Come and Take It

"You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas."

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

A Second Amendment, If You Can Keep It

In a dark day for Liberty, Senator Feinstein today introduced to the Senate The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. The Senator’s summary may be found here. The bill explicitly bans 157 specific firearms, apparently on the basis that they are simply too scary looking. Furthermore, the bill bans all magazines with a capacity in excess of ten rounds, apparently on the specious contention that the additional seconds required to swap out two ten round magazines, as opposed to continuing to fire from a single thirty round magazine, might save a life or two. (Never mind the Sandy Hook scenario, where all the victims are defenseless, and the police are nowhere in the vicinity.) The bill grandfathers possession of existing specimens of the banned varieties, but prohibits transfer or sale of these guns without a federal background check, even between family members. Sale or transfer of existing high-capacity magazines is simply outlawed. No exceptions are made for small caliber cartridges like the venerable .22 long rifle. Read more…

How We Fall Apart

Image of the Bancroft Hall rotunda

The rotunda of Bancroft Hall at the United States Naval Academy

As Americans we take pride in the fact that for nearly 224 years we have governed ourselves through that singular instrument, the Constitution of the United States. Such is the strength of our civic institutions that in all our history we have never suffered a military coup, not even through the tumult of Civil War. While we should take pride in this accomplishment, we should also beware of the false sense of security that accompanies it. We tell ourselves that because it’s never happened here, it can’t happen here. That’s a perilous way of thinking. Read more…

The Big Fail (of Keynesian Economics)

An image of Paul Krugman practicing Keynesian economics

Paul Krugman practicing his Keynesian economics…

In a recent (Jan. 6) NY Times column, The Big Fail, the esteemed Dr. Krugman suggests that a “triumph of bad ideas” is responsible for our failure to emerge from “the great slump.” And the bad idea in question? You guessed it: not spending hard enough. Apparently, my Dad never afforded Dr. Krugman his special brand of fatherly wisdom concerning stupid behavior of any sort: “Son, [stupid behavior X] is like hitting yourself on the head with a hammer – it feels great when you quit.” Unfortunately, we seem to be trading in the Keynesian hammer for an even more repulsive hammer – European-style fiscal austerity. Read more…

Numinosity

Altamira Cave Painting

A hunting scene from Altamira Cave, Spain, circa 16,000 B.C.

Another deer season ended this weekend, experiences filed away in the vault of memory. I’m at an age where my remaining days in the field number less than those already spent, and I find myself driven by a curious urge. It’s very difficult (some cynics would say pointless) to explain hunting to those who do not hunt. But because hunting is so important to my general happiness and well being, I’m going to take a shot at it (pun intended).

Many non-hunters conflate hunting with killing. That’s a silly notion; anybody can kill – all you have to do is watch the news for proof of that. While killing is a part of hunting, it’s only a small part. If you do things just right, you might have an opportunity to take the right animal, the right way, at the right time. But, in fact, the vast majority of my large game hunts end without a kill. No, hunting is mostly about something entirely different. For me, hunting is about the quest for the numinous. So, gentle reader, if you do not hunt, I beg your patience, and ask that you read on. Read more…

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