Las Vegas

The weather is nice in the Mojave right now. I’m in town for a few days on business, if any of you happen to be out this way. 

The worst place on Earth.

My Mother Writes

She was looking through old papers today, and…
...I came across a letter written by your 4 year old preschool teacher. It said you had hit a boy named John. You told her that sometimes John hit you first but not that day. You said you only meant to give him a little muscle but you had eaten all your spinach and you hit him instead.
She said she doubted that I had eaten any spinach. I said you ought to give a boy who admitted that he hit first credit for being a straight-shooter. 

A Reverse for Liberty

Unfortunately the undesirable compromise seems to have emerged. Apparently part of the compromise was reducing the term of the renewal from five years to two, so that Trump could potentially sit on the next renewal as President. I assume that means that the fortifiers of democracy are fairly certain that the election can be stolen fortified; but perhaps they’re simply desperate to keep the power to spy warrantlessly on the people through the election. 

More Lies and Dictatorial Actions

A chief item of the long-held desiridata of the gun control movement has been to 'close the gun-show loophole,' which we have discussed here many times. It's intended as a backdoor way of preventing anyone from transferring a firearm without going through the Federal government, which would open the door to Federal registries and confiscatory measures. Congress has often discussed it, lo and for decades, but has never done it. 

Since no democratically legitimate effort to pass such a law has proven possible, the Biden administration has simply issued a 'final rule' pretending that such a law was on the books all along.
The rules clarify who is required to conduct background checks and aims to close what is known as the “gun show loophole” — which refers to the reality that gun-show sellers and online vendors are subject to much looser federal regulations than vendors who sell at bricks-and-mortar stores.
That is not and has never been the least bit true, but the media reliably claims that it is true in order to justify the gun control it wants. In fact, sellers have had the same regulations whether or not they were selling at a gun show; if they were in the business of selling guns, they had to do the background checks. If they weren't, they didn't whether they sold a gun at a show or anywhere else. Now, they pretend that the law requires pretty much anyone who wants to sell a gun to obtain a Federal Firearms License (an expensive prospect) and also to conduct background checks. 

More to come, Biden promises in a festival of lies intended to justify such things. Some of the lies are his; mostly, again, they're the media lying to frame his remarks for him. 

A Victory for Liberty

I won't go so far as to say that it was an act of political virtue or wisdom, but it's a win for American liberty all the same. Hopefully no compromises emerge, and FISA/702 goes away forever. 

Throw me in that briar patch

I can only be amused by the prospect of young people with absurd notions of effective public policy announcing that they're going to give the finger to all us old jerks by declining to vote this fall. That'll teach us to have bequeathed them a world in which the government doesn't supply all their daily needs.

Baby child, you just go right ahead and finish up that 10-year degree in Self-Actualization. Under no circumstances produce anything of value to others in order to procure the kind of unfair perks your elders lucked into. Never run for office or support anyone who does. That's society's job.

A Western Story

Everybody knows that John B. Stetson invented the famous version of the American cowboy hat, but even I had never heard until today who invented the famous version of the cowboy boot. In the spirit of the story about Walgreens' in the Prohibition post, here's a corporate history of that company.

I don't own a pair of cowboy boots right now, but I wore out a measure of them back when I rode horses a lot. It's a style that seems ostentatious at first, but every apparently ostentatious aspect ends up having a practical ground. The high heel keeps your foot in the stirrup so they don't slip out the front of it. The pointed toes let it slip in and out from the back side easily, simplifying mounting and reducing the hazard of dismounting (especially when it is done without the rider being the one who intended it). The elaborate stitching stiffens the leather, letting it stand up tall against thorns and other hazards. 

On the occasion, here's a piece by Molly Tuttle, a young singer of Western tunes. 

This was NPR

This self-critical view from the inside is going around today. It's always good to see people reflecting on themselves in this way, and I hesitate to criticize it. Plenty of people will do that. I am just glad to see an attempt at honest self-reflection here. 

Bottom Scandal of the Year

With everything wrong with education, I would think this scandal wouldn't merit an article. "Over $100" was spent for a dubious purpose? Seven dollars and twenty-seven cents over, in fact. I haven't seen a grocery bill that low in several years now.

I realize there's a generalized opposition to teaching kids about sex, especially 'alternative' sexualities; but these are young adults, college students, and there's got to be a point at which you let them do adult things. 

As for the instructor being the author of "pornographic stories, including at least one story involving a graphic description of gang rape," we read Last Exit to Brooklyn in high school. I obviously haven't read this story to compare them, but the novel is both infamous for that very thing and also normally assigned by literature departments. If you want to address that problem, the place to start isn't with the $100 thing. 

National Beer Day

Apparently the day after National Tartan Day is National Beer Day, which I didn't find out about in time to celebrate the holiday. It marks the end of Prohibition in 1933.


Recognizing that some people have legitimate difficulties with alcohol, and that there is therefore legitimate concern about it among some, the end of Prohibition also represents a triumph of human liberty. It represents the first failure of the Progressive government-by-the-regulatory-state-for-your-own-good model that continues to bedevil us to this day. 

Also, like similar more recent events, plenty of loopholes were baked in to allow the favored classes to continue to do what they wanted. ["Of course you can ignore these stay-at-home orders, which we assure you are absolutely necessary to save lives, provided you're protesting racism."] Prohibition was about telling the little guy that he couldn't have a beer after work. Those who could afford doctors willing to write them prescriptions, or who owned wineries, or who could claim 'sacramental' use, were allowed to carry on.

That prescription model gave rise to one of the most successful drug store chains in America, by the way, which boomed as it realized that it could provide ordinary people (at least in major cities) access to doctors who would write them that prescription. Just as certain major firms in Boston don't admit to the origins of their fortune in rum or slave ships, that 'family secret' isn't well known and certainly not trumpeted. 

By the way, if you happen to be one of those with concerns about alcohol, the original article discusses the rising popularity of non-alcoholic beer. I drank a lot of that when I could get by the DFACs in Iraq, due to General Order #1 (a sort-of second Prohibition for the working soldier). Guinness has one now, which I haven't tried due to the lack of Prohibition around here. The original article also notes the continuing difficulties faced by a certain beer can sold in a blue container, which is down 28% year-over-year.

The Declaration of Arbroath


Today is National Tartan Day, and more importantly the anniversary of one of humanity’s greatest political documents. The Declaration of Arbroath was a letter submitted in Latin to the Pope, protesting his support of English claims on Scottish independence. Along the way, the knights and barons declared that, while they accepted Robert the Bruce as their divinely-appointed king, they would throw him out and choose another if he failed to protect their rights. 
From these countless evils, with His help who afterwards soothes and heals wounds, we are freed by our tireless leader, king, and master, Lord Robert, who like another Maccabaeus or Joshua, underwent toil and tiredness, hunger and danger with a light spirit in order to free the people and his inheritance from the hands of his enemies. And now, the divine Will, our just laws and customs, which we will defend to the death, the right of succession and the due consent and assent of all of us have made him our leader and our king. To this man, inasmuch as he saved our people, and for upholding our freedom, we are bound by right as much as by his merits, and choose to follow him in all that he does.

But if he should cease from these beginnings, wishing to give us or our kingdom to the English or the king of the English, we would immediately take steps to drive him out as the enemy and the subverter of his own rights and ours, and install another King who would make good our defence. Because, while a hundred of us remain alive, we will not submit in the slightest measure, to the domination of the English. We do not fight for honour, riches, or glory, but solely for freedom which no true man gives up but with his life.

May it ever be so.