Saturday, September 22, 2018

The simple pleasures of hamburgers

On September 20,, Kurt Schlichter went ballistic on the liberal tendency to ruin whatever they touch, including hamburgers.  You can find the article at Townhall.com and entitled Liberal Elites Are Even Ruining Hamburgers, And They Must Be Stopped. I like where Schlicter's head is, being a burger aficionado myself. The humble hamburger, which is supposed to be composed of a ground beef patty, with various condiments and served on a bun, has not improved in value or taste, but its price has gone through the roof. Various restaurants claim to make "gourmet burgers," but these consist of plain, unseasoned, meat with strange additions that somehow don't improve on the original. But let Kurt tell it:
Millennial elitist dorks are all about screwing up burgers. “Gourmet” burgers, they call them. But they are a sad simulacrum of true burgers, and a crime against nature. The menus of those precious gastropubs that spring up in the gentrified blue coastal urban centers are loaded with “specialty burgers” with cutesy names and inane combinations of ingredients. It’s sad. Unable to create anything of value, these goateed hipster monsters can only pervert and deform that which is pure and beautiful. A burger is simple goodness. And, as they do with everything else, liberals screw them up.
Of course, you should read the whole thing, preferably over a good burger. But the real point, besides venting some spleen, is that Schlichter believes the Republican Senate should grow a pair, stop eating those artificial things they call burgers, and put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, now. The fact that Feinstein held on to this until the 11th hour should have been proof enough that there was nothing to it, like a vegan burger.  I might be sympathetic if it had not been overused by the DemocRats to attempt to "Bork" other appointees, including Clarence Thomas.  This is par for the course for the DemocRats, and therefore should just be ignored.

Going back to someone's high school days to find dirt is a new low, even for these crap weasels.  What is next, finding out that Kavanaugh put Sally's pig tail in the ink well in elementary school, thus scarring her for life?  Or worse yet, that he cried while his mother changed his diapers?  Shocking!  Just think about this, too: had Kavanaugh had a real record of breaking the law at age 17, his record would be sealed and we wouldn't be allowed to look into it.

In an effort to "be fair" Senator Grassley has given Ms. Blasey Ford and entire week to come in and give testimony to the Committee.  He even offered to send a team to collect her testimony from her.  It has all been rebuffed.  In fact, Blasey Ford appears not to remember too many details of the supposed encounter.  She doesn't remember when it happened, or at whose party or house it was,  These are things she should know, assuming she herself was not too intoxicated to know what was going on, or who was doing it.

I could not agree more with Schlichter on both hamburgers and with Judge Kavanaugh.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli supposedly uttered the famous saying "There are two kinds of lies, damned lies and statistics". but it was popularized by Mark Twain.  And in less dramatic form, it is the subject of today's post, using  Shooting Holes in Agenda Journalism by John David Powell over at the American Thinker as a jumping off point.

Powell notes that while some of this type of journalism may indeed be "fake news," he wants to avoid the inevitable judgement of the story itself.  Such judgments tend to raise prejudices in people before they have read and digested the story.  Of course, what Powell should realize is that his article is "singing to the choir" and is unlikely to be read by a liberal or leftist of any stripe simply because of where he chose to publish it.  In any case, let's get into the article, shall we?
The Huffington Post ran such a piece last week called “Gun owners more likely to vote than non-gun owners.” Do not accuse me of journalism profiling, because I believe even the editors of the HuffPost would eagerly agree they have a decidedly leftward tilt in their views of events. So, yeah, the agenda was pretty clear, as was my need to lean way over to starboard while reading to keep from falling out of my chair.
So the article gives the agenda driven statistic that the USA has the highest percentage of the civilian population in the world owning guns, which is true, I am proud to say. It is estimated, and probably true that we own 90 guns for every 100 people. I also consider that statistic a good thing, but it can sound pretty scary if you are one of those with squirrels running around in your head (and the number of such people makes me somewhat scared.) So let's break those statistics down a little further.
About 29 percent of the USA population owns 100 percent of the guns. That comes to around 95 million Americans owning some type of firearm. Subtracting the youngsters from that total population of the US raises the ratio of adults who own at least one gun to nearly four out of ten. Put another way, about six out of ten adults do not own even one firearm.
But wait, there’s more. A Pew Charitable Trust study found three percent of those adults, or 7.3 million, individually own between eight and 140 guns, which means two percent of the entire USA population owns half of the guns in the country. That is a big difference from nine firearms for every 10 persons. Both numbers are correct, but one really tilts the scales to the left.
So, while you and I are being fed the 90 out of 100 statistic, the real statistic is that only 40% pf the population owns any sort of firearm, And we can assume that the size of the committed is around 5-8 million, as that is the membership of the NRA. and the truly committed, those who will call and write their Congress Critters is much smaller than that. So is it any wonder that Congress has not acted on HR 38, the bill to make concealed carry permits treated more as driver's licenses? Congress knows these statistics even if we do not.

Well, all that is interesting, and I would rather know the truth, even if it is depressing, than be fed a steady diet of happy sounding lies.  But there is more at stake here.  The founders placed into the Constitution, the highest law in the land, a provision that the government was not to infringe our right to keep and bear arms.  It didn't matter if a minority did so, and the right does not depend on a majority vote.  It was placed in the Constitution as a doomsday article.  But we are in danger of having a Supreme Court that "interprets" the right out of practical existence.  This is where getting Bret Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court is paramount.  If you haven't already, call, or write your Senators that you want Kavanaugh confirmed before the midterms.  Its important.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Legalizing the Constitution again

I have not been blogging much of late because I have come to believe that what I am saying is only read or understood by those who have the same beliefs.  It's called "singing to the choir."  I have grown weary of trying to tell people that if they don't turn around, they will find themselves, and us as well in a tyranny  from which it will be impossible for the American people to extricate themselves.  Instead, I have been spending my time on new music, a new musical instrument to learn,  and getting closer to God.  After all, I can not change anyone else, only myself.

Still, I do read a few things from time to time that are worth making even the choir aware of, such as the recent piece by Deana Chadwell at the American Thinker entitled Legalizing the Constitution. Ms. Chadwell is correct that the Constitution, which is supposed to be the highest law of the land, the law to which all other laws must stand muster, is being shredded before our eyes. She is especially concerned about the First Amendment, which is frankly the most important. Go read the whole thing, as it is very good.

Not said, but it is an important point, the Trump agenda must continue.  In order for that to happen, we need all hands on deck to maintain Republican Congressional majorities in both houses.  No matter how you feel about your Republican representatives, and I have been pretty disgusted with mine, we must vote them back into office to continue the Trump agenda.  Filling the courts with conservative people who will "legalize" the Constitution is the goal.

If we don't do it, the country as we have known it is lost. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Right to Keep Bear Arms Comes With a Responsibility As Well

Over at Bearing Arms Micah Rate has a post that in turn illuminates an article by David French at the Washington Post. French is a fellow of the National Review Institute and a senior editor there who often writes about gun rights. The article itself is entitled David French: 'Give Cowards No Quarter, In Our Culture and In Our Courts'.  Please read the article, then also read David French's article, which is linked at the bottom of the page. 

 David French discusses a topic I perhaps too seldom write about, namely the other side of the right to keep and bear arms, the responsibility one must exercise while being armed. The gun grabbers are so often and so furiously attacking our right to keep and bear arms with with attacks using either made up, or cherry picked data, that it seems all one can do to counter these arguments. But for every right, there is a corresponding responsibility.  You should not yell "fire" in a crowded theater when there is no fire, but you absolutely should do your best to make sure the patrons get out if there is indeed a fire in a crowded theater.

During my class to get my first permit, one of the things emphasized was the need of the armed citizen to not either initiate a confrontation, nor to escalate a confrontation someone else may have initiated. As my instructors kept emphasizing, in any confrontation, you know, as an armed citizen, that there is at least one gun there.  The point was to get us to thinking, both long and hard, about what we would do in any given event.  It is a trait that has stuck with me.  I often think about situations I am involved in, and how these might go side ways very fast.  It has made me much calmer than I used to be.  It has also made me avoid places and situations where I might be drawn into a confrontation or be forced to defend myself or those around me.

As I watched the tape of the McGlockton shooting, which you can find in the linked article, the first thing I noticed was that Drejka was initiating a confrontation with McGlockton's wife over the fact that they were illegally parked.  Now, Drejka is not the police, and he had no business confronting anyone about illegal parking.  He should have moved on, found another place to park, or gone somewhere else.  Logic should have told him that an illegally parked car does not rise to the level of taking someone's life, and that initiating a confrontation could result in him having to use his weapon.

Next comes McGlockton, who seeing his wife being berated by a stranger gets his testosterone up, and shoves Drejka to the ground, escalating the confrontation.  Note that Drejka had only used words, had not laid a hand on anybody,  But McGlockton actually commits assault.  The correct thing would have been to say something like "You know, you are right.  We'll move the car right away," and then do it.

Drejka, now on the ground, with his feeling bruised, draws his weapon.  At this point, McGlockton begins moving away, which is the indication that the confrontation is being de-escalated.  If Drejka felt his life was in danger, he should have kept his weapon drawn and in a ready position until he felt safe.  McGlockton showed every indication of letting the situation drop at that point.  Drejka could have filed charges, or could have simply walked away.

Shortly after receiving my permit, and while I was still at the stage of thinking everyone was looking at me.  I had an encounter.  I was at a Border's Book store browsing books, when a man came in, put on headphones, and was sampling tunes to purchase.  He was very enthusiastic about it, and I would have hated to have the noise that must have been pounding his ears pound mine.  In any case, every so often he would sing along with the recording in a very loud voice.  He voice fill the room, and was very distracting.  I could have confronted him, and would have but for the fact that I was armed, so I knew at least one of us had a gun.  I decided to leave, since I could always come back later.  That's what you do when you are an armed citizen.  That is not cowardice, that is being responsible.   

Friday, July 27, 2018

What's good for the goose is good for the gander

With some trepidation, I must agree with Russ Vaughn's post over at the American Thinker entitled A 'walk away' movement might not be strong enough. Citing the fact that the left seems to get away with defying state and federal laws with impunity in situations like so-called "sanctuary cities" Conservatives have set up sanctuary counties for gun laws in Illinois. In these counties, the sheriff will not enforce the state's gun laws:
When I consider the sad state of political and financial affairs of my natal state, I am reminded of the oft quoted lament by General Porfirio Díaz: "Poor Mexico! So far from God, so close to the United States." Only in the case of the "Land of Lincoln," we should substitute: "Poor Illinois! So far from Abe, so close to Chicago." In the true homeland of Abraham Lincoln, fully two thirds of the state's twelve million population reside in the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area and as a result, the fiscally irresponsible and constitutionally nullifying liberal Democrats who govern that city and control the statehouse have all but bankrupted the entire state while legislating away the citizens' Second Amendment rights.
Except that rebellion is now brewing in the downstate area of this battered blue state, and it is one that steadfast frontier Republican president would most surely support. The National Rifle Association's publication, American Rifleman, reports that 26 of the state's 102 counties have now passed "a 'gun sanctuary' measure with wording designed to symbolically prevent their staff and sheriff's department from enforcing state laws that violate the Second Amendment." Southern Illinois is largely Republican, with only two counties, St. Clair (heavily black) and Jackson (Southern Illinois University) voting against Trump in 2016. Incensed by the state Legislature's ongoing attacks against legal gun ownership, a steadily growing number of these southern counties are flipping the Chicago crowd on their gun-grabbing butts with a bit of jurisdictional judo so favored by liberals in many blue "sanctuary" states and municipalities.
Kurt Schlichter said the Left wouldn't like the new rules. Well, here is an example of the new rules.  If the Left can flout those laws they do not like, why can't conservatives?  Of course, you can see the problem with this.  Let's say you are traveling along I-64 form Indiana to St. Louis, Missouri.  Several of the counties you encounter along the way are these sanctuary counties.  What does that mean if you are stopped, are carrying with a valid permit from your state?  Do they recognized out of state permits?  Does sanctuary status recognize Constitutional carry?  Clearly, the thing for the wise traveler going through Illinois will remain to keep the gun unloaded, in a locked case in the trunk, or better yet to avoid the state all together.

Still, if more and more counties begin to buck these far left legislatures, and if the Fed takes steps against states that take steps against conservatives that do the same thing, maybe the Left will get the message that simply refusing to follow laws they may not like is childish (do they even understand the notion?) and creates chaos.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Next Ice Age

I have mentioned before that this was a theory in the 1970s, before "global warming" became dominant.  The point that is different is that both "problems" required the same solution: that you and I give up living in the 20th century and live more like our ancient ancestors.  You know the ones who lived maybe 30 years, and whose lives were plagued by famine, disease, and constant warfare.  But, there has been group of people who have been warning that the next ice age is just around the corner. We are overdue.  

In a post over at The American Thinker  yesterday Fred S. Singer talks about The Next Ice Age. He is right to be concerned. All of the history of mankind, by which I mean the written history of civilization has taken place during the inter-glacial period known as the Holocene.
Natural warming of the Earth reached a peak 65 million years ago. The climate has been generally cooling ever since. Antarctic ice sheets started growing 25 million years ago. In the last 2.5 million years, the Earth entered the period of Ice Ages [the geological name is The Pleistocene] and has been experiencing periodic glaciations where much of the land was covered by miles-thick ice sheets. There have been about 17 glaciations, each lasting approx. 100,000 years, separated by short inter-glacials lasting about 10,000 years.
The last glaciation period, which ended 12,000 years ago had ice sheets extending to the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Of course, it was somewhat further North elsewhere. The point is that much of the what we think of as the "bread basket" of the U. S. would be tundra.  The Gulf of Mexico would resemble the North Sea, with parts no doubt requiring ice breakers to reach New Orleans.

But Singer says not to worry, not that worrying would stop the next ice age from coming:
It is currently believed that a glaciation gets underway when a northern snow field [at latitude of about 65 degree N] survives during the summer and then gradually grows into an ice sheet.

The survived snow field acts as a “trigger” for commencing a glaciation. Its growth into an icesheet is conditioned by the “feedback” as it reflects solar radiation and thus resists being melted by solar energy in the following summers.

It is at this point where we can beneficially interfere. The effort involves two simple steps:

Step 1. Locate any snow field that survives the summer, which can be done most readily by reviewing available satellite data.

Step 2. Spread soot onto the snow field to reduce its albedo [reflectivity] and let the sun melt it during the following summer.

Note that this proposal has low cost and little environmental risk – unlike schemes of geo-engineering to “fight” global warming.
An interesting theory. I doubt if anyone has done any experiments to determine just how much soot would be required. Presumably if would be spread by airplanes. And of course, the environmentalists will claim harm to certain vulnerable populations, who are never identified, of course. Also, presumably these snow sheets are in areas currently of tundra, the sort of areas that few people live in anyhow.

But even if Singer's plan works to keep snow from building up into miles thick ice sheets, it will still be a cooler environment. But don't worry, you will have time to buy your winter togs. The movie The Day After Tomorrow was yet more hysteria from the eternally outraged. It won't happen with that suddenness.  In the meantime, perhaps farmers may begin building green houses to give plants like sweet potatoes a head start.

After point out that there is nothing we can do to avoid this dire fate, Singer offers a hopeful note:

The present population explosion started with the growth of agriculture about 8,000 years ago. Harvest of crops continues to sustain such expansion, but may become impossible during a glaciation.

We don’t know if the human population will shrink to the “carrying capacity” of the Earth. The Neanderthalers were hunters; when they ran out of animals, they starved. But with likely supplies of unlimited energy and some human ingenuity, we may surmount this limit.
And who knows, maybe the Sahara will green up again and become the next bread basket of the world. Wouldn't that be a switch.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

U.S. Civilians Estimated to Own 400 Million Guns

According to The Firearms Blog (TFB) the civilian gun ownership in the United States has reached 393.3 million, or close to 400 million guns of all types. The data is provided by the Small Arms Survey, a Swiss based research organization.
...The latest report suggests that 120 firearms are owned per 100 people in the US. By this metric the next country to hold a substantial number of guns per 100 people is Yemen, with 53 guns per 100 people. Japan and Indonesia have the lowest number of guns per 100 people, both with an average of just just 0.3 guns per 100 people.
Interestingly, the UK and Australia don't even show up on the list.