RE: The Inanity of “Gun Control”

After the Orlando Massacre, I posted a series of posts on my Facebook feed regarding this issue. This post serves to consolidate them in one place, clean up, edit, and add a bit more thought and information to them.

I’m limiting this post strictly to the issues regarding guns and the Orlando Massacre. I will not be posting on any other aspects, and I would ask commenters to likewise refrain from bringing those issues up. My Friends List is varied and diverse, and I actually like most of the people on it. In fact, the 2 or 3 people I like least are among those most likely to agree with what I’m saying here, so. . . chew on that a bit.

Subjects addressed will be: The Weapon Used in the Orlando Massacre, A Brief Mention of Gun Crime Stats in the US, the Truth About “Assault Weapons” (If you skip all the others, pay attention to this one), the Purpose of the 2nd Amendment, and Why I have had an AR-15 on my personal wishlist for a few years (self-styled feminists should take note of this one, too).

Ok then, let’s go!

The Weapon Used in the Orlando Massacre
media-guide-firearms

The firearm used in the Orlando Massacre was NOT an AR-15. Let’s first be clear about this. The firearm used was a Sig Sauer MCX Carbine. “AR-15” is a specific system design (AR from ArmaLite Rifle, before they sold the design to Colt), not a overall classification. The media and other ignorant people like to call all semi-automatic rifles “AR-15s”, because they’re scary-looking and AR-15 sounds scary. Calling this an AR-15 is like calling an American Girl a Barbie, just because they’re both dolls with changeable clothes. “AR-15” is a registered trademark to Colt but, due to common usage, the term is sometimes used for variants of the same basic design which can use the same parts. But this shiney-ass Sig? It’s a rifle system that sometimes utilizes the STANAG magazines that are common to more than 60 different firearms (because interchangeable magazines are just basic sense, see link), but otherwise has no major parts that interface with AR-15s in any way, shape or form. Therefore, not an AR-15.

I bring this up because I’ve seen a petition passed around for banning AR-15s. So, knee-jerk ignorance has yet again struck upon an utterly useless solution that will solve nothing, prevent nothing, and probably make the situation worse, as usual.

Why should the average, non-gun-nut person care? Because if you actually give half a damn about trying to prevent future massacres, future unnecessary, innocent deaths, then you need to actually care about 1) What has worked historically to accomplish that end,  2) What might possibly have prevented the events that horrify you, and thus, 3) What ideas might possibly help in the future, as opposed to those ideas that will accomplish nothing good, and might actually make things worse.

sanctimoniousEvery time you promote a solution that clearly and obviously would have done nothing to prevent the event you claim horrifies you so much, what you’re really promoting is your own arrogance and self-righteousness. It shows that you don’t actually care the slightest bit for the victims or their loved ones, or the future victims and their loved ones. It shows that what you really care about is your unearned sense Moral Superiority, your belief that you are So Much Better than everyone that disagrees with your knee-jerk, brainless emoting. All you care about is making yourself feel good in public. It is Public Masturbation of the Ego, and it’s disgusting to the rest of us. Which is why we keep telling you to stop already, put that mess away.

Some sources for you (and that I’ve pulled some info form): http://bearingarms.com/…/narrative-fail-orlando-islamic-te…/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AR-15
http://bearingarms.com/…/fact-check-ar-15-wasnt-used-orlan…/

Moving on. . .

A Brief Mention of Statistics.

I’ll note right out that I hate statistics. Of all my textbooks from all my college and university courses, the only one that prompted suicidal thoughts every time I opened it was my “statistics” book. I’m of a mind to agree with Mr. Mark Twain: “There’s lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

That said, if we keep away from some of the more egregious number manipulation, they can show some good, useful information. So:

http://www.theacru.org/harvard_study_gun_control_is_counte…/

http://www.pewresearch.org/…/gun-homicides-steady-after-de…/

http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/…/gun-homicide-rate-down-49…/

http://www.bjs.gov/content/guns.cfm

I’ve tried to keep these sources as non-political as possible, which is hard when it comes to this matter. The only one that I’d say isn’t 100% objective is the first one, but I included it sums up what follows.

But it also comes down to basic sense: Murder is already illegal and generally socially unacceptable. Pretty much No One supports Murder. And yet, it happens. Because people who choose to murder don’t give a damn about the fact that it’s outlawed.

Once a Bad Person has decided to Murder (thus flouting the law against such an action), they tend to not give much of a damn about any other laws, like “This thing is Banned”, or “Register this thing”, or “Don’t do this other thing, cuz we say so!”. Like, seriously, they don’t care. They’ll find a way. And if there are laws that others obey, thus cramping their Murder-Style, why then they’ll go buy fertilizer and rent a truck, get creative with kitchen gadgets like pressure cookers, get stabby with a kitchen knife, or go onto the black market and buy some illegal firearms. Or get a security position with the government thus giving them a position with carefully crafted exemptions to the laws. Like just happened.

The only people, in fact, that abide by gun control laws are the law abiding people who don’t Murder others. They care about the law. They don’t want to be criminals, because they’re Decent, Civilized Beings. Such laws only effect non-murderers. Only Non-Murderers are disarmed, thus leaving them as happy(?) sitting ducks for any Murderer to come and pick off at will.

Which is why every massacre happens in a Gun-Free Zone, filled with defenseless innocents who can offer no effective resistance. Which is why they Never happen at Gun Shows or NRA Conventions.

The Truth About “Assault Weapons”

If you do nothing else, if you skip every other post in your quest to remain sanctimoniously ignorant, go to this link and go through the Whole Damn Thing. http://www.assaultweapon.info/

Summary: Assault Rifles are already banned. “Assault Weapons” is a term that, I Shit You Not, means “Scary Looking.” Seriously, go through the whole thing. None of this is new to me, but it might be new for you. Please, even if only to make your own arguments more intelligible. I will know if you haven’t done your homework. It will be patently obvious to everyone who already knew all this, or who just learned it all themselves.

Related Extra Credit Reading: http://www.gunsandammo.com/gun-culture/9-misused-gun-terms/

 

The Purpose of the 2nd Amendment

govtgunsThe 2nd Amendment has Jack Sh*t to do with hunting. There purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to protect civilians from the government when it inevitably turns against them.

Like it did at say, Wounded Knee (The Lakota women weren’t even allowed to possess the tools needed to to sew beads onto their dresses, okay? And they and their children were mercilessly slaughtered, and their murderers given Medals of Honor. Don’t tell me it won’t or can’t happen in America– it already has). Or, as has happened in countless other countries in the 20th and 21st Centuries.

The core purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to act as an Auto-Destruct in Case of Constitutional Failure. The only reason we haven’t yet gone to the terrible extremes of other totalitarian states is because enough legislators know that enough citizens remember that it is the government that should be scared of the citizens, not the other way around.

GIRLSundPANZERproject

Why is this not reality?! (Promo pic for the delightfully silly yet accurate Girls Und Panzer)

Which means, yes, the 2nd Amendment protects theGod-given Right of the Citizens toeffectively defend themselves against their own military. In this context, then, the fact that I can’t own a working Tank is an abomination (I even know where I’d park it!)– but one I understand due to the mess that would result if everybody took tanks to work. Likewise my lack of F-16 (don’t know where I’d park this).

 

Y’all know I love the US Military, and not just because the US Army pays my bills. I love and Respect The Crap out of our War-fighters, okay? I don’t want there to ever be a day when the 2nd amendment is triggered for it’s purpose. But you know what? I have no respect for our politicians, and little hope that they’ll suddenly learn even a sliver of the honor of our war-fighters. The 2nd Amendment *must* be preserved against that horrible day.

Ida WellsThe secondary purpose of 2nd Amendment is that it is the only thing that allows minorities to effectively protect themselves against a hostile majority. It is the Right that allows the Great Equalizer to take effect– it allows women to stand a chance against stronger male attackers, it allows racial and religious minorities to protect themselves from the likes of the KKK. The Pink Pistols say that “Armed Gays Don’t Get Bashed.”– and you know what, they’re right! (Also, the Pink Pistol’s ain’t the only Gay Guns! Group in town anymore: Check out the delightful https://www.facebook.com/LGBTforGunRights page!)

If any of you want to learn the safe and proper handling of firearms, I highly recommend the NRA courses. I’ve taken a couple, and they’re very informative, and include range time and tests.

Why I Want An AR-15 (Since the State of Maryland Won’t Allow Me to Own an AK-47)

So, truth be told, I’ve been wanting an AR-15 of my own for a couple of years. I have to straighten out some other finances first (I still owe my Dad $300 from Balticon), and there are some House-things that need doing, but an AR-15 is on the wishlist. Let me tell you why (“feminists” might find this of interest):

Coupla years ago, I think it was my friend Kory, he let me borrow his AR-15 during a shooting day at a mutual friend’s range. And I fell instantly in love. Know why? The Adjustable Stock.

Here’s the thing: the proportions of my upper-arms to my lower-arms (length-wise) are a bit out of whack. For reasons therefore of strange geometry, the standard-size stocks of most rifles I’ve tried are very hard for me to handle. It’s like my arms simply aren’t long enough, or jointed right, to hold properly and securely.

In addition, I’m left-eye dominant, even though was born ambidextrous and generally write right-handed. I need a left-handed or ambidextrous rifle.

Also, maybe you didn’t know, but I’m female. Although I do my pushups and haul heavy boxes with the best of folk (often surprising the fellas when it comes to such things), I’m still relatively weak when it comes to upper-body strength. Rifles are both long and heavy, therefore requiring greater arm strength to properly control for more than a minute or two at a time.

The AR-15 is a modular system, which means that you can assemble a custom built rifle for a much more affordable price than if you had to order a non-modular rifle with the needed specs. So I can get the adjustable stock for my weird arms, and I can make sure it’s set up for left-handed use (or more easily get a gunsmith to make a few adjustments to make it ambidextrous). It’s relatively lightweight, which means that I and other women can use it with greater ease and accuracy.

It’s also generally quite affordable (depending on what parts you choose), which means that lower-income women have economic access to it.

Please keep in mind that accuracy is a safely matter above anything else. So too, flash suppressors, sound suppressors, and heat cages. They might look scary because Hollywood has taught you that they looks scary, but these are all safety measures.

I’ve been invited to take part in several informal shooting competitions, but I can’t really take part at this time because my rifles either don’t have change-able magazines, or because their cartridge capacity is too low. An Ar-15 would allow me to compete with my friends (who, themselves, mostly use Ar-15s in these competitions), but would also allow me a self-defense weapon that is reliable, is easy to use in an emergency, and is easy to control when adrenaline might otherwise make it very difficult.Mal1

So why do I want an AR-15? Because it would allow me to play with my friends, *and* effectively defend myself should my living-on-my-onesies situation become a little too tempting for the local criminal element. And because I can customize with all the obnoxious Hello!Kitty crap I want. Just like my ammo cans!

I may post further updates. Eventually. Who really knows.

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A Great Upending in the Year of Mercy

Yes, it’s been quite a while. Which will be sort-of addressed in the following paragraphs.

2015 was a year of internal change. Of figuring out my goals, my direction (or lack thereof), of realizing my vocation (at long-bloody-last!). In mid December, I knew what items I needed to really change things in 2016: A good planner, and a couple good books on organizing one’s life. Because if there’s one thing the developments of 2015 showed me, it’s that I had no organization in my life, and was getting horribly overwhelmed every time I tried to get things together. I needed guidance, a system, something to keep me from drowning in my own chaos. [I’m very good with chaos, but Chaos is, almost paradoxically, a static state. Chaos may grow, but it never progresses. Likewise with the other extreme, perfect order, because the only perfect order, the only perfect peace, is the heat-death of the universe. So, also not-desired. What is needed is the careful balance of Chaos and Order, the friction of which provides movement in a direction.

So. First I found the Top-Down Planner. It was a bit pricier than I expected for a planner, but I could tell that this was exactly the sort of organization and focus I needed. Basically, instead of  devoting all the space to schedule with maybe a small little square for goals, this planner devotes most of its space to your working out and planning your goals, with a schedule space at the bottom of the pages. I find the space is sufficient for my scheduling needs, but the focus on goals is fantastic.

After shopping around both online and off-line, I found nothing that even came close to this focus and layout. So I went with it. It came in last week, and I’ve been working with it ever since. I love it!  I spent a couple of days last week just working on the first pages, where it takes you through a series of exercises designed to first help you identify the values you life your life by, and then the goals you have for your life. The results of these exercises are then used to set the focus for the rest of the year, first on a month-by month basis, then as a week-by week basis, around which you then schedule your days. This focus on life values and life goals really helps to highlight which parts of your life are the most personally fulfilling, and which are just filling time. The Goal focus of the planner has already really helped me focus my own efforts around my selected goals, and the steps needed to progress toward their achievement.It has also started the crisis of the week, though it’s a good and necessary crisis. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Second, I found two highly rated (on Amazon) organization guides, both by Jennifer Ford Berry– Organize Now! A week-by-week guide to simplify your space and your life, and Organize Now! Think and Live Clutter-Free; A week-by-week plan for a happier, healthier life. I purchased them because they were highly rated, spiral bound, took things in small increments over the course of the year, and started with organizing one’s self before organizing one’s space. The first two weeks of the first book are “Organize your mind & Life Vision”, and “Organize Your Priorities”. The first two weeks of the second are “Organize Your Priorities”, and “Organize a Vision Board.” You can see there’s some overlap (and, they both dovetail very nicely with the work being done in the planner). Each week is only a few pages long, and includes checklists of things to think about, schedule, or do. I sit down on Sunday evenings and read the chapter for the coming week. If there are things to schedule, I add them to my planner. Otherwise, I just think them over for the next week, implement what I can, and then on Saturday evening, evaluate the developments of the week and where to go from there.

As you might imagine, this has lead to my goals and priorities being on my mind quite a bit over the past month, and especially over the past two weeks. What am I supposed to accomplish in this life? Why am I getting nowhere with the things I really feel a need to do?

When I was working on the initial pages of the planner, I ended up setting out 4 Goals. [I should note first, in case you don’t know me personally, or haven’t known me personally for a long time, that I often tend to think and express myself in symbolic terms. Not everything I say is meant to be understood literally. Sometimes I’m short-handing big concepts or ideas. Sometimes my expression is halfway between symbolic and literal, or both. I guess it’s understood through context. Or asking me. That works, too . . . sometimes.] The 4 Goals I set out were 1) Maintain/ Enhance Life Order, including Finances (because nothing else will work out well if the bottom falls out of everything), 2) Become a Ninja, 3) Establish the Clan and 4) Establish and Promote the Ninja-verse Fandom. There is a significant amount of overlap between some of these, but that’s okay.

Clearly, “Become a Ninja” is not exactly literal. But it’s not purely symbolic, either. It’s a list of things I want to learn, or become proficient at, to be more self-sufficient, and more capable of being of use in an emergency situation (this is where my physical fitness goals are categorized). To be more the person that gives aid, than the person that needs aid. “Establish the Clan” is about family and homesteads, the philosophical and physical needs of establishing and maintaining family connections and networks (and yes, there are steps involving finding Prince Charming-future-co-Clan-Chief). “Ninja-verse fandom” is all about my writing, which is something I love, even when scenes are frustrating me. I’ve always loved telling stories– childhood friends may remember that I’ve always loved telling stories. I love all the work that goes into crafting a good story– the research, the world building, the character creation, the plotting, time lining, the actual scene and chapter writing. Telling and writing stories is, I think, my vocation. It’s what I’m supposed to do. To play with ideas and express them as adventure, as romance, as Ninjas-in-Space! Awww yeah!

Once these goals are set out, and steps listed for each, there comes the inevitable process of comparing what one has been doing, to the goals and steps written down. What are your current commitments, and how well do they match up with your goals and needs? For instance, on average, adult humans need 7 hours of sleep a night. This is true for me, so I need to be getting to bed no later than the 9:30-10PM time-frame. Also, I am very much an introvert– I need time alone, time to let go of everything and re-charge. Any chore that adds mental stress negates the fact of being alone. These are things that can’t be changed– they can be “Dealt with”, but cannot be changed. I have to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and have to go to church on the weekend. These are the non-negotiable items. This means that all mornings except Saturday are booked solid, from the start, with maybe some room on the occasional Sunday if I go to Mass on Saturday evening.

So. . . all of this has been on my brain. Then a Mormon friend posted this article to her facebook feed: When We Try to One-Up the Lord’s Standards: Culture vs. Commandments. I’m not Mormon myself, but I still really resonated with a lot of what the author had to say. I am intimately acquainted with the feeling that I’m not doing enough, that I’m constantly falling short of what the Lord desires of me, that I should always be striving to do more for the Lord. That I’m not devoting enough time or resources to charitable endeavors, to helping others. So this article got things really ticking in my brain– perhaps part of my problem is not that I’m not doing enough for the Lord, but rather that my a priori definition of Doing the Lord’s Work has somehow included: “Whatever you’re doing, if you enjoy it, it’s Not the Lord’s Work. If it’s not directly working with the Poor, it’s Not the Lord’s Work.” You can see where this might become problematic. Not everyone is called to serve the Lord in the same ways. Bot somehow, my understanding of such work was narrowed down to the High-School Service Hours definition. Working at a soup kitchen, or a homeless shelter would count, but freely contributing what small amount of Beauty I could into the world most assuredly did not. No amount of singing for free could amount to one hour in a soup kitchen. My writing, or work on it, would never count because no matter what I wrote, no matter what theological ideas I worked with and tried to express, it wasn’t directly helping the poor, and in addition, I plan to try to sell the stories, and if any money is made, then it’s right out of consideration.  But not to sing, and not to write, was to squander the Talents He gave me. So, I had to do both, and the soup kitchen and homeless shelter and more, because the Gifts I was given were not, by my definition, suitable for His Work. (We’ll not even talk about the spiritual angst involved with not having started a family yet. That’s a whole other can of tangled worms. . .)

Yes, I see now how stupid it was to be thinking such things. I suspect, however, I am far from the only person to have fallen into this trap. We elevate charitable work, but have such a narrow view of what “counts”. . .

Then, David Bowie died. Then Alan Rickman died. Two men who wielded immense influence over my development as a musician and as a storyteller.  Both were severe shocks, and surprisingly personal losses. Bowie was the man who influenced the men who influenced me, the root cause, so to speak, of my development as an artist. His ceaseless exploration of ideas and self, no matter how weird or unusual, is the root of my ceaseless exploration of ideas and self. I am no Bowie, but in the end, I learned the pursuit of Truth No Matter What from him. Rickman portrayed some of my favorite villains, as well as Metatron and Professor Snape. His portrayals of his characters, from Hans Gruber, to the Sheriff of Nottingham, Metatron, and my beloved Professor, helped me learn how to craft characters of interest and depth. Both deaths were unexpected, seemingly sudden, a painful reminder of the ticking clock. . .

. . . And of those goals that need addressing. . . an indication that one cannot “wait for life to sort itself out” to get on with what one should be doing. I cannot wait– I spend so much of the year saying “things will calm down once ______ has passed, then I’ll get ______ done”, only to find that the expected calm never comes. It’s one thing after another– End of Fiscal Year, this holiday, that big convention, this other event. . .  things never calm down, because after every event, all the things I was desperately postponing crowd back in. It’s too much, not if I’m to accomplish what I’m supposed to accomplish. I’m constantly juggling commitments– all things I enjoy, but not all actually furthering any of my goals. My house is a mess because I have no regular time for chores. My fitness progress is always stalled because too many days, I chose between working out (and thus not having time to make my own meals), or making healthy meals (and not having time to work out). I don’t get to sit down to write until 8 or 9 pm (or 10 or 11pm), by which time my brain is so tired I hardly can type a sentence.

Yesterday, I made a list of all my Not-Work and not Actual Church Service Commitments, and the frequency of these commitments. They are as follows:

  1. Choir 1 — weekly plus concerts
  2. Choir 2 — weekly plus certain holidays
  3. Charitable Organization — monthly, plus additional
  4. Charitable Organization 1a — monthly
  5. Big Convention — yearly, plus ~ 1 week, plus sick time after
  6. Little Convention — yearly, plus ~ 1 week
  7. Community Emergency Response Team 1, Local level — quarterly
  8. Community Emergency Response Team 2, County level — monthly
  9. Community Emergency Response Team 2, State level — monthly
  10. Community Emergency Response Team 3, State level — monthly
  11. Exercise/ Physical fitness — daily, except Sunday

Yes, there is scheduled time for expected illness. (sigh). These can also be broken down as follows:

  1. Daily Commitments: 1
  2. Weekly Commitments: 2
  3. Monthly commitments: 5
  4. Quarterly Commitments: 1
  5. Yearly Commitments: 2

Two commitments in a day means I cannot cook, or do other household chores for that day, as the whole day will be spent in commitments and the driving to and from them. More than 2 days of 2 commitments in a week starts to effect diet, exercise, sleep, chores, and anything else I might possibly try to be doing with my life for the entire week. Missed sleep is not made up until maybe Saturday but, sleep too late on Saturday, and that cuts into the one day I have to catch up on everything else. If you look at the frequency breakdowns, you can see how this starts to become a problem. My weekly commitments plus my physical fitness needs max me out at the beginning, but then 5 monthly commitments means 1-2 additional commitments per week, plus quarterly and yearly when they come around.

This is untenable, but it’s how I’ve been going about my life for some time. Taking the first list, I compared it to my goals. Some of them fit into my goals. Some do not. I enjoy all of them– it’s the only reason I do them. I enjoy what I’m doing and I love the people I’m with. . . but I’ve got to cut back. Some things, those that are part of some of my goals, can be scaled back a bit (and to heck with anyone who gives me crap about it. Seriously, screw ’em.), some other things may have to go entirely. For commitments I’ve made through the end of February, I’ll be keeping almost all of those, because I don’t want to bail on people with such short notice. But beyond that. . . there will be cutbacks and cut-outs. Simply because there are things I’m supposed to be doing, but I’m so over-committed, that it’s a special occasion when I make any progress at all with them. And my health can’t take it– I can’t get in shape if I don’t have time to exercise, time to clean my house ,time to defrost my freezer so my fridge will work again, time to make my own meals, time to get my needed hours of sleep. . .

So, look. . . to everyone who will soon be seeing less of me: I am sorry. Please believe, this isn’t because I don’t like what we’ve been doing. And this isn’t because I’m “pussing out.” I will definitely miss these things, and the people involved, but these cuts have to be made. This is because I have my own priorities, my own goals, and I have to pursue them. There’s no point to my life if I do otherwise.

11 April 2014 News

D'oh!

D’oh!

First off, a correction:Yesterday’s link regarding the slaughter of Christians might be a fake. Sorry, just learned about that. However, here’s a link to something real, from one of the most credible people on the planet.

 

Related: Brandeis disgraces itself with its treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Kinda related: Is it me, or is Walid Shoebat starting to lean a bit Catholic? Look a this blog, and find the entries written by Walid Shoebat. . .

Capitol Hill Doings:

Lois Lerner Found in Contempt of Congress. Well, du~uh, and long past time for it tooDeansmile. Not that it’ll do much, but I appreciate the gesture. Although, I gotta say, everytime Trey Gowdy opens his mouth, I swoon like a teenaged girl meeting Jensen Ackles. ..

Sebelius resigns. She was given a crap job and no support, did the best she could with a turd sammich, tried to polish it nice for her d-bag boss. . . Truth be told, I ain’t gonna miss her, but I do have a bit of repect for the terrible position she was in.

The Bundy Ranch Seige

Attack Dogs and Tasers

Calling on the Sheriff to Arrest the Federales

The Next Waco (or Ruby Ridge, for that matter)

Bundy Ranch Blog (this goes right to the donation page)

There is word that the Militias are startign to arrive in numbers, now. I’ll try to post when I have something more solid.

Other updates:

An Excellent Summation

H/T Wraith: Learned Helplessness and Operant Conditioning

Sometimes, in my writings, I mention that my writings are a vehicle by which I am trying to overcome the brainwashing of my youth. Melody Byrne describes what I’m talking about pretty exactly in the article linked above. I think I’m about the exact same age as her, given we entered high school and graduated from it at about the same time.

 I was lucky, in that my father never gave up trying to wake me up to Truth, and that I wasn’t always in the public school system. Note, though, that private schools must be accredited, and accreditation standards are often written to ensure that the brainwashing and conditioning of public schools is at least somewhat reflected in the private institutions. For this reason, my high school which was very rigorous intellectually, while not furthering the conditioning or brainwashing all that much, also didn’t do much to counter it. What conditioning I’d received remained to be re-inforced again once I went to college (of which very, very few are not awash in the conditioning programs).

Solar-Seismic Update 14 March 2012

General Overview from S0, including a neato little anomaly with the magnetopause (which, to be honest, I’ve never looked at before):

there’s some interesting discussion in the comments between S0 and Mr2Tuff (usually the case between them) that you might want to look at.

Continue reading

Righting the World: Thoughts on Breitbart, Ministry and Courage!

This started some time ago. I tend to dwell and ponder matters. One thing I dwell on is my role in the world: What am I doing, what purpose am I serving in doing what I do? I also expand that out to various groups of friends, notably my dear friends at The Conservative Treehouse. What is our role? How does what we do serve the greater community?

In the midst of these ponderings, that great towering giant of a man, Andrew Brietbart, shocked the lot of us by skipping off for heaven waaaay before we expected. And my ponderings upon the role and place of The Treehouse got tangled up with ponderings on the lessons Breitbart left us. I’m going to try to sort that out now.

As I am a Christian, when I ponder and consider the roles of my self or those near me, I often flash on the following words from Jesus (Matt 25):

33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.

    34Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

    35For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:

    36Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.

    37Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink?

    38And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee?

    39Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee?

    40And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

    41Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.

    42For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink.

    43I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.

    44Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee?

    45Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.

    46And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.

 You’ll not that He says nothing about blogging. He says nothing about writing at all. But that does not mean that writing, and blogging, are <I>not</I> ways of ministry. (Mind: I am not  saying that if one blogs, that excuses one from following the literal interpretation of His words. Also, I’m writing primarily about the commentors before the posters– the entire community.)

When I read the posts and comments at the Treehouse, I consider that our role, what we do, is as follows: We see those who naked of language– they know the Truth, but cannot express it, or defend it. We, in our open ponderings and occasional bickering, provide them with words to use. We see a world hungry for Truth- and we give it, as best we can. We see that people have been brainwashed through our public education system and media, and we try to show them the way out of their mental prisons. Believe me, the thought-patterns of the Left are a prison even without concrete walls.

In terms of posts, we are a varied, Rag-tag (if you will) lot. We are not a news service like Hot Air or Insty. Nor are any of us Bill Whittle (though we do try, and Sundance comes closest!). We’re somewhere in between, headlines and essays, activism and kitteh pics. A little bit of Ace, a little bit of Anchoress. But that’s just our style. What we do, our purpose, started as a little refuge for our band of misfits. Many (most?) of us never really fit in anywhere else. We started out fleeing from one site, chased from our first hide-out, and here decided to make our stand.

From those campfire days, we’ve developed into quite the little village, with each writer and each commenter valued, and an active Troll-Patrol. Here we gather, we Rag Tag bunch of Misfits, from varied backgrounds, and bring share our insights. In doing so, we encourage each other to go out and proclaim Truth to the world– whether on facebook, other blogs, caucuses, the street, family, friends, random strangers. . . We learn to deconstruct lies, to dive into the hearts of issues, to expose the lies around us for what they are, and to succor those who seek Truth, who are confused and need an environment where they can work out their confusion.

[I count myself among the latter. Most of my blathering is me trying to Sort Things Out, and you lot have been remarkably patient with me.]

The size of our ministry is, at this time, rather small. But we emphasise quality over quantity. If we grow, we grow. If we stay the same size, we stay the same. We may not always agree on things. Our thoughts and insights may not always be original to us– but one thing we count on, is that each of us is sincere and honest in our writing. And that is what makes this place a Refuge, a small shining village of Trust and Truth in the grim forest of Fear and Madness.

In the midst of these thoughts, that great warrior Breitbart went and bought the farm. He was, is, our model of Fearlessness, of brazen courage, raging against the falling night, uncowed by any attack. So much has already be written on what we are to do now, how we all need to follow in his footsteps. I couldn’t agree more.

Last Thursday, I had taken the day off. I was cleaning my living room when the word first came onto Fox News that he had died. It was like a punch to the gut– I was so shocked, I thought that surely I’d misheard, or it was someone with a similar sounding name. . .  I heard Jonah Goldberg reminice a few minutes later, himself clearly in shock and grieving. Soon, I could bear no more, so I switched to the Funimation Channel. And there, they were showing the final eposides of the anime Soul Eater. A very strangely appropriate thing to see at the time. I was very moved the first time I saw the final episode, and seeing it again in this context gave it even more meaning for me.

There’s so much that I think is appropriate for reflection that I want to share it with you. The guy wrapped in bandages is the Kishin (Demon God) Ashura– he is the embodiment of Fear and Madness. His weapon is fear, and he radiates madness. Maka, the little girl with the pig-tails, in our heroine. She attends the DWMA (Death Weapon Meister’s Academy) in Nevada, where she, along with her fellow students, learn to weild their living weapon companions– her companion, Soul, is a scythe. They hunt down evil souls and harvest them to protect the innocents of the world, under the direction of Lord Death. She and her team are trapped insode a barrier with the Kishin, while her father, teachers, and other friends are locked outside, unable to help. At the beginning, all of her teammates have fallen, and only she and Soul remain. Watch her progress as she faces the Kishin, and note the moment when the tide changes, and what it was that changed things.

Watch the whole thing. It’s 23 minutes long, so bookmark it if you need to come back later.

And, yes, I chose the subtitled version for this. Usually, I’m not such a snob about such things, but the Dubbed translation was just off enough that for my purposes, the original was what was needed.

UPDATE: Related (h/t Gracie over at TCT). Remember, the word is: Courage!

Reason to Homeschool the Chirrn, #4

Detroit teen given 4 vaccines without parent’s permission.

The point being, of course, that this was a violation of the rights of both the child and the parents. This is not about the value or dangers of vaccines. This is about people deciding on medical treatment for themselves. This is about the government deciding every little intimate detail about how you live your life. [You’d think the “My Body, My Choice” crowd would get that idea, but I guess it only counts when ending innocent life is concerned.]

While I do believe in the concept of “herd immunity”– I’ve also never had the flu shot. And only gotten the (repertory) flu twice in my life. Whereas, everyone I know who gets the shot, ends up with the illness. I’ve never known someone to get the shot, maybe be symptomatic for a couple of days after (as we are warned can happen), but then go on to have a perfectly healthy flu-season. Everyone ends up with a respertory bug of some nature, every season, except those of us who don’t get the shot. That tells me all I really need to know . . .

27 Feb 2012 Feast of St. Anne Lyne

1) St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense against the wikedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

2) Got the hive box delivered to my backyard yesterday. The hive itself will be delivered in about a month. And then in a little over a year– honey! Mead! Beeswax! Mead! Well pollinated veggies! Mead!

3)

4) Interesting weekend on the seismic and solar fronts. Updates coming. The political world is so screwy I don’t even know where to begin. And, on the social front: So, I met this guy at Katsu, friended him on facebook, and now a friend of his, who is a priest, has friended me, and I’m terribly confused as to why. . .

Solar- Seismic Update 14 Feb 2012 *UPDATED*

A fair amount of activity. I had expected some, but not this much– I’ve noticed that I tend to underestimate, I think as a reaction to the habit of some people to overestimate.

Yesterday– 6.1 EQ in Costa Rica

UPDATE: Thanks to Freedom1781 for pointing out the 5.6 in Northern CA yesterday!

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/nc71734741.php

Early today:

6.0 EQ near Honshu, Japan

6.5 EQ in Solomon Islands:

5.1 EQ in Baja, Mexico. Part of ongoing swarm.

An overview of several things, including current solar conditions