The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
Didn't we have this conversation awhile back, when I posted the Long Dark over at Whotendsthefires, Kev? ;]
The wheels have been off the trolley for a long time, man. I don't think we can put the brakes on any more. We may only have a long long holding action, broken by occassional flashes of light as small victories are won amidst the crushing losses.
Wish I felt more hopeful, but...
Yup. As I said, a continuing theme.
It was exactly that hopeless feeling that the leviathan was careering out of control that caused me to stop blogging, if you remember.
Frankly, I've seen little to brighten up my viewpoint since, although a quantum leap in an important technology remains a possibility (say, antigravity).
In the meantime, I've been buying gold, and got a nice piece of property in the Caymans.
(Fabulous essay, by the way.)
It started before campaign finance "reform" with hate crimes.
If I attack you that's assault. If I attack you because I think you're Jewish that's a different crime and different penalties apply. What has really been outlawed is a partitcular thought. You may think that thought is bad - as I do - but it should be actions that controlled, not thoughts.
Hate speech works on the same principle. We cannot discuss ideas that are not state-approved.
I don't know about Cayman properties, Toren, but I'm beginning to think that buying gold isn't such a bad idea, no matter what the radio advertisements say.
What do you buy?
I already do that. And ammo. Lots of ammo.
Ammo: the post apocalyptic currency! :)
In all seriousness, there's no going back to the "good old days", to the extent they ever existed. (And yes, for our purposes, there actually was a time of a government of limited powers and revenue!)
We're moving forward into something else, and what shape it takes remains to be seen.
The question isn't ultimately "does it resemble America circa ####?" but "is it more or less free than TODAY?"
Wherever we went, there we where, but where did we go from there?
Truthfully, I was shocked when I read Ms. Noonan's column. She has always been such an incurable optimist.
She was one of those who touted the "we're finally united" after 9/11, only to be disproved in a matter of minutes.
My observation was that if Peggy Noonan is saying the S is hitting TF, then I'm pretty goddamned worried.
Yeah, Peggy chiming in does seem to indicate that the edge of the precipice has been reached, doesn't it?
'95 huh? Same as me, right after OKCity, the Simpson verdict, the LA Riots, and WTC Bombing v.1.
Remember those days, KB? If you were a Christian working-class man, especially a heterosexual gun owner, you were as good as a "domestic terrorist".
Remember the Vipers? Remember the Blue Ridge Hunt Club? I do.
Remember what happenned to a 14 year old boy at Ruby Ridge? No one was even tried, let alone punished, because the White Seperatists of Westchester County, Central Park West, Beacon Hill and Potomac published the fact that that boy's father, an Idahoan, was a "White Separatist".
Rememebr Waco? 80+ people, who dared to use lethal force to defend their home against a violent armed home invasion were gassed, shot and burned alive on live nationwide color teevee, two dozen children among 'em, and no one was tried, let alone punished, because a rumored lesbian who worked for a philanderer were able to blame it on one wanted man's "evil penis".
Have the wheels gone off the trolley? On certain lines, and for certain classes of people, indeed they have.
They've been hurtling headlong down what they THOUGHT was the main trunk, and only now are they realizing that it's a siding.
Their methods of whip-sawing society to suit their interests, so that they could "surf the turmoil" aren't working anymore.
The world they had helped to build and lived in is coming to a close, and none can foretell what comes after...people accustomed to believing that they are masters of others' fates do not respond well to a realization of their own powerlessness.
Anomie is a common response to this.
But what Peggy Noonan sees when she looks out of her kitchen window is not likely to be the same view I have from my porthole.
In 1917, 1789 and 1775, not everyone looked towards the future and saw only shadows, some saw light as well.
Remember the shadows that fell upon us in the world that was.
I suggest starting with a bag of 90% silver, $1000 face value old coins. The best source is:
They also have a lot of good info on their site on both gold and silver, most of it very calm and rational.
For gold I get either krugerrands or Australian Kangaroo/Nuggets. The problem with American Eagles is that if the US govt ever gets all weird about gold, they are going to be very hard to dispose of anywhere in the world, at least at anything approaching the real value. Not so with the good ol' krugerrand or the Nuggets.
Ingots suck because they need to be analyzed before sale and that costs $$. Canadian Maples are too soft and unprotected (unlike the Nuggets) and dealers will discount them if they are dinged up.
CMI also sells gold coins, although for complex reasons I get mine from:
Who are a fine second choice and a bit cheaper than CMI.
Note that there are minor issues in selling krugerrands in the USA.
"If you sell 25 coins or more of the Krugerrand, Maple Leaf or Mexican Gold Onza we are required to report them on I.R.S. Form 1099B. Such reporting is not required on transactions involving the U.S. Gold Eagle the Australian Kangaroo or the Austrian Philharmonic."
I'm not a "survivalist" type but I like having a certain amount of hard assets. Also, living in an earthquake zone ( and riding out the '89 quake) means I keep 3 months worth of food on hand and a week of water. Not to mention the usual guns and ammo, and other things such as antibiotics, etc. We also have an RV that I keep fully stocked and fueled up at all times.
Not a lot of effort and brings peace of mind.
I'm an optimist. I'm a programmer, and all programmers are incurable optimists.
Thing is, there's never been a golden age. Look at the twentieth century - WWI, influenza pandemic, prohibition and gang warfare, the Great Depression, WWII, Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, collapse of Soviet Union (a good thing but pretty unsettling to live through), and the reappearance of militant Islam. Communism alone killed a hundred million people between 1917 and 1975.
The Belle Epoque? Great for the wealthy, not so good for the factory workers. But still better than what came before it. 19th century? An age of great technical advance - but don't get a toothache, much less an infection. 18th century? 17th? No amount of wealth then could deliver the standard of living that we enjoy today. Before that? Mud and disease and women dying in childbirth and children dying for no reason at all.
There's never been a golden age, but we are closer to that now than we have ever been before.
As for people who don't care - as if this was the first outbreak of isolationism in America.
Well, Pixy, there's the old saying, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall." We're bigger than we've ever been. A modern-day depression wouldn't just affect us, it would devistate the world economy. A repeat of the 1918 flu epidemic might be far worse today. We arguably do have nuts who want to set off nukes in our cities.
Optimism is a good thing, and I'm glad you are one. We need optimists. But the point of the piece is that there are a lot of us who see tough history coming, and part of that is dependent on just how many of us there are.
And if Peggy Noonan ranks among us, much less Teddy Kennedy...
Do you people begin to understand what I have in mind when I speak of "Endarkenment"?
Mark my words:
Anyone who believes that they're going to vote their way out of this is in for extremely severe disillusionment.
Again, Billy, you don't grok.
Many of us don't think we're going to "vote our way out of this," we think we're going to delay it.
Perhaps long enough for that "Singularity?"
The King could die. I could die. The horse could learn to sing.
Okay. Let me stipulate to it. Let me generalize what you're talking about: you think that technology is going to advance to some point where you have a tactical advantage over the state. *Something* is going to happen that will bring you force (or something -- you tell me what it is) enough to be able to successfully resist the state's claims on your life.
Tell me this:
What makes you think that the state's powers will not advance right along with this advancement in order that it will epxloit exactly what *you're* hoping for, with the result that it keeps its position of forceful authority... if it doesn't enhance itself in terms of relative position?
What about this "Singularity" makes you think that you'll be able to make use of it where the state won't?
And while you're thinking about that, think about this:
What you're really talking about is *waiting around for someone else to save your life*.
As far as I can see, just waiting around for the Great Endarkenment because you can't do anything about it, either. Oh, and bitching at us proles for not "leading ourselves."
To thwart Leviathan you have deliberately chosen to have no property, no savings, no children(?), no nothing; so when it all falls down and goes "Boom!" you can say "I started out in this world with nothing, and I still have most of it!"
Oh, and "I TOLD YOU SO!"
I keep telling you, Billy, it's cyclical. All I'm trying to accomplish is a slowing of the cyclic rate on the downward side.
I think the Geek had it largely right. The solution you espouse requires that the majority of the population be exceptional (in a good way), and the bell curve just doesn't support that.
Now, haven't we flogged this equine corpse sufficiently? You and I don't see eye-to-eye and won't.
"As far as I can see, just waiting around for the Great Endarkenment because you can't do anything about it, either."
That's *right*: that's as far as you can see.
Let me tell you something, son: between you and me, *I'm* the one who knows *exactly* what he's doing, and *why*.
And posterity will bear testimony that I was *right*.
"I TOLD YOU SO!!"
I was going to comment, but I think I'll write a post instead, as I have not in weeks/months.
Please do. (June 1? Months.)
Anybody condescending enough to refer to the author as "son" should go fuck himself.
Teddy "took a long, slow gulp of his vodka and tonic, thought for a moment, and changed tack. 'I'm glad I'm not going to be around when you guys are my age.' I asked him why, and he said, 'Because when you guys are my age, the whole thing is going to fall apart.' "
Yeah, thanks you SOB. You caused a lot of the problems.
Comments about gold and silver make me wonder..will gold or silver feed me and will the merchant want silver coins for very expensive food and supplies.
IMHO, stocks of weapons/ammunition, food, water or water purification supplies, shoes and clothing are superior to metal. What is relative cheap today will cost a fortune tomorrow and the cost could easily be made with trade goods..stuff that has a life sustaining value.
Stock in weapons etc is of no value if one doesn't know how to use it and isn't willing to be aggressive with his "tools."