Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I zeroed some rifles yesterday, though I didn't have to adjust
anything. Just a 'check'. More will be zeroed (checked) over the
coming weekend, in the time not devoted to the garden.

Southwest Miss-sippy is fairly secure, all things considered, in that
we are far from ANY 'center of population', I saw the very first
Mexicans I have seen in the 6 months that I've been here last week,
all three of them. I don't think Mexicans will be a factor here.

Almost everyone has a garden, and I feel no racial tension. Locally,
there are lots of Mormons, who have a tradition and teaching of
maintaining food and supplies for an extended period. I live in a
largish county, and there are 13k folks in the whole county.
And EVERY household is armed. And I pretty much mean, EVERYbody. If
you are NOT armed, at least if you let it be known, folks around here
would consider you.... well... 'strange', let's say. If nothing more
than a 22 for small game, or an old double barrel 12, this is a very
well armed place. Everybody is at least marginally competent and
familiar with firearms, and pretty much everyone who lives here is a
long-time native. I'm not, but I grew up 'Southern', and everyone
receiving this knows that my household is rather better armed than
most, even around here.

And, which is no surprise, this is a very polite place. A youngish
black lady held the door open for me at the post office today as I
made my way with my cane, and asked how I was doing, and that kind of
thing is common around here. Neighbors swap produce from their
gardens, lend tools, and generally live in harmony.

This is Old South and Old America. As could be expected, Jackson
(state capital) and the legislature and judiciary and executive
branches are chock full of statist idiots, and their impact is
serious, even in the far-flung rural boonies which dominate
Miss-sippy, but folks around here seem to ignore Jackson as much as it
is physically possible. If things do get crazy, the statists in
Jackson will be well served to stay in Jackson. If there is a crazy
season on the way, there may well be some hostility out here in the
boonies.... but I would bet that the overwhelming majority of it will
be directed at those same statist idiots.

There are no guarantees. Cops are still blind servants and enforcers
of the king's will, but I suspect that the local enforcers understand
that they will do very well to maintain an extremely low profile. If I
had to choose a place to weather a nation-wide storm, I would be hard
pressed to find a better place to attempt it.

Subject: GN: Precipice - by Mike Vanderboegh
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 12:09:11 -0700
Illustration from the Financial Times.

Precipice, noun, from the Latin praecipitium, headlong:
1: a very steep or overhanging place
2: a hazardous situation; broadly, a brink
-- Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Brink, noun, Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse
"brekka" or slope
1: edge; especially : the edge at the top of a steep place
2: a bank especially of a river
3: the point of onset : verge, as in "on the brink of war"
4: the threshold of danger
-- Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Frontier: the demarcation point where one passes from one country into
another; the outer edges of a nation or a culture where civilization
and the rule of law interface with savagery and the law of the jungle.
In such dangerous places, firearms are necessary adjuncts to
lawbooks. --

Vanderboegh's Dictionary of Political Economy.

Brink. Frontier. Call it what you will, but there is
where we stand. On the edge. On the "threshold of danger." Where
lives and fortunes are made, or defended, with one's own hands, or
capriciously snuffed out in an instant. As a people, we have been
here before. Whether we remember enough to get us through this time
depends entirely upon us. We have been comfortable, lazy, drowning in
affluence. Our material success has papered over the faultlines of
our society. That social lubrication is about to disappear like water
poured onto the desert floor, leaving nothing but social sandpaper --
flint and steel in a societal tinderbox.

Powder Keg

"I fear that we're sitting on a financial powder keg." -- Senator
Richard Shelby of Alabama.

My friend Peter from over at Western Rifle Shooters Association has
done us the favor of printing the latest prediction of the economist
Nouriel Roubini of NYU. (See
..) As Pete observes, Roubini "has been one of the few economists
consistently calling his shots over the past two years, including
being one of the first to discuss the then-upcoming American housing
collapse in 2006."

Robert Lenzner, the National Editor of Forbes magazine, calls Roubini
"the economist (I) respect the most about today's financial crisis."
(See "How Many Trillions Lost?", Robert Lenzner, 15 July 2008,
Now I have learned in my life that predictions, like opinions and anal
sphincters, are ubiquitous. Which is to say, everybody's got one.
But when someone has a history of being right as evidenced by events,
you should pay attention to his next prediction. As Peter reports and
Lenzner comments upon, here is Roubini's: "The U.S. is experiencing
its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and will undergo
its worst recession in the last few decades. I am not going to waste
space with the details of Roubini's analysis. The beauty of the web
is that you can merely click on the link and check the footnotes
yourself instantly.

But you should know that even Roubini may be too optimistic, given the
fact that. as Mike "Mish" Shedlock of the Global Economic Analysis
blog ( wrote last month,
there are "many hurricanes and many eyes" in the economy presently,
most of which have not hit yet. After detailing the various other
financial hurricanes out there, Shedlock wrote:
"Rising Unemployment Will Compound Every Problem: Unemployment is a
lagging indicator. That fact has been used to suggest the worst is
behind. The idea the worst is over is nonsense. The worst cannot be
behind until after the hurricanes have landed. Batten down the
hatches, the worst is yet to come. Subprime is among the smallest of
the storms that will hit. Even still, subprime has dramatically
weakened the infrastructure. The economic knockout blow will come from
the backside of one of the impending storms."

In his latest blog, Shedlock jeers at Ben Bernanke's latest testimony
on Capitol Hill, observing that
The Unsaid As Important As The Said: Bernanke did not mention a thing
about the impending commercial real estate bust. . . The expansion of
commercial real estate (Wal-Mart (WMT) , Target (TGT), Home Depot
(HD), Lowes (LOW), Starbucks (SBUX), Pizza Hut (YUM), etc., etc., was
the last economic driver for jobs). Every one of those corporations
and more are cutting back. The Shopping Center Economic Model Is
History. There is a rising glut of vacancies and downward pressure on
rents. Regional banks that escaped the housing debacle instead
foolishly undertook commercial real estate bets. Commercial real
estate is just one reason why Bank Earnings Won't Recover. Indeed
there are Many Hurricanes, Many Eyes. Bernanke still has his myopic
eyes focused on the last hurricane (subprime lending), unable to see
the other storms that are approaching."
The armed citizenry is about to come back into its own.
We run carelessly to the precipice, after we have put something before
us to prevent us seeing it. -- Blaise Pascal

So the storms approach, each promising to be rougher than the last.
How much pounding can our national societal ship take before the hull
is breached and we founder and break apart? As I observed on Peter's
website, "The critical thing will be this: How does our fragmented
national polity, divided as it has been by liberal interest group
politics and largely divorced for generations from both its moral
basis and the land -- the twin foundations of civilization, belief and
self-sufficiency -- react to hardship? Poorly, I suspect. The armed
citizenry is about to come back into its own."

"Gun control advocates argue that the police are there to protect us
from criminals and the military from invaders. But in 1992, the
National Guard and police refused to engage hoodlums during the Los
Angeles riots, effectively abandoning people to their fate.
Nevertheless many Korean merchants successfully used firearms with
high-capacity magazines, which Congress has since banned, to fend off
rioters. Their stores still stood after the riots." -- "

Can Gun
Control Reduce Crime? Part 1" by Benedict D. LaRosa, October 2002
Future of Freedom Foundation

Most folks alive today remember 1992. That year gave us triple
disasters: Hurricane Andrew, The LA Riots and the election of Bill
Clinton as President. Many will remember the vivid images of Korean
grocers defending themselves and their property from the rooftops of
their groceries with (horrors!) those evil semi-auto "assault rifles."

Many will also recall the entire neighborhoods in Florida protected
from looters by spontaneous militias of armed citizens. It is
instructive that the National Guard only fired twenty shots during the
LA Riots, killing just one gangbanger. (See "Military Operations in
Los Angeles, 1992" by Major General James D. Delk Yet 55 people
were killed, most of them looters. Who do you think killed the
others? Who indeed. The armed citizenry, that lampooned and despised
minority of Americans, were the ones responsible. It certainly wasn't
"the only ones" as David Codrea has effectively labeled them.
"Nothing beats a race riot."

And so we must expect that, in the societal disturbances -- from
individual crimes of theft to roving gangs to racial strife -- that
may attend our coming crisis, it will be the armed citizenry that once
again shoulders the burden of defending our loved ones, our homes, our
property and our communities. This was actually a common thread of
conversation at the recent Alabama Gun Collectors Association show in
Birmingham, Alabama. As much as the threat of further federal
encroachment upon our God-given rights is expected, it is the threat
of racial and interest group warfare attendant to economic breakdown
that is perceived as the greater danger. Obama's presidential
candidacy was perceived by some as a double-edged sword with lawless
consequences whether he is defeated or elected.

Throughout Los Angeles, people who had never wanted a gun are now
anxious to buy one. David Penso, a 20-year-old janitor at a Thrifty
Drug Store, recalled watching looters pillage a discount store while
the police drove by. "The cops were there," Mr. Penso said, "but they
didn't do anything. The only way people can be protected in Los
Angeles is if they protect themselves with guns." . . . "I always
thought if there was a serial rapist or murderer loose my business
would go up, but nothing beats a race riot," said Sean Collinsworth,
the owner of Deadly Force, a personal gun-training service in Los
Angeles. "People are really scared." . . . "I've had frantic calls
from people who in a million years would never want a gun -- Park
Avenue types, for example," said Michael Zirmo, owner of the Zirmo
Company, the largest gun seller in New York City. . . . A lot of
people realize if you don't look out for yourself, nobody will." --
Timothy Egan "

After the Riots: Los Angeles Riots Spurring Big Rise in
Sales of Guns", New York Times, May 14, 1992
Police ordered angry customers lined up outside an IndyMac Bank branch
to remain calm or face arrest Tuesday as they tried to pull their
money on the second day of the failed institution's federal takeover.
At least three police squad cars showed up early Tuesday as tensions
rose outside the San Fernando Valley branch of Pasadena-based IndyMac.

"Nothing beats a race riot." So the anger and the fear build once
more. On the precipice, the brink, the frontier of all our fears, we
must even so make our lives. As to how we may do so, I give you this
modern day militia training film.

Drums Along the Mohawk

Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) is one of my favorite John Ford movies,
and probably the best movie ever made about the Revolutionary War, all
the more so because the main character is a man who does his best to
avoid it. The movie opens in 1776, the year of the Declaration of
Independence, a full year after Lexington and Concord. Thousands have
been killed in the struggle between the colonies and the King, but Gil
Martin is not a part of that. The opening scene depicts Martin's
(Henry Fonda) wedding to Lana (played by Claudette Colbert), the
daughter of a wealthy Hudson Valley farmer. Martin has already
started a homestead further west in the Mohawk Valley, and it is a
journey to his rude cabin that that they embark after the wedding,
trailing a milk cow behind their wagon. The war is very far away in
the minds of these two newlyweds. Yet the war manages to find them.
As David Nichols relates in "Ford's Revolutionary America: 'Drums
Along the Mohawk'"

It looks as though everything is working out as it should. Their
marriage is solid and the frontier is being tamed. But then we are
immediately transported to the fort, where the local men are forming a
militia. The mood at the fort is lighthearted and the meeting of the
militia appears almost as an excuse for a community gathering. Lana
meets her neighbors and lets slip the fact that she and Gil are
expecting their first child. The men seem as awkward in their role as
soldiers as Lana and Gil had seemed as newlyweds. The soldier calling
the role wonders why no one has answered when he calls his own name.
He does not yet see himself as a soldier. General Herkimer (Roger
Imhoff), an older immigrant frontiersman and experienced military man,
gives a speech describing the seriousness of the situation, but the
men marching look more like boys playing soldier than a regiment about
to face the horrors of war. Ford continues this mood with a scene in
which the neighbors have gathered to help Gil clear some of his land.
The need for the fort and the militia seems forgotten. The community
has come together to build rather than fight. But this peaceful scene
cannot last. The Indians attack destroying Gil's farm and forcing all
of the families to seek refuge in the fort. Lana is now distressed
that her cow must be left behind. On arriving at the fort Lana goes
into labor, but Gil must leave her to join the militia in chasing the
attackers, and on his return he learns that she has lost the baby. All
of Gil's and Lana's dreams have gone up in smoke.
Indians led by the sinister one-eyed British agent Caldwell (played by
an evil John Carradine) have raided into the valley, burning their new
home. Poking through the smoking rubble of their burned out cabin Gil
says: "It doesn't seem possible people can work as hard as we did for
nothing." Lana replies: "We can build again." They are forced by
their loss to become hired help to Sarah McKlennar (played by the
marvelous character actress Edna May Oliver), the tart, nosy and
plain-spoken widow of a British officer who owns a large farm nearer
to the fort's illusory safety.

I'm certain that, watching Drums Along the Mohawk, I am not the only
one to see parallels between Caldwell's murdering renegades and MS-13,
the Bloods, the Crips and even the Hell's Angels and other biker gangs
of today. Indeed, the atrocities of today's MS-13 are enough to make
a 19th Century Iroquois warrior blanche. Such groups are always
empowered by war and social breakdown. And they can only be dealt
with in one way -- by killing enough of them in a convincing fashion
so they go away to victimize someone else.

"Trust in the Lord and wait until you can make every shot count."

Assuming you are all going to go secure a copy of Drums and watch it,
I will not waste space giving you the rest of the plot line, save
this: In the end, while even the fort does not prove sufficient to
withstand the threat posed by Caldwell, and Mrs. McKlennar and other
friends are killed in the struggle, Gil and Lana battle together to
win their own future free from war and tyranny. The armed citizenry
of their day learned the painful lessons, lost battles, rose and
fought again, finally triumphing. They faced their precipice. We now
soon will face ours. To quote one last time from Drums Along the
Mohawk, remember the words of the good Reverend Rosenkrantz: "Trust in
the Lord and wait until you can make every shot count."
Mike Vanderboegh
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126

1 comment:

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