Monthly Archives: July 2016


"Between the Wall and the Fire"
“Between the Wall and the Fire”

Alfred Genesson has left a very kind review of Between the Wall and the Fire at his Injustice Gamer blog.

Cower not, fierce reader! We have before us today not a novel, but a collection of short stories, edited by Mr. Russell Newquist. Each story in here has it’s own crime against Social Justice, if not multiple. The stories are solid, and I’ll attempt to keep from too much spoiling the stories. These will be done along the mini review format I tried earlier.

This is a very solid anthology. Read and enjoy, fierce reader, for these tales have fires to warm the heart. Vascular muscle is tough, but full of iron. Seven of ten fell deeds.

Click through the link to read the whole thing.

An Interview With Mike Cernovich – Part 2

"Danger & Play" by Mike Cernovich
“Danger & Play” by Mike Cernovich

A few weeks ago, as I was finishing up my review of Gorilla Mindset, I reached out to Mike Cernovich for a blog interview. He graciously agreed.

Mr. Cernovich is the author of the aforementioned Gorilla Mindset as well as Danger and Play: Essays on Embracing Masculinity and Juice Power!: How to Juice for Healing, Fat Loss, and Lifelong Health. He’s also the producer of the upcoming documentary Silenced! about the decline of free speech in the modern west. Yesterday’s Part 1 focused on his bestselling book, Gorilla Mindset. Today’s Part 2 focuses on writing, publishing, and business. Finally, Tomorrow’s Part 3 will focus on Mr. Cernovich himself and his upcoming projects. As always, this interview is presented unedited exactly as he gave it to me.



What made you decide to get serious about writing?

I also wrote out of passion, but to make a living doing this, I had no choice other than to get serious.


How long did it take you to write your first book?

Since Gorilla Mindset was my life’s work and was published last year, 37 years sounds about right. Sitting down to write took between 6 and 18 months.


How much time do you spend writing every day?

2-4 hours.


Do you enjoy the writing process or is it a slog?

I love writing blogs and Twitter posts. I do not enjoy writing books. The process of writing, re-writing, editing, formatting, etc. bores me.


You’ve been picked as an ?editor at large? for Castalia House. Have they published any books you’ve picked yet?

The people I want to write have less confidence in themselves than they should.

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” – Bertrand Russell

But there’s no hurry. Life is a long game.


Can you talk about anything forthcoming that you’re looking at for them?

We need a solid book on nationalism, as there isn’t an fair treatment of nationalism in America. RamZPaul is the man to write this book, but he’s never written a book. I’d like to sit down with him and get him writing. I’d also like to get a book by Steve Sailer or John Derbyshire out.


You’re working on an upcoming documentary film. How did that come about?

To change culture, you must make movies. Must. It’s not optional. As much impact as I have on social media and through my writing, you can’t compete with films. Full stop.

I knew I had to do a film on free speech, but had no idea how to make that happen. I met a film director through Milo Yiannopoulos and decided to take the risk.

I agreed to fully fund Silenced ( myself. It certainly caused me some anxiety to agree to outlay that kind of money without any guarantee that I’d get it back.

With book writing, I’m a profit-making machine. With films, who knows?

I had to apply my own Gorilla Mindset methods to calm myself down.

I ran a Kickstarter, which raised nearly $80,000 from 1,000 people (some donations came in after the Kickstarter had ended).

Working on a film while finishing a book and growing a massive social media profile while exposing hoaxes and breaking news has worn me out and it’s time to relax.

No one ever said changing the culture would be easy!


Care to tell us a bit about the film itself?

Who is censoring us? When you write something (or don’t write something) is it because the government might kick down your door? In the West, that isn’t a problem. The issue is that we are censoring each other.

Silenced looks at what free speech means to people from all walks of life. We talk to Milo Yiannopoulos, Anthony Cumia, Alan Dershowitz, Dave Rubin, Scott Adams, and many others from all walks of life.


Got any ideas what’s coming down the pipeline after Silenced?

Truthfully I may take some serious time offline. I have been “on” for about three years straight now and am really starting to feel it.

Some say Andrew Breitbart was killed by Twitter, and I am starting to understand that.

Even when living your passion, it’s important to take some down time.

I also have a child on the way. Don’t be surprised if I go quiet for a few months around November.

[Congratulations, Mike!]



Thus ends Part 2. Come back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion as we talk about Mr. Cernovich himself.


Madison Martial Arts and Spirit Made Steel Karate are Merging

In January, 1995, I stepped into a small martial arts class at the Madison Rec Center. Sixteen years old and armed with my first real paycheck, I had no idea how much Sensei Kevin Swanner was about to change my life. Over the next twelve years I followed Sensei Swanner and Spirit Made Steel Karate through five moves and multiple knee injuries for both myself and Sensei Swanner! Eventually I became an instructor myself as his program grew.

In 2007, my wife Morgon and I moved to Georgia where I first began teaching on my own. After I moved back home and finished my master’s degree, I continued that by opening Madison Martial Arts Academy.

Today life has come full circle and again I’m “going home.” After running his own dojo for thirty years, Sensei Swanner is retiring from most day-to-day teaching responsibilities. As he continues the next leg on his journey through the martial arts, he has asked me to step in and help his program continue.

In the coming weeks, Madison Martial Arts Academy and Spirit Made Steel Karate will merge into one program and one location. We will be occupying the current Spirit Made Steel location at 1604 Slaughter Rd, Madison, AL 35758.

The new, combined school will allow us to provide a better program to our students in every way. We will have better and larger facilities, more equipment, additional instructors and new friends to train with.
Classes will move to the new location beginning on Monday, August 1st. In addition to the move, there will be some schedule changes. Please see the new schedule below.

Thank you all for joining us on this great adventure!

– Sensei Russell Newquist



Cross posted to the Madison Martial Arts Academy blog.

An Interview With Mike Cernovich – Part 1

"Gorilla Mindset" by Mike Cernovich
“Gorilla Mindset” by Mike Cernovich

A few weeks ago, as I was finishing up my review of Gorilla Mindset, I reached out to Mike Cernovich for a blog interview. He graciously agreed.

Mr. Cernovich is the author of the aforementioned Gorilla Mindset as well as Danger and Play: Essays on Embracing Masculinity and Juice Power!: How to Juice for Healing, Fat Loss, and Lifelong Health. He’s also the producer of the upcoming documentary Silenced! about the decline of free speech in the modern west.Today’s Part 1 focuses on his bestselling book, Gorilla Mindset. Tomorrow, Part 2 will focus on writing, publishing, and business. Finally, Friday’s Part 3 will focus on Mr. Cernovich himself and his upcoming projects. As always, this interview is presented unedited exactly as he gave it to me with the small exception of a slightly corrected book title.



What made you decide to write a book on mindset?

I got tired of reading books full of anecdotes and theories on happiness and mindset. Those books left you feeling that mindset existed and could be trained, but there was never a mindset training manual.

Imagine reading a book about lifting weights. The author tells you the life-changing power of going to the gym while sharing stories of people who improved their lives by going to the gym. Then imagine this book doesn’t contain a single workout program or explanation of what it means to “go to the gym.”


[Editor’s note: I don’t have to imagine it. I’ve read it.]

Well that’s what the mindset genre was like. There were no training programs. Gorilla Mindset isn’t a theory book. It’s a training manual for your mind.


Which works and authors would you say influenced the book?

Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is the category leader, and that book helped me when I was 19 and trying to figure life out. I always wanted to write a book on that level.


What was your favorite part of the book to write?

Probably the health and fitness section. We all know that going to the gym confers aesthetic benefits. I hadn’t seen anyone tie in going to the gym with mindset and lifelong cognitive health.


What was the hardest part of the book for you to write?

The whole book was brutal to write, and that’s why I finished it a few months later than scheduled.

Writing blog posts is easy. I can do those all day. Writing a comprehensive theory on mindset where every section ties together….that was a real challenge!


How did you go about researching the book?

When I was in a bad mood, I’d ask myself why. Then I’d deconstruct that mood. I’d share these thoughts with others, get their feedback, and create systems and methods to eliminate bad moods.

In other words I didn’t spend much time reading other books! Gorilla Mindset is a practical book based on real-life experience of myself and my many readers, friends, and podcast listeners across the world.


A lot of the book is clearly written from personal experience. Did the changes in your own life come about gradually or was it kind of all at once?

Gradually. There was never a single “a-ha!” moment where everything came together all at once.

That’s why Gorilla Mindset has different chapters and sections, which while forming a cohesive mental model of the world, are also separate.

Learning to control my self-talk was especially helpful to me as an introvert. For others, self-talk isn’t as much of problem. Those people are more anxious and full of worry, and thus the Gorilla Mindfulness sections are a game changer for them.


You have several interviews with subject matter experts in the book. Did you find it easy to get them to agree to interviews, or did you have to approach multiple people in each field to get enough for the book?

It was easy because I’ve been online for years. By virtue of being around for a long time, awesome people come into my life.


Can you share one or two of the most inspiring success stories from those who have read your book?

Several people have told me they were suicidal before finding my writing. That means more to me than learning that someone is meeting a lot of girls or whatever – even though Gorilla Mindset does give people more confidence to be outgoing, take more chances, and meet more people.

It’s also common for people to start making a lot more money after reading Gorilla Mindset.



That’s it for Part 1. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for Part 2, where Mr. Cernovich shares his insights on writing, publishing and business.



Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key ADVANCE READER COPIES

Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key
Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key

Advance Reader Copies for Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key by my friend S.D. McPhail will be going out in the morning. If you signed up for a copy, check your e-mail in the morning. If you’d like an advance copy yourself, it’s not too late! You can sign up for a copy here.

After an assassination attempt on his royal father, Prince Rasteem vows to track down the dastardly Chudreev the Viper. After he and his brother lead the Persian army to victory in an invasion of the mythical Dodrazeb, Rasteem begins to suspect that they may not be on the right track. As he searches for Dodrazeb’s fled King and his beautiful daughter, he learns that a powerful artifact has also gone missing. With the help of new allies, he must track down his father’s true assailant, and prevent him from recovering The Origin Key.

Here’s what others are saying about Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key

  • A Smart, thrilling mix of history and fantasy. S.D. McPhail is definitely an author to watch. Brian Niemeier, Campbell-nominated author of Souldancer
  • “The Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key is a stunning debut novel from an author to watch. McPhail’s creation is packed with tension and excitement, from the political machinations of the empire to the almost Atlantean history of Dodrazeb and mythical Anutupi. The imagery is enchanting, but the adventure is mesmerizing.”Ashley Chappell, author of the Dreams of Chaos series

This is the best third-century Persian historical sci-fi sword-and-science novel that I’ve ever read. Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key goes on sale on July 30th!

Violence Always Escalates

violenceLast week I mentioned a saying that my sensei used to drill into us at the dojo. “Violence always escalates,” he said. Once violence begins, it doesn’t stop on its own. Violence only ends for three reasons.

  1. Violence ends when one party loses the ability to continue.
  2. Violence ends when one party loses the will to continue.
  3. Violence ends when one party makes a conscious effort to deescalate it and the other party is amenable to deescalation.

That’s it. Violence never ends for any other reason. Even one party achieving its objectives can’t end the violence on its own. If the other party still has the will and ability to fight, conflict will continue. Worse, as my sensei noted, it will escalate.

Retaliation is never equal. It is always greater. In the immortal words of Sean Connery, “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.”

If it seems like 2016 is going off the rails, that’s because it is. There are many ongoing conflicts in the world today: Palestinians vs Israelis,ISIS vs the west, Black Lives Matters vs Blue Lives Matter, Russia vs Europe, the US vs… well, everyone it seems like. All of these conflicts are escalating. At times we’ve had leaders willing to make a conscious effort to deescalate. At times we’ve had leaders on the other sides amenable to deescalation. We’ve never quite managed to have both at once. Given that, escalation is inevitable.

Contrary to popular opinion, there is nothing special about the modern age. We like to believe that we have evolved, but we have not left conflict behind us. There is no right side of history. History is riddled with pockets of peace as long as the one we’ve recently enjoyed. Some have been even longer. They inevitably end and conflict returns, as it is now. And when it comes, it always comes faster than people believe possible.

All of the conflicts I’ve listed are going to get worse before they get better – because violence always escalates.

No Second #Brexit Referendum

GBP-BrexitThe idea that there was going to be a second #Brexit referendum was, frankly, rather silly. “Leave” carried 52% of the vote. That’s as much as Barack Obama carried in both 2008 and 2012. It’s more than George W. Bush carried in either 2004 or especially 2000. It’s substantially more than Bill Clinton carried in 1996 and nearly ten points more than he carried in 1992. You have to go back almost three decades to find a US president who carried more than 52% of the vote. That was George H.W. Bush in 1988 – the year my wife was born.

That’s right – in her lifetime, my wife has seen one US president carry a higher percentage of the vote than Brexit did.

On top of that, the turnout was close to 75%, which is radically higher than any US presidential election in my lifetime.

In other words, if the Brexit vote were deemed invalid then there would basically be no reason to have any elections at all, ever. We’ve never once invalidated a presidential election. We didn’t decide that the result was too narrow for it to count. We didn’t call a “do over” because we believed people might change their minds the next day. And believe me – an awful lot of folks would like to invalidate many of those elections.

Nevertheless, this is how democracy works.

Today there’s confirmation: there will not be a second referendum.

The Government has rejected a call for a second referendum on European Union membership in a petition that was signed by more than 4.1 million people following the Brexit vote.

It was the most-signed Government petition since the process was introduced in 2011.

However in an official reply, the Foreign Office said 33 million people had had their say and “the decision must be respected”.

Folks like Mark Kern have done in demonstrating that a large number of those 4.1 million petitioners aren’t even British. Yet even if that weren’t the case, 4.1 million doesn’t compare to the 17.4 million who already voted to leave.

The voters have had their say, and they said “leave.”

Conflict is Nonlinear

dallasFor years and years as I was training in the martial arts, my sensei drilled many sayings into us. One of them is particularly appropriate at the moment: Violence always escalates. Over the years I’ve learned to put some caveats and limits on that saying – but the core of it remains true. Violence always escalates.

Today I’d like to add a corollary to that: Conflict is Nonlinear. What the heck does that mean?

Linear phenomena are simple. If you make a small change, get small and predictable result. Make a big change and you get a large, also predictable, result. Think about your water faucet. You turn the knob a little bit and you get a trickle of water. You turn it a lot and you get a deluge. Turn it the other way and it turns off. The direction that you turn it always produces the same effect: one way gives you more water, the other way gives you less. And the amount that you turn it adjusts the magnitude of the effect in a smooth manner.

Nonlinear phenomena are completely different. Imagine that your faucet worked completely differently. Pretend for a moment that turning the knob a little bit in one direction gave you a trickle of water. But turning it more in that direction turned it off. Give it another turn – a large one – and… you get a trickle. Give it another tiny turn, still in the same direction, and it gives you a flood. Try turning it in the opposite direction and you get similar effects.

True nonlinear systems follow complex mathematics. In one sense, they’re not quite as completely unpredictable as what I just described. You can predict patterns of behavior that can give you some ideas of how the systems work. On the other hand, they can be even more unpredictable than what I just described. Predicting exact, precise results for nonlinear systems is pretty much impossible. This is why the weathermen still can’t predict the weather more than a day or three in advance, and they’ll probably never be able to.

The human brain handles linear systems very well. We encounter them every day and they match with our natural intuition. But we don’t handle nonlinear systems well at all. They respond in completely non-intuitive ways.

Conflict is nonlinear. Once it starts, it doesn’t respond predictably at all. Tiny events can escalate it out of all proportion. Meanwhile drastic events can have imperceptible effects, barely effecting anything. Or maybe the tiny events have tiny effects and big events have big effects. The reality is that both can and do happen once the conflict starts.

Racial tensions in this country have been growing for at least the last year – I’d actually argue for far longer. Last night, the conflict kicked off in earnest. It doesn’t matter who’s right and who’s wrong. Once bullets are in the air, they don’t care which side you’re on.

Rule of Law is Dead

hillary_bitch_faceAfter nearly a year long investigation, the FBI today recommended that no charges be filed against Hillary Clinton for maintaining her own private e-mail server. This is despite the fact that there is more than enough public evidence already to file plenty of charges. Had I or any of my coworkers committed the same offenses that we know that Hillary has, there wouldn’t have even been a year long investigation. They’d have long since thrown us under the jail and destroyed the key.

Rule of law is officially dead in this country. If you are sufficiently connected and powerful, the laws simply don’t apply anymore. Meanwhile, the little guy is held accountable for the tiniest infractions. Welcome to our banana republic.

Hail Caesar! – MOVIE REVIEW

Hail Caesar!
Hail Caesar!

I promise I won’t let this blog turn into a review blog. This will be the last one for the week. Not only have I gotten a lot of reading done lately, I’ve also gotten the chance to watch a few things.

Hail Caesar! is the latest movie from the Coen brothers. If you’re a fan of their work, that alone is probably enough to convince you to see it. If their typical off-beat quirkiness isn’t your thing, you won’t like this film, either. This movie is more than a little weird – but you expected that when I said “Coen brothers.” If you don’t get that particular style of weird, you just won’t get it.

It currently has a three star rating on Amazon. After watching it last night, I suspected bifurcated reviews: half four and five stars, half one stars. I was partially right. 36% of the reviews are one star reviews. The rest are nearly evenly distributed between two, three, four, and five stars.

This is pretty fair, actually. It represents the fact that this movie honestly isn’t quite as good as the typical Coen brothers film. Also, I’m convinced that it’s getting slightly lower than normal reviews because of the way it depicts communism. The film accurately shows its communists as idiots. It also accurately depicts the way that communists – with Russian sponsorship – really did infiltrate Hollywood in the 1950s. There are a lot of ideologues – and specifically some SJWs – out there who want to pretend that the Communist infiltration was all invented by Joseph McCarthy. They conveniently ignore the fact that KGB records released in the 1990s proved that McCarthy was right about Hollywood Communists.

But I digress. The film itself is fun. The film portrays life in a simpler age. I particularly enjoyed Hobie Doyle, the “aw, shucks” cowboy-turned-drama-actor. I’m a firm believer that “simple” is not the same thing as “stupid,” and I really enjoy it on the rare occasion that you see simple characters portrayed very well. The film is about life inside an old-school Hollywood studio, so Doyle is working on a new film. I especially liked the way they had to alter his scenes to accommodate his acting style – and the fact that it turned out to actually be far better for it.

As I said, though, this isn’t quite as good as some of the Coen brothers’ other films. O Brother, Where Art Thou? it is not. Still, I’d easily sit through it again. And I’d definitely recommend it if you’re just looking for some fun. I give it four out of five stars.