Friday, May 28, 2010

The SC Republican primary offers some...

The SC Republican primary offers some stark contrasts.  On the one hand you have career politicians like Andre Bauer and Henry McMaster who have never known a "real job".  Then you have Gresham Barrett and Nikki Haley.  Relative newcomers to politics.  Why does this matter?  It matters because power corrupts.  Being in politics is also very jading. 

In SC we need fresh eyes on our state's problems.  New solutions.  What we have done and are doing now isn't working or isn't working fast enough.  Mark Sanford despite his "issues" has tried his best to keep the state in the black.  But, as long as the state of SC is beholding to the US government (thing education) for so much of its programs and funding, managing the "red" and the "black" is never going to be in our own hands.  No party and no person can manage the states finances correctly if we are subject to whims of the Federal Government.

With this in mind, who is our best candidate for Governor of South Carolina?  Well it is not Henry McMaster who has been in politics long enough to be best friends with John Spratt!  Sure he mustered a little courage to stand up to the Feds this year, but he could and SHOULD have had that stance all along.  Which begs the question, why the courage this year... an election year?

Andre Bauer is a career politician like no other.  Politics, minus a short career selling sporting goods, is all that Andre has ever known.  I have nothing against him as a person, and he might even be a "good" politician.  But, he is not Governor material.

This leaves Barrett and Haley.  Both qualified, both capable.  I personally lean towards Halley because she seems the most likely to ATTACK South Carolina's problems.  She also has the benefit of being the opposite of "jaded".  From LEGAL immigrant parents she still appreciates the exceptional nature of South Carolina and the USA.  She sees the benefits and offerings available to all of us.

As a Post Script, to all the people with Vincent Sheheen signs in their yard?  Really?  Have you looked around this world?  Would another democrat in power anywhere in the world be a good thing right now?  Another person who thinks that the Federal government is the best entity to handle problems here at home!  When in fact, shipping our taxes to Washington just to have them redistributed as Washington sees fit IS THE PROBLEM.  If you are a business owner and support Sheheen then come see me.  I want to ask you some tough questions!

The SC Republican primary offers some...

The SC Republican primary offers some stark contrasts.  On the one hand you have career politicians like Andre Bauer and Henry McMaster who have never known a "real job".  Then you have Gresham Barrett and Nikki Haley.  Relative newcomers to politics.  Why does this matter?  It matters because power corrupts.  Being in politics is also very jading. 

In SC we need fresh eyes on our state's problems.  New solutions.  What we have done and are doing now isn't working or isn't working fast enough.  Mark Sanford despite his "issues" has tried his best to keep the state in the black.  But, as long as the state of SC is beholding to the US government (thing education) for so much of its programs and funding, managing the "red" and the "black" is never going to be in our own hands.  No party and no person can manage the states finances correctly if we are subject to whims of the Federal Government.

With this in mind, who is our best candidate for Governor of South Carolina?  Well it is not Henry McMaster who has been in politics long enough to be best friends with John Spratt!  Sure he mustered a little courage to stand up to the Feds this year, but he could and SHOULD have had that stance all along.  Which begs the question, why the courage this year... an election year?

Andre Bauer is a career politician like no other.  Politics, minus a short career selling sporting goods, is all that Andre has ever known.  I have nothing against him as a person, and he might even be a "good" politician.  But, he is not Governor material.

This leaves Barrett and Haley.  Both qualified, both capable.  I personally lean towards Halley because she seems the most likely to ATTACK South Carolina's problems.  She also has the benefit of being the opposite of "jaded".  From LEGAL immigrant parents she still appreciates the exceptional nature of South Carolina and the USA.  She sees the benefits and offerings available to all of us.

As a Post Script, to all the people with Vincent Sheheen signs in their yard?  Really?  Have you looked around this world?  Would another democrat in power anywhere in the world be a good thing right now?  Another person who thinks that the Federal government is the best entity to handle problems here at home!  When in fact, shipping our taxes to Washington just to have them redistributed as Washington sees fit IS THE PROBLEM.  If you are a business owner and support Sheheen then come see me.  I want to ask you some tough questions!

The Physics of Personal Defense

The Physics of Personal Defense

In previous posts we have covered some of this.  But I want to be a bit more specific and make some recommendations.

  1. Newton's Third Law of Motion.  Basically, for ever action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Two people on roller skates pushing off of each other will depart each other in an equal and opposite way (other factors being equal).  Think of your bullet (projectile) as skater 1 and your gun as skater two pushing off of each other.  Of course mass and a few other factors weigh into the effect, but basically you bullet will impact with similar force to what you felt when firing the projectile. 

    This factors into my previous posts on the Myth of knock down power.  Generally handguns have either NONE or very little.  Hollywood has done us no favors here.  When targets go down from being shot with a handgun it is because it was a "good" shot landing in a critical area incapacitating the target, or it was because of a mixture of physical and psychological factors associated with being shot.  Factors like fear and pain.  Even modeling behavior.  You are supposed to stop and fall when you are shot... so you do!
  2. Kinetic Energy.  Or as we like to say... damage or knockdown power.  Mass times Velocity Squared.  The energy imparted on the target is the mass of your projectile times the speed/velocity of your projectile.  The heavier the projectile (mass) the more damage.  The faster the projectile (velocity) the more damage.

    This means that given a choice you GENERALLY will always opt for more speed to gain more damage.  Why??  Because Velocity is Squared.  It follows that more speed adds an exponential increase in damage.  The exception being pistol rounds.  A good rule of thumb would be 2000 ft per second. 

    Until your projectile is traveling MORE than 2000 ft/s you should opt for a larger and heavier bullet to do more damage.  Why?  Until you are traveling around 2000 ft/s the secondary wound channel will be too small to produce significant damage.  There are two wounds a bullet makes.  The primary wound channel is roughly the size of the projectile entering the target.  The secondary wound channel is based on the speed the bullet is moving through the target.  It is like waves coming off of a boat.  Or a rock thrown into a pond.  The faster you throw it the bigger the ripple or waves.

    This "wave" is your second wound channel that in high velocity does so much damage.

So what does this mean in terms of Personal Defense.

  • be able to accurately fire your handgun.  An accurate shot will do more good than two or three that get no where near a critical area.
  • shoot as much gun as is prudent.  If you can handle a 45 acp and it is practical to have it with you... have it with you.  If it is going to be a "left-it" gun, drop a caliber and use a gun you will tote.  (left-it in the house, left-it in the car, left-it on the night stand)
  • if possible and prudent always opt for a high velocity rifle.  If you live in an apartment surrounded on three sides by neighbors, I am not sure a rifle is best.  If you have children, and in a home defense situation you would need to move from your location to their's, a shoulder fired gun might not be best.  This depends on you, your situation and aptitude with a rifle.
  • no matter what gun you use practice and expect to put multiple rounds on target.  In terms of stopping power... more is better.  Accuracy is best.



Friday, May 21, 2010

FEDS: We may not process illegals referred from Arizona...

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/05/21/official-says-feds-process-illegals-referred-arizona/

Really... then AZ should deport them.

When the US federal system isn't doing its job then the states are left to do it.

That is what is going on in AZ. I am actually pro-immigration. I don't want a wall or mass deportations. But I am also a federalist. AZ is within its rights to do what it is doing. IF the federal apparatus doesn't do its job then AZ can do it for them!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

25 Things No One Asks Politicians

25 Things No One Asks Politicians
 
1.  What is you political philosophy and how did you come to it?  Follow Up:  Would you be willing to publicly defend your political philosophy?  When?

2.  What, is the role of local/state/federal government?  Follow Up:  Is that role being performed now?  Effectively/Efficiently/Honestly?  

3.  What is (will be) your role in government?  Follow Up:  How do you measure yourself as to whether you are being effective/efficient/honest in your role?

4.  Do you agree with the statement "All governments have a natural inertia towards growth."?  Follow Up:  Can you name a time when a government shrank by its own hand and by a significant amount relative to its size at that time in history?

5.  What is the role of government social services?  Follow up:  Anecdotally and Scientifically people appreciate less something that is given to them versus something they earn.  With that in mind, how do you justify a fit person receiving social service aid year after year?

6.  Describe "Private Property" and how it relates to government.  

7.  If a citizen or the press accused you of spin, pandering or evading a question would you be willing to answer those charges publicly to the satisfaction of the citizen/press?

8.  Anecdotally it seems many have a poor view of politicians.  Why do you think that is?  

9.  What is the difference between a "politician" and a "statesman".

10.  How malleable is the Constitution on a scale of 1-10, one being Steel and 10 being Clay?

11.  What do you see as the major successes of our nation/state/municipality?  Follow Up:  Are these successes because of government, nothing to do with government or in spite of government?

12.  What are our major shortfalls?  Follow Up:  Are these shortfalls because of government, nothing to do with government, or in spite of government?

13.  How much money did it take for you to be elected?

14.  Are you part of the "political elite"?  Who is?

15.  What is meant by "Tyrannies of the Majority"?

16.  What is meant by "Tyrannies of the Elite"?  Follow Up:  What systems are in place, if any, to prevent these tyrannies.

17.  What is your view of State's Rights or Federalism?  

18.  Who knows what is best for you and your children, the government or you?

19.  Do you believe that local/state governments are better equipped to handle issues of "morality" and "education" than the federal government?

20.  Assuming that the current tax burden is about right, shouldn't we be paying vastly more money in taxes individually(and business) to state and local governments than to the federal government, the level of government that is furthest from our individual problems/issues/opportunities?  

21.  If governments must redistribute wealth, would not it stand that those governments most local to the citizenry are best equipped to collect and distribute that wealth fairly -because they can see the issues and facts most clearly and distribute that wealth efficiently -because there would be less bureaucracy and better access to those politicians that control the spending?  

22.  What is your opinion of "career politicians"?

23.  Describe a non public sector "real job" (not relating in any way to politics, public policy or government) you have held and were successful doing.

24.  What are your thoughts on this parable as it relates to government:  "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime."

25.  Do you believe in American Exceptionalism?  Explain.


By Benjamin Parrish Cook

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Key to Wining an Armed Confrontation

A Key to Wining an Armed Confrontation

If you are ever unlucky enough to find yourself in a situation where you must defend yourself with lethal force there is one "trick" to having a serious advantage.  That is to be able to move and shoot.

If you can move laterally and still hit your target you have just created a huge advantage for yourself.  Firing a gun accurately is tough enough.  Doing so in a stressful situation is doubly so.  But, then adding to the mix that your target is on the move and returning fire... well.  No thanks.  I would rather just run, take cover or surrender.  But even if your target isn't as smart as me and doesn't bug-out or surrender you can be assured that the advantage is yours if you learn how to shoot on the move.

Shooting Vid 1     Shooting Vid 2

The Myth of "Knock Down Power".

The Myth of "Knock Down Power".

In a nutshell there is none if your pistol doesn't start in "4" or better.  As well, then it is more of a psychological reaction than a physical reaction to being shot IF you do not score a hit in a critical area.

Newton's law of physics says for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  So, if the gun doesn't knock you down when you shoot it, it won't knock someone down when the bullet hits them.  There are other factors of course. 

A 9mm has been accused of being a poor defense caliber.  I even made such accusations at one time.  NOW, I think 9mm is a fine defense caliber and is perfect for small concealable handguns.  It is fast, and has minimal recoil (except when fired from a small handgun like a Kel-tec PF-9 or Taurus 709 Slim).  It also has NO knock down power.  Nor does a 38spl, or a 357 mag, or a 40 s&w, or a 380 acp or, or, or... 

Now, hold up.  I know many of you reading this want to disagree with me on the 357.  And, I will give you that it has more "knock down power" than any other caliber listed above, but it suffers from a small projectile and a high velocity.  Meaning, it is likely to not expend all of its kinetic energy on the target, but rather pass through.  With a proper defense round, it could stay in target, or leave with minimal force left to impart.  But it still suffers from a small projectile, which means a small primary wound channel.  As well, while it travels fast for a pistol bullet, it travels too slow to create a significant secondary wound channel.

The 45 acp loaded to travel over 950 ft/sec is your best option for knock down.  Even it will only provide limited push in the "opposite" direction on your target.  But, bullet size, type of bullet and projectile speed will make sure that all of the energy it has to impart on a target is transmitted.  Again, remember, if you want to approximate what your target would feel when hit with a bullet... just shoot your firearm.  What you feel is a good approximation. 

What makes most targets "go down" is either a hit in a critical area or the psychological effects of being shot... perceived pain, fear, etc.  So what does this mean for the average shooter.  It means don't be an average shooter.  Be proficient with your chosen personal defense firearm(s).  It means be able to hit what you aim at.  It means be able to put multiple rounds on target.  It means Hollywood isn't real and no ones arm will be blown off and no one will be sent backwards through plate glass.  Physics... It's the LAW.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Dog Molly


I just buried Molly, well watched a nice neighbor with a back-hoe do all the lifting. The whole time I was thinking. "God that is a lot of dirt for me to fill in if he doesn't offer to fill it in." But I didn't want him to fill it in, I wanted to have a quick moment with Molly before she returned to nature. Instead he did offer and I accepted. So rather than the "moment" I chunked her unceremoniously down a 4 foot hole and said a few words under my breath. Not at all what I had in mind. And even though we are nearing the end of April it was cold. It was dark with ominous clouds, distant thunder and blowing rain. Despite the fact that Molly and I didn't have our planned moment, nature gave it to us anyway. It was Molly having her last growl, her last bark and her last wet kisses. Molly will be missed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" May 20th!!!

On May 20th, please create your best interpretation of the Muslim profit Muhammad.

This is a show of Solidarity with all artists who dare create their visions of a religious figure.

This is also to speak in a clear voice to Muslim/Religious extremists that threaten violence... and turn those threats against them.

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/2010/04/muslim_extremis.php

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Review of "Emergency, This book wil...

A Review of "Emergency, This book will save your life.

What I hate about reviews is I have to read them.  So, I will get to the point for all the impatiant uber-male types that want the guts without the frills.

Buy the book and read it.  Don't put it down when Neil Strauss seems like a spaghetti spine liberal, endure.  While he doesn't get it completely at the end, it is a great journey that he lets us in on. 

Neil does a great job relating his growth from a person reliant on the system to a person who is self reliant.  He discovers via his attempts to have a "bug-out" plan to leave the US in the event of something catostrophic -like a major national disaster, terrorist attack or the total collapse of the US economy- that he doesn't possess any of the knowledge or skills to make it out, or to make it on his own once he is out.

Along the way he dispels a few myths about gun ownership, survivalists and the generally paranoid.

It is well written and ADD-types will appreciate his varietal style and short chapters.  People from the rural south will particualarly love this read as it confirms what we already know.  Most folks in big cities will be eating each other in 30 days after a real disaster, while we will be growin' tomatoes and brewing ethanol to live on in most of rural America, especially the littler latitudes.

So go.  Buy the book.

A letter to Neil Strauss regarding "Emergency".

Neil,

Wow!  I couldn't put it down.  I read most of the book in one night.  And while I loved the book I thought the ending was a bit odd.  You realize in the book that the government can't save you, but then suggest the government is going to save us at the end.

Along your journey you figured out what realists/fliesians have always known, that the government no matter its size has limited capabilities and it is us not the government that makes changes on the ground that last and that matter.  The residents of New Orleans figured it out the hard way.  Yet, in the final chapters you revert to the same error in attribution that started your journey.  You allow the government back in.  This time in the form of a politician.  Barack Obama. 

No career politician will lead us out of our current doldrums.  Can he inspire.  Yes.  But that is not what he is doing.  And to look to a politician for answers considering where they have lead this country is a dangerous thing. 

I am not talking Republican or Democrat here.  I am talking over reliance on the US government.  More people now are on some type of government assistance than are not on it.  That says something.  That means that 50% of the country is a Chapter-One Neil Strauss and less than half are Last-Chapter Neil Strauss.

I don't want to seem too political here.  That is not my point.  But did you ever stop to think about how those that taught you your skills generally vote?  I would be willing to bet that most vote Republican.  "Republican" means less and less everyday, but my point is they are likely Realists and Conservatives.  Or, like it or not... neo-fliesians. 

Which is where I would put you at the end of your book.  Not so much a fliesian anymore but a realist slash fliesian.  There is no way a person who generally sees the world for what it is (yet hopes for what it can be) could ever really think that a President of the US, much less one whose number one credential was his race, would provide a path out of our current problems.

You made it all that way, learning that you can't rely on the government WTSHTF only to end the book in a way that suggests we rely on the government.  I just don't get it.

I hope I am not coming off as an anarchist.  I am far from it.  I believe as C.E.M.P. does.  WTSHTF you look to your family first, then your immediate community then your broader community.  There is real wisdom there.  It is also a maxim for government and how our Founders hoped we would run this country.  Smaller more localized governments are best equiped to service their constituency.  A broader government is ill equipped to service, but it is better equipped to redistribute wealth on a wide scale, but the smaller states must have control over that redistribution...  We no longer do. 

When you listed the Federal bueracracy that snaps into "action" when there is an emergency that was a beautiful illustration.  That lethargic beast, the Leviathan, can not be relied upon to save any of us.  Nor can it be relied upon to fix the problems it has caused.  I was hoping all throughout your book you would come to this conclusion. "It is about personal responsibility."

To say something about personal responsibility rather than "hope" from a politician...

Luckily the ending doesn't ruin the book for me.  But, it does make your growth in the book suspect.  The Psychology Major in me wants to suggest that even after your personal growth from the one likely to be the first eaten or killed to the one prepared to survive you are holding tightly to the biases you held when you started.  George Bush, bad.  Obama, good.  Or Republican, bad.  Democrat, good.  Or Iraq war, bad.  No war, good.  When those biases betray you every time because they are based on outmoded paradigms that I hope you no longer subscribe to. 

Now I hope you see that Neil is in charge.  And that life is not that simple.  Eight years of Bush, wasn't all bad.  Republicans and Democrats, generally all bad... maybe a few good. 

The country that scared you into this journey in 2004 is still here.  It is still the Leviathan but it is wearing another teams jersey.  THAT is the only difference.

Now is where I try to sell you AMWAY and pass out the kool-aid. 

It is obvious you were not a Conservative before the book.  You should be now.  You should be for personal responsibility, individual rights and State's Rights (Federalism).  You should see the US Gov for the Nanny State that it is.  Out of control.  Running on pure inertia towards implosion due to its own bloat and girth.

Forget the bullshit about Christian-Conservative and Neo-Conservative.  Fuck Pat Robertson and Karl Rove.  They are not Conservatives.  If you ever run into a "Conservative" that hyphenates they are little "c" conservatives that serve two masters.  At the end of your journey I would have thought that you would have figured out that Neil is in charge of Neil and no one in the White House can change that.  That is Nature's Law and the 10th Amendment.  Remember how you grew into a new understanding of the 2nd Amendment and how you now look at it with similar reverance to the 1st amendment?  What I am talking about now is the same thing, but now embrace the 10th amendment.

Let go the Chicago-High-Rise/Chapter-One Neil Strauss and give into the Realist Neil that sees the world for what it is and hopes for what it can be.  (Said with my best Star Wars Emperor voice.) 

If you have made it this far and are not screaming "NO it's not true, I'll never join you"...  Let's have coffee.

Benjamin Cook
Right-Wing Propagandist and Local Arms Dealer

Monday, March 15, 2010

Major General Bob Livingston, says he will not confiscate guns via a federal order.

Major General Bob Livingston fielding the last question from the Palmetto Conservative Show, a blog show, said he would not confiscate firearms even via a federal order. Alluding to the fact that it would violate the Constitution that he as sworn an oath to, the Major General explained that his oath would prevent him and other Constitutionally sworn federal officers from carrying out this hypothetical order.

This interview was on: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cbmedia-network/2010/03/16/the-palmetto-conservative-show

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tenets of Conservatism

As I see it:

Limited Government. Conservatives understand that all governments grow. That they have a natural inertia towards growth. Without measures to control that growth we get Hobbes' Leviathan.

Restraint Based Values. Any values system, religious or otherwise, that is based on personal restraint and responsibility is Conservative-friendly.

Personal Responsibility. It is the individuals responsibility to provide for him/herself and for the family. This includes security as well as education and economic concerns.

International Affairs. Conservatives understand that engagement abroad is a necessity. Our way of life must be represented and defended when necessary. Economic disengagement abroad is not an option as economies become more global everyday.

Federalism. State's Rights are not an antiquated part of US History but are a necessary part of our future. Federal over-reach threatens everything that is American. Conservatives believe in a Union of 50 sovereign states. The concept of Federalism is based a basic premise that the smallest government entity able to perform a task will be the most effective, efficient and easiest to hold accountable.

The Enemy of Tyranny. Conservatives are the natural adversary of tyranny. Our core principles stand in direct opposition to all tyrants including and especially Tyrannies of the Majority and the Elite/Elect.

Constitutional Stricture. The Constitution must not be as malleable as clay but rather as iron. Not impossible to cast or to shape, but difficult, time consuming and measured.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Information Ownership Act

The Information Ownership Act

Recognizing the evolving importance of secure personal information,

Understanding that the collection, dissemination and synthesis of this information has worth,

Understanding that abuse, fraud and government intrusion or over-reach are but a few of the dangers of unsecured personal information,

Confirming that individuals are the best owners, lessors and arbiters of their own property and information,

Introduced is the Information Ownership Act.

1. Any personal information generated or collected via a commercial relationship is owned by the individual citizen and not the commercial entity. 
2. The commercial entity possesses the information for the sole purpose of maintaining the commercial relationship between itself and the private individual.
3. At the close of the commercial relationship the commercial entity may keep in its possession a copy of all information generated and use it internally.
4. Any selling or disclosing of information must be done with permission and compensation to the individual owning the personal information.
5. Commercial entities may not, as condition of service, require individuals to waive or amend their rights in regards to their personal information. 
6. Commercial entities must disclose in detail any charges or fees associated with maintaining personal information.
7. Commercial entities are liable for negligent use, or loss of personal information. 
8. There is a reasonable expectation of privacy in regards to personal information created via a commercial relationship.
9. Commercial entities that maintain financial or medical personal information must disclose all policies, fees, procedures and safeguards to the individual via a clear "plain English" disclosure.
10. Commercial entities must immediately provide to owners of personal information, at a reasonable cost, all information created and maintained by the commercial entity upon request.


This Act is clearly designed to cover this non-exhaustive list: mobile phone information including any location data - internet access data including browsing habits and usage between the user and service provider - all medical information - all financial information including credit and commercial reports - any personal information that has worth or is reasonably considered private or valuable.

This Act is clearly NOT designed to cover this non-exhaustive list: simple over the counter transactions - purchases made or commercial relationships created while physically outside the United States - criminal background checks - tax information - personal information generated or exchanged for simple transactions that is not subject to data mining, resale or third party synthesis.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Avatar... great movie... childish message.

Hey it's fantasy!

Yeah... that could not be more true. Even the overall tone that at one point seems like a lecture is pure fantasy.

Now, let me quickly say that I plan on giving James Cameron some more of my money as soon as it comes out on DVD. I might even see it again to get the full 3D effect. (Hey, see it in 3D... don't be cheap.) I LOVE this movie. I really do.

But, since Cameron's lecture is sooooo prevalent and the demographic for this movie so willing to be led by the nose... I feel I must respectfully protest it's cultural relativity message.

If you don't know cultural relativity is basically the belief that all cultures have a right to exist and that one shouldn't dominate the another.

WRONG...

It is this kind of Mickey-Mouse Pollyanna thinking that drives me nuts.

My thinking on the meshing of cultures is simple, trade up or you will be engaged in a protracted struggle to survive.

What do I mean by "trade up". Simple. When two cultures meet the less dominant and less modern culture has no choice but to trade up for the dominant culture. The more progressed, more modern, more advanced.

If the less dominant culture chooses to hinder this trade, this inevitable trade, a protracted conflict is possible. The result is that the dominant culture succeeds and the less dominant culture suffers.

Concepts as large as "cultures" survive in a state of nature or every culture for itself, or a completely self-serving agenda. Because of this self-serving nature in which no culture has at any relative time an advantage over another culture this concept is logically and ethically sound.

It is in effect a sort of natural selection for cultures. The ones that work survive, the ones that don't will eventually be taken over by the more dominant selections. Things that "work" in the less dominant cultures survive or assimilate with other working dominant culture aspects. Things that don't "work" are discarded.

This is and always has been the way of things. The victims of this "trade up" system are often dear to the less dominant culture. Languages, traditions, land, resources are lost to the less dominant culture. These are redistributed via the dominant culture's system or discarded. This redistribution and discarding of once important parts of the less dominant culture are quite expectantly painful and hard to cope with. But, the utility of this assimilation is undeniable and fair.

Is it fair in a particular instance? Not always. Can examples of horribly inhuman treatment be found in the history of meshing cultures? Of course. But in a utilitarian, do the most good and the least harm, sense it is the only rational system available, and in fact is the only system available.

Attempts to thwart the "trade up" only result in a delaying of the inevitable and protracted suffering borne mostly by the least dominant culture.

How does this translate to the Na'Vi in Avatar?

First let me say I understand the license taken to make the Na'Vi appear flawless and completely endearing. I get it. But if you are going to have a message it needs to be accurate. This movie could have been just as good and just as successful without the lecture.

A simple but accurate observation of the Na'Vi is that they are of course tribal, yet none of the horrible cultural practices that many "tribal" cultures have exist in the Na'Vi culture. No honor killings, no cannibalism, polygamy, no arranged marriages no female genital mutilation, and no infanticide.

A more advanced culture that doesn't rely on tribal principles to maintain order and predictability shuns these tribal practices because they are no longer needed. Ordered systems of government and civil society replace polygamy, FMJ and other acts we now find horrific or outside the norm. Witchcraft, wizardry and oracles are replaced by the much more reliable and predictable philosophy, scientific method and logic.

Cameron knows this so he had to create a fictional device to over come it. This device is the Na'Vi ability to network with nature. This small but important fictional element actually proves my point. That without this fictional parallel that made the Na'Vi pseudo-modern they were in fact a much less dominant culture. One that could benefit from the human culture in both the painful short term and utilitarian long term.

Emotionally we pull for the Na'Vi. But the bad guy... modernity (the same modernity that allows for this kind of advanced cinematography) has just as much "right" to advance as a culture has to survive. The assumption is that billions or even tens of billions of people need the fictional element Unobtainium that is a metaphor for oil.

If the metaphor is to be complete then this fictional element is literally the second air that the human society needs to breath and survive. Like oil, it touches every part of our lives. Improving it, moving it, saving it, prolonging it. Without it we would not be recognizable as the society we are.

To be clear, if we did not have oil/unobtainium that means you can't go to work, buy goods and services for your family and would have to return to a self-sufficient means of leaving. No, gas. No, markets. No, cheap goods from other parts of the world/universe.

Do your children have the right to be educated? Then quit work and home school because that is your choice without the catalyst that is oil/unobtainium. Want them to be healthy? Tough. We are back to country doctors that can not proscribe modern medicine or treatments. No MRIs, no advanced antibiotics, no cancer treatments.

The assumption and metaphor used in the movie suggests that human life depends on that fictional element. So, while you are ready to cheer for the Na'Vi as I did. Understand also as I did, that the movie is a one of a kind work of fictions to include the poorly thought out and typically leftist lecture on cultural relativity. A lesson that disregards the realities of an upward moving dominant culture and the benefits we enjoy.

And while many of us understandably turn away and prefer a fiction to the reality of the makings of modern society, that reality remains and much be dealt with via an accurate lens that accounts for what will do the most good for all involved or sometimes what will do the least harm. Or to simplify via a common metaphor, many of us don't want to know or see how the sausage is made, we just want to enjoy it.

So enjoy your sausage. Go see Avatar!!! It is a one of a kind masterpiece.