Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beretta Moves Manufacturing to Tennessee

This does not surprise me. It has been building for a long time and I am glad to see it finally happening though Beretta has no plans to move its headquarters -- yet. Hopefully more gun manufacturers will follow suit and disassociate themselves from anti-gun states.

Beretta USA Announces Decision To Move Its Entire Maryland Manufacturing Capabilities To Tennessee

Beretta U.S.A. Corp., located in Accokeek, Maryland, announced today that it has decided to move its manufacturing capabilities from its existing location to a new production facility that it is building in Gallatin, Tennessee. The Gallatin facility is scheduled to be opened in mid-2015. Beretta U.S.A. had previously planned to use the new Gallatin, Tennessee facility for new machinery and production of new products only.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ET is Impossible?

According to the Bible as interpreted by Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, ET cannot not exist. Ham recently posted one of the brighter gems in the usual grimy dreck of religious silliness. Entitled “We’ll find a new earth within 20 years” it explains why intelligent aliens cannot exist.

Now the Bible doesn’t say whether there is or is not animal or plant life in outer space. I certainly suspect not. The Earth was created for human life. And the sun and moon were created for signs and our seasons—and to declare the glory of God.

And I do believe there can’t be other intelligent beings in outer space because of the meaning of the gospel. You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation. One day, the whole universe will be judged by fire, and there will be a new heavens and earth. God’s Son stepped into history to be Jesus Christ, the “Godman,” to be our relative, and to be the perfect sacrifice for sin—the Savior of mankind.

Jesus did not become the “GodKlingon” or the “GodMartian”! Only descendants of Adam can be saved. God’s Son remains the “Godman” as our Savior. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that we see the Father through the Son (and we see the Son through His Word). To suggest that aliens could respond to the gospel is just totally wrong.

An understanding of the gospel makes it clear that salvation through Christ is only for the Adamic race—human beings who are all descendants of Adam.

I sometimes make fun of religion. There is no meanness intended by this -- I just think there is something strange about an adult having an invisible friend. Maybe I just have a hollow spot where my bump of reverence is supposed to be. That doesn't mean I think religious people are necessarily evil or good or indifferent but it is obvious that some are sillier than others.

That said, I agree that Ham's interpretation is correct given the text and context of the Bible. I just don't buy it. I know there are other sects of Christianity that interpret the plain language of Biblical cosmology in a less than literal manner. I don't buy their hand-waving explanations either. It may well be that we humans will never encounter another intelligent species but that is because the Universe is big place and, I think, intelligence is rare.

Especially rare over at Answers in Genesis.

Monday, July 21, 2014

What to do with Israel

Fred Reed has, in his imitable manner, pared a horribly complex issue down to a set of essential parts. I don't agree with his assessment of all the elements but I do think his conclusion sums up the problem:

All in all, it seems to me that Israel has gotten itself into a horrible situation, hated within, hated without, and hanging by a lobby. What can the Israelis do? Emigrate to New York? Undertake an absolutely horrific ethnic cleansing? Exercise the Antarctica Option? Spend all eternity ducking rockets and bombing neighbors? Live as herdsmen of unwanted Moslems that they have to avoid assimilating?

I don’t see a happy ending. Or any ending.

Read the entire thing at: Whither Israel?

I propose the Parabarbarian Final Solution.

Take some of the Federal land that nobody is using for anything useful and mark out an area equal to or larger than the size of Israel. Call it the "New Jewish Homeland" or some such then let any citizen of Israel immigrate and live there. Pretty simple.

Sure, there are a lot of details that would have to be worked out but, historically, every country that has sheltered the Jews has benefited from that practice. The Ashkenazim are, on average, more intelligent than other ethnic groups and they have a culture that values literacy, education and self-reliance. Instead of being a drain on the country they would represent a net benefit

Possible problems include:

  • American Muslims will resist the idea because they hate Jews.
  • A lot of American Christians will resist the idea because it will interfere with their longed for Armageddon.
  • Some (Most?) Jews may not want to Leave Israel.

In reality, the above problems may be insurmountable -- especially taken together -- but I still think it is an idea worth considering. It would probably be a lot better than Antarctica.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

FedEx Charged for not Looking inside Customers' Packages

FedEx charged with trafficking drugs for Web pharmacies

This is another act in the progressive attack on freedom. Recently, credit card companies were pressured to refuse payments for people the government hates. Banks were similarly pressured to refuse or cancel their accounts. Now delivery companies are being pressured to refuse to deliver goods from businesses the state disapproves of.

The primary goal of this attack it not to prosecute the party allegedly engaging in the criminal conduct. It is to establish control via more compliant victims. This saves the government from having to pursue the real "criminals" (whether the activities in question should be illegal is a separate question) and lets it establish control using indirect means to strangle any business that displeases the Powers That Be.

FedEx is incorporated in Delaware and its headquarters is in Memphis, TN. The indictment is in the Northern District of California. I think this is significant in that high tech companies -- Telecoms, ISPs and hardware manufacturers -- in Silicon Valley will have to take notice. The warning is subtle but clear: Bend over when the government demands it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Gun Control Parody Site.

Wonderdonkey is a new site but so far the parody is better-that-average clever and funny. Given that at least two Target stores have been robbed at gun point since announcing their no gun policy, this latest one may be prescient as well.

For local meth-heads, Facebook group “Everytown For Gun Safety” known as “EveryTownperson We Can Rob Safely”

Unofficially changing billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s “grass-roots” organization’s name to, “EveryTownperson We Can Rob Safely”, local meth-heads said they were excited how the Facebook groups’ openly unarmed members would increase robbery safety in their town.

“It’s a list of townspeople that don’t have a gun to defend themselves. And they TELL people about it,” gleefully explained meth-enthusiast Dennis Hutchlee. “They’re the best people to rob safely.”

Town meth-devotee Tyler Aingston expressed how this group will change his life. “Yeah, I used to be so nervous about being shot while robbing people’s homes that I actually got a J-O-B and worked to support my meth habit. Not anymore. Thanks, Michael Bloomberg!”

Another gem is this announcement that Fearless Leader is turning the White House into a Gun Free Zone.

To Avoid Being A Huge-Ass Hypocrite, U.S. President Makes White House “Gun-Free” Zone

“Therefore, all Secret Service, military personnel and those individuals previously entrusted to protect myself and my family with firearms, will now be required to just get rid of them. This will make the White House 100% gun-free and everyone will be safer. And it definitely won’t encourage maniacs who now know we can’t defend ourselves,” said the man who is absolutely “walking his talk” and not lying right to your face while trying to sell you some total bullshit that makes you and your loved ones more vulnerable.

H/T to Grant Cunningham .

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Take Back The Streets

Looks like some of the people in Detroit have figured out that fancy words and empty platitudes are not reducing the crime but armed citizens are. What is unusual about this article is that Detroit Police Chief James Craig is giving some of the credit to armed citizen.

Detroit police chief gives credit to armed citizens for drop in crime

Detroit has experienced 37 percent fewer robberies in 2014 than during the same period last year, 22 percent fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30 percent fewer carjackings. Craig attributed the drop to better police work and criminals being reluctant to prey on citizens who may be carrying guns

Time to give an armed citizenry a chance.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Volcanos

I used to think Mount Fuji was about the most beautiful volcano on the planet.

Then I saw this picture of Mount Mayon on the isle of Luzon in the Philippines.

Is Everyone Religious?

This essay was sparked by a post on Ex-Army entitled Everybody's Religious. Normally, I would have just posted a short comment but Google's gstatic is screwed up again so I was unable to. That gave me some more time to think about the question.

So, is everybody really religious? More importantly, am I religious? The more I thought about it, the more I realized the answer to that question really depends on how I define "religion". The definition I have used for decades is a positive one:

A thing is a religion if it asserts the existance of at least one of:
  1. the divine or
  2. an afterlife.

That seems pretty simple and straight-forward to me.

  • Christianity is a religion because it asserts there is a god (or gods, depending on how you count them) and it asserts the existence of an afterlife (resurrection).
  • Islam is a religion because asserts the existence of a single god and it asserts the existence of an afterlife (resurrection).
  • Hinduism is a religion because asserts the existence of a pantheon of gods (in some versions this is conceived of as a single god) and it asserts the existence of an afterlife (reincarnation).

Since either one of the above characteristics is sufficient to to make a religion I can add to the list:

  • Theravada Buddhism is a religion because it asserts the existence of an afterlife (reincarnation) but not the existence of the divine.
  • Sadducee Judiasm is a religion because it asserts the existence of a single god but rejects the existence of an afterlife.

There is a whole lot of human group behavior that does not fit the definition of religion above. For example, line dancing does not assert the existence of the divine nor of an afterlife so it is not a religion. Still, it seems to me that my definition is a pretty generous interpretation of the concept of "religion".

So, am I religious? So far, I find the evidence for the divine and the afterlife is insufficient to non-existent so, according to my definition above, I am not. However, there is a second, even more liberal, definition I infer from some of the half-baked arguments I've read over the years. I call this a negative definition because it does not require any positive assertions:

A thing is a religion of it takes a position on the existence of at least one of:
  1. the divine or
  2. the afterlife.

Using that definition atheism and agnosticism are "religions" (though I think line dancing is still exempt). Both take a position on the existence of the divine: Atheists do not believe it exists. Agnostics say it is impossible to know. A definition of religion that includes atheist and agnostics as "religious" strikes me as woolgathering but it does seem to summarize the arguments from the everybody-is-religious positions I've read.

I am sure there are more combinations of criteria regarding what constitutes a religion. In fact, each of us can define it pretty much anyway we want. So, unless all parties can agree on what a religion is, there is no possibility of rational discourse on the subject.

The pedant and the priest have always been the most expert of logicians -- and the most diligent disseminators of nonsense and worse. The liberation of the human mind has never been furthered by dunderheads; it has been furthered by gay* fellows who heaved dead cats into sanctuaries and then went roistering down the highways of the world, proving to all men that doubt, after all, was safe -- that the god in the sanctuary was finite in his power and hence a fraud. One horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. It is not only more effective; it is also vastly more intelligent.
-- H L Mencken, in The American Mercury, January, 1924

*Though the term "gay" was already being used to describe a homosexual male by the 1930s, I am pretty sure Mencken was using it the sense of " having or showing a merry, lively mood."

More on the Evil Spielberg

Yet another (faked) example of the evil that is Steven Spielberg. This time he killed The Last Unicorn.

Monday, July 14, 2014