Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Militant Narcissism

I have been noting of late a lot of what I call militant narcissism on display at every turn.  And it occurs in all areas of life, both right and left. It is seen in Moms Demanding (worthless and meaningless) Action on Guns and in gun owners ostentatiously open carrying in stores and restaurants. It is seen in the utterly terroristic tactics of militant homosexuals, of Islamic jihadi terrorists, of the mobs in Ferguson, Missouri, and even in the aggressive driver weaving in and out of traffic in an often vain attempt to get to his very important destination a bit faster. It is often caused by people who have found what they believe is THE ONE TRUE WAY, whatever it is, and everyone must now sit down and shut up.  If you do not bow to THE ONE TRUE WAY, they will make you.

Some examples may help illuminate what I mean by "militant narcissism."  The other day Mrs. Polykahr and I were out shopping.  On the way home we encountered a bicyclist on a two lane road struggling along at around 10 mph smack dab in the middle of our lane, forcing us to slow down.  Where we encountered him there were double yellow lines indicating no passing.  Now, on a lot of roads around here, the pavement stops inches past the white line, and the road falls off onto a soft shoulder.  Obviously, one can not ride the shoulder because it is not paved.  But on this particular stretch, there was a wide paved shoulder, and he should have taken advantage of it.  Eventually, the way was clear to pass, and the center line had become dashed, so we did.

Now, the bicyclist was within his rights as a vehicle to take up the entire lane. He was not doing anything illegal.  But he was being extremely discourteous, and I am sure he knew it.  But bicyclists have become "militant" in greater numbers these days, feeling that theirs is THE way to get around, and that those who drive cars are just not doing their part.  They are not saving enough energy, or they are contributing to greenhouse gases, or whatever the reason for riding rather than driving is.  Often, this type of bicyclists doesn't really like this mode of transportation, but believes himself to be doing it out of a misplaced sense of duty.  This attitude of course ignores that many have handicaps that prevent them riding a bicycle, and no amount of training or working out will ever allow them to do so.  It also ignores that the only reason the bicyclist is able to pursue his particular sport is because trucks, vans and other vehicles ply the roadways bringing goods and services to a market near his home.  If he had to ride 30 miles to the supermarket every day to pick up the days groceries, rain or shine, snow or extreme cold, he would think differently about making riding a lifestyle.  But these people do not think about these things. No, instead they do things like this.

I know something about riding a bicycle.  When I was younger, I rode a bicycle frequently to work, and was a member of the Potomac Pedlars, a bicycle club with thousands of members and a riding schedule that had several rides posted for every day of the week.  Riders were classified as AA, A,BB, B, CC, C, or D.  AA riders were semi-pro or professional riders.  These were the guys you might see in the Tour de France.  A and B riders were excellent.  C, where I rode, were of average athletic ability, and D was for duffers or newcomers to the sport.  An average rider with reasonably good equipment (a well set up road bike) and a thorough knowledge of his gears could average 20 mph on level to moderately hilly roads.  This guy had the equipment, and was dressed the part, but he was clearly a D rider.  A skilled and knowledgeable rider is able to ride alongside traffic without imposing unduly on other faster traffic whose operators also have the right of way.

M. Scott Peck wrote a book back in 1994 called A World Waiting to be Born. Perhaps if we all took heed of his admonitions, we would find our roads easier to travel.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Forgiving

Today's American Thinker has a very good article on what the author calls "political Christianity" by Jeremy Egerer entitled The Devils Own Christianity. Egerer has much to say about the current Pope's condoning of evil, but this caught my eye.  Egerer:
Pope Francis says to the South Koreans that forgiveness and charity are the keys to Korean unification – a noble sentiment, if someone is really asking for our forgiveness; a wonderful teaching, if it weren't for the belligerent, murderous tyrant interested in enslaving each and every one of us. We may consider it fortunate for humanity, then, that the South Koreans are backed by something stronger than Papa Francesco's kisses and homilies: most notably an armed and dangerous defender of liberty known as the United States of America. If Jesus saves men from burning in Hell, America saves men from burning on Earth. Both are leaders of charitable organizations – that is, if charity concerns not only a granting of gifts, but also a protection of person and property. And certainly we can agree that if Christians are to be charitable, our charity has to do something with our earthly happiness.
Pope Francis is making a mistake that many Christians make, and that those who aren't Christian, but wish to shame or defame us make. Forgiveness is a personal act. A State can not forgive, because each person in that State may not be ready to forgive. Further, a State can not forgive another State, because each person in the other State may not be in need of forgiveness for the act for which the forgiveness is extended.  Some may never be ready to forgive, and may nurse that hate all their lives on this earth.

The purpose of forgiveness is to purify our hearts, it is something we do for ourselves. We may say to someone that we forgive them, but that act will not necessarily change the other persons mind.  We let go of the hurt, the anger, the hatred to God, because these emotions will destroy us if we hang onto them. We become so embittered that we no longer can see the world as it is.  You probably know someone like this.  So, we let go and let God. Furthermore, forgiveness does not mean that the person who hurt us, or wronged us does not deserve punishment. Just that his or her punishment is no longer our concern.  Neither does it mean to forget.  A woman who has just been through a trying divorce through no fault of her own may forgive her ex-husband, but she would be foolish to forget and let him back into her life.

Another aspect of Christianity that people get wrong, including many Christians is the notion that Christians should be pacifist.  They often base this on the saying of Jesus to turn the other cheek.  At the time, it was a common practice for a higher status person to take the back of his right hand and slap a lower status person on his left cheek.  Naturally, the act was infuriating to someone who had been thus slapped.  Jesus advised to turn the other cheek, which would force the slapper to use his left hand, thus shaming him.  But if you are being beaten silly and you are afraid that you might be seriously injured or killed, you must defend yourself.

Now, I am not a great theologian, nor do I put myself in the august company of one who might be elected Pope, but I can read and think, and it seems to me that now even the Catholic church is going off the rails.  And if they have these things wrong, what else?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Spies at the State Fair

I had my spies at the State Fair yesterday.  Well, actually, my "spies" included Mrs. Polykahr, the daughter and grand children.  They reportedly had a good time, thank God.  I asked Mrs. Polykahr if they had metal detectors set up to detect guns at the entrances.  Since Mr. Troxler undertook to twist the clear language of the law to make it say what it clearly does not, and then got a "judge" to follow his lead, I wanted to see if he was going to truly protect fair goers.  My spy reported that the only thing he had in the way of protection was a large sign.

Apparently, Mr. Troxler believes, as this video shows, that all that is required is to post a sign, and he has done his job. But the fairground is public land, and the fair is publically sponsored. Therefore, there are only a few places, spelled out in the law, where guns can be prohibited, and the fairground isn't one of them. But since the Commissioner undertook to disarm law abiding concealed carriers, he had an obligation to ensure no one had guns, thus the need for metal detectors to screen all persons entering the fair.

I have discussed what happens whenever there is a soft target. Sooner or later, some poor mangled soul gets it into his head to go and kill as many people as he can before the police arrive to stop him. Yes, this is sickness of the most horrific kind, and ideally such a person should be taken in custody and treated.  Meanwhile, prepared concealed carriers could stop him if he makes an appearance at a venue like the fair. But Mr. Troxler believes he knows better. He has sent away for one of those kits, because, you know, it works so well.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Its Opposite Day at the State Fair

Yesterday, as I was driving to work, one of the news headlines was that Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) had filed suit to overturn Agricultural Commisioner Troxler's ruling that guns would not be allowed at this year's State Fair. According to GRNC, in an alert today, this was the result:
Judge Donald Stephens’ decision in the GRNC lawsuit against posting the state fair against concealed carry can best be summarized in his own words: “If I can find a way to interpret the statutes to prohibit concealed handguns in the state fair, I will.”

It was evident to all that Judge Stephens had his mind made up long before the hearing began. When GRNC’s attorney argued, his attitude was nearly contemptuous, and when the Attorney General’s representative argued, Stephens was soothing and supportive as if talking to a pet dog.

The denial today of GRNC’s temporary restraining order was a classic case of legislating from the bench by, perhaps willfully, misinterpreting both the intent of the General Assembly in passing HB 937’s opening of assemblies to concealed carry, and the potential cost to crime victims of not being able to protect themselves against violent predators, as has happened repeatedly in other state fairs, the most recent being last weekend in Arizona.

GRNC is examining our options, including appeal, legislative action, and possibly an open holster demonstration at the fair. Allow me to say what I told conservative talk show host and GRNC supporter Bill LuMaye: “We don’t know yet how we will react to this setback, but I can tell you one thing: Whatever we do will be done to expand the rights of lawful North Carolinians and their ability to protect their families. The left has called it ‘the long march.’ This is our long march.”

GRNC’s operating philosophy: Never give up. Never give in. Never go away.
I, of course, am not a smart lawyer, but I also thought the language of the law was pretty clear. David Codrea's blog War on Guns notes that ever day in a Progressive Paradise is Opposite Day. This ruling strikes me as being a typical Opposite Day ruling. The judge was determined to find against us no matter what the law said.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Another Sheriff Dispised by the Dispicable

Sheriff Lewis of Wicomico County, MD, has attracted all the right people, meaning he has become despised by the despicable, with recent comments about the Second Amendment. The story is at Townhall.com, by Michael Schaus and entitled Maryland Sheriff Attacked for Promising to Defend the Second Amendment.

There is a little prayer that goes something like this: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Let us recognize first off that the Second Amendment acknowledges a pre-existing right to bear arms, it does not grant that right. The same is true for the rights granted in the First Amendment. Second, we must acknowledge that the rightful purpose of law is not to prevent crime, but to set forth the penalties for commission of certain crimes deemed harmful to society as a whole. Unstated in the law is the notion that men have free will, and can choose to do good or evil at any time. Three, laws will only be observed by those who obey the law, not by those who do not. Those who do not, we call criminals.  The point is, you can not change human nature.

Sheriff Lewis is absolutely correct.  He has taken an oath to defend and support the Constitution of the State, and of the United States.  If others who have taken similar oaths decide, as men with free will can do, to break that oath, Sheriff Lewis has warned them that he will nonetheless keep his oath within his County.

On the other hand, the people attacking Sheriff Lewis have not been paying enough attention to that little prayer.  You can make laws endlessly.  You can be as oppressive as you want, but you can not prevent bad guys from obtaining weapons with which to do nefarious things.  If you ban the (legal) sale and the (legal) manufacture of guns, they will still obtain them by smuggling them into the country.  If they can smuggle drugs,  what makes you think they can't smuggle guns with that shipment?  Or, they will manufacture them underground.  Any competent machinist has the skill and access to the tools needed to build a gun.  If you make it rewarding enough, someone is going to be making guns on the side.  Remember free will?  And, of course law enforcement, the military, and any number of "special" and  "elite" politicians, like Diane Feinstein, will be exempt, so that legal manufacturing will continue to supply them.  So, thefts from armories, corrupt police, or shipments will supply whatever is needed to continue crime as always.  These are unchangeable facts.

I understand, you are afraid.  You are afraid that neighbor with the guns secretly wants to shoot you.  Probably not, but have you ever approached him with anything but hostility?  Why don't you bake a cake, take over, and sit down with him over coffee and cake?  Discuss guns with an open mind.  Why does he keep them?  Maybe it is for exactly the same reasons you are afraid of them.  Maybe he wants to defend his family against an armed assailant.  Are you an armed assailant?  No?  Well, stop worrying about your neighbor.  Or maybe you are afraid that someone has a squirrel running around in his head telling him to go to your children's school and kill as many of the evil bastards as he can  (they're not evil bastards, that is what the squirrel is saying.)  Could be, I don't know.  But maybe your new friend has a different idea of how to protect not only your kids, but his own.  He probably has a better idea of both the power and limitations of guns.  Maybe you could try some of his ideas.  After all, we have tried the gun free zone idea, and that hasn't worked very well.  Just a suggestion, but remember that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

Now say it with me:  God, grant me the serenity...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Confession

I have a confession to make.  Like a lot of bloggers out there, I have taken my shots at Moms demand action for gun safety, the Brady Campaign, the Violence Policy Center, etc.  Now, Shannon Watts may just be exactly who she says she is, or she may be cynically using the Newtown massacre as an excuse to dance in the blood of innocents.  I don't know, and I could care less.  That is between her and her God.  But many of the women who go around, make calls, and generally make nuisances of themselves are actually scared.  They are scared of Ebola, they are scared of rising health costs, they are scared of global warming, they are scared.  They have listened to the media, have bought the Koolaid (reference Jim Jones), and done the "right things" by those lights.

To make matters worse, many of them are single, the men in their lives have not been acting very manly.  They are alone, raising children, don't have enough money to do what the media leads them to believe they should.  They just want it to go right somehow.  All these problems but no real solution.  Then along comes Shannon Watts, telling them they can do something! She points them at the wrong target, and off they go.

In point of fact, this is true of most anti gunners.  At the top of the heap you have a vile evil person who wants to ban guns in hopes he can ultimately control you and your lives.  But the foot soldiers are true believers who have been pointed at the wrong target.  Some of those true believers can be awakened with discussions of principle, of statistics, of the numbers of guns already in circulation, the ease of smuggling replacements across the border, or what have you. Most, unfortunately can not.  I would laugh if it wasn't so damn serious.

Instead, I think I will pray for these people.  For it all is really in his hands.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Surprise...Not...Hypocrisy at the highest levels

In an excellent article over at the Moral Liberal, Bob Barr notes the hypocrisy evident in the disparate way in which Voter Identification is treated as opposed to concealed carry.
“Let me be clear,” Attorney General Eric Holder emphatically declared in a 2012 speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, “we will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious rights.” Holder’s remarks were a call to arms against efforts by Republicans to require that voters show identification when they go to vote. His words reflect a belief that the right to vote is so “precious” that requiring individuals to show an ID before casting a vote is tantamount to being “disenfranchised.”

However, when it comes to protecting the right to “keep and bear arms” – which, unlike the right to vote, is a right expressly guaranteed in the Constitution itself – the Attorney General of the United States is nowhere to be found. Apparently our Second Amendment rights are just not “precious” enough to worry about when governments engage in actions expressly designed to “disenfranchise” individuals from exercising those rights.

The hypocrisy is so blatant it is painful.
One could point out the same hypocrisy with other rights, such as freedom of the press. Indeed it has been done, and it is very amusing to imagine that a publisher has to jump through all sorts of hoops to be allowed to get his message out. But, that tyrannical governments have done so, indeed some still do, can not be denied. But the fact of the matter is that those advocating either position don't really care that either position makes no common sense. In their arrogance, they don't feel a need to.