Saturday, February 20, 2010



In the interest of firmly and honestly establishing my positions, I am going to publish some Frequently Asked Questions. These are questions which have posed to me by friends, family, coworkers, and many others, and I am sure many others have wondered without asking.

Are you paranoid? Yes. I am unabashed on this point. I fully believe that not only are the people in the world who are capable of despicable violence, but there are people who intend to commit acts of violence, for whatever reason. These people are reported regularly in the news, worldwide. I am a living person with direct contact with other living people, therefore there is a possibility I will come into contact with these people. I make my preparation with an eye toward surviving that contact. This means I prepare for the possibility that someone may intend harm to me or my loved ones. These preparation are indicative of what is known socially as paranoia.

Are you a gun nut? Yes. Guns are a widely varying class of objects in which I find enjoyment, in both form and function. Many people enjoy similar objects, such as painting, carvings, ceramic figurines, silver spoons, coins, stamps, etc. I enjoy firearms. I also enjoy their value as a tool. This has multiple contexts as well, in that there is value in different firearms for different uses. My hunting rifles have definite value in regard to the pursuit of game. Other arms, such as handguns, have legitimate uses in defense and security. Since my personal belief system involves taking responsibility for my own safety and that of the people I love, I also keep defensive tools at hand. Additionally, I greatly enjoy shooting. This serves two functions, the first being the pursuit of happiness, the second being practice, in order to maintain proficiency. These habits are examples of what is socially understood as gun nut behavior.

Are you a Republican? No. My social and political views are too diverse to allow myself to be defined by such a narrow scope. Like any political party, it is comprised of individuals with varying beliefs. The closest statement to the truth would be that my political views more often coincide with the Republican party that with the Democratic Party. I maintain my own thinking apparatus and cast my vote as I see appropriate, without regard to Party instructions.

Are you a separatist? This is a much murkier subject. At the present time I do not believe we would be best served by leaving the Union. That situation could change in the future, given the circumstances. I believe it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness (also, it is much more efficient, and quieter). Imagine that the nation is a large, unlit room, full of people, each holding a candle to light (rather than curse the darkness). If a situation were to arise in which a large portion of the population in that room were busying themselves by blowing out said candles, I feel it would be beneficial to protect the candles from them, possibly removing them from the room, or, if there were more candle blowers than candle lighters, to find a different room. That the candle blowers would then be left in the dark would, at that point, cease to be my problem. When I see the majority portion of the US encouraging each other to live in the dark, I am taking my candle elsewhere.

Are you anti-government? No. Organized government is a social construct, the purpose of which is to maintain the society that created it. The organized government of THIS nation is a written contract, ratified by citizens, in which the basis of power is the approval of the populace. This is, I believe, the finest and least threatening form of government. HOWEVER, there is still opportunity for corruption and usurpation. The original drafters knew this to be the case and stalled certain safeguards within the language of our binding social contract which specifically limited power and distributed it between the various branches of government. The current danger from the government (directly, as it were), as I see it, is the presence of individuals within the government system who are willing to subvert and usurp the rule of law, in spite of the safeguards, and engage is actions, whether with good or ill intentions, that are disingenuous and threatening to the people of the United States. In subverting the language and the rule of law, they set precedent for future usurpers to build upon, thereby effectively, if not literally or legislatively, removing the safeguards, and warping the established system into a form unrecognizable to the original drafters. Some of this already seems to have taken place. What I oppose are those laws and constructs which subvert the original intent of our government. This, by common response, falls under the heading of Constitutionalism rather than anti-government which, by virtue of its definition, would be Anarchism.

Do you really think the Revolution is coming? Yes. Exactly what, where, how or when is immaterial. There is a likelihood that our civilization will fail and we will undergo a period of unrest. My preparations are undertaken to ensure that I, and as many as I can bring with me, will survive this period of unrest. In that situation, my accumulated survivalist, separatist, and generally post-apocalyptic skills will be key. If the revolution does not appear within my lifetime, then at the least I will have maintained those skills and imparted them to the future generations. The maintenance of those skills will then be THEIR burden. If I did a good job, though, when the revolution DOES come, and it WILL, whether in days, years, decades or generations, my descendents WILL BE PREPARED.

So there you have it. A few commonly asked questions, a few reasonable short answers, and hopefully you all better understand me. Rest assured that I am a paranoid, defensibly minded and distrustful rugged individualist. If you visit my home, you will be greeted by a large and vocal dog (quite nice once you get to know him, although that's not apparent at first) and given a quick security briefing, including the location of weapons and which are immediately ready for service as well as the most common or dangerous threats in the recent past. Sure a lot of people may think its weird. But if, some day, the shit really does hit the fan, won't you be glad to know someone who is prepared for it?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Why Michael Douglas is a badass...

Ok, so this might come as a surprise for a lot of you, but Michael Douglas has played some seriously badass roles. "Romancing the Stone" comes to mind.

Ok, ok, so he plays a rebel that gets tamed (slightly) by a hotty in trouble while simultaneously teaching her a little bit of badass. That's a well worked story line in Hollywood. But he did a good job of it.

However, the movie I'm currently considering is "The Ghost and the Darkness." Ostensibly a Val Kilmer flick, to those of us that are generally too young to really remember Michael Douglas, although even Val Kilmer is stretching a bit for some of us, but this is the (partially) true story of a bridge that needed built in Africa. Two lions are terrorizing the camp, killing workers and generally raising havoc for the British Empire, circa late 19th century.

Of note is how much I give a s*&t about the British Empire. We were part of its construction, and elected to better ourselves (at the time, I'm not really sure how we are faring currently).

However, Val Kilmer plays an Irish engineer (at one point, in the movie at least, he quips "I'm beyond conversion. My mother is a Roman Catholic and my father is a Protestant.") in charge of designing and building a bridge in East Africa. Given that he has trouble subduing the rampaging lions, a professional hunter is recruited, named Remington (as far as I know, no relation to the Illion, NY, Remingtons, although I could be wrong), played by Michael Douglas.

At one point in the movie, he is leaving a campfire, occupied by Patterson (Val Kilmer's engineer), Samuel (the lead guy that keeps the crew together, not sure who plays him), and the resident doctor (also don't know who plays him, though he looks familiar). Remington is going to join his friends, the Masai (a fascinating people) around a different bonfire, in a ritual dance. As he is leaving, the following exchange takes place:

Remington: I'm gonna join them now, and maybe convince each other that we're brave...

Doctor: I wouldn't think bravery was problem for you.

Remington: You hope each time, that it won't be... but you never really know...

I think, in any situation, that is one of the most genuinely true lines in Hollywood history, in ANY situation. The delivery, however, cements Michael Douglas in the Badass realm. Hands down.