Monday, December 19, 2011

God's Rights

This by John Piper is about as close as I've seen in answering my blog's hypothesis.

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articles/does-god-have-civil-rights

He does a masterful job of analogizing how humans are different from all other animals, how God is different from humans, and how all rights which we may presume are inherent to humans by nature of our being are originally due to God.

"Where the rights of our Creator and Savior are daily denied with impunity, we should not be surprised that the rights of persons created in his image are denied in a cavalier and selfish way. Until God is given his rights, no human rights will have significance beyond convenience. And when they are no longer convenient, they will be ignored..."

Note: I have just finished A.W. Tozer's "Born After Midnight," which I read on and off for a few months, as my nightly devotional. Fantastic. If your google-fu is strong, you may be able to find a pdf copy online. My morning devotional is John Piper's "Taste and See." I'm sure all of his essays therein are free online, but this book version is nicely printed and IMHO worth it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

American education Part II

Not a new story, obviously. If the moon is the quintessence of the problem, what does it say about R&D and manufacturing?


"The ability to make things in America is at risk," says Jeannine Kunz, director of professional development for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in Dearborn, Michigan. If the skilled-labor shortage persists, she fears, "hundreds of thousands of jobs will go unfilled by 2021."

The shortage of industrial skills points to a wide gap between the American education system and the demands of the world economy. For decades, Americans have been told that the future lies in high-end services, such as law, and "creative" professions, such as software-writing and systems design. This has led many pundits to think that the only real way to improve opportunities for the country's middle class is to increase its access to higher education.

That attitude is a relic of the post–World War II era, a time when a college education almost guaranteed you a good job. These days, the returns on higher education, particularly on higher education gained outside the elite schools, are declining, as they have been for about a decade.

Hattip to Smallestminority, who recalls this from 1974:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

American education

I am curious about the true nature of competitiveness in American universities. My friend and fellow blogger, Troubled Corinthian, suggests that our engineers could no longer put a man on the moon (and bring him home alive), at least not without help from foreign help. He's seen too many foreign engineers come to the States, and then take that knowledge back to Asia or India. So this drew my attention:


Harvard: “Anime as Global Pop Culture”. If you grew up in 1990s or later, you've definitely watched an anime. I see you trying to deny it because it’s nerdy or whatever, but I don’t believe you. Even if you didn't like it, you’ve probably at least watched the Pok√©monTV show for two seconds, seen a Hiyao Miyazaki movie, or played a video game with anime-like stylings at some point in your life. Harvard turns a dorky guilty pleasure into an academic pursuit. Tip: Instead of flash cards, make ninja info cards.

Harvard: “HBO’s The Wire and its Contribution to Understanding Urban Inequality”. While most students use HBO as a way to escape homework, some would rather put their television drama-watching ways to good use. Harvard’s class about The Wire takes a critical look at the critically acclaimed show as a way to analyze urban inequality. Your homework will be to watch TV, and you’ll even learn something along the way.


I leave the rest of the contemplation on this to you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hierarchy of Needs?

What to teach the children...hierarchy of needs (to live) is an important concept the public school will likely fail on, so here's my disclaimer: the following is based on Christian principles. One may suggest Christianity can answer the "higher" levels such as morality, self-esteem and friendship, however the "lower" levels need to be achieved by the people themselves: food, water, security, etc. I completely reject that thinking, and rather posit that God is actively in charge of everything in existence, such that there are no levels, but rather one reality of needs.

So if I were to counsel my child on how to respond to the question of how to categorize "needs," I'd say #1: you need God. However of course #1 begs for elaboration...

"He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son has not life." John 3:36 and I John 5:12

"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10

"If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water." John 4:10

“I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “I have food to eat that you know nothing about. My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. John 4:32-34

Isaiah 32 provides explanation for how God even is responsible for our shelter. People generally trust, or have faith in their homes and perhaps even in their cities. Yet Isaiah says you are better off living in the desert:

Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,
for the fruitful vines
13 and for the land of my people,
a land overgrown with thorns and briers—
yes, mourn for all houses of merriment
and for this city of revelry.
14 The fortress will be abandoned,
the noisy city deserted;
citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever,
the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks,
15 till the Spirit is poured on us from on high,
and the desert becomes a fertile field,
and the fertile field seems like a forest.
16 The LORD’s justice will dwell in the desert,
his righteousness live in the fertile field.
17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.
19 Though hail flattens the forest
and the city is leveled completely...

God performs miracles, whether we see them or believe in them or not. He makes streams flow in the desert, feeds the multitudes, raises up the lowly, and brings low the mighty. The concepts that you need anything apart from God, and that you can do any good thing apart from God, are illusions..."But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;" II Corinthians 4:7. We are those earthen vessels, and the treasure is Christ. We Christians, and all of mankind, and indeed all of this mortal coil, this temporal realm. Regardless of E=MC squared, God made it all and has sovereignty over it all. How much more transitory are our efforts apart from Christ?

“All people are like grass,
and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Disciple

I spent many long hours contemplating Discipline and Punish...what a waste. I should have been producing, by the act of discipleship. This will be a continuing theme here, at Bill of Grace. It is perhaps the most profound revelation I've experienced in decades.

I came to the realization that the majority of my Christian life has been in the pursuit of inner knowledge, and thanks to a foxy blend of this world's cults of Dionysus and education for its own sake, I was generally encouraged in this pursuit. But no more.

Though some wicked strategy, an amalgam of '60s new ageism and "it's the journey, not the destination," too many churches of today glorify the seeker on his or her journey. Know what? If you aren't seizing your faith and sharing it, what kind of faith do you have?

It is an unspeakably glorious mystery to be held in the grip of the Almighty. However, to stay there is to remain but an infant, or an adolescent at best. To achieve adulthood in the faith, one must follow Christ's command and make disciples.

After surfing amazon.com and putting a few noteworthy titles in my cart (#1: Navigators Complete Book of Discipleship) I went to a used bookstore to browse for gems. I read the spines of perhaps a thousand titles, of which approximately 50 concerned evangelism or missions. The other 950 delivered countless ways of improving oneself and learning more.

Sorry to say, God did not call us to spend our lives searching, nor reading without ceasing. God commands us to pray without ceasing, and to make disciples. A friend recommended "The Trellis and the Vine," in which we see the goal of all ministry is to nurture disciples, and to be a disciple is to be a disciple-maker.

There is no neutral in the faith. The lukewarm He spits from His mouth. If you are just coasting, sinful nature is growing like mold in stagnant water. Pray about it, then go with strength and humility to your pastor, and ask where is the program on discipling. If there is none, start one. God will not only give you the strength, but will give you even more energy thereafter! Perhaps akin to exercising leaves you tired for the moment, but makes you stronger.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12: 1,2

Faceless

Cult of Life

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Obama Shock

As I learn about fiat currency, I intuited that Nixon and Bretton Woods would be significant history, however I didn't realize how similar the preceding events were to today:


"The year 1970 was the crucial turning point, because foreign arbitrage of the U.S. dollar caused governmental gold coverage of the paper dollar to decline from 55% to 22%. That, in the view of neoclassical economics and the Austrian School, represented the point where holders of the U.S. dollar lost faith in the U.S. government's ability to cut its budget and trade deficits.

By 1971, the money supply had increased by 10%.[1] In the first six months of 1971, $22 billion in assets left the U.S.[2] In May 1971, inflation-wary West Germany was the first member country to unilaterally leave the Bretton Woods system — unwilling to devalue the Deutsche Mark in order to prop up the dollar.[1] In the next three months, West Germany's move strengthened their economy. Simultaneously, the dollar dropped 7.5% against the Deutsche Mark.[1]

Due to the excess printed dollars, and the negative U.S. trade balance, other nations began demanding fulfillment of America's "promise to pay..."

So my research turned up this, which supported my suspicions:


"...there are millions of Americans reaching retirement age who will be shocked to learn that they will fare no better than those in developing countries with debased currencies that have driven them into poverty. We lived through the Nixon Gold Shock. But I’m not sure we’ll make it through The Obama Deficit Shock."

Yet, what if the opposite were true?

"What the Nixon Shock recognized – what Paul did not then and still does not recognize – was that this generation's economics are naturally deflationary, not inflationary. As technology created new abundance in the form of processing power, a gold standard would have created a deflationary spiral, which is far worse in its economic implications than an inflationary one."

That article continues to explain what will be our savior: cheap energy. All the the money being poured into renewable sources will eventually jackpot, we'll drive for cheap (and not pollute), and the economy enters a new vast upswing. When that breakthrough occurs, the Green Revolution truly begins.

What do you think? Is one or the other true, somewhere in the middle? Elsewhere? The answer is certainly a global one, on a scale only dreamed of by the Nixon Era movers and shakers. Perhaps bitcoin will play a part. China certainly will.

"When the era of floating rates began, in 1971 when President Richard Nixon abruptly abandoned the link between the dollar and gold that had been the foundation of the post-war fixed-currency system known (after the place where it was agreed upon) as Bretton Woods, there was another Asian country widely accused of unfair trading. It was Japan, whose rapid, environmentally dirty growth in the 1960s, based on cheap labour and a cheap, fixed currency, had produced a big trade surplus and was being blamed for America’s trade deficit.

"At that time, America really did have a currency weapon in its hands: by abandoning Bretton Woods and the link to gold, Nixon could force other countries to revalue their currencies against the dollar. He did so as part of a deal, in which he removed a 10% surcharge on all imports that he had imposed several months earlier. The yen soared in value. The Japanese have ever since called this “the Nixon shock” which, combined with the 1973 oil-price hike, forced their companies and their government to move their economy sharply upmarket, towards higher technology and greater energy efficiency.

"Today, there are some crucial differences but one important similarity. The similarity is that tensions over currencies and trade imbalances are centring on a rising Asian giant, one whose rapid, environmentally dirty growth has been based on cheap labour and a cheap fixed currency: China, of course. The differences are that a Nixon-style import surcharge would be illegal under World Trade Organisation rules, and that thanks to floating exchange rates the currency weapon is not in the hands of President Barack Obama but rather the Chinese themselves, for only they can choose to relax capital controls and to float their currency. It is harder now to have an “Obama shock." But it is not impossible."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why Atlas is Shrugging

The below excerpts are copied from Kevin at smallest minority who is reading Mark Steyn's book. best explanation I've seen for the "2 americas" concept. Now in my cart: http://www.amazon.com/After-America-Get-Ready-Armageddon/

Once the state swells to a certain size, the people available to fill the ever expanding number of government jobs will be statists -- sometimes hard-core Marxist statists, sometimes social-engineering multiculti statists, sometimes fluffily "compassionate" statists, sometimes patrician noblesse oblige statists, but always statists. The short history of the post-war western democracies is that you don't need a president-for-life if you've got a bureaucracy-for-life: the people can elect "conservatives," as from time to time the Germans and British have done, and the left is mostly relaxed about it all because, in all but exceptional cases (Thatcher), they fulfill the same function in the system as the first-year boys at wintry English boarding schools who for tuppence-ha'penny would agree to go and take the chill off the toilet seat in the unheated lavatories until the prefects were ready to stroll in and assume their rightful place. Republicans have gotten good at keeping the seat warm.

In 1945, Hugh MacLennan wrote a novel set in Montreal whose title came to sum up the relationship between the English and the French in Canada: Two Solitudes. They live in the same nation, sometimes in the same town, sometimes share the same workspace. But they inhabit different psychologies. In 2008, David Warren, a columnist with The Ottawa Citizen, argued that the concept has headed south:

In the United States, especially in the present election, we get glimpses of two political solitudes that have been created not by any plausible socio-economic division within society, nor by any deep division between different ethnic tribes, but tautologically by the notion of "two solitudes" itself. The nation is divided, roughly half-and-half, between people who instinctively resent the Nanny State, and those who instinctively long for its ministrations.

John Edwards, yesterday's coming man, had an oft retailed stump speech about "the two Americas," a Disraelian portrait of Dickensian gloom conjured in the mawkish drool of a Depression-era sob-sister: one America was a wasteland of shuttered mills and shivering "coatless girls," while in the other America Dick Cheney and his Halliburton fat cats were sitting 'round the pool swigging crude straight from the well and toasting their war profits all day long. Edwards was right about the "two Americas," but not about the division: in one America, those who subscribe to the ruling ideology can access a world of tenured security lubricated by government and without creating a dime of wealth for the overall economy; in the other America, millions of people go to work every day to try to support their families and build up businesses and improve themselves, and the harder they work the more they're penalized to support the government class in its privileges. Traditionally, he who paid the piper called the tune. But not anymore. Flownover Country pays the piper, very generously, in salaries, benefits, pensions, and perks. But Conformicrat America calls the tune, the same unending single-note dirge. David Warren regards these as "two basically irreconcilable views of reality": "Only in America are they so equally balanced. Elsewhere in the west, the true believers in the Nanny State have long since prevailed."

Increasingly, America's divide is about the nature of the state itself -- about the American idea. And in that case why go on sharing the same real estate? As someone once said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." The Flownover Country's champion ought, in theory, to be the Republican Party. But, even in less fractious times, this is a loveless marriage. Much of the GOP establishment is either seduced by the Conformicrats, or terrified by them, to the point where they insist on allowing he liberals to set the parameters of the debate -- on health care, immigration, education, Social Security -- and then wonder why elections are always fought on the Democrats' terms. If you let the left make the rules, the right winds up being represented by the likes of Bob Dole and John McCain, decent old sticks who know how to give dignified concession speeches. If you want to prevent Big Government driving America off a cliff, it's insufficient.

The Conformicrats need Flownover Country to fund them. It's less clear why Flownover Country needs the Conformicrats -- and a house divided against itself cannot stand without the guy who keeps up the mortgage payments.

Truth.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Taking off the gloves

Chalk these up in the "hard to believe, but don't ignore" category, the Vice President of the United States just called Tea Party conservatives "terrorists."


I quit reading my local paper years ago, due to its insanely biased reporting. I could never get through the first section without wanting to drop it in the trash. But now, one of its main cartoonists shows President Barack Obama calling in the SEALS to get a "Tea Party Congressman."


If I may, go back in the time machine to 1964 best seller "None dare call it treason."


This classic revealed how those in power write history, and "those" have certainly come into power.

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western civilization as it commits suicide.” — James Burnham.

Don't let them pull the plug on our children's future: arise and defend our constitutionally recognized freedoms!



Thursday, June 9, 2011

Adoption Meditation

I have been meditating on Isaiah 44, one of my new favorite chapters of the Bible. One of the symbols the prophet has been implementing over the last few chapters is that of God flowing water into the desert. This use reaches a high point in Chapter 44:

3"...For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They shall spring up among the grass
like willows by flowing streams.
5 This one will say, 'I am the LORD’s,'
another will call on the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, 'The LORD’s,'
and name himself by the name of Israel."

This passage caused me to look backward, to God's dual promise to Abraham:

1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."

In Genesis 26, God confirmed it to Isaac thusly:

"...For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.”

Then I looked ahead at the Jesus' Great Commission to His disciples in Matthew 28:

"...Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Next, consider what the Holy Spirit did to the disciples at Pentecost, in Acts 2:

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God–fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!"

Consider that God gave the disciples this miraculous power so they could fulfill this central mission: to reach the ends of the earth. God poured out His spirit at Pentecost in a way that Isaiah prophesied: the disciples would take the Good News to lands which were dead to the knowledge of God. This is how God planned to fulfill His promise to Abraham and Isaac: through their descendents He would pour His spirit and bless the entire earth.

So on one hand the Great Commission is a command to get to work, but on the other hand it is a great comfort to know the reason for that is to share God's blessing which was originally given just to Abraham and the Jews, with the purpose to enrich the world. Comforted are we to be God's chosen people in adoption!

Postscript meditation, on Paul's letter to the Galatians, chapter 3:

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On the 4th, SWAT, and Guerena

Very informative piece if you want to understand how SWAT works, what's the deal with "no knock warrants," and former Marine Jose Guerena:


"Note the Navy SEAL who took out Osama Bin Laden with two rounds and two rounds only, one to the chest, one to the head. This is a classic example of cool, perfect shot placement under stress, and is precisely the sort of thing SWAT troops are supposed to be able to do. After all, if they are no better at this sort of thing than the average street cop, all that has been done is to give average street cops more destructive, longer ranged weapons.

"UPDATE 052911, 1329 CT: According to a more recent local news story, the medical examiner has reported that Guerena was hit not 60 times as originally suggested by doctors, but only 22 times. This is far more in line with common results of police shootings where most rounds fired do not hit their intended targets. This is also far more in line with what would be expected of the wild and uncontrolled fire of the SWAT shooters in this particular incident, particularly those firing on full-auto. Highly skilled operators can control fully automatic fire in a submachine gun or light carbine such as the AR-15, untrained operators cannot. In any case, carefully controlled and aimed short bursts are always preferred. Police officers are directly responsible for each and every bullet they fire. In this case, nearly 70% of the rounds fired by the police missed. This might make more likely my contention that the officer's vision was compromised and that at least some of them had no real idea of their target or why they were shooting at it, other than the knowledge that one of their number was initially shooting at something. As shocking as all of this might be, the hit rate is about average for police shootings. SWAT teams should do much better. Knowing this, it is even more incredible that the officers did not shoot Mrs. Guerena, her child, themselves, or anyone else in the neighborhood.

"Notice that there is no information to indicate that any drugs or money were found in Guerena’s home, or that Guerena or his home, were in any way directly related to criminal activity. In fact, the police have, to date, not released the search warrant affidavit, warrant and return for Guerena’s home. However, there is no evidence to indicate that they found anything at all illegal in Guerena’s home. If they had, considering the public and Internet attention this case is generating, they surely would have made it public. Any drug case they were working has long been blown. Secrecy is no longer an issue.

"None of the items listed as having been found in Guerena’s home are illegal, or indeed, unusual, particularly for a former Marine who had served two combat tours. One reason that the warrant information has not been released is likely that it was non-specific. In other words, the grounds for searching Guerena’s home may have been shaky at best."

Oh, and of course consider all of this in light of my post on the 4th Amendment just a few days ago...it's feeling eerily like the editor's first cut from John Ross's "Unintended Consequences," to keep that now out-of-print 20th century alternate reality under 1,000 pages.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What's Next?

At this pace, I seriously wonder how many Rights will be legal within a generation.

KENTUCKY v . KING just found that police can knock and enter without gaining the property owner's permission. Buh-bye 4th Amendment.


Six years ago Kelo v. New London found that municipalties can take someone's property if they feel it is in the community's best interest...like to add a shopping center, not to expand an easement for the interstate as we traditionally thought. Buh-bye 5th.


Hmm, what about "life and liberty?" Yeah, the Declaration of Independence. Well first ya gotta get through the birthing process...thanks Roe v. Wade of 1973.


And what about common knowledge, that you should be able to keep and bear arms, and that right not being infringed? O.K. as long as the government can register you, decide how long the gun barrel is, and if the stock is adjustable, and restricting the attempt to quiet it down so you don't get tinnitus, and a waiting period, and and... Hello, 2nd Amendment?


Enter Health Care, AKA anti-capitalist, anti-rule-of-law movement of 2010:

"The danger of waiver power is that it will be used differentially, giving one private entity a competitive advantage over another."


Well thank God for the 10th, and our recent attention to it...



And "Teach you children well
Your father's hell did slowly go by..."

But by gum, don't simply look at them and sigh and let them know you love them...

But rather teach them to be patriots and defend this land where my fathers died.

Let freedom ring!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Blessed to be

What a pleasure to

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A spirit not of fear

Here's a Muslim who has bravely produced an expose of the radical forms of Islam which preach and fight for global dominance. Watch this and heed it. Spread the news and be knowledgeable. Don't be satisfied not knowing and letting this happen unobstructed by YOU.

http://www.thethirdjihad.com/

It is on Netflix. Instant download and watch NOW. Unless you've seen it, you don't know the whole picture. And if you think you disagree, I challenge you to watch it anyhow.

2 Timothy 1
English Standard Version

Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You

3I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We identify genius by its impact

No, not a review of "Good Will Hunting."

Rather the intro line to this article: http://www.sightm1911.com/1911%20History.htm

...in which we see detailed today, the 100 year anniversary of the 1911 semiautomatic pistol in caliber .45acp.

See also this fine entry: http://www.m1911.org/history.htm

For you movie buffs and patriots alike, consider Sergeant York :

"On the morning of 8 October 1918, elements of the 328th Infantry, 82nd Division, United States Army, were pinned down by German machine-gun fire. Seventeen men, under the command of Sgt. Bernard Early, were ordered to out-flank the machine guns.

"Shortly after they left their own lines, they came across a German officer and several soldiers having breakfast. Believing that they were surrounded, the Germans surrendered. However, before Early could detach a man to take the prisoners back through the lines, intensive machine gun fire swept the patrol. Eight American soldiers survived. Sgt. Early was killed. As the remaining non-com, Cpl. Alvin York took command of the patrol. While the remaining Americans covered their prisoners, trying at the same time to avoid enemy fire, York spotted the location of the German guns, about 30 yards away. In addition to his Enfield M1917 rifle, he also carried a Colt .45 automatic pistol. The German gunners peeked over the tops of their Maxim guns to avoid hitting their own men.

"With the appearance of each face, framed in its "coal-scuttle" helmet, York's Enfield spoke. One shot equaled one dead gunner. York was from the Tennessee mountains where firearms were used to put food on the table. Mountain folk were frugal, making each shot count.

"Unnoticed by York, several Germans moved forward, locating York's position. Out of sight, they counted the shots from York's rifle, establishing the pattern of his shooting. They counted a series of 5 shots from his Enfield and rushed York to gain the advantage of the few extra seconds it took to reload the rifle.

"As the Germans charged, they came into easy pistol range. York brought the .45 automatic into action, stopping the patrol in its tracks. He continued shooting and advancing, killing a total of 25 German soldiers and capturing 132 by himself. York was promoted to Sergeant and awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor."

Friday, March 4, 2011

Gunwalker update

You've got to be kidding me...no, it's worse than that:

"Agent Dodson and other sources say the gun walking strategy was approved all the way up to the Justice Department. The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico.

"ATF named the case "Fast and Furious."

"Surveillance video obtained by CBS News shows suspected drug cartel suppliers carrying boxes of weapons to their cars at a Phoenix gun shop. The long boxes shown in the video being loaded in were AK-47-type assault rifles.

"So it turns out ATF not only allowed it - they videotaped it.

Documents show the inevitable result: The guns that ATF let gobegan showing up at crime scenes in Mexico. And as ATF stood by watching thousands of weapons hit the streets... the Fast and Furious group supervisor noted the escalating Mexican violence.

"One e-mail noted, "958 killed in March 2010 ... most violent month since 2005." The same e-mail notes: "Our subjects purchased 359 firearms during March alone," including "numerous Barrett .50 caliber rifles."

"Dodson feels that ATF was partly to blame for the escalating violence in Mexico and on the border. "I even asked them if they could see the correlation between the two," he said. "The more our guys buy, the more violence we're having down there."

"Senior agents including Dodson told CBS News they confronted their supervisors over and over.

"Their answer, according to Dodson, was, "If you're going to make an omelette, you've got to break some eggs."



Monday, February 28, 2011

All's Good

My son said he wanted to make a machine that would let us be able to buy oil for 25 cents for 10 gallons. I said even one gallon for that price would be great. Then I described why that isn't the case already....

We love freshly made pesto from basil plants that naturally grow all around our porch. I said, what if the government told us that it was illegal to pick basil leaves to make pesto, and instead we had to go to the store and pay $5 a bag each time we wanted it? My son said, that's stupid. We prefer not to use that word in common parlance, but this time I said he's 100% correct.

Check this out:


"North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation.

"A U.S. Geological Survey assessment, released April 10 [2008], shows a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered compared to the agency's 1995 estimate of 151 million barrels of oil.

"New geologic models applied to the Bakken Formation, advances in drilling and production technologies, and recent oil discoveries have resulted in these substantially larger technically recoverable oil volumes. About 105 million barrels of oil were produced from the Bakken Formation by the end of 2007. ...

"The Bakken Formation estimate is larger than all other current USGS oil assessments of the lower 48 states and is the largest "continuous" oil accumulation ever assessed by the USGS. A "continuous" oil accumulation means that the oil resource is dispersed throughout a geologic formation rather than existing as discrete, localized occurrences. The next largest "continuous" oil accumulation in the U.S. is in the Austin Chalk of Texas and Louisiana, with an undiscovered estimate of 1.0 billions of barrels of technically recoverable oil.

"It is clear that the Bakken formation contains a significant amount of oil - the question is how much of that oil is recoverable using today's technology?" said Senator Byron Dorgan, of North Dakota. "To get an answer to this important question, I requested that the U.S. Geological Survey complete this study, which will provide an up-to-date estimate on the amount of technically recoverable oil resources in the Bakken Shale formation."

"The USGS estimate of 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil has a mean value of 3.65 billion barrels."

Now check this out:

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/362/207/How_much_oil_Does_the_U.S.Have_in_the_ground_Forbes_did_not_miss_a_beat,_he_said,_more_Than_all_the_Middle_East_put_together..html

"The host said to Forbes, "I am going to Ask you a direct question and I would like a direct answer; how much oil Does the U.S. Have in the ground?" Forbes did not miss a beat, he said, "more than all the Middle East put together."

But for goodness sake, don't pick your own basil!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Project Gunwalker

After all the braying about the so-called gunshow loophole, and registration, it comes down to this? For shame! We in Arizona are sickened by the border violence, and it's time for the BATFE / ATF to own up.


"...wants Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to explain why Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents allowed suspected gun smugglers to purchase and keep assault rifles that later may have been used in the fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

In a letter, Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa said ATF agents told his staff the agency allowed the sale to “known and suspected straw purchasers for an illegal trafficking ring near the Southwest border” and two of those weapons reportedly were recovered at the site of the Dec. 14 shootout that killed Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry.

"Terry, 40, was attempting to arrest bandits who prey on illegal immigrants when he was killed about 10 miles north of the U.S.-Mexicoborder. A member of the Border Patrol’s elite Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team, he was waiting with three other agents in a remote area north of Nogales, Ariz., when the gunbattle erupted..."

If you want to know more, just google "Project Gunwalker."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Amendment on the block

[title edited, since it appears TJIC has pulled his own blog pending legal...]

http://borepatch.blogspot.com/2011/01/i-am-tjic.html

Whatever you believe about the 2nd, I hope you seriously consider the 1st and say with me...I am TJIC...

"It was not a famous Massachusetts citizen who said We must all hang together, or surely we will all hang separately. Benjamin Franklin was more circumspect than the men from Massachusetts, such as Sam Adams, who said this:
Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say 'what should be the reward of such sacrifices?' Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!
"Eliminationist rhetoric right there. Clearly, the Arlington Police would have seized his firearms. What a sad, degraded state for a once proud Commonwealth. It seems that I got out just in the nick of time."


"Last week, law enforcement officials in Arlington, Massachusetts seized the (legally owned) guns of Travis Corcoran, a blogger and owner of an online comic book store. They also revoked Corcoran's gun permit. They were responding to posts on Corcoran's blog, TJICistan..."


"11. > Did they revoke your concealed carry permit, or did they confiscate your firearms all together?


I was told that if I voluntarilly surrendered my firearms, as a “show of good faith”, that my LTC would not be revoked. On the advice of counsel, I did so.

As soon as that transaction was completed, my LTC was yanked. Whether this was planned all along or not, I can not say. Technically, it has not been “revoked”, it has been “suspended”.

In either case, it sure feels like my RKBA has been infringed.

> if they revoked your firearms, did they have a warrant to do so, and under what authority?

MA is a “may issue” state.

As I understand it, under the law, the Chief of Police may revoke my right to store in MA, or carry in MA, firearms, but he may not confiscate them.

None the less, when my LTC was suspended, I was ORDERED to turn in all of my firearms; moving them out of state was not presented as an option.

> Do you have a legal defense fund set up somewhere where we can donate?

At this point in time my legal bills are noticeably but not crushing (my lawyer is ~$500/hr, and other experts we’ve called in have their own price tags). I own a home and a business, and would - at this point in time - feel awkward about accepting any help when there are so many more worthy folks out there. Please feel free to drop an extra $5 in the church collection plate, or give it to the local animal shelter or home for battered women to help those truly in need.

If this legal battle escalates, I reserve the right to revist this topic, of course! wink

> As you know from my comments on your website, I disagreed with you at the time you posted that. However, no matter how boorish or insensitive your statements, they were not an incitement to violence, that much is clear. What you said was “One down, 534 to go” which to me is no more an incitement to violence than the joke that goes something like this: “What do you call 500 lawyers on the bottom of the ocean?” ... a good start!”

Indeed, the post was meant as an homage to that exact joke.

> And no, Fran, it isn’t lock and load time.

Agreed. I had a long post up on my site, before I took it down, analyzing America’s current political situation in terms of the four point test of Catholic Just War doctrine. I also conclude that we currently only satisfy two of the four points.

> I think this will be turned around in court in very short order.

I’ve got my fingers crossed ... and a good legal strategy, which is a bit more important! wink

Thank you, all, for your support.

Posted by TJIC on 01/20/2011 at 02:53 PM

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gag!

The other story on this event continues...

"As KGUN9 News has reported, some critics have suggested that some statements from the Sheriff's Department -- particularly those from Sheriff Clarence Dupnik -- could serve to work against prosecutors."


"When Sheriff Dupnik said he thought Jared Loughner is mentally unbalanced and possibly influenced by sharp, angry political talk, conservative commentators directed sharp angry political talk towards the sheriff.

"Now a legal pundit on Fox News is suggesting Dupnik's comments on Loughner's mind may help Loughner build an insanity defense."

http://www.kgun9.com/Global/story.asp?S=13841487


As they say, "We want to know What he knew, and When he knew it!"

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tucson debate

www.nytimes.com
Limiting clip size won’t lower crime -- if only criminals get higher clips, they have an advantage.

    • The "opinion", which mostly cited anecdotal evidence, was in the NYT. But so were several others, on the other side of this debate. I liked the position by James Fox, "More Guns Means More Guns" at http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/01/11/more-guns-less-crime/more-guns-means-more-guns which seems more reasonable from more of an authority.

    • Thanks for mentioning that, Jim. Armed resistance may not dissuade criminals (tho overwhelming statistics say it does--Fox must be very selective to deny that), but the writer also conveniently fails to mention one of the heroes was armed when he made the tackle. Perhaps the fact he was armed gave him more confidence to stop further killings. More reprehensible is Fox's implication that there was something wrong with non-law enforcement being involved in maintaining law and order: "it wasn't clear which one was the perpetrator among those struggling for control." Sorry no uniformed cops were there, so "we the people" did the job. Obviously this kind of thinking is utilized by gun control advocates. Fox did rightly note the importance of Luby's Cafeteria and that AZ has ironically (in name) "liberal" gun laws. I frequent that store with my children, and I'm glad to have the option of defending myself and them...

      • I could relate to John Cory's comment athttp://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/4600-american-madness that "nothing protects innocent life like a mob of armed citizens shooting back and forth at one another." That image is particularly poignant right now here in Seattle where a well trained police officer has been accused of unjustly shooting and killing a street person. If a well trained police officer can't always make the right decision, I'm not sure the help of several other armed citizens would help.

      • Jim, that's sheer "Wild West" propaganda. Please let me know where that has occurred since Florida's 2005 passing of the Castle Doctrine and consequent exponentially increasing gun sales. No, instead we see plummeting of violent crime rates. We have a saying: "When seconds count, police are only minutes away." For all the violent crime reported in the mainstream media, too bad they don't report the crimes which are stopped by armed citizens. Of course no news is good news. I encourage you to peruse "The Armed Citizen" for a few months and let me know what you think of this topic: http://www.americanrifleman.org/blogs/armed-citizen-january-2011
        /
        about an hour ago
      • I did do a little independent research to try and verify some stats prepared by the Violence Policy Center athttp://www.vpc.org/press/0905gundeath.htm What I found was that it's a supercharged topic and there is very little rational thought or reliable statistics on either side. No doubt there are some real "facts" but I haven't found any I trust yet. Meanwhile I do trust my own experiences based on my third world travels, life in inner city neighborhoods, work with delinquent youth and my left wing anti war past. I have found that guns are an attractive nuisance - more likely to be involved in suicides and accidents than helpful in protecting against assault or home invasion. And as for the Second Amendment goes, I agree with the intent but it's way out of date. With my pistol or shotgun I wouldn't stand a chance defending against an oppressive government armed with assault rifles, infrared detection and long range listening devices backed up with helicopter gun ships and drone missiles. I'd be more likely to be shot if I did have a gun.
      • about an hour ago

        Jim, it could be argued that 3rd world countries became that way at least in part via the disarming of the populace: thus the overt intent of our 2nd Amendment. However, what is not stated, but found in innumerable other accounts by the founding fathers—as well as “common sense” until late-20th Century America--is the indisputable right to defend oneself and responsibility to defend one's family. This is how I see this argument: one either believes we the people are sheep under the protection of the government-shepherd, or we are responsible for ourselves and the government is our servant. You likely see that as a false portrayal...how do you see our relationship vis a vis the gov't?
        about an hour ago

      • Maybe like you, Clint, I see the relationship between the people and the government as adversarial. I'd go a step farther and argue that it's even worse than that - it's an adversarial relationship between the people and the combined power of the government doing the bidding of the corporations. That's by definition, fascism.

        So, for me owning guns or not is a matter of tactics. Americans still believe in fairness and we have a government with the trappings, if not always the reality, of rule of law. And we have a media which, while increasingly subjective and polarized, at least in theory shines the light and keeps a check on corporate greed and overreaching government.

        In Somalia or Afghanistan, where guns are plentiful and government corrupt and rule of law non-existent, owning a gun might be your only defense. You would still be up against armed bands out to kill you and it might, even in that situation, be more effective to work toward peace, disarmament and an effective government as is being attempted now in Sudan. By the way your premise that "3rd world countries became that way at least in part via the disarming of the populace" is just not consistent with the facts.

        In America we are not badly off yet. We still do, as I say, have the trappings, if not the reality, of rule of law. I think a non-violent approach modeled after Gandhi or MLK would be far more effective and successful than arming ourselves and waiting for the SS comes to get us.

        On a much more personal level I just can't imagine who I would shoot. As I've said, I would probably not be ready and would not be able to defend myself against an armed and awake burglar or attacker. I'd be better off with a whistle, mace and a cell phone or asking the attacker if his mother knew what he was doing. Would-be attackers are likely to be kids on drugs or people desperate about something. They might be pretty much like some members of our own families or the families of people we know. I don't want to kill them.

        And to defend against the government or some real but amorphous and intangible corporate enemy? Just who do I shoot? The town cop? The Exxon gas station attendant? I am not in to being a sheep but I don't think I can realistically protect myself from my government with a gun. It would be better to persuade, organize, write articles and support the people when and where they are attacked and abused.
        about an hour ago

      • Jim, I have other friends who also think guns should not be in the hands of non-law enforcement, and they too would rather use a cell phone or mace than a firearm to defend themselves. I just can't agree in this post-modern concept. If myfamily is attacked with lethal force, it's my responsibility at least to try to save them, right now. I also don't agree with the adversarial relationship concept about the government. Call me an idealist: I still believe in positive change, through initiative, referendum, recall, elections, etc. If I didn't think it was the best on earth, believe me brother, I'd leave. I don't know about 2nd Amendment rights in Somalia and Sudan, but I sure wouldn't want to move there, and this is hard to ignore:

        http://jpfo.org/pdf02/genocide-chart.pdf

        Gandhi: "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn."

        "As we have seen, the first public expression of disenchantment with nonviolence arose around the question of "self-defense." In a sense this is a false issue, for the right to defend one's home and one's person when attacked has been guaranteed through the ages by common law." Martin Luther King, Jr

        And Never Forget April 19, 2011 will be the 68th anniversary of the final battle of the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto uprising.

        "In early April, German soldiers began rounding up Jews for their final shipment to work camps. On April 19th, Passover eve, a group of less than 20 of them began fighting back, by killing a single German soldier, stealing his gun, and killing another, then another, and so on until perhaps 1000 men were armed and fighting back against the entire German army. An entire brigade worth of Germans were killed, along with 6,000 of the approximately 7000 Jews resident in the Ghetto. It ended on May 16th in a massacre by poison gas. The last of the fighters were trapped in a few buildings, and some sewer tunnels. They flooded the tunnels with gas, and then went in and exterminated all but a few who they saved for show trials. 6,000 died on their feet, rather than on their knees.
        "

        • Clint, Anyone can write anything on facebook or the Internet. Your information about Gandhi and MLK and others is twisted or out of context at best and seems to come from the website, "http://jpfo.org/" Jews for the Preservation of FirearmsOwnership (JPFO) which is a 4,000 member group dedicated to the preservation of gun rights and founded by former firearms dealer Aaron S. Zelman. I've read history more broadly from a variety of view points, especially the history of India and China and I don't buy the premise that disarming the population leads to genocide. Look at England.
          Sunday at 11:32am ·

        • Jim, this is backed up by facts...According to the BBC News, handgun crime in the United Kingdom rose by 40% in the two years after it passed its draconian gun ban in 1997. "Handgun crime 'up' despite ban," BBC News Online (July 16, 2001) athttp://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/uk/newsid_1440000/1440764.stm. England is a prime example of how crime has increased after implementing gun control. For example, the original Pistols Act of 1903 did not stop murders from increasing on the island. The number of murders in England was 68 percent higher the year after the ban's enactment (1904) as opposed to the year before (1902). (Greenwood, supra note 1.) This was not an aberration, as almost seven decades later, firearms crimes in the U.K. were still on the rise: the number of cases where firearms were used or carried in a crime skyrocketed almost 1,000 percent from 1946 through 1969. (Greenwood, supra note 1 at 158.) And by 1996, the murder rate in England was 132 percent higher than it had been before the original gun ban of 1903 was enacted. (Compare Greenwood, supra note 1, with Bureau of Justice Statistics, Crime and Justice in the United States and in England and Wales, 1981-96, Bureau of Justice Statistics, October 1998).
          "You are more likely to be mugged in England than in the United States," stated the Reuters news agency in summarizing the study. "The rate of robbery is now 1.4 times higher in England and Wales than in the United States, and the British burglary rate is nearly double America's."6 The murder rate in the United States is reportedly higher than in England, but according to the DOJ study, "the difference between the [murder rates in the] two countries has narrowed over the past 16 years."
          Monday at 9:17am ·

        • From the article linked above, uncanny and timely info for the US today: "A new study suggests the use of handguns in crime rose by 40% in the two years after the weapons were banned.
          The research, commissioned by the Countryside Alliance's ...See More
          Monday at 9:21am ·

        • It's more of a point of view than a fact, Cllint. The Countryside Alliance's Campaign for Shooting clearly is a pro-gun lobby and the "other side" says it's more complicated than that and the reason for the increase in crime is illegal international gun sales that criminals, but not law abiding citizens, take advantage of. So, once you regulate guns it's easier for police to identify and regulate criminals but the crime rate might take a while to drop.

          Crime and gun control really isn't my issue. I just don't need to have a gun because I think I'm safer without one. But I'd be interested in whether crime with a gun went up or down in Chicago and New York after their strict gun laws were overturned recently - as reported by a legitimate news source like the NYT, Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post that practices "fact verification".
          Monday at 11:08am ·

        • Will you accept the Washington Times?http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jan/21/guns-decrease-murder-rates/

          "According to D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, more guns in homes would cause more violent crime.

          "This has never been the case. Local politicians enthusiastically embraced the 1977 handgun ban predicting it would make Washington a safe place by dramatically reducing murder rates. But they were as wrong three decades ago as they are now.

          "A telling story is illustrated by the murder numbers since the handgun ban and gun-lock bans were struck down. Between 2008 and 2009, the FBI's preliminary numbers indicate that murders fell nationally by 10 percent and by about 8 percent in cities that have between 500,000 and 999,999 people. Washington's population is about 590,000. During that same period of time, murders in the District fell by an astounding 25 percent, dropping from 186 to 140. The city only started allowing its citizens to own handguns for defense again in late 2008.

          "Few who lived in Washington during the 1970s can forget the upswing in crime that started right after the ban was originally passed. In the five years before the 1977 ban, the murder rate fell from 37 to 27 murders per 100,000. In the five years after the gun ban went into effect, the murder rate rose back up to 35. One fact is particularly hard to ignore: D.C.'s murder rate fluctuated after 1976 but only once fell below what it was in 1976 before the ban. That aberration happened years later, in 1985.

          "This correlation between the D.C. gun ban and diminished safety was not a coincidence. Look at the Windy City. Immediately after Chicago banned handguns in 1982, the murder rate, which had been falling almost continually for a decade, started to rise. Chicago's murder rate rose relative to other large cities as well. The phenomenon of higher murder rates after gun bans are passed is not just limited to the United States. Every single time a country has passed a gun ban, its murder rate soared."
          Monday at 11:55am ·

        • Chicago gun deaths are rising and Mayor Daily and the police want tighter gun control according to the Christian Science Monitor at - http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0427/Homicide-rate-jumps-in-Chicago-Daley-pushes-for-more-gun-control

          The solution, Daley says, is to continue pressing state and federal courts to tighten restrictions on gun ownership – and to uphold the city’s ban on handguns and assault weapons.
          “This is all about guns, and that’s why the crusade is on,”

          And in Baltimore "Targeting guns to reduce violent crime" athttp://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2010/0110/Targeting-guns-to-reduce-violent-crime

          I get the impression that the police and elected officials want gun control while the NRA doesn't.

          Reading through these articles, it's clear to me that it's not safe to be on the streets in Chicago and Baltimore. One gang member who shot a 20 month old girl in Chicago said he was aiming at her father, not the girl.
          Monday at 12:46pm ·

        • I agree with your conclusion: don't live in those cities. It's clear that when guns are criminalized, only criminals have guns (and law enforcement, who can't be in all places at all times to defend you). Too bad Daley's political opinion runs counter to the facts.
          Monday at 2:53p
          m