Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Restore the Constitution Rally

As of right now, I plan to be at Fort Hunt park, near Washington D.C. on 19 April 2010 for the Restore the Constitution rally. Hope to see all two of my readers as well.

The Immorality of ObamaCare

Daniel H. Fernald has a great think piece today at the American Thinker entitled Natural Law and the "Right" to Health Care. In it, he expounds upon the difference between a true, natural "right" and phony positive rights masquerading as "rights." I have meant to do a post on the topic, so this comes along at a useful point in time.

Natural rights, such as life, liberty, and property, are also called negative rights. Exercising each of these rights requires only that others refrain from taking them. So, for instance, a person is able to enjoy the fruits of his labor so long as nobody else steals it from him. The Governments job is to referee and see that everyone respects the rights of others. Health care, in the spirit of negative rights, would require each person to give the doctor, hospital, or care giver some of his property in exchange for providing that care. We may see that some of our fellow human beings are in need, and choose to respond to that need. Such may be the moral thing to do. But when the Government demands that some of us pay more, and that others of us provide that care at a lower cost, and do so at the point of a gun, they are engaged in legislating morals for all. What then to make of the claim by the Left that the Right was wrong in the past for legislating morals for all?

Here is where Thomas Sowell's conflict of visions comes into play. The Left sees health care (and others for that matter) as positive rights. The Left promises to give you free, unlimited health care at the same quality as the "rich" guy gets. Great! So how are you going to do that? Oh, you plan to tax the so called "rich," so it isn't really free. Hmmm. Oh, you plan to cut payments to doctors and hospitals because they charge too much. Say, wouldn't that cause some very bright people to decide not to go into medicine in the first place? That doesn't sound like a good plan. And wouldn't that cause some hospitals to close their doors? Hmmm. Gee, wouldn't that cause a rationing of services? Can a right be rationed, rationally? Oh, but you say there is not enough to go around. Hmmm, have you thought about taxing those rich guys more? You know, this free, unlimited health care stuff doesn't seem to deliver any of the promises you made. Indeed, all of your program of positive rights seems to founder whenever you run out of other people's money. And you are bound to run out of other people's money when the productive begin to realize that they are being played for chumps and slack off. How does that work, when everybody goes John Galt?

One little nugget I have learned over the past year is the pointlessness of debating anything with a leftist. Unless you can agree on a world view, nothing else can be resolved. Since they often do not really know what their world view is, and educating them is not my job, I do not try anymore to convince.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Is This Election the Last?

Today I wanted to revisit a post from October 2008 entitled Is This Election the Last?.

While the TEA Parties are running rallies, and trying to round up candidates and support them, ACORN has quietly changed its name. But ACORN has not gone away, and they haven't changed their ways. But with a new name, they can operate more freely again. Is anybody watching ACORN?

I have been concerned all along that the progressives seem mighty sanguine about the midterm elections, and their prospects of losing. What do they know that the rest of us do not? Could it be that they already have this election "in the bag" so to speak? Could it be that they are not in the least bit worried about losing? In the recent past, various groups, such as military voters in the 2000 and 2004 elections have been disenfranchised by various groups looking to steal the election. In 2008, Senator Franken, in my opinion, stole the election through endless vote counting and "finding" additional ballots. Are they now prepared to go nationwide with these techniques?

Just wondering.

Update, courtesy of The Liberty Sphere comes this from Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership: An Open Letter to America. JPFO has good reason to try to encourage everyone, especially Jews, to maintain firearms ownership, and to keep up their firearm skills. They let Hitler take away firearms, and the Holocaust followed. Never again. The letter asks the same questions that have been going around in my head, and a few that I had not thought of. Go and read it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Emasculating America

Gary Wolf has an interesting think piece in the American Thinker today entitled Freedom of the Mind and the Emasculated Society. It is definitely worth reading, and considering often. Here is a quote to give you a taste:

Our contemporary culture has sunk into a morass of lies, hypocrisy, effeminacy, treason, and abandonment that would be worthy of a passage in the Bible. Perhaps, like me, you remember reading about those societies of the Fertile Crescent that passed, almost in the blink of an eye, from a virtuous, honorable, and vigorous lifestyle to idolatry, decadence, and treachery. Could it really occur so fast?
But I wish to take my thoughts on this topic in a slightly different direction. I have generally pondered what I call the "feminization" of society for a long time.
I have debated back and forth with my wife, who generally takes the side that is trying to make everyone more feminized, and I have to say that some of it has been positive. Women have had grievances in the past over equal pay for (truly) equal work. Women have been denied work in some fields based on prejudices that they just couldn't understand certain things as well as a man. But most of these issues have vanished, or are doing so rapidly. On the other hand, the strident "feminists" who have worked so hard to convince us that little boys and little girls are the same, that it is culture that causes us to be different, that if little boys just played with dolls instead of playing cops and robbers, everything would return to "normal," have done great harm to half the population.

One of the problems facing America today is gang violence. Of course part of the problem is the drug war itself, which gives criminal gangs fuel, much as Prohibition gave the mafia fuel during its time. Born largely of xenophobic fears and racism, the drug prohibition has been no more successful than the alcohol Prohibition was before it. Another part of the problem is the welfare state, that encourages women to have children, while not requiring that these women have a husband to provide stability and a role model of what being a man is all about. Of course, in urban America, there is too little to do that is socially constructive. When my father was growing up in Depression era Tennessee, boys had the whole outdoors to get involved in, but their means were incredibly meager, and required imagination. When I was a kid, we had to do chores, weed the garden, and engaged in sports, Boy Scouts, and the Indian Guides.

Boys have a natural assertiveness, which when improperly trained can become aggression, as with criminal gangs. When properly channelized in socially constructive ways, however, this natural assertiveness makes a man protective of the weaker of his clan, and breeds the kind of inventiveness that formerly was the hallmark of the American Spirit. "I did it My Way" may be the ultimate expression of the male, while nanny state government may be the ultimate expression of the feminist desire for security. but it's hard to do things "my way" if a government bureaucrat is always there telling me to do it his way.

Hunting is a natural part of this assertiveness. The stigmatizing of hunting as "killing Bambi!" has not been constructive. Neither have leftist feminists harridans who have done everything in their power to turn little boys into phallic copies of girls. Boys have a natural need to hunt and play war games, and if they don't satisfy the need somewhere, they will turn it on the society around them. Some may find satisfaction in sports, which are at their root, skills needed in war. But turning an entire generation into mock rock stars, and street dancers, does not send the correct message. Neither do sports programs that emphasize winning at all costs on the one hand, or giving a trophy to everyone on the other. Now, let me explain before you reach for your key board and send a flaming comment.

Music requires great discipline and much practice to perform well. Even rock stars must practice often to perform as they do. But guitar hero and air guitar contests don't encourage discipline and practice. Similarly, professional dancers usually have spent a great deal of their young lives practicing ballet, and their moves in modern dance are highly choreographed and practiced until they appear effortless. It is the discipline and practice that teach valuable lessons, lessons that seem absent from many modern substitutes for hunting. Finally, sports programs that either emphasize winning, to the exclusion of sportsmanship, or that abandon the notion of winning all together and give everyone a trophy, undermine the essence of sports. There must be some stakes to any sport, a winner and a loser. Children must compete, and feel the sting on occasion of defeat. They must also learn the lesson that how they play the game is as important, if not more so, than that they won or lost. Boys, in particular, can see through these shabby excuses for sports. They want structure, and winners. Without that, a boy grows up either believing that nothing is worth striving for, or that winning at all costs is socially acceptable. We have seen how an attitude that the only rule is there are no rules works in the recent ObamaCare debates.

Hunting is a good way to teach a boy about these various life lessons. The animals will not easily be brought down if they can help it. They will avoid becoming your dinner, and they have millions of years of evolution backing them up. In order to do it, a boy must learn to track his prey. He must learn patience and safe weapon handling. He must learn trigger control, and to react quickly and perfectly when the prey presents itself. Importantly, he will not learn these things on his own, but with the help of a father or mentor. And if he doesn't do everything just right? Well, no meat for the table, or course. And it doesn't hurt if you teach your daughters similar lessons, though the importance for society in channeling natural male assertiveness into acceptable channels is not nearly as important.

Second Amendment Missing from the Black Agenda

Gregory P. Kane asks What's Missing from the Black Agenda? in an article for BlackAmericaWeb Commentary. Then he proceeds to answer the question. A quote:

He’s part of a long line of blacks who’ve done precisely that throughout American history, the early gun-control laws targeting blacks specifically notwithstanding. Robert F. Williams and other blacks did it in Monroe, N.C. in the late 1950s and early 1960s against marauding Klansmen. The Deacons for Defense and Justice did it in Louisiana in the 1960s. Brothers defended the black neighborhood of northwest Washington, D.C. from rampaging whites in that city’s 1919 riot. Robert Charles did it in New Orleans back in 1900.

Armed self-defense was a cherished African-American tradition - until we became Democrats. But brothers like McDonald know one thing: Well-meaning Democrats can’t stop the thug invading your home.
You see, Otis McDonald, for whom the McDonald case is named is a black man, who has been victimized not by whites, but by other blacks. He thinks he has a right to have a gun for self defense, and I agree with him.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Perfect Analogy

Mike Vanderboegh has the perfect analogy for his recommendation to break windows. It's that there's a bridge out ahead, and if we don't stop it, people will die. Are some laws perhaps broken? Sure, but which would you rather have, a minor law being broken or people you love dieing in the streets? No one is listening, and we have to get their attention.

Rachel Maddow, you decide which you would rather have happen.

The Progressive's Trojan Horse

Lloyd Marcus has an article today on the American Thinker entitled The Progressives Perfect Trojan Horse that I think is worth a read. Lloyd Marcus, you will remember, is the black Tea Party member who chronicled Tea Party events across the country last summer, and helped to counter the charges that the Tea Parties were racist in nature. A quote:

Democrats say that their mission is to give all Americans health care. The Democrats are lying. Signing ObamaCare into law against our will and the Constitution is tyranny and step one of their hideous goal of having as many Americans as possible dependent on government, thus controlling our lives and fulfilling Obama's promise to fundamentally transform America.

I keep asking myself: How did our government move so far from the normal procedures of getting things done? Could a white president have so successfully pulled off shredding the Constitution to further his agenda? I think not.
Personally, I now suspect that putting Obama into the Presidency was planned, in enormous detail, but Reid, Pelosi, and other Progressives/Marxists as long ago as 2000 or so. He is the perfect Trojan Horse:

Just as the deceived Trojans dragged the beautifully crafted Trojan Horse into Troy as a symbol of their victory, deceived Americans embraced the progressives' young, handsome, articulate, and so-called moderate black presidential candidate as a symbol of their liberation from accusations of being a racist nation. Also like the Trojan Horse, Obama was filled with the enemy hiding inside.

Sunday, March 21, 2010, a secret door opened in Obama, the shiny golden black man. A raging army of Democrats charged out. Without mercy, they began their vicious, bloody slaughter of every value, freedom, and institution we Americans hold dear, launching the end of America as we know it.
We have been had, and frankly, I don't see many ways out. The Supremes might declare ObamaCare unconstitutional, but there are precedents they would have to overturn to do so. We might win enough in November to repeal and replace this monstrosity if enough Democrats decide to vote with Republicans, but Obama is unlikely to sign the repeal into law, and I don't think we will have a veto proof majority. Perhaps there are other political and legal ways to end this, but I don't see them working. I could be wrong, but it looks like, to use a crude term, we are screwed.

Obama will immediately move on to grating amnesty to illegal aliens next. Of course, the progressives are trying to get us to make the first move. We have said no Fort Sumters. They will have to make the first move. But they are pushing hard. I hope everyone reading this post keeps a cool head, because the enemy-for that is what I must call them now-is doing so.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

When Freedom Succumbs to Liberty

A short piece over at the American Thinker today has some really excellent points to be made about illegal immigration, and about self defense. Anthony W. Hager writes in When Freedom Succumb to Necessity that:

Look at air travel since 9/11. Six imams sue an airline, and their fellow passengers, because the imams themselves behaved suspiciously. A suicidal bomber conceals explosives in his underwear and our government won't even identify him as a Muslim. Thus we must remove our shoes in airports, face strip searches and submit to full body scans so Islam isn't offended. Shampoo, nail clippers and knitting needles become weapons of mass destruction. It's a necessity.

Another example lies in the right to bear arms. Innocence must be proven before government allows Americans to buy guns. We must prove our innocence to carry concealed weapons. Yet the thugs who are arrested for violent gun crimes sport rap sheets longer than War and Peace.

Criminals are criminals because they couldn't care less about legality. They aren't concerned with government approval. Criminals just act. Yet the lawful must allow their assailant sufficient opportunity to retreat or face possible prosecution from the same government that paroled the violent convict.
Our whole system seems backwards because it is. Government hasn't the will to do anything about it, so you and I have to submit to losing more of our liberties instead. Well, I don't buy it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Fundamental Right Being Denied to 55% of Americans!

It's a tonge-in-cheek proposal, yet it illustrates with rapier sharp wit the illogical nature of ObamaCare. In the breathless style of the leftist MSM, M. Allen Fritsch describes The Shocking Truth About a Fundamental Right Being Denied to 55% of Citizens (!!!) in a piece at the American Thinker today. A quote to get your blood stirring to read the whole thing:

There is a fundamental right being denied 55% of all Americans. This denial costs over 16,000 lives per year, meaning more than 44 of our fellow Americans will die every day that we delay. What should be done in light of these shocking figures?

Using the example set by President Obama and the Congressional Democrats, there is only one answer: Universal Gun Care for every American. Surely a right outlined in the Bill of Rights (2d Amendment) is just as important as a right NOT found the Constitution (Health Care).
While we're at it, here's a proposal that a retired lawyer friend proposed one day:

Every Congressman would get a base salary of $1,000,000 per year. But, everytime they passed a bill, $100,000 would be deducted from their base salaries, whether they voted for it or not. The latter provision is to prevent gaming the system. I can dream can't I?

Louisiana Bill Provides for Guns in State Parks

So, they're putting forth a bill in the Louisiana legislature to make it legal to have a gun in State parks, which means that it would also be legal to carry in National parks as well, I assume. David Codrea has the scoop in the National Gun Rights Examiner piece titled Louisiana Bill Provides for Guns in State Parks.

There, David, I have publicized it on my blog.

By the way, maybe North Carolina could introduce a similar bill? Just a thought.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

There Will Be Blood!

Today is supposed to be the day when ObamaCare becomes the law of the land. After all, if the House can simply "deem" that it has passed it, Obama can "deem" that he has signed it. No problem.

But Joseph C. Phillips, writing in today's thinks There Will Be Blood! if the Commiecrats do pass it. Of course, what Phillips is talking about is a metaphorical blood bath at the ballot box. A quote:

How much longer will we be a party to promises that never come to fruition? How much longer will we listen to lies supported by evidence that has been cooked? How much longer will we allow the people’s representatives to run interference for private industry and expand the reach and power of federal bureaucracy? How much longer will we allow congressmen-for-life to mismanage the financial future of this nation- putting the security of her citizens at risk? How much more rope must we allow them before they finally hang themselves and us along with them?

If there is to be a second revolution then let it begin here and now! Let the political bloodbath begin in November followed closely by more bloodletting in 2012. No one will be safe. Neither a “D” nor an “R” following a name will be sufficient protection from the people’s blade! There is no time like now to begin the winnowing process; and there is no better reason than to dismantle a government that can’t be trusted to keep its part of the bargain.
Sounds like a long train of abuses to me.

Next up is Janice Shaw Crouse, in today's who asserts that
ObamaCare is Tyranny not Legislation. According to Crouse:

Obama, Reid and Pelosi have learned nothing from history; they are as blind to their own tyranny as were King George and the British Parliament. They show no comprehension of the moral outrage that will ignite in this country if they ram through ObamaCare, a bill that requires taxpayer funding for abortion, usurps individual rights to choose their own personal health care options, and saddles the nation with a growing flood of debt which will drown our children and grandchildren.

Friday morning you could see workers beginning to set up barricades around the Capitol in preparation for the demonstrations they expect in response to their autocratic actions. They mistakenly think that the tea party protests are temporary flare ups that mere barricades can contain, but their legislative and executive tyranny is unleashing emotions that have the potential to rival the anti-slavery movement of the Civil War era and the Civil Rights protests of the 1960s. Having abandoned those transcendent moral principles upon which this nation was founded for a false ideology of their own imagining, they have no understanding of the righteous fury that will build in this nation when her citizens see their government sanction morally reprehensible acts.
Yes, we will be furious. I have been on a low boil since last January as I knew what was coming. But I have seen people who never pay attention to politics shaking their fists at the sky. I believe Crouse is right, that they have no idea. But to make it more explicit, Mike Vanderboegh has this to day at The Sipsey Street Irregulars. He hopes that by sending a warning of broken windows, we can avoid actual violence. I pray he is right.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The McDonald Case in the MSM

An article today in the American Thinker by Ben T. Briscoe provides some non-gun-owning readers with exposure to the McDonald case in Mr. McDonald's Handgun. The piece is worth a look-see, though for those of us who are following along on the "due process" vs. "privileges and immunities" this little article will be little more than an encyclopedia entry. Still, the author hits all the high points, noting the true purpose of the Second Amendment. For that alone, it deserves to be read.

The Liberty Sphere: Glenn Beck was Right--Leave Your Church if it Preaches 'Social Justice'#links

The Liberty Sphere: Glenn Beck was Right--Leave Your Church if it Preaches 'Social Justice'#links'

Go click on the link and read the whole thing. The Welshman makes many of the points that I made as well in this post about the difference between entitlements and true Christian charity. Glenn Beck simply added that if your church preach a gospel of "social justice," your church is preaching entitlements, not charity. Run, and find a church that teaches the true gospel of Jesus, the Christ. Don't support churches that teach "social justice" for you are only giving aid and comfort to your enemy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Virginia About to get Restraunt Carry

Both houses of the Virginia legislature have passed, and Governor McDonnell has indicated he intends to sign, a bill that would allow Concealed Carry holders to carry their weapons into restaurants that serve alcohol. Virginia Citizens Defense League president Philip Van Cleave says that they have been trying to get this through for 13 years. Congratulations Virginia!

I would note that once carrying in a restaurant that serves alcohol becomes law in Virginia, North Carolina will be surrounded. We will be the lone hold out, the last bastion of nannyism in the area. {begin soothing music}No doubt Deborah Ross and the anti-gun legislature can congratulate themselves that while thousands die every day in the States around them due to evil guns in restaurants, here in peaceful North Carolina, we are protected, in restaurants at least, from the evil guns of people who have been checked out by our State as being good and law abiding citizens. Thank goodness...{end soothing music, sound of needle skating over a sound recording. You do remember what those are, right?}

Except it doesn't happen that way. The only people who will notice any difference in Virginia will be gun owners themselves. They won't be taking out their guns and locking them in their glove compartment, while hoping that no one saw them and are planning on breaking into their cars while they grab a bite. They won't be risking an accidental discharge if they mishandle the gun in the tight confines of their car. For everyone else, life goes on as it did before.

Ann Coulter on Healthcare

Ann Coulter today has an excellent piece at entitled My Healthcare Plan. Go read the whole thing. Miss Coulter makes her trademark zingers, social references, and snarky asides that make reading her columns always interesting, and a highlight of the week. Getting past all that though, and her "plan" is a very reasonable one. Indeed, that's what we want to see happen. ObamaCare-not so much.

It always amazes me to watch as government gets involved, and the prices go up, to see that the only solution is more government, and more stifling regulations. It hasn't worked anywhere else, so why expect it to work here, now? While I generally believe in "American Exceptionalism," the laws of economics, like the laws of physics, can not be broken. If you do, you will pay a high price. We've tried the regulation route and it hasn't worked. Time to let the free market have a go at the problem.

On a more serious note, the House plans to pass ObamaCare using a rule called the Slaughter Rule that would simply "deem" that they passed the Senate version, and then send the whole thing to the President for signature. Hmmm. Well, if they can do that, then how about I "deem" that I have paid my taxes, and "deem" that I have filed my income tax forms, and we'll just forget about my actually doing so? Then when the IRS comes calling, perhaps I can ask to get the same consideration as Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner got. What do you think, Ms Pelosi?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Goldberg on the Tea Parties

Jonah Goldberg has a thoughtful, and thought provoking piece today at on Reading the Tea Party Leaves. Goldberg gently castigates much of the MSM reporting on the the Tea Parties thus:
If you read the Op-Ed pages these days, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the GOP and the conservative movement have been taken over by know-nothing mobs, anti-intellectual demagogues and pitchfork-wielding bigots. There's no omnibus label for this argument, but it's a giveaway that a person subscribes to it if he or she describes the "tea party" movement as "tea baggers," an awfully telling bit of sophomoric condescension from the camp that affects the pose of being more high-minded.
The Tea Party movement is primarily a conservative movement, but there are some slightly left of center folks in there who, believe in what the movement is trying to do, as well as some libertarians, gun rights folks, so called fiscal conservatives, etc. What all of these people want, though, is a restoration of the Constitution as a framework for how government works. Rather than having a Congress that views the Constitution as a hurdle to get over, or go around, and their constituents as irrelevant, we want our Representatives to follow every dot and tittle of that great document. We are tired of the chicanery and skullduggery of what has been going on, on both sides of the aisle, for too long. We want Congress to make itself relevant again, and stop giving away power to the Executive. We have been reading history (Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism is a great start, by the way) and have concluded that the ship of state began sailing off course sometime between the Civil War and the sailing of Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet. We want a restoration of how things were done before all this leftist crap happened. The tea party movement, as much as anything, seems to be a way to set in place an organisation to take on the long cultural war that will need to be fought, street by street, house by house, until we have again reached the shores of freedom and liberty for all.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Way Up North: It Can't Contradict Itself

Way Up North: It Can't Contradict Itself

My friend, and often my commenter here, Rev. Paul, makes a very good point over at Way Up North. The proliferation of "gun free zones" around huge swaths of the landscape does nothing to protect those inside such zones. All it does is ensure that there will be no law abiding gun owner in such a zone ready to take on a criminal.

As I have pondered "gun free zones" over the years since receiving a CHL, I have come to believe that the logic is simply faulty. For example, I remember having this conversation several years back, after returning from Kentucky:

Me: I like that I didn't have to remove my weapon and store it to eat in an Applebees. And guess what? Nothing happened!

Other: I don't like mixing guns and places that serve alcohol.

Me: Well, you can't drink while carrying a weapon in such places you know.

Other: You might be sober, but what if some drunk grabs your gun and starts shooting up the place.

Me: gun is concealed. How is our hypothetical "drunk" going to know I have it?

Other: Well I just don't like the idea of guns and drunks mixed up in the same place. It just doesn't feel right.

Me: !

In the end, that's how public policy is decided. Not on the basis of rational arguments, facts and logic, but on how it "feels" at the moment. No one is safer because of "gun free zones" but an oblivious few get to "feel" safer. For that, everyone else must give up their rights.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Conspiracy Against Electric Cars

One of the reasons postings have been lighter of late is that I have taken on a part time job, driving cars no less. I remember having a conversation not unlike this one with one of the other drivers who apparently believes all 7 of the 7 High Voltage Lies About Electric Vehicles. I found the article, by Rex Roy on AOL Autos. It is a good summary of where we are in terms of gasoline engines, electric vehicles, and the oil industry in general. I would add that the Tesla, at over $100K is too rich for my blood. If that is what a person has to pay, after subsidies provided courtesy of the taxpayer (that would be you and me), electric vehicles are years away from being practical.

Incidentally, I used some of the very same arguments used by Mr. Roy, to little effect. Oh well.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Women Are the Chief Civilizing Influence in Society

Sometimes conservatives can sound hard and uncaring or unforgiving with some of the things they say. It is a danger always when one becomes excited, and too focused on the argument du jour. Such is the case when Rush Limbaugh refers to feminists as "feminazis." When Mike Adams rails against "womyn" at his college, he is not disparaging women in general, but a particular ideology that would pit men and women as enemies, when in fact we were literally made for each other. What Jonah Goldberg reminds us of in an article today at entitled Where Feminists Got It Right is that women have been the chief civilizing influence over society since the first cave man looked at the first cave woman, and the flinty glint in his eye softened just a tad. A quote from Goldberg:

The Taliban in Afghanistan is the most extreme example of the trend. Its members claim they want to keep the "chasteness and dignity" of women "sacrosanct," but it seems like what they really want is to protect themselves from the apparently hard work of not being a savage. So under the Taliban, women couldn't ride bicycles. They couldn't wear high heels because the sound of women's footsteps might excite men. Forget appearing on radio, TV or at public gatherings. Women couldn't step out onto their balconies.

Forgetting the question of decency and morality for a moment, there's the matter of national interests. Female equality seems to be a pretty reliable treatment for many of the world's worst pathologies. Population growth in the Third World tends to go down as female literacy goes up. Indeed, female empowerment might be the single best weapon in the "root causes" arsenal in the war on terror.

The reason strikes me as fairly simple. Women civilize men. As a general rule, men will only be as civilized as female expectations and demands will allow. "Liberate" men from those expectations, and "Lord of the Flies" logic kicks in. Liberate women from this barbarism, and male decency will soon follow.
I have said before that the gun is a major civilizing influence, and it is. Guns allow the weak and infirm to be able to stand up to the young and strong. But the gun is a fall back position. Things have turned savage at that point, and there is no other options. Before we get there, our sons should be well trained in the art of being civilized, and treating all human life a precious, especially our daughters.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bob Barr on the McDonald Case

Of Arms and the Law alerts us to a piece by Bob Barr on the McDonald case and the Starbucks "controversy" here. As to the latter, my wife, when reading a crawl on the subject on Fox News last night just laughed. How controversial can it be that Starbucks wants to follow the law? The Brady's are trying to make a sand pebble seem like a sand dune. In any case, support Starbucks to the degree you can, and let them know you are doing so because they are supporting you.

As for McDonald, Barr says:

While Supreme Court observers appear uniformly to consider that Chicago’s handgun ban will be invalidated, constitutional lawyers were more interested in the grounds on which the High Court might base its expected decision. Would the High Court frame its decision narrowly, as urged by the National Rifle Association, for example? Or might the Court take the more unusual step of using the Chicago case to establish that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental “privilege or immunity” (in the words of the Fourteenth Amendment)? The latter would make it more difficult for states and even the federal government to impose significant restrictions on future exercise of the Second Amendment’s guarantees.

The smart money is that the Court will throw out Chicago’s gun ban, but on narrower rather than broader grounds. I would prefer the broader, more constitutionally-honest approach, but I don’t anticipate being pleasantly surprised when the Court’s opinion is released later this spring.
So here is another opinion that the Court won't have the guts to do what needs to be done here. Too bad.

Climate Hucksters Trying to Revive a Dead Horse

Like shamans performing a ritual to raise the dead, the Climate Change hucksters are trying to revive belief in the Goofball Wormening religion. First up is this piece from AOL news yesterday, Proof of Man Made Global Warming Grows Stronger by Theunis Bates. The story is short on facts, and long on assertions, which tells us all we need to know about their opinions of our gullibility. There isn't much worth quoting, but note that this is coming out of the British Met offices in East Anglia.

More interesting is Methane Madness by Jeffrey Folks over at American Thinker today. Folks points to climate "scientists" who are changing the discussion altogether, and attempting to revive a somewhat discredited theory of a "tipping point" by claiming that it is actually methane that will drive the world into uncontrollable Goofball Wormening. A quote:

For decades now, alarmists have claimed that CO2 emissions are warming the earth past the "tipping point" and that only extreme reductions in the use of fossil fuels can avert catastrophe. Yet the earth today is less warm than it was in the middle ages, a period in which it cannot be claimed that human activity was contributing much, if anything, to global warming. Global temperatures in 2010 are colder than they were in 2000, despite a tripling of CO2 emissions in the last decade largely attributable to the mushrooming economies of developing nations such as China and India. Alarmists have been predicting catastrophe for over thirty years, yet the earth continues in natural cycles of warming and cooling, just as it has for eons.

Even before the exposure of factual errors and potential misconduct at the IPCC, the East Anglia Climate Centre, and other organizations, the public in America and elsewhere (Australia, New Zealand, and even Britain) had begun to doubt the claims of climate scientists. Now, with these disturbing revelations concerning the way climate science actually works, the public has become even more skeptical. Maybe that's why climate science has shifted its attention to methane.
I suppose it is a testament to the amount of money to be made by these charlatans and hucksters, but Goofball Wormening simply will not die, no matter how many mortal wounds it suffers. But I did have hopes that the issue would slink off the radar for 30 years or so, and we could be dealing with things that really matter. But no, as with all bad ideas, Goofball Wormening keeps coming back, hoping to ensnare a few more poor souls in its ugly grasp.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hard Times Coming

Kevin Jackson has a great piece in the American Thinker today about beer sales leveling off, of all things. Partly tongue in cheek, but not really, the article, entitled Maybe We Can Split a Beer makes the point that even in the deepest of recessions, and even when troubles look the blackest, people still buy beer. So, InBev's flat sales projections give a pretty good preview of what we're up against. A quote to get your taste buds working:

The fact that InBev, now the largest brewer in the world, had flat sales is astounding -- a true rarity in historical terms. This is the company that bought Anheuser-Busch, the makers of Bud Light -- the most popular beer in America, for goodness sakes! At this rate, InBev may all have to change their vats from brewing beer to making Kool-Aid, the liberals' favorite beverage these days.

At a press conference in Brussels, InBev CFO Felipe Dutra reported fourth quarter results for the world's largest brewer and maker of Budweiser, saying that InBev garnered "a fourth quarter profit of $1.28 billion, helped by cost cuts and price hikes, but global beer sales were stagnant and forecast no rebound in 2010."

Economists may point at things like "housing starts," "exports," or "durable goods manufacturing" to measure the economic health of America. However, beer sales are a much better indicator, second only to cosmetics!

For a more serious treatment, Chuck Roger has Tell Us the Truth in today's American Thinker. Quoting from that article:

Current events in Greece illustrate the misery that comes from ignoring the basics. The Greek economy is collapsing. A rampant entitlement mentality and the resulting government expansion have ballooned publicly-held debt to 121 percent of the country's 2010 economic output. (America could exceed the 100-percent debt-to-output threshold in 2011.) The European Community's reaction to the Greek tragedy? Mixed. French Prime Minister Sarkozy says the euro block will help "if needed." German Chancellor Merkel offers no aid. A senior member of Merkel's party suggests that Greece sell some of its islands to raise money.

Greece's Prime Minister Papandreou says that Greece has become "a laboratory animal in the battle between Europe and the markets." Progressives view society as their laboratory. Just as President Obama preaches to Americans too dim to swallow his wisdom, Euro-progressives want to force foolishness on a people's unreceptive leader.

Greece needs to address its own problems, the first of which is reality-blind union workers violently whining for government to hand over money the government doesn't have. But the E.C., observes Manhattan Institute's Nicole Gelinas, cannot bear to let Greece solve Greek problems. Too risky. Greece is too big to fail. Gelinas writes, "The empty purse is Papandreou's best tool for keeping public resolve strong in the face of crippling strikes by public workers." In other words, forcing bratty children to take the hit for bankrupting mom and dad is just the right medicine. In Greece, severe pain just might spark sane policies!

The bottom line for both articles? We are in for painful times. We are going to have to cut Federal spending, and Federal taxes by as much as 50%. Entitlement spending will have to be restructured, defense spending will have to be dramatically cut, and agencies like the Education Department and the EPA will have to be scaled back drastically. For the US, there is no big daddy to bail us out.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

McDonald v. Chicago May Not Be a Landmark Case

I am sure there will be much more analysis of McDonald v. Chicago, but I thought I would highlight some early thoughts on the case. First up is Kurt Hoffman, St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner in First Impressions about McDonald v. Chicago. Hoffman thinks we will win our basic argument, that the Second Amendment applies to States and municipalities, but don't get excited and start planning the purchase of an M4 just yet.

Then, there is our own Charlotte Gun Rights Examiner, Paul Valone's take on the case that
Incorporation is a Distinction Without a Difference. The Court seems unwilling to reverse the Slaughterhouse Cases because they have been with us a long time. Doing so, however, would open the door to incorporation through the "privileges and immunities" clause rather than through the narrower "due process" clause. I can understand the reluctance on the part of the Court, but if the cases were wrongly decided, as it appears they were, then the Court has a duty, it seems to me, to strike them down. But then, I am not a lawyer. If on the other hand, they do not strike them down because of a fear that some other cases dear to conservative hearts will go down with them, the Court is guilty of conservative judicial activism as bad as liberal judicial activism. To do that is to cede the "living document" argument to the progressives. The restoration of the Constitution can not be accomplished by fiddling with it to make it more conservative, but only by an honest interpretation of what the Framers meant when they wrote it.

Most interesting of all is Dave Hardy's comments on the case at
Of Arms and the Law. As with Heller, Dave Hardy was involved in putting the legal arguments together, and he was at the Supreme Court to hear the oral arguments. I found Straightarrow's comment to be most on point:
I am opposed to the use of the 14th amendment, Hell, I'm opposed to the amendment. The rest of the constitution is crystal clear, and every state had to agree to abide by it to become a state. The 14th says "you gotta do watchya said ya wud do, but if ya don't, hey, we got nothin'. anyway we may not like some parts of liberty under the rest of the constitution so, we'll use the 14th like a chinese restuarant menu."

It's a pretty sorry state of affairs when reliance on a subsequent amendment is required to honor the original plain as day "shall not be infringed" amendmnent. Yeah I know we should feel fortunate that we are getting a second bite of the apple. And I would, if I didn't recognize the fact that like the Heller decision, this one too is subject to be only correct enough to forestall armed insurrection without really dismantling any of those prohibited infringements.
Later comments made the point that McDonald would be only a "first step" and that other cases would hopefully flesh it out.

My own take? In order to get the fifth vote to win this point, the justices can not go too far. But I also believe that there is an element within the Court that sees itself as the maintainers of authority. That is an ugly side, to be sure.