Here we go with the last Around The Blogs roundup for 2013.
In The Middle Of The Right reminds us of the importance of keeping a supply of cash on hand, in case banks decide to restrict our ability to withdraw from our accounts - as customers of Target found out recently. I couldn't agree more. I've written about it in the past, and keep not less than one month's expenditure on hand, in cash, at all times. I'm seriously considering increasing that to two months' expenditure as soon as I can afford to do so. In an emergency, cash is king.
Clark at Popehat fulminates about the American political and legal 'system', and points out that:
The older I get, the more I see, the more I read, the more clear it becomes to me that the entire game is rigged. The leftists and the rightists each see half of the fraud. The lefties correctly note that a poor kid caught with cocaine goes to jail, while a Bush can write it off as a youthful mistake (they somehow overlook the fact that their man Barrack hasn't granted clemency to any one of the people doing federal time for the same felonies he committed). The righties note that government subsidized windmills kill protected eagles with impunity while Joe Sixpack would be deep in the crap if he even picked up a dead eagle from the side of the road. The lefties note that no one was prosecuted over the financial meltdown. The righties note that the Obama administration rewrote bankruptcy law on the fly to loot value from GM stockholders and hand it to the unions. The lefties note that Republicans tweak export rules to give big corporations subsidies. Every now and then both sides join together to note that, hey! the government is spying on every one of us…or that, hey! the government stole a bunch of people's houses and gave them to Pfizer, because a privately owned for-profit corporation is apparently what the Constitution means by "public use".
What neither side seems to realize is that the system is not reformable. There are multiple classes of people, but it boils down to the connected, and the not connected. Just as in pre-Revolutionary France, there is a very strict class hierarchy, and the very idea that we are equal before the law is a laughable nonsequitr.
There's much more at the link. Highly recommended reading.
Sadly, I'm forced to agree with Clark - but what to do about it? We can't all just 'drop out' of the system. Nonetheless, Joel has, and responds to that article with his own thoughts. He also links to Claire Wolfe, who tells us how to become a 'freedom outlaw'. Both articles are well worth reading.
In a similar vein, Francis Porretto asks 'Who Rules America?', and links to this article at Lew Rockwell that provides some interesting answers.
The inimitable Karl Denninger has some sobering post-Christmas thoughts that tie in, from an economic and personal-responsibility perspective, to Clark's fulminations from a political and legal perspective. He ends with three questions that we'd all better answer right smartly.
- Who do you associate with, and who do you shun? Which of those you associate with are people who you are very sure will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you when things get bad? If they can't keep their dick in their pants, why do you think they won't shoot you and eat you if they're hungry? How sure are you? If you're wrong, you're dead. How's that going to serve those who depend on you and those who you love?
- How do you behave? Leave aside the distant past. If you're perfect and have never sinned in that regard, you need to go apply to see if you're really Jesus. You know damn well you have, and that you're not perfect. The real question is how have you been doing in the recent past, and how are you doing today? Have you learned something in your life? Are you happy with who you are, how you comport yourself, how you live? If you're not, are you -- right now -- doing something about it? Be honest -- because there's nobody grading this test but you.
- What are you doing right now to cut the dependence cord? Are you running some sort of scheme? Do you depend on the government, or someone else's largesse? Are you up to your eyeballs in debt? What happens if the means to service that disappears? Are you one of the people who believes in the poverty pimp game -- or even one of the beneficiaries of it? For how long have you been able, but unwilling, to do anything about your dependence? Months? Years? Decades? Guess what -- it's going to go away, and not voluntarily either. When are you going to face the fact that it is precisely what you demand and in fact vote for, in the main as a people, that you get and when you demand an impossibility what you are going to get, inevitably, is pain.
Again, more at the link, and very highly recommended.
Daddybear has a Congressional wish list. I not only endorse every one of his points, I'll gladly raise money for him and campaign on his behalf if he ever decides to run for Congress himself!
EDITED TO ADD: Captain Tightpants weighs in with his contribution. I'll vote for him, too!
Borepatch discloses 'how he rolls' as a blogger.
(On the other hand, Jason Kottke claims that 'The blog is dead, long live the blog'. Uh-huh . . . )
Quote of the week comes from Jay G., newly relocated to quasi-free America. Quoting a Massachusetts busybody, he vows:
With my hand to G-d, folks, if I ever receive a letter like this, I will make it my life's mission to have Christmas decorations so loud and garish that alien cultures will fly to earth just to tell me to knock that shit off. I will personally seek out, purchase, and install giant neon creches with the baby Jesus in a gold lame Elvis suit dancing around with a naked Allah while Ganesh busts out a hookah just to offend as many people as possible.
I'd pay good money to see that . . .
In the comment thread to Sarah Hoyt's latest blog post, the name of Peter Hathaway Capstick came up for discussion. I had the good fortune to meet Mr. Capstick when he lived in Cape Town, South Africa, during the 1980's, and was introduced by him to the sport of 'minisniping'. It's an addictive game to anyone seriously interested in precision shooting. I highly recommend it. You'll find more information about it here.
While on the subject of shooting sports and skills, Hilton Yam has a very useful primer on '50 Yard Carbine Drills'. If you follow his prescription, you'll build up some handy core skills.
The Silicon Graybeard illustrates how not to start a chainsaw.
Aesop at the Raconteur Report discusses the background to and real impact of Obamacare, and points out:
The biggest problem isn't that the Obamacare sign-up website is broken. It's that someday, it's going to work exactly as designed.
Last but not least, Earthbound Misfit enjoyed the latest Martin Scorsese film, 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'. However, she thoughtfully linked to an article by the daughter of one of the criminals concerned. It was enough to persuade me never to spend my money on that movie in any way, shape or form.
That's it for this week, and for 2013. More next week, God willing.