Thursday, June 30, 2016

Violence Is Never The Answer. Except When It Is.

Imagine this news story hitting the airwaves.

Two dozens members of the New Black Panther Party applied for and received a permit to hold a peaceful rally in support of black nationalism in Louisville, Kentucky to encourage other blacks to get involved politically in their cause. In response several hundred white protesters arrived ahead of scheduled time of the rally, wearing masks and carrying baseball bats. They harassed a news crew and then attacked the New Black Panther Party people as they began to assemble. A number of people were badly injured and hospitalized, including several of the New Black Panther Party members and a few by-standers.

In response Rush Limbaugh tweeted: Violence is never the answer. That said, way to shut down some black nationalists.#Louisville

It doesn't take much imagination to see the response from the media. Outrage! White supremacists attack and badly injure peaceful black protesters! Many people would, rightfully, be outraged at at outpouring of violence tinged with racial overtones in response to a peaceful, lawful rally, no matter how reprehensible the opinions of the rally organizers.

Here is the thing. This precise event just happened except the racial make-up of the two groups was reversed. Some members of a tiny white nationalist group, the Traditional Workers Party, which I had never heard of, held a rally in Sacramento. They had permits but were step upon immediately by a group called By Any Means Necessary, a group which is clearly a hate group that in their name proclaims their willingness and eagerness to use violence to silence any speech they dislike. As Elizabeth Nolan Brown, writing for, wrote:

I'm not suggesting each and every member is a paragon of propriety in their personal interactions with people of color, but there's no evidence TWP members were in any way threatening the lives, livelihoods, or property of those whom they disdain. They were just standing around the statehouse wearing Nazi-themed t-shirts.

Moral considerations aside, initiating violence against people protesting peacefully—no matter how odious their ideas—will never be a winning step strategically. And especially not in this case. It becomes clear in about five minutes of perusing the TWP website that what these "race realists" want more than anything is to be taken seriously—not just in the realm of politics but also (perhaps more so) in the realm of ideas. They want people to see what their view as common-sense Christian/conservative traditionalism, rooted in science—not promoters of violence or a fringe, hate ideology. And we live in a time where that's increasingly plausible. As one white-nationalist leader put it, "For many, many years, when I would say [certain 'racialist'] things, other white people would call me names: 'Oh, you're a hatemonger, you're a Nazi, you're like Hitler. Now they come in and say, 'Oh, you're like Donald Trump.'"

It would be easy to brush this off as some isolated event but that would be wrong. Recently there have been a number of premeditated attacks on people peacefully assembling at Donald Trump rallies by armed, and aggressive hired thugs trying to cow people into not exercising their First Amendment rights. A very mainstream Leftist population, The Huffington Post, published a piece titled Sorry Liberals, A Violent Response To Trump Is As Logical As Any. The argument is that violence is a consistent and reasonable response to Donald Trump, a guy who has every bit as much right to run for President as Hillary Clinton. Part of her "rationale" is the old "if you are privelleged you just don't understand and aren't allowed to speak" ploy:

Last, I want to briefly note the problematic nature of people with privilege condemning violent resistance to Trump as an absolute moral failing, or denying its logic. Whether you would personally engage in violent conduct matters little to your ability to understand where it comes from. Some people have the privilege to consider the implications of Trump’s rise in the abstract and negotiate which means are necessary. That’s not true for everyone. And when those who hold that privilege dismiss the potential validity or logic of violent resistance, it’s effectively an effort to dictate the rules under which oppressed peoples respond to existential threats, and to silence forms of resistance disagreeable to privileged sensibilities. Don’t be that liberal.

In other words no one is allowed to criticize anything if you are a part of any "privileged" group, i.e. white, male, normal sexually (i.e. heterosexual), Christian, middle-class, had mommy read to you when you were a baby, etc. What is dripping from the paragraph above is the soft racism of the American Left. Here is what I hear when I read that paragraph: Blacks are too ignorant and inexperienced in the world to be held accountable for their actions. When they act out they are like children raised without good parents and are incapable of rational and abstract thought. Because they are so ignorant and primitive, you must excuse anything they say or do. There is no ingrained racism quite like that of the cultural leftist elites in this country. It was just the Huffington Post. Check out this tweet from liberal talking point regurgitator TV personality Montel Williams:

Ah so violence is never the answer, I am required to say that, but way to go in using violence!  I replied back and got a very quick response from whoever monitors Montel's Twiter account:

So that was well but the original tweet still is out there. So yeah I "have a point there" but he apparently stands by his statement.

Here is where this leads. When you show up to cause violence in response to free speech, you are usually at the advantage because the people who are at the rally or whatever are generally law abiding people not looking for a fight so you can attack essentially defenseless people in a numerically overwhelming mob and get away with it. The problem is that sooner or later someone is going to assault the wrong person at a Trump rally or somewhere else and that person is going to defend themselves and someone is going to get seriously hurt or killed. It is only a matter of time.

When people cry about how awful the American Right is, just remember which side has the mainstream voices applauding and encouraging violence.

Monday, June 27, 2016

When You've Lost George Will, You've Lost...Well Not All That Much Actually

The conservative world was deeply shaken by the announcement from George Will that he was taking his political ball and going home, officially leaving the Republican party over it's presumed nomination of Donald Trump for President.

What's that? No one cared and barely noticed? Huh.

George Will is sorta like David Brooks. He is what leftists in liberal enclaves consider to be a representative conservative. Of course very few people outside of those liberal enclaves would agree. As someone who is reasonably attentive to the political scene I can say with some authority that George Will hasn't been relevant or taken seriously for a very long time. Again like David Brooks, the "conservative" counter-part to screechy E.J. Dionne on NPRs Friday political round-up that mostly gives milquetoast responses to Dionne's ravings, Will was little more than a tamed, well behaved captive "conservative" that could be counted on to not hold any discomforting opinions.

I don't really think that the GOP is worse off for losing the fancy pants lightweight Will. and he was a tame "conservative" for certain people and was a "conservative" that fellow "conservatives" in New York or D.C. could admit to reading but for the vast majority of conservatives he was far less influential than....well than just about any other media voice out there. Trump is still the nominee for better or worse and the handful of people who care what George Will thinks are already likely committed to voting for Hillary Clinton who can be counted on to keep things pretty much the way they are.

His petulant announcement seemed more like the genteel rage of someone who thinks they are far more important than they are or ever were, not realizing that being invited to all of the cool cocktail parties in D.C. doesn't equate to influence in conservative circles. I have come to realize a long time ago that many of the urban, chic leadership of the GOP doesn't understand and is more than a little frightened of the bulk of Republican voters, the people who live in places like Nebraska and Alabama, people who don't sip white win at cocktail parties and sneer at people in "fly over" country, people who are so primitive that they believe in God and go hunting with ***GUNS!*** on the weekend. They certainly don't care about issues that the rank and file care about. Sure they pay lip-service to the sanctity of life, or at least they used to, and will give awkward speeches to the NRA but on day to day issues they don't care. People like Will don't care about illegal immigrants, I mean a guy from Mexico can't put on a suit and make-up, go on TV and wax poetic about the topic of the day. So why should they care even if regular people are losing their jobs? Besides, who is going to clean their offices, do their landscaping and nanny their kids if not illegals?

So adios George. We have already forgotten you were ever relevant in the first place.

Friday, June 24, 2016

In the spirit of Brexit...

Since the victory of the #brexit folks I got to wondering if we could do the same thing here in America, since we are very clearly living in two completely contrary nations within the same borders. How about this?

Not sure about Missouri and Iowa.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Redacted (and later Un-Redcated) 911 Transcripts And What They Mean

The original reason for this post was the DOJ deciding to only release a sanitized, Muslim friendly version of the 911 calls made by Omar Mateen while he was murdering U.S. citizens. Before I could finish this post the "Justice" Department blinked and released the entire, unredacted transcript. I think a lot of people see that as a win for the good guys. It isn't. They didn't agree to release the unedited Muslim friendly transcripts because it was the right thing to do, they did it because of the social media firestorm. It is like a kid getting caught doing something wrong and being forced to say they are sorry. They aren't sorry for what they did, they are sorry they got caught. They also did it with full knowledge that when they try something once that creates outrage, each successive time it generates less outrage and eventually people just accept it. This is not the last time they will do something like this. Let me make this crystal clear.

What is outrageous is not what the DOJ did. It is what the DOJ wanted to do and still wants to do.

Let me paint the picture here. We have a fairly unusual look into the mindset of a mass murderer while in the act. A phone call where he lays out for anyone and everyone why he was doing what he was doing. Calling 911 is smart on his part and for his purposes since all of their calls are recorded. In other words he wanted to have a permanent record of his motivation for shooting up a nightclub full of homosexuals. Part of what he said and the DOJ tried to redact was this:

“I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State,” Mateen says on the new transcript.

Now usually after a mass shooting where the shooter is killed, or even when he is not, the standard line is that his motivation was unclear. We search social media, email, talk to friends and relatives, all to get a picture of why he did what he did. With Orlando we have Mateen himself telling us what his motivation was. He saw himself as a soldier of jihad. Here is a little more fro Fox:

According to the Justice Department report, Mateen said twice during the 911 call and at least once during later negotiations that he pledged ISIS or al-Baghdadi. Investigators said he spoke to negotiators in three different calls at 2:48 a.m., 3:03 a.m. and 3:24 a.m. The longest call was the second at 16 minutes. The third call, at three minutes, was the shortest. The first call lasted nine minutes.

"As the killer made these statements, he did so in a chilling, calm and deliberate manner," Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ron Hopper said during a Monday morning news conference.

During one call, Mateen told negotiators that the U.S. should stop bombing Syria and Iraq -- the countries with regions that comprise ISIS' so-called caliphate. He said the bombings were why he was "out here right now."

The attacks by the U.S. on the forces of ISIS are why he was "out here right now". Seriously. He just tells us why he was there, no need for a guessing game. This was a direct retaliation, at least in his twisted mind, for U.S. attacks on ISIS. You bomb us, I shoot a bunch of you. All part of jihad. ISIS seemed pleased by his actions. So the Department of "Justice" decided to revise history, to flat out change the facts by omitting the most critical data, so that the event which is historically verifiable changes from what it was to what they want it to be. 

Of course we are inundated with people claiming that the real culprits in the Orlando shooting are white, Republican, Christians even though the shooter was not white nor Republican nor a Christian. It is the fault of those scary "assault rifles" that make New York journalists soil themselves in fear.

Imagine this fictitious scenario:

A white guy from Iowa goes to a Jewish synagogue during their meetings, driving an F-350 pick-up truck complete with an NRA sticker and a "Make America Great" bumper sticker. He bursts in and bars the door and starts shooting. The guy is wearing a Donald Trump hat and has a cross around his neck. In his wallet is an NRA lifetime member card. While he is shooting he pauses and calls 911. He identifies himself as a Christian and a white supremacist. He proclaims his devotion to Donald Trump and says he is killing these Jews because they are Christ killers and secretly control the government, He kills around 50 Jews, men and women and children and of course is using an AR-15. He is later shot in a rescue attempt by the police. 

Does anyone seriously believe that the government and media alike would not only include the 'Christian' statements made when they release the transcripts of the 911 calls but actually would emphasize them and play them up? Unlike the Orlando shooting which places the media in a pickle because it pits two favored groups, Muslims and homosexuals, against one another with nary a white guy to blame, in the fake scenario above you have a mass media journalist's dream come true. You can be sure that even if Trump went online to denounce these actions 5 seconds after they happened, the media would paint it as Trump hesitating to distance himself from the shooter.

See, to the "elite" people of this country, those that think they are so smart and well read and nuanced, something as simple as the difference between the two largest monotheistic religions in the world, encompassing billions of people, either completely escapes them or that they willfully ignore out of sheer bigotry. Islam and Christianity, when it comes to violent extremism, are not even in the same conversation. One is rightly looked at as a source of most to virtually all of the major religious extremism in the world and the other is an incredibly peaceful religion. 

The reason Islam is specially deserving of specific attention while other religions are not is simple. While there may be a few crackpots who say they are Christian while engaging in terrorist activities, it is a tiny fraction of a fraction of the professing population, Christians and non-Christian religious types alike and it is universally condemned by Christian leaders. There are no Christians with a significant audience (like more than 5 people) that advocates for violence in the name of Christianity. Heck if anything we are entirely too passive, especially when it comes to false teachers in the church.  Militant Islam on the other hand has wide ranging and reaching large groups like Al Qaeda, controls or significantly impacts dozens of nations from Iran to Somalia to Pakistan to Afghanistan and Indonesia. It has significant national support, very significant academic and intellectual support, a record of violence and of course millions of Muslims who subscribe to the idea of justifiable religious violence. So yeah, the two, Christianity and Islam, don't even belong in the same conversation. Being a radical Christian means loving your enemy. Being a radical Muslim means bravely blowing up unarmed people. 

Keep alert people. This wasn't the last time the government will try to change the details of a politically charged event. When it comes to making a political statement, the truth is irrelevant. Only the narrative matters. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

OK this is just hilarious

In the wake of the Orlando shooting a guy named Gersh Kuntzmn, who writes for the NY Daily News,  decided to go try out an AR-15 (despite the fact that Omar Mateen didn't use one, the AR-15 is well known and sounds scary) and report back his findings. His essay, What is it like to fire an AR-15? It’s horrifying, menacing and very very loud, was the most ridiculous, over the top nonsense I have ever read. Here are some choice samples:

Not in my hands. I’ve shot pistols before, but never something like an AR-15. Squeeze lightly on the trigger and the resulting explosion of firepower is humbling and deafening (even with ear protection).

The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don't know what you're doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.

I am sure that all sounds reasonable to people living in New York City. As you might expect, Kuntzman got just eviscerated on the internet by people who own and shoot guns like the AR-15 and lots of them questioned his manliness. Me included. As an example, the Federalist published an article with this hilarious title: If Firing An AR-15 Scares You, Maybe You’re A Sissy. Exactly. I own a semi-auto rifle in .223 and it does make a lot of racket when you shoot it and it does recoil a little bit, like every other long gun ever made besides a BB gun, but it is far from terrifying. Shoot a real large caliber gun like the .300 Winchester Magnum and then talk to me about noise and recoil.

So then he goes back for more abuse and seems to wear his milquetoast personality like a badge of honor in another essay with a similarly hyperbolic title: To gun lovers, you can't even have an opinion on assault rifles — unless it's theirs. He then claims: Here's the proof. What proof you might ask? Apparently he got a lot of emails and posted the ones that hurt his feelings the most. But never fear, our brave correspondent has not yet begun to exaggerate ( emphasis mine)!

Yes, this weapon scared the crap out of me. And it should scare the crap out of all of you, too. An AR-15 is a weapon of mass destruction, a tool that should only be in the hands of our soldiers and cops, as Rep. Seth Moulton wrote in the Daily News on Tuesday. I don't think there's anything unmanly about pointing out this fact.

Well yeah, there kind of is. To equate a rifle owned by literally millions of American civilians to weapons used to kill on a truly mass scale shows that this guy is the journalistic equivalent of Donald Trump, just spouting off rhetoric without a single concern for the validity of his statements, We are supposedly not allowed to call anyone a sissy these days but he fits the bill, not because he was uncomfortable with shooting an AR-15 which I could understand for a city boy, but rather the way he went on and on and on breathlessly about how scary it was and that he suffered from short term PTSD, which is kind of a slap in the face for people who actually suffer from PTSD. I kind of wonder if he didn't have someone fan him and wave smelling salts under his nose when he got back to his apartment like they did in the movies for Southern belles who fainted.

This is what passes for "journalism" when it comes to gun control. I am sure that Gersh gets lots of sympathy at fabulous parties in Manhattan from people sipping white wine and shaking their heads at how dangerous those people who don't like in cities are. Ironically out in the suburbs and rural America where most American gun owners presumably live, you are in virtually no danger of getting shot by a firearm of any sort while in big cities like New York, populated by girlie-men who are willingly disarmed, murder by gunfire is common place. Already this weekend the war zone/gun free zone known as Chicago has had 18 shootings, 6 fatal. Gun control, working as intended. I like that Kuntzman is fine with government employees carrying scary "assault rifles" but not the average, law abiding citizen. That comment tells you all you need to know about how different the two Americas we live in really are.

For final comedy relief, here is a seven year old girl shooting an AR-15 and she doesn't seem to suffer from temporary PTSD. Seriously, if I were Gersh Kuntzman I would never write about guns again.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Well That Explains A Lot

I have just started reading Operation Thunderbolt by Saul David which details the rescue of hostages from an Air France plane that as hijacked and ended up in Uganda. It was on Albert Mohler's summer reading list and sounded interesting so I got it and one other book from that list to read in my free time.

Anyway, the book has in the center a gallery of photos, like a lot of history books do or at least did, and this is one of the photos:

The guy on the right is Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel. I am not one of those American neo-con Christians that has a fetish about the modern state of Israel but Netanyahu, while born in Israel, graduated high school in America but then went back to Israel where he served in the Israeli Defense Forces and served in and was wounded in combat. He is the guy on the right in this picture in training.

As I looked at this picture I was reminded of the rather infamous pictures of our current "Commander in Chief"while he was about the same age:

Ah yes, American youth. Years of living in the elite academic bubble, smoking pot and who knows what else before moving on to law school and "community organizing". For someone who has had to sacrifice so little, it is no wonder that America is so meaningless for him.

We are living in desperately serious times but we are led by a decidedly unserious man, a petulant child who seems to spend most of his time hectoring the American people for not blindly following his every whim. Given the nature of his wasted youth (pun intended) compared to the deadly serious youth of Natenyahu is it any wonder that President Obama has been a general disaster as a President? Netahyahu has spent his own blood in defense of Israel, Obama has...well he really hasn't done anything. Worse yet we are preparing to replace the worst President of my lifetime with either a reality show clown or a corrupt scoundrel who makes Nixon look like a saint. There can be little doubt that we are living in the last days of this Republic and what is replacing it is a nation suited for placid sheep instead of liberty loving free people.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Laws That Sound Good At First

...but really are terrible.

As the insanity continues following the terrorist attack in Orlando, the inanity levels keep rising. Yesterday we had Democrats "filibustering"a mostly empty Senate chamber to force votes on two proposed laws that sort of sound smart:

Democrats were seeking a vote on two amendments to an underlying spending bill. One, proposed by Murphy, would expand background checks. The other, proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would let the government bar sales of guns and explosives to people it suspects of being terrorists.

Well that sounds great! Who wants a potential terrorist to get their hands on a gun like Omar Mateen?! At the outset let me say that this is just an incremental step by Democrats who really favor almost absolute disarmament. Juts like pro-life conservatives seek to outlaw abortion in little bites, liberals seek to disarm the people with more and more little laws since they can't get an outright ban through Congress.

There are two big problems. First there is that pesky thing known as due process which we find in a document called the United States Constitution that allegedly is the highest law of the land. The Fifth Amendment reads (emphasis mine of course):

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The right to bear arms is a Constitutionally protected right. Getting yourself on the terrorist watch list, as I understand it, provides no judicial review. You set off the right alarm bells and you get on a list. You can sort of appeal it but it is not the same process as a court hearing. In other words, and this is important, someone can land themselves on the terrorist watch list having never committed a crime that would warrant arrest and trial, and be deprived of their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms or more broadly their due process rights. According to the Fifth Amendment no person can be denied their life, liberty or property without due process of law but that is exactly what is being proposed with the gun ban. This would be like suspecting someone might shout fire in a crowded movie theater even though they never had and being banned from exercising their free speech rights. Even more chilling is this statement from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV):

Did you catch that at the end of the clip? Due process is what's killing us right now. Absorb that for a second. A sitting United States Senator is saying that the problem with terrorism like we saw in Orlando is that pesky due process. As a reminder, as the United States Senate website reminds us, all Senators take an oath of office kind of like the President. It says:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Senator Manchin took that oath and here he is on TV complaining about one of the most important provisions in the Constitution he swore to support and defend. Due process is what's killing us right now? No Senator, Muslim terrorists are what's killing us right now.

The law proposed by arch-liberal Diane Feinstein would set aside the Due Process clause in the name of "stopping terrorists from obtaining guns".You cannot overstate how shocking that is. Get on a list without committing a single criminal act and you lose your Constitutional rights without so much as a hearing.

The second problem is related to the first. As of right now the only people on the terrorist watch list (I assume) are radical Islamists and random potential homegrown domestic terrorists of various stripes. I am not one of those (or maybe I am if you ask the wrong people) but there is nothing to prevent the government from adding overly zealous Christians to the terrorism watch list. They haven't so far, we assume, because of the potential outcry but look at the direction this nation is headed and you can see where it might become an issue. What the government can do to Muslims it can also do to Christians or Jews or Hundus or Mormons or worshipers of Odin.

I don't want radical Muslim terrorists to buy guns but I also don't want to deny a U.S. citizen their due process rights under the Constitution, first because the same thing could happen to me, and secondly and more importantly because the due process clause is one of the pillars of our free society. This is why it is so important to develop critical thinking skills because there are plenty of people in government, on both sides of the aisle, working every day to find ways to take away your liberty and replace it with government authoritarianism. Every time we lose a liberty, we never get it back so now more than ever we need to pull back the curtain and expose what is going on behind the scenes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The second most important fact that liberals and President Obama don't understand about "gun control"....

....or more likely do understand and intentionally mislead people for their own agenda....

Most people are pussyfooting around this whole event in Orlando out of either a misguided notion of "respect" or because they are just milquetoast saps. Not me. Two things happened in Orlando:

1) A disturbed Muslim guy walked into a "gay bar" and shot it up, killing almost 50 people, as part of an on-going conflict with a large and deadly strain of Islam that is tearing up the world in places like Orlando, Brussels, Paris, San Bernadino, the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. It was an act of terror inflicted on my fellow citizens. As I posted earlier in the week, when almost 50 of my countrymen are murdered the last thing I care about is who they have sex with.

2) There are plenty of power hungry politicians in America who hardly waited for the last body to drop to use this attack as an excuse yet again to demand gun confiscation from law abiding citizens. For a certain segment of the ruling class any tragedy is an opportunity to seize more power for themselves at the expense of law abiding citizens.More about that in a moment. I am certain there were plenty of politicians rubbing their hands together in glee as the news from Orlando broke before putting on their sad clown face and weeping crocodile tears for the cameras.

The most important and ignored fact about gun control, as I have said a million times, is that making certain kinds of guns illegal doesn't dissuade criminals from committing crimes, it only makes it harder for law abiding people to obtain them. See, what makes someone a criminal is that they are willing to break the law, whether that is law against buying a certain kind of gun or any gun at all or whether it is murdering someone, stealing a car, raping a woman, etc. People who break the law are not discouraged by making more things illegal.

The second most important fact is that access to guns or lack thereof is not a factor in whether someone commits an act of terrorism. 

Here is the truth of trying to link terrorist attacks like this with needing more gun control. I have a bunch of guns. I could buy as many more as I could afford, in fact if I were so inclined and had $13,000 I could buy a .50 sniper rifle that would probably kill me if I shot it instead of my target. Even if I had 1000 "assault rifles" I would be no threat to anyone who wasn't a threat to my family. I don't wake up in the morning and think "I believe I will go shoot up a circus today" until I realize I can't buy a gun and decide to take a nap instead.

The reason I don't take my guns and shoot up a gay bar or movie theater or school has nothing to do with how easy or how difficult it is for me to obtain a firearm. The reason that I don't shoot up public places is two-fold. First, unlike the shooter in Orlando, in Paris, in San Bernadino, etc. I have a faith that absolutely prohibits me from killing others and instead demands that I love my enemies just as God loved me when I was still His enemy to the point of sending His Son to die on my behalf. The second reason is that I was raised by a mother and father that instilled in me an understanding of right and wrong. I know it is wrong to shoot random people because that position fits into the worldview they passed on to me. I say please and thank you, I wear appropriate attire based on the occasion and I don't shoot 50 random strangers. 

My threat to kill people is entirely non-impacted by the relative availability or scarcity of firearms. Having easy access doesn't make me more likely to use guns to shoot up bars or schools. Having little or even no access to firearms doesn't make me less likely to shoot up movie theaters or churches since I cannot be less than 0% likely to do so. You can ban all guns, restrict the purchase of guns or give me a free firearm once a month like a Book-Of-The-Month club and the net result is the same. I and every other law abiding citizen like me simply are not going to shoot random people. Certainly many of us will not hesitate to shoot a criminal bent on hurting our family but that is so far removed from the Orlando shooting as to be unrecognizable as being related. Conversely someone bent on causing mayhem and committing murder will find a way to make that happen regardless of the law. 

The bottom line is this:

Making guns more or less available does not have the slightest impact on someone like me who is never going to use them in an act of terrorism. It is completely contrary to everything about me to murder people, whether those people are children or church goers or homosexuals hanging out in a bar. I just don't murder people , not because it is against the law, but because my constitution prevents me from even contemplating it.

Making guns more or less available does not have the slightest impact on someone like Omar Mateen who is bent on committing mass murder. You see, it is already against the law to murder forty nine people or one person for that matter. Laws don't discourage people from killing other people so why would it discourage them from obtaining a firearm or other weapon?

This sort of logic is largely lost on people on the political left. It is lost on them because they don't seem to see mass shooters and especially Muslim radical terrorists as a threat to them. No one like the Orlando shooter or the Newtown shooter is going to walk into the White House or the school where Obama's kid attend because those places are heavily guarded by trained and armed men who won't hesitate to put down an animal like Omar Mateen. No, based on their rhetoric and the logical progression of their positions what we really see is that they are terrified of armed American citizens. It may sound like hyperbole but it is not, an informed, attentive and armed citizenry is the greatest threat to statists and would be totalitarians like out current "commander-in-chief" and the woman who wants to succeed him. As an aside, I am pretty sure Donald Trump is not a totalitarian because I am also pretty sure he can't spell totalitarian. 

We could have a national conversation about guns and liberty and rights but instead what we get are politicians hiding their agenda under the bodies of dead Americans. It doesn't matter how nonsensical their arguments are, it is enough that they act outraged and ARE DOING SOMETHING!

Just remember, when someone starts talking about gun control, what they are really talking about it people control. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

I Guess I Don't Understand The Subtle Nuances Of Gender Identity Politics

So Tuesday night Hillary Clinton more or less officially clinched the Democrat nomination for the Presidency. The next day the news media was falling over themselves to sing the praises of Mrs. Clinton and her "historic" position as the first female Presidential nominee for one of the major parties. That is understandable. When you get down to it, the only thing the otherwise incredibly unpopular Mrs. Clinton has going for her is that she is a her. Other than an eminently forgettable tenure as a U.S. Senator and a disastrous stint as Secretary of State, a term that included the corpses of four Americans who were killed in Benghazi while Secretary Clinton couldn't be bothered to send help, Mrs. Clinton has mostly been a shrill donation raising machine, enriching herself by giving speeches for hundreds of thousands of dollars not to mention the clear influence peddling that was going on when her husband was President. She understands your pain and feels for the little people as she endlessly reminds us while wearing thousand dollar pantsuits. Regardless yesterday was an entire day of breathlessly praising Hillary for breaking the "glass ceiling" now that a woman has a legitimate chance to become President.

Only the other hand, the last few months have seen the push for men to use women's restrooms and locker rooms, a crusade wholeheartedly supported by the Administration including the use of extortion to try to force compliance. In this case we are told that biological gender is irrelevant and that "gender identity" is fluid, something that can change from year to year or apparently even from minute to minute. The actual, biological gender of a human being that has been common sense for thousands of years has suddenly been tossed out of the window in the last two weeks and getting men into women's restrooms is The Most Important Issue EVER in our national conversation. Biological gender is meaningless.

So which is it? Is biological gender really fluid and unimportant, in which case the main reason to vote for Mrs. Clinton is gone? Or is Mrs. Clinton's biological gender a solid enough reason to vote for her, given that to the best of my knowledge she has never declared a gender identity?

These are confusing times we live in. Good thing we have experts like Hollywood celebrities to tell us what to think because otherwise I would be lost.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The right of the people peaceably to assemble

The one and only story of the 2016 Presidential campaign is Donald Trump. Other stories like a presumptive nominee, Mrs. William J. Clinton, being under investigation while leading the race to be the Democrat nominee or an avowed Socialist receiving millions of votes for the Democrat nomination and dogging the front runner, get almost no play. Mostly that is because the media is completely and openly sold out on Hillary with the mantra that "it is time for a woman to be President", no matter how crooked and incompetent that woman might be. It is also because Trump is such a polarizing figure, a human flashpoint that draws attention like a neon billboard. Regardless of his general unsuitability, Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. It is really surreal to even type that. Anyway, Trump is drawing angry anti-Trump protestors like rotting meat attracts maggots. The narrative is that he is just so mean and hateful that people want to make their voices heard. The reality is quite different. This was the report from a recent rally held by Trump in San Jose, California:

A group of protesters attacked Donald Trump supporters who were leaving the candidate's rally in San Jose on Thursday night. A dozen or more people were punched, at least one person was pelted with an egg and Trump hats grabbed from supporters were set on fire on the ground.

Police stood their ground at first but after about 90 minutes moved into the remaining crowd to break it up and make arrests. At least four people were taken into custody, though police didn't release total arrest figures Thursday night. One officer was assaulted, police Sgt. Enrique Garcia said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries and no major property damage, police said.

The crowd, which had numbered over 300 just after the rally, had thinned significantly but those that remained, filling about a city block near the San Jose Convention Center, were rowdy and angry.

Some banged on the cars of Trump supporters as they left the rally and chased after those on foot to frighten them.

Look at what is going on. Physical intimidation, assault and battery, general criminal activity. This is not a spontaneous event, these people were lying in wait with the intent to cause mischief (unless you think people are just strolling around San Jose at night with a bag of eggs). These people are reacting with violence to one of our most critical and fundamental rights. Of course the city government was on the ball advocating for free speech (emphasis mine):

"Our police officers have done an extremely courageous and professional job so far," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told The Associated Press by phone. "We're all still holding our breath to see the outcome of this dangerous and explosive situation."

The mayor, a Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, criticized Trump for coming to cities and igniting problems that local police departments had to deal with.

"At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign," Liccardo said.

Huh? Trump holds a political rally, the very epitome of the First Amendment at work, and those attending this rally are assaulted and intimidated by criminals as they left and Trump is the one who needs to "take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign". What irresponsible behavior is the mayor talking about, holding a campaign rally during a Presidential campaign? The horror! I guess the good mayor would prefer that Trump go into seclusion and only Hillary Clinton be permitted to hold rallies where she screeches and hectors the American people. Then there is this gem which really summarizes this whole fiasco:

Nearly an hour after the Trump rally ended, police brought out a megaphone and told the demonstrators to leave or face arrest. 

According to a tweet from NBC News' Jacob Rascon, one protester yelled back, "we don't follow the law." 

Ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. Why it took this long to threaten to arrest people is ridiculous. The first punch thrown by one of these thugs should have resulted in cuffs. You can be sure that if it were Trump supporters at a Hillary or Bernie rally in San Jose causing any trouble at all and they would be given the cuffs, nightsticks and pepper spray.

I tweeted this morning:

We are bombarded with the message that Trump supporters are the dangerous ones but while I vehemently disagree with their choice of candidate, I also know a lot of people who support him and by and large they are regular people, disenchanted and fed up with the system no doubt, and certainly with some cause, but regular people with jobs and families who are looking for someone who fights for them. These "protesters"? They are not principled people expressing a different viewpoint. They are fascist thugs, the tools of the advocates of authoritarianism. When people are lurking outside of a political rally, the very epitome of free expression, free speech and freedom of assembly, with the intent to assault those inside to frighten and intimidate them to keep them from exercising their rights, they are criminals no different from people lurking around looking for a purse to snatch. I am not sure what these petty criminals and schoolyard bully wannabees are hoping to accomplish but I doubt very much that Trump supporters are dissuaded by this sort of behavior, and quite the opposite it would seem they are probably even more persuaded of the need for someone like Trump. For people who are decent, law abiding people that may not support Trump, seeing gangs of fascists attacking people trying to exercise their First Amendment rights is doing nothing to generate sympathy for their "cause", whatever that might be, and puts people in the position of seeing Trump and his supporters as the sympathetic party.

These are not protests intended to provide a refutation for and/or an alternative to a political philosophy or policy proposal. These are organized and funded riots that are designed to shut down free expression, not just the expression of an idea some find distasteful but the assault on even holding to personally held beliefs that stray from the politically permissible party line. If Trump supporters can be attacked at will, what is next? How long until someone gets seriously hurt or even killed by these thugs and what will be done about it? Where is the President of the United States speaking out against this sort of lawless behavior? 

If I were a suspicious person I would wonder if Trump or his backers are secretly funding these protests because they do a lot more to bolster what Trump is saying than refuting it. If I am going to place my sympathies with people who are attending a political rally, no matter ho juvenile and ill-considered on one hand or with fascist thugs who are doing all they can, including mob actions and violence, to shut down free speech on the other, I find myself firmly on the side of those attending the rally. There is no prohibition on being wrong in our political process but there are plenty of laws being broken by the "protesters".

Our political system is based on the marketplace of ideas and this system is protected by some of the most firm language in our Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I have often said that there is a reason the First Amendment is first, primarily because it is enshrines the principles of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, a free press and, often overlooked, the right of the people to seek redress from their government. In other words, without the First Amendment our Republic does not work and I would argue cannot survive, at least not in any form recognizable by anyone familiar with our Constitution. Of course the reason the First Amendment is followed by the Second is that without some teeth the First Amendment can be held hostage to criminals malcontents like the animals attacking people outside of the Trump rally.

Read this description of the Sturmabteilung or "brown shirts", the shock troops of the Nazi party:

The Sturmabteilung functioned as the original paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party (NSDAP).

It played a significant role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Their primary purposes were providing protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies, disrupting the meetings of opposing parties, fighting against the paramilitary units of the opposing parties, especially the Red Front Fighters League (Rotfrontkämpferbund) of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), and intimidating Slavic and Romani citizens, unionists, and Jews – for instance, during the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.

Who does that description better fit, peaceful attendees at a political rally or violent criminals seeking to disrupt and intimidate? These thugs are organized and funded by a cabal of leftist organizations bent on keeping anyone from daring to think for themselves, even when their conclusions are wrong.

Free speech is free for all or it is not free at all. We the people cannot stand by while this sort of behavior is permitted by the police and encouraged and excused by the mayor of a city with a million people living there. Supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are fueled by ignorance and resentment but I will defend their right to gather and listen to the nonsense spewed by those two.  Whatever you say about Trump and his supporters, when it comes to outrages like the one in San Jose and elsewhere they are firmly on the side of what it means to be American.

Open For Business

Back in December of 2012, following the ill-fated reelection of Barack Obama, I decided to shut down this blog. I didn't delete it, just let it go dormant. Over the course of this Presidential season I have been more and more concerned about the course of this nation that God has providentially placed me in and I have decided that, lack of readers notwithstanding, I am going to start to blog here again.

We are living in perilous times in America. I have never seen the people of this country so vehemently divided, to the point that I often feel as if we are two different nations living within the same border (for those who still recognize a national border). We are not just divided and disagreeing but there is an undercurrent of something far more troubling, a willingness on the part of many on every side to go beyond free speech and descend into violence and coercion. We live in a day when people assault others who attend political rallies (more on that shortly), where people riot if their food stamp cards stop working, where many are calling for the criminalization of not affirming "climate change", where the President of the United States orders his lackeys in the "Justice" Department to send letters to every public school in America threatening to withhold the tax dollars paid by the parents of the students who attend those schools if that school restricts males from using female restrooms and locker rooms.

Under all the public rhetoric which is itself pretty alarming there is an undercurrent of violence lurking just below the surface. We are already seeing signs of it but I think we are only seeing the beginning. I can't imagine what will go on at the Republican convention in Cleveland and in a less publicized battle what will happen with the supporters of Bernie Sanders who feel, with some justification, that their guy is getting cheated.

Don't expect any "Can't we all just get along rhetoric". That isn't mu style. Expect no-holds barred language. I am not someone who thinks that playing pussyfoot with neo-fascists is a winning strategy. Since hardly anyone reads this I have little incentive to dance around the issues. Make no mistake, the very survival of this Republic is at stake. It is a nation that is deeply flawed but it is better than anything else that has been tried and as such it deserves a fighting chance. I am here to speak out for that chance to be given.