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Peter

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I Miss Our ‘Founding Brothers’!

(from Peter-Bayou Renaissance Man)

“Every house divided against itself will not stand.” That goes for America, too.

In watching the brouhaha over alleged links between President Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, and allegations of who said what, when, to whom, and why, and what the words mean, I’m driven to a conclusion already reached by many.This nation is irreparably, irreconcilably divided against itself.

That became clear during the Presidential elections last year.  Even before the vote, researchers identified several key areas in which the two sides of our political divide have become more and more divided.  What’s more, that divide has come to dominate different areas and groups in our body politic.  To name just one example, since President Trump’s election, the mainstream news media (dominated to an extraordinary extent by the left, progressive wing of US politics) have unleashed a barrage of insults, disdain and attacks that is almost unprecedented in its uniformity.  Sure, past Presidents have faced similar attacks from a segment of US media;  but there were always almost equal and opposing resources to respond in kind.  That’s no longer the case, thanks to the domination of the media by left-wing money and groups and individuals.  Alternative views are all but drowned out by the hubbub.

What’s more, the mainstream media no longer care about non-partisanship.  They openly advocate for one side or the other.  A classic example is an article in the Washington Post last Sunday titled ‘Is media coverage of Trump too negative? You’re asking the wrong question.‘  A key quote:

The president’s supporters often say his accomplishments get short shrift. But let’s face it: Politicians have no right to expect equally balanced positive and negative coverage, or anything close to it. If a president is doing a rotten job, it’s the duty of the press to report how and why he’s doing a rotten job.

There’s more at the link.

I happen to believe, unlike the author, that the question in the title of the article is the right question, and needs answering:  and I believe that her cavalier dismissal of the president as ‘doing a rotten job’ is her own partisan perspective, rather than based on fact.  Therein lies the problem.  She would probably dismiss me as a ‘right-wing nut job’, rather than take my views seriously.  (I tried very hard to read her article with an open mind, but the partisanship of which it reeked made that very difficult indeed.)  Of course, the same bias and partisanship can be found in articles on the other side of the political divide, as well.  The problem cuts both ways.

A blogger writing under the name of Didact summed up the divide in an article last January.

On the one side, we have always had the small-government libertarian types. Back in the days of Jefferson and Adams, they were the Southern Democrats. They were primarily advocates of an agrarian-focused, decentralised, minimalist, small-government philosophy that generally left people the hell alone to get on with their own business.

On the other side, we have also always had the mercantilists, the industrialists, the big-government centralists. They believed that a strong central government was absolutely required to prevent the new nation from being overwhelmed by its competitors and sinking into irrelevance or slavery under a foreign power.

That ideological difference has persisted, in various forms and espoused by various parties, all the way through to the modern day. That is of course well known. Eventually, the divide became so deep and so bitter that it resulted in the War Between the States, which Northerners rather oxymoronically refer to as the Civil War, and Southerners somewhat more accurately refer to as the War of Northern Aggression.

That divide was eventually papered over, at least somewhat, by the North’s crushing victory over the South. To this day, the South still hasn’t fully recovered from that defeat and the years of the Reconstruction Era that followed- and the wounds and scars inflicted by that defeat still linger on.

But- and here is the key difference between then and now- even throughout those times of bitterest division and discord, the two sides were able to talk to each other, right up until the time for talking was over and there was nothing left to do but start shooting.

And that is precisely what America has now lost.

You will not find finer exemplars of the two spirits of America than Presidents Adams and Jefferson. One believed completely in a strong central government; the other believed equally completely in a weak one. The two argued, often contentiously and always with eloquence and conviction, in favour of their respective positions.

Yet the two of them were also closer than brothers. Their respect for each other transcended their political differences and united them in their love for their new country, and their desire to see it succeed. Not for nothing have they been called “Founding Brothers“.

This is what America has lost today. The two sides of the debate no longer talk to each other. They talk past each other.

Again, more at the link.

Many people recognize the existence of this divide in America;  but not many have thought about its implications for our nation as a whole.  Well, I’m a pastor, albeit a retired one.  I try to look at and think about this country from the perspective of my faith, just as others will see it through the filters of their own biases and perceptions and bedrock perspectives.  That faith makes me ask:  have things gone too far?  Have we reached a tipping point?

Jesus warned us:  “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”  Right now, our ‘kingdom’ (or country) is divided against itself.  Right now, our cities – overwhelmingly left-of-center in their political orientation – are divided against the heartland that feeds and sustains them.  Right now, our houses – our families – are often divided on political, social and economic issues.

Can this nation, in its present form, survive a divide so deep, so bitter, and so vitriolic?  I don’t know . . . but I have real and very serious doubts.  What say you, readers?

Peter

I remember stories of the politicians of old (the Sixties), who would yell at each other on the Senate or House floor, then meet afterward to share a beverage or two.
We have lost that civility, both in the legislature and the general population.
We already have discord, violence and riots in the streets.  And on the Internet.
What’s next – A shooting war?
😦

FACEBOOK – Now Even Creepier!

(from Peter – Bayou Renaissance Man)

Facebook becomes the corporate face of ‘creepy’

If Facebook were actively trying to define itself as ‘creepy’, it couldn’t do much better than this.  Two reports over the past few weeks have caused me to wonder at the sanity of anyone who still uses the service.First, it seems Facebook actively marketed to advertisers its ability to ‘target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability’.  Wired reports:

Data mining is such a prosaic part of our online lives that it’s hard to sustain consumer interest in it, much less outrage. The modern condition means constantly clicking against our better judgement. We go to bed anxious about the surveillance apparatus lurking just beneath our social media feeds, then wake up to mindlessly scroll, Like, Heart, Wow, and Fave another day.

But earlier this month, The Australian uncovered something that felt like a breach in the social contract: a leaked confidential document prepared by Facebook that revealed the company had offered advertisers the opportunity to target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability, such as when they felt “worthless,” “insecure,” “stressed,” “defeated,” “anxious,” and like a “failure.”

The 23-page document had been prepared for a potential advertiser and highlighted Facebook’s ability to micro-target ads down to “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” According to The Australian’s report, Facebook had been monitoring posts, photos, interactions, and internet activity in real time to track these emotional lows. (Facebook confirmed the existence of the report, but declined to respond to questions from WIRED about which types of posts were used to discern emotion.)

There’s more at the link.

Not content with that, it seems Facebook is trying to patent ‘creepy technology which spies on people and automatically analyses their facial expressions’.  The Sun reports:

The social network applied for a patent to capture pictures of a user through their smartphone.

The creepy designs, which date back to 2015, were discovered by software company CBI Insight, which has been analysing Mark Zuckerberg’s “emotion technology”.

. . .

Researchers at CBI Insights warned that the plans could put a lot of people off using the service.

“On the one hand, they want to identify which content is most engaging and respond to audience’s reactions, on the other emotion-detection is technically difficult, not to mention a PR and ethical minefield,” it wrote in a blogpost.

Again, more at the link.

So Facebook now wants to use the camera on your smartphone to watch you while you use the device.  Why would anyone in their right mind allow a social media network this kind of intimate access to their thoughts, feelings and emotions?  Is there no value attached to privacy any more?

From my moral perspective (which is admittedly that of an older generation), this seems not only an invasion of privacy, but actively evil – trying to use your own emotions to manipulate you, and/or sell data about you to advertisers and others (for example, political parties analyzing voter emotions and behavior) who will use it to manipulate you.

News reports like this make me devoutly grateful that I have no Facebook presence at all!  If you do, in heaven’s name, why do you want to expose yourself to this???

Peter

I joined FB long before I began blogging, or even reading other’s blogs.  I liked the Internet, and it just seemed to be the social thing to do.  (I was doing the IRC and bulletin boards before THAT!)
Yeah, I’m old.  😛
But, considering Pandora’s Box has already been opened, do I want to make it even easier for the alphabet soup of government, or private corporations or citizens?  Is it even worth the effort, now that the cat’s escaped the bag?
Maybe.  I am considering leaving FB.  Most folks who care I blog know Guffaw is my nom-de-Internet, and can do research to determine my FB moniker and extrapolate real info and data from there.
As if that’s worth anything…

ISIS And US Progressives – What’s The Difference?

(From Bayou Renaissance Man, in part)
Vox points out:

As he says:  “What, precisely, is the difference? There is no difference. It’s just vandalizing history of which one does not approve.”

Methinks he has a point.

Peter

I’m NOT A Lawyer

I don’t play one on television, or the Internet.

Nor does Peter (Bayou Renaissance Man)

REGARDLESS

He has something of importance to pass on to us.  Most of us know all or parts of this, but we really need to internalize it.

Lest we make a fatal mistake.

Never let a knife-wielding attacker get within range! In general, if you have to use violence to defend yourself, you may have to justify that in court.  If you use potentially or actually lethal force, the chances of having to justify it in court go up exponentially. One of your primary defenses will be how you were trained, what you learned during your education process, and how your defensive mindset was formed.  As part of that, it helps to document your training through class notes (taking them yourself if necessary), video clips of the instructor (often found on YouTube), recordings, etc.  You can also introduce as evidence material from others that reinforces and supports your defensive mindset. I’d like to show you one such piece of material this morning, particularly because Antifa, the progressive far-left-wing movement behind much of the anti-Trump and anti-conservative unrest of recent months, was advertising credit-card-sized concealed knives on its Web site.  These things may be tiny, relatively speaking, but they can do an awful lot of damage – potentially disabling damage, if not inflicting permanent injury such as the loss of an eye or a severed nerve – in the hands of someone who knows how to use one.  The odds are increasing that people like us may run into one of these demonstrations – so it behooves us to be prepared to counter such violence, in defense of ourselves and our loved ones. Here’s what even a very small knife can do to a human being.  I recommend watching the video in full-screen mode.

Remember that video.  Bookmark it and/or save a copy for future reference.  Remember Antifa’s attempts to sell knives of similar size to its members, and their open discussion about the need to arm and train themselves.  Remember it if you run into them while about your lawful business . . . and keep them out of knife range, by whatever means may be necessary (and, of course, legal – that goes without saying).  If you ever have to justify that decision and/or your actions, play back that video in court, point out Antifa’s discussions and its efforts to sell knives to its members, and make it clear that you considered yourself in imminent danger of suffering similar injuries unless you stopped them.  It’s a compelling argument.

Peter

AMEN, Peter, amen…

REMEMBER your Tueller Drill people!

ASM826 and Borepatch Bring Bayou Renaissance Man’s Take On The Trump Wiretap

…and ALL of ours!  (It takes a village of bloggers?  Sorry.)  🙂

Wiretapping is so 1980

When you have the power of a fully operational Stasi Ministry of State Secrets NSA collection of every phone and email, you use it. The Obama Administration didn’t need to tap the phones in the Trump Tower. They just need access to the data collection that is being performed on all of us every day.

I was going to write this up, but Bayou Renaissance Man already hit the thing out of the park. 

“Hell yes, Donald Trump was “wiretapped.” So were you, by the way. And me. From open source information shared by defectors the intelligence community was too incompetent to keep from defecting, we know that every single electronic communication we send is collected in the NSA mainframes. Every single one. And the NSA has algorithms they can use to search it. You don’t go plant a bug in Trump Tower. You wiretap the opposition party’s nominee for president by running a search through the communications that the government “incidentally” collected. And if you find something juicy, then you call up your buddy at the Post and hand it over.”

Peter On Voter Fraud

Peter, aka Bayou Renaissance Man addresses this ongoing sticky issue.  Included in his post are things from Zero Hedge showing incriminating campaign behaviors (from Wikileaks) in my home State of Arizona (which polls indicate is up for grabs between Blue and Red camps)

In part…

I’m sure that by now, most of my readers have learned about the incriminating e-mail sent by the Clinton campaign as long ago as 2008, and just revealed by Wikileaks.  In case you missed it, here’s the salient excerpt.

I also want to get your Atlas folks to recommend oversamples for our polling before we start in February. By market, regions, etc. I want to get this all compiled into one set of recommendations so we can maximize what we get out of our media polling.

There’s more at the link.

Zero Hedge points out:

The email even includes a handy, 37-page guide with the following poll-rigging recommendations.  In Arizona, over sampling of Hispanics and Native Americans is highly recommended:

Research, microtargeting & polling projects

  • Over-sample Hispanics
  • Use Spanish language interviewing (Monolingual Spanish-speaking voters are among the lowest turnout Democratic targets)
  • Over-sample the Native American population

For Florida, the report recommends “consistently monitoring” samples to makes sure they’re “not too old” and “has enough African American and Hispanic voters.”  Meanwhile, “independent” voters in Tampa and Orlando are apparently more dem friendly so the report suggests filling up independent quotas in those cities first.

  • Consistently monitor the sample to ensure it is not too old, and that it has enough African American and Hispanic voters to reflect the state.
  • On Independents: Tampa and Orlando are better persuasion targets than north or south Florida (check your polls before concluding this). If there are budget questions or oversamples, make sure that Tampa and Orlando are included first.

Meanwhile, it’s suggested that national polls over sample “key districts / regions” and “ethnic” groups “as needed.”

  • General election benchmark, 800 sample, with potential over samples in key districts/regions
  • Benchmark polling in targeted races, with ethnic over samples as needed
  • Targeting tracking polls in key races, with ethnic over samples as needed

Again, more at the link.

This absolutely confirms the recent revelation that the Clinton campaign was up to shady tricks (to put it mildly) in major media polling of potential voters.  They’ve been doing it for years – don’t forget that the e-mail quoted above dates back to 2008!

It also explains recent triumphalist claims by the Clinton Campaign, for example:  ‘Hillary Clinton is so far ahead of Donald Trump in the race for the presidency that she no longer even feels the need to pay attention to the Republican nominee.‘  As is now clear, she’s mainly ahead in polls that have been deliberately skewed in this way, so as to portray her as so far ahead that the election is effectively a ‘done deal’.  I suppose that’s to try to persuade potential Trump and Republican voters not to bother to cast their vote, as there won’t be any point.  Instead, they should stay home on election day and let events take their presumably inevitable course.

Thing is, of course, they’re not inevitable.  Other polls (for example, this one) portray the race as much, much closer.  All of us have a voice, and every voice (and every vote) counts.  It’s up to us to use them.

Peter

 

The Final Opportunity

Peter (of Bayou Renaissance Man) posted a concise analysis of the the hows and whys of where this election could possibly go.

And, it’s NOT a positive post!

At least for those of us who believe in this Constitutional Republic and Individual Liberty.

His last paragraph:

I remain convinced that if Clinton wins, this Republic cannot survive in its present form.  She and her urban elite supporters have already all but trashed our Constitution, blatantly selling themselves and their public offices to the highest bidder.  If they win again, they’ll trample underfoot what remains of our nation.  We’ll be swamped by illegal aliens, many of whom will vote (illegally or not) for the party that promises them the biggest handouts.  If our Republic and Constitution are to be preserved, I fear this election may be the final opportunity to do so via the ballot box.

You should really go and read the whole post.

And it’s precursor.

I’ve posted before regarding how this Republic is unique in history, and how even the Romans probably thought they would continue forever.  I think most folks don’t read history or blogs.  They are too busy trying to eke out an existence, living paycheck to paycheck, hoping the Government won’t continue to tax them into oblivion, or continue to erode their God-given rights to dust.

If they even consider such things.

They feel they are tiny cogs in the uber-machine, and have no control over the inevitable outcome.

And that The American Experiment will not continue forever.

Peter says:  “If our Republic and Constitution are to be preserved, I fear this election may be the final opportunity to do so via the ballot box.”

What could happen after that is too painful to consider.

Please VOTE, as if your Life and The Republic depends on it!

I fear it does…

colson

 

 

Don’t Be There! (NSFW)

from Bayou Renaissance Man

Damned if they do, damned if they don’t

Yesterday I wrote about the impossible conundrum facing police.  They’re literally in a no-win situation.  If they enforce and uphold the laws, they’re accused of racism, abuse of authority, and everything else one can imagine.  If they don’t, the law-abiding citizens they’re sworn to protect and serve will pay the price in the anything-goes free-for-all that will result.

A graphic example of how this plays out every day on the streets of some of our rougher neighborhoods was given in Chicago a few days ago.  The video below is profane, graphic and very disturbing.  I can only commend the police involved for not giving in to what must, at times, have been the overwhelming temptation to deal with the interlopers as their conduct deserved.

LANGUAGE ALERT:  Profanity is frequent and very graphic.  If you’d like to read what happened, and watch the video with the sound turned off, you’ll find the details here.

Now ask yourself, dear readers:  if you find yourself on the streets of a city or suburb like that (say, after a traffic accident, while you’re waiting for emergency services to arrive), and you get heckled like that . . . what are you going to do about it?  You probably won’t have sufficient legal justification to open fire on the mob.  If you produce a gun and try to threaten them, their reactions will be just as they are above.  They’ll dare you to use it, knowing that if you do, the law will basically side with them, no matter how provocative and threatening their conduct might have been.  What’s more, some of them will probably have guns too.  If you use yours, they’ll likely shoot back – and your family and anyone else with you will be in the line of fire.  You might be well advised to leave the area as quickly as possible, by any means necessary (including hitching a ride with passing motorists), and abandon your vehicle.  If it gets stripped or stolen, that’s still a lot less trouble than what might happen if you stay with it.

John Farnam’s advice (which we’ve repeated on several occasions in these pages) still holds good.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

The best way to handle any potentially injurious encounter is: Don’t be there. Arrange to be somewhere else. Don’t go to stupid places. Don’t associate with stupid people. Don’t do stupid things. This is the advice I give to all students of defensive firearms. Winning a gunfight, or any other potentially injurious encounter, is financially and emotionally burdensome. The aftermath will become your full-time job for weeks or months afterward, and you will quickly grow weary of writing checks to lawyer(s). It is, of course, better than being dead or suffering a permanently disfiguring or disabling injury, but the “penalty” for successfully fighting for your life is still formidable.

Crowds of any kind, particularly those with an agenda, such as political rallies, demonstrations, picket lines, etc are good examples of “stupid places.” Any crowd with a high collective energy level harbors potential catastrophe. To a lesser degree, bank buildings, hospital emergency rooms, airports, government buildings, and bars (particularly crowded ones) fall into the same category. All should be avoided. When they can’t be avoided, we should make it a practice to spend only the minimum time necessary there and then quickly get out.

“A superior gunman is best defined as one who uses his superior judgment in order to keep himself out of situations that would require the use of his superior skills.”

Words to live by more than ever, in these troubled times.  Kudos to those cops for keeping their cool under very trying circumstances.  I doubt I’d have done as well.

Peter

Obviously, it’s a matter of degree and circumstance.  A couple of kids talking smack to sound tough, or a violent street gang just looking for an excuse – any excuse.  Sometimes, as proposed in the essay, we find ourselves in a bad geographical area.  Wrong turn off the freeway, followed by car trouble…
Massad Ayoob famously stated if you feel the need to carry into a bar, perhaps you need to consider a different watering hole.  Perhaps.  Watering hole choice is usually voluntary.  (I see this as ‘not using the seat belt; not getting into an accident’ thinking.  Just because it’s not a dive bar doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen. – Guffaw)
This all goes back to basics – situational awareness and mindset.  We don’t always have control, and may have to wait for others to act for us to respond – morally and legally.
And THAT’S the hell of it…

A Period Piece

from Bayou Renaissance Man (in part)

Today’s award goes to the journalist(s) and/or editor(s) responsible for this utterly ludicrous headline:

It is, of course, complete and utter bull.  Naturally (and I mean that both literally and figuratively) women are, indeed, the only people who menstruate!  It can’t possibly be any other way.  Those responsible for this absurd headline are stretching reality in such a pretzel-like fashion that it’s grotesque to the point of ridiculousness.

(…)

There’s more at the link.

Look . . . if a woman chooses to self-identify as a man, but chromosomally, genetically and otherwise is female to the point that she still has periods, THEY ARE NOT A MAN.  THEY ARE A WOMAN.  PERIOD.  (Pun intended.)  Even if the relevant organs are surgically removed, so that periods are no longer physically possible, that won’t change the reality of the situation.

This is political correctness gone mad, and should be treated as such.  To do otherwise would be dishonest – and the hallmark of a doofus.  It’s as simple as that.

Peter

I applaud Peter for his directly addressing the complete absurdity of this concept!

Having said that, I commend the company for (ahem) thinking outside the box (sorry!) to gain a larger market share.  Capitalism at it’s weirdest.

As stupid though it may seem.

Hard to imagine what is, or could be next…

(I shudder at the prospects!)

The Most Effective – Says Peter

Peter (again) brings the Truth!

“What’s the single most effective thing you can do to improve your chances in a gunfight?”

That question was put to me by a reader this weekend.  He asked, “There are so many different opinions out there for a defensive weapon:  this or that caliber, or cartridge, or firearm, or technique, or whatever.  Is there any one thing I should look to master before worrying about the others?  Is there any single element that can make the difference between life and death, if I ever need it the hard way?”Why, yes.  Yes, there is.  It’s basic marksmanship.

  • No matter what super-dooper, felon-stopper, magnum-blaster ammunition you carry, unless you can put it into an attacker’s vital zones and shut him down, he’s going to hurt or kill you or your loved ones.
  • No matter what plastic-fantastic, space-cowboy-zapper death-dealing firearm you’re toting, unless you can bring its whiz-bang features to bear against an enemy, it won’t do you any good (except to make you look technologically sexy, and I doubt your corpse or your surviving family members [if any] will care about that).
  • No matter how gung-ho, super-fit, extreme-martial-artist your physical capabilities may be;  no matter whether you can sprint a hundred meters in Olympic-record time while simultaneously dodging speeding bullets;  no matter whether you can bench-press three hundred pounds while operating a machine-gun with your toes;  unless you can put down-aimed, effective fire on your opponent, his return fire is going to turn your superhero body into a colander.

A couple of years ago I wrote an article titled ‘.22LR as a defensive round‘.  It remains one of my most popular and most-searched articles on the subject of defensive shooting.  In it I outlined a very low-cost and extremely effective training technique that anyone can apply to almost any weapon.  If you read that article, and follow the training it advises, I guarantee that your combat effectiveness will be multiplied several times over, even if you do nothing else to improve your chances.  Weapon and ammunition selection can follow, and of course you’ll need to practice to achieve similar results with a harder-kicking, less easily controlled firearm.  Nevertheless, the basic principle of getting effective rounds on target remains the key to successful self-defense.

Remember, too, that accuracy with a firearm is a perishable skill.  It’s not one you’ll retain unless you keep in training.  Start with basic ‘bullseye’ target shooting and/or competition, by all means, and progress through the training methods I outlined in my earlier article;  but don’t rest on your laurels once you achieve marksmanship nirvana.  You’ll have to stay in practice.  I reckon you should be shooting at least a hundred rounds a month with your BB handgun to do that;  and if you’ve upgraded to a suitable defensive weapon, plan on shooting 100-200 rounds every three months as an absolute minimum with it.  I prefer a practical minimum of 50-100 rounds every month, but I realize not everyone can afford that much time or that much ammunition.  That’s why ongoing practice with a BB gun is a very inexpensive, ultra-affordable and extremely important way to keep your skills current.  You can do that in your back yard, or in your garage, or even (using Airsoft guns) in your living-room without risking damage to your furniture or fittings.

Practice, practice, and more practice.  It’s indispensable – and it really does make a difference.  There’s a lot more to defensive shooting than just marksmanship, but in the absence of accuracy, none of it matters worth a damn.

Peter

Reading this, I was reminded of what I read regarding Marine training, long ago.  Basically, what was said was bullets hitting people was the desired result.
You can have the most inherently accurate, reliable machine.  In the best caliber.  BUT, if you cannot hit your target, all is for nought!
When was the last time you practiced?  Or even dry-fired?

_______________________________________________________

(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
I would ask all of you bloggers out there to at least make the effort to post a link to www.projectwelcomehometroops.org/#22kill

22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE DAILY

Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #13 of 22)

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…