No

no

I remember first thinking about this years ago when someone would talk about their children as if they had absolutely no control over them. They would say things like, “they won’t come home on time” or “I can’t get them to eat dinner”. It was always kinda strange when I heard it, it was as if their child was a completely independent person who just did whatever they wanted and the parent couldn’t do anything about it. The parents genuinely felt helpless, they acted as if they were waiting for the child itself to make the correct decisions, or somebody or something else to interfere. It was sometimes tragically funny because the parent would complain about something like the kid spending too much money, and then I would ask, “where did they get the money” and the parent would reply, “I gave it to them”.

I was recently confronted with this when a man began telling me the extraordinary amount of money he was spending on a trip for his wife and kids to Europe. While he was explaining the reasons why they were going and the details of the trip, he repeatedly stopped to make sure and tell me that he thought it was a bad idea, unnecessary, a waste of money, impractical, etc. At the end of his story I told him that he should of just said no. His response was interesting, he felt as if he was helpless, as if it would be wrong somehow to say no, as if there was really nothing he could do about it now. I felt sorry for him, but it really got me thinking.

I started asking guys with wives and kids this question, “How much of your interactions with your wife and kids is you telling them no”, not surprisingly their response was, “a lot”. I started to think about society at large, about politics, about civilization, and I realized that it is all built upon one word, NO.

There is a reason that the ten commandments are negative commandments, they say “thou shalt not”. They are God saying to us “no”. It is our role to say no to ourselves, as well as our wives and children.

I think about it this way. Human nature is like a wild river, always flowing, sometimes low, sometimes high, sometimes calmly, sometimes wildly, always flowing.  Our default position, our “natural” state, is chaos, is animal desires, is sin. When we begin to say “no” to these desires we begin to channel the river, the more we say “no” is the construction of dykes, finally when we have mastered our use of “no” we have constructed a dam across the river regulating it’s flow, not shutting it off completely, but allowing the appropriate flows at the appropriate times.

I urge you men to say no. It is not you taking the fun out of life, it is you putting the order into it.

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Great Literature of our People. 8

scrooge

Below is the conversation between Scrooge and Marley from Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

 

“How now!” said Scrooge, caustic and cold as ever. “What do you want with me?”

“Much!”—Marley’s voice, no doubt about it.

“Who are you?”

“Ask me who I was.”

“Who were you then?” said Scrooge, raising his voice. “You’re particular, for a shade.” He was going to say “to a shade,” but substituted this, as more appropriate.

“In life I was your partner, Jacob Marley.”

“Can you—can you sit down?” asked Scrooge, looking doubtfully at him.

“I can.”

“Do it then.”

Scrooge asked the question, because he didn’t know whether a ghost so transparent might find himself in a condition to take a chair; and felt that in the event of its being impossible, it might involve the necessity of an embarrassing explanation. But the ghost sat down on the opposite side of the fireplace, as if he were quite used to it.

“You don’t believe in me,” observed the Ghost.

“I don’t,” said Scrooge.

“What evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your senses?”

“I don’t know,” said Scrooge.

“Why do you doubt your senses?”

“Because,” said Scrooge, “a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”

Scrooge was not much in the habit of cracking jokes, nor did he feel, in his heart, by any means waggish then. The truth is, that he tried to be smart, as a means of distracting his own attention, and keeping down his terror; for the spectre’s voice disturbed the very marrow in his bones.

To sit, staring at those fixed, glazed eyes, in silence for a moment, would play, Scrooge felt, the very deuce with him. There was something very awful, too, in the spectre’s being provided with an infernal atmosphere of its own. Scrooge could not feel it himself, but this was clearly the case; for though the Ghost sat perfectly motionless, its hair, and skirts, and tassels, were still agitated as by the hot vapour from an oven.

“You see this toothpick?” said Scrooge, returning quickly to the charge, for the reason just assigned; and wishing, though it were only for a second, to divert the vision’s stony gaze from himself.

“I do,” replied the Ghost.

“You are not looking at it,” said Scrooge.

“But I see it,” said the Ghost, “notwithstanding.”

“Well!” returned Scrooge, “I have but to swallow this, and be for the rest of my days persecuted by a legion of goblins, all of my own creation. Humbug, I tell you-humbug!”

At this the spirit raised a frightful cry, and shook its chain with such a dismal and appalling noise, that Scrooge held on tight to his chair, to save himself from falling in a swoon. But how much greater was his horror, when the phantom taking off the bandage round its head, as if it were too warm to wear in-doors, its lower jaw dropped down upon its breast!

Scrooge fell upon his knees, and clasped his hands before his face.

“Mercy!” he said. “Dreadful apparition, why do you trouble me?”

“Man of the worldly mind!” replied the Ghost, “do you believe in me or not?”

“I do,” said Scrooge. “I must. But why do spirits walk the earth, and why do they come to me?”

“It is required of every man,” the Ghost returned, “that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellowmen, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world—oh, woe is me!—and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness!”

Again the spectre raised a cry, and shook its chain and wrung its shadowy hands.

“You are fettered,” said Scrooge, trembling. “Tell me why?”

“I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost. “I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?

Scrooge trembled more and more.

“Or would you know,” pursued the Ghost, “the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have laboured on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!”

Scrooge glanced about him on the floor, in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he could see nothing.

“Jacob,” he said, imploringly. “Old Jacob Marley, tell me more. Speak comfort to me, Jacob!”

“I have none to give,” the Ghost replied. “It comes from other regions, Ebenezer Scrooge, and is conveyed by other ministers to other kinds of men. Nor can I tell you what I would. A very little more is all permitted to me. I cannot rest, I cannot stay, I cannot linger anywhere. My spirit never walked beyond our counting-house—mark me!—in life my spirit never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole; and weary journeys lie before me!”

It was a habit with Scrooge, whenever he became thoughtful, to put his hands in his breeches pockets. Pondering on what the Ghost had said, he did so now, but without lifting up his eyes, or getting off his knees.

“You must have been very slow about it, Jacob,” Scrooge observed, in a business-like manner, though with humility and deference.

“Slow!” the Ghost repeated.

“Seven years dead,” mused Scrooge. “And travelling all the time?”

The whole time,” said the Ghost. “No rest, no peace. Incessant torture of remorse.”

“You travel fast?” said Scrooge.

“On the wings of the wind,” replied the Ghost.

“You might have got over a great quantity of ground in seven years,” said Scrooge.

The Ghost, on hearing this, set up another cry, and clanked its chain so hideously in the dead silence of the night, that the Ward would have been justified in indicting it for a nuisance.

“Oh! captive, bound, and double-ironed,” cried the phantom, “not to know, that ages of incessant labour by immortal creatures, for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunities misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!”

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

It held up its chain at arm’s length, as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief, and flung it heavily upon the ground again.

“At this time of the rolling year,” the spectre said, “I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode? Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me?

Scrooge was very much dismayed to hear the spectre going on at this rate, and began to quake exceedingly.

“Hear me!” cried the Ghost. “My time is nearly gone.”

“I will,” said Scrooge. “But don’t be hard upon me! Don’t be flowery, Jacob! Pray!”

“How it is that I appear before you in a shape that you can see, I may not tell. I have sat invisible beside you many and many a day.”

It was not an agreeable idea. Scrooge shivered, and wiped the perspiration from his brow.

“That is no light part of my penance,” pursued the Ghost. “I am here tonight to warn you, that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate. A chance and hope of my procuring, Ebenezer.”

“You were always a good friend to me,” said Scrooge. “Thank’ee!”

“You will be haunted,” resumed the Ghost, “by Three Spirits.”

Scrooge’s countenance fell almost as low as the Ghost’s had done.

“Is that the chance and hope you mentioned, Jacob?” he demanded, in a faltering voice.

“It is.”

“I—I think I’d rather not,” said Scrooge.

“Without their visits,” said the Ghost, “you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. Expect the first to-morrow, when the bell tolls one.”

“Couldn’t I take ’em all at once, and have it over, Jacob?” hinted Scrooge.

“Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. The third upon the next night when the last stroke of Twelve has ceased to vibrate. Look to see me no more; and look that, for your own sake, you remember what has passed between us!”

Introduction to Guns.

 

old_gun

There are many different types of guns, one could write whole tomes on them, but the purpose of this article is to just briefly explain the most common types, this is by no means a definitive work on guns.

The two main categories of common guns are handguns and long guns. Handguns are small, designed to be held in the palm of the hand, long guns are longer and are designed to be held and braced against the shoulder.

Handguns, which are also commonly referred to as pistols, can be further broken down into two main types, revolvers and semi-automatics (some people don’t call revolvers pistols).  A revolver has a rotating cylinder which holds the cartridges. Cartridges consist of a metal case which holds the primer, gun powder, and the bullet, much of the time cartridges are referred to as simply, bullets. As the hammer is cocked (pulled back), the cylinder rotates, putting the next cartridge in position to be struck by the hammer when it falls. The hammer falls due to the trigger being pulled. (On a single action revolver the hammer is pulled back with your thumb, on a double action revolver pulling the trigger will cock the hammer, rotate the cylinder, and fire the gun.)

revolver

Semi-automatics have a removable magazine (this magazine is often referred to as a clip) that holds the cartridges. On a semi-auto, when the gun is fired, the slide is thrust back expelling the spent cartridge and is pulled back via spring pushing the next cartridge from the magazine into the chamber.

semi-auto-nomenclature-copy

Long guns can also be broken down into two main categories, shotguns and rifles. Long guns have several different methods of getting the cartridges into the chamber, so I won’t get into that. The two main differences between a shotgun and a rifle is the type of ammunition and the barrel design. A shotgun has a smooth barrel and generally shoots cartridges which contain several bullets, often referred to as shot. The shot can vary in size and number depending on the cartridge and the size of the shotgun.

shotgun

Rifles are so named because their barrels interiors are not smooth. Inside of the barrel there is rifling, which are small groves that run the length of the barrel, twisting as they go (handguns also have rifled barrels). Rifle cartridges contain one bullet.

partsofboltaction

The Way of Women

the-way-of-women

I read Jack Donovan’s book “The Way of Men” a few years ago. In it he outlines what it means to be a man, not in a moral or ethical way, but more in a Plato’s forms way. He tries to distill the idea of a man down to its core, its most basic characteristics. Where he finally arrives is four main “tactical virtues”: Strength, Courage, Mastery, and Honor. In his book he goes into detail on all four, and I highly recommend you read it; I agree with most of his conclusions. Based on his book, and several conversations I have had with my wife over the years, I started thinking along the same lines as Jack, but instead of men, I wanted to define women.

So what would be the defining virtues of a woman? It is not so easily answered as it is asked. I started to think of what a perfect, what an ideal, woman would look like, what she would act like. So after thinking on it for some time I came up with four virtues of the ideal woman. Before I list these traits, a few words about relationships must be said. The main relationships in a man’s life are with other men, mostly men within his clan, but the main relationships in a woman’s life are with her men, very specific men, either her father, or her husband. A woman is lost, is feral, is out of control if she is not anchored to a man, so the nature of her life, and her traits, are different than a man’s.

The virtues of an ideal woman are: Beauty, Submission, Mastery, and Loyalty.

Beauty. This is not just literal physical beauty (symmetrical face, full breasts, slender figure) although that is an important part of it, this is also beauty of speech, beauty of movement. It is the way in which she takes care of her body, keeping it in good shape, cleaning it, dressing it in appropriate clothing. It is the way she maintains her hair, brushing it, braiding it, not cutting it short, or leaving it a mess. It is not the words she speaks, but the way in which she speaks, the tone of her voice, speaking softly, gracefully, never interrupting, never yelling. It is the way she carries herself, the way she walks, the way she sits, the way her body moves, not recklessly, but deliberately gentle and subtle.

Submission. This is the trait of submitting to the wishes and commands of your father or husband. A woman is a support, is a helper, is a sidekick, and she performs this best when she follows the will of the man who is responsible for her. This is, although there is more to it, simply put, doing what she is told, not arguing, not complaining, not trying to convince herself that she shouldn’t listen, not trying to convince him that what he is asking is wrong or stupid. True submission is not only doing what you are told, but is doing what you are told because you truly accept and respect the authority of the one to whom you are submitting.

Mastery. This one is very similar to Jacks one for men, it is a utilitarian virtue. It is cooking, it is cleaning, it is grocery shopping, it is taking care of children, it is sewing, it is making the house a home, it is feeding guests, it is running errands, it is arranging social events. It is not only doing these things, but doing them well, doing them completely, efficiently.

Loyalty. This is the trait of showing, through her words and her actions, that she is completely and utterly devoted and bound to her man. She is always at his side, not just literally, but figuratively. No matter what occurs, no matter where she is, no matter who is against her, there is never a question as to where her allegiance lies, it is always with her man.