2017 Predictions

It’s here! It’s finally here! That’s right, here is my annual prediction post. Last year’s post can be found here. Reading it over, I’m surprised to see I got a lot of them right or at least close enough to pretend I was right.  Looking back on it, I was ahead of the curve on what was going on with Trump in the election. I also got the Fed strategy right, but the timing a bit off. I was hilariously right about the North Koreans and the Muslim diaspora into Europe. In both cases, those outcomes were so obvious there should be a penalty for not getting them right.

On the down side, the Red Sox did not win the World Series and the Patriots did not win the Super Bowl. Even worse, the Yankees did not go 0-and-162. Looking back, the one area where my predictions are never right is in the area of sports. That’s not a surprise as I actually care about sports. The rest of the stuff is just what I do between watching my teams play sportsball. But, The Olde Towne Team had a good year, a great Hot Stove Season and the great Tom Brady is leading America’s Team to another title this year!

So, what are the goat entrails telling me this year?

Part of the return to normalcy in America will be Washington reacquainting itself with economic matters. Trump knows he needs something big to goose the economy and give his presidency a boost. The way forward on that is to start with a big sweeping tax reform package. Given the make-up of the House, expect a package that simplifies business taxes, cuts the corporate rate and offers a big bag of goodies for companies that make stuff and employ people. That means big deductions for capital expenditures like machine tools and heavy equipment.

The signs also point to an effort at peeling back a thick slice of the regulatory state. Trump is a guy who remembers the Reagan years and he knows the impact of deregulation had on the economy. He’s also a guy who has spent his life dealing with government functionaries enforcing bureaucratic regulations. Republicans have been plotting a big rollback for over a decade and now they have their shot. ObamaCare is an obvious target, but look for this to be part of a larger rollback of regulations in an effort to boost the economy…

This is the year we see the floor fall out of the climate change rackets. Most Americans think global warming is nonsense and one of those Americans is Trump. There will be a concerted effort to depoliticize the climate science business by running off some of the fanatics and opening the field back up to sensible skeptics. The main driver will be turning off the money spigot to the fanatics and shifting funds to the honest science.  When the money goes away, the grifters go away…

The problems in the Chinese political economy will become more obvious to western policy makers as the boom times come to an end. There’s not much left the US can outsource to China, even if there was desire to do it. The Chinese know this and they have been feverishly trying to adjust by boosting domestic consumption. The trouble is it will require a vast restructuring of the Chinese society. The ChiComs are not intimated by such a task, but that does not make it less daunting.

China has a lot of smart people, but they have never figured out how to protect themselves from tyrants. That’s the limit on economic growth. When the government can arbitrarily take your property, there is no incentive to invest, unless you have political power. That breeds corruption and it breeds a bandit mentality. That’s the challenge for the ChiComs and what will stymie their efforts to move from a mercantile economy to a market one. This is the year when the problems start to become obvious…

Syria, Turkey, Iraq and maybe even Jordan become less stable over the next year as the West cannot agree on a coherent policy for the region. One reason for the chaos is no player has the resources to impose its will on the rest. The Russians have enough to keep Assad in power, but not enough to wipe out the Saudi and GCC sponsored rebels. The Saudis can keep the kettle boiling, but they cannot do much more without the US. Israel is happy to see her enemies fighting with one another so they will not be pushing for a resolution…

The alt-right will fall prey to infighting and squabbling and slowly burn itself out over the next year. The fighting between Cernovich, Treadstone and Spencer has all the familiar features. On the one side will be the guys who dream of riding their fame as rebels to positions within the establishment. On the other will be those who see legitimization as treason. One side goes one way, the other side goes the opposite and the “movement” splinters and dissolves. This is a common dynamic in radical politics and it will happen with the New Right…

Gene editing will become a very serious topic of conversation among the chattering classes. Ten years ago, no one in science really thought it was going to be cheap and easy to edit the human genome anytime soon. All of a sudden, CRISPR/Cas9 promises to make genetic engineering a reality. Researchers have already done things like edit bone marrow cells in mice to treat sickle-cell anemia. The Chinese have used this technology to edit the genome of human embryos.

We’re still a long way from creating designer humans, but the path is suddenly open to solving a whole host of diseases. The Chinese will rush ahead with human testing, but the West will most likely start on more mundane things like creating disease resistant plants and treatments for insect borne viruses. Tinkering with mosquitoes so they no longer can carry the Zika virus has fewer moral obstacles than tinkering with humans. Even so, the brave new world begins this year…

The coming Trump immigration push will reveal that we no longer have two parties, but one party with two sides, one on each end of the immigration issue. Paul Ryan will lead the open borders wing in opposition to Trump and the nationalist wing. This will be seen as the first steps in the great realignment of the parties as a big chunk of people currently in the GOP camp begin to make their way over to the Democrat side. American politics will begin to resemble Israeli politics, where one issue divides the parties…

That’s it for this year. It has been a banner year for the blog, adding tens of thousands of new readers and many new commenters. I appreciate everyone taking the time out of their day to read and respond.

Happy New Year to one and all.

74 thoughts on “2017 Predictions

  1. Pingback: 2018 Predictions | The Z Blog

  2. Pingback: Dissident Politics | The Z Blog

  3. You are overthinking the Alt-Right thing. All the momentum is with the radicals, the Alt-Lite is going nowhere. Milo is a ridiculous shill, and is actually a living refutation of the Alt-Right’s ideals (a gay Jew to lead traditionalist movement, anyone?). Cernovitch is a self-promoting type that the Patriot right has seen so much of. He may survive with a niche sort of like Alex Jones has, and be taken about as seriously.

    The real center of the Alt-Right is white nationalism, as it has always been. Spencer invented the term, and successfully reclaimed it from all others with his post-election stunt, which may have been more calculated than many realized. Spencer actually wrote a book on Buckley’s “management” of the post-war Conservative movement, focused on his use of “the purge” to control the movement. His own purging was self-designed to ensure his ongoing ownership of the leadership of the true Alt-Right.

    Logic dictates that in a world completely dominated by identity politics that Whites will not indefinitely play along and refuse to organize as their own interest group. You can only go through so many years of public school where YT is constantly held up as “the cancer on humanity” before people rebel. Spencer is there to guide that rebellion, and you will notice that the majority of his group are under 30. Even if he fades, the White identitarian movement he has kicked off and championed is here to stay. In fact, it has only just begun.

  4. Happy New Year, Z, from a loyal reader.

    On your predictions: It will be interesting to see if Trump can keep his nerve on the climate stuff. In financial terms, it’s a proposition which will require a very high initial investment (it’s a sacred cow for the Left, so scaling it back will occasion much high-volume apocalyptic rhetoric about how Trump is dooming us all), but has an enormous potential for payoff over the long term.

    My sense is that redirecting climate research funds would be extremely painful — at first. But as some of the more fanatical voices begin to lose power, it will embolden more researchers — some of whom might be true-believing leftists who have kept silent for the sake of “the cause” — to come forward with their doubts. Not all of these folks will necessarily be full-blown skeptics — a few might object only to one or two specific parts of the climate change “consensus,” while signing on to the rest. But the collective impact of all these people coming forward will be to drain a lot of steam from the movement.

    If this happens, then at some point in the next few years, you can expect some big-shot science outfit to commission a “new survey” which will reveal that the “scientific consensus” on climate change is something less than the mythical “97 percent,” and instead something closer to 70 or 60 percent — enough to give liberals in vulnerable political districts the cover they need to dump support for economy-killing climate change policies. The true believers will hold out for a bit longer, but in about 20 years, I’d expect to encounter liberals telling me that “real scientists” never accepted the “myth” of “global warming,” and that it was only a fringe theory promoted by a small band of fanatics — pretty much the way they dismiss the 1970s “global cooling” scare today.

    But that’s only if Trump holds firm. We’ll see.

  5. Tom Brady leading America’s Team? OK, I can take that more easily than I can the idea of “America’s Team” being the one with Satan’s Pentagram on the helmets.

  6. “The Chinese know this and they have been feverishly trying to adjust by boosting domestic consumption. The trouble is it will require a vast restructuring of the Chinese society.”

    The trouble for the Chinese is that to boost domestic consumption, they have to encourage & support a Chinese “middle class” that has discretionary income to spend on the “stuff” that China manufactures. Unfortunately for the Chinese leadership, that also compels some level of acknowledgement of property rights, and contract and product liability law, and all the other accoutrements of a “bourgeois” society.

    It’s my impression that, in general, the Chinese are a very ambitious, enterprising, and aspirational people. I wonder how the clash of authoritarian governance and a rising bourgeois class will turn out?

    • Very interesting point Z makes about China running out of US industries to hollow out. Back in the pre-China days of ordinary competition it was an accepted aphorism that ‘growth covers a thousand sins (of management)’: These ‘sins’ always showed up in the business cycle downturns*, making them worse because you had to adjust everything while under fiscal pressure.

      You were prevented from correcting obvious process errors, deferred maintenance, removing marginal performers, etc. because if plan was not achieved, you were going to be the scapegoat, regardless of whose fault it was. Only when meeting expectations was clearly impossible, could any drastic correcting actions be undertaken.

      So, if this applies to China Inc., and there is no reason to suppose that it won’t, any slowdown will be even more ugly than might otherwise be supposed. IOW, the Chinese are likely in for some ‘interesting times’ as the accent Chinese curse would have it. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving lot.

  7. A Happy New Year to Z-man and all readers/commenters.

    I’d like to hope that this is the year the bottom falls out of the climate change racket. But the lead story on the local rag (I’d cancel but haven’t convinced the Mrs. yet ) was that some state govt commission here in the Soviet has decided that carbon emissions in 2050 or some such pulled-out-of-their-a** date need to be reduced further. This despite a massive repudiation of a carbon tax initiative on the ballot in Nov and the 1%/Yr state population growth rate. How the political columnist can write this stuff with a straight face is beyond me.

    • As ‘public’ pensions look worse and worse, I predict the Compliance Empire will strike back.

  8. I will be curious to see what happens with the birthrate in this country, though 2017 may still be too early to tell. There’s this lefty lie that the only way to get more Americans is to import people, but Israels Jewish birthrate is up by 0.1 children/woman in the last year alone. Secular Israeli Jewish women manage about three kids EACH, and the religious are way higher. It turns out that babies can be easily made domestically, with widely available materials! Who knew?

    IIRC, Trump’s tax plan allows parents to take fairly generous tax credits for the labor of a parent at home with young children, which seems pretty reasonable. If I worked, we’d be able to deduct several thousand dollars of daycare expenses, and I work harder at home than I ever have in any job in my life. So far today I’ve gone through two full outfit changes (vomit, batter), done two loads of laundry, two loads of dishes, cooked a proper meal for lunch, bathed the baby, cleaned up vomit, fed the baby repeatedly and if she ever goes to sleep, I get to enjoy my childfree time by making cookies, doing the ironing and ferrying stuff between the living room and basement and cooking food for Sunday.

    • Marina; I am exhausted just reading your comment. Bless you, I hope your family realizes how fortunate they are.
      All of you out there stay safe. Be aware of your surroundings and in control of your faculties.
      Have a happy new year.

  9. Another great year of Z posts will transition into an even better year of Z posts.

    Oh, and as Geddy Lee sang, “the changes aren’t permanent, but change is.”

    Happy new year to Z and the commenters.

  10. I hope with the attack on regulations, tax cuts, etc., the new administration does not forget our government-financed media. NPR and PBS should be stripped of all tax-supported funding ASAP.

    I’m disappointed that Trump never mentioned this in his campaign.

    • There are no votes to be gained in mentioning it in the campaign… only outrage from the left and media. It will be up to the Congress to initiate defunding those things. Trump will likely let it be known that he’s willing to sign legislation cutting those things. Congress is going to play games. Trump has a LOT on his plate and few allies. It’s going to be Reagan all over again, except this time, Trump at least knows how Reagan got very few of his initiatives through, so Trump should do better. We’ll see.

      • A few well-timed rallies calling certain people out in their homo states should apply a lot more pressure than these guys are used to. The Twitter account is also quite handy.

        I don’t think the Congress really understands what they’re dealing with. Many Trump-supporting sites I go to are fully expecting Ryan et al to drag their feet, and they are gearing up for the fight.

        Should be a very interesting spring!

  11. Pingback: What are the goat entrails telling me this year? | IowaDawg's Very Own Blawg

  12. From your 2016 predictions: “2016 will be the year the liberal media turns on the Clintons, even if it scuttles the Democrats chances of winning the White House.” Do you think that will happen in 2017? I would’ve predicted 2016, too, but I badly underestimated how all-in the Left was on Hillary (…which I can’t for the life of me figure out, why they’d go all-in on that particular awful shrew, but that’s a puzzle for another day). But now that she’s lost, how many goons are still willing to Arkancide Clinton critics? The only way I can see that they don’t purge the Clintons is the very real possibility that they’d unleash all their dirt and take everyone with them (not saying I believe all the “pizzagate” nonsense, but I’m sure Bill has done some depraved shit with/to everyone in DC). What do you think? PS I’m one of the new readers/commenters, and I want to thank you for all your excellent work.

  13. “China has a lot of smart people, but they have never figured out how to protect themselves from tyrants.”
    China has a “shame” culture, not a “guilt” culture. Anything is fine if you get away with it. Hence poison put into baby formula, organ harvesting, the extermination of endangered species and innumerable defective or counterfeit products being sold everywhere, especially Amazon. This is short term thinking, and tyranny is fully consistent with such. Hence also the huge number of wealthy Chinese buying property in and/or moving to the West.
    China is looking at financial collapse, which the Regime is only now starting to address….

    • “China has a “shame” culture, not a “guilt” culture. Anything is fine if you get away with it

      Maybe, but all the Chinese I know have a money culture. Anything goes as long as you can make a buck off of it.

      Ideas about moral responsibility to the larger society and the like are completely absent in China and Asia (ex. Japan).

      Generally speaking, Chinese only recognize moral duty to family, and perhaps close friends. It’s completely acceptable to scam or just ignore the interests of everyone else.

      • Chinese are schizo, being xenophobic while at the same time all classes share the same instructions for their children–get out when you can. Nobody trusts the State, or ever has. They have good reason not to, but it may be their curse to never understand why. That is not to say that the West has not lost in mind, but that the Chinese never found theirs.

    • I live in a college town with a lot of wealthy Chinese students. There are two driving Maclarens. Several years back an apartment manager told me that many leave their stuff when they go home. One even left a Porsche that he was allowed to keep when it remained unclaimed. During that conversation I told him that I’d read an article that said that because of the one child policy there would be about fifty percent fewer Chinese between 18 and 24 years old within the next 8-10 years. Yesterday I found out that there are two thousand fewer Chinese students on campus. It’s already happening. I was expecting a slowdown in this after Trump was elected because I expect him to align with Putin in a role reversal of Nixon’s China card play. Trump will play the Russia card against China in exchange for giving Russia a free hand in Syria against ISIS, and Putin won’t back up China in retaliation against out new trade policies. The chicoms will respond by trying to restrain capital flight. There is a long history of Chinese sneaking assets out in anticipation of a regime change or civil war. This will continue. Internal unrest will snowball, and there will be a regime change, but the new bosses will look a lot like the old ones. Meanwhile back here the university leftist gravy train will come to an end. Losing Chinese money will be a huge blow just with the demographic changes, let alone Trump redirecting federal funds away from them. Dark days ahead for the tenured classes. They used to complain about teaching loads. Now they’ll look wistfully at empty classrooms wishing they had someone to teach. But the kids will be in trade school rather than in sociology.

  14. “Syria, Turkey, Iraq and maybe even Jordan become less stable over the next year as the West cannot agree on a coherent policy for the region. One reason for the chaos is no player has the resources to impose its will on the rest. ”
    I strongly disagree, because I believe Trump will withdraw all support for the jihadist groups, and the Syrian/Iranian/Russian forces will drive them out of the country within a relatively short period after that.
    A Happy and prosperous New Year to all!

  15. Thank you, zman, for your work, and for taking comments. Best wishes to all for a prosperous New Year, however you may need it.

  16. If the immigration issue remains and emerges as the single large issue of our times, we the people have one that one already. The reason is that a huge proportion of the anti-immigration population takes that position passionately and deeply, as a part of their personal philosophy and basic understanding of the world. IMO, many of the pro-immigration folks don’t believe it deeply, it is more of a piece of a Progressive laundry list that they parrot and rattle off. Also, as mentioned by Z in a different context, a big chunk of the pro-immigration movement is fanned by checks being written and money and influence being passed around. Get rid of the freebies and the grifters go away. One will need to break up some of the higher education cartel to do it, but they are a long way down the road to self-immolation already.

    I believe the Progs, on losing the immigration battle, (and the global warming battle, the EPA bullying, the Obamacare fiasco, the Russian red scare, and the trans-rights insanity), will continue to push the economic enequality fight. “The system is unfair, tear it all down”. Bullies gotta bully, especially the pantywaist types.

    • It doesn’t matter that much what recent immigrants (legal and illegal) want. The key to blocking immigration is the mainly white upper middle class. Some, mainly in southern California and New York City, are emotionally committed to mass immigration. But you are probably right that the great majority of “nation of immigrants” believers are like the majority of people everywhere — their opinions are based on what they imagine will be approved by their friends, acquaintances, and bosses.

      The so-called Overton Window is shifting and that is likely to continue in 2017, as immigration restriction becomes a little bit socially acceptable, on the way to being completely socially acceptable, and eventually the conventional wisdom which the unthinking will parrot.

    • Betrayal? Betrayal is the modus operandi of the political elite. Obama told us “Russian election interference”, talk radio and “fake news” were the deciding factors in how about 120 million people voted.
      OK, riiiight.
      That’s from the guy whose only job is to protect the interests of the people. A guy who along with his ilk will do anything to hide and distort the truth they where found illegitimate by 120 million people who withdrew their consent. It used to be called will of the governed. I think it is become peaceful, lawful, legitimate resistance to tyranny at this stage. For the political elite to acknowledge this would be announce themselves not legitimate elected representatives.

    • Well, Trump appeared to be the real thing. I too had to question and look a long time at his creds before jumping on the bandwagon. Even if he is a plant by TPTB, he did a masterful job of posing as the proverbial duck … walking, talking, quacking, looking like one.

      But the truth of the matter is what choices to we have, really? Everyone now likes to do their BDS and take “W” behind the woodshed. But the alternatives were Gore and Kerry.

      And this time, it was the hideous Hillary.

      For an “alternate” view of the election/campaign, I offer the following for your consideration:

      The Burning Platform

      It will be our job to, as Steve Bannon, just said, “‘… hold people accountable’ in the White House – including himself – as the new administration gets off the ground.”

      The Last Refuge

  17. Here’s another problem China hasn’t overcome yet:


    I’m not bullish on China. They’ve been flopping around helplessly for centuries. I’m no population geneticist, but I f Europe could selectively breed itself out of barbarism (never mind introgressing themselves back to it), perhaps China may well have done the reverse. IQ isn’t the only heritable cognitive trait.

    CRISPR scares the living daylights out of me. Nobody is competent to do that stuff responsibly, and the people running the show these days are delusional religious fanatics whose central expression of faith is to enact policies that are known to be disastrous.

  18. Like to add to the list. Us dirt people are ascendent, what happened with this election and the insurgent uprising it represents is barely a beginning. There is something happening, it is difficult to define. But I sense a zeitgeist which has to ferment some more like a batch of high gravity home brew.
    I got a funny sense of these things. This Great Fuck You is going to get a head of steam, it will become manifest, lot of people that have had enough of the political and elitist scum running things, are going to get hit upside the head with the great epiphany and realize they are not alone, there’s millions of us, it will be a party, people are going to come out into the sun realize they are unstoppable, they will look at each other and it will dawn on them, it will be like a light switch, and completely understood like it is the most natural thing in that dirt people way, we are legion.
    Then it will be on like Donkey Kong. The political class screwing with us won’t stand a snowballs chance in hell, there is something truly wrong with these people, something behind them that is wicked, and the truth will out in the near future, the pushback because of it will be the catalyst that changes everything. I think because of us dirt people our world is going to change in ways we can’t imagine. I’m here telling you, this old spinning ball of life we live on is gonna tilt on it’s political axis, and these clowns we are fed up with their elitist stuck up crap, will be toast.
    There never was any way we where going to vote our way out of this. But that’s the thing, we never had to vote our way out of this, thats where we where scammed all along, and by consequence making sure we where never voting our way out of this, they made it certain we don’t have to. It won’t be a revolution it will be an avalanche. When it happens it will happen so fast it will blow everyones mind.
    I’m telling you all, it’s ready to explode, it’s coming, nothing can stop it now.
    It isn’t going to be pivotal, this world will not be the same again.

  19. Sportsball predictions are fun but kinda silly, with injuries, off-the-field stuff that none of us know about, season-to-season ups and downs that nobody could possibly anticipate. That’s why they play the games, I always say. I was hoping for a Red Sox matchup so that the Cubs could beat the best – but the Indians intervened on Don’s behalf and we had to beat them instead, LOL.

    Happy New Year to you and all your readers, Zman. Great blog. Been reading it for 2-3 years now, discovered via American Digest. Your essays are very well done, always interesting, well written and with a distinctive voice. A real breath of fresh air, with all the ridiculous b.s. that passes for news and commentary in the world today! May you continue to find the strength and energy in 2017!

  20. Happy New Year Z,

    I think you’re right on your “climate change” prediction…
    It will be sweet to see this become ‘unsettled’ science, as it should be.

    The “alt-right” label is already finished, thanks to Spencer and his Roman salute idiocy.
    Perhaps the ‘patriot-right’ would work, but I’m happy with ‘America-First!’ label.

    The Middle East will remain an 85 average IQ / cousin marriage disaster –
    So no change there, now or ever. Same, or worse goes for Africa.

    I predict we’ll also see some real changes on gun regulation

    Two nights ago, on the PBS Newshour they had an interview with Trump’s Trade Rep, Peter Navarro.
    Here’s a link to his movie – ‘Death by China’ – You only need to watch a few minutes starting at 47:17 to get a good picture of how our Chinese communist “trading partners” work their trade racket.
    Death By China: How America Lost Its Manufacturing Base (Official Version)

    So, big changes coming on trade policy, at last.

    Finally, on immigration – I believe Trump will begin building the “Great Wall of Trump”.
    and stuff like this will stop happening as frequently because Trump will fire whoever is in charge:

    • Regarding guns, I wonder if now is not the time to go on the offensive. I fully expect Trump to put pro-2A people into positions where they can reverse the Obama policies that have driven up prices for ammo. He’s put pro-2A people on the courts. But, it may be time to think about making a carry permit equivalent to the driver’s license. Perhaps create a federal version that supersedes state laws.

      • Trump has hinted at CCW nationwide reciprocity. That argument has been around for awhile and can use the left’s arguments on other rights against them. Trump will also likely sign any pro-gun bill that emerges from the legislature. The rub is, I don’t trust the House or Senate to send bills to Trump that he can sign. They’ll send crap sandwiches because that’s what they do. I hope Trump will demand line-item vetos and undercut the games the RINO’s and Donks are going to play.

      • This seems like a good time to ask the Zman hive mind. My husband and I will be relocating to a more 2A friendly state and would like to learn how to shoot and acquire firearms. Can someone point me to a “Guns for Dummies” or something? I know we should contact our local range and start the NRA course sequence, the first part of which is require for a license, but what beyond that?

        • Marina, it isn’t rocket science so no need to be in any way intimidated by it. Just find a friendly range you’re comfortable with that has courses, NRA preferred not not required. Rent or borrow guns first until you learn more about them and your preferences. If you’re serious and have some fun with it, momentum will take it from there. There’s no need to become a special-forces ninja to defend yourself with a gun. But if you enjoy it, you can progress your training into “practical shooting”, three-gun, etc.

          If you’re flexible about your destination, find a “constitutional carry” state where no permits are required. But if you do interstate travel, you might want a permit anyway for the reciprocity until those issues get worked out. If you intend to carry, do get some education on the legalities because you are legally accountable for every round you fire.

          Mostly have fun with it. Always respect the power it gives you.

        • Ditto what Anon says… also, what the “best” gun, “best” training plan, etc. is for you will depend on 1) what you need/want (home defense, sport shooting, hunting, etc.), 2) your physical build, 3) how much time/money you have available for it, and 3) what resources (ranges, trainers, etc.) are available in your area. Starting with the NRA courses (or something closely equivalent) is a good beginning– it will cover the laws in your state, safety, and the screeching minimum of marksmanship and gun maintenance.

          If you do go down the route of gun ownership, you need to accept that you will need to commit to a regular (couple times a year at least, once a month is better) course of practice to maintain your skills. If you aren’t willing to do that, you are better off not owning a gun at all– it won’t do you any good in a moment of high stress, if you don’t have any rudimentary muscle memory; and otherwise you’re likely to either have an accident, have it taken from you and used against you, or have it stolen from your house. Guns are not magical charms which make criminals run away, and even close-range shots are harder to make than you think (especially in the dark, when you’re scared, etc.)

          You know what else? Guns are a GAS! There are many, many varieties of gun sports, ranging from incredibly precise and calm target shooting to high-adrenaline, instinctive reaction combat pistol events. Hunting is a great way to get to know the outdoors, become more self-reliant (plus eat really well). And knowing you could handle yourself if it all went down the toilet… priceless. Rent some gear and try stuff out with a more-experienced person– you might find a new passion in life.

          You’re going to get to know a pretty neat sub-culture, too. In my experience, the media caricatures are almost 100% opposite of reality. Gun owners are very disproportionately friendly, polite, and responsible people. They LOVE introducing new people to guns. That goes double for introducing women to guns, too. You’re 100x more likely to be called “ma’am” than “b*****” at a gun range, believe me! They don’t tolerate braggarts, a**holes, and incompetents– it’s too dangerous to ignore that stuff. And hunters are the #1 environmentalists in the country– always have been.

          • Gun ranges are usually perfect examples of the Heinlein quote “An armed society is a polite society.”

        • Gun laws dot com is an important site to explore. Also Bearing Arms dot com, and then follow the links at those sites to check for further information.

        • @Marina

          Spend the money and take one or preferably a number of courses from GUNSITE Academy: https://www.gunsite.com/.
          Some classes are given in Seattle, Phoenix, Tucson, Tennessee, Indiana, Richmond, not just Pauldon, Arizona the home base of Gunsite.

          Dan Kurt

        • Oh get ready to have some fun! My LE son took me to a gun range something like 10 years ago, when I was visiting him, and it was such fun that when I got home I walked into a local gun shop & signed up for a pistol course and got my CCW (my state is “shall issue” which is nice ). Going to the range is a treat for me. (Better than going to the movies: see Z-post re: same).
          In addition to the other recommendations here, Andrew Branca has an excellent book, “The Law of Self Defense” that covers the personal liability & the legal issues one may face, if carrying, and compelled to use, a gun.

        • For starters, I have one name for you … Massad Ayoob. No no, don’t be put off by the Arab name, he is a patriot.


          Check out his website, videos, and books on shooting, mental preparation, and how to protect yourself legally. Being prepared in 9/10th’s of the battle.


          Good stuff.

        • All good advice. Check online for gun store reviews. Yelp was a good source for me. Rent several types. Revolver, 9’s, 380, shottie, AR type rifle. spend $300, you won’t be sorry. Most places, they love to help set you up and instruct, it’s the best part of the job. Use earmuffs, not plugs, you’ll last longer.

        • + 1 more for Mas Ayoob, who’s a NH police officer and a long-time gun writer and trainer; highly recommended. For the arguably best 2A states they are Arizona and Vermont. I live in northern VT and it’s about as free as you can get WRT to firearms currently, but it’s dominated by lefty lawyers and political hacks and assorted SJW and prog cretins, esp. in the “cities” and college towns. Out in the sticks is way different. But we have a long winter and a mud season, so there’s that.

          Best regards to the zman and many thanks for all the work you do for liberty here.

          Happiest New Year to you and yours and all here.

      • If CCW Permits were issued by the a state judicial system, like a marriage license, there is a good argument that the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution would require a CCW issued in any given state must be recognized in all other 49 states (or 56 if you’re Obama). This argument is particularly strong after the VL v. EL gay adoption case. Liberal judges will twist themselves into pretzels trying to distinguish . . .

        • Problem being, if one is from a place where “Permissions” aren’t issued at all…this “reciprocity” means nothing.

    • I wish I could double-dare/emphasize your comment re: ME IQ disaster! Stupid-o disaster. I hate those bastards.

  21. Our soon to be ex-POTUS and his Iranian-born pet slapweasel are not going to retire quietly. They are very,very angry,and mean to punish the Dirt People for our insolence. PE Trump is well aware of this and so are the highly competent adults he’s surrounded himself with,so there’s that. The Pacific Ring of Fire has been far too lively lately;we may see that long-predicted West Coast natural disaster to add to the mayhem. That being said,I do believe we have real,genuine hope for a better 2017 and beyond, Happy New Year to Z and Z World.

  22. I predict Steve Bannon will start reading the Z Blog and steal a lot of Z’s ideas, leading to an even greater America. Happy 2017 to all.

  23. Mr Z, your New Year list contains many interesting possibilities, however I think that the chance that President Trump will push for energy self sufficiency opens the door to influence the dynamics in the Mid East. Just to see the Saudi economy weakened would be a fine thing.

    • It’s a nice idea, but the US is not going to double its hydrocarbon production any time soon (we import more than half of what we consume). The only way we’ll become energy independent is by figuring out how to split the atom in a safely cost-effective and well-regulated way. Take your choice: Doubling production is more challenging than one might think, especially if it includes doubling refining and distribution capacity (pipelines). Transforming power generation away from hydrocarbons is too. Either one is 20 years to put into effect if everyone is on board, minimum. I vote for splitting atoms! If the french can do it…..

  24. Happy New Year’s Z-Man.

    Here’s hoping that yours is a good one, and that you keep being inspired to write up and post more of the occasionally odd, sometimes weird, and generally pithy and spot on observations on our culture and politics that’s been your habit to date.

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