The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

Trump: “Take The Guns First, Go Through Due Process Second”

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago

The Hill:

“I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida … to go to court would have taken a long time,” Trump said at a meeting with lawmakers on school safety and gun violence.

“Take the guns first, go through due process second,” Trump said.

No, you didn’t go to sleep and imagine Trump being elected, only to wake and find out that you’re still in the Obama era.  Obama didn’t say that.  Trump did.

Wasn’t this the guy that was going to save the second amendment and root out the deep state, drain the swamp and make America great again?  Or was he just a temporary stop on the way to dystopia, a delay for getting ready for what we all know is coming?

See, the whole idea behind “due process” is that it happens first, not second.  It’s not due process if it happens out of sequence.  But he didn’t think very deeply about this before he said it.  It may be what he believes and feels, but it sounds so stupid that if he thought about it, he wouldn’t have actually said it.

And if he was more of a thinking man, he might have pondered the fact that no progressive is going to vote for him in the next election for being a gun controller, but he might just have alienated the very base that put him in office to begin with.  But remember his words during the debates: “Everything is negotiable.”  That apparently includes your  God-given rights.

You don’t have enough ammunition yet.  Neither do I.

A Good Guy With An AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago


OSWEGO, Ill. — A man armed with an AR-15 rifle helped stop a knife attack during an argument in Oswego.

It happened on Monday at an apartment building on Harbor Drive.

Police say it all began when someone with a knife attacked another person during an argument.

Neighbor Dave Thomas, who witnessed the attack, went into his home, got his rifle and ordered the suspect to stop.

“I ran back into the home, into my house and grabbed my AR-15. Grabbed the AR-15 over my handgun. It’s just a bigger gun. I think a little bit more than an intimidation factor definitely played a part in him actually stopping.”

No shots were fired.

The suspect was able to get away briefly, before police captured him.

The stabbing victim was taken to a hospital, and is expected to recover.

Wait!  I thought AR-15s were evil and only did bad things of their own volition, or turned good guys into bad guys who perpetrate mass shootings by their bad vibes and mind-control?

Guess this story breaks that narrative (as if it hasn’t been broken a thousand times before), sort of like the one about Stephen Bayazes.

Handguns Are An Ineffective Weapon So We Shouldn’t Let Teachers Have Them

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago

Matt Vespa reports:

UPDATE: Folks, I’ll just leave this here. It’s from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) linking to a Rolling Stone article, so you already know where this is going.

“A handgun wound is simply a stabbing with a bullet.”

What is this?

MSNBC anchors are claiming that teachers armed with handguns would be unable to stop a school shooter because rifles shoot “three times faster.”

Anchor Lawrence O’Donnell said on his show Thursday night that “a bullet fired from an AR-15 travels 3x faster than one from a handgun…and yet the president and the NRA think giving teachers guns will stop a school shooter.”

Welcome to the stupidest argument ever crafted, dear friends.  A teacher doesn’t have a rifle, so let’s not allow them to carry handguns because they cannot produce the muzzle velocity of a rifle.  Quick.  Somebody go delete all of those ballistics gelatin tests at Lucky Gunner.

Forget all of the hundreds of thousands of instances of defensive use of handguns.  They’re not effective, so there.  It’s okay if cops have them, but you shouldn’t.  I’m reminded of a comment by reader millard fillmore:

At the end of WWII, a German prisoner who knew English quite well asked my father if he could just see a .45 acp cartridge. He asked why they exploded when they hit. My father explained that they didn’t. The guy then showed him a large exit wound on his leg from a .45 slug the German took during the retreat from Paris. Even pistol bullets can cause significant damage if they hit the ‘right’ way. Banning Ar-15’s won’t stop that,doc.

I also had an imaginary phone call with John Basilone, who says to tell these idiots the following: “Come back in time with me to the greatest and most storied gun fight in history, go through it with me, and then tell me I shouldn’t have my 1911.  Until then, just shut up.”

It’s Apocalypse Now On Guns

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago

Michael Gerson at The Washington Post:

It is one of the dirty habits of our political discourse that so many people use thermonuclear rhetorical weapons as a first resort. It is not enough for defenders of gun rights to be wrong; they must be complicit in murder. It is not enough for gun-control advocates to be mistaken; they must be jackbooted thugs laying the groundwork for tyranny.

These competing apocalypses, paradoxically, make politics appear smaller — the realm of unbalanced partisans and professional hyperventilators. But more destructively, this type of argument makes incremental change — the kind that our system of government encourages — more difficult.

This is a particular shame on the issue of gun violence. The maximal solutions — broad restrictions on gun ownership or fixing the mental-health system — are so difficult or unlikely that they have become obstacles to action. They are something like, on the issue of global warming, recommending that the Earth be moved farther from the sun.

[ … ]

When it comes to mass killings, we know what the perpetrators generally look like: disappointed loners, motivated by grudges, seeking fame and planning their violence carefully. So here is an answerable public-policy question: What can we do to identify these dangerous malcontents and keep ­military-grade weaponry out of their hands? We should be considering: special police task forces that actively identify and track prospective killers instead of ­passively responding to warnings. ­Higher age restrictions on gun access. Broader application of gun­ violence protective orders that forbid gun ownership to people exhibiting warning signs. Better education on those warning signs among adults who deal with young men. Media norms against using the names of mass killers, which only encourages their deadly performance art.

[ … ]

When it comes to American gun culture, the issue of motivation matters a great deal. If you defend access to guns for sport and self-defense, there is no logical reason to reject reasonable ­restrictions on firepower and access. Some compromise — focused on keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous and unstable people — is within the realm of possibility. But if you view the ultimate purpose of gun ownership as resistance to a future (or present) tyrannical government, then restrictions on firepower and access are exactly the things a tyrannical government would want. Because the goal of an oppressive state is to have a monopoly on sophisticated weaponry, any incremental movement toward that goal is unacceptable.

This argument — summarized by David French as “the concept of an armed citizenry as a final, emergency bulwark against tyranny” — is perhaps understandable in a country born of revolutionary violence. But more than two centuries removed from the ­revolution, the concept seems, well, frightening.

When I look at many of the people holding the guns, I don’t really view them as legitimate protectors of my rights, or as qualified to make choices about the employment of violence in politics. I don’t view America as halfway to tyranny. And I am grateful that Americans such as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — who suffered actual oppression by government — made a principled commitment to nonviolent political change.

It is one thing when Thomas Jefferson said “the tree of liberty must be ­refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” It is another thing entirely when your well-armed neighbor says the same.

I have no idea how much this attitude infects the right. But the fever can be measured in talk of a “deep state” coup against the president, in sympathy for Cliven Bundy in his armed standoff with federal agents, in support of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) when he ordered the State Guard to monitor the Navy SEAL/Green Beret joint training exercise Jade Helm 15. All destructive madness.

So let me assist you a bit, Michael.  First of all, I would do nothing to protect you against tyranny.  You’re the enemy, or at least you’re in bed with the enemy.  You love tyranny.  You love high taxes, government control, government-run health care, redistribution of wealth, and a police state.

You’ve traded liberty for a semblance of security, but that security is only as the state deems right and fitting.  You could wake up tonight to a SWAT team busting your door in and shooting your loved ones, all in the name of a war on drugs, with no apologies, no recompense, and no explanation.  Wrong home?  Who cares – certainly not the police.  You feed from the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.  And you’re happy with that.

There are a lot of us.  We’re the dirt people.  You get your power from us, and your lights come on only because we allow it.  We feed you.  We drive the trucks that deliver your supplies.  We make the lines of logistics.  We grow your crops and worry about heavy equipment breakage and droughts and the price of goods and paying our employees.

And we have guns.  We have pistols, shotguns, bolt action rifles, and AR-15s.  You’re not getting any of them.  One of my commenters observed something that may be enlightening to you.  Listen closely.

The gun-banners aren’t too well-educated and haven’t thought things through. They really haven’t. They have not studied the history of the Prohibition Era enough in depth to realize that the federal government can’t really outlaw anything – all the government can do is force buyers and sellers of goods/services out of the above-board, legal market and into the underground economy and black market. That’s it.

It’s basic economics. As long as a market for a particular good or service exists, and producers/sellers of that particular good or service exist, they will find a way to do business – whether the government likes it or not. Not only the prohibition of alcohol, either, but the so-called “war on drugs” proves this fact.

All the Eighteenth Amendment really did was to turn tens of millions of otherwise law-abiding Americans into instant felons overnight by making illegal what had previously been legal – the production, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

At the stroke of a pen, millions of gainfully-employed people were rendered unemployed, and businesses large and small immediately felt the ripple effects of the new laws. Not only the tavern down the street, but the liquor distributor across town and the bottling plant the next state over and the largest firms involved in the business of slaking their customer’s thirst.

Alcohol prohibition also – nearly single-handedly – created and enabled the explosive growth of the mafia – the outfit, the mob, La Cosa Nostra, whatever you wish to term them. The biggest syndicates moved huge amounts of liquor, beer and spirits smuggled into the U.S. from outside; reaping giant profits in the process.

It took the FBI (back when that agency still had a shred or two of honor to its name) decades to finally beat back and take down the mob, so powerful had they gotten in the 1920s and 1930s.

Alcohol prohibition and the war on drugs will fade into insignificance in comparison to the massive underground economy sure to be created in the wake of any national ban on the ownership of firearms. Such a ban would surely create the largest and most-profitable black market in history.

And bear in mind that such a vast underworld enterprise will likely not restrict itself to the sales of deer rifles and five-shot revolvers; it will deal in the latest military-grade hardware – including fully-automatic weapons. After all, if the mere fact of owning a firearm is already a crime, there is no additional harm done going “all in” and getting the mil-spec hardware.

Very quickly, this country will move from resembling the U.S.A. we have known and loved to something like Mogadishu, Somalia, where even a poor man can afford to buy an AK47 and an RPG down at the local market and arms bazaar.

We don’t like government interference and government intervention.  You see, when the Scriptures teach us that “The good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,” we take that seriously.  That means government theft is immoral, and if the government has become an impediment to us providing for our children’s children, then the government has become a stumbling block and worker of evil.

We do not look to the state to provide, protect and give us cradle to grave security like you do Michael.  It might be “scary” to you that we’re armed the way we are.  That’s by intent, for our armaments are not only for our own personal protection, but amelioration of tyranny.  We aren’t “legitimate protectors of your rights,” we are legitimate protectors of our rights.  People like us believe that the Mr. David French you cite is too progressive and we pay little attention to him.  You mustn’t forget the history of gun control, with the Armenian genocide, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Hitler and The Third Reich, and Stalin, all of whose regimes were preceded by gun confiscations and gun control laws.  Deaths at the hands of tyrants in the last century approached 200 million souls.

So the best and quickest way to ensure the war you apparently fear is to keep pushing government control and disarmament.  Do it at your own peril, Michael.  Your secure home and lifestyle inside the beltway may not be as secure as you think if you can’t control that controller impulse in yourself.

In Praise Of The Good Man

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago


Re: “A man can’t live forever. And it matters how you die.”

Precisely my point. Our civilization and our society used to contain men who understood that certain fates were worse than death. Traditional manhood was sacrificial, when necessary, to protect the aged, infirm, the weak and the children. Allowing the law of the jungle in society, where the strong preyed upon the weak, was seen as evil and would have been unthinkable.

Men also risked their lives in defiance of tyranny and to free the oppressed. The insignia of the U.S. Army Special Forces contains a Sykes-Fairburn dagger, pointed upward, superimposed upon crossed arrows, against a heraldic shield bearing the inscription, “De Oppresso Liber,” Latin for “To Free the Oppressed.” Once, those words meant something to Americans, not only to elite soldiers, but to common men as well.

Do we still live in a culture which honors those lofty values? I honestly do not know; you tell me. There are undoubtedly individual men who still honor those words, but as for the wider society, I am not nearly-so-optimistic.

This is not to say that men of that time threw their lives away cavalierly; they did not. Rather, it is to recall a time when honor and courage were virtues widely-celebrated in our culture – and men strove to live up to those lofty expectations. Cowardice was shameful, not something to be celebrated.

In those now-bygone days, little boys wanted to grow up to be just like John Wayne, James Arness, or one of the other great cowboy western stars. People still believed in heroes then; today, heroes are tough to find anywhere in pop culture – and when you do find them, they are apt to be post-modern caricatures of them – traditional males need not apply. Today, the role of the villain is reserved for those kinds of men! Today, many kids have the ambition of getting rich and famous. People who risk their lives for others are seen as fools, saps who didn’t know how to play the game.

Yes, I am cynical, I admit… but I have ample reason for being so, would you not agree?

The Blame Game

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago

Kevin Drum Wants Someone Else To Take Your Guns Away From You

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago

Motherless Jones:

I’m not generally on the gun control beat, but I’ll repeat my view for the record: semi-automatic weapons should be banned for civilian use. Basically, shotguns, revolvers, and bolt-action rifles would remain legal, and that’s it.

The last time I mentioned this, a bunch of gun folks chimed in to claim I was an idiot. Revolvers are semi-automatic weapons! Ha ha ha. Being the reasonable guy that I am, I was willing to consider them manual load weapons, since it takes human power to advance the cylinder. A true semi-automatic uses the power of expanding gas¹ to chamber a new load. However, if the gun folks consider a double-action revolver to be a semi-automatic, who am I to argue? That just means my list has been revised to include shotguns, single-action revolvers, and bolt action rifles.² In other words, the only legal firearms would be those that require a separate human action to load a new round. There are other details I’d support too, but this is the main thing.

If I were your benevolent dictator, this is what would would happen. But I’m not, and nothing like this will happen in my lifetime. This is why I don’t spend much time writing about guns.

Oh, I don’t know about that, Kevin.  We’ve got evidence of you being on the gun control beat before.  I think you’re a liar.  I also think you’re a coward.  I told you then, “So Kevin, I expect you to kick my door in tonight to grab my guns.  Oh, I see, you’re a coward and won’t show up here.  Just as I guessed, you want to send other armed men to do it.  This only proves that you don’t really believe in gun control for everybody, just some people.”

I won’t argue the mechanics of guns with you Kevin, you wouldn’t be able to hang with me anyway.  In fact, I won’t argue at all or compromise in any way.  I’ll say the same thing as before.  If you want my guns, come and get them.  I’ll be waiting for you.  I Promise.  And if you want gun control only for some people, to wit, me but not the police, then I’ll be waiting for the police when they come to confiscate my guns too.  It makes no difference to me who tries to confiscate them.  You’re all the same to me.

Kevin wants civil war.  If he gets his way, that’s exactly what will happen.  That’s a promise.

Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Defends Himself

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago

Miami Herald:

Broward Deputy Scot Peterson says he is no coward.

The longtime campus cop at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High has been nationally ridiculed over the last week for his response to a mass shooter on campus — including by no less than President Donald Trump, who on Monday proclaimed that he likely would have charged in himself, even unarmed.

On Monday, Peterson pushed back against the critics in his first public statement, essentially arguing he did the right things in an uncertain, chaotic situation. “Allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue,” according to the statement sent from Fort Lauderdale attorney Joseph DiRuzzo.

Last week, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel took the extraordinary step of singling out Peterson for failing to engage with confessed killer Nikolas Cruz as he gunned down 17 people — an accusation that has turned the one-time school resource officer of the year into a political scapegoat for a string of local and federal law enforcement errors revolving around Cruz.

Peterson said he did not storm the halls looking for the shooter because he initially “heard gunshots but believed those gunshots were originating from outside of the buildings on the school campus,” according to the statement. “BSO trains its officers that in the event of outdoor gunfire one is to seek cover and assess the situation in order to communicate what one observes with other law enforcement.”

He “took up a tactical position” between two other buildings next to Building 12, where Cruz spent six minutes unleashing gunfire with an AR-15 assault-style rifle.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  A “tactical position.”  Except I don’t believe him.  I can hear gun fire outside, and I can hear it coming from a building, and I have never mistaken the two.

I told you guys, the deputies were following department procedure.  It isn’t procedure to put their own lives at risk.  It’s procedure to wait until help arrives, hopefully a SWAT team and dogs, and then take a building room by room according to clearing procedures.

I’ve done that too, i.e., take a building room by room before I was going to enter it, the building being a home in a bad part of town (my mother-in-law’s home), and having been vacant for weeks at a time, with me preparing to go inside and work all night long to repair and sell it.  And the home had evidence of having been entered while I wasn’t there.

But this isn’t that.  This is a school full of children, and if you had been there you would have done the same thing I would have.  We would have entered the building and hunted the shooter.  The police will always protect themselves first and foremost – by procedureBy intent.  Got it?

What’s The Square Root Of A Gun?

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago

Miami Herald:

A discussion among students at Oberlin High School in Oberlin, La., about a mathematical symbol led to a police investigation and a search of one of the student’s homes, according to the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On the afternoon of Feb. 20, detectives investigated a report of terroristic threats at the school, where they learned that a student had been completing a math problem that required drawing the square-root sign.

Students in the group began commenting that the symbol, which represents a number that when multiplied by itself equals another number, looked like a gun.

After several students made comments along those lines, another student said something the sheriff’s office said could have sounded like a threat out of context.

Police searched the student’s home, where they found no guns or any evidence that he had any access to guns. Authorities also wrote there was no evidence the student had any intent to commit harm.

“The student used extremely poor judgment in making the comment, but in light of the actual circumstances, there was clearly no evidence to support criminal charges,” the department wrote, adding that the school board had been contacted to determine any disciplinary action for the student.

The square root sign.  The thing I showed above without the radicand.  That’s what looks like a gun to someone.  And that’s what evoked the call to the cops.  And that’s why the cops wasted their time investigating something and someone that didn’t need to be investigated.

The best part is this: “Students in the group began commenting that the symbol, which represents a number that when multiplied by itself equals another number, looked like a gun.”

This is awesome, and is exemplary when it comes to an explanation as to why American schools suck so badly and why we’re lagging the rest of the civilized world when it comes to STEM.  We’re apparently grooming students to think a radical looks like a gun instead of, you know, a radical.  Maybe they’re not doing enough mathematics, huh?

If I was the math teacher at the school I’d make them do radicals until they turned blue and rotted.  And if I was the principal of the school I’d support that teacher and ensure that whomever said that a radical looked like a gun was held back a year and taught remedial mathematics.

But they won’t.  The students will be sent on to the next grade to be idiots there too.  This is one reason I homeschooled (at least some of my children).  I’ve told you about my horrible experience with the nuclear engineering project with my High Schooler, yes?

Chipper Jones, Avid Hunter, Denounces Assault Weapons Like AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago

That’s the title of the article.  Don’t blame me.

“I grew up in a town where two-thirds of the people who came to school drove trucks and had hunting rifles and hunting shotguns in their gunracks in their trucks,” said Jones, who was born in Deland, Fla., about an hour north of the Braves’ spring training complex, and attended high school in nearby Pierson and then Jacksonville. “But never at any point did anyone ever pull one out and say, ‘I’m going to kill somebody.’ Whenever there was a disagreement, we threw knuckles. We’d meet after school and fight. That’s just the way it was.”

[ … ]

“I believe in our Constitutional right to bear arms and protect ourselves,” Jones said. “But I do not believe there is any need for civilians to own assault rifles. I just don’t.

“I would like to see something (new legislation) happen. I liken it to drugs – you’re not going to get rid of all the guns. But AR-15s and AK-47s and all this kind of stuff – they belong in the hands of soldiers. Those belong in the hands of people who know how to operate them, and whose lives depend on them operating them. Not with civilians. I have no problem with hunting rifles and shotguns and pistols and what-not. But I’m totally against civilians having those kinds of automatic and semi-automatic weapons.”

So the write apparently thinks it helps his case that Chipper Jones is a baseball hero or an “avid hunter.”  Chipper decries “assault weapons,” AR-15s, AK-47s, semi-automatic weapons, and anything that’s not “what-not.”

It apparently didn’t occur to the author that Chipper Jones is an idiot.  He began explaining that guns were ubiquitous when he was growing up and that no one would have even thought about a school shooting.  Good.  He is on to something there.  He could have explained what has changed and why this kind of thing occurs today when it didn’t not so long ago.

But he didn’t.  His setup was badly off script and pointed to something other than the ubiquitous availability of guns and into morals, culture, and [heaven forbid] perhaps even whether the nation worships at the foot of Baal or God.  So he would have been better off just to shut up about what happened when he was a kid.  Too many people remember that the same way, and are able to see that it has nothing to do with guns.

Or what-not.  Idiot.  Go back to school and learn English composition.  Oh, and by the way, Charles Whitman says hello, Chipper.

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