Saturday, February 26, 2011

Yet Another "Can't We Just Compromise" Article

Around these parts, Senator Jesse Helms is remember fondly for his conservatism and his no compromise style. Helms was the longtime Senator from North Carolina. He is reported to have scream at opponents:

“Compromise, hell! … If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?”

The answer to Senator Helms question is, of course, "No!", just in case anyone had any doubts. So it was with a growing sense of anger that I read in the Huffington Post an editorial by Paul Clolery entitled Intelligent People with Opposing Ideas Can Compromise. He is, naturally, writing about the need to new gun control laws. My answer to him is the same as Jesse Helms answer was: Compromise hell.

I must admit that Clolery brings up some of the memes more subtlety than do many of the articles I read. For example, after a little history lesson about the duel between Hamilton and Burr, he points out that the founders could not imagine multi-shot weapons. Really? I give our Founders more credit for imagining the possibility of modern technology than does Clolery, but just to pop his bubble a bit, pepperbox pistols were already extant at that time, though not many were in use. I am sure some of the founders were aware of them.  If they were aware, I am sure they thought about how these could be used in the future by militia members to great advantage.

Then there's the "Second Amendment was an after thought" meme. Of course, that would mean the First Amendment was an after thought too, and there goes the freedom of the press. Where this meme falls down is that in order to get the ratification of some States, promises were made to immediately amend the document to include a bill of rights. Unlike politicians today who make promises they never intend to keep, Madison intended to keep the promise, and it was his first priority in the new Congress. So, no, the first ten Amendments were not an after thought, but an integral part of the ratification of the Constitution.

The definition of "compromise" includes the idea of a quid pro quo. In other words, we each get something. But I don't see were you are offering one of your basic rights up for grabs. My answer is always "compromise, hell," but since you insist on a "compromise" then you should be willing to give up a fundamental right as precious to you as the right to keep and bear arms is to me.

Since Mr. Clolery likes history so much, he can see the time line of Gun Control here. I would note that for all of these infringements on our Second Amendment rights, the only thing offered up is the vague promise that somehow we'll be a little safer. Of course, we didn't ask the Government to make us safer. Like the TSA grope-athons, they did that all on their own without asking us after a few newspaper editors ginned up a hew and cry. And, as it turns out, like the TSA grope-athons, not one of these laws made us any safer. You can read all about it in John Lott's book More Guns, Less Crime.

So, I ask again, what fundamental right are you willing to offer up?  How about this. If we pass this further infringement on our rights, you agree not to vote in any future election. Indeed, the Government would collect the names of everyone who advocated for the infringement, or who voted for it in Congress. If an anti-gun member of Congress voted for it, all who voted for him can be presumed to have voted for it as well. This list of people would then be stricken from the voting lists, and would be barred from ever voting again. Their children would also be barred, and their children, and so forth. You, and your children and grand children would forever be barred. You, and all your family will never have a say in any future undertakings of this Nation. That's compromise. You want the illusion of safety? That's my price, and no less.  Your children will curse you forever, but then mine would curse me forever if I allowed any further infringement of our rights as well.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wherein I Go Where No One Should Go-Speculation on the 2012 Election

It is too early to speculate on who might carry the conservative banner in the 2012 elections, if anyone.  There might be a dark horse candidate that comes seemingly from nowhere.  The Left might suddenly moderate its actions, and leave Tea Party candidates high and dry.  Fat chance, but you never know.  It is a long time to 2012 in political terms.

Now, to rehash for a moment. Remember that last time, we had a choice between two Fascisti. Note that I use the word Fascist not in a derogatory manner, but it the sense that Jonah Goldberg defined as:
“Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the ‘problem’ and therefore defined as the enemy.”
In this sense, it was clear that either McCain or Obama would ultimately have very similar policies, and we would be heading down the path to greater totalitarianism no matter which one was elected. That so many conservatives chose not to vote is not surprising.  But now conservatives have some apparent conservative choices.  Sarah Palin is exciting, and always says the correct thing.  Unfortunately, Sarah Palin is also divisive.  I like her.  Many women do not.  Allen West is a warrior who has had to make tough decisions on the battlefield, and has proven himself in at least a Congressional election.  But Col. West, by his own admission, needs more seasoning in the wily ways of Washington, DC.  I expect Col. West to show up in 2016 or 2020.  Michele Bachman also looks like possible material for the Presidency, and I am sure she is weighing her options.  For the first time in a long time, there is some depth to the conservative brigade in government, and I hope to see a true conservative candidate.  On the other hand, people like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have proven themselves to not hold conservative principles.  If these "front runners" become the nominee, expect conservatives to again sit out the election.  Note to the Republican establishment:  don't push these guys on us. 

All this speculation was generated by an article in the American Thinker today entitled
Rubio and Reassurances by Chet Arthur. Arthur seems to feel that women voters, in particular, want to be reassured. They don't generally like war like talk. Now, some of my readers will disagree. That's fine, but think about the women you know. Think about their attitudes towards the topic of guns, self defense, and the need to be on constant alert to dangers that may be just over the horizon. Brigid of Home On The Range and Tam of View from the Porch may be the exception, but I bet most women are not like that.  Now, a lot of women do carry a weapon, and believe when push comes to shove in any chair in a bar fight.  They just prefer not to think of these things.  Mrs. PolyKahr, for example, is always happy to let me go first.  If I don't get blown up, well then it is probably safe for the Mrs. to go there.  I suspect most women are somewhere on that spectrum.  According to Mr. Arthur, Marco Rubio has the ability, at the same time, to hold truly conservative principles, and to reassure not only men, but women as well.  Rush Limbaugh said (and I paraphrase because I heard it while driving somewhere) that Rubio makes every speech a teaching moment on the Constitution.  High praise from the god father of the modern conservative movement.

On the other side is Marco Rubio's relative inexperience.  Like Obama, he will be a Senator for 2 years in 2012.  Because the Left has no problem changing its talking points from day to day, I am sure they will try to make hay out of this, though I don't know how. Go read Chat Arthur's article, then check out Marco Rubio. He may just be the candidate for you, if he runs.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rye Bread

The saying goes that if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody gets to be happy.  Well, Mama ain't been happy for a while now.  She likes rye bread, and I have been concentrating on classic sourdough for a while.  Recently, I decided to branch out.  I made a loaf of ciabatta to prove I could.  It was tasty, and the big holes sucked up lots of olive oil, but alas, ciabatta did not satisfy Mama.  For those wishing to catch up on my bread baking exploits, see my previous posts here and here.

So, Monday I announced that it was time to wake up Fred (my starter) and make some sourdough rye bread.  Mrs. PolyKahr seemed pleased, which always pleases me.  I did some investigating of rye bread, and rye flour.  One of my sources is a book entitled The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum. There are other books on the market which other bakers swear by, and you can read about them on the various bread forums. Indeed, the flame war between deciples of Peter Reinhart vs the acolytes of Rose Levy Berenbaum rival the 9mm vs. .45 Auto wars.  And yes, they have forums on the Internet for bread bakers, both home bakers and professional and artisanal types.

Rye, like other grains other than wheat, does not have gluten.  It is therefore impossible to make a leavened bread with 100% rye flour, since the grain does not form the long strands of protein necessary to trap CO2 bubbles and make the bread rise. Rye is also somewhat bitter in large amounts, so I had to determine what the correct ratio of rye flour to wheat flour should be. According to Mrs. Berenbaum, she uses around 20% rye to total wheat flour in her sourdough rye formula. In her Jewish rye formula, the ratio is 41%. I settled on 24% since sourdough starter is less active than standard yeast, and the rye flour is whole grain.  Here is the formula I am using:

Bread Flour 100%
Rye Flour 24%
Water 76%
Starter 38%
Sugar 2%
Salt 3%
Caraway Seeds 4 TBS for two loaves

Combine 8 oz starter with 10.65 oz Bread Flour, 5.10 oz Rye Flour, and 16 oz Water to make the sponge.  Let rise until doubled.  10.25 oz Bread Flour, 1 TBS sugar, 2 tsp Salt and 4 TBS caraway seeds.  Knead with Kitchenaid Mixer and dough hook on speed 2 for 8 minutes.  Let rise until doubled.  Shape into two boules and let rise until doubled or until when dimpled it just barely returns.  If it doesn't return, place in oven immediately.  Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

Now for some speculation.  Just how did ancient man decide to make bread out of other grains besides wheat, especially rye?  I think it may have been that rye was available, and used in small quantities, could help extend the wheat crop, and therefore feed more mouths.  But bread flavored with rye tends to go especially well with certain preserved meats such as pastrami.  Mrs. PolyKahr loves a good Reuben Sandwich, which traditionally contains corned beef. Both Corned Beef and Pastrami have a slightly sour flavor, which goes well with the flavor of rye bread.  Hopefully, Mrs. PolyKahr will have a hot pastrami sandwich tonight.

The War on Guns: New York City’s gun permit system reflects elitism, not equality

The War on Guns: New York City’s gun permit system reflects elitism, not equality

As to yesterday's post, David Codrea says it better than I did. But what would you expect? David is a professional, whereas I do it to inform my friends and family, and two other readers out there (you know who you are.) So go read David's National Gun Rights Examiner article.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Comparing and Contrasting Two Second Amendment Articles

A pretty fair article on a North Carolina firearms instructor can be found at Instructor Teaches Citizens How to Protect Themselves with a Gun courtesy of Keep and Bear Arms. A quick quote:

He educates citizens ranging from retirees to night nurses to bankers, along with people who have had their homes broken into or have faced danger.

“People are afraid on many levels and we can take them and teach them the correct way to fire a gun and also give them the education and laws to know what rights they hold,” Rhodes said.
This is a straight up puff piece, with no attempt to inject any anti-gun bias. As such, I left the article feeling as though I might like to take a course from this guy some day.  But there is little discussion of policy, Second Amendment rights, or the philosophy behind the use and carrying of arms other that noting that his father always carried a gun because "you might never know when you need it to protect yourself against the bad guys."  In fact, I have to wonder if the article wasn't just a reprint of a presser.

Now compare and contrast with The Enforcement of Gun Laws. Where do I begin? How about this:

The mayors' group has helped defeat legislation that would allow gun owners with concealed-weapons permit in one state to carry a concealed firearm in another, a sore point with National Rifle Association supporters. The mayors' group wants to make federal trace data about guns used in crimes available to law enforcement and to make summary reports about trace data available to the public -- another sore point for foes.
Trace data has been available to law enforcement all along for specific crimes. In other words, if a police department is investigating a crime, they have the gun and serial number, and ask the BATFE to trace it, they get this data for this specific gun. What the Mayors actually want is the entire database of trace data to help them prosecute lawsuits against specific gun manufacturers. It is called the Tiahart Amendments and you can find their take on these amendments at Mayors Against Illegal Guns Federal Legislation site.  But no mention of the controversy, or why the "gun lobby" (actually, millions of individual citizens, but characterized in the article as the NRA), might have objections to what the Mayors want to do.  Indeed, if all they wanted was to enforce the laws on the books, why is there even a page on Federal legislation?  Clearly, they don't want to just enforce existing laws, but create more laws making life harder for legal gun owners, while failing to do anything to stop actual criminals.

This paragraph is symptomatic of the entire article.  Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) is characterized as just some poor small town rubes who reasonably just want to enforce the laws we already have.  They are pitted against Big Guns, who are forcing upon an unwilling public a bunch of lethal killing machines for profit.  But in fact, MAIG is a vicious bunch of gun grabbers who don't trust you and me to responsibly handle the keeping a gun.  They also don't seem to think that you and I can handle the truth.  Take a look on the write up for the Tiahart Amendments under the MAIG Federal Legislation website by clicking "read more" in red.  Note the stated reasons they say they want this data.  It's to go after gun dealers who break the law.  Now, unless I missed a memo, I don't remember mayors being deputized to act as Federal agents.  So how are they planning to do this?  I submit that the reasons stated are not truthful, and that the real reason is the desire to put gun manufacturers out of business with burdensome lawsuits in friendly courts.  But the "journalist" writing the article never even raises the question.  Is she even aware of the web site?  Or, does she deliberately burnish the MAIG reputation because in her mind they are fighting on the side of the angels?

Mayor Bloomberg, with the backing of MAIG, has been running around the country acting like some kind of paladin, or a lone ranger, swooping in on gun dealers and gun shows hoping to find illegal activity taking place.  His latest exploits can be found here. In Virginia he broke the law, having private investigators make straw gun purchases, all under his own authority (hint: he has no such authority). Unfortunately, he has not done anything about the real cause of crime in New York City, NYC criminals.  According to Hizzoner, since he has been incompetent at controlling criminals within his own jurisdiction, people as far away as Virginia and Arizona must have their rights curtailed.  And this "journalist" supports more out of control behavior from Bloomberg by refusing to ask the hard questions.  I now know why they call it the "media." Because calling it "journalism" would be a gross misuse of the language.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Man Who Almost "Gets It"

I found this letter to the editor of the Asbury (New Jersey) Park Press in yesterday's cache of news from Keep and Bear Arms. S. Duane Ruland makes a convincing argument here. I only have a little nit to pick, at this point in the letter:

None of the above is to suggest we engage in armed revolution, or that some reasonable limits on rights are not acceptable. After all, free speech doesn't allow crying "fire" in a crowded public place or libeling someone, nor does the right to assemble permit blocking city streets.
The emphasis is mine.

Actually, it does permit the crying "fire" in a crowded public place.  No permit is required to exercise one's free speech rights.  You do not have to pass a background check, no sanity requirement is imposed.  If you do cry "fire" and there was no fire, you are prosecuted after the fact for the infraction.  If, on the other hand, there was indeed a fire, you will be hailed as a hero.  Now compare that to the Second Amendment, where you must get a permit to exercise your right.  You must pass a background check, and recently "sanity" requirements have been added to existence of a crime in your background.  You must satisfy the Government that you are not a threat before they will "allow" you to own or carry a weapon.  There is no prior restraint on First Amendment rights, but there is a prior restraint on Second Amendment rights.  But the rights are in fact analogous.  If you misuse your Second Amendment rights, you will be prosecuted.  If you use them as intended, you will be hailed as a hero, saving the lives of innocents.

For those not inclined to think this through, I should point out that uttering anything that you know to be false can have dire consequences, up to and including death of innocent others, if people act on what they hear.  Words have consequences as surely as bullets do.  Therefore, the rights should be treated the same.

I applaud Mr. Ruland for taking on yet another ignorant article and correcting the glaring errors of the "journalist."  It is work that needs to be done, but I have long since grown weary of constantly pointing out these errors.  It is easy to print lies, but it takes an enormous amount of time to correct.  Mr. Ruland gets it, almost.  Cheers to the Mr. Rulands of the world. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Way Up North: A Christian's Guide to the Second Amendment

Way Up North: A Christian's Guide to the Second Amendment

Via the Liberty Sphere, I found Rev. Paul's "A Christian's Guide to the Second Amendment." This is taken from a Roman Catholic publication, and will dispel the myths surrounding the carrying of arms and the use of deadly force to defend one's life and the lives of those in ones charge. I urge you to go read it.  It says nothing that I have not said here at one time or another.  But for those who argue from authority, here is another arrow in your quiver.

Sanity Slowly Returns to Europe

I can't remember when I first heard the term "multiculturalism," but when I heard it, it just didn't sound right.  It was like playing C and D together on a piano.  A tin ear would not necessarily hear it, but it jangles the nerves.  It is close to the old idea of the melting pot, but not quite. It's the difference between true tolerance, and acceptance. It's the difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution. One leads to Liberty and Freedom, the other leads to tyranny and abuse. So, when I saw Europe Dumps Multiculturalism over at the American Thinker by James Lewis, I had to click on it to see what he had to say.  Please go and read his take.

My own take?  Sanity returns to Europe, but it may be too little, too late.  If they started teaching the Great Books again to everyone who goes through school, and they brought up the fertility rate to something close to replacement values, they might, just might, turn things around by the end of the century.  Why?  Because just as the Lord led the Israelites around in the desert for 40 years so that no one who remembered Egypt was alive to enter the Promised Land, so the Europeans are going to have to await the death of an entire generation which has been raised on multiculturalism, nihilism, and political correctness, and a profound nanny state.  Meanwhile, they are going to have to aggressively teach their own history and the philosophical roots of that history.  Cultural change takes a long, long time.

What about us?  We have been going down the same multicultural path for some time now.  We have an entire generation raised on political correctness.  We have an entire generation who believes every culture is the same, except that ours is worse than others.  We have an entire generation that believes every religion teaches the same basic things, except Christianity is somehow worse than others.  Those who believe these things do so without real evidence.  They believe these things in a childish way-that if the founders weren't perfect in every way, then the document they wrote is fatally flawed, and we don't have to listen to them. We have people who point out that they didn't have cell phones and iPads then, so because techology has changed, the Constitution needs to be scrapped.  That isn't an adult evaluating the document on its merits, that's an adolescent raging against tradition.  If these "children" had studied history, they would know that technology changes, but we ourselves do not.

We have obsessed so long on the failings of our founding fathers, that we forget that they gave us the greatest political document ever written, the Constitution of the United States.  The founders were first and foremost men, not gods.  Like every one of us, they made some wrong choices.  They also made some brilliant ones.  I believe, in addition, they had divine providence on their side.  They were men of their time, as we are men and women of our time.  But in spite of all that, they worked with far greater insight to the human condition than many of those who followed, or follow today.

In the interests of breaking with political correctness let me quote from the article:

Because the State controls the schools in Europe, its famous Deep Thinkers always end up boot-licking the ruling class, just like Friedrich Hegel, the hero of Karl Marx. Hegel and Marx both admired the Prussian State, except that Marx was convinced that he should be Otto von Bismarck. It's not really complicated.
Emphasis mine.  That there is the bald faced, bare bones truth.  All the Marxist-Leninist theory, all the so-called Marxist "scholarship," all the (Feminist, Black, Hispanic, fill in the blank) "studies" are all hog wash.  The real answer is they believe they should rule you and me.  There, that should be clear enough.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lies Obama Told

I remember that one Democratic Senator said, admiringly of President Clinton, "He's an unusually good liar." I suspect Clinton was so honored because of the whoppers he told with such emotion on his face while knowing that at least some of his audience would not believe him. In contrast, President Obama seems as incompetent in the art of dissimulation as at nearly everything else. Glenn Beck has exposed the latest Presidential whoppers in this post from Hot Air Pundits entitled Beck Runs the Numbers on Obama's Deficits. Go and watch the video.  Glenn doesn't have to work very hard.  Without even seeing the numbers, I had listened to the President while driving, and to what he was proposing, and had already figured it out.  Any President can not be serious about taming the looming Sovereign bankruptcy crisis while running a deficit.  Period.

Meanwhile, our newly elected Republicans are proving to be as timid as they ever were. While making bold claims on the campaign trail, I have not seen any of them, including Rand Paul, offer nearly enough budget cuts to bring us back to fiscal sanity. The American Thinker has the scoop on the level of our woes in an article entitled Faking Our Way to Sovereign Bankruptcy. Here's the shocking money quote (no pun intended):

According to BIS, the US must run higher than a 2.4% budget surplus (higher than the Table above to reflect worsened conditions). A surplus this size has not occurred since the inception of the modern welfare state. To achieve this surplus, the US would have to cut spending by $2.0 Trillion in one year! (Note that any combination of cuts and tax increases necessary to produce this figure would suffice. This discussion assumes cuts only and tax increases would drive economic activity down and likely not be effective.)

Obama claims his new budget produces $1 Trillion dollars of cuts over 10 years. (At first blush, it is seen to contain at least 15 different tax increases to achieve his claim.) Even if his numbers were real, that is half of what BIS says is required in the first year and every year thereafter for 20 years! Over Obama's 10-year horizon, the BIS say that $20 Trillion is required. To achieve it, requires spending cuts of more than 50% of total government spending immediately!
Emphasis is mine.

We need a truly bold strategy. One that gets us down $2 Trillion this year and then marks out how we are going to maintain that level in the out years. Whole departments and programs will need to go. The philosophy that if someone is hurting in America, the Government must act must go. And if the Republicans can't do this job, for which we sent them to Congress, then they must go too.

If you want to decide what must go, and what must stay, start with the Constitution.  Departments like DOE, HUD, Department of Energy, and the Department of Agriculture need to go now.  ObamaCare must be defunded in its entirety NOW.  We must determine a strategy to get us out of Social Security now.  We must also tackle Medicare, and bring it under control.  Of course, the last two programs are not Constitutional, but they have been around so long that it will take time to ween people off of them.  Eventually, they must go.  Some departments, like the EPA need to be cut down to size.  I don't deny that they may have some Constitutional purposes, but those purposes are extremely limited.  The FCC is in the same boat.

Note to the Republicans.  Yes, the Democrats will fight, and fight dirty.  Obama won't sign off on these, that's a given.  But they will be seen as the obstructionists.  Hint: now is a good time to propose these things.  You will never be stronger.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Anthropogenic Global Warming and the Gun Control Act of 1968: A Common Thread

An interesting article over at the American Thinker today posits that Anthropogenic Global Warming is actually born out of a novel by an Austrian Nazi. You will have to decide, but the author, Mark Musser makes an interesting case in The Nazi Origins of Anthropogenic Global Warming Theory. Here is how he opens the piece:

One of the primary pioneering theorists on apocalyptic global warming is Guenther Schwab (1902-2006), an Austrian Nazi.[i] In 1958, Schwab wrote a fictional novel built off of Goethe's (1749-1832) Faustian religious play entitled "Dance with the Devil." While a few scientists since the late 1800's had contemplated the possibility of minor global warming coming from industrial pollution, Schwab used Goethe's dramatic approach to convert the theory into an apocalyptic crisis. The book outlines many looming environmental emergencies, including anthropogenic global warming. Guenther Schwab's very popular novel was an apocalyptic game changer. By the early 1970's, it had been translated into several languages and had sold over a million copies.
Now, I am ready to believe anything bad that I read about the Nazis. This was a thoroughly wicked group of people lead by a thoroughly wicked man. But the connection here between this novel, and the later AGW theory is tenuous at best, made by inference and innuendo.  But it is an interesting theory.

The appeal of AWG to a Nazi is the control that the theory allows, if they can make you buy into it.  In order to protect the planet, you must give up driving long distances.  Before the invention of the automobile, the average person lived entirely in a 10 mile radius of where he was born.  Most people rarely traveled outside that 10 mile radius.  And that is just the way they would like it.  It controls the peasants, you see, and leaves more space for our betters, unencumbered by the little people coming around and making trouble.

Now, if you want to find an actual connection between the Nazis and 21st century America, let's take a look at the 1968 Gun Control Act. KalashnikovJosh has a good post (but long) linking the 1968 GCA to the 1938 German gun control law here. Or, you can read about it at the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership here.  The Germans already had the 1928 law on the books, but strengthened the law in 1938.  Sen. Thomas Dodd, who probably spoke German, and who was a major player in the Nuremberg war crimes trials, imported many of the concepts from the German law into GCA 68.  Why?  Well, one can only speculate, so speculate I will.  I suspect that Sen. Dodd was a progressive, meaning some shade of marxist/socialist/fascist/communist.  We used to call them "Pinkos."  It is a collective idea.  The notion that men are free to do and think what they will scares the daylights out of some people.  Instead, they want people like themselves in charge and making decisions for everyone.  Oh, good decisions, to be sure.  But some people are not going to like these decisions, and hey, they don't want them shooting up the place.

Never mind the skin heads dressing up in Nazi uniforms and giving the Nazi salute. They are not the true Nazis. For the most part, they are pathetic racists who have glommed onto some of the Nazi ideology.  The Senator Thomas Dodds of the world and the folks who buy the AWG nonsense are the more dangerous. They are scared of what you and I might do if we had the means to do it.  They are afraid of free will.  The sad part is that we have let these people anywhere near the levers of power.  James Madison must be rolling over in his grave.

Switzerland Votes to Retain Guns

I have been watching this over at Theo Sparks site, and I am happy to report that the Swiss rejected gun control. You can read all about it at the link.

It is interesting to me that this seems to have been framed as a "womyn's issue" as feminist groups seemed to be pushing it. Frankly, I think every woman should have a gun, and know how to use it. Mrs. PolyKahr has one, different from mine, and she can hit at what she aims. I especially encourage mothers to have a gun, and carry it with them at all times. Someone needs to be able to defend the children, and mothers are the ones who are with them most of the time.

I often encounter women and young mothers who seem, like lawyers, to believe in the magic of words.  In an effort to deny their responsibility for protecting themselves and their children, they will say things like "Oh, I don't want icky guns around my children at (McDonalds, school, the park, fill in the blank.)"  I point out that while you can outlaw guns in one area or another, outlaws could care less about your laws and will have them anyway.  For those of us who understand this, the incident in Cary last Thursday stands as a cautionary tale.  Banks are a gun free zone by law.  Yet someone entered the Wachovia bank in Cary claiming to have a gun and held everyone hostage for several hours.  The standoff ended when a sniper took the bastard out.  (While it was later determined that he didn't have a gun, he said he did, acted as if he did, threatening people with an object that looked like a handgun.  So convinced was everyone, that when he emerged with that object pointed at a woman's head and forced her to kneel, the sniper took the shot.)

So, the real question is will a mother be able to defend herself and her children effectively if someone should start shooting.  Sometimes I get them to at least think about it, but not often.  Still, one can only try.  To those who say the police will protect them, I usually ask them to look around and tell me how many police they see.  I point out that stuff happens often in seconds, while the police are, at best minutes away.  Sometimes that gets them thinking.  To be honest, I have never had someone come back to me and say that I had changed their minds.  But I sow the seeds.

I found this paragraph from the linked article interesting:

Although Switzerland's overall crime rate is low by European standards, the country has the highest rate of gun suicide in Europe.
Note that Switzerland doesn't really have a problem, having one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, but the article highlights the "gun suicide" rate. The country with the highest suicide rate in the world is also the country with one of the strictest gun control schemes, Japan. Like everything about gun control, this idea that somehow if the instrumentality is not available, nobody will be able to commit suicide, is a misdirection and is false.  The trick is not to compare "gun suicide" rates, but overall suicide rates.

The Swiss have made a decision for reality in self defense.  A famous progressive President, Theodore Roosevelt admonished us always to "walk softly, and carry a big stick."  The same applies to individuals.  We should all be at least civil to one another at all times, but have a handgun concealed on our person just in case.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Is Governor Bev Perdue Corrupt?

ABC News channel 11 here in Raleigh has a report up about possible corruption in the Governor's office. The story, entitled Perdue was subject of 1996 corruption probe on February 10, 2011 by Steve Daniels describes recent documentation that ABC 11 News has received.

The FBI's investigation was closed, but never really resolved. The report itself raises questions, but there are no answers here. This so far looks like a case of "we report, you decide," an unusual stand for the media today.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Federal .45 Auto Recall

For those using Federal Premiun .45 Auto, please go to this web site to see if your ammunition is in the recall.

Thanks to Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League for pointing me to this web site.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Note to Progressives

I have been watching the news about the various Middle East nations, as well as the news about Muslims here at home. I am more convinced than ever that the so-called "god" Mohammad was talking to, and whose words he was writing down in the Koran, was not the God I worship in the name of Jesus Christ. Reza Kahlili (a pseudonym) has an article today on the gross killings, mutilations and torture that continues in Iran entitled Islam, Human Rights & the Iranian Regime's Killing Spree. A quote:
In the summer of 1988, over 30,000 political prisoners were executed in a very short period of time and buried in mass graves. Thousand of intellectuals, journalists, poets, writers, students, and political activists have been murdered by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence with utmost cruelty, some in their homes. The founder and leader of the Nation of Iran Party, Dariush Forouhar along with his wife, Parvaneh, were among them. The assailants entered their home, tied the husband and wife to chairs, faced them toward Mecca, and stabbed them to death, mutilating their bodies.
For those inclined to excuse these abuses, saying for instance that all that occurred a long time ago, let Kahlili bring you up to date:
Since the beginning of 2011, in just three weeks, Iran has hanged over 95 prisoners - many charged as "Mohareb," enemy of God, and many on false charges of drugs. Hundreds of political activists have been imprisoned and thousands remain on the execution list waiting for Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, to clear the way for another mass execution.
Progressives, Socialists, Communists, Fascists, and others on the left seem to think that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. They seem sure that after the Muslims have created enough chaos, they will be able to sweep in and control them, so they say nothing. But the enemy of my enemy remains my enemy. These people believe they are doing God's work, so they are not going to back down.  If you an not quite bring yourselves to stand with those of us who appreciate our Western traditions, at least don't support the enemy.

One of the lessons of the life of Jesus was that each man and woman must come to God of his or her own free will.  If you have a law that he will be beheaded for not praying toward Mecca 5 times a day, you will ensure a great deal of public piety.  But what is in these peoples' hearts?  It would certainly be within God's power, seeing as he knows what is in their hearts, to strike down all who deny him.  But he doesn't do it.  I believe he doesn't because he loves us, and wants to give us every chance.  So our God loves life, the Muslim Allah loves death.  Where do you stand, Progressives.

Quote of the Day

From Free North Carolina via the Western Rifle Shooters Association comes this pithy bit:
"Foreign aid: A transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries."
-- Douglas Casey

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The War on Guns: Reason Fails

The War on Guns: Reason Fails

From David Codrea at the War on Guns comes this Virginia Pilot editorial. Go read the whole thing to get a good idea of the irrationality of it. I quote below:

Why did they kill a bill banning the sale of magazines that hold 20 or more rounds of ammunition?
So let's just take this little piece apart, shall we? Now, how did the writer of this editorial decide that 20 rounds was enough, but 21 rounds might be too many? You remember revolvers? Most of them had a round count of 6. Since most police carried 6 round revolvers, and 6 rounds was good enough for them, its good enough for the "common people." So, why isn't he railing against any magazine over 6 rounds?

On the other hand, the venerable M1911 pistol, and its variants used for 75 years by the military, had a round count of 7.  The military side arm had to be plenty safe to make it "soldier proof" but at the same time, pretty effective to have killed all those enemies during WWII, so yeah, make it 7.  But wait a minute, many manufacturers today manage to squeeze in an extra round, so maybe we should outlaw any magazine with a capacity of more that 8 rounds.  Hmmm.

Today, the Glock 17 is the most widely used police sidearm in the world, with a magazine capacity of 17 rounds of 9mm Luger.  So, maybe a round count of 20 is okay.  But surely anyone can dispatch any bad guys with a single round.  Isn't that what all the TV shows tell us?  So 17 seems excessive somehow.

Say, don't all these examples use different-what do you call them-calibers?  Let's see, the typical police revolver used .38 Special.  The M1911 used .45 ACP, while the Glock uses 9x19.  Is there any difference in the relative stopping power of these different cartridges?  Could that affect someone's decision about how many rounds they want in their magazines?  How about the circumstances under which they expect to use them?  Might target shooting be different than carry?  Might militia use be different than hunting?  Boy, this round count thing gets pretty complicated.

There is no reason, or reasoning behind a 20 round capacity magazine.  The Virginia Pilot just wants to "feel" that it is doing something, anything, to stop something that they will never be able to stop.  The most they can do is advise everyone who wishes to be as prepared as possible.  Having more guns in the hands of more people who know how to use them will limit, but not eliminate, the damage that criminals and the insane may cause.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Who Killed the Constitution? We did.

Zbigniew Mazurak provides an excellent guide to the way things used to be, and the way things were intended to be by our Constitution in an article yesterday at the American Thinker entitled Executive Orders and Presidential Prerogatives. Would that Mr. Mazurak was correct in what he writes. For instance:

Executive orders and regulations issued by the president are law for no one except federal executive agencies. Only the Congress can make law for anyone else. So any executive orders or regulations are not law for you unless you work for one of these institutions. The same applies to any executive regulations imposed by executive agencies such as the EPA.
So, farmers could just sort of ignore the proposed regulation of spilled milk that will put a baby food on a par with petroleum products in terms of harm to the environment. If only it were true.  Whatever regulations are finally promulgated will be enforced against any farmer who objects, with guns and jail if necessary.  That's part of the problem.  Unfortunately, the President has guns, and the Congress and Courts do not.  So, when those guns are pointed in your direction, are you really willing to tell him "Hey buddy, you can't do that"?

I am not a Constitutional scholar, so do not know when the exact ruling took place that killed the Republic, but if you believe Thomas E. Woods, Jr. and Kevin R. Gutzman, writing in Who Killed the Constitution it was a variety of politicians, judges, and presidents. Some of it was done for expediency, some for power grabs, all of it because of venal desire for personal gain above the common good, and all of it has acted to steal the liberties that ordinary Americans once expected as a birthright.  The nanny state is taking over everywhere, and individual judgement and responsibility has been made virtually illegal.   Wood's and Gutzman's verdict? The Constitution as we know it is dead.

Today, the Curmudgeon Emeritus over at Eternity Road has a post up entitled Enforcers that points out that expecting the Federal Government to enforce the Constitution was a little bit naive of us. The people, through the Second Amendment were intended to enforce the Constitution. We failed.

When the federal government decided to ignore the Constitution's constraints, did you pull the musket down from your mantel? Your Curmudgeon didn't.

Therefore, it's not the Constitution that's failed; it's its enforcement mechanisms.

We thought we could safeguard our freedom by periodically changing scoundrels. At least, enough of us thought so.

We were wrong. Or squeamish. Or cowardly. Take your pick.
Right now, some 49% of the people receive largess from the Federal Government in some form or another. These people have been bought and paid for with our tax dollars. They are not going to be the least bit interested in returning to Constitutional governance.  The courts, and especially the Supreme Court are divided between nominal originalists, and those who believe they can make the law up as they go.  The latter are in the majority.  And why not?  It is more satisfying to right supposed wrongs than to slavishly follow what some legislature has decided, though that is their job.  Congressman Clyburn famously told Andrew Napolitano that most of what they do in Congress had no Constitutional basis, with no apparent irony or embarrassment. The United States faces a deficit said to be $14 trillion, but if you look at the unfunded entitlements, is really so large that there is not enough wealth in the world to pay it. Yet they propose to cut a mere $100 billion.  This is gross incompetence of the worst sort.  Meanwhile the President, as Mazurak indicated above, is on a tear to advance his socialist agenda by any means necessary.  I am sure the Posse Comitatus act will be no impediment if the time comes.  While the outer forms are maintained, we no longer live under the rule of law, but the rule of men.  So what do you do?  How do you obey an unjust law?  How will you explain yourself to the Creator when judgement day arrives?

The truth is, I do not know.  Perhaps, like Washington, our job is not so much to win, but to avoid losing long enough for God to rescue a future generation.  In the meantime, keep your powder dry and your stocks built up.  And pray.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Case of the Incurious Mr. Grimaldi

Thanks to Dave Hardy of the blog Of Arms and the Law for pointing to the site at the Washington Post White House delays gun reporting along Mexican border. The report is a follow-up to the furor several weeks ago about the ATF seizing power and forcing FFLs to report sales of multiple long guns within a stated period. You can read about the background to the story at Armed and Safe. The thing that all gun writers have noted, time and again, is that what the ATF was doing was blatantly illegal, on both procedural grounds and in attempting to claim authority specifically not granted by the legislation.

The report, by James V. Grimaldi, has all the usual buzz words, and not one mention of the power grab attempted by the ATF, or the dimensions of its unconstitutionality. For example:

The decision delays for at least two months a proposed requirement that gun dealers along the Mexican border report anyone who buys two or more assault weapons in five days. White House officials said the delay will give the public more time - until Feb. 14 - to comment on the proposal.
Did you catch that? He says the ATF power grab was to catch people who buy two or more assault weapons in five days. Actually, nobody in the United States can purchase an "assault weapon" at a gun dealer. Assault weapons are fully automatic sub machine guns. New ones, built since 1986, can only be purchased by governments. Old ones can still be transferred, at huge costs, between fully vetted citizens. But nobody is going to go into a store and buy two or more "assault weapons," at $10,000 and up, only to smuggle them across the Mexican border and use against police.  Be practical.  Most FFLs do not even deal in such things.  What the ATF actually asked to be reported was the purchase of any two or more long guns by the same individual within a 5 day period that were greater than .22 caliber and accepted a detachable magazine.  That covers a pretty wide swath of the gun market.  It covers semiautomatic guns such as AR-15 and variants, but also rather normal .22 cal rifles such as the Ruger 10/22 rifle.   Do you think the ATF might have had something else in mind?  And if the ATF had succeeded, do you think they might have expanded the new regime to the entire United States?

In fact, with all the controversy currently surrounding the ATF and what has become known as Project Gunwalker, isn't it surprising that Grimaldi should take Administration statements at face value? In a previous generation, two Washington Post reporters virtually ended the Presidency Richard Nixon. But that was then, this is now.  So let me suggest some ideas to the incurious Mr. Grimaldi.  The Administration, and the ATF, hoped to use the ongoing turmoil over the Southwest border, which the President as studiously neglected, to expand the law by regulatory and unconstitutional means.  The Administration is probing, using the ATF, the EPA, the FCC, and who knows what other agencies, to see how far it can go in advancing its agenda.  In this case, the Administration has folded for now on this front, but I also suspect that something along these lines will pop up again when we aren't looking.

Stay vigilant, be prepared

Update:  Mike Vanderboegh of the Sipsey Street Irregulars has this post up about the same article.  As usual, Mr. Vanderboegh cuts with a sharper knife.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Either Traitors or Fools

Yesterday, in the American Thinker, there was a short piece entitled Does Gun Control Work? Look South, you fools by Russ Vaughn.

Mr. Vaughn points out that the Mexican Constitution does indeed recognize that people do have the right to keep and bear arms. But the Mexican Federales place so many restrictions on gun ownership, that the average peasant doesn't qualify. Besides, there is only one gun store in all of Mexico. Yet, the country is awash in guns and drugs. And no, the majority of guns do not come from the United States civilian gun market. Crew served machine guns and grenade launchers are not available here on the civilian market. Vaughn's point?

Let's see if we got this right. The simple citizen can't own anything larger than a .22 because of federal gun control laws, while the drug cartels, who could care less about said gun control restraints possess armories which in many cases rival or exceed those of the Mexican police forces and even the national armed forces. The money quote from the Washington Post article is this, "Asked whether Mexico's gun-control laws were working, Mendoza said, 'Ask the criminals.' "

What is it that liberals seem incapable of grasping about the stark truth that if you outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have them? Look south you wishful fools, and see what your gun control has wrought.
Now, "liberals," as Vaughn politely puts it, or more likely Progressives, are anything but fools. Oh, there are the true believers and useful idiots in the crowd. But I think the Progressives know full well that gun control does not work as a crime control scheme. So what is it they really want? Let me suggest, since no one is saying, that one reason could be that the Progressives do not want us to have available that fourth box, the cartridge box (the other three boxes are the soap box, the jury box, and the ballot box.)  So which is it, Progressives.  Are you traitors, or just plain fools.

South Dakota Wants You to Have a Gun-At Your Own Expense

This morning I woke to this presser from the Citizen's Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. I realize that South Dakota is probably not serious. Rather, this proposed bill is intended to show supporters of ObamaCare the ridiculousness of their ideas. If a citizen can be forced to purchase health insurance, why can't he be equally forced to purchase a gun, or for that matter, broccoli:

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today said a proposal before the South Dakota Legislature that would require all adults in the state to buy a gun “should make perfect sense to anybody who supports Obamacare.”

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said legislation sponsored by five South Dakota lawmakers that would require anyone over age 21 to purchase a gun for ordinary self-defense seems reasonable.

“If you can mandate that people must buy health insurance,” Gottlieb observed, “then you can mandate that people must buy a firearm. After all, they both can keep you alive and well.”

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported that the requirement, if adopted, would become effective on Jan. 1, 2012. The provision exempts people who are legally prohibited from owning guns.

“Anyone who argues that such a proposal is nonsense should apply the same standard to Obamacare,” Gottlieb said. “That goes double for anyone who thinks mandatory gun ownership is unconstitutional.

“There is no place in the Constitution I can find where it mentions that having health insurance is a protected civil right,” he noted, “but the right to keep and bear arms is right there in the Bill of Rights. We know, thanks to last June’s ruling by the Supreme Court, that the Second Amendment right to have a gun applies to all citizens in every state.

“Anybody who thinks the health care mandate is constitutional, but doesn’t think the Second Amendment is an individual civil right apparently has trouble reading the Constitution and the Supreme Court rulings,” Gottlieb said. “Maybe those individuals want that government-run health care so they can get their eyes checked.”

How much clearer do we need to make it for the Progressives on the Supreme Court?  If a citizen can be mandated to purchase ObamaCare, couldn't a person's income be so filled with mandates that there is nothing left for him to pursue happiness?  It is the ultimate control.

Update:  Selwyn Duke provides the example of where this analogy breaks down today in a short piece on American Thinker entitled That South Dakota Mandate. The exact analog to the SD bill is indeed Massachusetts and RomneyCare. Both are Constitutional under each State Constitution, and both are bad ideas. But since I don't think anyone has a serious intention of actually passing the SD bill, it still makes a good point.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sikhs Allowed to Wear the Dagger

Why doesn't this decision amount to establishing a religion?

We have a report today, courtesy of Theo Sparks, of a Sikh student who is allowed to wear a religious dagger to school here. It does seem as if the school district is imposing double standards. Christian children have been suspended for praying, holding Bible readings, and wearing crosses to school. The courts have generally found that when Christian children do these things with the schools indulgence, it amounts to an establishment of a religion.  Children have also been suspended for bringing tiny plastic soldiers with tiny plastic guns to school. You know the kind, the little green plastic soldiers we used to play war with.

Now, keep in mind that I do not object to a Sikh wearing a dagger anywhere.  It is his right, and a practice of the Sikh religion. I just want to see the same standard applied to other students.  In other words, Christian students should be allowed to pray and hold bible readings, on their own.  They should be allowed to wear crosses if they so choose.  On the other hand, if the courts want to continue the inanity, then nobody should be allowed to express or practice any religion.    Half measures where the schools allow this, but not that, strike everyone as being unfair, and un-American.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What Do We Mean by Limited Government

We Constitutionalists often talk about the need for limited government.  We often cite Thomas Jefferson's famous saying that "A government big enough to supply you with everything you need, is a government big enough to take everything you have..."  Indeed, unlimited government is most obvious every April 15th, and with the mounting debt burden.  Such a debt places us all in jeopardy of becoming slaves to those foreigners who hold our debt.  It is assumed that a government acting solely within the scope of duties delegated to the Federal Government by the States in the Constitution will therefore necessarily be limited, and the problems we currently have with debt will be more manageable.  While such is not guaranteed, it is more likely.  But there is another aspect of limited government that I think nags at nearly everyone, be they conservative, libertarian, or liberal.  That is the number of laws with which we don't necessarily agree, or find violate our own principles, that are being executed in our name.

Right now, I have a so-called "Representative" who is a committed Progressive, and who votes for things that I find repugnant to my principles as a Constitutionalists.  Oh, I write to him to express my opinions, and on occasion he writes back.  Not in so many words of course, but reading the meaning, what he usually says is that when he wants my opinion, he'll send some goons to beat it out of me.  He and Mr. Obama see eye to eye apparently.  Now, for the "But Bush (fill in the blank)" crowd, I found much of the stuff he did equally anti-Constitutional and repugnant to my principles. Indeed, if you followed Sunday's post, you will discover that this has been going on since before I was born, and getting more pronounced with each passing year.  But this is not merely a problem for us Constitutionalists.  In the next district over, they have elected a Tea Party candidate.  All of the liberals and the Progressives who live in that district have the same problem as I do; a Representative who doesn't represent them.

The solution, for everyone, is limited government; fewer laws and less regulations that deal only with those things delegated by the States to the Federal Government.  In the American Thinker today, Tom Roberson has an article entitled Overachievers with Low Self Esteem. It is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at some of the recent attempts to impose other's ideas of how we ought to be living on all of us.  An example:

Michelle Obama's weight problem and lack of self-control is channeled into a childhood obesity campaign to rid us of high-calorie foods she can't resist. The reasoning that if they don't exist, Mrs. Obama won't be tempted. Sorry, Michelle, but you'll just find something else to eat...so get over it and embrace the salad bar
Now, Mrs. Obama is free to yammer on all she likes about eating healthily, but when it is enacted into law, or policy, that is when I object. It is clearly outside the scope of the Constitution. Wouldn't it be better to leave menu choices to private individuals? The so-called "experts" certainly don't have a great track record when it comes to deciding for us. I remember when low fat was the thing. Then Atkins came along and showed that low carbohydrates were more effective. Who knows what will come next? It is better, I think, to let everyone decide for himself. But Tom Roberson says it quite well:

Now we've got a government that forces us to use detergents that won't clean, low-flow toilets that won't flush, pesticides and herbicides that don't kill, food with no taste, and light bulbs with bad light. They also want us to use unreliable and expensive energy such as solar, wind, and ethanol, while pretending that our vast coal, oil, and natural gas reserves don't really exist or are too dangerous for the environment. We're supposed to trust these idiots? "Green" has become a codeword for "useless" on product labels, warning consumers to look elsewhere if they need an effective product.
and:

Personally, I'm sick of the government trying to keep me safe and do my thinking for me. I like a little danger and excitement every once in a while to let me know I'm still alive. I want to ignore the label warnings and use a product in a manner inconsistent with the directions. I want to rip the tag off my mattress and ride my bicycle without a helmet. These trifling brushes with danger are made exciting by the fact that the elitist power set have sucked all the fun out of life with their endless rules and regulations.
Of course, there are more serious issues over which the philosophical divide is so great as to never be resolved.  Some people believe the TSA keeps us safe at airports, and are therefore willing to undergo massive intrusions upon their persons.  I do not share that belief, and instead would rather take my chances with a terrorist.  How to resolve it?  I would suggest getting rid of the one size fits all TSA and instead return to having the individual airlines perform such security as the market will bear.  The airlines will find solutions that do not involve groping at the risk of going to jail, I assure you.  Guns are another issue, that the framers had solved with the Second Amendment.  Those who believed guns were efficacious were free to own such guns as they desired without infringement.  Those who equally believed guns were evil were free to not own them, or to have them in their homes.  The framers wisely recognized that everyone took risks whenever one went abroad in public.  Problem solved until the Government began acting outside the scope of Constitutional powers.

That is what we mean by the term "limited government."

Thanks to Mike Vanderboegh

The scandals over at the ATF, the prospect of the House of Representatives actually holding hearings on it, were the topics of discussion on every one's tongue at the Raleigh Gun Show the other week. Mike Vanderboegh of the Sipsey Street Irregulars reports that Congressional hearings are now a near certainty. Mr. V and David Codrea have largely brought this about, and I thank them for their yeoman work.  Whether changes to the law will result from these hearings, or whether the Congress will chose to grandstand, and then business will go on as usual remains to be seen.  Please also take the time to read the two letters, posted at Sipsey Street Irregulars, from Charles Grassley to Ken Melson.