It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons. In particular, the connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon — so long as there is no answer to it — gives claws to the weak.
The great age of democracy and of national self-determination was the age of the musket and the rifle. After the invention of the flintlock, and before the invention of the percussion cap, the musket was a fairly efficient weapon, and at the same time so simple that it could be produced almost anywhere. Its combination of qualities made possible the success of the American and French revolutions, and made a popular insurrection a more serious business than it could be in our own day. After the musket came the breech-loading rifle. This was a comparatively complex thing, but it could still be produced in scores of countries, and it was cheap, easily smuggled and economical of ammunition. Even the most backward nation could always get hold of rifles from one source or another, so that Boers, Bulgars, Abyssinians, Moroccans — even Tibetans — could put up a fight for their independence, sometimes with success. But thereafter every development in military technique has favoured the State as against the individual, and the industrialised country as against the backward one. There are fewer and fewer foci of power. Already, in 1939, there were only five states capable of waging war on the grand scale, and now there are only three — ultimately, perhaps, only two. This trend has been obvious for years, and was pointed out by a few observers even before 1914. The one thing that might reverse it is the discovery of a weapon — or, to put it more broadly, of a method of fighting — not dependent on huge concentrations of industrial plant.
What government is good at is: collecting taxes, taking away our freedoms, and killing people. It’s not good at much else. ~ Tom Clancy
Should President Obama be willing to print a $1 trillion platinum coin if Republicans try to force America into default? Yes, absolutely. Paul Krugman January 7, 2013
The fact that Krugman won the Nobel Prize in Economics and would make a statement like this says a lot about the lack of value in the Nobel prize and the intellect of Krugman. Talk about a farce.
From Thomas Sowell:
Whenever you hear people talking about “a living Constitution,”
almost invariably they are people who are in the process of
slowly killing it by “interpreting” its restrictions on government
out of existence.
Do either Barack Obama or his followers have any idea how many
countries during the 20th century set out to “spread the wealth”
— and ended up spreading poverty instead? At some point, you
have to turn from rhetoric, theories and ideologies to facts.
I am so old that I can remember when liberals were liberal — instead
of being intolerant of anything and anybody that is not politically
If you truly believe in the brotherhood of man, then you must
believe that blacks are just as capable of being racists as
One of the most foolish, and most dangerous, things one can
do is to take love for granted, instead of nurturing it and
safeguarding it as the prize jewel of one’s life.
“The people who make wars, the people who reduce their fellows to slavery,
the people who kill and torture and tell lies in the name of their sacred causes,
the really evil people in a word — these are never the publicans and the sinners.
No, they’re the virtuous, respectable men, who have the finest feelings, the best
brains, the noblest ideals.” — Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) English writer
Spammers need to keep finding ways to get past the spam filters. One way to do this and in the process hurt SpamCop users is to disguise your spam. Various methods exist to do this, but one that has an extra benefit is to make your spam look like a bill. People come to your web site or have to phone you to get removed from your mailing list. Both of which increase name recognition or contact with a potential customer.
Even better, SpamCop’s admins may view these as not spam since “they look like an unpaid bill” resulting in warnings for SpamCop users. This is just want spammers want – cause extra work for SpamCop and get SpamCop users warned about reporting something that is spam, but doesn’t look like it. Even better, since it looks like a bill and it requires effort to determine that it is not, you may not have to include an unsubscribe link so you can require people to call in to be removed, giving you an opening to sell to them.
You don’t even have to get the person’s name right – Jim Smith is as good as John Smith for admins at SpamCop who do not pay attention.