House Update  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

It's been a while since I wrote anything about the house. I haven't made any big purchases since I got the library. I have gotten some accent pieces. My grandmother sent me a couple of porcelain vases that I've set up on the foyer table. The foyer is done in an oriental style so the vases really match. She also had some vases and plates with American farmland scenery on it; Mom got those.

I've set up some lanterns on the little dividing wall that marks off the kitchen from the foyer. The little copper ones I got at a home decorating store that has since gone out of business. The wood and paper lantern I got while I was in Thailand last summer.

I finally framed my tiger lithograph. This one is hanging in the living room over the sofa. While I'm not doing the living room in an oriental style, I really liked the tiger and thought it would look good in the main room of the house.

The style I am going for in the living room is more of a medieval fantasy feel. Not in the geeky, fantasy art way, but more like Lord of the Rings. It's an old world style, with just enough exotic touches to give a sense of far off and magical lands. This lamp I found at World Market is a perfect example of what I mean.

And the latest addition to my collection is some actual armor. The leather breastplate is from a group called Pyramid Leather, that goes to the Renaissance Festivals. I got this from the fair in Tampa. The chain mail comes from A2Armory.

So it's a bit more direct in the medieval fantasy decor than I was originally going for. If everything is subtle people might miss the effect. And what man wouldn't want some actual steel and leather armor?

Wait A Minute...  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

...I think I've actually been linked. Does this mean I'm a real blogger now?

This is the first time I've checked my Site Meter stats since I got linked, so a late thanks, Morgan, for sending a few readers my way.

Best Quote XXIII  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

From Kathy Shaidle of Five Feet of Fury (emphasis hers):

We need more people to start speaking out, writing whatever they want, and risk their jobs and "reputations" to do so.

You need to vocally violate all rules and regulations about "political correctness" at every opportunity.

This is part of a response to a petition going around Canada that asks that politicians stop violating free speech in the name of political correctness and other identity/victim politics. The point being that petitions (especially online ones) are a safe and thoroughly ineffectual method of engaging in politics.

Which is a very good point. Petitions don't get a politician to do what you want. Getting a bunch of people to politely ask the State to give them rights that the State itself took away is as naive as believing that if we ask nice Iran will stop build nukes. No, the will of the people only matters because of the threat of the mob.

So long as middle class conservatives allow these indignities and do no more than follow the official democratic process, they will see their rights and liberties disappear. Boycotts and strikes work because they hurt. Liberal protests matter, even with only a dozen (career) protesters, because they carry the threat of violence.

Political correctness will be the rule until conservatives stop appeasing liberals and avoiding trouble and actually risk something.

Painting the Greater Good  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

It's time to take a break from politics. So I'm posting a step-by-step tutorial on painting a Tau Fire Warrior in my Ice Planet theme. I prefer to paint the pieces first, then glue them together. This allows me to get into the little nooks and crannies that form when you assemble the Fire Warrior. The only pieces I've glued together are the torso to the legs, since that doesn't cover anything. Here's a Fire Warrior fresh off the sprue.

I start by base coating the model with black primer. I prefer black to white primer, since I layer and dry brush up from a dark base to create the shadows in the model. White works better if you start with a light base and then use inks or washes to create the shadows. Since the jumpsuit of the Fire Warrior is black, I do a light dry brushing of Codex Grey over cloth of the model. It's a very subtle highlighting of the pleats in the clothing. I use Citadel Paints, since that's what was at the store when I bought my models, and I've stuck with them to keep consistent colors.

The next step is to paint the gloves, boots, rifle barrel, grenades, antenna, and Tau symbol Regal Blue. This provides the foundation layer of all the blue in the model. Note that on the gun barrel, I've left the seems black.

Now I do a heavy dry brushing of Ultramarines Blue on the gloves and boots. This gives them a nice, icy blue color while leaving shadows in the recesses. Because the model is so small, it is necessary to paint the shadows into the recesses and folds in order for it to be noticeable when viewing at a distance. I layer the rest of the dark blue with Ultramarines Blue. Since the rest of the blue is over hard plates, I leave a sharp, defining edge, rather than blending into dark.

Now I paint the main armor and backpack Codex Grey. Again, since the armor is a hard material, I leave a sharp edge, rather than shading, which is best used on natural materials, like cloth, flesh, or fur.

Next I do a layer of Skull White over the Codex Grey. This should be a smooth, solid white. I paint it on pretty thick so that none of the grey shows through.

Most of the painting is complete. What's left are the glowy bits. These are done in neon orange, just like the Ice Planet LEGOS. Parts of the antenna, the photon grenades, and the lenses on the rifle and helmet are painted this way. The first part of this is to paint them Scab Red.

Next I layer them with Blazing Orange. The layering here is a bit more exaggerated than in the rest of the model. For the larger glowy surfaces, there should be a bit of Scab Red on the edges.

Add a third layer, this time of Fiery Orange. This should very obviously only cover part of the Blazing Orange. Follow the contour of the surface getting painted, shifted to one side as though light were reflecting off of it.

The last step in painting. On the largest glowy surfaces, the large lens in the helmet and the power globe on the rifle, put a tiny dot of Skull White. This is the specular reflection off the glassy surface, and makes it look brighter and more reflective. This dot should be on the Fiery Orange, off to one side, based on the contours of the surface. Think of how light reflects off a Christmas ornament. This is also the point where I paint the Tau sept markings onto the Fire Warrior. I use Brazen Brass, and put markings on the right side of the helmet and rifle barrel, as well as the bottom of the left shoulder plate. I give all the Fire Warriors in a single squad the same sept markings.

That's it. The model is fully painted. Now, it is time to assemble the Fire Warrior. Glue the body to base (I've prepared a base ahead of time) and glue the antenna to the helmet.

Next glue the backpack to the model. If you are using a standard white glue, you will have to wait for the glue to dry between these steps, to prevent knocking parts off while you try to add new parts.

Glue the arms and rifle to the body.

Lastly, glue the grenade pack and head to the body.

The Fire Warrior is finished, and ready to charge into the fight. For the Greater Good!

A Few Interesting Questions  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

Stacy McCain touches upon an idea I had last night but hadn't really developed. He's talking about the Left's promise to fix everything (by placing it under state control):

The answer to this kind of Pixie Dust nonsense is not for Republicans to try to steal the Pixie Dust formula, offering their own magical policy panaceas. Rather, the GOP needs to speak the brutal truth: there are no pixies and no magic.

There are no panaceas. We can neither return to some mythical edenic Golden Age nor are we marching toward some future Utopia of perfection. Decades of trying to vote ourselves into Heaven-on-Earth have created the very problems -- e.g., the actuarial nightmares of Social Security and Medicare -- which today's promise-'em-anything Democrats claim they'll fix.

"Grow Up, America" would be an accurate slogan for what the nation really needs. It wouldn't be a popular message, but it would be a true assessment of what ails us: a childishness, a politics of wishing, of which the naivete of Peggy Jones was but an extreme example.

The problem with most Republicans is that they are trying to offer the same things as the Democrats, only slightly more restricted, responsible, and less overreaching. Republicans tend to run about a generation behind the Democrats on policy. Moldbug points this out nicely:
Consider the difference between the Procedure and the democratic strategy of conservatism. Conservatism seeks to either halt the decay of USG where it is, or return USG to some ideal state of the past - restoring, for instance, the Constitution of 1789. Or at least the Constitution of 1932. Or maybe just the Reagan Administration.
Ie: it may be obvious to anyone who takes a clear look at the matter that America was better governed in 1909 than 2009. But this study produces neither any consensus on what year is preferred, for what issue, or how to translate that year's form of government into 2009. There is no little blue manual for going back to governing America like it was really America. This would be your conservative Schelling point, if it existed, which it does not and never will.

The current strategy of 'vote conservatives into Washington' is doomed to failure. Elected and appointed officials make up only a small part of the USG power structure. You'd also have to replace the civil service with conservatives (or more likely throw most of the civil service out and not replace it at all), as well as replacing the academia which teaches people to be liberal.

As McCain says, people need to grow up and stop relying on mommy government to take care of them. Christians should be ideally suited to teaching people to grow up. We have Truth on our side. We know life is not and never will be fair. We know some people are evil and some people are good. The goal should not be to take back government, but to teach people Truth.

Several interesting questions come out of this. How do we teach people truth, especially given the opposition of our current education system? What would happen if Christians withdrew from politics, the let the liberals run the state unfettered? Would even be allowed to teach at that point? What would happen to people's faith in the state if liberals ran everything? What would it take, and how long would it take, for enough people to realize the true effects of liberalism?

I think these are important questions that need answers. America has been shifting leftward for generations. It is a decline that will eventually lead to collapse, and our current strategy is not working. It has only slowed it, not reversed, or even stopped it. But to find a solution, I'm going to have to go beyond sounding off in the empty little bubble that is my blog. I need some help.

What's A Christian To Do?  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

Moldbug continues his long running, oft interrupted series on the actual power structure of the United States, and what might be done about. Or at least what might be a better alternative.

For those who do not want to read the whole thing, allow me to give a brief summary. Power in the US is wielded by a distributed, undirected movement (the Left) whose goal is to have as much power as possible, for as many people as possible. A bureaucracy is well suited for this, since it means more people are involved in any given task, and thus, more people wielding power. Actual productivity is not important, only how many decisions you can affect.

At the top of this mess is academia, who, under the cover of Science, develop public policy. And since it's from Science and not men, these professors are not responsible if things go awry. This public policy is then sold to the masses by the media. Public opinion has now been formed. Which is what various politicians and Supreme Court justices look to in making their decisions. Said decisions actually being implemented by the largest and most byzantine civil service every created by man. Populated to the man (and woman, they're all PC) by people who have been raised to believe that science and democratic consensus are the only ways to make a decision. Physics created the atom bomb, therefore Women's Studies can't be wrong.

OK, so that's a brief and incomplete description of the problem. But recently, Moldbug began looking at what to do about it. Some weeks ago he posted his first step in replacing the US government, where he includes anyone who tries to influence policy as a part of the government (such as Universities). Simply put, don't resist the government. Accept that the Left controls everything. They have all the power.

This is very difficult for most people to accept (and by most people I mean something closer to all of them). Moldbug's reasoning is that without an opposition, the movement will simply weaken, lose energy, grow apathetic. I see two basic problems with this. It doesn't strike me as too hard to simply create an opposition 1984 style. The Left does this some already, demonizing people (remember, there are 5 A's in raaaaacist) with little regard to actual truth. It's not much of a step to continue using the caricature without finding an actual person.

The second problem is with human nature. There will always be someone that will not submit, and that is enough to fuel the Left.

But there is a side to this that Moldbug has not considered. God has commanded us to submit to authority. In 1 Peter 2:13-15:

Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among me: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to the governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.

We are, by God's own command, to submit to earthly authorities, even ones that are unjust or cruel. Christ Himself submitted to Roman and Jewish authorities, even though that got Him executed on trumped up charges. But there are none who can claim that Christ didn't cause a ruckus in the establishment. There is quite a difference between submitting to authority, and admitting that the authority is correct.

As Christians, we should obey our leaders in Washington and all the laws that they pass. And we should do it cheerfully and courteously, though it erodes our freedom to nothing. There must be a marked and obvious difference between Christians and everybody else. Having a Christ-like attitude combined with a firm refusal to worship the State instead of God should be all the protest we need to make. Remember that the early church did not try to conquer Rome, but rather preached the gospel.

Best Quote XXII  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

I have faith and stubbornness. Put them together and you have a dynamic duo. When I come to a brick wall, I can go over it, I can go under it, I can go around it, I can just go through it. I don't know what I'm going to do, but I'm getting to the other side.

David Ring

And David Ring's ultimate challenge to people who think something can't be done: "I have cerebral palsy. What's your problem?"

Best Quote XXI  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

Found on Instapundit:

How can Obama win the Nobel Peace Prize on the same day he's becoming the first POTUS to bomb the Moon?


Obviously the Nobel organization believes in peace through superior firepower. After all, they once gave it to a genocidal Palestinian warlord...

Best Quote XX  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

Blind choice is not free choice, and too many aspects of State-controlled life are hidden behind a shroud of complexity.

In the path of an aggressive State, there's really no way to remain above politics. Indifference becomes consent.

Dr. Zero

This is quite a scary statement. Even where I to make an informed vote (as opposed to my normal strategy of voting for whoever seems least liberal), with only a 1 in 300 millionth say in the process, the State can even take over my life if I say no. Indifference may amount to consent, but failed opposition gets the same results. Tyranny of the majority indeed.

Hat Tip to Linkiest.

A Brief Commentary on Twilight  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

With video! I found this on Viral Footage (hat tip to Linkiest).

You know, the view on vampires actually is actually a pretty good indicator of society's health. Stoker portrayed the vampire as a savage beast that had to be destroyed in order to save the innocent, whereas Meyer shows the vampire as a pillar of strength in a dangerous and meaningless world. The question for us is whether we ought to stab the monster so it can't hurt anybody, or cling to the monster and hope it hurts someone else.

"Use protection." Heh

Best Quote XIX  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

Some of us are willing to tolerate any sort of personal ridicule in order to avoid supporting the wrong decisions;

The rest of us are willing to support all kinds of wrong decisions, in order to escape any sort of ridicule.

Morgan Freeberg

An insightful comment on the difference between liberals and not-liberals. Freeberg calls it Yin and Yang, where Yin are the people who go out and build things, and Yang are the people who socialize and network.

The Yin theory is actually a very accurate description of my life. I'm a builder by nature; I spent my entire childhood playing with LEGOs or K'Nex. Yes, there was running around outside with the standard compliment of boy's toys (GI Joes, Nerf guns, bat and ball), but I spent an equal amount of time making things. I didn't bother developing social skills until I got to high school, and was well in to college before they were sufficiently advanced that I could deal with people normally.

What is critical to Freeberg's theory is that for a Yin to make something, he has to understand how things actually work. If his knowledge of reality is wrong, what he makes won't work. And he is forced by his experiences to modify his knowledge of reality. See engineers for further details.

The Yang, however, want to show that they have the right social connections. They have to show they are connected to the right people, and distinguish themselves from those who are not. But fashion and popularity aren't really constrained by physics, so they can go in any bizarre direction.

Which brings us back to the quote at the top. Some people want the right answer, and some people want to belong. Very often we have to pick one or the other.

I'd rather be right than popular.

Update: Welcome House of Eratosthenes readers!

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