“Jim Rasenberger’s biography of Samuel Colt, ‘Revolver,’ has lots of interesting details about the colorful inventor of the six-shooter but unfairly faults Colt for sins against present-day leftist orthodoxy.  But Rasenberger’s greatest weakness is to downplay the great consequence of Colt’s invention. It made men equal. Rasenberger becomes authorially apoplectic at times that revolvers were used against American Indians and Mexicans, for example—as if only Americans of European descent ever pulled a trigger.–Tony Daniel


Revolver : Sam Colt and the Six-Shooter That Changed America

Revolver|Jim Rasenberger

A sweeping, definitive biography of Samuel Colt–the inventor of the legendary Colt revolver–which changed the US forever, triggering the industrial revolution and the settlement of the American West.
Patented in 1836, the Colt pistol with its revolving cylinder was the first practical firearm that could shoot more than one bullet without reloading. For many reasons, Colt’s gun had a profound effect on American history. Its most immediate impact was on the expansionism of the American west, where white emigrants and US soldiers came to depend on it, and where Native Americans came to dread it. The six-shooter became the iconic weapon of gun-slingers, outlaws, and cowboys–some willing to pay $500 out west for a gun that sold for $25 back east.

In making the revolver, Colt also changed American manufacturing–his factory revolutionized industry in the United States. Ultimately, Colt and his gun-making brought together the two most significant forces of change before the Civil War–the industrial revolution in the east, Manifest Destiny in the west.

 

Steven Fjestad passed away last year, so this is the first edition not published by him since 1981.


Forty-First Edition Blue Book Of Gun Values 

With nearly 2 million copies in circulation worldwide, the Blue Book of Gun Values one of the most relied-upon resources in the firearms industry;has announced the release of its 41st Edition, dedicated in memoriam to the late publisher Steven Peter “S.P.” Fjestad. Spanning over 2,500 pages, the 41st Edition contains upwards of 1,700 trademarks with brief histories, approximately 23,000 descriptions of firearm models from across the globe including the new makes and models for 2020 and 500,000-plus up-to-date values for modern firearms and major trademark antiques. Additionally, the latest edition’s expanded serialization charts allow more years of manufacture to be determined on individual firearm makes and models. A feature of the book that collectors in particular will find helpful is its 80-page Photo Percentage Grading System (PPGS) to assist in determining the condition of a firearm, with guidelines available for pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns.

From the book:
“As the bird shuddered down, the wall of faces lining the perimeter were hidden behind SLRs, lighting, and shoulder-mounted video cameras – journalists here to generate the sugar high of fear that was now as much a part of the American diet as hot dogs, apple pie, and gluten-free muffins.”

To generate the sugar high of fear.
That’s what we see today, isn’t it? Whether they’re pontificating about the bug or about guns?


Under Pressure: A Lucas Page Novel

A series of deadly explosions rock the city of New York and with too many victims and no known motive, the F.B.I. turns once again to Dr. Lucas Page in Robert Pobi’s Under Pressure.

On a beautiful October evening, New York City’s iconic Guggenheim Museum is closed for a tech company’s private gala. Until an explosion rocks the night, instantly killing 702 people, including every single attendee—yet the damage to the building itself was minimal.

An explosion of that precision was no accident and, in response, the FBI mobilizes its entire team — but the sheer number of victims strains their resources. Were all 702 victims in the wrong place at the wrong time, or was there only one target and 701 unlucky bystanders? That many victim files is a staggering amount of data to sort through and Brett Kehoe, Special Agent in Charge of Manhattan, decides that he can’t do this without more computational power.

Dr. Lucas Page, astrophysicist, university professor, and former FBI agent, is uniquely gifted for the task at hand—he can visualize a crime scene as if he was a bystander and can break down any set of data at a glance. Even though Page wants nothing to do with the FBI, with his city under attack and his family at risk, he steps in to find a killer in a haystack before they strike again.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
–Santanyana
And from the current state of education, it’s a wonder our children & young adults might even be able to appreciate history.


The Socialist Temptation

IT’S BACK!

Just thirty years ago, socialism seemed utterly discredited.

An economic, moral, and political failure, socialism had rightly been thrown on the ash heap of history after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Unfortunately, bad ideas never truly go away—and socialism has come back with a vengeance.

A generation of young people who don’t remember the misery that socialism inflicted on Russia and Eastern Europe is embracing it all over again. Oblivious to the unexampled prosperity capitalism has showered upon them, they are demanding utopia.

In his provocative new book, The Socialist Temptation, Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute explains:

  • Why the socialist temptation is suddenly so powerful among young people
  • That even when socialism doesn’t usher in a bloody tyranny (as, for example, in the Soviet Union, China, and Venezuela), it still makes everyone poor and miserable
  • Why under the relatively benign democractic socialism of Murray’s youth in pre-Thatcher Britain, he had to do his homework by candlelight
  • That the Scandinavian economies are not really socialist at all
  • The inconsistencies in socialist thought that prevent it from ever working in practice
  • How we can show young people the sorry truth about socialism and turn the tide of history against this destructive pipe dream

Sprightly, convincing, and original, The Socialist Temptation is a powerful warning that the resurgence of socialism could rob us of our freedom and prosperity.

Halbrook’s Book On 2A Origins Updated, Reissued

Do Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms? Or is this power vested solely in government? Recent years have seen a sea change in scholarship on the Second Amendment. Beginning in the 1960s, a view emerged that individuals had a “right” to bear arms only in militia service—a limited, “collective” right. But in the late 1980s Dr. Stephen Halbrook and a handful of other scholars began producing an altogether persuasive analysis that changed thinking on the matter, so that today, even in canonical textbooks, bearing arms is acknowledged as an individual right.

Stephen Halbrook’s The Founders’ Second Amendment is the first book-length account of the origins of the Second Amendment, based on the Founders’ own statements as found in newspapers, correspondence, debates, and resolutions. Dr. Halbrook investigates the period from 1768 to 1826, from the last years of British rule and the American Revolution through to the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the passing of the Founders’ generation. His book offers the most comprehensive analysis of the arguments behind the drafting and adoption of the Second Amendment, and the intentions of the men who created it.

With the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia vs. Heller upholding the Second Amendment as protecting an individual right to bear arms, The Founders’ Second Amendment could scarcely be more timely as the authoritative book on the subject.

Treat Your Own Spinal Stenosis

Simply put, spinal stenosis is arthritis of the back, and Treat Your Own Spinal Stenosis will show you how to get rid of lower back and leg pain that are caused by the various aging changes that take place in everyone’s low back over time. Anyone with a herniated disc, bone spurs, degenerative discs, scoliosis, or unstable vertebrae can greatly benefit from the targeted exercises in this book, as these spinal problems are often involved in the process of spinal stenosis.

Gun Control Myths: How politicians, the media, and botched “studies” have twisted the facts on gun control

Lott blows away one false myth about gun ownership after another. As Andrew Pollack’s Foreward notes; “Learn the actual facts that debunk them.” From myths about mass public shootings to suicides to gun ownership rates and crime to gun free zones, Lott addresses the claims you frequently hear in the media and explains what is wrong with those claims.

“John Lott has been giving us the facts about guns for decades. Finally clear to all that one party in America has an anti-Second Amendment platform and wants to disarm you. Now you need to arm yourself with the Truth. Buy and read Gun Control Myths today. Before it’s too late.”

Sebastian Gorka Ph.D.,host of AMERICAN First, former Strategist to President Trump

 

“John Lott shows that the media and many politicians are biased against guns. For example, many stories are written in the media about shooters, but very few about defensive uses of guns. Similarly, he shows that some gun control policies are actually counterproductive.

Shooters seek out gun-free zones. If we banned “assault” weapons, shooters might shift to larger hunting guns. The book is copiously footnoted. It is full of statistical and graphical analysis, so that his points are easily grasped and persuasive. Anyone who advocates gun control and does not seriously consider John’s work is negligent.

Any journalist who does not at least consider John’s work is committing journalistic malpractice.”

Paul H. Rubin, Dobbs Professor of Economics Emeritus, Emory University

 

“We have John Lott to thank for once again providing factual and empirical based research to counter the anti gun movement’s well funded and organized campaign based on nothing more than slogans, myths and propaganda designed to demonize supporters of our cherished Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”

David Clarke Sheriff(RET) Milwaukee County

 

“John Lott is the go-to expert when it comes to protecting the second amendment. Without the second amendment Americans could be stripped of our right to arm ourselves against aggressors. Arm yourselves with knowledge by reading “Gun Control Myths” and join me in protecting the Second Amendment.”

Eric Bolling Host “AMERICA This Week” Sinclair Broadcast

So today SCOTUS expanded homosexual rights, while rejecting a whole series of Second Amendment appeals.
This is consistent with the analysis in The Judiciary’s Class War.


The terms “Front-Row Kids” and “Back-Row Kids,” coined by the photographer Chris Arnade, describe the divide between the educated upper middle class, who are staying ahead in today’s economy, and the less educated working class, who are doing poorly. The differences in education―and the values associated with elite schooling―have produced a divide in America that is on a par with that of race.

The judiciary, requiring a postgraduate degree, is the one branch of government that is reserved for the Front-Row Kids. Correspondingly, since the Warren era, the Supreme Court has basically served as an engine for vindicating Front-Row preferences, from allowing birth control and abortion, to marginalizing religion in the public space, to legislative apportionment and libel law, and beyond. Professor Glenn Reynolds describes this problem in detail and offers some suggestions for making things better.

I imagine the angst in their minds must be coming intolerable to them


Atheists are warning that Christianity may be necessary for the survival of Western civilization

Historian Tom Holland is known primarily as a storyteller of the ancient world. Thus, his newest book Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World, came as something of a surprise for several reasons. First, Tom Holland is not a Christian. Second, Holland’s book is one of the most ambitious historical defenses of Christianity in a very long time.

While studying the ancient world, Holland writes, he realized something. Simply, the ancients were cruel, and their values utterly foreign to him. The Spartans routinely murdered “imperfect” children. The bodies of slaves were treated like outlets for the physical pleasure of those with power. Infanticide was common. The poor and the weak had no rights.

From There to Here …

How did we get from there to here? It was Christianity, Holland writes. Christianity revolutionized sex and marriage, demanding that men control themselves and prohibiting all forms of rape. Christianity confined sexuality within monogamy. (It is ironic, Holland notes, that these are now the very standards for which Christianity is derided.) Christianity elevated women. In short, Christianity utterly transformed the world.

In fact, Holland points out that without Christianity, the Western world would not exist. Even the claims of the social justice warriors who despise the faith of their ancestors rest on a foundation of Judeo-Christian values. Those who make arguments based on love, tolerance, and compassion are borrowing fundamentally Christian arguments. If the West had not become Christian, Holland writes, “no one would have gotten woke.”

Attracting Criticism

Holland’s book-length defense of the belief system the elites love to despise has unsurprisingly attracted some criticism. He faced off with militant atheist and prominent philosopher A.C. Grayling on the question “Did Christianity give us our human values?” Grayling struggled to rebut Holland, sounding more petty than philosophical. Holland, on the other hand, became positively passionate in his defense of Christianity. If Western civilization is the fishbowl, he stated, then the water is Christianity.

While many — including Holland — cannot quite bring themselves to believe Christianity is true, they are starting to believe that Christianity might be necessary.

In fact, the very critiques of those who condemn Christianity for various perceived injustices are rooted in Christian precepts.

A Trend Identified — Defense of Christianity

Holland’s passionate defense of Christianity is fascinating because it appears to be part of a trend. As the West becomes definitively post-Christian, many secularists are suddenly realizing that Christianity may have been more valuable than they thought. While many — including Holland — cannot quite bring themselves to believe Christianity is true, they are starting to believe that Christianity might be necessary.

Douglas Murray, the conservative author and columnist, is also an atheist. In recent years, however, he has started to warn that the decline of Christianity is a dangerous thing. Society now faces three options. First, Murray says, is to reject the idea that all human life is precious. “Another is to work furiously to nail down an atheist version of the sanctity of the individual.” And if that doesn’t work? “Then there is only one other place to go. Which is back to faith, whether we like it or not.”

Murray now occasionally refers to himself as a “Christian atheist.” Speaking with Esther O’Reilly on the Unbelievable podcast, Murray lauded the “revolutionary moral insights” of Christianity. He told her that while visiting the Sea of Galilee, he couldn’t shake the feeling that “something happened here.” And he admitted that as atheists consider morality, “the more we may have to accept that … the sanctity of human life is a Judeo-Christian notion which might very easily not survive [the disappearance of] Judeo-Christian civilization.”

Speaking on The Darren Grimes Show last month, he was even blunter. “There seems to be little point to me in a life spent talking about Labour Party politics rather than God.”

King Agrippa Christians

The phenomenon of atheists praising Christianity appears to be growing. Gone are the days when Christopher Hitchens (a good friend of Murray’s) and his fellow secularists raged against the “poison” of religion. Even Richard Dawkins has now admitted that Christianity might be preferable to the alternatives. He once called for Christianity to be destroyed. Now he begrudgingly says it has good effects on society.

There is also Jordan Peterson. The famous psychologist refuses to say whether he believes in God. Or at least, he refuses to say what he means by God, or Christ or faith. Peterson is attempting to synthesize Scripture with Jung and Darwin, and the result is predictably tortured. But Peterson knows that without Christianity, unspeakable cruelty is inevitable. He speaks like a secular Calvinist. He believes in human depravity, but has not yet worked out redemption.

Charles Murray, the American social scientist and sociologist, is an agnostic. Yet, he told me in an interview that he believes the American republic will not survive without a resurgence of Christianity. “You cannot have a free society with a constitution” like the American one “unless you are trying to govern a religious people,” he observed.

The late Sir Roger Scruton, too, headed back to church. He struggled with many of Christianity’s truth claims. But still, he came to believe that Christianity was necessary. While nursing doubts, he played the organ in his local Anglican church during Sunday services. Perhaps practice, he once said, would help him along. He wasn’t sure he could believe it all. But he wanted to.

These men are King Agrippa Christians. As King Agrippa told the Apostle Paul: “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” They almost believe it. They believe Christianity is good. Some believe it is necessary. As Murray put it, he “believes in belief.” But they cannot (yet) bring themselves to believe that it is literally true — that Jesus Christ actually rose from the dead.

Listen to the Warnings of the Atheists — Christianity is Necessary

These strange struggles also deliver a warning to the West. Without Christianity, we are heading into a thick and impenetrable darkness. Christianity gave us human rights. It gave us protection for the weak. Compassion rooted in commands to love. Forgiveness for enemies. It revolutionized the world. We are now in the process of undoing that revolution. In fact, we are replacing it with the Sexual Revolution.

We should look at what we are destroying before we carry on. We should ask why fences were built before tearing them down. We should listen to the atheists nervously telling us that Christianity is necessary. And we should fight to ensure that our post-Christian culture is again a pre-Christian one.

 

Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices.

This bestselling DIY handbook now features new and expanded projects, enabling ordinary folks to construct 16 awesome ballistic devices in their garage or basement workshops using inexpensive household or hardware store materials and this step-by-step guide.

Clear instructions, diagrams, and photographs show how to build projects ranging from the simple match-powered rocket to the more complex tabletop catapult and the offbeat Cincinnati fire kite. The classic potato cannon has a new evil twin-the piezo-electric spud gun-and the electromagnetic pipe gun has joined the company of such favorites as the tennis ball mortar.

With a strong emphasis on safety, the book also gives tips on troubleshooting, explains the physics behind the projects, and profiles scientists and extraordinary experimenters such as Alfred Nobel, Robert Goddard, and Isaac Newton. This book will be indispensable for the legions of backyard toy-rocket launchers and fireworks fanatics who wish every day was the fourth of July.

 

OLD SCHOOL GUNOLOGY: Tales of Trigger Work From Past Days

These are a compilation of hunting and shooting stories that I wrote over the last 30 years or so. These are actual experiences that I or my friends had in various locations over the years. There is no fiction herein, though details may be a bit skewed due to lapses in memory. Some of the data is long out-dated and should not be relied upon, as this is only a re-telling of adventures long ago. All loading data should be gotten from modern reliable sources.


AN ICONOCLAST’S READER

We all read the Scriptures with our own particular doctrinal glasses on. We interpret what we read, consciously or sub-consciously, through those ideas we believe. Challenges to our beliefs are sometimes frightening, but are not bad, especially if they drive us to the Lord and help us see more clearly.

By the numbers: How coronavirus compares with the flu, opioid overdoses

Coronavirus comparison to the flu

Amid ever-changing models, it’s hard to put a finger on just how dangerous the coronavirus is.

We know at this point that COVID-19 — the disease caused by the coronavirus — has led to more than 85,356 illnesses and more than 1,246 deaths in U.S.

For comparison, the flu has caused an estimated 38 million illnesses, 30,000 hospitalizations and 23,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…………

Coronavirus is still a moving target for researchers because it is new.  In comparison, scientists have studied seasonal flu for decades and opioid overdoses for years.

The CDC says certain people have a higher risk for severe illness from coronavirus. These people include those 65 and older, those who live in a care facility, patients with chronic lung disease, people with moderate to severe asthma, those with heart diseases or complications, immunocompromised people, and those with severe obesity (body mass index equal to or greater than 40).

Also at higher risk are patients with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease, according to the CDC.

More comparisons will be available after the coronavirus pandemic ends, and can more accurately be analyzed.

Just in case you forgot:
This crap-for-brains anti-civil right/anti-self defense drivel is what is being taught at American Universities and touted to the citizenry by the propaganda organs of Michael Bloombutt AKA ‘The Trace’ et al’
The ending book review is point on.


Trust in Guns During Crises Is a Triumph of Marketing

Caroline Light is a Harvard professor whose field of study includes “America’s love affair with armed self-defense,” as she put it in the subtitle of her latest book. Reading the extensive reports this week of a surge in gun buying around the country, she was not surprised.

Stand Your Ground: A History of America’s Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense

Caroline Light is director of undergraduate studies in the Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Harvard University. She is the author of That Pride of Race and Character: The Roots of Jewish Benevolence in the Jim Crow South.

After a young, white gunman killed twenty-six people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, conservative legislators lamented that the tragedy could have been avoided if the schoolteachers had been armed and the classrooms equipped with guns. Similar claims were repeated in the aftermath of other recent shootings—after nine were killed in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and in the aftermath of the massacre in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Despite inevitable questions about gun control, there is a sharp increase in firearm sales in the wake of every mass shooting.

Yet, this kind of DIY-security activism predates the contemporary gun rights movement—and even the stand-your-ground self-defense laws adopted in thirty-three states, or the thirteen million civilians currently licensed to carry concealed firearms. As scholar Caroline Light proves, support for “good guys with guns” relies on the entrenched belief that certain “bad guys with guns” threaten us all.


To be fair, this is not strictly the usual anti-gun polemic. The eternal villains here are not guns, conservatives, or the NRA, but a much bigger target: The Patriarchy itself, an apparently toxic brew of white men, American history, and the very concept of self-defense.

Any reader who habitually checks under the bed to see that there are no men hiding there … or racists … or anything else nasty, like white people … or printed copies of the Bill of Rights … or legal concepts such as the right to self-defense, or the presumption of innocence … will feel right at home with this book. And anyone who peppers conversations with words like “normative” or “cis-“anything will just love it. But anyone else, not so much.

Consider a few samples. These are entirely typical; note that throughout 200-plus pages, the author puts a great deal of weight on imaginary crimes, crimes which are not even argued to be real, but are just assumed to be so.

“The Heller decision conveniently ignored the race and gender exclusions of the amendment’s original historical moment, where a ‘law-abiding citizen’ was a white, property-owning man, who openly carried a rifle not only to defend his ‘hearth and home,’ but also to assert his dominance over enslaved labor and his access to land seized from Native Americans.” (Page 7)

“In spite of widespread efforts by DIY-security proponents to recruit women, nonwhites, and LGBT people to the cause of armed citizenship, the adjudication of lethal self-defense continues to privilege white hetero/cis-masculinity.” (Page 15)

“That contemporary celebrations of armed citizenship can *appear* to be race- and gender-inclusive attests to the power of collective amnesia.” (Page 16)

Etc cetera, et cetera. One more, from a bit further along … more of the same;

“Now, more than ever, a man’s castle – the sanctuary of white, property-owning heteromasculinity – seems under siege by forces within as well as beyond the nation’s boundaries.” (Page 155)

The modern so-called “stand your ground” laws do indeed have a history, but if that legal history is anywhere in this book, my eyes must have glazed over before I reached it. But I don’t think I missed much of substance, because I have no great confidence that the author has any idea what the SYG laws are.

I base that statement on the author’s comments on the Zimmerman/Martin case; her apparent belief that the case had anything at all to do with Florida’s SYG law shows the grossest misunderstanding of both the trial and the relevant law.

SYG was not cited by either prosecution or defense at any point in the Zimmerman trial, although the press was obsessive in its pretense that SYG was somehow involved. (But one would expect a researcher to be able to distinguish between a hysterical Press and a slightly less hysterical Court.)

The author glosses over the actual evidence presented at trial with an airy “accounts are mixed as to what happened next”; but to anyone who followed the televised proceedings, the salient facts are not in dispute. And they have nothing at all to do with “Stand Your Ground”.

This book really isn’t about America or its current gun control laws. It seems to be more about feminist intersectional theory. And whether feminist intersectional readers would find anything of interest here, I’m not qualified to say.

The Art and Science of Stick Fighting: Complete Instructional Guide

‘Sticks and stones may break my bones……..’
And ‘Cane-Fu’ is pretty good too:

“Simplicity is the shortest distance between two points.” ― Bruce Lee, The Tao of Jeet Kune Do

The best of both Eastern and Western stick fighting techniques

The Art and Science of Stick Fighting is a unique, non-style specific, approach to fighting with the short stick. Its curriculum is streamlined and divided into nine logical stages of training that allow the reader to quickly and methodically learn and develop the skills needed for fighting with the stick. Whether you are just starting out, or have been practicing stick fighting for years, there is something for everyone in this book. Also included are systematic workouts and descriptions of how to make and use specific training equipment as you learn and master The Art and Science of Stick Fighting.

The Art and Science of Stick Fighting features
Nine levels of instruction, progressing from easy to expert
Over 700 photos with motion arrows
A “nondenominational” approach to the stick, utilizing the best of Eastern and Western arts
A comprehensive, methodical approach to building stick fighting skills
This book stands apart from other stick fighting training manuals because it emphasizes the dynamics of combat. Many other books focus on forms and twirling. The author draws on thirty years of martial experience, presenting the best of both Eastern and Western traditions.

The Art and Science of Stick Fighting begins with the basics, upon which everything else relies.

A stable stance
Basic footwork
An effective guard
From there you learn different types of strikes and how to practice them in helpful, easy-to-learn patterns. The aim is to grow so comfortable wielding a stick that it is as though the stick has become an extension of your body.
Once the basics are in place, you learn the strategies and tactics of fighting with the stick at long, middle, and close range. By controlling the distance, you control the fight!

Learn important guidelines for sparring, from light contact up to full-contact training.
Learn how to construct your own padded weapons.
Learn effective fighting tips that will rev up your game.
Also included are chapters on advanced techniques; combating short ranged weapons such as a knife to long range weapons like the staff. Even detailed techniques to use when your opponent is armed but you are not!

Whether you already study the stick or are just starting out, if you want to learn how to get an edge , The Art and Science of Stick Fighting is for you!

Both new from Jim.

The Joy Of Helplessness

Difficult situations come to everyone. We each handle them in different ways. In THE JOY OF HELPLESSNESS the author points out that many times these difficulties are a door to something better. Not everything that we experience has to end with us frustrated, angry or puzzled. Perhaps there is some joy hidden in what you are going through? It would not be a bad thing to discover it.

HOW DO I HANDLE THIS?

We all have difficulties that we deal with in life, some harder than others. Often we do not know what to do in the midst of these dark times. While this little book is not The Answer, hopefully it will point the way to help us come through those difficult places.

Give Me Liberty: A History of America’s Exceptional Idea

Nationalism is inevitable: It supplies feelings of belonging, identity, and recognition. It binds us to our neighbors and tells us who we are. But increasingly — from the United States to India, from Russia to Burma — nationalism is being invoked for unworthy ends: to disdain minorities or to support despots. As a result, nationalism has become to many a dirty word.
In Give Me Liberty, award-winning historian and biographer Richard Brookhiser offers up a truer and more inspiring story of American nationalism as it has evolved over four hundred years. He examines America’s history through thirteen documents that made the United States a new country in a new world: a free country. We are what we are because of them; we stay true to what we are by staying true to them.
Americans have always sought liberty, asked for it, fought for it; every victory has been the fulfillment of old hopes and promises. This is our nationalism, and we should be proud of it.

 

The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free

It is one of our most honored clichés that America is an idea and not a nation. This is false. America is indisputably a nation, and one that desperately needs to protect its interests, its borders, and its identity.

The Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump swept nationalism to the forefront of the political debate. This is a good thing. Nationalism is usually assumed to be a dirty word, but it is a foundation of democratic self-government and of international peace.

National Review editor Rich Lowry refutes critics on left and the right, reclaiming the term “nationalism” from those who equate it with racism, militarism and fascism. He explains how nationalism is an American tradition, a thread that runs through such diverse leaders as Alexander Hamilton, Teddy Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ronald Reagan.

In The Case for Nationalism, Lowry explains how nationalism was central to the American Project. It fueled the American Revolution and the ratification of the Constitution. It preserved the country during the Civil War. It led to the expansion of the American nation’s territory and power, and eventually to our invaluable contribution to creating an international system of self-governing nations.

It’s time to recover a healthy American nationalism, and especially a cultural nationalism that insists on the assimilation of immigrants and that protects our history, civic rituals and traditions, which are under constant threat. At a time in which our nation is plagued by self-doubt and self-criticism, The Case for Nationalism offers a path for America to regain its national self-confidence and achieve continued greatness.

Joy in the Wilderness

Of course, we know what transpired 4 years ago.

Twyla;
Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiescat in pace.
Amen.

In 2010 Jim and Twyla Taylor sold their small farm in Missouri, resigned the pastorate of the church where they had been for twenty years, sold most of their possessions, said goodbye to their family and friends, and moved halfway around the world to the nation of Mozambique, Africa.

There, in one of the poorer nations of the world, they began a new life.What would cause someone to leave everything they are familiar with and move from a comfortable life to the challenges of living in the Developing World?

As you follow their journey you will get a glimpse into the experience of making such a decision. You will also see what it is like to build a life in the Third World. And you will share in some of the many adventures they had. From visiting villages that white people had never visited to traveling bush trails and meeting some of the most beautiful people in the world, you will get a behind-the-scenes look at missionary life as it is lived day to day.

It is Jim’s prayer that some of you who have been feeling the urge to “go” will see that stepping out and actually doing it can be the adventure of a lifetime!

Gun Mania: A New Perspective – What We Must Do to Reduce Shootings, Homicides and Suicides in America

My strategy is that what gun a person owns is immaterial. People should be able to possess whatever gun they can afford. It’s what they do with the gun that they should be held accountable for. I think I’m going to buy this one and do a review of it.

Gun Mania: A New Perspective – What We Must Do to Reduce Shootings, Homicides and Suicides in America is now available in print and e-book formats. In it, Bruce D. Thatcher examines the historical reasons why guns are a core element of America’s culture, why guns are not significant in the cultures of other developed nations, and policy implications for reduction of gun-related and other homicides and suicides in America.

When confronted with gun-related deaths, many want guns to be the problem. They’re easy to see.  Dealing with them should be simple and fast; just pass new laws to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them … or from everyone. However, this approach hasn’t, doesn’t and won’t work in America.

Thatcher says, “How can we reduce death and injury caused by guns?” is the wrong question. A much better question is “how can we reduce the overall rates of suicide and violent crime?”
Gun Mania brings that question to the forefront by looking at the history of America and four other nations to identify why guns are a core element of only the American culture, and implications for reducing our rate of violent deaths.
The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were all settled and developed, initially, by migrants from the United Kingdom.
But key differences in the development circumstances led to guns becoming a core cultural element only in America.
Because guns are not significant in the cultures of these other countries, they have been able to implement substantial gun control. Because guns are a core element of the American culture, the sorts of gun measures that have been accepted in the other four countries generally will not work in America.
When confronted with the problem of gun deaths, many want guns to be the problem.
They’re easy to see. Dealing with them should be simple and fast; just pass new laws to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them, or from everyone.
However, this approach hasn’t, doesn’t and won’t work in America. A different strategy has far more potential for saving lives.

Let the word go forth:

This is the most conservative of all the Democratic presidential candidates, note well.

So, as the man says, let’s be clear: if you think it might be a bad idea for biological males to compete against your daughter in the high school women’s sports league, or that biological males do not belong in your daughter’s or wife’s locker room, or even if you dissent from gender ideology at all, as the left-wing feminist J.K. Rowling did publicly late last year — then you are on the same side as Bull Connor and the Ku Klux Klan, and will deserve the hatred you receive.

This is how left-wing identity politics works today. The Age of Entitlement, Christopher Caldwell’s dark, provocative new book illuminates how the concept of “civil rights” has been weaponized to demolish constitutional principles. If you’ve heard anything about the book, it’s probably something along the lines of this Jonathan Rauch review in the NYT. Excerpts:

In Caldwell’s telling, the Civil Rights Act, which banned many forms of discrimination, was a swindle. Billed as a one-time correction that would end segregation and consign race consciousness to the past, it actually started an endless and escalating campaign of race-conscious social engineering. Imperialistically, civil rights expanded to include “people of color” and immigrants and gays and, in short, anyone who was not native-born, white and straight — all in service of “the task that civil rights laws were meant to carry out — the top-down management of various ethnic, regional and social groups.”

With civil rights as their bulldozer, in Caldwell’s view, progressive movements ran amok. They “could now, through the authority of civil rights law, override every barrier that democracy might seek to erect against them”; the law and rhetoric of civil rights “gave them an iron grip on the levers of state power.”

Perhaps the author should have come up for oxygen when he found himself suggesting that the Southern segregationists were right all along. Reading this overwrought and strangely airless book, one would never imagine a different way of viewing things, one that rejects Caldwell’s ultimatum to “choose between these two orders.” In that view — my own — America has seen multiple refoundings, among them the Jackson era’s populism, the Civil War era’s abolition of slavery, the Progressive era’s governmental reforms and the New Deal era’s economic and welfare interventions. All of them, like the civil rights revolution, sparked tense and sometimes violent clashes between competing views of the Constitution and basic rights, but in my version of history, those tensions proved not only survivable but fruitful, and working through them has been an engine of dynamism and renewal, not destruction and oppression. I worry about the illiberal excesses of identity politics and political correctness, but I think excesses is what they are, and I think they, too, can be worked through. Being a homosexual American now miraculously married to my husband for almost a decade, I can’t help feeling astonished by a history of America since 1964 that finds space for only one paragraph briefly acknowledging the civil rights movement’s social and moral achievements — before hastening back to “But the costs of civil rights were high.”

Perhaps most depressingly, Caldwell’s account, even if one accepts its cramped view of the Constitution and its one-eyed moral bookkeeping, leads nowhere. It proffers no constructive alternative, no plausible policy or path. The author knows perfectly well that there will be no “repeal of the civil rights laws.” He foresees only endless, grinding, negative-sum cultural and political warfare between two intractably opposed “constitutions.” His vision is a dead end. Unfortunately, it also seems to be where American conservatism is going.

Rauch is not wrong in his description of the most controversial part of Caldwell’s book. Caldwell really does see the Civil Rights regime as where things went badly wrong. But Rauch, in my view, doesn’t take on Caldwell’s actual argument, but only asserts that these conflicts “can be worked through.” Boy, is that ever whistling past the graveyard. However, I have to admit that I never would have read a book that claimed the Civil Rights movement went wrong had it not been written by someone I respect as much as I do Christopher Caldwell. I read the book last week, and I’m glad I did, though I doubt I will read a more unsettling book all year………..

I strongly urge you to read Caldwell’s book, and not to assume that you understand it from reviews. Let me get one thing out of the way now: Caldwell does NOT say that segregation was right. For example, he denounces the Jim Crow South as a confederacy of “sham democracies,” and agrees that its apartheid system had to change. Yet the manner in which the state demolished segregation had dramatic unintended consequences. Caldwell’s argument is more like that of Sir Thomas More in this famous exchange from the Robert Bolt play A Man For All Seasons:

Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law?

More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

More: Oh? And, when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you – where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast – man’s laws, not God’s – and, if you cut them down – and you’re just the man to do it – d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.

Caldwell argues that to get at the devil of segregation, we cut down constitutional principles that are now destroying constitutional principles that few people in 1964 imagined would one day be at risk.