Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Pirenne Thesis

The most influential theory about the collapse of the Western Christian world was that the Germanic tribes delivered the death blow to a civilization already weakened by invasions, decadence, warfare with invaders, rival would-be rulers within the Empire, and Christianity.

At least, that's the standard history that most people learned when I was young (Pre-PC).  It was a typical distillation of Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire books.

I just heard today of another theory, from Declination blog, the Pirenne Thesis.  It was Pirenne's suggestion that, although the Germanic tribes sliced off the top level of governance, much of the basic structure remained, and that the Germans had largely been assimilated and absorbed into the Latin world.

What Pirenne thought dealt the death blow to Western civilization was the invasion of Islam.  There's a fairly long pdf at the link that explains his thinking better than I could.

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Mid-Week Randomness

Not all, of course.  But, too many Islamic countries devolve into instability, violence, and chaos.

This is why.

Also from Sultan Knish, some words on Venezuela.  Why is Venezuela not hitting the headlines?  People are STARVING.  If this were a collapsing Capitalist economy, Leftists would be hounding Washington to make aid to Venezuela a priority.

Why do Socialist/Communist/Leftist societies get ignored when they collapse?

This takedown of the Leftist Media is priceless.  You do know that 90% of D.C. journalists vote Democratic, don't you?
Among Washington correspondents, the ones who dominate national political coverage, it’s even more skewed, said Tim Groseclose, author of “Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.” More than 90 percent of D.C. journalists vote Democratic, with an even higher number giving to Democrats or liberal-leaning political action committees, the author said.
The trend to "professionalize" and license more jobs has had an unintended effect on employment of a group that already experiences difficulties in getting a job - ex-convicts.  While there are convicts who are dedicated repeaters, still, many do manage to turn their lives around, and deserve a chance at most jobs.  Some states make that impossible - no matter how long since they offended.

BTW, the Benghazi report does not address one of the most fundamental points from Clinton's testimony - her "tough" response to a question (and, as usual, Neo-neocon nails it):
With all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?
So, was it “because of a protest”? Or was it some random chaotic act “because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans”?
Well, how about: “Neither, Hillary, and what’s more, you know it was neither. Both suggestions are absurd. It actually was a group of organized terrorists who planned an attack, and succeeded in killing not just ‘some’ random Americans, but the ambassador and three protectors.”
I am SO hoping that this point gets addressed before November.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Why is the FIRST Response to Scream "BIGOT"?

Ya' know, there MIGHT be other reasons for not wanting mass importation of non-American peoples into our country.  Like:

  • The Resettlement "Services" have ONE function - to get the responsibility of paying for those people off THEIR hands, and onto the Federal, State, and City governments - and, by extension, the taxpayers.  They do not, after the briefest time necessary to fill out the paperwork, pay for services themselves.  From their site:
    • "The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) helps new populations maximize their potential in the United States by linking them to critical resources that assist them in becoming integrated members of American society."  This means - get them on Free Housing, Free Food, Free Medical Care, and Free Money - I really don't mean FREE, I mean - the taxpayer picks up the bill.
  • These services encourage minors to make that dangerous trip by themselves, putting them at risk of sexual exploitation, slavery, and death.
  • Many of these "New Americans" never assimilate in any sense of the word.  Their native-born children are the generation that is likelier to commit terrorist acts than their parents.
  • Too many of these aliens bring in spouses from their home country, thereby ensuring that at least one parent of the next generation has closer ties to the old country than the new.  Too often, this keeps children from becoming a part of the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural fabric that is America.  Exogamy - that is, marrying OUT of the ethnic group, which is so common among previous immigrants - is strongly discouraged by the families.
The idea that average people aren't capable of managing their own lives, determining their own future, and making RATIONAL decision, is a key factor in the Elitist disdain for the Brexit vote (and for many other things, like SSM, that drive Progressives NUTS!



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The Fed Reserve

There is a new meme on Facebook, that caught my attention:


It was posted by the Libertarian Party.  My answer to the first part:

Not Federal - it is not a branch of the government, as we normally think of it. It was created by an act of Congress. Its members serve 14-year terms, while the Chair serves 4 (but can be re-appointed).

So, why do I not consider it Federal?
(1) It is funded independent of the budget, collecting its fees from various non-governmental sources. That's one of the objections I also have to the CFPB - the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Their funding takes them outside of the normal channels, and makes it hard for the people of the USA to keep them from making regulations that cannot be challenged.

(2) Its original reasons for existing were: maximize employment, stabilizing prices, and moderating long-term interest rates. NONE of these are proper actions, under the Constitution.

Government doesn't make employment happen - private businesses do.

Stabilizing prices is a bad idea - it is contrary to letting the market function most effectively.

Moderating long-term interest is NOT a good idea. It makes a market-driven factor totally controlled by a central authority - and, one that is HEAVILY influenced by political pressures.

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday Randomness

Brexit After-Thoughts

Forget the Lifeboat...

As I have been following the Brexit "crisis", I was musing on the effect of Merkel at the core of this mess.

Merkel, as all the feminists like to remind me, is a woman.  And, like so many women, she suffers from a marked deficiency:
She can't admit she made a mistake.
To change course on immigration, the superiority of the EU, or blithe overlooking the Islamic threat, would require that she humble herself.  And, very few women can do that.

They can admit that they made a mistake in trusting a man, following their heart, or believing in a friend.  In other words, where emotions are involved, women can say, I was wrong.  This, they can do, because they can tell themselves that they CARE too much.  Sort of like the job seeker, when prodded for his weaknesses, says that he just doesn't stop working.  It's a backhanded admission that: I'm better than you, even in my "weaknesses".

What they just can't bring themselves to do is to admit that their thinking was the problem, not their heart.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Just Because

Here is a video of the song "Hail Brittania", with lyrics shown.  Given the vote, I think it's appropriate, particularly the final words of the chorus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHNfvJc99YY

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The Long March for Freedom

The Brexit vote was not totally a surprise - I could see, from reading the Liberal News the same way that Russians read the Soviet Pravda, that there was a chance that it would pass.

Debbie Schlussel just posted something critical of the Brexit vote, saying that it was a waste of time to focus on that, when the Islamic Cultural-Political Invasion was well underway in Britain.

I have to disagree with you, Debbie.  You are preaching to the choir here.  The problem is that the average Brit, like the average American, is a long way from fighting for their freedom.  Like many Americans, the Brits just want to have a peaceful life, free of the heavy hand of government - whether foreign or domestic.  Most people in either country don't pay that much attention to the news, and calmly accept the conventional "wisdom" of the networks.

Those wanting to bring in the Tea Party (or other) Revolution can easily become downhearted by political and cultural defeats.  They have a vision of what they want their country to become, and can become impatient when losses pile up.

Many want to take bold strikes, drawing a line in the sand, and daring the government to cross it.  Such people often end up in litigation or jail for many years.

Taking back one's freedom is a process - it takes these baby steps to begin to win over the uncommitted, and, votes - such as the Brexit one - serve to coalesce the allegiance of these unaffiliated persons.

The American Revolution didn't start at Lexington or Concord.  It was a process of bringing in neighbors through persuasion, guerrilla tactics that amuse them and gain their cooperation (Original Boston Tea Party), and gradually educating people as to the depth of their oppression.  It took years to get to that point.

We are the digital pamphleteers, the people on the edges, nudging, guiding, and influencing.  There is a reason that Facebook and other social media censor our videos and words - FB recognizes that this is the recruitment and persuasion stage of the revolution.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Rule 41


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  (function(){
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    e.src = 'https://www.eff.org/ngw/widget.min.js';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(e, s);
  })();
script>

<script type="text/javascript">
  (function(){
    var e = document.createElement('script'); e.type='text/javascript'; e.async = true;
    e.src = 'https://www.eff.org/ngw/widget.min.js';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(e, s);
  })();
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Can't display the banner - just go here.
Got a banner - do find out more about this issue.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Cue Etta James

I was born in Cleveland. I moved to Lakewood at age 4 months, and lived there until my marriage at age not-quite 23. As my husband was the original Rolling Stone (not the band, the willingness to pick up stakes on a moment's notice), I tagged along for about 10 years in various cities in PA and OH. We finally bought a 4 bedroom house smack in the middle of Cleveland about 20 years ago (which we are trying to sell right now - anyone want a bargain large house, convenient to mass transit and major highways?). Eleven years ago, I moved to SC for work, and have settled in. Nonetheless, I remain a fan of Cleveland teams, as does the rest of the family. Last night, we watched LeBron James - the King - manage something I was beginning to think would never again happen - he took the Cavaliers to NBA champs.
Now, excuse me, I'm going to have a conversation with God about the Cleveland Indians. It appears that this is the year to ask BIG.

Friday, June 17, 2016

It's Hard Not to Laugh; But It Hurts too Much to Cry

Yes, I know that the quote is NOT what Stevenson said, but I stand by it.  I laugh because if I don't, I will cry - and it would be hard to stop.

I've been on the web this morning (in between cleaning out my closet/drawers - I've been doing a section, then taking a break, repeat.....).

I think there is a Law of the Internet.  That Law would state that when people start to make sense of events, agree upon some common ground, and reduce the acrimony, the CRAZY has to start up again, and Stop that $hit.

That would be the only way to understand this New! Improved! Obama Plan to Stop Terrorism!

The program is called CVE - Countering Violent Extremism - and it is designed NOT to find out that the core problem is Violent People Who Hate American Values, or Violent People with Foreign Ties Who Want to Destroy America, or Violent People Who Are CRAZY!

Let's, instead, focus on the MANY Congregational and Church of God in Christ members who are using those churches to plot the take-down of America.

/sarc

It's RACIST to point out to the non-Americans residing among us, that, if they don't like America, they could - and probably should - LEAVE!

It's RACIST to point out that there are mosques in the US that stockpile weapons, distribute Hate America material, and collect funds for terrorists and their allies.

[NOTE: Yes, this is not all mosques.  Although the number of those mosques is less than 50% of the total - that's still too many to allow to operate in violation of our common good.]

It doesn't require storming into mosques and homes of potential jihadists.  How about enforcing our current laws - RICO, fraud cases (MANY of the anti-American types support themselves by "living off The Man"), VISA violations.

Encourage self-deportation without penalty of jail time for the small fry, IF they spill their guts about the Big Fish.

I've been reading about Brexit - the British referendum on whether to stay in the EU.  Sadly, one nutcase took it upon himself to kill on of the open promoters of the EU.

The new London Mayor - a Muslim - appeared at a Pro-EU rally attended primarily by Muslims.  The interesting thing about it was that the Muslim women in the rally were all in the back.  That's right, no women up front.

Maybe we should send those women books about Rosa Parks?

WHY is labeling the enemy correctly important?

Read this.

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Revolt of the Common Man

Why don't I call this Revolt of the Common PERSON?  Because it's largely spearheaded by MEN.

Women get a lot of bennies from the state:

  • Financial support
  • Emotional stroking
  • Preference on the dubious grounds that they are discriminated against
Those benefits make single and divorced women less likely to complain about the over-reaching arm of the state.  The women that do complain are largely married, as they experience - indirectly - the tyranny of the state.

It's happening in Not-So-Great Britain right now.  Brits may withdraw their alliance with the EU, and go it alone.  That action may serve as a catalyst for the dissolution of the EU, led by those nations that are stronger economically and culturally.

The large nation-state, as it existed for much of the 20th century, may be dying.  Why did it fail?
  • Insistence on adherence to Leftist social dictates
    • Gender-bending
    • Drug use of the RIGHT kind - pot, Viagra, birth control, Adderall
    • No drug use of the WRONG kind - tobacco, caffeine, sugar, salt
    • ALL education will force the right "attitudes" on its victims
    • Parents will be swept aside by their betters, and forced to pay for their "guidance"
    • Religions will be strictly regulated, and kept within a corral - no unauthorized use of religion outside of that structure
    • Re-classification of opposition as "hate crimes"
    • Race-based preferences, punishments for not adhering to them
    • Spying on citizens to root out "wrong-thinking"
In short, the nation-state governance, in Europe, as well as America, over-stepped its boundaries.  Not just once, but repeatedly, and for a long time.

The overlords forgot their history - that the average man/woman just wants to live their live free of the boot of the state on their neck.  They will accept inconvenience, taxation, and restrictions - up to a point.  When their sense of "Too Much" is reached, no concession by the state will appease them.

We have reached the Revolutionary Moment.


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Thursday, June 09, 2016

How Our American Culture Might Change

People might consider following this advice, which I found at Bastion of Liberty.

I know, I know.  You ONLY watch 60 Minutes.  Well, and maybe the Super Bowl.

But that's it.

Well, except for your favorite show.  And the one that precedes it.  And the one that follows it.

But that's it.

Well, for that night anyway.

And, you know, you just HAVE to watch Dancing with the Stars.  And Big Brother.  And True Blood.

And on...and on...and on...

I've been thinking about how much television/cable/HMC (that's my husband's favorite) I've been watching lately.

And, I am frankly NOT happy about it.

I'm wasting a substantial amount of MY LIFE.  Which, BTW, is getting shorter and shorter.

Go, read what Ace has written at the link.  And, then, think about how you want to spend the last days of your life:

  • Reminiscing about the hours you spent in front of the TV
  • Hurrying a conversation because "your show" will be on in a few minutes
  • Contemplating the fat cells that you laid down while lolling in the lounge chair
  • Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, as Yul Brynner used to say
I recently spent an evening having the most fun I'd had in ages.  I was in Cleveland, and my children introduced me to Cards Against Humanity.  It sounded like a tired Leftist waste of time, but it was engaging, humorous, and promoted conversation in the players.


Unplug.

Of course, your motivation for unplugging is vital.  Is it a permanent divorce?  A temporary separation?

William Gibson insists that the Net is a waste of time.  However, he does waste his time on it.


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Saturday, June 04, 2016

Saturday Randomness

I was reading about Neuroscience in the 2011 Free nonfiction from Baen Books (REALLY good, along with the free fiction), and started thinking about brain and nerve development.

One of the hard parts of implanting cochlear devices is that, sometimes, the brain of the person just hasn't any way of interpreting the sounds.  The nerves in adults are more resistant to growth than in younger patients.  There is, however, a treatment that has dramatic results in many cases - doses of amphetamines administered under a doctor's supervision.

I started thinking about the implications for stroke and Alzenheimer's patients.  And, it happens, the researchers believe that Alzenheimer's may be treatable within the next 15 years or so.

Do read the article - so that you might begin to think intelligently about the issue, and have some basis for understanding what is likely to become a very important target for research.
________________________________________________________________________________________

I'm at the Chicago airport (Midway), waiting for my ride home.  I arrived VERY early, but sailed right through a quite pleasant and non-intrusive TSA screening.  I joked with the screeners about the lack of people, and they responded in the same way.  It did help to have the Precheck status (usually get it, but not always).
________________________________________________________________________________________

I had a fabulously restful visit with my children.  The delight of not killing them when young is that they become adults you enjoy associating with.

Yes, I do realize that I tend to end sentences with prepositions - I'm from Cleveland, and that's just "what we do" - deal with it.