A few odds and ends of catching up.

First - Eric Raymond posted this a while back, but looks at the moral justification of Kyle going out in times of civil unrest as not only "not wrong", but a duty.

That is, all males of military age who are or intend to become citizens of the United States are under federal statute the “unorganized militia”, and have the duty of the militia to defend the Constitution of the United States against enemies foreign and domestic (as both naturalizing citizens and members of the armed forces swear to do).

Kyle Rittenhouse is a 17-year-old male and thus a member of the unorganized militia under black-letter Federal law. When he armed up to defend a friend’s business during a breakdown in civil order, he was acting precisely as all members of the unorganized militia have a legal and Constitutional duty to act in like circumstances.

And yes, shooting violent criminal insurrectionists is included in that duty. Rittenhouse would have been justified in doing so even if he had not been acting in self-defense against lethal threats to his person.

So let’s not hear any more nonsense about a teenager having no business being in that situation. Kyle Rittenhouse recognized one of his core duties as an American citizen and performed it with exceptional skill and courage.

While we're at it, this article is a pretty good overview of the AR platform. I'm partial to PSA (Palmetto State Armory) on the budget side myself.  

On the gaming front, my recent foray into T5 aside, Bradford Walker pointed out something that us old-school Battletech (and Car Wars, and etc...) players know well - you don't need fancy models and minis to play a "real"game, no matter what Games Workshop says. While appreciate nice chits, wooden pieces, and plastic models in a well-crafted game, the fact of the matter is that Warhammer 40k, Warmachine, and similar could just as easily be played with the appropriate size disks/squares marked to show facings, a copy of the rules, and in the case of Warmachine, a set of faction cards. The original Battletech had folded, printed pieces of cardboard slipped into a clip-stand.

Modeling and minis are fine, but the game is not the minis - and I say this knowing damn well how, in board games especially, graphic design and layout can be integral to the play, and not simply for aesthetics.

He also makes another post on Battletech specifically, showing how Catalyst Labs does a reasonable job of getting people into the game world without a huge investment, and a reasonable learning curve.

On the gaming front, there's a recent video at Joy of Wargaming on Wargaming on a Budget.

Since I mentioned Car Wars earlier, he also reviews (and in later vids, plays) Gaslands, which looks like a better take on modernized Car Wars than the latest Steve Jackson tabletop./minis attempt to be like the cool kids (that said, the rulebook compendium for the previous iteration is awesome).

It's a great channel. Also check out the review, and playthrough, of Riot.

Over at Men of the West, they have begun covering the works of Cordwainer Smith.

The book explores numerous themes, including Civil Rights, Christianity (The Old Strong Religion as it is called–Smith was himself a Christian), rites of passage, and numerous moral questions. It is a weird story by most standards, but makes more sense as you read his other works which explain the history, technology, and culture of the Instrumentality universe. More about that in future posts. This will be a multipart thing, and we’ll circle back to Norstrilia later. After all, Smith used nonlinear storytelling at times. Why not?

Peter Grant does a post on how Remington got gutted:

I've long argued that the activities of many private equity and leveraged buyout firms are immoral and unethical.  Yes, I know that depends on who defines "ethical" or "moral" behavior.  I'm a Christian and a pastor, so I apply Biblical definitions to those terms.  Others differ, of course.  Nevertheless, to see such firms buy a company, asset-strip it, load it up with debt (paying themselves out of the proceeds of such loans) and then abandon it to wither and die under an impossible financial burden, leaves a very sour, nasty taste in one's mouth.  (It leaves an even worse one in the mouths of the company's employees, who typically lose everything in the crash.)  Those who glibly claim that such activities are "legal" (as if that makes them moral or ethical) tend to ignore such realities.

I fully agree. It may be legal, a person can break what he owns if he wishes, but that makes him a poor steward of what he manages. In these cases - it's not just their own lives, but responsibility for the livelihoods of those working at the companies they buy out that they are also responsible for which, they are abdicating. They are maximizing their own personal gain while gutting a legacy and taking advantage of others, with no repercussions for screwing others over.

Last - the vatican commie is running his mouth again: "The fragility of world systems in the face of the pandemic has demonstrated that not everything can be resolved by market freedom." I've mentioned elsewhere, freedom and a free market are about "who decides." If the market and the people in it cannot decide, then someone else does. Some decisions need to be made at the scope of the community or nation - but most do not. Even taken out of context, his statements are a lie in favor of central control, ignoring the degree to which the worst failures were in the places where the government had the most control, and not the people.