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I don’t know what your schedule or other committments look like, but when you get a chance, could you consider the possibility of coming down? Your thoughts on this would influence our choice of venue and the potential cost to each of the attendees.
As it stands now, I think I could get 5-10, and I think the Dog / Cat team is hoping for significantly more. Unfortunately, I doubt many of the would-be attendees would all start posting on this thread right now (seems similar to Rowe). If I could pitch the conference by saying that "the guy who made the Crash Course is leading it," I know my recruitment would be more successful.
Excellent! Thanks Chris.
Also, Southern Maryland / Baltimore might be helpful if you can find that.
I am the poster formerly known as Student of Jefferson. Tom is alive and well and gives me insight most every day.
I hail from Lorton. Apparently few have ever heard of it and most that do say ‘prison’ next (ouch). It is in the southern area of northern Virginia, just south of Springfield, right on I-95. This pretty much puts me near the Lion’s Den of any disruptions that might occur and it has me feeling a sense of urgency, to say the least. You can learn a lot more about me on the "Reader Survey" thread, though you will have to sift through a great deal of intertribal matchmaking banter.
I personally don’t mind driving a little to find a good venue. Richmond might be the most accessible, but I would argue that it’s a terrible atmosphere in general for this sort of thing. My vote is for the Appalachian region, though I don’t have any venue ideas now. Above all though is taking action and actually getting this together, so I will happily compromise all else to meet this end.
Jarhett – I’m a recent new owner. I defer to the other posters on this thread for their expertise, but I can tell you my experience.
I got a Glock 19 (9mm compact) and have been nothing but happy with it. It is simple, easy to use, and rugged. It is also easy to clean. The size of the gun is perfect for me. The ammunition is economically priced relative to other calibers.
I’ve also got a Ruger 10/22. Nothing too fancy, but it has worked flawlessly for me.
Next, I’m looking at a 12 gauge, maybe a 1911 (0.45) and maybe a .308 – depending on where this all leaves me financially…
I fully agree with the other posters on a few items: Training is probably more important than the type of gun. Do it, do it often, do it with an instructor once in a while. Whatever gun you get, make sure you can shoot it a lot. Also, guns only go so far – martial arts, knives, dogs, perimeter lighting are all other considerations for personal security that you must evaluate.
I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but Obama already knows the content of the Crash Course. The CIA is telling him. These people at the top are not dumb and have access to far better, more privileged information than Chris.
The point is that Obama is a politician like any other. His success is largely resting in his ability to keep enough people happy to let him maintain his power. That is the issue here. There is no harm done in trying to influence Obama, but he would shrug his shoulders as 1,000x more people beg for bread and circus in other areas.
Our message is inherently politically unpopular. Further, consider that many in our society benefit greatly from the status quo. That is why there is so much inertia in the system. The potentially uncomfortable nature of our message is why education is key. We must inform the populous to the point that it becomes politically impossible to ignore these root issues any longer. That is, instead of asking Obama how he’s going to provide jobs and fix the economy, we need people swarming and asking him "What about Peak Oil?" Not just imported oil Peak Oil, and all that comes with it. We The People are the change. This is as grass roots as it gets.
And yes, being the change I wish to see in the world is far more interesting than asking our government to determine how to change my life for me.
I think most of what’s been said is pretty much accurate. We are not running out of all resources overnight, though exponentially increasing population and the potential for fast decreasing resource production can create large shortfalls very quickly. I don’t think that we have flat out exceeded the carrying capacity of the earth. But I think there is no doubt that we are basically at the carrying capacity of the earth for the McMansion / suburbia lifestyle. Still, there is a huge difference between voluntary and free downsizing (even of population) and Darwinian or conflict-based downsizing as a result of ignorance and inaction.
Thomas Jefferson reminds us that we do not need hoards of people to recognize the issues: "One man with courage is a majority." This means the courage to discuss and acknowledge unpleasant issues head-on and then (most importantly) the courage to act on this information and beliefs. Information and understanding are step one, and without it, there could be scary social consequences. That is why I strive to inform the 10%. If that 10% understands the significance of the issues on a deep enough level and has the courage to discuss it, that is all we need. The funny thing is that information dissemination is likely akin to exponential growth or a nuclear chain reaction (sorry, I’m an engineer). If each person on average informs just a few additional people, the knowledge can spread rather quickly. With the knowledge and understanding that this site creates comes a responsibililty of sorts. I’m not tasking people with extreme degrees of self sacrifice, but I am saying that the future is truly in our hands more than it ever has been before.
And I find that the recent turmoil, obvious failures of Washington to "fix" the economy, and the great amount of doublespeak has left a great number of people with significant skepticism that we are even shooting in the right direction. People are looking for an explanation and they are looking for truth, and not political demagoguery. I’d like to think that truth is a popular thing. Perhaps it is a test of our own degree of understanding and courage for each one of us to be able to raise these unpopular issues with others. We all have a vested interest. An uninformed, lied-to population that is forced to lose complexity is undoubtedly not a happy place to be. But a common understanding, individual liberty to prepare for the future, and an environment that welcomes change (i.e. a political atmosphere much different from the one we have now) would likely be a unifying force. I have hope, but my hope lies in action and education, not idleness, and not empty political promises.
My two cents.
Great post, Greg. When you’ve got a prison system that is a huge consumer of resources, there’s really only one way to go. It’s a good feeling for me and perhaps a better feeling for prisoners to see them contribute in one way or another. I would like to think that any skills or work ethic they acquire would tend to improve the odds that they will become contributing members of society once they are released. If not, then they can go back to prison where they will (hopefully) be compelled to contribute in some way.
Yeah, getting social welfare for crime angers me. Chain gangs should be the norm, especially if we are going to be on an infrastructure rebuild project. Of course, if our focus is to "recapitalize the banks" and re-instate the consumption "industry" in America, it is going to be a little harder to get criminals in as burger microwavers in McDonalds.
I think rehabilitation comes from work ethic, pride in work, etc. Some will remain truly incorrigible, but I’d like to think that at least some prisoners would be helped by having a legitimate occupation for their time. Lifting weights and watching tv doesn’t seem to be cutting it for whatever the reason. The results are horrendous. I’d like to see statistics on how many people make repeat visits to prison.
Releasing prisoers doesn’t exactly thrill me, but the US has the highest prison population on earth, which strikes me as cause for concern, one way or another. People should be held accountable for their crimes, but I’d like to think there are other ways than imprisonment for such a great number of relatively non-threatening crimes. I think the imprisonment should tend to be reserved for those that are a threat to society or a last resort rather than simply those that ticked off the IRS. Perhaps it’s idealistic, but I’d like to think we could try to punish some of these criminals in other ways. The reality is that We The Taxpayers get shafted when people get imprisoned in massive quantities (prison a wonderful form of social welfare and might be the one sector of our economy that is actually less productive than the government…). Ideally, having the prisoners produce things would be the rule, and not the exception. Instilling a work ethic can be a very healthy thing, in my opinion. Perhaps we could deploy some of our prisoners to work on select infrastructure or labor intensive jobs as we try to accomplish this great economic stimulation…
I don’t know of perfect solutions, but I do know this trend will continue. It is going to get increasingly difficult to maintain 1-2% of our adult population in prison as the economy tanks. Typical prison situations remove potentially productive members from our society and also consume resources in the forms of land, buildings, guards, etc. Again, I do not support amnesty, but we are going to have to do something to deal with this problem head on.
Comments are welcome.