, he’ll be working for what I want. The end justifies the means. You taught me that.

“A sitting president going after the media. OMG!”

Oh, like Obama trashing Rush Limbaugh and Fox News? How about when he sent his lackeys to berate news reporters for failure to flatter him at all times. Oh, and NSA spying on the press. That was pretty great, too.

“He won’t show his taxes!”

Don’t care. Where are Obama’s college transcripts, by the way?

“He’s a bully! Is this what you want? Someone who uses his power to bully other people?!!!”

And this is where everything funnels down to the very nexus of my change in attitude from “Do unto others” to “I will do unto you what you do unto me.”

It’s two words: Memories Pizza.

It was that moment that everything changed for me–not only the harassment, fake Yelp reviews and the death threats that forced them to temporarily close up shop–oh, that was bad enough, but the most powerful man on Earth bullying a couple of small town pizza owners from Indiana simply for expressing an opinion on a hypothetical asked of them by a reporter with a malicious agenda? That was when I snapped.

Do you remember?

It’s this that sent me to a place from which I’ll never return. I literally don’t care what Donald Trump does because nothing he can do is worse than what they’ve already done.

Donald Trump isn’t the bully; he only insults and abuses people in power who have attacked him. They’re the fucking bullies. The left, with their smears, their witch hunts, their slanders, their insults, their riots, their violence, and their weaponizing of the federal bureaucracy.

There aren’t any rules anymore because the left only applies them one way. And in doing so, they’ve left what once was a civil compact between the two parties in smoldering ruins.

I have no personal investment in Donald Trump. He is a tool to punish the left and roll back their ill-gotten gains, no more and no less. If he succeeds even partially in those two things, then I’ll consider his election a win.

Further, I no longer have any investment in any particular political values, save one: The rules created by the left will be applied to the left as equally and punitively as they have applied them to the right. And when they beg for mercy, I’ll begin to reconsider. Or maybe not. Because fuck these people.

This new philosophy has freed me of more emotional angst that I can describe. Literally nothing the left says or does matters to me anymore. I don’t care about their tantrums. I don’t care about their accusations. I don’t care if they say Trump is lying. I don’t care if Trump is lying.

They created this Frankenstein. They own it. I am free of all obligation. I will never play defense again. I will attack, attack, attack, attack using their own tactics against them until they learn their lesson.

What I will not do is let them play my values against me ever again. I don’t need to prove that I’m better than them. I already know it.

Read the whole thing.

I, btw, agree. I opposed Trump throughout the GOP nominating process. I declined to vote for him, in fact. I did not elect Trump. The Left did. Donald Trump is Barack Obama’s true legacy. I’m surprised that Trump is keeping so many promises, and (mostly) doing things I like. I intend to sit back and enjoy watching the Left meltdown as Trump fires liberals from the State Department, authorizes pipelines, and guts the EPA. I hope he insults the liberal press some more. Who knows? Maybe next week, he’ll force Peter Salovey to resign and take away federal funds from Yale. Go get ’em, Trump!

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