Thursday, December 6, 2012

Don't look now, you are being watched!

Rev. Paul has some interesting news, in case any of you didn't already know: You're Under Surveillance Right Now.

Being a former Navy employee, I pretty much figured I was already under surveillance.  When I began blogging, I used the name "PolyKahr" to 1) Protect Mrs. PolyKahr and the grand kids from the intrusion of Left wing trolls and 2) To honor the writers of the Federalist Papers, such as Plubius, who used pseudonyms to hide their real identities.

That the government feels the need to monitor its subjects (for that is what they consider us to be) is not a reflection on the citizenry, but a reflection on the corruptness of the government itself.  If they weren't doing things they know they ought not do, they wouldn't be so worried about us talking among ourselves.  The degree to which the government does not trust me is the degree to which I do not trust the government.

America's Two Gun Cultures

Yesterday, I beat up (figuratively) Daniel Doherty at for falling for a poll designed to elicit a ridiculous response so that the Left could laugh at how stupid Conservatives are. I didn't have time to note Katie Pavlich's excellent article Clarifying America's Gun Culture at the same site. Pavlich's article illuminates the real gun culture in America, and indirectly alludes to why each side seems to talk past each other without eliciting any understanding.

Ms. Pavlich's thesis is that there are two gun cultures in America.  One, the one you and I are familiar with, is the responsible gun culture.  People in this culture use guns for hunting, target shooting, and protection of themselves and their families.  They learn, practice, and teach safe gun handling.  This gun culture goes back to our founding, and runs deep in the American soul.  People in this culture tend to have great respect for their guns, and often pass them on to their children.  Ms. Pavlich:
The first gun culture is deeply seated in American history and her founding. Founding Fathers like George Washington understood that an armed citizenry would prevent government tyranny, which is why we have the Second Amendment. This is a concept rapper Ice-T understands but sadly doesn’t promote in his songs.
Each year, more than 75,000 National Rifle Association members meet for the NRA Annual Meetings. The majority of those people carry concealed and every year, everyone who attends that meeting goes home bullet wound-free.

Historically in America we’ve had a deep respect for firearms. The vast majority of people have used them to celebrate American history, for collection, personal protection, hunting and sport. We see American gun culture celebrated each year when dads take their kids elk hunting for the first time. We see it when women head to the range to safely practice shooting their new pink pistols. We see it when a mother shoots an intruder while she is home alone in order to protect her children. We see it practiced when thousands of people sign up for concealed carry permit and hunters’ safety classes each year. Not to mention, the multi-billion-dollar firearms industry employs millions of people and provides the government with billions in tax revenue every year.

Then there is the other gun culture, the culture of criminal gangs.  Guns in this culture are tools of the trade, so to speak, because gangsters can't very well go to the police when someone steals their merchandise.  Unfortunately, it has also become the culture of people who don't necessarily belong to it, but glorify it.  More unfortunate, the people doing the glorification are often the same people our children look up to because of their talents or their athletic ability. Ms. Pavich again:
The other gun culture in America can be found in the inner city of Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and others. Ironically, violent gun culture is found within gangs in cities with the strictest gun laws. It is the same culture promoted in Hollywood films made by liberals, glorified by rappers whose music is worshiped in violent gang plagued neighborhoods and disrespectfully joked about at NBA parties.
Go check out Katie Pavlich's article. It is well worth the time, and as I said, gets at the truth about guns, namely that it is not the guns, but the people using them, and how they use them, that determines whether we see them as a net good or something to be banned.

Meanwhile, Herschel Smith over at the Captain's Journal has some harsh words for Bob Costas, but then thinks perhaps he should rethink things after a post by one Caryn Riswold writing at Feminismxianity (I hope I spelled that word correctly.) Mr. Smith:
So they say that confession is the first step to healing. I am a man, and therefore, according to Ms. Riswold, I condone wanton violence and have no language with which to deal with all sorts of emotions – I know not what they are – and need to get more in touch with my feminine side, or something like that.

But now that there is this new-found freedom and honesty, I have so many unanswered questions. For instance, if guns lead to so much violence, then why doesn’t the data back up this hypothesis? Why do I and all of my gun-carrying friends work so hard to avoid confrontation if we can just win the argument by the pull of a trigger?
Indeed. I have commented frequently on the fact that once I started carrying a gun, I became much more circumspect in my dealings with people. Even if they didn't have a gun, I knew I did, and therefore did not want an argument to escalate. Frankly, I am not sure what drives Ms. Riswold to conclude the things she does, but she obviously has not been exposed to the responsible gun culture. But she should understand that it is the far larger of the two. Without it, I doubt we would have the freedom to be conducting this debate today.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

49% of Republicans Think the 2012 Election was Stolen

Only 49%?  Are the other 51% just not paying attention?

According to this headline at, 49% of Republicans Think the 2012 Election was Stolen. Daniel Doherty, then attempts to disparage fellow conservatives by pointing out that the former organization ACORN no longer exists. Frankly, this sort of thing disappoints me. The Left constantly uses straw men to characterize our arguments as ridiculous. We don't need our own side doing to us too.  This poll was taken by a Left leaning group, and asked:

Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the Presidential election this year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?
So, if you think the election was stolen, but don't think ACORN per se did it, how do you respond? Answer: you don't answer Leftist "gotcha" polls and give these low lifes something to chatter about.

The fact is this election was characterized by wide spread suspicious activity. In particular, polling machines in a number of locations did not register the choices made by Republicans. This should be investigated. Republican poll watchers were physically thrown out of polling stations in Cleveland. We should get to the bottom of just why the election judges felt this was necessary. I would also point out that since the Governor of Ohio is Republican, the Chief Judge should have been Republican too.  Where was he or she in all this.  We have evidence that 59 polling districts in Philadelphia did not register a single vote for Romney. That seems unusual, and should be investigated. Same with the Cleveland 9 polling stations. In Fairfax County, Virginia, one poll watcher noted that people came in to vote that had no idea where they lived. What are the chances? And these instances are just the illegal vote tampering that I have seen reported. Then there are the perfectly legal ones where nursing home workers registered nursing home patients, and drove them to the polls. Did the nursing home workers also cast their votes? How many of these people were not competent to make a choice?  How many were in essence coerced?

As for ACORN, sure, the organization that went by the acronym 'ACORN' disappeared, but the people who ran it are still around, squirrelled away in other organizations and presumably doing what they did.  Changing names has been a Leftist tradition at least since the Bolsheviks came to power.  Lenin wasn't born with that name.  He started out life as Vladimir Illyich Ulyanov.  Stalin also had a more prosaic name before becoming the 'Man of Steel.'  These people change names like everyone else changes their shirts.  They also move around form one Leftist group to another.  But they don't ever seem to stop what they have been doing.

As for looking ahead to 2014, believe me we are.  But if the same shenanigans go on, will we be able to trust those elections any more than we trust the 2012 elections?  Will there even be an election in 2014?  Will there be a Republican party left, what with our fearless leader giving away the farm on every front.   

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Resurrecting an Old Idea

The article in question, Vermont's Right Not to Bear Arms by Joanna Mereth at the American Prospect comes from December 19, 2001. The article describes a proposed bill that would register non gun owners, and fine them $500 for failing to own and carry a gun. The logic is that every member of the civil society is also a member of the militia, who should be counted upon to defend the State against a variety of potential catastrophes including tyrannical government, a disaster forcing refugees into the State, or...well...something else unexpected that may require the State to call up its citizens. Against those who do carry, and are thus prepared, those who refuse to do their duty should pay a fine. It is a valid argument, as far as it goes.  To be truly effective, every citizen should receive militia training as part of their high school requirements, and minimum requirements for serviceable weapons and ammunition should be established.  At specified intervals, citizens between certain ages should be required to go to the range and shoot qualifying rounds.

Sometimes, the world around one turns savage, red in tooth and claw, and only a savage response will save your life.  A person prays to never see those days, and the parents who have pray their children will never see such times.  But let's not pretend there will never come such a time.  To do so is to stick one's head in the sand.  For citizens, as opposed to subjects, being prepared to defend your self and those around you is a civic duty, akin to voting.  Indeed, it may be the more important of the two duties.   

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff debate

Everyone seems very concerned that we avoid the "fiscal cliff." Talking heads on the television with their worried faces on are constantly tell us we must avoid jumping off the cliff, and of course, it is all the Republicans fault. Those dirty Republicans won't make a "deal" on extending the Bush Tax Cuts for the middle class, while allowing them to expire on the "richest" Americans. Everyone is talking about taxes, but nobody is talking spending cuts. Even Paul Ryan, he of pushing Granny over the cliff fame, only talked about slowing the rising baseline by a percent or two. We would still be spending more next year than we did this year under his "devastating" austerity measures.

All of this has me in mind of a couple of cartoon characters from my youth. The first is Wimpy, a character in the Popeye cartoons who goes about every day seeking a handout from anyone who is dumb enough to give him one. He uses the line "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." The "deal" Republicans are asked to take is kind of like Wimpy's deal; in return for increasing tax rates today, they will promise spending cuts later. But Republicans have seen this play before, and should know that the cuts will never happen. I am also reminded of Lucy, in the comic strip Peanuts, who every year would hold a football for Charlie Brown, promising not to pull it from him this year. Every year, old Charlie would be suckered into kicking the football, whereupon Lucy would pull it away at the last minute, and Charlie would land on his kiester. Democrats must sense that Republicans are a lot like Charlie Brown.  Behind the scenes, they must be laughing at us again.

Today, David S. Whitely asks at the American Thinker Will We Ever Get Our America Back?. Whitely is concerned that nobody is making the principled, moral argument that needs to be made in this debate. Rather, everybody is arguing over whose ox to gore, and by how much. Shall we kill the golden goose, or just harass him a bit more. Whitely:
Doesn't anyone ever consider that the public treasury isn't ours to give? Let me be clear: giving is great, giving of our own accord is doing the work of the Lord. Giving away the labor of others, being generous with other people's money, is not moral -- it's a grave and dangerous character flaw. For who but a robber takes great joy in taking or giving away another man's treasure? Who rests comfortably at night with a clear conscience after giving one man the labor of another? Does anyone -- let alone the cold faceless State -- have the ability to "love your neighbor" for you?

The taxes in the public treasury belong to "the people". We need to understand that this is an account of trust, governed by Constitutional law. The public treasury isn't a gift bag to be given to the constituency of the winner of an election. Nor is it to be spent any way one person or party believes it should be. There are rules to follow, though you wouldn't know it from national politics today.
We used to understand these things. People in government used to understand that they had a fiduciary duty to the people to spend "the peoples money" wisely, to not go into debt, and that there should be a relationship between taxes taken and benefit received. What is the basis, then, for the notion of progressive income taxes?  Does not the Army defend both rich and poor alike? Can you seriously make the argument that our foreign policy helps the rich more than the poor? But today, we have the case where the ObamaPhone Lady gets more benefits from the government than she pays for, while a moderately well off individual gets less benefits.  How is this fair?

The basis for a progressive income tax is at core simple envy.  Someone somewhere is seemingly enjoying life, and we don't like it.  We don't like our jobs.  We don't like eating hamburgers instead of eating caviar.  We want to wear expensive suits instead of slacks we got a WalMart.  Somehow, life is always greener somewhere else, if only we had the money to get there.  It is the politics of the chronically unhappy.  With our inflated sense of importance, we believe we would be richer if the rich didn't hog all the money.  But properly understood, wealth is an IOU from society for excess goods and services already provided.  Bill Gates' $66 billion represents a huge debt that I an others owe to him for Microsoft products alread delivered.  Further, the existence of Bill Gates' wealth doesn't in the least harm me, indeed, had not a Bill Gates existed,  I would be unable to bring you this blog.  So thank you Mr. Gates.  Indeed, thank you Mr. Rockefeller for seeing the use of oil, and saving the whales.  Thank you Mr. Ford for building cars I could afford.  Thank you Mr. Edison for coming up with a workable light bulb.  We should be thanking these and others every day for making our lives better.

Oh, and one more thing, most of these guys give away a lot of money to various causes.  We should thank them for that too.  But we shouldn't make them pay more in taxes.  There is no moral justification for that. 


Thanks to David Codrea, at the War on Guns for providing a link to Clair Wolf's latest ebook Rats. The great part is Clair Wolf provides it free of charge, and recommends everyone post it on blogs and Facebook. So I am doing that, in hopes it may help someone out there.