Lots of good stuff tonight.
We'll let Brigid start us off with an excellent article on 'The Elements of Protection - Self Defense In the Home'. She provides a lot of valuable and very useful information. Highly recommended.
Next is a blog I don't visit often, but every time I do, it's fun. It's the 'Welcome Home Blog', which describes its mission as follows:
Regardless of political stance, no one can deny the joy felt upon seeing soldiers coming home safely. WelcomeHomeBlog.com is a site that celebrates these amazing military reunions. Visit daily for heartwarming stories, videos & pictures of members of our courageous armed forces returning home to their families & friends.
On a rather less heartwarming note, but of great importance, are four blog articles dealing with economic and social collapse - the sort of thing I've been warning about here for many months (as have many far more knowledgeable and eminent commentators).
- First, Club Orlov enlightens us about 'The Five Stages of Collapse'.
- Next, Ol' Remus warns about how collapse creeps up on us. Here's an excerpt.
A true collapse is the sudden and catastrophic decentralization of everything all at once. Civil authority, either unwilling or unable to solve basic problems, forfeits the loyalty of all and retreats in disorder. Social stratification disappears—there are no privileges to be had. Interconnected commerce and communication as we have known them cease to be and regional autocrats compete for the pieces. With decentralization, depopulation and subsistence living, truly local economies arise similar to that of early Medieval times. In the main, the resilient and resourceful survive. An extinction-level meritocracy has no place for useless expertise. There are examples of such collapse, but none on the scale being contemplated by serious and respected analysts.
Now for the bad news. While decline doesn't necessarily result in collapse, it always precedes collapse. As Hemingway said when asked how he went bankrupt, "Slowly. Then suddenly," meaning the suddenness of collapse is superficial. The tip offs are as predictable as they are universal. Debased and manipulated currency. Schemes to confiscate or outlaw real wealth. Rule by fraud and force. Elitists and personality cults. Purchased allegiance. Showy displays of unmerited privilege. Deteriorating standards in education, deportment and mores. A steady drop in technological innovation. Overly complex, unpredictable and corrupt governance. And most ominous, a creeping conviction established authority is illegitimate at its root.
I think Ol' Remus is exactly right, and fully endorse his warning.
- Next, Blue's Blog has an interesting article on 'The Nature of Government'. The author draws upon Ayn Rand's philosophy, with which I don't entirely agree: but that doesn't mean he (and Rand) don't have some very powerful points to make. They illustrate very well why we can't rely on our government to pull us out of the present economic mess.
- Finally, The Tireless Agorist warns about 'Our Crumbling Infrastructure'. It's a problem of gigantic, monumental proportions, and the very fact of its existence testifies to the danger of an economic and societal collapse. If we'd done a better job of looking after the infrastructural 'skeleton' that supports our society, we probably would have taken better care of political, social and economic matters as well - and we wouldn't be in this handbasket today!
All four articles, and the links they provide, are highly recommended reading.
We've previously discussed the Trayvon Martin affair here. I note that Mr. Zimmerman has now been formally charged with second-degree murder . . . but I'm not convinced that this was done solely from and for sound legal reasons. To my mind, it has the nasty smell of a political hatchet job, contrived in order to prevent social unrest from breaking out. Two commentators make excellent points about the charges:
- Ken at Popehat, a very experienced lawyer, writes about 'How Not To Draft A Probable Cause Affidavit', and calls the one accompanying the Zimmerman charges 'a piece of crap'.
- Karl Denninger also regards the charges as politically motivated. He comes out flat-footed and dissects them in an article titled 'Political Charge? This May Be Prosecutor's Biggest Mistake'. I can't find a flaw in his argument.
On the other hand, Firehand points out a case where a prosecutor did the right thing, notwithstanding potential damage to his and his office's reputation. It's good to be reminded that there really are at least some honest judicial officials like him serving our needs.
Charles Hill, writing at Dustbury, has a couple of good articles this week, one dealing with the problem of orphan socks, the other reminding us of the almost unbelievable increases in medical costs since the 1960's. He has a pretty telling explanation of how and why that happened.
Rev. Paul highlights the paucity of private sector business experience in President Obama's administration, compared to those of his predecessors over the past half-century or so. He says it "helps to explain the incompetence of this administration". I can only agree.
Courtesy of a link at Blunt Object's virtual home, we find an excellent article titled 'The Ten Pillars of Economic Wisdom'. I wish I'd thought of some of them! Pithy, concise, and very well put together. The comments are also interesting, with a good deal of dissent, cogently argued. I might take this one further myself, and look at putting together an article or two on the essential elements of economics. We'll see.
Old NFO dissects (and destroys) the all-too-often-heard argument from ignoramuses (or should that be 'ignoramusi'?) that 'The military doesn't teach anything useful, other than how to kill people'. Yeah, right!
Dealing with this year's elections, Roberta X notes that Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana is a RINO of the first water, and points out that those of a libertarian or conservative bent would be better off voting for his Democratic Party opponent than for the nominally Republican incumbent. It bears out what I've said many times before: vote for the individual, not for the party! In similar vein, Tanker over at Mostly Cajun makes the very good point that "Mitt was chosen by the LEFT-leaning media as the one they wanted on the field against Obama, and they’re going to take him apart before our eyes". I don't believe Mitt Romney will be a worthy or worthwhile President. He's flip-flopped on too many issues, far too often, for me to trust him. The only possible reason to support him is that President Obama has been even worse for the country, and will continue to be if re-elected. That's a hell of a reason to have to vote for someone, isn't it?
Marko points out that the policy of asset forfeiture, as applied in the War On (Some) Drugs, has led to widespread corruption in the ranks of law enforcement. I couldn't agree more.
Finally, following the brouhaha over an attack on Ann Romney by political activist Hilary Rosen, Larry Correia's wonderful wife has a few cogent remarks on the subject of the 'War On Women' and political attacks on stay-at-home moms. She does a great job of debunking Ms. Rosen's ridiculous rantings. (In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that both of my parents obtained Doctorates in their respective disciplines; but my mother chose to stay at home as a full-time parent, for the sake of their children, while my father became the sole breadwinner. That didn't mean Mom didn't use her qualifications. She provided counseling and education services to individuals and groups, and spoke at many Church and private gatherings in her field of expertise. However, she chose to dedicate her life to raising her children in what she and my father saw as the right way. I can't fault either of them for that, and considering the problems many of my generation had with absent parents and a lack of care at home, I'm grateful to them for doing their best for us.)
That's it for this week. More from the blogosphere next weekend.